A matchup of the last two number one overall picks in the NFL Draft went to the veteran Thursday, as Joe Burrow led the Cincinnati Bengals to a 24-21 victory over Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Rookie kicker Evan McPherson's 35-yard field goal at the buzzer gave Cincinnati the win after the Bengals went the entire game without a lead. 

Burrow completed 25 of 32 passes for 348 yards and a pair of touchdown passes to C.J. Uzomah as the Bengals improved to 3-1. 

Lawrence was 17-of-24 for 204 yards as he and first-year head coach Urban Meyer will have to wait at least another week for their first NFL victory after falling to 0-4. 

Jacksonville took a 14-0 lead on touchdown runs by James Robinson and Lawrence in the first half, and just missed another TD after they were stopped on fourth-and-goal at the Cincinnati one-yard line just before the break. 

The momentum swung the Bengals' way after the break, though, as Burrow hit rookie receiver Ja'Marr Chase for a 44-yard gain, then found Uzomah for a 22-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the second half. 

Cincinnati's next two drives also ended in TDs, on a one-yard run by Joe Mixon and a 31-yard Burrow-to-Uzomah strike.

After the Bengals' defence got the ball back with 5:40 to play, Burrow bled out the rest of the clock on a 10-play, 73-yard drive that culminated in McPherson's game-winning field goal. 

 

The Super Bowl half-time show has long been a global stage for the biggest stars in music, and the NFL has lined up a formidable cast for this season's showcase event.

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will perform at Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles on February 13, the NFL announced Thursday.

The five artists have combined for 43 Grammy Awards during their careers, which date to Dre's role as a foundational member of the West Coast hip-hop scene in the late 1980s.

Jay-Z's Roc Nation is in its third season of a collaboration with the NFL to help organise and produce the 12-minute half-time show, and the mogul called this year's lineup "history in the making".

While all five performers have deep and impressive catalogues, the fact that Dre, Snoop and Lamar are all Los Angeles-area natives is an added bonus for the first Super Bowl to be played in LA since 1993.

"The opportunity to perform at the Super Bowl half-time show, and to do it in my own backyard, will be one of the biggest thrills of my career," Dre said in a media release.

The star-studded gathering figures to have a much different feel than the Super Bowl LV performance in Tampa, a solo effort by The Weeknd.

LeSean McCoy will bring an end to his 12-year NFL career as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday. 

The Eagles selected McCoy in the second round of the 2009 draft and he will sign a one-day contract so he can finish his career with Philadelphia. 

McCoy spent four years with the Buffalo Bills after leaving the Eagles in 2014 and won back-to-back Super Bowls with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the previous two seasons. 

"After 12 years in the NFL, I've decided to retire an Eagle because this is home to me. I still have that green inside my heart," McCoy said in a statement. 

"There are times when I'd see the Eagles on TV, and it just felt weird not wearing that uniform. I instantly think back to all of those big games and the roar of the fans; I've just always seen myself as an Eagle. It's only right to come back home and retire an Eagle." 

McCoy will be honoured at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday when the Eagles take on a Chiefs side overseen by his long-time coach in Philadelphia Andy Reid. 

"I've been texting with him all week. I'm so thankful for him. He took a shot on a 20-year-old kid who people said wasn't big enough, wasn't explosive enough. I thank him so much for that," said McCoy. 

"We've always maintained a strong relationship. I love him. When he left, it was very tough for me because of my belief in him. It all worked out. He helped me get a championship. He's doing great things in Kansas City. I'm happy I'll be able to see him as well as the coaches and trainers and former teammates." 

McCoy became the Eagles' all-time leading rusher (6,792 yards) during his six seasons in Philadelphia. 

The six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection set single-season franchise records for the Eagles with 17 rushing touchdowns in 2011 and a league-leading 1,607 rushing yards in 2013. 

Tom Brady is rarely not front and centre in the NFL, but it is particularly difficult to get away from football's GOAT this week.

Thursday marked the 20th anniversary of the quarterback's first NFL start. On Sunday, he needs only 68 yards to pass Drew Brees for the most passing yards in league history.

"It's definitely a special record because it speaks to the longevity that he's been able to experience and the level that he's been able to play at," Brees said at the start of the week.

