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Quarterback Starts/Sits for Week 4 - QB vs. Pass Rush Matchups for Lineup Decisions

Jared Goff - Fantasy Football Rankings, NFL Injury News, DFS Lineup Picks

Week 4 of the NFL season is here, and we’re starting to learn more and more about these teams with each passing week. As we get more and more information, it will become even easier to analyze the best matchups on a weekly basis. Right now, we have some details on each team, but we don’t have the full stories quite yet.

There are a lot of interesting matchups to watch this week. Some teams with playoff aspirations are looking for their first win or to get back to .500 while some teams that are overachieving early in the year are looking to maintain that early momentum. Every win matters for you just as much as it does for them.

Early in the year, you need to rack up as many wins as possible while your team is still healthy and bye weeks have yet to arrive. With that in mind, your quarterback matchups become even more important to analyze which offenses are ready for success vs which ones still need a few weeks to get warmed up. Here are the three best and worst matchups for Sunday to consider when setting your lineup.

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Here Comes Trouble - QB vs. Pass Rush Matchups

Dallas Cowboys Pass Rush vs. Carson Wentz

One week after getting sacked nine times along with the defense registering 17 quarterback hits, Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz gets to match up with the Dallas Cowboys. Through three games, Wentz has been sacked 15 times, which is tied for the most in the NFL, and he’s been under pressure on 26.1 percent of his dropbacks, which is tied for the 10th-worst mark league-wide. Wentz is also not the most escapable QB with only 11 carries for 57 yards this season. When he gets pressured, he’s often unable to escape it.

Despite the loss of quarterback Dak Prescott, the Dallas defense has been keeping the team afloat in large part due to their ferocious pass rush. They lead the league in sacks with 13, and they’re first in adjusted sack rate at 12.5 percent which translates to one sack for every eight dropbacks. This Washington offensive line is overmatched this week, and Dallas should have no problem getting after Wentz all game long.

Verdict: Sit 'Em

Chicago Bears Pass Rush vs. Daniel Jones

In the battle of the two most unlikely 2-1 teams, New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones can take the Giants to a 3-1 record, but he is in for a tough matchup to get there. The Bears' defense has been strong through three weeks, as they’re giving up an average of 19 points per game despite playing with an anemic offense. The large reason for their defensive success has been their pass rush which ranks first in the NFL in hurries with 22 and a hurry rate of 22.9 percent. They’ve also done so while blitzing at the second-lowest rate in the NFL at 7.3 percent, while the Arizona Cardinals lead the NFL at 46.8 percent.

For the Giants, they have struggled to give Jones time in the pocket. They’ve given up the third-most sacks with the league’s second-worst adjusted sack rate, and they rank dead last with a 40 percent pressure rate. Jones has a good ability to scramble, and he’s gotten out of the pocket a fair bit, as he ranks second in the league in scrambles. However, Chicago’s front gets pressure without blitzing, which means there are more defenders waiting to rally up when he tries to break contain.

Verdict: Sit ‘Em

San Francisco 49ers Pass Rush vs. Matthew Stafford

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford is probably wishing Andrew Whitworth hadn’t retired this offseason heading into Week 4. Last season, the Rams had the seventh-best adjusted sack rate, and they’re currently heading into Week 4 with the eighth-worst mark at 8.5 percent. The main issue has been the lack of blitzing they’ve seen compared to the number of sacks they’ve given up. They’re tied for the seventh-most sacks allowed, but they’re 31st in the number of times they’ve been blitzed. Teams don’t have to send pressure often to get to Stafford.

San Francisco ranks third in adjusted sack rate at 10.2 percent, first in pressure rate, second in quarterback knockdown percentage, and fifth in hurry percentage. Those are all great numbers, and the one that brings it all together is the fact that they’re 30th in blitz rate. They’re getting home without bringing extra rushers and dropping guys back into coverage. What do the Rams struggle with? They’ve struggled with teams that generate pressure without blitzing. Stafford could be in for a very rough week.

Verdict: Sit ‘Em

 

Easy on Sunday Morning - QB vs. Pass Rush Matchups

New Orleans Saints Pass Rush vs. Kirk Cousins

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has shown some excitement in his new offense through three weeks, and his offensive line has done well to help foster that growth. They rank third in adjusted sack rate through three games, and while Kirk leads the NFL in hits taken, they’ve given up just four sacks. Even when he’s getting hit, they’re giving him plenty of time, as he’s second in the league in pocket time at 2.7 seconds.

New Orleans has struggled to generate a consistent pass rush early in the season. Through three games, they have generated just four sacks, with three of those coming in their Week 3 loss to the Carolina Panthers. They also rank in the bottom-five in pressure and knockdown percentage along with the bottom-10 in hurry percentage. New Orleans has some talented members on this defense, but it’s not translating to pressure up front which should allow Cousins to have a strong outing on Sunday.

Verdict: Start 'Em

Seattle Seahawks Pass Rush vs. Jared Goff

We’re heading into Week 4 of the NFL season, and I legitimately think that Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff is a great starting option this week. His offensive line, which is tied for fourth in fewest sacks allowed while sitting fifth in adjusted sack rate, has been doing a great job of keeping him upright. They also have the eighth-best mark in pressure rate with Goff being under pressure on just 18.5 percent of his dropbacks. 

Goff’s opponent in Week 4 is the Seattle Seahawks, who have struggled out of the gate. They’re in the bottom half of the league in pressures, and they’ve registered just six sacks through three games, with three of those coming against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3. They’re in the middle of the pack in blitz rate, but they aren’t converting those into pressures and sacks as often as they need to. For now, this week favors Goff to continue his strong start.

Verdict: Start ‘Em

Atlanta Falcons Pass Rush vs. Jacoby Brissett

Has Cleveland Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett been an elite quarterback to start the season? No. Has he been serviceable? Yes. In Week 4, he can continue that trend against the Atlanta Falcons. Cleveland ranks sixth in adjusted sack rate, and they’re 12th in pressure rate allowed. This offense is largely built around the running game, but they are using that to effectively set up Brissett in the passing game. He’s only QB17 thus far, but that’s not bad for a guy that you likely drafted as a backup. 

After starting the season hot, the Falcons have cooled off in a major way. Of their seven total sacks, three of them came in the first half of their game in Week 1, and they have just four sacks over their last eight 10 quarters of play. They rank 30th in pressure rate, 31st in hurry rate, and 25th in knockdown rate. This front has a lot of growing up to do, and this isn’t the offensive line to attempt to do it against.

Verdict: Start 'Em



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