Week 4 in the NFL means that the teams are settling into their roles for the year. The title contenders, the playoffs hopefuls, the teams that won’t do anything, and the Chicago Bears.
Week 4 also gave us the return of the International series as a game was played at Wembley Stadium. But who would be this week’s cream of the crop, and who would be as bad as London rush hour traffic?Embed from Getty Images
The Puca Nacua show
The Los Angeles Rams are in recovery. After their dismal performance last season, where the injury-plagued side gave us what was the worst title defense in history, the Rams just want to be better than last year. Their opponents this week were the Indianapolis Colts, who were the worst team last year, and who last week outkicked legendary kicker Justin Tucker in an overtime victory. What would happen when these two improving teams met?
The Rams would have the opening drive of the game and would instantly make an impact. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford would lead the offense on a drive which took them down to the Colts 3-yard line. There, Kyren Williams would run the ball into the endzone to give the Rams an early lead. Los Angeles would increase their lead on their next drive. Starting from their 3-yard line, the Rams again would move down the field to the Colts 3-yard line. This was mostly aided by a large penalty against the Indianapolis defense. From the 3-yard line. Williams would again score the touchdown to double the lead for Los Angeles.
Things were already looking bad for the Colts. Things were about to get even worse for them. Their drive in reply to the Rams’ second touchdown started somewhat well, with rookie quarterback and former Florida Gator Anthony Richardson rushing the ball to around the 50-yard line. Richardson was making his return from his concussion injury which ruled him out of the majority of last week’s game. On the next play, Richardson would again rush the ball up the field to the Rams 40-yard line. However, he would not keep hold of the ball. Richardson was tackled and subsequently fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Los Angeles defense. This mistake would be costly for the Colts, as the Rams would turn this possession into points. The Stafford-led offense would drive down to just outside the Colts’ red zone, before Rams kicker Brett Maher would successfully kick the 40-yard field goal, strengthening their lead.Embed from Getty Images
The 4 remaining drives of the half would all end in kicks. But only one of these would be a punt. The Rams would score another field goal, this time from 54 yards. Then, wanting to join in with the field goal attempt, last week’s game-winner for the Colts, kicker Matt Gay would attempt a 47-yard field goal. He would miss. Maher would miss a 46-yard attempt to end the half. This meant that at halftime, the Rams would have a 20-0 lead over the Colts.
Los Angeles would score another field goal to open the scoring in the second half. After missing his 46-yard attempt, Maher would successfully kick the 51-yard attempt to widen the already large lead the Rams had.
The Colts then woke up. On their next drive, it took them 4 plays to finally put some points on the board. Richardson would throw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Mo Alle-Cox and Indianapolis would then be successful on the two-point conversion attempt. Things would soon get even better for the Colts as they would intercept a Mathew Stafford pass in his own territory. This gave them a good opportunity to score another touchdown to close the gap on the Rams. Unfortunately, they could not do this, failing a fourth down attempt and turning the ball over back to the Rams.
Indianapolis would however soon get the touchdown that they needed. In a drive that started at their 40-yard line due to a missed Rams field goal, and was aided by a large penalty against the Rams, the Colts quickly made it down into the Rams redzone. Then, at the one-yard line, Richardson ran the ball in for a touchdown to make it an 8-point game. This would soon become a tied game, as the Colts would again drive down deep into the Los Angeles red zone on their next drive. From the 3-yard line, Richardson would find former Ram Alec Ogletree for the touchdown. The important two-point conversion attempt was successful meaning that we had a tied game.
For the remainder of the half, neither offense was able to move the ball enough to attempt to break the deadlock. This meant that as the time ran out, we were going to overtime.