Of course, that record will fall as Brady takes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back to Foxborough to play the New England Patriots for the first time.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion made history time and again in 19 years with the Pats and does not look like stopping now in the pick of the Week 4 Sunday matchups, broken down by Stats Perform.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New England Patriots

A win for the 2-1 Bucs would make Brady only the fourth starting quarterback to defeat all 32 NFL teams across their careers, joining Brees, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning.

The QB comes into this game in form, having thrown for at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns through his team's first three games of the year for the second time, having also done so with New England in 2011. No other QB has achieved that feat twice.

The Pats will hope they have found a long-term successor in Mac Jones, whose 81 completions are the third-most by any QB in the Super Bowl era through three career games – after Joe Burrow (91) and Kyler Murray (84).

Tampa Bay have a poor record against New England, too. The Pats are 7-2 in this matchup all-time and have held the Bucs to 11.9 points per game – the fewest any current franchise has averaged against another.

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers

The Seahawks are in a spot of bother in the NFC West with a 1-2 record, but they are 14-3 over their past 17 games against the 49ers, making them the first team to beat San Francisco 14 times over a 17-game span since the Los Angeles Rams between 1973 and 1981.

Russell Wilson will hope his team-mates can catch up this week, having become the first QB in the Super Bowl era to complete at least 70 per cent of his passes for 250 yards and no interceptions in each of his first three games of a season. In fact, Seattle's back-to-back defeats marked the second time in franchise history they have lost consecutive games with no turnovers in either (also November 2008).

If nothing else, expect this game to be tight, with the 49ers' past seven games all decided by eight points or fewer – tying a franchise record – although San Francisco certainly have the talent to hurt the Seahawks.

The Niners have had touchdowns from 11 different players this year, tied for the most in NFL history through three games (also the 1964 Houston Oilers, 1987 Chicago Bears and 2002 Patriots). Deebo Samuel is the chief threat right now, though, with his 334 receiving yards the most by a 49er through three team games since Jerry Rice's 341 in 1995.

Arizona Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams

The four NFC West teams are playing among themselves for the coming two weeks, meaning another mammoth matchup as the division's two 3-0 starters meet at SoFi Stadium in a series the Rams have dominated with eight straight wins against the Cardinals. That is their longest winning streak against a single opponent since a run of nine against the 49ers from 1976 to 1980.

A 4-0 start brings back contrasting memories for these two teams. The Rams made the Super Bowl after winning their first four in both 2018 and 2001, but the last time Arizona jumped out to such a start in 2015 they lost 11 of their remaining 12 games to finish 5-11.

Cardinals QB Murray makes for an entertaining watch, with at least one interception and one rushing TD in each of his first three games in 2021. It is only the third time a player has done that since 1960, with Murray accounting for one of the other two examples in 2020 (also Charlie Frye in 2006).

Crucially, Murray has more options through the air this year. Arizona have a league-leading six players with 10 or more receptions, having only had eight players reach that mark in the entirety of the 2020 campaign – tied for the fifth-fewest in the NFL.

Elsewhere...

The Kansas City Chiefs visit the Philadelphia Eagles looking to avoid losing three in a row for the first time since Patrick Mahomes became a starter. Back-to-back defeats to the Baltimore Ravens and the Los Angeles Chargers already represent the Chiefs' worst run since a pair of losses in Weeks 5 and 6 in 2019.

Dak Prescott is in top form as the Dallas Cowboys prepare to host the Carolina Panthers, but that game may be decided on defense. The Panthers have allowed a league-low 3.8 yards per play this season, while the Cowboys' 6.7 yards allowed per play is fewer only than the Chiefs (7.0) and the Minnesota Vikings (6.8).

The Denver Broncos have made the most of a kind schedule to join the Panthers at 3-0 but now face a first real test against the Ravens. Teddy Bridgewater will aim to maintain his high standards, having become the fourth player in the past 60 years to complete at least 75 per cent of his passes in the first three games of a season, along with Brady (2007), Brees (2018) and Philip Rivers (2020). Brady did so in four straight.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won five consecutive regular season games against the Green Bay Packers going back to 1998, but veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger has made an unconvincing start to the campaign. He is one TD shy of 400 in the NFL – Aaron Rodgers was the seventh and most recent man to that mark.

