NFL Week 4 Recap

Dolphins 15, Bengals 27 

This game started out unassumingly. Both teams traded scores for a good while. By the 2nd quarter, Miami was driving but was looking at a 2nd and 10. On a deep drop back, Tua is sacked and… suffers one of the scariest injuries I’ve ever witnessed.  

I need another article to discuss this. Not just the Tua situation, but the Dolphins and their operations in general.  

The rest of the game isn’t worth recapping in detail. Long story short, Cincy escaped with a win (since Bridgewater can’t carry a team) and is back to .500. If you want more details, the highlights are easy enough to find. At this point, all I care about is if Tua is able to make it out of this without permanent damage. Sport never takes precedence over player health and safety. What a shame.  


Vikings 28, Saints 25 

What the shield was hoping for out of this London showcase was a fun, inspiring matchup between two up-and-coming teams with young talent on offense. What they got instead was an uninspired snoozefest that was about as bleak and gray as London on an average Tuesday. Both teams did their best to hand each other victory with turnovers and general offensive ineptitude, but still found a way to make it entertaining in the end. However, this did lead to a rarity. The Vikings made a clutch field goal to go ahead. Must have something to do with Zimmer being gone, but the Saints were driving down and had a chance to tie it on the foot of Will Lutz. His kick had the distance, but went off both the upright and crossbar and bounced off. You know what that means. Folks, we’ve got it! The successor to the double doink! Cody Parkey can breathe a sigh of relief, as Will Lutz has not only matched his legendary meme status but also one-upped him by doing it on another continent. Despite being 3-1, I still have issues with how the Vikings have been playing. Besides a small blip of success against the Packers, they’ve been playing average football for a few weeks and have had a cakewalk schedule. They will be exposed in due course. 

Seahawks 48, Lions 45 

What was expected to be a flyover game between two terrible teams turned into a surprising barnburner that had redzone users punching air since they were stuck watching Detroit instead of a real team. Throughout the game, though, the Seahawks kept their distance from the Lions, despite their spirited 4th quarter comeback attempt. This was all done through one man. Rashaad Penny put the team on his back and ran all over the Lions defense for a career day. Geno Smith got into the mix with a couple touchdowns, but Penny was the piece that made the Hawks offense hum. Detroit managed to come back late to make it interesting, but at the end of the day, the Seahawks came out victorious. Their offense looks scary, but that porous Lions defense is a cause for concern. They’ve looked awful and exposed in each game they’ve played so far. 

Jets 24, Steelers 20 

I would normally go for the “lol, you lost to the Jets” angle, but this game deserves a deeper dissection. To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Steelers offense went out onto the field and got wrecked by an inferior opponent. The entire team chose to be in the giving spirit all game, gifting the Jets golden opportunities to control the game. Even the defense got into it by getting scored on by a Philly Special. Besides that blip on the radar, though, the Jets couldn’t capitalize. Even worse for them, the Steelers finally realized that Trubisky sucks and benched him for the man, the myth, the legend, Kenny Pickett. Despite throwing a couple of picks, he did what he had to do and led the Steelers to a 20-10 4th quarter lead. This is where the clock strikes midnight and the Jets claw back into it to win with another last-second touchdown. Pittsburgh needs to take a long, hard look at their franchise after this. They’ve started 1-3 against teams that aren’t exactly elite competition. It’s okay, though, nothing will change because the Steelers don’t fire coaches apparently.  


Bears 12, Giants 20 

Two indescribably awful teams facing off for the right to boast a 3-1 record. It feels like a sketch out of the twilight zone. In different circumstances, this game would be relegated to tank bowl status, but these two teams have chosen to take advantage of their paper-soft schedules to roar out to strong starts. Throughout the game, the Giants proved themselves superior thanks to their offensive talent being a little less terrible than Chicago’s. The Giants are 3-1 because they got to play the Bears. That’s honestly alarming.  