This was the second consecutive week where the Indianapolis Colts would play in overtime. It would not be as successful as last week’s. The Rams had the opening possession, needing a touchdown to win the game. Matthew Stafford and company would drive the ball down to the Colts 22-yard line. Then, Stafford’s pass would find Puca Nacua, who would find the endzone, giving the Los Angeles Rams a 29-23 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.Embed from Getty Images
As for Puca Nacua, in the first 4 weeks of the season, he was gone from a nobody rookie to a star in the making who is already in the record books. That was his first touchdown in the NFL, but his 39th reception in 4 games, a record for a rookie. I expect good things to come for Puca.
With this win, the Rams improve to 2-2, while the Colts fall to 2-2. Next week, Indianapolis faces the Tennessee Titans, while the Rams face a tough test in the Philadelphia Eagles.
And on the subject of the Philadelphia Eagles…
A narrow win for Philly
The Philadelphia Eagles are the reigning NFC champions. They started this season very strong, and are one of 3 undefeated teams coming into this week (we’ll see how another undefeated team got on later). They also started last season unbeaten, before losing to the Washington Commanders. This week, The Eagles faced the Commanders. Could history repeat itself?
The Commanders would have the ball first and would take full advantage of this. The combination of Commanders quarterback Sam Howell and running back Brian Robinson would move the ball from their 25-yard line, down to the Eagles one-yard line. From there, C Samuel would run the ball in for the touchdown to give the Commanders the early lead.
This lead would not last long. In reply to the Commanders’ score, the Eagles would get one of their own. Like the drive before them, Philadelphia would start from their 25-yard line, and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts would drive the ball down to the Commanders’ red zone, albeit aided by a large penalty against the Washington defense. Then, from the Commanders’ 5-yard line, D Swift would run the ball in for the touchdown, tying the scores.
The score though would not be tied for very long. In response to the Eagles’ touchdown, the Commanders would again move the ball down the field, and let many penalties against the Eagles’ defense do the rest of the job. This would mean that they would reach the one-yard line again, with another touchdown in clear sight. But then, something bizarre happened. Brian Robinson would fumble the ball on the one-yard line and it would move into the Philadelphia endzone. This was dived on by the Commanders, scoring them a touchdown and returning their lead.
The rest of the first half would be similar to the end of the first half in the Rams Colts game. All kicks. But this time, both teams made a field goal. Commanders kicker Joey Sly kicked a 27-yard field goal, while Eagles kicker (and putting on my Giants hat for a second, one of the players in the NFL that I do not like one bit) Jake Elliott successfully kicked a 41-yard attempt. This meant that at halftime, the Commanders would have a 17-10 lead.
The Eagles would have the opening possession of the second half and would immediately start to reduce the Washington lead. Their drive would stall at the Commanders’ 30-yard line, meaning that Jake Elliott would successfully kick a 47-yard field goal. The Commanders lead would become nonexistent after the next Philadelphia drive. From their 41-yard line, Jalen Hurts would throw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown. They then decided to go for a two-point conversion. This was successful, as the Eagles went from being 4 points down to 3 points in the lead.
The lead would only be increased on the Eagles’ next drive. Hurts and company would reach the Washington 16-yard line. Then, on 3rd down K Gainwell would fumble the ball. Luckily for Philadelphia, they would recover the ball with a minimal loss of yardage. Unfortunately for them, they wasted a third down, forcing another Elliott field goal which was successful.
In reply to this, the Commanders would recreate the drive that started the game. Howell and Robinson would drive the ball down into the Eagles’ red zone. Then, Robinson would find the endzone, scoring a 15-yard rushing touchdown to tie the game again.
With the scores level, both teams were eager to score. The Eagles were able to do this sooner. A 28-yard touchdown pass from Hurts to Brown returned the 7-point lead to Philadelphia. With enough time on the clock, Washington knew what was needed.