Patrick Mahomes is looking forward to working with Josh Gordon in Kansas City after the Chiefs capitalised on "a heck of an opportunity" to sign the reinstated wide receiver.

Gordon was reinstated by the NFL this week after a series of suspensions for violations of its policies on substances of abuse and performance-enhancing substances.

Most recently, the 30-year-old saw a return with the Seattle Seahawks halted in January when the league rescinded his conditional reinstatement.

Gordon recorded 1,646 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 87 catches with the Cleveland Browns in 2013 but has since seen his role restricted by his various absences.

After spells with the New England Patriots and the Seahawks, he is back again and hoping to play a part for AFC champions the Chiefs.

Gordon must earn his place on Kansas City's 53-man roster but is linking up with outstanding quarterback Mahomes and a highly talented receiver room.

"We like bringing in good football players," Mahomes said. "It was a heck of an opportunity to bring him in here, involve him in that receiver room, and he'll have his role.

"He's a great football player. In this offense, everybody gets a chance to make plays.

"He's a big receiver, and even when he's covered, he's not covered. I'm excited to work with him."

The Chiefs led the league in net passing yards last year (303.4 per game) and are on pace to beat that mark in 2021 (306.0), although they rank fifth through three weeks.

Tight end Travis Kelce is leading the way on 20 receptions for 289 yards and three TDs, ahead of top WRs Tyreek Hill (19 catches, 267 yards, one TD) and Mecole Hardman (11 catches, 107 yards, one TD).

Seven players have scored receiving TDs this year, while Mahomes has targeted 14 different team-mates.

Gordon is unlikely to be a primary option unless he returns to his early-career form, although he did make a competitive 15.8 yards per reception in his last season in the league in 2019 – ranking 21st among WRs with 20 or more targets.

He was targeted on a relatively low 17.0 per cent of his routes, however, and got open on just 56.5 per cent of his targets – the 12th-worst rate among the same group of players.

The 1-2 Chiefs face the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4 on Sunday.

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan insisted there is no "quarterback battle" between starter Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance as calls for the latter to be given more gametime grow.

The 49ers are 2-1 to start the NFL season, going down 30-28 to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday after wins over the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions.

Lance, who was selected at pick three in the 2021 NFL Draft, has been used sparingly, attending seven snaps in two games, including running a one-yard touchdown against the Packers.

The 49ers' offensive display against the Packers, having been held scoreless until Lance's touchdown on half-time, fuelled the calls for the 21-year-old to get more opportunities ahead of Garoppolo – who made 25 of 40 passes for 257 yards, two TDs and an interception against Green Bay.

"There's not a quarterback battle right now," Shanahan said on Wednesday heading into the Week 4 clash with the Seattle Seahawks. "We're going with our starting quarterback who I think is playing very well.

"I'm happy that he is, so Trey is not thrown into any situations he has to do too early. If he ever is thrown into that, then I know Trey will deal with that and he'll get better as it goes, but we have a luxury where we don't have to do that yet to Trey or to our team."

Garoppolo has a completion rate of 67.37 per cent this season, collecting 760 yards with four touchdowns in three games this season.

The 29-year-old has completed 64 of 95 attempts, run for a score, thrown an interception and lost a pair of fumbles.

"Trey's our backup quarterback," Shanahan said. "This isn't the preseason. We're not just going back and forth all the time."

He added: "We have put him [Lance] on the field. We do it in situations.

"You can go with whatever you want what I say in training camp and you can expand on that or not. But I think I was asked coming off the field of our third [preseason] game if we'd see this in the regular season, I said, 'probably not.'

"I've been pretty consistent with what I've said."

The 49ers' last seven games dating back to last year have all been decided by eight points or fewer, tied for the longest streak in franchise history (also in 1988).

San Francisco have had 11 different players score a touchdown this season – tied with the 1964 Oilers, 1987 Chicago Bears and 2002 New England Patriots for the most in NFL history over the first three games of a season.

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick backed Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady to play in the NFL until he is 50 ahead of the pair's reunion.

Brady will lead Super Bowl champions the Buccaneers (2-1) against former team the Patriots (1-2) on the road in Foxborough on Sunday.

