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NFL Week 4 in Review ... better late than never

And then there were four. As we reach the end of the first month of the season, we are now down to 4 undefeated teams. Of the four, only the New York Giants are not a complete surprise. The Bills, Titans and Ravens (for now) are also undefeated and this is shaping up to be one of the more interesting NFL seasons we’ve seen in a long time. With the Patriots and Colts seemingly having fallen back to the pack in the AFC, and the Packers and Cowboys appearing to be far more beatable than many had predicted just two weeks ago, both conferences are wide open right now.

Games of the Week:

Jacksonville 30, Houston 27 (OT): They don’t make it easy, but after two straight last second victories, the Jaguars are starting to resemble the team many thought they would be. Garrard is playing more like last year, and the running game is starting to pick things up as well. It would be nicer if they were able to put teams away earlier, but two wins against division opponents will go a long way towards making the playoffs.

Washington 26, Dallas 24: 8 rushes for Marion Barber? No touches for Felix Jones? And now Terrell Owens is complaining about his touches? The problems that many experts predicted prior to the season appear to be cropping up. There are not enough footballs to keep everyone happy, and if players aren’t going to buy into the team concept, there will be further issues. After week 1 Jim Zorn looked lost, but now he’s got a team that is 3-1 and looking legit.

Chicago 24, Philadelphia 20: The first loss for an NFC East team outside of the division comes down to an epic goal line stand with the Eagles top player out for the game. Even without Westbrook, and playing in Chicago, the Eagles are showing that the NFC East is easily the best division in football right now.

San Diego 28, Oakland 18: The final score in made this one seem a lot worse than it actually was. The Raiders controlled this game for the second week in a row and ended up losing it at the end once again. Everyone is jumping on Kiffin for attempting a 76 yard field goal to end the first half. Obviously Kiffin had to have seen something in practice to convince him to line up for this kind of try, and the odds of a miss being returned or the kick being blocked and returned for a score are pretty slim. With one second left in the half, it’s good to see someone out there try to do something other than kneel down and go to the locker room. It wasn’t the brightest call, but in no way was it the worst decision either.

NY Jets 56, Arizona 35: All we will hear about is the 6 touchdowns that Favre threw yesterday, but this game was more than that. Kurt Warner is back to his old ways of being careless with the ball committing 6 turnovers. This is going to open up the door for Leinart once again and could very well lead the Cardinals back down the same path that they’ve traveled since these two have been playing together. Shuttling quarterbacks in and out of the lineup every other week is going to hurt this team once again. The Jets also have to take a look at their defense, as they managed to give up 35 points despite getting 7 overall turnovers, and forced the offense to continue to throw in a game that should have been over at the half.

Other Thoughts:

  • Aaron Rodgers is lucky that not only does he have only a minor shoulder injury, but that the Brewers have made the playoffs for the first time since 1982. Without this distraction this would be a long week for him in Green Bay
  • Congratulations go out to Cleveland and Kansas City for winning their firs games of the season. Finally both Ohio and Missouri have one in the win column.
  • Carolina and Tampa are both quietly 3-1. The wild card spots in the NFC are going to be very competitive and will quite possibly be featuring a 12 win team.

  • Denverhad better fix their defense soon, or they are not going to make it out of the West despite potentially breaking their single season scoring record.

  • Buffalo is 4-0. I just wanted to be able to write that down.

Monday Night Football:

This game is going to be ugly. There’s no other way to put it. The top two defenses in the AFC square off in Pittsburgh. They hate each other, the Ravens have a rookie QB playing, and the Steelers don’t have Willie Parker available. Don’t expect a Cowboys Eagles offensive showdown in this one, but that shouldn’t make it a boring game by any means. Expect lots of big hits, defensive plays, and a Pittsburgh victory.