The NFL season is at its quarter point, and that means we are starting to see what each team is made of. But, despite four games having been played, it is still relatively early in the grand scheme of things.
We know teams like the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints are going to be a factor come playoff time, but what teams are currently fooling us? Are the Buffalo Bills going to be able to sustain their early season success, and what about those Tennessee Titans?
Find out below which teams are currently receiving a little too much attention and aren't as good as their record indicates.
Sure, the Bills had a nice start and have some nice pieces in place, but last week's loss to Cincinnati proved that this isn't a team that is going to do any serious damage this season. Buffalo pulled off a magnificent comeback against the Patriots, yet were unable to follow it up and take care of business despite holding a 17-3 lead at halftime against a Bengals team that was starting a rookie quarterback in Andy Dalton.
Now the Bills have a tough test at home against an angry Philadelphia Eagles team which is looking to get back on track. A difficult stretch of games awaits the Bills, making the loss to the Bengals loom even larger.
What is really plaguing Buffalo is its defense. The Bills rank 25th in the NFL against the pass and run, something that is going to catch up to them rather soon. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Co. have played above their heads early on and won't be able to keep putting points on the board at the rate they currently are, which is 33.2 points per game
Tougher opponents will bring the Bills back to Earth.
Before everyone gets all hot and bothered, the Lions are a good team but are currently being pegged as a Super Bowl contender by many. It's time to take a step back and look at this team objectively.
First, it is important to note that the Lions had to come back from a 20-point deficit to beat a bad Minnesota Vikings squad, and then followed it up with an even more impressive comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys. Both wins proved that Detroit is resilient, but both could have easily been losses and had the Lions sitting at 2-2 as opposed to 4-0.
Secondly, the Lions are a young team that still has a way to go. The running game is virtually nonexistent and too much pressure is being put on Matthew Stafford's arm to carry the offense. The Lions have a good team but not as good as the media has made them out to be.
Let's see how they handle a prime-time game against a division rival in the Chicago Bears.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Josh Freeman is a fantastic young quarterback and the Bucs have plenty of young talent. But as of right now, they aren't as good as their 3-1 record indicates.
Like Detroit, Tampa Bay has been plagued by slow starts yet have been able to climb back into games and find a way to win. What is most concerning for the Bucs is their poor performances against the Vikings and Indianapolis Colts.
Both ended up in wins, although against a better team there's no doubt the Bucs would have lost. Now Tampa Bay has the tough task of going across the country and playing the underrated San Francisco 49ers.
If the Bucs are truly as good as they are being made out to be, this is a road game that they should be able to win.
With Andre Johnson set to miss three weeks and the Texans' next three games coming against Oakland, Baltimore and Tennessee, expect to see Houston struggle. Even with Johnson starting at wide receiver the Texans aren't worthy of the hype.
Sure, Houston was able to beat a Pittsburgh Steelers team that is supposed to be good, but they look far from it right now. What was really telling about the Texans was their inability to hold onto the lead against the Saints in Week 3. There were plenty of opportunities for the Texans to bury the Saints but they were unable to do so.
Playoff teams win those games. And despite all the talk about the new and improved defense, when it was tested against an elite offense it gave up 40 points.
Now the defense will truly be tested with the offense's best weapon out for awhile. We will find out how good the Texans' defense is when they have to carry the load.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers' 3-1 record looks nice on paper, but if you take a closer peek, it will reveal that their three wins came against arguably the three worst teams in the league—Minnesota, Kansas City and Miami. In Week 2, the Patriots easily handled the Chargers, and the entire team looked awful.
San Diego has looked good from a distance for years, yet when a true test comes around the Chargers always seem to buckle under the pressure. The talent level is there but a winning mentality is not. For some reason, Norv Turner is unable to get his team to rise up to the occasion when needed.
Luckily, for the Chargers, they play in the weak AFC West and should be able to hold off the Raiders to snag a playoff berth. But until they win a playoff game against a top-tier team, the Chargers will always be considered overrated.
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