The 44-year-old Brady won six Super Bowls with Belichick at the Patriots before leaving for the Buccaneers via free agency ahead of the 2020 season.

With Brady showing no signs of slowing down, long-serving Patriots coach Belichick hailed the five-time Super Bowl MVP.

"Nothing Tom does surprises me," Belichick told reporters on Wednesday.

"He's a great player, works hard, takes care of himself. He's talked about playing until 50. If anybody can do it, he probably can.

"Tom's had an unbelievable career. There's not enough superlatives and adjectives to compliment him on everything that he's achieved and continues to achieve.

"It's unbelievably impressive."

Brady has thrown for at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns through his team's first three games for the second time in his career (also 2011). He is the only quarterback in NFL history to do that twice.

Tampa Bay's Brady will be looking to join Drew Brees, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning as the only starting quarterbacks to defeat all 32 teams in their careers.

Brady is also on the cusp of history, with the QB requiring just 68 yards to surpass Brees' NFL career passing yardage record of 80,358 yards.

"He's as tough as any quarterback there is or ever has been. Enough said. His numbers are incredible," Belichick added.

"He's about to pass the all-time passing record. He's done more than any other player at that position in whatever measurement you want to take – whether it's yards, completions, touchdowns, championships, you name it. Put anything out there that you want; it doesn't get any tougher than that."

The NFL season is heading towards the quarter mark and it's likely desperation time for those fantasy owners who are yet to claim a win.

Thankfully there are several matchups in Week 4 that figure to be very high scoring and deliver huge fantasy performances.

Which players should you be looking at slotting into your lineup for the upcoming slate of games?

Stats Perform looks at four offensive players and a defense that can help propel you to glory this week.

 

Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans @ New York Jets

Tannehill followed up a 300-yard performance in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks with a three-touchdown display in a win over the Indianapolis Colts.

The Jets' defense is the strength of their winless team but still ranks 17th in the NFL in yards per pass play allowed with 6.79.

Given the ineptitude of New York's offense, which has committed the second-most turnovers in the NFL (7) through three games, the Jets' defense is likely to eventually wear down and provide Tannehill with plentiful opportunities to enjoy another strong fantasy outing.

Running Back: Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders

The Chargers have their own problems with run defense, allowing the highest rushing average in the league at 5.8 yards.

However, fourth on that list are the Raiders, who have given up 4.81 yards per carry through three games.

Ekeler's yards after contact per attempt average of 2.5 is sixth among running backs with at least 10 carries and he is again a focal point in the passing game having made 15 receptions over the last two games. 

In a game likely to be dominated by high-powered offenses, Ekeler figures to play a pivotal role and, taking the favourable matchup into account, is a must-start in points per reception fantasy leagues.

Wide Receiver: Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco 49ers

Lockett has never had a 100-yard game against the 49ers, but caught 12 of 14 targets for 90 yards and two touchdowns in the regular-season finale against San Francisco last year.

Registering a burn, which is when a receiver wins his matchup on a play where is targeted, on 68.4 per cent of his targets Lockett is second among wide receivers that have been thrown to at least 10 times with a burn yards per target average of 19.29.

Going up against a banged-up San Francisco secondary, Lockett's ability to create consistent separation could prove pivotal in a matchup where Seattle may have to get into a shootout to prevail given the porous nature of the Seahawks' defense.

Tight End: Dawson Knox, Buffalo Bills vs. Houston Texans

Still the most difficult position in fantasy football to judge, managers can often find themselves in a difficult spot if they do not own one of Travis Kelce, George Kittle and Darren Waller.

However, those lacking a dependable option at tight end may find Knox a worthwhile pickup for this week. He has a touchdown in each of his last two games, hauling in four of his five targets last week against the Washington Football Team, and gets an extremely enticing matchup in Week 4.

The Texans are allowing the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends and, with the Bills' offense beginning to fire on all cylinders, Knox could prove an extremely astute addition to fantasy lineups if he is still available on your waiver wire.

Defense: New Orleans Saints vs. New York Giants

The Saints' defense had a field day in Week 3, picking off rookie Mac Jones three times, including one interception returned for a touchdown, in a bounce-back win over the New England Patriots.