Titans 24, Colts 17 

This game proved one thing: That the Colts are just as bad as we thought they were earlier in the season, despite their fluke win against the Chiefs last week. The Titans marched all over that sad excuse of a Colts D throughout the first half, roaring out to a 24-3 lead by the start of the second quarter. Then, Tennessee went flat. It’s honestly been a theme this year. It happened late against the Giants, it happened all game against the Bills, and it almost bit them again against the Raiders. Fortunately, they were playing the Colts, who despite making it a 1-score game in the 3rd, couldn’t finish the comeback. It honestly feels like a lot of their games last year. Being so close to victory but being unable to finish off their downed opponent. Frank Reich and Ballard are now on searing hot seats. The Titans are back to .500 thanks to this ineptitude. 

Chargers 34, Texans 24 

To the chagrin of everyone outside the Chargers organization, Justin Herbert was dragged out on a cocktail of painkillers to bail the Chargers out against an opponent they should have crushed. He did what he had to do, torching that Texans secondary for over 350 yards, but the real thing to point at is the Chargers D. To the surprise of no one, they were God awful without Joey Bosa. Despite picking off Davis Mills twice, they still managed to allow them back in it after posting a 27-7 lead. This is alarming. Against a real team they would have been reduced to regurgitated puppy chow, but they lucked their way to victory thanks to playing a dead team. At least they played Houston better than they did last year. That’s at least a positive.  


Browns 20, Falcons 23 

Did this game even happen? It felt like a blur with everything else going on. Both teams spent the game trying to hand each other victory, but the real stars of the game were the running backs. Nick Chubb and Atlanta’s RB by committee scheme utterly exposed that which was called a defense on both sides. However, this did lead to another rare phenomenon. The Falcons held onto another 4th quarter lead. Maybe they’ve turned a corner in the art of choking, who knows. Browns, this is a brutal loss, but no one feels bad for you. You know darn well why that is.  


Commanders 10, Cowboys 25 

It is a narrative unlike any other: Washington marching into Jerryworld and getting blown out on national television for all to see. That Cowboys’ defense toyed with them all game, it was a massacre that the score does not do justice to. Cooper Rush made his case for someone overpaying him this offseason, playing efficient football and game-managing better than Mike McCarthy did all last year. The Cowboys are somehow 3-0 without the main catalyst of their offense playing. Surprising. 

Jaguars 21, Eagles 29 

I must say, the Jags have put a nice little stretch together these past few weeks. They destroyed Indy and the Chargers, and now look at them, marching into the Linc and imposing their will during the 1st quarter with a 14-0 lead in the first 10 minutes. The Sacksonville battalion would march on to victory, we all thought. It was then that the top-heavy nature of the NFL restored itself and the Eagles offense woke up. 29 unanswered points and the Eagles D zoning in on the run helped to take and maintain the lead. The Jags have a bit of a sour taste in their mouths, and the Eagles march on to 4-0. I must say, they’ve impressed me so far, despite the easy schedule. You want to know when the last time the Eagles started this strong? In 2004 under Andy Reid. Every Eagles fan knows where they went that year.  


Bills 23, Ravens 20 

Buffalo visiting Baltimore in a clash of titans in the pouring rain. Bills, do you remember the last time you played them? Good, because the Ravens do, too. Baltimore spent the entire first half exacting revenge for that playoff game. Their offense looked unstoppable and the defense took advantage of the conditions to force some really sloppy turnovers. With enough said, they were out to a 20-3 lead near the end of the first half. This leads us to one of the most cherished narratives in the NFL. The incredible, the inevitable, the Baltimore Collapse! Ravens fans reading this, you know darn well what this entails. You see this 17 point lead you have? Poof! Gone in a flash! You converted a crucial 4th down and are driving? Jordan Poyer would like to have a word with you. Hey look, you’ve driven the length of the field and can take the lead with a field goal! Too bad, since Harbaugh decided to be an idiot on 4th and goal allowing Poyer to come back for round 2. The Ravens collapsed so hard in this game that it made that Week 17 fracas against the Bungles look like a light breeze. Of course, with one narrative being added to, another must come to an end. The Bills have finally won a close, 1 score game. I wouldn’t call about 2 years too long of a wait. 

Broncos 23, Raiders 32 

Two terrible coaches that fancy themselves geniuses locking horns in a battle to stay afloat in the AFC west. It may mean terrible football and frustration for fans of these two teams, but you know what this means for us? The debut of the ineptitude bowl!  

