NFL Week Four Recap

NFL Week Four Recap

Cincinnati 24 (3-1), Jacksonville 21 (0-4):  The host Bengals did all they could to help keep the Jaguars in the game by spotting them a 14-0 halftime lead. Yet, despite only playing well for half the game, Cincinnati got their record to 3-1 with a solid second half. The Bengals were led by QB Joe Burrow, who rallied his team back to tie the game and eventually win it with a FG just as time expired. Trevor Lawrence continues to impress people as the Jacksonville QB; however, with only RB James Robinson supporting him in the offense, it is no wonder why the Jags can’t hold leads and outscore teams despite having a franchise player like Lawrence.  

Dallas 36 (3-1), Carolina 28 (3-1):  The Cowboys defense didn’t have an answer for the running QB named Sam Darold as the former Jet reached the end zone twice with his feet to give the Panthers a one-point halftime lead.  Dallas then went on a 20-0 run in the third quarter to break open the close game, with Carolina doing what they could in the fourth, but not enough to mount a meaningful road comeback.  The duo of QB Dak Prescott and RB Ezekiel Elliot combined for five touchdowns, with the QB throwing for 188 yards and the RB running for 143 to secure the win. Dallas maintains their spot atop the NFC East while the Panthers suffer their first loss.

Cleveland 14 (3-1), Minnesota 7 (1-3):  In a game that even NFL Films will have a hard time finding highlights from, it was the traveling Browns who countered the Vikings’ only points of the game with 11 of their own in the second quarter, and held on with their defense for the entire afternoon for the win. Running back Nick Chubb outplayed his Vikings counterpart Dalvin Cook by running for 100 yard on 21 carries for Cleveland as neither quarterback posted impressive numbers in this lackluster game.

Chicago 24 (2-2), Detroit 17 (0-4):  The “long awaited” battle between Jared Goff and Justin Fields lived up to the little bit of hype this NFC North battle drew this week.  Fields wasn’t asked to do much with his arm with Bears RB David Robinson posting two TDs for the home team and Damien Williams adding Chicago’s third score.  Goff did post two second half TDs, but once the Lions were down 24-0 on the road, the clock became the bigger opponent for Detroit and the Detroit QB was putting put his yardage in garbage time.  The hopes and dreams of the Detroit Lions winning a game this season are quickly fading as the Chicago Bears climb back to .500 on the season.

Buffalo 40 (3-1), Houston 0 (1-3): What could have been an AFC showdown between Deshawn Watson and Josh Allen turned into an ugly loss for the travels Texans and another dominating performance for the Bills Mafia.  Houston struggled from start to finish and Buffalo was in cruise control all afternoon with a 21-point fourth quarter giving the game its final score. The three-quarters of the bettors on this game were happy with the outcome since they laid a huge point spread to be on Buffalo, and the AFC East leaders rewarded them with a no sweat shutout.

Indianapolis 27 (1-3), Miami 17 (1-3): Colts’ QB Carson Wentz fought Dolphins’ QB Jacoby Brissett to a draw on the stat sheet as each tossed TD passes on South Beach.  The difference in this game was Indy RB Jonathan Taylor, who tallied 103 yards on just 16 carries and scoring the TD that helped Indy stay ahead of the Dolphins when it counted most. Indy managed to bound back after their loss to Tennessee last week while Miami is trying to find themselves, and without their starter Tua Tagovailoa at QB, the Dolpins are lost on offense.  Both of these teams are equally matched, but lack the talent to do much this season, thus their 1-3 marks on the season.   

Kansas City 42 (2-2), Philadelphia 30 (1-3):  When Patrick Mahomes needs wins, he turns to his right arm, which is what the Kansas City QB did in Philly Sunday, tossing five TD scores in this offensive shootout.  Eagles’ QB Jalen Hurts was a worthy shooter in this matchup posting 387 yards and two throwing TDs in a game where KC won by having more talented players on offense and needed almost all of them to pull out the win and get back to .500.  One of those players was RB Clyde-Edwards Helaire, who added 102 rushing yards on just 14 carries to provide a balanced offense and set up WB Tyreek Hill, who had 11 catches for 186 yards and three touchdowns. 

NY Giants 27 (1-3), New Orleans 21 (2-2) OT: The on-again, off-again Saints were way off on Sunday, especially their defense when they allowed 400 passing yards to the Giants’ QB Daniel Jones.  The game was part of a surprise New York, New York overtime double feature with Big Blue taking the opening kickoff of the extra session 81 yards into the end zone to keep Jameis Winston and the Saints’ offense off the field in this embarrassing loss.  In their first home games of the season after Hurricane Ida, New Orleans was outplayed by enough to hand the Giants a win and prove they are not true contenders this season.