This week, New Orleans gets to play a game at the Superdome for the first time this season, and the impact of a raucous home crowd will surely only make things more difficult for the Giants' offense and quarterback Daniel Jones.

He has been pressured 53 times already this season, the Giants allowing the 11th-most in the NFL, while the Saints' defense has racked up 56 pressures, putting New Orleans seventh in the league.

While the Giants' signal-caller has only committed one giveaway in 2021, that is a recipe for a disastrous day for a quarterback known for his lack of ball security. Should this go to form, the Saints will make life miserable for a quarterback named Jones for the second successive week.

Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers are refusing to panic amid their slow start to the NFL season and Ben Roethlisberger's offensive woes.

The Steelers are 1-2 to open the 2021 campaign following last week's surprise 24-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Doubts over two-time Super Bowl champion Roethlisberger have emerged after the 39-year-old quarterback threw two interceptions, finishing 38-of-58 passing for 318 yards and a touchdown.

Through three games, Roethlisberger – a seven-time Pro Bowler – has completed 83 of 130 attempts for three TDs, three interceptions and eight sacks.

Despite the poor start, Steelers head coach Tomlin is refusing to panic heading into Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers (2-1).

"We're not going to push the panic button," Tomlin said during Tuesday's news conference. "What do I mean by the panic button? We're not going to dramatically change who and what we are at this juncture.

"We're not resistant to change for the purposes of getting better, but we're not going to be so unsteady that we move away from our compass, our identity that we've worked hard to develop.

"We will continue to work hard to develop and the emphasis on the style of play, whatever that may be in all three phases."

Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a franchise-best 11-0 start to the season in 2020 and an AFC North crown before losing to the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round.

This season, only Miami Dolphins signal-caller Jacoby Brissett (67.8), Jacksonville Jaguars rookie Trevor Lawrence (60.3) and first-year New York Jets QB Zach Wilson (51.6) have a worse passer rating than Roethlisberger (79.0).

Roethlisberger's completion percentage (63.8) is only good enough for 25th, well adrift of Dallas Cowboys star and NFL leader Dak Prescott (77.5).

"This guy has a body of work over the course of not only what we've done in preparation this season, but over the course of 18 years that has us taking that approach," Tomlin said of Roethlisberger and his ongoing rest days on Wednesday.

"That is a global approach. It rests him and rightfully so. He's an older guy, and the wear and tear of plays affects him differently than younger guys. But also, he's an older guy and he has a volume of plays that most guys can't pull from that probably requires more physical work in an effort to be ready to play.

"Also, you've got to look at the totality of the journey. We're going into Game 4. We've got many games that lay ahead, and I don't want to be fielding questions late in the year about the quality of his throwing arm, for example."

Future Hall of Famer Drew Brees welcomed the possibility of Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady breaking his NFL record on Sunday.

Brady is on the cusp of history, with the 44-year-old Buccaneers quarterback requiring just 68 yards to surpass Brees' NFL career passing yardage record of 80,358 yards.

Brees retired at the end of last season following 14 years with the New Orleans Saints and 20 years in the NFL, and the 42-year-old is all for Brady eclipsing his feat.

"I'm a firm believer that records are meant to be broken," Brees said, with seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady due to face former team the New England Patriots in Week 4.

Brees set the record in 2018 with a 62-yard touchdown and he added: "I'd be all for Brady just launching the first play of the game, just go ahead and get it out of the way.

"You said he needs, what? Sixty-eight yards? Let's have New England kick it in the end zone, start at the 25 and have him launch one to Mike Evans and let's just be done with it.

"There's no doubt I think that's gonna get knocked down pretty quick. I can't think of a guy who has invested more into his career and his preparation and kind of what he's meant for the game. It's definitely a special record because it speaks to the longevity that he's been able to experience and the level that he's been able to play at."

Brady leads the NFL this season in attempts (141), completions (97), passing touchdowns (10) and completions per game (32.3) for the Buccaneers (2-1).

"You're so locked into the game. You really can't allow yourself to go there too much," Brees said of Brady being able to enjoy the record. "It's really something that you try to get out of the way emotionally prior to the game.

"I'll be honest with you. ... I know the way I felt, leading up to games like this, whether it was playing an old team or chasing a record, I would visualise being in that moment, I would visualise breaking the record, I would visualise everything that was gonna happen.

