On Sunday, Sept 28, 2014, in the wake of the New York Giants 45-14 shellacking of the Washington Redskins just three days earlier, it was time for the fourth Sunday of NFL football. There was a stunner in Pittsburgh, a shocker in Minnesota, a thorough whooping in Baltimore, and a meltdown in Chicago. This all preceded a domination in Big D. All that’s left now, is to see whether or not Kansas City can avoid a 1-3 hole, in their big Monday night showdown with the New England Patriots.
Here is a look at all the Sunday NFL games of Week 4:
Tampa Bay Bucs (1-3) 27, Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) 24: @Pittsburgh – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers built an early 10-0 lead off of Steelers miscues, and the Bucs defense sacked Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger five times in the first half. The only problem was the Bucs offense did not show up in the first half. The visiting team found themselves down 17-10 at the half, due to having generated just 64 yards of total offense, and giving up 17 unanswered points. The second half was a back and forth battle, which ended in dramatic fashion, as the Bucs drove 46 yards with less than a minute to play, to score the game-winning TD. The Steelers led in virtually every statistical category, but mistakes were the story. Pittsburgh was penalized 13 times for 125 total yards. Mike Glennon was the starting QB for Tampa Bay.
Green Bay Packers (2-2) 38, Chicago Bears (2-2) 17: @Chicago – The Packers mastery of Jay Cutler-led Bears teams continued. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, who earlier in the week had told Packers fans to relax, came thru in a big way; he threw for 302 yds and 4 TDs. As for the Bears, they went into halftime, down 21-17. This was largely due to poor time management and decision making by Jay Cutler in the final moments of the 2nd quarter. Instead of a FG which would have cut the margin to a single point, or a go-ahead TD, the half ended with the ball just shy of the Packers’ goal line. For the Bears, this turned out to be a ominous precursor, as Green Bay came out and scored 17 unanswered 3rd Quarter points, to put the game away. There was no scoring in the 4th Quarter. Aaron Rodgers surpassed the plateau of 25,000 career passing yards.
Miami Dolphins (2-2) 38, Oakland Raiders (0-4) 14: @Wembley Stadium/London UK – Oakland led 7-3 after one quarter, and then the wheels came off. Miami scored 35 unanswered points and that was that. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill looked the best he’s looked since the team’s opening day victory over the New England Patriots. During one stretch, Tannehill completed 14 straight passes. Miami outrushed Oakland 157 yards to 53. Oakland starting QB Derek Carr injured his ankle in the 3rd quarter, and did not return.
Houston Texans (3-1) 23, Buffalo Bills (2-2) 17: @Houston – Houston Texans’ DE J.J. Watt continues to impress. Two weeks ago, he lined up as a Tight end, and caught a TD pass. This week, with his team down 10-7 early in the 3rd quarter, he picked off a pass from Buffalo QB E.J. Manuel and rumbled 80 yards for a TD. This gave Houston their first lead of the game at 14-10. Houston never relinquished the lead. Houston played bend but don’t break defense, and also intercepted Manuel twice on the day. Houston RB Arian Foster was in the lineup, but nursing a hamstring injury. He was limited to just 6 yards on eight carries. Buffalo RB C.J. Spiller led all rushers, with 60 yards on 15 carries.
Denver Lions (3-1) 24, New York Jets (1-3) 17: @ New York Jets – The Detroit Lions pulled out another close game, avoiding a letdown after their emotional win over Green Bay last week. The Lions main weapon WR Calvin “Megatron” Johnson was a bit hobbled by injury, and only had two catches for 12 yards. Fortunately, Lions QB Matt Stafford did not let this hamper the offense. Instead, he targeted WR Golden Tate, who had 10 catches for 116 yards. Stafford iced the game when he scrambled for a key 1st down with 1:30 to play, thus allowing his team to run out the clock and seal the victory. Jets QB Geno Smith had another medicre outing, completing 17 of 33 passes for 209 yards, with 1 TD and 1 int. Meanwhile, Stafford threw for 2 TDs and rushed for another.
Baltimore Ravens (3-1) 38, Carolina Panthers (2-2) 10: @ Baltimore – Carolina’s season got off to a strong start, but now they are reeling. The Panthers have now lost two games in a row, by a combined score of 75-29. The Baltimore Ravens led 21-7 at the half, and continued to pour it on. Ravens QB Joe Flacco had a big day, with 327 passing yards, 3 TD’s and no INT’s. It was a big day for WRs named Smith. Ravens WR Steve Smith had 2 TD catches, while Ravens WR Torrey Smith had 1 TD catch. The former Smith had the biggest day, as he had 7 total catches for 139 yards. Ravens RB Justin Forsett led all rushers, with 14 carries for 66 yards and 1 TD.
Indianapolis Colts (2-2) 41, Tennessee Titans (1-3) 17: @ Indy – The outcome of this one was never in doubt. Early in the 2nd quarter, the home team had already jumped out to a 17-0 lead. Colts RB Trent Richardson continues his up and down season, as he scored a TD, but otherwise only gained 47 yards on 20 carries. The Colts defense held Tennessee to just 261 yards of total offense, while Indianapolis QB Andrew Luck threw 4 TD passes.
San Diego Chargers (3-1) 33, Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4) 14: @ San Diego – The game got of to a slow start, as San Diego led 3-0 at the end of the 1st Quarter, and then fell behind 7-3 early in the second quarter, before regrouping and going into halftime with a narrow 17-14 lead. The second half was all San Diego, as QB Philip Rivers threw an early TD pass to Malcolm Floyd, and K Nick Novak connected on three FGs. Jacksonville was held scoreless in the second half. Rookie QB Blake Bortles started the game for the Jags, and played well, but faded as the game went on.
Minnesota Vikings (2-2) 41, Atlanta Falcons (2-2) 28: @ Minnesota – Rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater got the start for the Minnesota Vikings, and wound up with his first victory as a pro. Bridgewater did not do it on his own, as RB Matt Asiata stepped up and rushed for 78 yards and 3 TDs. The Falcons continue to search for answers, as the offense was once again subpar, and the defense continues to give up points by the boatload. This season, only Tampa Bay and Jacksonville have given up more points than Atlanta.
San Francisco 49ers (2-2) 26, Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) 21: The desperate San Francisco 49ers avoided a 1-3 start, by squeaking by the Philadelphia Eagles, in a game which should not have been this close. Philadelphia’s defense and special teams were almost the difference in the game. The Eagles offense only crossed midfield once in the entire game, and that was not until there were less than 5 minutes left in the game. Amazingly, Philadelphia got three TDs courtesy of a blocked punt recovered in the end zone, a punt return for TD, and an interception returned for TD. San Francisco outgained Philly 407-213 in total yardage.
Dallas Cowboys (3-1) 38, New Orleans Saints (1-3) 17: The Dallas Cowboys continued their impressive start to the season, by thumping the Saints on Sunday Night Football. Dallas led 24-0 at the half, and finished the game with a 21 point margin of victory. As for New Orleans, they are in the same boat as their division rival Atlanta Falcons. The Saints are used to giving up a lot of points, but scoring even more. That is fine, until the offense is no longer scoring a lot of points. New Orleans is about two losses away from hitting the panic button.