NY Jets 27 (1-3), Tennessee 24 (2-2) OT:  In a clear letdown game for the Titans, a visit to New York came down to a FG kick to settle for a tie, or, as it turned out, a missed kick that resulted in a loss.  Jets’ QB Zach Wilson found big plays early in this game, directing traffic and throwing long for yards and points to go toe-to-toe with his Tennessee counterpart Ryan Tannehill.  The most disappointed Titans’ player would have to be RB Derrick Henry, who had 33 rushes for 157 yards and a score, but it wasn’t enough and didn’t come when it mattered in overtime when the Jets defense kept Tennessee on the outside edges of FG range and watched the last kick of the game sail wide left for their first win of the 2021 season.

Washington 34 (2-2), Atlanta 30 (1-3):  There was another early shootout Sunday, this one was in Atlanta where Washington QB Taylor Heinicke was bested by Matt Ryan on the stat sheet, but when it counted most, Heinicke posted two fourth quarter scores to come back from a 30-22 deficit.  These teams are going to be pinball machines all season since their defenses are struggling to stop anyone and their offense is just good enough to keep things close but normally falling short.  This time, however, it was Washington the did just a little bit more to pull out the road win.

Arizona 37 (4-0), LA Rams 20 (3-1):  Did the Rams overlook their desert division rivals after knocking off the Buccaneers last week?  Well, after outplaying Tom Brady, the Hollywood story of Matthew Stafford’s season saw him get outplayed by Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense. To be fair, Stafford and Murray played, at least on paper, to a draw, but it was the Arizona running game that set them apart in this game.  Cards’ RB Chase Edmonds posted 120 yards and 12 carries and James Conner add 50 more yards and two touchdowns to match the pair that Murry threw for. That, along with the Arizona defense only allowing ten points after the first quarter, at least for this week the Cardinals were the better team on field and are now leaders of the NFC West.

Seattle 28 (2-2), San Francisco 21 (2-2):  The NFC West round-robin wasn’t very competitive in Northern California either on Sunday afternoon with things taking a turn for the worst when 49ers’ QB Trey Lance was forced into action after an injury to starter Jimmy Garoppolo.  It appears as if San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan was more worried about working on trick plays with this year’s first round draft pick than actually having him work on the offense.  This mistake showed as Seattle had their way on offense and defense to return their record and drop the 49ers to .500 in their highest contested divisional race.

Baltimore 23 (3-1), Denver 7 (3-1): The glass slipper of the Denver Broncos broke Sunday when the above average Ravens came to town and did what they have been doing all season long … Baltimore had one good quarter, the second, where they scored 17 points and let their defense win the game and carry the offense. Yes, Ravens’ QB Lamar Jackson had over 300 passing yards; but to only put up 20 points with those yards mean they were using the pass the set up the run, something that Baltimore fans are used to see and the only way the Ravens can win games.  To say that of these teams are the same type of 3-1 franchises in 2021 would be far from the truth as both of these teams are going to struggle to win games against teams with equal talent.

Green Bay 27 (3-1), Pittsburgh 17 (1-3):  What a difference a month has made for these two storied franchises.  The Packers were manhandled by the Saints in Week One and the Cheeseheads were up in arms and ready to hit the panic button … that while the Steelers went into Buffalo and upended the conference runners-up, sending the Bills Mafia into a panic of their own while Steelers’ fan dreamed of a return to the Super Bowl.  This week, thanks to double dipping with points right before and right after halftime, the Packers are now on a three-game winning streak while the Steelers are going in the opposite direction as they sit at the bottom of the AFC North.  What is making Green Bay so dangerous this year is their balance, giving QB Aaron Rodgers all kinds of time in the pocket and options at the line of scrimmage.  All that while Pittsburgh is proving to be too much of a pass-only team, allowing defenses to focus on shutting down their receivers and not worry about their running backs.  That’s why the Packers are 3-1 and the Steelers are 1-3 after this weekend and their game Sunday afternoon. 

Tampa Bay 19 (3-1), New England 17 (1-3):  The Game of the Century was probably not even the best game of the day, however, “The Return” of Tom Brady to New England had plenty of hype and plenty of game ending drama.  Brady and his replacement, Patriots’ QB Mac Jones found different ways to get things done in the rain of New England.  The Bucs’ offense ran the ball to score their only touchdown of the evening in the third quarter, with Jones using a short passing game that saw him complete 19 straight passes to put his team in front. At the 2:00 warning, however, it was Tampa Bay who kicked what proved to be a game-winning FG, with New England unable to reply with a 56-yarder on their last possession to steal the win.  With the win, the Buccaneers slide into first place in the NFC South with the Patriots now in a three-way tie for second (or last) in the AFC East, tied with the victorious Jets and hapless Dolphins. 

 

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