From their 36-yard line, Sam Howell and company drove the ball down the field. Then, they found the Eagles’ red zone with 10 seconds left on the clock. As time was about to run out, the Commanders had one final chance to score. Howell would pass to Dotsom who was in the endzone. Touchdown Washington. There was some debate on whether the Commanders would attempt to go for 2 to win the game. They decided to kick the PAT, which Joey Sly successfully did. This meant that we were going to overtime in Philadelphia.Embed from Getty Images
The Commanders would have first possession in overtime, but would not be able to do anything with it, punting the ball to the Eagles, who now only needed a field goal to win the game. The Eagles very slowly drove up into field goal territory for the winning kick. They set Elliott up with a 54-yard kick. He would be successful with this, giving the Philadelphia Eagles a 34-31 victory over the Washington Commanders.
This victory keeps the Eagles’ unbeaten season alive. For the Commanders, they fall to 2-2, which in a competitive NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys and the constant enigma that is the New York Giants, this may be a costly defeat. Next week, the Eagles play the Rams, while the Commanders face the Chicago Bears on Thursday night.
Star Power in Buffalo
The Miami Dolphins have just come off an amazing week. Last week, they utterly demolished the Denver Broncos, scoring 70 points in the process, the third-highest amount of points scored by an NFL team in history. They also have an unbeaten record. They faced the Buffalo Bills this week, who after losing week one, have played very strongly in the subsequent games. Who would win this one?
The Bills would have the first drive of the game and would immediately open the scoring. The Buffalo offense, led by quarterback Josh Allen began very quickly to move the ball down the field. They reached the 50-yard line and then immediately made it into the Dolphins’ red zone after a penalty-aided pass from Allen to Steffon Diggs. From the red zone, Allen made a deep pass to Gabe Davis who found the endzone for a 18-yard touchdown to take the early lead.
This lead did not last long. The Dolphins would reply with a touchdown of their own on their opening drive. Led by quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the Dolphins, like the Bills before them would reach deep into their opponents’ red zone. From the Bills’ 3-yard line, DeVon Archane, one of last week’s star players for the Dolphins would run the ball in for the tying touchdown. The Bills would score on the next drive when James Cook would find the endzone on a one-yard rushing touchdown. This would be followed by another Miami touchdown in this back-and-forth first half. Achane would score his second touchdown of the game from 10 yards out. This again tied the scores up.
We had seen nothing but touchdowns so far in this game. This was to be expected, as both offenses were high-scoring. The expectations are met yet again on the following Bills drive. Allen and company would again find the red zone. From the Dolphins’ 11-yard line, Allen would find Diggs for his second touchdown of the game.Embed from Getty Images
Then the strong streak of drives ending in touchdowns suddenly ended. We would have three punts where both offenses would not be able to do anything with the ball. This was soon broken by Buffalo when Allen found Diggs for a third time in the game. This time they recorded a 55-yard touchdown to increase their lead over the Dolphins. Things would get better for Buffalo when on their next drive, Miami would fumble the ball and the Bills would recover possession. This would lead to a successful 53-yard Trevor Bass field goal. This would be the last score in the high-scoring first half, where the Bills would go into the locker room with a 31-14 lead.
The Dolphins would open the second half and would immediately rediscover their form from the opening part of the first half. An 11-play drive for Tua Tagovailoa would take the Miami offense down to the Bills’ 11-yard line. From there, Tagovailoa would find Braxton Berrios for the touchdown. The Dolphins would then attempt a two-point conversion. However, this would be unsuccessful. The Bills’ next drive would stall on the inside edge of the Dolphins’ red zone, allowing Trevor Bass to successfully kick another field goal, this time from 33 yards out.Embed from Getty Images
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, a massive mistake on their next drive would be very costly. At their 25-yard line, the pass from Tagovailoa would be intercepted by the Buffalo defense. This would, predictably, be converted into points for the Bills. Allen and Diggs would pair up again, this time for a 13-yard touchdown pass. The Dolphins would try again to score. But this time they gave Buffalo possession back on downs. This again led to another score for Josh Allen and company. This time, Allen himself would run the ball into the endzone for an 11-yard rushing touchdown.
That would be the final score of the game, meaning that the Buffalo Bills had defeated the Miami Dolphins 48-20, winning in dominant fashion.
For Buffalo, this was a strong win and shows us that their offense can perform well against any team. In addition to this, there were even more causes to celebrate, as Damar Hamlin returned to the field after his traumatic incident in January. For Miami, they go from being destroyers to being destroyed and losing their undefeated record. Next week, the Dolphins play the Giants while the Bills travel to London to face the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Tank Bowl
The Denver Broncos and the Chicago Bears have had two awful starts to the season. Just last week, the Bears were trashed by the Kansas City Chiefs as Taylor Swift watched on, and Soldier Field was robbed. On the other hand, the Broncos conceded 70 points last week against the Miami Dolphins. It is safe to say that hopes were low when these two teams met. Some were saying that the game would be so bad that it should be played at 3 a.m. on some idle Wednesday. Others called it the Tank Bowl. So, would this game be as bad as everyone thought it would be?
It would be the Bears who would have the opening possession of the game, but would not be able to do anything with it, punting quickly. This was to be expected for Chicago. What was not expected was what would happen on the Broncos opening drive.
Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson led his offense from a drive that started on their 16-yard line and drove them down to the Bears’ 18-yard line, aided by a fairly large penalty on the Bears’ defense. From the 18-yard line, Wilson would find Jaleel McLaughlin for the touchdown to take the early lead in the Tank Bowl.
However, the Broncos would not have the lead for long. On their next drive, the Bears would move the ball down the field into the Broncos territory. They would struggle to do this though, but they would be able to do it. From the Denver 29-yard line, Bears quarterback Justin Fields would throw a deep pass to DJ Moore which was caught in the endzone for the touchdown. This play was reviewed, but no action came from it and the play stood. The Bears had tied the game up and would soon take the lead. Fields would throw a 22-yard touchdown to Cole Kmet and would find the same target on the next Bears drives to score a 3-yard touchdown.Embed from Getty Images
The Broncos were unable to match the power of the Chicago offense. This meant that at halftime, the Bears would have a 21-7 lead.
The Bears would be able to add to their lead in the early part of the second half. Fields and company would move the Chicago offense down to the Broncos’ 2-yard line. From there, Fields would find Khalil Herbert for the touchdown to give them a 3-score lead. In reply, the Broncos offense would finally wake up and score themselves. Aided by 2 penalties against the Bears’ defense, Russell Wilson and company would slowly move deep into the Bears’ red zone. Then, from the 4-yard line, Wilson would pass to Brandon Johnson for the touchdown.
The 14-point lead the Bears had now would then be reduced to 7-points after a 10-play drive from the Broncos culminated with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Courtland Sutton. But then, the comeback was complete. On the Bears’ next drive, Justin Fields would be sacked by the Broncos defense. He would also fumble the ball. The ball would then be recovered by the Denver Broncos, who would run it into the endzone to tie the game. This meant that the Broncos had come back from 21 points down to now be within touching distance of winning the game. Could they?
In reply to this, the Bears next drive started well, but then stalled in the Broncos’ redzone. But, with the game on the line, Chicago decided to go on fourth down. They failed to get the yard needed, handing the ball over to Denver. The Broncos would slowly move the ball down the field, before losing momentum at the Bears’ 30-yard line. But, this was field goal territory. Broncos kicker Will Lutz would step up and successfully kick the 51-yard attempt to put Denver in the lead. But there was enough time left for the Bears to strike back.Embed from Getty Images
Fields and the Bears would make it down to the 50-yard line. Then a penalty against them would mean that they would have to throw on each play to get enough yardage to kick an easy field goal. On 3rd and 13 from their 47-yard line, Fields’ pass was intercepted. The game was over. The Denver Broncos had defeated the Chicago Bears 31-28.
For a game that no one was interested in and said would be horrible, it was a very entertaining game. At some points, this was the best game of the weekend. The victory gives Denver something to cheer about, while the Bears’ bad luck continues. Next week, the Bears play the Commanders, while the Broncos face the New York Jets. What a bad game that will be.
