Week 4 of the NFL season showcased some explosive offences as the Rams continue to prove they’re the elite of the league while teams like the Bengals and Chiefs continue to perform at a high level. Tom Brady and the Pats have a bounce-back game reasserting themselves atop the AFC East and much more action come out of another exciting NFL Week!
Let’s get started!
Minnesota 31-38 LA Rams
Coming into Week 4 this matchup was set to be a battle of NFC powerhouses. While the Rams have mostly delivered on their end, the Vikings have been up and down. Their opening day victory over San Francisco was impressive but never reached the calibre we all expected.
Then came the nail-biting comeback game against the Packers that looked like Minnesota had found their way, albeit with a tie. However, they followed that up with a disappointing 27-6 loss to the Bills.
Coming into this game with a 1-1-1 record was not what was anticipated but they looked to hand the Rams their first loss of 2018. The Vikings took possession first and went on a long productive drive. They ran a 13-play, 75-yard drive that took 7:05 off the clock to start the opening quarter that ended in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Aldrick Robinson for the 7-0 lead.
LA would answer right back with a long drive of their own. The Rams ran a 70-yard drive that took six minutes much like the Vikings. Jared Goff would find Todd Gurley in the end zone for the 8-yard TD and the 7-7 score.
After Minnesota kicked a field goal, Jared Goff would hit Cooper Kupp with a 70-yard touchdown bomb for the 14-10 lead for the Rams. It didn’t last long, however, with Minnesota jumping back out in front on their next drive. Cousins took the team back down the field and found Robinson in the back of the end zone for his second TD catch of the game and the 17-14 lead.
The offensive explosion would not end there. The Rams then took the ball themselves, as the team went on a 3-play 35-yard drive. Goff would throw a beautiful pass into double-coverage to Cooper Kupp in the back corner of the end zone for the TD and the 21-17 lead. Goff would keep lighting it up in the first half. He threw his fourth TD with a 47-yard bomb to Brandin Cooks for the 28-17 lead.
Both teams would get back on the board in the dying minutes of the third quarter. Cousins would find Adam Thielen for a big catch and run play. The 45-yard TD pass would cut the Ram lead down to 31-28 after the 2-point conversion by Minnesota. LA only took six plays to get those points back as Jared Goff would hit Robert Woods for the 31-yard TD putting the lead back out to 38-28.
The Vikings would add a field goal to come within one touchdown but with under two minutes left the comeback would die. Kirk Cousins would have the ball stripped on an attempted throw for the fumble which was recovered by the Rams ending the game and the 38-31 LA win.
Both offences put up a tonne of fireworks, but the Rams were out of this world. With over 500 yards and Goff throwing the ball all over the field hitting receivers on deep balls all game and the defence wreaking havoc on Cousins for most of the game, the Rams continue to look very scary. Minnesota finds themselves in a tight spot at 1-2-1 and will need a bounce-back game against the defending Super Bowl Champs next week.
LA: J.Goff: 26/33 465YDs 5TDs T.Gurley: 17CAR 83YDs 4CAT 73YDs C.Kupp: 9CAT 162YDs 2TDs B.Cooks: 7CAT 116YDs 1TD R.Wood: 5CAT 101YDs 1TD
MIN: K.Cousins: 36/50 422YDs 3TDs A.Thielen: 8CAT 135YDs 1TD S.Diggs: 11CAT 123YDs A.Robinson: 2CAT 33YDs 2TDs
Miami 7-38 New England
If you had told me the Dolphins would be leading the AFC East with a 3-0 record coming into their first game against the Patriots I would have never believed you.
Add to that New England holding a 1-2 record and I would say you were crazy. With the Pats coming off a shocking 26-10 loss to Detroit they needed to get back into the division race with a win.
The Pats would get a bit of an offensive boost with Josh Gordon making his debut as in New England in this game. He made a 13-yard catch opening up the game, setting up a Stephen Gostkowski field goal for the early 3-0 lead.
