We review the highlights of the batch of Sunday afternoon games on the fourth day of the regular season
Many emotions offered us the first Sunday games in the NFL Week 4, including two that could not be resplied in regulation time and required extra time.
In addition, one of the undefeated lost for the first time in a duel where his celebrated defense was in evidence.
Here the most important of the first batch of matches of the Sunday day on the fourth date of action.
The Seahawks capitalized on multiple errors by the Niners, including rookie quarterback Trey Lance, who played the entire second half in place of an injured Jimmy Garoppolo, and Seattle escaped San Francisco with a valuable 28-21 divisional victory. Russell Wilson once again looked like the escapist he has accustomed us to, keeping his team in position to play the most-fought division in the NFL.
The Steelers’ visit to Green Bay was anything but pleasant, ending in a 27-17 loss. Ben Roethlisberger was, once again, mercilessly punished by the opposing defense, with Pittsburgh’s offensive linemen unable to protect the immobile passer. The only bright spot was that he became the eighth quarterback to reach 400 touchdown passes on the same day that Aaron Rodgers placed sixth on the list, at 420, tying Dan Marino.
Teddy Bridgewater struggled against Baltimore’s tough defense – he even came out due to shock – and Lamar Jackson managed to connect, now, with Marquise Brown on a touchdown pass for the Ravens to give the Broncos their first loss of the season, for 23-7. Le’Veon Bell made his debut for Baltimore, in a limited role, which could grow as the season progresses.
The Cardinals delivered a coup of authority by clearly beating the Rams on the road to maintain their perfect record, while also knocking Los Angeles out of the group of teams with unbeaten records. Kyler Murray was unstoppable throughout the afternoon, but perhaps most impressive in the 37-20 win was the way they tied up the explosive offense led by Matthew Stafford. Once again, the NFC West is confirmed as the best division in the NFL.
Cordarrelle Patterson was confirmed as one of the great offensive revelations of the season and Matt Ryan dispatched with four touchdown passes that, however, were insufficient for the Falcons to take a game that seemed to be in the bag, against Washington. Taylor Heinicke fired up in the second half, and a 30-yard touchdown connection to JD McKissic with less than half a minute to play put the final score at 34-30 in another inexplicable Atlanta meltdown.
No surprise here. The Bills beat up Texans at home who, plain and simple, have nothing to fight against the AFC powerhouses. Houston quarterback Davis Mills’ numbers were miserable for most of the game, while Dawson Knox dispatched two touchdowns for Buffalo in a 40-0 single win.
In an incredible interception game where the center bounced off quarterback Jared Goff’s torso before falling into the hands of Chicago defensive lineman, Justin Fields scored his first win as an NFL starting quarterback, finding good chemistry with Darnell Mooney in the aerial game. The Lions lost Frank Ragnow and Romeo Okwara through injury in what ended up being a 24-14 loss in the NFC North.
The best defense in the NFL, owned by the Panthers, managed to keep the game close for two periods before the Cowboys defense intercepted two passes from Sam Darnold, courtesy of Trevon Diggs, and Dak Prescott punished with the passing attack. What looked to be a close match to the end ended in Dallas’ favor 36-28, with a tighter score than play indicated in the second half.
Jacoby Brissett was left with the desire for a rematch against his former team, in Miami’s loss to Indy 27-17. Jonathan Taylor kept the running game going for the Colts, who also benefited from Carson Wentz’s best game yet with the franchise. Across the ball, the Dolphins never found offensive rhythm, in part because they failed to produce virtually anything on the ground to help Brissett.
The Browns have one of the best running pairs in the NFL and it was revealed this afternoon against the Vikings, who managed to keep quarterback Baker Mayfield limited, but not Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb. Dalvin Cook returned to Minnesota after a one-game absence, but neither he nor his explosive backup Alexander Mattison found great lanes to damage a much-improved Cleveland defense that helped secure the 14-7 victory. The Browns managed to stop the comeback attempt in the final moments with a brave defensive save.
Jameis Winston remained conservative with his arm, Taysom Hill scored two rushing touchdowns on his own, but threw a costly interception, and the Saints succumbed to a fierce Giants in their first game back to the Superdome since Hurricane Ida. Daniel Jones landed one of his two touchdown passes off Saquon Barkley, who later scored on the ground, to lift the New Yorkers 27-21 at New Orleans in overtime.
The Chiefs snapped a two-game losing streak thanks to Patrick Mahomes’ five touchdown passes against Philadelphia, but they still haven’t answered all the questions in Kansas City. The Chiefs still haven’t cut turnovers to zero, and giving the Eagles 30 points isn’t exactly a stellar performance. Either way, a win is a win, and winning at Philly 42-30 is a good first step toward regaining the moment.
If there was a disappointing team in the first round of games, it must be the Titans, who allowed 27 points from Jets who had all kinds of difficulties moving the ball at the start of the season. Derrick Henry delivered as usual, but Ryan Tannehill was outmatched by rookie Zach Wilson in the quarterback duel for most of the afternoon, with Jamison Crowder making his season debut for the Jets. In Sunday’s second overtime game, the Jets posted their first win of the season, 27-24.