15 NFL Players Who Need To Step Up In Week 4

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15 NFL Players That Need To Step Up For Their Teams in Week 4

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

As we enter week four of the NFL season, it's time for the pretenders and contenders to fully reveal themselves. Five teams across the league are winless, while seven are undefeated. But some of the biggest surprises are in the NFC. The San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers all sit at 1-2. In fact, all but one of the NFC playoff teams from a year ago have losing records at this point.

In the AFC, things are going a little more as projected. The Denver Broncos and New England Patriots are undefeated and flying high as always. While the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs have surprised fans across the country with their unblemished records.

Week four also marks the quarter point of the season for most teams around the league. The teams that are already at 0-3 only have a two percent chance of making the playoffs, so another loss will almost guarantee them of missing out on the postseason.

It's with all that in mind that we'll take a look at 15 players that need to step up for their respective teams. It's football, so of course a lot of the players are quarterbacks. As they say, quarterbacks get too much of the blame when things go wrong and too much credit when things go right. However, I think we can all agree that if you don't have a good QB in the NFL, you're team isn't going to go very far.

Here are 15 player who need to have big games in week four:

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Michael Vick

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USA Today Sports

The Eagles have a date with Peyton Manning and the Broncos. To have any chance at victory, Vick has to be on his A-game. This means no turnovers and playing smart. The QB will have to have one of his video game-like performances for the Eagles to pull off the upset.

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Jared Cook

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USA Today Sports

After a spectacular debut in week one, Cook has fallen off in the last couple of contests. With the tough 49ers' defense coming to town, the Rams need Cook to their x-factor. He doesn't have to top his 141-yard and two touchdown performance from the opener, but he needs to be in the ballpark of those numbers.

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Ryan Broyles

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USA Today Sports

With Nate Burleson out indefinitely, the next man up is no doubt up Broyles. After struggling with knee injuries over the last few years of his career, this is his time to shine. It won't be easy for him on Sunday against the ball-hawking Chicago Bears' defense, but the Lions need him in a big way.

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Eli Manning

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USA Today Sports

No one had the Giants at 0-3 heading into week four this season, but that's the harsh reality for Eli and company. For the Giants to go into Arrowhead and pull the upset, Manning has to be on his A-game. The running game has been non-existent for the G-Men thus far, so they'll more than likely have to ride the passing game to victory.

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Christian Ponder/Matt Cassel

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USA Today Sports

No one is sure at this point who will start for the Vikings on Sunday in London, but it doesn't matter who's behind center. Minnesota needs a top-notch performance from its signal-caller to beat the Steelers. Adrian Peterson hasn't carried the team like he did in 2012, but even a 200-yard performance from him Sunday won't guarantee the Vikings anything. Ponder/Cassel needs to suck it up, as QB coach Craig Johnson so eloquently put it this week.

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Chris Long

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USA Today Sports

Long is coming off of two straight double-digit sack seasons, but he's yet to record one in 2013. With Colin Kaepernick coming to town, it would be a great time for him to get on track and raise some cain in the 49ers backfield.

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Ben Roethlisberger

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USA Today Sports

It's pretty clear after three weeks that the Steelers are in trouble. After the loss of many key players this past offseason, there's just not a ton of talent left on the roster. With the running game not up to par, even more pressure has mounted on Big Ben to perform at a high level each week. He'll need to have a monster game on Sunday to help the Steelers get their first win of the season against the Vikings.

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Mike Glennon

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USA Today Sports

While it's a little unfair to expect a lot from a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start, it doesn't change the fact that the Bucs need Glennon to step up to the plate in a big way. They're current sitting at 0-3 and on the brink of disaster. With the Cardinals coming to town Sunday, they have a realistic chance to get off the schneid. But it will only happen if Glennon plays well.

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Larry Fitzgerald

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USA Today Sports

Fitzgerald has been dealing with a bad hamstring over the last couple of weeks and he hasn't been the game-changer that the Cardinals need him to be. It's unrealistic to think he'll be 100 percent this week against the Bucs, but reports are stating that he's feeling better than he has in awhile. A big game from Fitzgerald will help Arizona avoid going 1-3.

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Jared Allen

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USA Today Sports

The Vikings are paying Allen $17 million dollars this year and he has one sack so far. That's just not enough. He needs to be the Allen of 2011 if Minnesota is going to have any chance of turning things around. That starts with getting the job done against the Steelers on Sunday.

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Robert Griffin III

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USA Today Sports

It's no secret that RG3 hasn't been himself this year. You can't hate on him too much, because he did make it back from ACL surgery in only eight months. Still, the Redskins have zero wins in 2013. They have a showdown with the Raiders this Sunday and an RG3 of old performance will no doubt get them their first win.

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Jason Pierre-Paul

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USA Today Sports

After offseason back surgery, JPP still working towards 100 percent. He missed all of the preseason and started his first game of 2013 last week. He did record a sack, but the Giants will need a big performance from him to help knock off the Chiefs in week four. Thus far, no team has allowed as many points as the G-Men. That trend cannot continue if they want to turn things around.

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Ndamukong Suh

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USA Today Sports

The Lions' defensive tackle has more fines than sacks this year. With the new and improved Chicago Bears offense coming to town this Sunday, Suh needs to be a part of putting constant pressure on Jay Cutler. If he can make the QB's life a little more difficult, the chances of a Detroit victory will go up substantially.

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Arian Foster

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USA Today Sports

The Texans' star running back hasn't gotten as many touches as he's used to in 2013. It's mainly due to the calf injury he suffered in the preseason, but the end result has still been decreased production. Houston has a tough game against Seattle on Sunday and they'll need a strong performance from Foster to pull off the big win.

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Colin Kaepernick

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USA Today Sports

You can make a strong case that Kaepernick is under the most pressure of any NFL player to perform at a high level this week. After a strong start to his 2013 campaign, the QB has looked frazzled over the past two weeks. He'll be on the road in a short week against the Rams, which certainly isn't a recipe for success. However, if he can rise above, he'll stop getting all those hate tweets.


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