NFL Recap: Week 4
Week 4: Full of Bounce-Backs and Debacles
Through the first three weeks of the season, we’ve seen some perennial powerhouses look shabby and some bottom-dwellers from last year that look like they could be challengers. Some playoff contenders that got off to a rough start seem to be on track now; but for some, it could turn out to be a long, long season.
On Thursday night, Eli Manning and the Giants looked like they were playing at the same level that won them two Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011. Manning hooked up with rookie tight end Larry Donnell for three of his four passing touchdowns and rushed for one more in New York’s 45-14 win over Washington. On the other side of the ball, the Giant’s defense forced a whopping six turnovers, four of which were interceptions off of Kirk Cousins. The outcome of the game shows that the Giants are righting their ship, while Washington’s woes continued as they fell to 1-3.
Also recovering from a shaky start, the Packers looked great on Sunday as they pummeled their archrival Chicago Bears 38-17. Trailing 17-14 with 3:50 left in the second quarter, Aaron Rodgers rallied Green Bay to score 24 unanswered points. Rodgers amassed 302 yards and 4 touchdowns, with Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson each scoring twice.
Although they began this season with a surprising 2-0 start, the Bills have now lost two in a row after being defeated 23-17 by the Texans. Houston’s aggressive defense proved to be too much for Buffalo’s young offense, as former Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt returned one of E.J. Manuel’s two interceptions for an 80-yard touchdown.
With the undefeated Bengals on their bye week, Week 4 provided fellow AFC North contenders Baltimore and Pittsburgh with a prime opportunity to make up some ground in the division. The Ravens took advantage of their chance by beating the Panthers 38-10, as receiver Steve Smith caught 7 passes for 139 yards and 2 touchdowns against his former team. The Steelers, however, let an easy win over an inferior Buccaneers team slip through their fingers. Despite leading the winless Tampa Bay squad 24-20 with 40 seconds left, the Steelers allowed Buccaneers backup quarterback Mike Glennon to lead his offense down field, ultimately resulting in a 7-yard, game-winning touchdown strike to Vincent Jackson.
Elsewhere in the AFC, the Chargers continued to look dominant as they handed the Jaguars their fourth loss of the season. Philip Rivers once again put up Pro-Bowl quality numbers in the 33-14 victory, this time featuring Keenan Allen and Eddie Royal as his two main targets.
The Oakland Raiders also remain winless, losing to the Dolphins in London by a score of 38-14. Miami’s Lamar Miller rushed for two touchdowns in the contest, while Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr left the game with a high ankle sprain and sprained MCL.
In addition to the Giants and Packers, the Colts also got back on track Sunday as well, throttling divisional foe Tennessee 44-17. Indianapolis improved to 2-2 on a historic day for Colts icon Reggie Wayne, who surpassed legendary receiver Henry Ellard for 10th all-time in NFL receiving yardage. Wayne finished the day with 7 catches for 119 yards and a touchdown, while Andrew Luck continued to put up video game numbers and now leads the league in both passing yards and touchdowns.
The Eagles-49ers game was perhaps Sunday’s most exciting contest. After the unbeaten Eagles took a 21-13 halftime lead over the 49ers, Jim Harbaugh’s team came back to win 26-21. The 49ers defense made a statement that they’re one of the league’s best even without Pro Bowlers Navorro Bowman and Aldon Smith. The unit shut out Philadelphia in the second half, held explosive running back LeSean McCoy to a measly 17 yards, and forced Nick Foles to throw an interception on what could have been a game-winning drive for the Eagles.
Sunday night was an absolute nightmare for the Saints. New Orleans got embarrassed by the Cowboys in a 38-17 loss. Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns and DeMarco Murray put up another huge performance by slashing the Saints defense for 149 yards and two touchdowns of his own. Luckily for the Saints, however, Atlanta was upset by the Vikings 41-28 and Carolina lost as well, meaning that the Saints remain only one game back in the NFC South.
To wrap up Week 4, the Patriots and Chiefs squared off in Kansas City. The fans at Arrowhead Stadium recaptured their world-record for being the loudest outdoor stadium in the world, and they had every right to cheer as they watched their team pick apart New England in a 41-14 victory. The Chiefs defense frustrated Tom Brady throughout the entire game, sacking him three times, picking him off twice, and forcing him to fumble once. The Patriots defense played equally as poorly as their offense did, allowing Alex Smith to upstage his Hall of Fame bound counterpart. Jamaal Charles was also a major contributor in the Chiefs victory, as he rushed for one touchdown and caught another two after missing Week 3 with an ankle injury.
Other Scores: Lions 24 at Jets 17
Written by: Nick Rose