NFL Week 4 Recap: Too Close for Comfort

Welcome back to the weekly NFL Review at MikesPickz! This week’s review will be shorter than the reviews of the past, mainly because there are less games to go over. During week 4 of the NFL, the Vikings, Bucs, Chiefs and Cowboys had their BYE week. Despite the missing two games, it was another fantastic week. Here’s a quick recap:

Too Close for Comfort

This week’s theme must have been the close game. Of the 14 games, 9 games were decided by 7 points or less.

The Saints found themselves in a close one against the division rival Panthers. The Saints were able to win by a score of 16-14, but more concerning is the lack of offense by the Saints this season- especially at home. Pierre Thomas didn’t play with an ankle injury and Reggie Bush will be missing some significant time with a broken leg. Also, Brees hasn’t been the same this season, but the Saints are 3-1 and tied for the division lead.

The Packers found themselves in a similar situation against the Lions. The Packers survived a late surge by the Lions to win 28 to 26. The Packers basically are putting the entire offense on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers. They have not been able to establish a running game since Ryan Grant went down with a season ending injury in week 1. The Packers were 14.5 point favorites in this game, Vegas got this one wrong- big time.

The Colts found themselves in a close one with the division rival Jaguars. The Jaguars won the game on a 59-yard game winning field goal by Josh Scobee, 31-28.

The Falcons found themselves trailing the entire game against the winless San Francisco 49ers. It took a field goal with seven seconds remaining for the Falcons to beat the 49ers, 16-14. The 49ers should have won this game. Nate Clements intercepted a pass with under two minutes remaining in the game. Instead of falling down and giving the 49ers the ball to run the clock out, he decided to attempt to run the ball back only to be stripped from behind by Roddy White. The Falcons recovered and went on to kick the game winning field goal. Highlights below:

Taylor Mays makes a tremendous catch of a blocked punt for a TD at 36 seconds, and the Clements INT is at 2:10.

The Browns were able to beat the Bengals in Cleveland by a score of 23-20, despite a 10 catch 220 yard performance by Terrell Owens. The Bengals should be worried since their offense hasn’t played particularly well this season.

In the final game without Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers saw their record drop to 3-1 with a loss to the Ravens, 17-14. It was a hard fought defensive game, like many people expected, but Flacco was able to connect with T.J. Houshmandzadeh with 32 seconds left for the winning TD. Jeff Reed missed two field goals that would cost the Steelers the game.

The Broncos were able to overcome the Titans in the fourth quarter. The game winning touchdown was set-up by pass interference in the end-zone. Should the Titans worry that Chris Johnson was held to only 53 yards on 19 carries?
Michael Vick Injury
The Eagles saw Michael Vick get injured on a tremendous 23 yard scramble (which was called back for holding) in the first quarter. The offense was not the same with Kevin Kolb at the helm. The Redskins won the game 17-12 in McNabb’s return to Philadelphia. Vick was diagnosed with cracked cartilage between the second and third rib. Luckily, there were no broken bones, but his status for Sunday against the 49ers is questionable.

The Texans were able to get past the Raiders in Oakland, 31-24. Bad news for Raiders’ fans- Darren McFadden went down with an injury in the first quarter, he was having a career revitalizing season over the first three weeks.

The Not So Close

In the blowout of the week, the Chargers dismantled the Cardinals, 41-10. The Derek Anderson era might have ended, as he was benched for poor performance. Max Hall looks like he will start his first career game next week.

The Monday Night game saw the second largest blow-out. The New England Patriots crushed the Dolphins 41-14. The Patriots blocked two kicks – one field goal (for a TD) and one punt – and returned a kick-off for a touchdown in the game. The Patriots shut-up the critics about their defense that allowed Buffalo to score 30 points last week.

Speaking of Buffalo, the Jets crushed the Bills, 38-14. This game shows that the Bills didn’t get any momentum from the 30 points they scored last week.

The Rams went on their first winning streak in three years after beating the Seahawks 20-3. The Seahawks should be worried that they play horribly on the road.

The Giants rebounded nicely after two poor games, by bullying the Bears 17-3. The Giants recorded 10 sacks in the dominating performance. The Bears’ loss left the Kansas City Chiefs as the only unbeaten team in the NFL. I think its safe to say no team will approach 16-0 this season.

’till next week ~ Mike

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