The inaugural ineptitude bowl did not disappoint, featuring a marquee matchup between The Hack and Josh McDaniels. Despite Denver scoring another red zone touchdown, the true magic would begin in the second quarter. McFraud and the Raiders somehow scored a touchdown, I know, shocking. On the ensuing kickoff, leading by 3, they tried an onside kick. Even Denver can see through that, man. Of course, this being The Hack, their offense stalled out in the red zone despite prime field position. A field goal was kicked, and Vegas got the ball back. They stalled out and punted it back to Denver. Ugly football at its finest. Then, Denver started to move the ball again. They’re in the red zone, they hand it off to Javonte Williams, who fumblerooskis   and gifts the ball to the Raiders D, who run it back for a touchdown. Despite missing the extra point, Las Vegas would use this momentum swing to hand onto the lead and maintain a comfortable margin for the rest of the game. Raider Nation can rest easy. They will not be going 0-4. Crisis has been averted, for now. As for Denver, they have some serious work to do on the offensive side of the ball. Russ hasn’t exactly looked elite these past few games, and my guess is that it has a lot to do with the head honcho. Hackett needs to be axed ASAP.  

Wait, Hold on, Raiders, you’re not out of the woods yet. Unsurprisingly, this new batch of pain and misery has to do with their coach. A former player under McDaniels in Denver spoke out this week about how terrible of a coach he is. Judging by how Mark Davis is responding so far, it might be another short tenure for the lifelong Belichick disciple. If so, good riddance. 

Patriots 24, Packers 27 

The Packers have looked very mortal these past few weeks. They had trouble against the Bears and Bucs, but this game was the definition of winnable, we all thought. They found a way to give their fans heart attacks nonetheless. They played unconvincing football against a team starting Brian Hoyer. Even worse, Hoyer got injured leading to an exposure of their defense by third-stringer Bailey Zappe. Then again, Belichick does have an excellent scheme that would make any QB look good, but even so, Green Bay isn’t off the hook. Who or what will Rodgers throw under the bus this week for the Packers’ offensive ineptitude? Definitely not his own inaccuracies. But wait, a rookie wide receiver dropped a touchdown pass in the 4th quarter, so he’ll probably be scapegoated instead of the Packers actually addressing real issues. Patriots, you tried. It wasn’t your game to win, but next week you get Detroit. Call this a reward for that gutsy effort at Lambeau. 

Cardinals 26, Panthers 16 

Two should-be college coaches who have failed at the NFL level and who should both be out of their jobs if not for executive meddling. Another ineptitude bowl!  

This one was a tad less watchable than the previous iteration, mostly due to the lack of offensive talent on both teams. As a result, the first half was a gauntlet of outstanding defense. Kyler looked iffy and the Panthers did the unthinkable: Had the lead. This optimism was short-lived, however, as Kyler Murray put Kingsbury on his back and carried him to an incredibly undeserved win. The Panthers, meanwhile, are in freefall. The 1-3 start is only a starter, as leaks are coming out about how Matt Rhule has lost the locker room and the entire organization is devolving into a vegetative state. Next week, they get the Niners. The fires underneath the hot seat that Rhule is on just got stoked.  


Chiefs 41, Buccaneers 31 

On Sunday night in primetime, we learned why the Chiefs are still considered the team to beat in the NFL. This week’s example, an outright massacre of the favorite to make it out of the NFC this year. Tampa Bay got humiliated, bonked, blasted, and completely owned in every conceivable way. Tom Brady looked washed as most of the points the Bucs scored were in garbage time when the Chiefs were up by 30. Patrick Mahomes torched that allegedly strong Bucs defense for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns, and their potent rushing attack did the rest. Tampa Bay needs to look inward this week. Arians’s absence is making itself pretty obvious. Todd Bowles is completely overmatched as a head coach and these past two weeks prove it. 

Rams 9, 49ers 24 

The Rams look horrible so far. Their defense played trash football against a Niners offense that literally set records for ineptitude last week. As for the offense, stuffed at every turn and owned by Nick Bosa. Deebo Samuel did the rest, carrying the Niners to a huge victory to put them atop a bloodbath of an NFC West. LA needs to regroup and fast. Super Bowl contenders? God, they might not even make the playoffs this year. Sean McVay is looking more and more mortal with each passing week.  


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