It was all New England after that. They jumped out to an even bigger lead to start the second quarter. Tom Brady would find Cordarrelle Patterson for a 55-yard catch and run TD and the 10-0 lead.
After taking position in the red zone off a bad snap and a fumble recovery, James White would take the ball 22 yards for the TD and 17-0 lead. Brady would add another TD pass to Phillip Dorsett for the 24-0 halftime lead.
If this game wasn’t already over at the half, then it was to start the third quarter. Brady found White again this time through the air, capping off a 69-yard, 9-play drive with the 14-yard TD pass and a 31-0 lead.
Brady and the Pats would add another TD while Miami would get one of their own in what was a one-sided match from the opening kickoff. New England’s dominating 38-7 win allowed them to get back into the division while exposing the Dolphins for what we thought they may be.
Despite the impressive 3-0 start for Miami they still appear to be anything but a threat to the AFC East. New England racked up yards and touchdowns all game while their defence dominated with two sacks. The offence threw up 174 yards on the ground and 274 yards through the air, regaining their role atop the AFC East regardless of record.
NE: T.Brady:23/35 274YDs 3TDs 2INTs S.Michel: 25CAR 112YDs 1TD J.White: 8CAT 68YDs 1TD
MIA: R.Tannehill: 11/20 100YDs 1INT F.Gore: 11CAR 41YDs
**R.Gronkowski leaves with ankle injury
Cincinnati 37-36 Atlanta
The Bengals jumped out to an exciting and impressive start with wins over the Colts and Ravens in Week’s 1 and 2, before dropping a game to the Panthers in Week 3. Atlanta had a rough opening night but was more than impressive against Carolina with the 31-24 victory. Despite losing to the Saints in Week 3 it was an offensive showcase that was lost in OT.
This game was set to be an exciting matchup with two teams who have been known to light it up offensively. The Falcons were given great field position on the opening kickoff as Marvin Hall returned it to midfield. Seven plays later Atlanta was set up seven yards out of the end zone before Ito Smith ran it in for the TD and 7-0 lead.
The Bengals would answer back with Andy Dalton hitting AJ Green and Tyler Boyd for big gains before finding Tyler Eifert in the back of the end zone for the touchdown and 7-7 score. They would add to that lead just before the end of the first quarter. After marching down the field Dalton would hand it off to Giovani Bernard who took it 10 yards for the TD and 14-7 lead.
The Falcons tied it in the second quarter with a 10-play drive eating up 4:09 off the clock before Matt Ryan found Logan Paulson in the end zone for the 14-14 score. The back and forth scoring continued as Dalton would hit a streaking John Ross down the seam for the 39-yard TD and 21-14 lead. Ross would come up limping after running into the end zone.
Matt Ryan would not settle for that, hitting Mohamed Sanu for a 36-yard gain to the Cincinnati 20-yard line. Three plays later he would hit Calvin Ridley on the slant into the end zone tying the game 21-21. Did you really think it would end there?
The Bengals would answer just before the end of the half. It only took five plays to go from their 25-yard line to the end zone, but they did it in just over two minutes. Bernard would wrap up the drive with a 1-yard rush for the 28-21 lead with 45 seconds left.
The Falcons would add a field goal before the half for the 28-24 score.
Atlanta would then come within one point of the Bengals early in the third quarter. After blocking a Kevin Huber punt the Falcons took possession inside the Bengals 10-yard line. Fortunately for Cincinnati, the turnover only resulted in a field goal and the 28-27 score.
Both teams traded possessions throughout the remainder of the third quarter but just before time expired on the period Dalton would throw an interception to Damontae Kazee setting the Falcons up at their own 46-yard line. Four plays later Ryan would throw one down the seam to a wide-open Ridley for his second TD of the game and the 33-28 lead after the failed two-point conversion.
Cincinnati would add a field goal on the following drive after it appeared that Andy Dalton fumbled the ball. The play would be reviewed and overturned resulting in the 36-yard Randy Bullock kick and the 33-31 score. The Falcons would answer that drive with an 11-play run of their own. After gaining 73 yards they would settle for a field goal pushing their lead out to 36-31 with 4:14 left in the game.
Dalton would take possession with under two minutes left and lead the team down the field to victory. Starting from their own 25-yard line the Bengals would march down to the Atlanta 13-yard line. Dalton hit AJ Green who came up with a beautiful sliding touchdown grab along the corner of the end zone for the 38-37 lead with six seconds left, effectively ending the game.
This was exactly the type of game we assumed it would be with both teams lighting it up on each drive. The Bengals appear to be a legitimate contender jumping out to an impressive 3-1 start and looking like one of the top teams in the AFC and league.
The Falcons, however, have looked good and have been an offensive dynamo but see themselves sitting at the bottom of the NFC South with a 1-3 record. They’ll need to start pulling out some wins or their season is going to be in jeopardy before the halfway point of the season.
CIN: A.Dalton: 29/41 337YDs 3TDs 1INT G.Bernard: 15CAR 69YDs 2TDs T.Boyd: 11CAT 100YDs
ATL: M.Ryan: 29/39 419YDs 3TDs J.Jones: 9CAT 173YDs M.Sanu: 6CAT 111YDs
Baltimore 26-14 Pittsburgh
The AFC North was completely turned upside down from what the expectation was coming into the year. The Steelers found themselves at the bottom with a 1-1-1 record while the Ravens were tied with Cincinnati at the top at 2-1.
This division showdown would find Pittsburgh needing to get through some of their early-season issues and problems to climb back into the division.
Baltimore jumped out to the early lead on their first drive of the game. Joe Flacco ran an 8-play drive finishing it off with a 33-yard bomb to John Brown for the touchdown and 7-0 lead. The Ravens tightened their grip with a turnover on Pittsburgh’s next drive.
After Ben Roethlisberger dumped a pass off to Vance McDonald, Tony Jefferson ripped the ball away from the Steeler’s tight end giving Baltimore possession in the red zone.
Four plays later Flacco would find Alex Collins on the dump-pass for the 3-yard TD and 14-0 lead. Pittsburgh kicked a field goal early in the second quarter getting on the board at 14-3.
Roethlisberger then brought the team back with a tie late in the half. First, he set up a field goal, then found Vance McDonald for a 33-yard gain. Finally, he found Antonio Brown in the end zone for a 26-yard TD. After the successful two-point convert the game would be tied 14-14.
The second half was mostly defensive from both teams with only three points being scored in the third quarter and nine in the fourth. Justin Tucker’s 47-yarder made it a 17-14 game for Baltimore. Then early in the fourth Tucker would kick another field goal, this time from 49 yards out giving the Ravens a 20-14 lead.
The Ravens moved into the red zone with just under four minutes left. After Flacco threw an incompletion over the back of the end zone Tucker would kick another field goal, this time from 28 yards out. The 23-14 lead made it a two-possession game giving the ball back to Roethlisberger.
Whatever chance the Steelers had left to mount a comeback quickly evaporated on their next drive. Ben Roethlisberger would throw an interception to Anthony Levine Sr. giving Baltimore the ball at the Pittsburgh 16-yard line.
Baltimore would add another field goal on their way to the 26-14 victory. The Ravens dominated the Steelers putting up 451 total yards to Pittsburgh’s 283. They ran the ball for 96 yards and kept the Steelers off the board in the second half. The AFC North seems to belong to Baltimore and Cincinnati in 2018.
The Steelers continue to miss Le’Veon Bell. They only managed 17 yards on the ground and have an offence that is desperate for any kind of production. They drop to 1-2-1 at the bottom of the division and have a massive hole to climb out of now.
BAL: J.Flacco: 28/42 363YDs 2TDs A.Collins: 11CAR 43YDs J.Allen: 10CAR 30YDs J.Brown: 3CAT 116YDs 1TD
PIT: B.Roethlisberger: 27/47 274YDs 1TD 1INT A.Brown: 5CAT 62YDs 1TD V.McDonald: 5CAT 62YDs
Kansas City 27-23 Denver
Kansas City has the best offence in the game through three weeks. Patrick Mahomes threw a record 13 touchdowns in that time. As a result, the Chiefs have jumped out to a 3-0 start and did not look like they were anywhere near slowing down.
