Some things do not seem right in the NFL as the season approaches the quarter-pole.

30 of the 32 teams have played four of their 17 regular-season games.

Both the LA Rams and Seattle Seahawks are a bit further along with five completed games after the Rams beat the Seahawks 26-17 Thursday night.

Only one team has a perfect 4-0 record.

Last year, six teams started 4-0.

The Arizona Cardinals are the only unbeaten team. Really?

Weren’t the Cardinals picked by many so-called experts and publications to finish last in the NFC West?

What about home-field advantage?

With fans back in the stands, wasn’t that supposed to help the home team?

Home teams are below .500 after four weeks for just the 5th time in league history.

Prior to this season, statistically speaking, home teams overall won 56.4% of NFL games.

Including the Rams-Seahawks game last night, home teams are just 31-34.

What is up with Kansas City?

The defending AFC champion Chiefs are just 2-2 after last year becoming the first NFL team to start 4-0 in four consecutive seasons.

The Chiefs are in last place in the AFC West with an awful defense and they have only scored nine more points than they have given up (134-125).

The 125 against is the most allowed in the entire AFC and yes that includes lowly Houston and winless Jacksonville.

Not everything is out of whack though.

Jacksonville is 0-4, having lost 19 straight going back to last year and the Jaguars, with their embattled coach Urban Meyer, appear to be in shambles.

The only other 0-4 team is Detroit. We can usually count on the dreadful Lions to bring up the rear in the NFC North.

Another possible sign of parity has the odds-makers taking it on the chin.

Favored teams are only 39-26 this season after the Rams covered against the Seahawks. The Rams were favored by 2 1/2.

If you are in any kind of football pool, you will know a score of 39 will likely have you in the bottom half of the overall standings.

If you are thinking of placing a bet, more often than not, take the points and the underdog.

Favored teams against the line are just 26-39.

(Note: There are games that at a certain point in the week change as to who is favored. For example, The Baltimore at Denver game on Sunday went back and forth as to who was favored. For the purpose of the stats I have been compiling,  I went with Baltimore as the one-point favorite and the Ravens did win  23-7)

If you believe that games decided by a field goal or less are up you would be correct.

17 of the 65 have been decided by three points or less. That is over 25 percent, which is above a normal year.

In the 2020 season, 59 of the 256 games had a difference of 3 points or less which is about 23 percent.

Looking ahead, am I buying Arizona as the best team and their QB Kyler Murray as MVP?

No, I still believe the Cardinals will be fortunate to make the playoffs as a wild-card.

Murray, while fun to watch, will show inconsistencies.

Last year, Seattle QB Russell Wilson was the early MVP favorite after the Seahawks started 5-0 and we all know what happened after that blazing start.

Teams 3-1 this year I believe are as good as their record or better include Buffalo, Baltimore, LA Chargers, Dallas, Green Bay, and Tampa Bay.

Notice how I did not include 3-1 Cleveland in that group because Baker Mayfield of the Browns still has not established himself as a top-tier QB.

I also did not include 3-1 Carolina, Vegas, Denver, and Cincinnati as they are overachievers at this point.

The 4-1 Rams are still the team to beat the NFC West despite Sunday’s 37-20 loss to Arizona.

Teams 1-3 that I believe are better than their record and still could be a playoff contender are Minnesota, New England, Indianapolis, and even Pittsburgh.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has never finished with a losing record in his 14 years in charge so it is too early to give up on them.

Tomlin has led Pittsburgh to nine playoff runs.

The best NFL divisions are in the West, with the NFC getting the slight edge over the AFC.

The worst division? That honor now goes to the AFC South, since two of their four teams, Houston and Jacksonville, stink.

Tennessee leads the division with just a 2-2 record while Indianapolis is off to a slow start at 1-3.

Best or most anticipated game coming up in Week 5—The Sunday night Buffalo at KC matchup.

If the Bills are legitimate Super Bowl contenders they need a statement win like this over Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

My pick is KC but not with the same conviction as the last four years.

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This is season four of Hartley’s Cat Scan, a weekly podcast show that predominately features the PG Cougars.

This week my guest is the new associate coach of the Cougars Josh Dixon.

In this episode, he touches on a number of topics including:

  • His long-term relationship with Cats head coach and general manager Mark lamb
  • His stint as head coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the QMJHL
  • Life as a junior hockey coach including many moves with his wife and family
  • The team’s defense
  • Importance of the mental side of hockey

 

Taking Note:

 

FROM THE QUOTE RACK

Urban Meyer’s wife’s lawyer has cited Urban for illegal use of the hands.

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Urban Meyer’s slogan for the 0-4 NFL Jaguars is “Own it.” Since when has Coach Meyer ever owned anything he himself has done?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Talk about a costly one-hitter. Milwaukee Brewers setup man Devin Williams, saying he had a few drinks celebrating the team’s division title, lost his temper, punched a wall, broke his hand, and will likely miss the playoffs.

*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/

In Case You Missed It:

According to a newsmax.com report, four things happen just before a heart attack. Top of the list is the Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup.

*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com

Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He also is the radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars’ home games.
Hartley has been on the Prince George airwaves since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes)