NFL Week 4: Brady Wins Foxboro Classic, Cards Blast Rams

Brady and Bill share a hug after an emotion filled return

Updated: Oct 5, 2021 5:50 am

NFL Week 4 gave us plenty of storylines, highlights, and action to keep us entertained. Both New York teams claimed upset victories in overtime. Other teams like the Chiefs, Seahawks, and Bears put rough Week 2 and Week 3 performances behind them to re-establish their identity. Meanwhile, the Bills continue to steamroll since their Week 1 loss.

Washington versus Atlanta was one highlight play after another, right until the final series. Cleveland versus Minnesota showcased great defense. Cardinals, Cowboys, and Ravens all collected statement victories. Even with all of that, no moment was sweeter than when Brady returned to Foxboro and defeated Bill in an instant classic.

Week 4 Football Friday

Week 4 Injury Report

NFL Week 4 SNF: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots

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Sunday Night Football for the NFL Week 4 was one of the greatest moments we will ever witness in sports. The moment we saw this game when the NFL schedule was released, we knew this was going to be a special event. Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time was returning to Foxboro where he shared 20 years of championship-level football with the fans. Who was his opponent? None other than the New England Patriots and the greatest coach of all time, Bill Belichick. Regardless of the outcome, this would be an instant classic.

As this moment in history drew closer, however, the storyline appeared like it would be much greater than the game itself. Both teams coming fresh off of a loss, the Bucs seemed set to impose their will and dominate their next opponent, Meanwhile, the Pats seemed to be fading more and more into irrelevance. One was the defending Super Bowl Champion, the other fighting to reclaim significance. Many thought this NFL Week 4 would be over by the half.

Not on Belichick’s watch. Brady had seen it all, there was no way that Bill could devise a scheme that he hadn’t faced before and Bill knew this. Therefore, he gave Brady every look, cleverly selecting a new one each drive to keep the QB on his toes and guessing. Add this to the light rain which was coming down all night, and we were far from seeing any vintage Brady play.

Pressure from Matthew Judon and Detrich Wise, tight CB play from JC Jackson, and Johnathan Jones accentuated what the Pats’ D does best: harassing the opposing QB. The halftime score hardly had the Patriots out of it, they were actually winning 7-6, playing Patriot-style football.

The pace didn’t change much in the second half either. Towards the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarter, the two teams swapped TDs, as Ronald Jones ran one in for the Bucs and Mac Jones threw one to Jonnu Smith. New England persisted in their one-point lead at the beginning of the fourth.

Then, Brady responded in kind. he led Tampa on a 15-play, 68-yard drive, taking 7 minutes off of the clock. A Ryan Succop field goal gave them a 16-14 lead. They sent the ball back to New England’s rookie QB with all momentum gone and the clock ticking.

Jones responded. A quick 3 and a half minute scoring drive, left 4 and a half minutes on the clock, which was hopefully enough time for them to get the ball last. The Patriots were up by a point yet again.

Brady is the king of the last-minute drive, but this time it was different: he had to score and run the clock down versus an opponent who has been dictating the pace all game. Sure enough, the GOAT was able to score and reclaim a 2-point lead, but he gave the rookie nearly 2 minutes to begin to create his own legacy.

A little over a minute and 6 plays later, New England lined for a 56-yard field goal with less than a minute to play. The kick would give the Pats their final 1-point lead. Doink! The FG hit the upright and painlessly drifted off to the side. The Bucs had secured victory.

When the game concluded, Brady was greeted with love by all of his former coaches and teammates:

On this night, we watch Bill and Jones outduel Brady, but Tom came up with the last laugh. Jones threw for 275 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a pick on 31 of 40 passing. The GOAT was limited to 22 of 43 for 269 yards. With that said it was more than enough for Brady to take the all-time passing-yards lead away from Drew Brees and cement his legacy further in the history books. In the end…

GOATs collide as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hold off the New England Patriots 19-17

Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings

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Some people find a game like this one boring, but not I. Just because there wasn’t a lot of scoring doesn’t mean it wasn’t full of big moments, it truly was a great game. Defense reigned supreme in the NFL Week 4 matchup.

The first quarter ended after just two drives, that’s how determined both of these two teams were to control the clock. Methodical drives at their finest. The big difference for the two teams in this quarter was that Minnesota found a way to make the big play on both possessions. They were able to satisfy their 14-play, 80-yard, 7 minute, and 34-second drive with a 12-yard TD pass from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson. The Vikings also ended the Browns 7 minute and 27-second drive with a huge Everson Griffen sack on 4th and goal from the 4-yard line.

Little did the Vikings know, this would be the high point of their afternoon. The Browns defense would clamp down and hold the Minnesota offense to just 147 yards the rest of the game, most of which would come on just two second-half series.

With the opening quarter in the books, both defenses began to put their fingerprints all over the game. Three and outs were traded before a short Vikings drive would end fruitless giving the ball back to Cleveland with a chance to even the score.

At this point, the Browns made a huge statement. Over the course of the next 8 minutes and 39-seconds, the Browns agonizingly went on an 18-play, 78-yard drive. Kareem Hunt was the hero multiple times on this drive, converting two key 1st downs and punching in the 1-yard touchdown run at the end. With that said the drive would have resulted in a goal-line stand if it weren’t for a 4th-down defensive holding penalty on Kendricks. To make matters worse a defensive delay of the game on the extra point led to a successful 2pc from Mayfield to Janovich. In a defensive struggle, this hard-fought this single point proved to be enough for victory.

Cleveland was not finished, however, as they tacked on another field goal at the end of the half they controlled the ball for nearly 19 minutes.

The second half picked up where the first half had concluded. Three and outs were exchanged as huge defensive plays ended one drive after another. Sacks from Danielle Hunter and Tak McKinley ended the first two drives of the half. The Browns then managed to take 4 minutes off the clock with a 6-play drive, to ultimately be ended with strong defensive play from Carl Dantzler.

The two things that were consistent with most of the second-half drives was that both defenses stepped up to make plays when they needed to do so, and the Browns offense was slowly dominating time of possession. In the end, Cleveland would hold onto the football for over 35 minutes.

It was this steady wear-down that eventually led to another Cleveland field goal, which would end the score for the game. The Browns controlled the clock with a 184-yard performance from their rushing attack. Nick Chubb ran for 100, and Hunt added 86 all-purpose yards with his score.

The Browns defense, in total, recorded 2 sacks and 5 additional plays for loss, limiting the Vikings to 255 total yards on the game, one week after limiting the Bears to 47. They added insult to injury as a late interception from Greedy Williams gave the Browns the ball back immediately following their final score.

The Cleveland Browns stifled the Minnesota Vikings, 14-7

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams

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This game needs to be covered not because of the quality of the game, but rather because of the significance of the outcome. After the Rams defeated the Buccaneers and the Chiefs lost in Week 3 action, everyone was so quick to declare LA as the team to beat in football. Meanwhile, as mentioned in my Week 4 Football Friday Podcast (linked above), I really thought the Cardinals had displayed more flashes of dominance on both sides of the football. Turns out they can also turn it on when facing a powerful opponent.

Arizona continued their streak of at least 30 points and 400 yards in each game this season against the team that shut down the defending champs. They took over in this game and never looked back at the beginning of the second quarter.

Down 10-7 after a rough start to the game, the Cardinals righted the ship with a 9-play, 75-yard, 5-minute drive that crossed over the quarters. Kyler Murray finished off the drive with an absolutely spectacular TD pass to Maxx Williams.

On LA’s very next play from scrimmage, the rout began. A forced fumble by Marcus Golden was scoped up by Budda Baker. Five short plays later and James Conner punched in a 1-yard TD run, extending the Cards lead to two scores. After a pair of stalled drives, the two teams traded field goals and went to halftime.

The Cardinals scored on their first three drives of the second half, burying the Rams. Murray was strong in this performance but did not have need of cheat codes as the Chase Edmonds show was on full display. Edmonds compiled 139 total yards, including 120 on the ground. Conner added 66 all-purpose yards, punching in 2 of Arizona’s TD, AJ Green caught Murray’s second TD pass of the game.

The real importance of this game is that after NFL Week 4 smoke clears, the Cardinals stand out as the top team in football. They have it all. Deep on offense with a dynamic QB, versatile on defense with a unique blend of strong veterans and rising young players. They are the team to beat. NFL Week 4 saw the 4 elite teams of the NFC West do battle, and none looked more impressive than the Cards.

The Arizona Cardinals manhandle the Los Angeles Rams, 37-20

Washington Football Team at Atlanta Falcons

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Washington at Atlanta filled the highlight reel so brilliantly that the rest of the NFL Week 4 slate could have taken off and no one would have even noticed. Exaggerating? Obviously, but not by nearly as much as you would think if you didn’t see the game. Lead changes, big plays, a special teams score, and a 3 touchdown performance. Here is how this wild NFL Week 4 affair developed.

It took about a quarter for both teams to get started, but once they did it was non-stop from that point and onward. The Falcons led off the action in that period with a huge, 44-yard strike from Matt Ryan and a beautiful over-the-shoulder catch from Cordarrelle Patterson for the first touchdown of the game. This would be the start of a spectacular afternoon from Patterson who would go on to collect 116 offensive yards and score 3 touchdowns.

The WFT team did not take long to answer the call. On the seventh play of the next drive, Taylor Heinicke launched a 33-yard touchdown to Terry McLaurin. This would get a big day from Scary Terry started as he would go on to catch an additional score, 6 passes, and 123 yards. Heinicke and McLaurin are starting to become a big-time QB to WR combo.

A quick 3 and out from the Falcons gave the WFT the ball back with a chance for their first lead of the game. They then proceeded to grind 4 minutes off the clock and punch into the endzone with Antonio Gibson right before the 2-minute warning.

The Falcons wasted no time in striking back before the half. In less than 2 minutes, they quickly traveled 11 plays, capping it off with Patterson’s second TD of the afternoon. With the quick strike, Atlanta was able to head into the half with a 17-13 lead.

Washington changed that in the blink of an eye. Deandre Carter fielded the second-half kickoff 1 yard into the end zone and returned it 101 yards for a WFT score and lead. At this point, we knew we were in for more crazy action throughout the second half.

Atlanta was not going to be outdone by Washington, and Patterson was not going to be outdone by Carter. Eight plays later, they both celebrated with his 3rd score of the afternoon and the Falcons’ 3rd lead.

On their next series, Washington was only able to cut into the Falcon lead by adding a field goal. They did make an effort to slow down the game, however, consuming 5 minutes and 38 seconds while traveling 73 yards.

It all appeared for naught, however, as the Falcons took a page from the WFT playbook, grinding out their own 5 minute and 39-second drive. The main difference between what the Falcons and WFT did was the way the drives ended. Whereas Washington only managed a field goal, the Falcons finished with a Mike Davis touchdown.

Washington needed to do something to get themselves back on top. Sure enough, after forcing a 3 and out from Atlanta, they had their chance and they seized it. Heinicke hooked up with Scary Terry for their second TD on the afternoon. Unfortunately for them, the 2pc attempt fell incomplete, and the WFT continued to trail by 2 points. With less than 4 minutes left in the game, they needed another big stop from their defense.

And the defense clamped down of the Falcons, forcing their second, consecutive 3 and out. This came courtesy of a strong series from Jonathan Allen and the Washington DL.

With less than 2 minutes to play, Heinicke and the WFT took over on their own 24, down by 2 points. They quickly drove the field as time was ticking down searching for the big play that would seal their victory. On a 3rd and 7, Heinicke ran out to his left, turned around, and threw it across the field to JD McKissic. McKissic then ran 30 yards and will an incredible leap was able to dive into the endzone for the game-winning touchdown.

All total, the game featured 5 lead changes as both of these teams fought hard to resurrect their seasons. In the end, Washington just made a few more big plays.

The Washington Football Team wins a thriller over the Atlanta Falcons, 34-30

NFL Week 4 MNF: Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers

NFL Week 4 Monday Night Football featured a pair of AFC West rivals fighting for supremacy. The Chargers were fresh off a huge victory over Kansas City in which their defense had a coming-out party. Meanwhile, the Raiders were 3-0 as Derek Carr was throwing for more than 400 yards a game. We were sure to have a classic.

Then, a thunderstorm caused us to wait. Despite the domed roof, the league determined it was unsafe for the game to proceed as scheduled, given that SoFi Stadium was designed with part of its sides open to the outside. After an hour or so of waiting the NFL finally gave the green light and the kickoff was booted.

Who knows whether it was the storm delay, the Chargers’ defense, or just if it wasn’t their night, but the Raiders’ offense came out completely flat in the first half. Zero yards in the first quarter and 51 yards in the first half were not at all acceptable for an offense that dominated the first three weeks. With that said, it goes down as a huge win for the Chargers’ D that contained the Chiefs a week ago.

It wasn’t just the Los Angeles D that was on fire, though, the offense also came out hot. In their very first series, Justin Herbert led the Chargers on a long 7-minute drive that he capped off with a TD pass to Donald Parham. After this drive, however, the Vegas defense was able to limit their opponent until just before the half.

Then, it fell all apart. A quick 6-play, 65-yard drive rekindled the Chargers’ offense, with Herbert throwing his second TD pass to Jared Cook. With under 4 minutes remaining before halftime, the Raiders needed to step in and score. If they did this that would have a shot at tying the game on the first series of the second half.

Instead, they encountered one of the worst results possible. They went 3 and out so quickly that they gave the Chargers the ball back with more than 2 minutes to play. The narrative then played out perfectly for LA. Herbert quickly drove the Chargers up the field yet again, finishing it off with his third TD pass, this one to RB Austin Ekeler.

Things looked bleak for the Raiders at the half as they stared down a 21-0 deficit. However, that did not stop them from making some noise at the start of the second half. Their first two series of the second half were merely interrupted by a 19-yard drive from the Chargers, and both resulted in Vegas touchdowns. Vegas cut the LA lead to 21-14 on a pair of TD passes from Carr to his two favorite targets, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow.

It was looking like the Raiders were going to make a full comeback after the Chargers gave them the ball back quickly yet again. This time, however, their defense had something to say about it. A huge, 3rd-down sack from Covington forced Las Vegas to settle for a missed field goal attempt and breathed new life into LA.

After the miss, the Chargers went for the jugular and were never threatened for the rest of the game. They went on a 10-play, 58-yard drive that took over 5 minutes off of the clock and ended with Ekeler’s second touchdown of the night, this one on the ground.

Down by two scores with a little more than 5 minutes to play, the Raiders needed to step up now. Instead, it was the Chargers’ D that put the icing on the cake as Derwin James intercepted Carr to all but seal their fate.

The final few minutes led to nothing more than a desperate turnover on downs and the clock being kneeled in submission.

The Los Angeles Chargers double up the rival Las Vegas Raiders, winning 28-14

In Other Action:

New York Jets 27, Tennessee Titans 24

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The Jets collect their first win of the season, giving Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson their first career wins as head coach and quarterback respectively. Wilson enjoyed the best game of his young career, throwing for 297 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also re-established his big-play connection with Corey Davis, as they combined 4 times for 111 yards and a score.

Quinnen Williams, Quincy Williams, and CJ Mosley all excelled for a defense that came up with 7 sacks and another 7 tackles for a loss.

The Jets hit a field goal in overtime, and the Titans missed theirs as time expired in OT to secure the victory.

Kansas City Chiefs 42, Philadelphia Eagles 30

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Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs got back on track as their offense exploded in Philly. Mahomes threw for 278 yards and 5 touchdowns, connecting with Tyreek Hill 11 times for 186 yards and 3 of the scores. CEH ran for 102 yards on the ground and caught 16 yards worth of passes with a score to add to their dynamic offensive performance.

In defeat, Jalen Hurts threw for 387 yards and 2 scores, while adding another 47 rushing yards on the ground. The Chiefs held the Eagles rushing attack at bay, for the most part, helping to secure the victory.