What happened in the other games?
The Green Bay Packers faced the Detroit Lions at a Lambeau field that was more Blue than Green and Gold. Lions running back David Montgomery would steal the show, rushing for 3 touchdowns in the Lions 34-20 victory
This week had the first of the three London games this season. After last year’s amazing games, this year’s slate feels somewhat underwhelming. The permanent London team the Jacksonville Jaguars faced the Atlanta Falcons in a game that was probably not worth the money to go and see. Jacksonville would outplay the Falcons throughout the game, recording a 23-7 victory.
The Baltimore Ravens played a Cleveland Browns side which made a very last-minute change in quarterback. Deshaun Watson was injured and replaced by rookie quarterback Dorian Thompson Robinson. More injuries would plague Cleveland, and this would be seen in the scoring. The Ravens would cruise to a 28-3 victory.
Something had happened to Joe Burrow. The quarterback is still partly injured, but that only seems to be half the story. Burrow would only throw for 165 yards in the Cincinnati Bengals game with the Tennessee Titans. The Titans would dominate this gave, with even Dereck Henry throwing a touchdown in the Titans 27-3 victory.Embed from Getty Images
The Baker Mayfield era in Tampa Bay continued this week against divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints. Mayfield would throw 3 touchdowns in the Buccaneers’ 26-9 win.
In another battle between two winless teams so far, the Minnesota Vikings faced the Carolina Panthers. I do believe that Minnesota was unlucky last week. This week, they needed a strong third quarter with a touchdown from Justin Jefferson to seal a 21-13 win.
Last week, CJ Stroud and the Houston Texans played a dominant game to get their first win of the season. This week, while wearing their eye-catching red uniform, they faced the Pittsburgh Steelers. Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett would be injured mid-way through the game. Stroud would again be on fire, throwing for over 300 yards in the Texans 30-6 victory.
For the first time this season, I am not doing an in-depth review of a Los Angeles Chargers game. They faced the Las Vegas Raiders this weekend and survived a last comeback to defeat Vegas 24-17. Cameron Dicker, the Chargers kicker (I will always include a mention of him) would score a field goal in this victory.
After last week’s shock loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Dallas Cowboys returned to their usual dominating form against the New England Patriots. The Patriots had massive issues in ball security for this game, with the Cowboys scoring two touchdowns on turnover plays as Dallas would win 38-3.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has still not lost a regular season game. Christian McCaffrey would be involved with 4 touchdowns as the 49ers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 35-16 to stay undefeated.Embed from Getty Images
After the first half of the Kansas City Chiefs game with the New York Jets, it was looking at Patrick Mahomes and company would be on course for a massive blowout. Then the Jets came back and nearly stole victory from them. Kansas City would hold on for a 23-20 victory. They were aided by some very generous officiating in my eyes, but I guess the NFL had to make sure Taylor Swift was happy. It is her league now.
And finally, let’s talk about Monday night. The New York Giants played another primetime game, this time against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks would win 24-3. But, what needs to be mentioned is how bad the Giants’ offense line is. While I can fully blame Daniel Jones for the pick-six touchdown that sealed the Seahawks’ victory (Jones would take full responsibility for his mistake, something he always does), you cannot blame him for his lack of offensive power this week. Jones was sacked 11 times. On the subject of being sacked, the majority of the offensive line should be after this performance. How can any quarterback do his job when he spends the majority of his time trying to stay upright as the people who are meant to protect him cannot do that? Hopefully, the Giants will be flexed out of their next Monday night game against the Bills, because I cannot bear to see my team play like this, knowing that the eyes of the nation would be on the game.
That was week 4 in the NFL. Next week, the Jaguars play another London game, this time against the Buffalo Bills. The Dallas Cowboys face the San Francisco 49ers in the battle on annoying fan bases, and The Giants will hope to not put Daniel Jones in hospital as they face the Miami Dolphins. God help us.