What We Learned in Week 4 in the NFL:
- Jets get blanked at home by 49ers
- The Dolphins still make Hootie cry
- Cam Newton fumbles win
- Green Bay gets screwed by refs twice in the same week while Saints remain winless
- Peyton Manning’s arm apparently isn’t a wet noodle
There’s nothing like an exciting slate of football game finishes to make up for lack of Steelers football on a Sunday. As a fan of the NFL it sure was nice to watch games without the ridiculous officiating that had plagued the first three weeks of the season. The real refs are back and it’s much better to scream at qualified guys rather than the foot locker employees.
Things aren’t looking good for the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets these days. They put up quite possibly the worst offensive performance of any team this season, amassing less than 200 total yards of offense and turning the ball over four times and looking quite pathetic while doing it. The 49ers even threw in some better executed Wild-Cat plays to rub it in just a little bit more. Clearly the conversation for the Jets is now going to turn to Tebow. How could you not see this coming? The Jets had a mediocre season last year and their big acquisition to improve is Tebow? It was destined to start off like this. By the way the Jets have utilized Tebow thus far; it’s hard to believe that they acquired him for anything more than publicity. They apparently only fooled the Bills in their first game by their possibility of Tebow Wild-Cat formations. Their defense isn’t even playing good enough to save them and now Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez are getting annoyed with the “Is it time to start Tebow?” questions. Seriously? How could they not see this coming?
A team no one saw coming this season, the Arizona Cardinals, are now sitting at 4-0 after outlasting the Dolphins in overtime. The Dolphins, on the other hand, have lost their second consecutive OT game, with turnovers and missed field goals becoming their kiss of death. Rookie QB Ryan Tannehill had a career day with 431 yards, but two glaring turnovers proved to be costly. Coach Whisenhunt has his Pittsburgh West team looking very good and strong defensively, aside from giving up the big yardage to the Dolphins this week. Who would have thought after training camp when Coach Whiz was reluctant to even name a starting quarterback, that they’d enter October unbeaten? For the Dolphins, maybe it’s comforting to know that Tannehill looks like he could be a solid quarterback in the future, a position they’ve been more inconsistent at than almost any other team in the league for the last decade. Back to back OT losses, though, I’d bet Hootie is still crying this morning.
So apparently Cam Newton is rubbing people the wrong way with his celebrations and lack of consistency in Carolina. Newton led his Panthers in a very exciting game to almost upsetting the unbeaten Atlanta Falcons. The Panthers had the game almost locked up and when Cam Newton made a costly fumble that the Panthers recovered, but eventually gave possession back to the Falcons with just enough time for “Matty Ice” to get his team within field goal position for the game winner. Newton has taken a lot of flack since their last week thumping by the Giants, where after a meaningless score by Newton, he jumped up to do his signature “Superman” celebration. Newton also had a little dance planned for this game after scoring. Now I watch a whole lot of SEC college football and after watching Newton pretty much get away with whatever he wanted in order to win a national title and Heisman trophy, I find it hard to accept that reporters are now wondering why he’s not the least bit humble. Coming from my sister, who knows very little about football outside of the Steelers; “He just has that look about him that he might be an a-hole.” I’m not insinuating anything about Newton, aside from he’s clearly got a maturity issue because when your game plan includes touchdown celebration coordination, and not ball protection, you’re missing something.
Apparently the NFL refs, whether replacement or full time, weren’t done screwing over the Packers after their Monday night football loss stemming from one of the worst calls in all of sports history. Darren Sproles appeared to have fumbled a kick off but the officials in the game ruled him down by contact. The replay shows clearly the ball coming out before Sproles was down, but the Packers were out of replay challenges at that point and the play stood. Fortunately for the Packers, they were still able to outlast the Saints, who had finally found their offense after poor play in their first three games. The Saints are now at a lowly 0-4, and things aren’t looking any easier for them while the Packers can continue to complain about officiating and move to 2-2.
If anyone had any fantasies about the Raiders being as good of a team as they looked last week against the Steelers, they’ve come back to reality now after the Raiders failed to find the endzone the entire game against the Broncos. Peyton quieted the critics that thought his arm strength just isn’t what it used to be throwing 30 for 38 with over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Raiders were outscored 27-0 in the second half. Ouch. I tried to end the bye week on a positive note but I can’t help but feel like that makes the Steelers 4th quarter collapse against the Raiders sting just a scooch more. Incidentally, Peyton Manning is to have a small medical procedure today to remove Phil Simms from inside his rear end. He’s expected to fully recover in time for Simms to crawl back up there next week when Peyton faces off against the Patriots and Tom Brady.
The Steelers return from their bye week and will most likely welcome the return of Troy Polamalu and Rashard Mendenhall back to the lineup. James Harrison’s status is still uncertain for the Eagles game and beyond. Bring it on Week #4!
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