Denver, on the other hand, hasn’t been overly impressive however they did pull out victories over the Seahawks and the Raiders. With a win over their division rivals, the Broncos could find themselves tied for the division lead with those Kansas City Chiefs.
The Broncos came out strong with solid runs by rookie running backs Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. The opening drive would stall, however, forcing Denver to settle for a field goal. The Broncos defence would do their job on the ensuing Chiefs drive. Holding Patrick Mahomes and company to a field goal of their own and the 3-3 tie. It was the first opening drive of the year for Kansas City without a touchdown.
On the Chiefs opening drive of the second quarter, they drove the ball from their own 11-yard line into the end zone with some help from a Kareem Hunt 45-yard run. The 12-play drive resulted in an 8-yard Patrick Mahomes touchdown run and the 10-3 lead.
Denver would answer with a touchdown of their own on the following drive. It only took five plays to move 78 yards with a 13-yard run by Lindsay and a 42-yard pass from Case Keenum to Courtland Sutton. Royce Freeman would end the drive with a 14-yard TD run tying the game at 10-10.
Brandon McManus kicked a field goal as time expired on the second quarter for the 13-10 Broncos lead at halftime. The Chiefs tied it early in the third quarter with a field goal of their own. Then on the following Broncos drive they would steal the ball back. Literally. On a Keenum pass to Jeff Heuerman, Eric Murray would sneak an arm in between the ball and the receiver and take it away for the interception.
Luckily for Denver, the turnover resulted in zero points for Kansas City. In fact, after the Chiefs punted the ball back to the Broncos, Keenum took the team down the field on a 9-play 67-yard drive ending in a 1-yard Phillip Lindsay TD run and the 20-13 score.
Kansas City would not quit, however, with Mahomes hitting Tyreek Hill for 15 yards, Kareem Hunt for 22, and Travis Kelce for 19 yards on an 84-yard drive. The young QB would find Kelce again near the goal line for the 2-yard TD and 23-20 score.
With time winding down in the game Mahomes went on a masterful run showcasing his ability to scramble and throw on the run. With the Broncos playing man coverage, Mahomes was able to buy time with his legs for his receivers to lose their defenders leaving them open for big gains setting the Chiefs up at the Denver 11-yard line with just under two minutes left.
Three plays later Kareem Hunt would take the hand-off for the 4-yard TD run and the 27-23 lead, leaving 1:39 on the clock. Denver tried to create some last-second magic with no timeouts and little time left on the clock. Keenum converted on a big 4th down play with a 36-yard pass to Heuerman setting them up at the Chiefs 28-yard line.
After another 4th down Keenum hit Courtland Sutton who looked to fumble a lateral to Emmanuel Sanders. The play was ruled incomplete for a turnover on downs sealing the 27-23 win for the Chiefs.
While the Broncos were able to contain Patrick Mahomes through most of the game it wasn’t enough to keep him down the full 60 minutes as he led the comeback win and a 4-0 record for Kansas City. Denver seemed to beat themselves a few times especially late and now they sit with a 2-2 record.