"I would always get the tears and the emotions out of the way on a Monday or a Tuesday. Like literally cry it out on a Monday or a Tuesday, so that by the time it got to Sunday, it was all about business, it was all about the game, it was all about getting the job done."

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are dealing with significant injury issues at cornerback and may be about to turn to one of the best to play the position to solve those problems.

According to multiple reports, the Bucs are hosting five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman for a visit with a view to adding him to an ailing secondary.

Sunday's defeat to the Los Angeles Rams saw the Buccaneers lose Jamel Dean to a knee injury.

Reports suggest Dean has avoided a serious injury but, with nickel corner Sean Murphy-Bunting on injured reserve with a dislocated elbow, the Bucs require help at cornerback.

That may now come in the form of veteran Sherman. However, if he is to truly be an asset to the Bucs, he will need to bounce back from his performance in limited action in 2020.

Injuries restricted Sherman to five games for the San Francisco 49ers last year and, in his 150 pass coverage snaps as an outside corner, he allowed a burn – which is when a receiver wins his matchup with a defender on a play where is targeted – 72.2 per cent of the time.

That was the fourth-worst rate among outside corners with a minimum of 200 total snaps. Sherman allowed an average of 12.11 burn yards across his 18 targets, above the average of 10.51 and gave up a big play on 34.1 per cent of his targets (the average for outside corners was 27.2).

However, his burn yards per snap average of 1.45 yards was tied for 20th with Dean, speaking to the respect opposing quarterbacks still gave to Sherman through their unwillingness to test him in coverage. Indeed, Dean was targeted on 16.1 per cent of his coverage snaps compared to 12 per cent for Sherman.

And Sherman would likely point to his 2019 season as evidence he can still perform at the highest level.

A Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro two seasons ago as he helped the 49ers to Super Bowl LIV, Sherman still gave up a burn on 50.9 per cent of targets, just above the average of 50.4 for outside corners with at least 200 snaps.

Yet his burn yards per snap rate of 1.17 was sixth-best for outside corners and his burn yards per target average of 7.54 over 55 targets was also sixth.

Seventh among outside corners with a big play percentage allowed of 16.9, Sherman has recent history of helping a contender come within touching distance of climbing the mountain.

Since then, he has endured injury issues and off-field troubles this offseason. However, if those problems are behind him and the Bucs feel he can get close to his 2019 levels, then Sherman is worth a low-risk signing for a Buccaneers team aiming to remain at the summit.

Jalen Hurts took ownership after the Philadelphia Eagles crashed to a poor 41-21 loss at NFC East rivals the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football.

Quarterback Hurts completed 25 of 39 passes for 326 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, adding 35 yards from nine carries on the ground.

Much of his production, though, came with the game out of reach. The Cowboys led 27-7 just a minute into the second half when Trevon Diggs intercepted Hurts for a pick-six and the Eagles ultimately fell to 1-2.

"I didn't execute and I didn't do a good enough job of leading," said second-year pro Hurts after the game. 

"I didn't do a good enough job of running our offense and doing the things that I need to do. This one is on me.

"I like to see me play better, that is something I can control. I'll learn from this.

"I learn from it and move on. I take responsibility for how this game went. I'm learning from it and we're gonna be a better team from it. I believe that."

The Eagles now have a short week before a difficult home game on Sunday with the Kansas City Chiefs.

They will face Patrick Mahomes and a Chiefs team who have the same record, reeling with a point to prove after losing consecutive games to the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers.

"We're on a short week and no one's going to feel sorry for us," added Eagles coach Nick Sirianni.

"The Chiefs aren't going to feel sorry for us. We got to rest our bodies, get our bodies right.

"We're going to have to watch this tape on the way home, get the corrections to our guys written down, and they're going to have to look at them on their own because we're going to have to be moving on to the Chiefs really quick."

While Hurts led an impressive offensive showing in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons, the Eagles are yet to get much production from their pass-catchers.

Quez Watkins – who has caught all seven of his targets for 186 yards – is the Eagles' receiving yards leader but that total is good enough for just 37th in the NFL through three weeks.

