I’m back to debunk a few NFL narratives after having a decent debut for fact or fiction last week. Initially, I thought my bosses enjoyed seeing me unleash more football takes that will eventually be proven wrong.

For example, I wrote that I wanted to call the Packers the best team in the NFC North and the only reason I didn’t was because of injuries. But, obviously, I was wrong. Not even a healthy Packers’ squad would have beaten the Lions on Thursday night. Detroit leads the NFC North, and that’s a fact.

But I wasn’t wrong in saying the Dolphins wouldn’t win 15 games this regular season. That was fiction because of Miami’s tough schedule. After an ugly loss in Buffalo, the Dolphins still have to play the Bills again later this season.

Here are five NFL narratives that we deemed to be either fact or fiction after Week 4 of the NFL regular season.

Bills are the best team in the NFL

Allen tossed four touchdown passes and ran for another in a huge win for the Bills.


Manzano’s view: Fiction

The Bills aren’t the best team in the NFL—that title belongs to the 49ers. But Buffalo might be the most complete team, and they’re definitely the best team in the AFC East after dropping 48 points on the Dolphins.

A few weeks back, I labeled the Cowboys as the best team in the league before they lost to the Cardinals. I also predicted the Dolphins would win in Buffalo. If you’re a Bills’ fan, you probably don’t want me overhyping your team.

But the Bills have been dominant since their ugly Week 1 loss to the Jets, beating opponents in all three phases. As for a bonus fact or fiction: Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are the best QB-WR duo in the league. I’ll let you chew on that one.

Bengals won’t rebound from 1–3

Manzano’s view: Fact

I’ve seen enough from the Bengals, and I can now say their sluggish start isn’t like last year when Cincinnati started 0–2 before winning 12 of its final 14 regular-season games. This year’s Bengals are on the verge of becoming an afterthought after another offensive dud with a hobbled Joe Burrow, whose injured calf has prevented the team from stretching the field with stud wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

Cincinnati averaged 4.1 yards per play and 5.5 yards per passing attempt during Sunday’s ugly 27–3 loss to the Titans. For as long as Burrow plays on one bad leg, the Bengals will likely struggle against teams with ferocious defensive fronts. The Titans sacked Burrow three times and hit him nine times. Perhaps the Bengals can get past the Cardinals next week. But after that, they face the Seahawks, 49ers and Bills.

Falcons need to trade Kyle Pitts

Manzano’s view: Fiction

Pitts’s elite skill set isn’t being utilized in Atlanta, but you don’t give up on that type of talent after only two-plus seasons. It is, however, concerning that Pitts had another underwhelming performance Sunday, recording two catches for 19 yards during the Falcons’ 23–7 loss to the Jaguars in London. Pitts hasn’t recorded more than 44 receiving yards in a game and hasn’t reached the end zone this season. He only has three career touchdowns … THREE!

So, go ahead and complain, fantasy football managers, especially the stubborn ones who continue to draft Pitts, thinking this will be his breakout season. But the real stubbornness might be coming from Falcons coach Arthur Smith for not making Pitts more of an emphasis in the offense after selecting him with the No. 4 pick in the 2021 draft. Smith can’t just have second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder operate a run-heavy offense and throw a few deep shots to Drake London.

The Falcons, who have a two-game losing streak, need scheme changes, and possibly a new quarterback, preferably one who can spread the ball around. But, again, you don’t give up on elite talent. The Falcons need to make Pitts a bigger part of the offense—now.

Rams will win at least nine games this season

Manzano’s view: Fact

I wanted to go bolder here by saying the Rams will make the postseason, but I didn’t want to get too carried away after one very impressive road victory against the Colts. Los Angeles also blew a 20-point lead before winning in overtime with a game-winning touchdown reception from rookie sensation Puka Nacua.

But the Rams have proven that they can compete with the good teams, and yes, I’m including the Colts, who entered Week 4 with a two-game winning streak. The Rams beat the Seahawks in the season opener and pushed the 49ers in Week 2. The Rams have also found their offensive identity with second-year running back Kyren Williams leading the charge.

Coach Sean McVay corrected his mistake of not establishing the run in the Week 3 loss to the Bengals by giving Williams 17 carries in the first half, as the Rams jumped to a 20–0 advantage in Indianapolis. With the emergence of Williams and Nacua, the Rams (2–2) now could get Cooper Kupp back on the field after McVay said he expects his star wideout to practice this upcoming week. Kupp hasn’t played this season because of a hamstring injury. The Rams are tough on both sides of the ball and will be in most games this season, possibly earning an NFC wild-card spot.

Bears are the worst team in the NFL

Fields threw for 335 yards, four touchdowns and one very costly interception against the Broncos.

Mike Dinovo/USA TODAY Sports

Manzano’s view: Fact

Simply put, the Bears lost at home to a team that just lost by 70 points last week. Chicago was supposed to beat Denver after jumping to a 28–7 advantage in the third quarter. But Matt Eberflus’s defense collapsed in the second half and quarterback Justin Fields had a costly interception on the final drive.

Fields, however, showed improvements as a passer, posting a stat line of 28 of 35 for 335 yards, four touchdowns and one very bad interception. The winless Bears will need to decide at the end of the season whether to stick with Fields for the foreseeable future, especially if they end up with the No. 1 pick again. Fields has 13 games left to prove he can be a consistent quarterback in this league.