Dallas Cowboys 36, Carolina Panthers 28

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This game was not nearly as close as the final score indicated. Ezekiel Elliot ran wild, rushing for 143 yards and a TD. Pollard added 67, as the Cowboys ran for 245 yards on a strong Carolina D. Dak threw 4 touchdowns to 4 different receivers despite the fact that it was the Zeke show.

On the defense, Trevon Diggs was at it again. He not once, but twice intercepted Darnold, giving him 5 interceptions through the first 4 games.

New York Giants 27, New Orleans Saints 21

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Saquon Barkley had 126 all-purpose yards, including a 6-yard touchdown run in overtime, to secure the Giants’ first win of the season. Daniel Jones enjoyed another brilliant performance, throwing for 402 yards and 2 touchdown passes. Golladay was his favorite target as the two connected 6 times for 116 yards.

The Giants began the 4th quarter down 21-10 before charging back. A 54-yard TD pass from Danny Dimes to Saquon quickly cut that lead. The Giants D was able to stop Kamara to get the ball back and finish the comeback.

Chicago Bears 24, Detroit Lions 14

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David Montgomery ran for 106 yards and 2 scores, as rookie QB Justin Fields collected the first win of his career. Fields established a strong connection with Darnell Mooney, sending 125 of his 209 passing yards his way.

Roquan Smith and Robert Quinn led a strong defense which contributed 4 sacks and 6 tackles for loss. They also forced two turnovers as Quinn, Mack, Nichols, and Gipson all contributed to fumbles.

Buffalo Bills 40, Houston Texans 0

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The Buffalo Bills and Josh Allen thrashed the Houston Texans from start to finish. Since the opening day loss, Buffalo has outscored opponents 118-21, collecting their second shutout in three weeks.

Allen threw for 248 yards and 2 TDs, while the rushing attack piled up 200 rushing yards. Stefon Diggs finally got back on track, hauling in 7 passes for 114 yards.

The Bills D made a mockery of the Texans, turning them over 5 times and forcing 6 negative plays. All total, they were dominant, holding their offense to a measly 109 yards.

Indianapolis Colts 27, Miami Dolphins 17

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Indy got their whole team back on track, securing their first win of the season. RB Jonathan Taylor had 114 all-purpose yards and a touchdown, as he finally went over 100 rushing yards for the first time this season. Carson Wentz was also efficient, completing 24 of 32 passes for 228 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Darius Leonard and the defense also righted the ship. Leonard made his mark with 8 total tackles, 1 for loss, and a fumble recovery. The defense as a whole hit 7 negative plays and turned the Dolphins over twice.

Seattle Seahawks 28, San Francisco 49ers 21

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San Francisco drastically outplayed Seattle in every aspect of the game except turnovers, penalties, and the big play. Fortunately for Seattle, that was enough. A big play from Russell Wilson to Freddie Swain put the Seahawks up by two touchdowns at the start of the 4th quarter, as San Fran never really threatened to reclaim the lead.

The Seahawks and 49ers are now both 2-2, tied for last in the wicked tough NFC West.

Green Bay Packers 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

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After a week one blowout loss, the Green Bay revenge tour continues. Aaron Rodgers threw for 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Packers rushing attack contributed 131 yards. Rodgers’ favorite target this game was Randall Cobb, as the two connected on 2 touchdowns. The second score tied Rodgers with Marino for 6th all-time in touchdown passes.

The Packers’ defense stepped up, even more, this week, limiting the Steelers’ offense to 282 total yards. They turned them over twice, including rookie Eric Stokes’ first career interception. This INT putting the finishing touches on the Steelers when they were attempting a late comeback.

Baltimore Ravens 23, Denver Broncos 7

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Baltimore enjoyed a complete team victory over the formerly undefeated Denver Broncos. Lamar Jackson to Hollywood Brown came up with a back-breaking, highlight-reel play that put the Ravens up for good in the second quarter. Lamar threw for 316 yards total on the day.

The Ravens’ defense limited the Broncos to 254 yards of total offense. Tyus Bowser and Justin Houston led a relentless pass rush which nabbed 5 sacks and forced an additional 8 tackles for a loss. Anthony Averett added a late interception to add insult to injury.

A Few More Highlights

Top scores of the week

And a little something for the fun of it

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