Dak Prescott loved his home return with the Dallas Cowboys on Monday and felt his three-touchdown display continued a career-best run of form.

Quarterback Prescott sustained a compound fracture and dislocation to his right ankle in Week 5 in 2020, keeping him out of the rest of the year.

The two-time Pro Bowler had been setting a record-breaking pace, his 1,690 passing yards through four weeks comfortably the most by any player over the same period since 1960 – although the Cowboys went 1-3.

Fit again for the start of this season and now tied to a four-year, $160million contract, Prescott has returned in similarly impressive fashion.

His 403 passing yards and three TDs in the curtain-raiser against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers came in a losing effort, but a slightly more modest Week 2 performance contributed to victory against the Los Angeles Chargers.

On Monday, against NFC East rivals the Philadelphia Eagles, Prescott completed 21 of 26 passes for 238 yards, three scores and no interceptions in a 41-21 win he described as "definitely special", in front of home support for the first time since his injury.

The 28-year-old's primitive passer rating for the year is at a career-high 110.1, and he feels he is reaching new heights in 2021.

"I said it earlier in the year, and I'll say it again: I think just getting hurt last year and having to sit back and watch football, [he gained] a different perspective and just different ways people play this game," Prescott said.

"Going back, the experience obviously has helped but just studying and preparing myself and then all the work that I've put in just to get back healthy, not only the leg but the shoulder... I feel like I'm playing the best I've ever played."

Dallas now lead the division with a 2-1 record, and coach Mike McCarthy feels Prescott is benefiting from leading a more competitive team this year.

While the QB has completed at least 80 per cent of his passes in the past two games (85.2 versus the Chargers, 80.8 against the Eagles), the Cowboys have also put up more than 150 rushing yards on each occasion (198 and 160).

Ezekiel Elliott has run for three TDs across those games, while Dallas' 139.3 rushing yards per game across the year rank fourth in the NFL.

The last team to complete 80 per cent of their passes and rush for 150 yards in consecutive games were the 1984 San Francisco 49ers, led by Joe Montana.

McCarthy said: "I think [Prescott] is clearly playing better now [than last year], in my opinion.

"Last year, we were in track meets. This is a clearly a different football team than last year. You're seeing three games where I felt like we've been very complementary both on offense and defense.

"He's doing a lot in the run game as far as handling the checks and things like that. Yeah, I feel like he's playing better this year than last."

Tom Brady does not anticipate getting caught up in nostalgia when he returns to New England to face the Patriots on Sunday. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback spent 20 years with the Patriots, leading them to six Super Bowl titles. 

Gillette Stadium holds countless memories for Brady, but he will do his best to push them aside as the Bucs enter the game on the heels of their first loss since November 29, 2020. 

"I'm not going to necessarily reminisce. I don't think this is the moment for that," Brady said on his SiriusXM podcast Monday. "I'll have plenty opportunities to reminisce about my football career – none of it, none of which I really care to do right now because I'm so much in the moment.

"I'm not going to be thinking about 20 years of history. I'm going to be thinking about one night of football, a Sunday night game coming off a really tough loss."

The reigning Super Bowl champions had won 10 in a row before being derailed in a 34-24 defeat to the Los Angeles Rams. 

Brady undoubtedly will receive a warm welcome from the fans in New England, but he knows that support will not last. 

"I wouldn't expect that -- a homecoming," said Brady. "I mean, I think they're there to root for their team, and their team is the Patriots.

"I think they're gonna cheer for their team as I would expect them to, and I think if they know anything about me, they're gonna know that I'm going out there to try to win the football game, so I think they'll respect that about me."

That mindset will come as no surprise to the home fans, who watched Brady work his magic for two decades. 

Sunday, he will go head-to-head with his heir apparent, rookie Mac Jones, who beat out Cam Newton for the starting job in the pre-season. 

The 23-year-old had a dose of NFL reality in Sunday's 28-13 home loss to the New Orleans Saints, as he completed only 30 of 51 passes (58.8 per cent) and threw three interceptions on the heels of a pair of solid starts to open his career. 

Brady, meanwhile, keeps chugging along. He threw for 432 yards but just one touchdown in the loss to the Rams after combining for nine TDs in wins over the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons as he eases into his 22nd NFL season. 

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