NFL Week 4 is almost in the books. We had the Winless Bowl in London and a great comeback in Houston. The AFC East is proving to be for real and Peyton Manning is still in Tecmo Bowl mode. Is Joe Flacco still worth all that money? Let’s get into the highlights, shall we?
Seattle 23 Houston 20 – As the only representative to the world of overtime this week, this game was well worth it. Seattle was essentially left for dead being down 20-3 at halftime and going nowhere. The passing game wasn’t working well and the running game never really found its footing. The 4th quarter was led by Marshawn Lynch and some crafty Tarkenton-esque running by Russell Wilson to score a touchdown and bring it to 20-13. While trying to run the clock out, Matt Schaub threw an ill-advised pass and Richard Sherman brought it back for 58 yards and tied the game. It took almost the entire overtime period, but Seattle managed to muster enough to give kicker Steven Hauschka the chance to kick the winning field goal. Despite being outgained by over 200 yards, Seattle shows championship poise to come away with a win.
Kansas City 31 New York Giants 7 – Kansas City has really become one of the feel good stories of 2013 while the Giants continue to be one giant dumpster fire. After a scoreless 1st quarter, both teams came out swinging in the 2nd with each team scoring a touchdown within the first 1:10 of the quarter. Unfortunately for Eli Manning, his 3 turnovers were catastrophic in this game. Despite having similar offensive statistics as the Chiefs, the Giants were unable to capitalize on anything and continue their descent towards the NFL’s cellar. KC has already doubled their win total from last year, but let’s not be fooled. This is a team that did have 6 Pro Bowl players last year. Add in a serviceable quarterback and this team is performing as they should be.
Buffalo 23 Baltimore 20 – Turnovers are a killer. Joe Flacco threw five interceptions en route to a Buffalo win and both teams now sitting at 2-2. A 2-2 record might be good in the AFC North, but it’s only good for 3rd in the AFC East. Flacco’s turnovers and the non-existent running game allowed Buffalo to take a 23-14 lead into the 4th quarter and hold on. Both quarterbacks ended with ratings under 50, but Manuel had the help of effective outings from Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller. Neither blew us out of the water, but they were consistently effective. We even had a Tashard Choice sighting. Torrey Smith continues to tear it up in the post-Boldin era and is still a big play threat for the Ravens.
Arizona 13 Tampa Bay 10 – New quarterback, same old result in Tampa Bay. Mike Glennon starts his first game and the Buccaneers looked ok during the first three quarters. While only up 10-0, they completely shut down the Arizona offense. Football is a game of QUARTERS though and once again, Tampa failed to execute in the 4th quarter and allowed the third team this season to come back and win on a late field goal. Both of Glennon’s interceptions came during the 4th quarter, but let’s give the rookie a break. The running game led by Doug Martin was completely ineffective. Martin averaged a paltry 1.7 yards per carry. It’s not fair to expect a rookie QB to carry the team completely in his first start. Josh Freeman was inactive for this game, so his era in Tampa might be coming to an end.
Denver 52 Philadelphia 20 – Peyton Manning is awesome. Peyton Manning is really awesome. Peyton Manning is still on pace to shatter multiple records. Add 4 more touchdowns and 327 yards to his already amazing season as he carved up Philadelphia’s defense. Add in an efficient day from Knowshon Moreno, a kick return for a touchdown by Trindon Holliday and blocked punt by Donnie Jones that Steven Johnson returned for a score and you have an old fashioned beat down. What’s even scarier is that Manning only had 6 incompletions. What more can we say about this game?
Cleveland 17 Cincinnati 6 – Yes, that is the correct score. Cleveland won again. Since trading Trent Richardson away and Brandon Weedon being replaced by Brian Hoyer, the Browns have gone 2-0 and now own a share of the division lead. Brian Hoyer, in his first home game at his hometown stadium, played a great game, throwing for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Browns defense held the Bengals in check for only 269 yards of total offense. Has there been a tight end doing a better job than Jordan Cameron this season? Cameron led the team in catches, yards and opened the game with a touchdown reception. The Bengals never seemed to get it together as the normally reliable A.J. Green was locked down by Joe Haden. When Weeden comes back, does he get the starting QB job back? At this rate, I don’t think so.
Minnesota 34 Pittsburgh 27 – In the Winless Bowl, Minnesota and Pittsburgh traveled to London to decide who sucked more. We got to see the regular season debut of Le’Veon Bell and while he provided a bit of a spark in an otherwise anemic Steeler running game, the team was pretty much on Ben Roethlisberger’s back. Big Ben took 5 sacks and threw an interception. Adrian Peterson was able to break loose and get a pair of touchdowns, including a 60 yard scamper. Matt Cassel had his first start in place of the injured Christian Ponder and it was quite the improvement. Cassel threw for almost 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns with no turnovers. A key late fumble by Roethlisberger sealed this game up. As it turns out, Minnesota won the game, but Pittsburgh won the Winless Bowl.
Host of the OT with Andrew G and lead NCAA writer for the Sports Chronicles Radio Network
Host of The College Cram on the National Gridiron Network
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