KC: P.Mahomes: 28/45 304YDs 1TD K.Hunt 19CAR 121YDs 1TD 3CAT 54YDs T.Kelce: 7CAT 78YDs
DEN: C.Keenum: 21/33 245YDs P.Lindsay: 12CAR 69YDs 1TD R.Freeman: 8CAR 67YDs 1TD
**S.Watkins leaves with hamstring injury
Philadelphia 23-26-OT Tennessee
M.Mariota: 30/43 344YDs 2TDs 1INT C.Davis: 9CAT 161YDs 1TD/C.Wentz: 33/50 348YDs 2TDs J.Ajayi: 15CAR 70YDs Z.Ertz: 10CAT 112YDs A.Jeffery: 8CAT 105YDs 1TD
Tampa Bay 10-48 Chicago
M.Trubisky: 19/26 354YDs 6TDs T.Cohen: 7CAT 121YDs 1TD T.Gabriel: 7CAT 104YDs 2TDs/R.Fitzpatrick: 9/18 126YDs 1INT J.Winston: 16/20 145YDs 1TD 2INTs D.Jackson: 5CAT 112YDs
**R.Fitzpatrick benched for J.Winston
Detroit 24-26 Dallas
D.Prescott: 17/27 255YDs 2TDs E.Elliott: 25CAR 152YDs 4CAT 88YDs 1TD/M.Stafford: 24/30 307YDs 2TDs G.Tate: 8CAT 132YDs 2YDs
Buffalo 0-22 Green Bay
A.Rodgers: 22/40 298YDs 1TD 1INT D.Adams: 8CAT 81YDs G.Allison: 6CAT 80YDs/J.Allen: 16/33 151YDs C.Clay: 4CAT 40YDs
Houston 37-34-OT Indianapolis
D.Watson: 29/42 375YDs 2TDs 1INT D.Hopkins: 10CAT 169YDs 1TD 1TD K.Coutee: 11CAT 109YDs/A.Luck: 40/62 464YDs 4TDs T.Hilton: 4CAT 115YDs
**A.Vinatieri becomes NFL all-time leader in field goals
NY Jets 12-31 Jacksonville
B.Bortles: 29/38 388YDs 2TDs 1INT D.Westbrook: 9CAT 130YDs D.Moncrief: 5CAT 109YDs 1TD/S.Darnold: 17/34 167YDs 1TD Q.Enunwa: 4CAT 66YDs
**L.Fournette leaves with hamstring injury
Seattle 20-17 Arizona
R.Wilson: 19/26 172YDs M.Davis: 21CAR 101YDs 2TDs/J.Rosen: 15/27 180YDs 1TD D.Johnson: 22CAR 71YDs 1TD 3CAT 41YDs
**E.Thomas carted off field with leg fracture, appears to flip off Seahawks bench. W.Dissly leaves with torn patellar tendon
Oakland 45-42-OT Cleveland
D.Carr: 35/58 437YDs 4TDs 2INTs M.Lynch: 20CAR 130YDs A.Cooper: 8CAT 128YDs 1TD J.Cook: 8CAT 110YDs 2TDs/B.Mayfield: 21/41 295YDs 2TDs 2INTs N.Chubb: 3CAR 105YDs 2TDs C.Hyde: 22CAR 82YDs 1TD
San Francisco 27-29 LA Chargers
P.Rivers: 25/39 250YDs 3TDs 1INT M.Gordon: 15CAR 104YDs/C.Beathard: 23/37 298YDs 2TDs 2INTs G.Kittle: 6CAT 125YDs 1TD
New Orleans 33-18 NY Giants
D.Brees: 18/32 217YDs A.Kamara: 19CAR 134YDs 3TDs 5CAT 47YDs/E.Manning: 31/41 255YDs 1TD S.Shepard: 10CAT 77YDs
BYE: Carolina, Washington
1.Chiefs (4-0) 2.Broncos (2-2) 3.Chargers (2-2) 4.Raiders (1-3)
1.Dolphins (3-1) 2. Patriots (2-2) Bills (1-3) 4.Jets (1-3)
1. Titans (3-1) 2.Jaguars (3-1) 3.Colts (1-3) 4.Texans (1-3)
1.Bengals (2-1) 2.Ravens (2-1) 3.Browns (1-1-1) 4.Steelers (1-1-1)
1.Rams (4-0) 2.Seahawks (2-2) 3.49ers (1-3) 4.Cardinals(0-4)
1.Washington(2-1) 2.Philadelphia(2-2) 3.Cowboys(2-2) 4.Giants(1-3)
1.Saints (3-1) 2.Panthers(2-1) 3.Buccaners (2-2) 4.Falcons (1-3)
1.Bears (3-1) 2.Packers (2-1-1) 3.Vikings (1-2-1) 4.Lions (1-3)