After a wild Week 3 that saw one huge upset and a couple of smaller ones, order was restored last Sunday in NFL Week 4. Teams that should have won did, and those that lost, like the Atlanta Falcons, have some serious soul searching to do.
We are starting to get some separation between the quality teams, and those that still have work to do. That was evident on Thursday with the Los Angeles Rams defeating Minnesota, and it carried into Sunday.
Below we look at the highlights from the fourth week of the season, and see who the winners and losers were.
New England Patriots
The Patriots showed the Miami Dolphins in two quarters why they are still considered the top team in the AFC East, despite trailing their division rivals in the standings. They drubbed the Dolphins, 38-7.
Miami was a 6.5-point underdog to the Patriots even though they were undefeated, and New England had a 1-2 record. They came to Foxboro and New England scored 24 points in the first half, essentially ending this game before halftime. The Dolphins scored a touchdown late in the game to avoid the shutout, but this was all New England.
Captain Obvious, otherwise known as Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, had this pearl of a quote after the game: “I thought we got what we needed from our team today.”
While so much attention has been paid to the five rookie quarterbacks, and the established stars, Trubisky outperformed them all on Sunday in the 48-10 victory over Tampa Bay. The second-year signal caller put on a show in front of the hometown fans, completing 19 of 26 passes for 354 yards and six touchdowns.
Buccaneers Coach Dirk Koetter was so frustrated he said after: “We should fire everybody that was on that field today, starting with me. That was horrific.”
Be careful coach, you may get your wish. You are the favorite at 5/2 to be the first NFL Coach fired.
Dallas could have been the team that needed a victory more than anyone, and got it against the Detroit Lions, 26-24. The biggest beneficiary of the game was running back Ezekiel Elliott.
The running back got 25 carries, and rewarded the hand offs with 125 yards. He gave them a bonus when he gained 88 yards out of the backfield as a receiver.
The Cowboys are now 2-2, and very much in the NFC East race, can if they continue to lean on Elliott, he very well may lead them to the playoffs.
That didn’t take long to completely deflate any optimism Browns fans had. After Baker Mayfield led them to a thrilling victory last week, they returned to form against Oakland.
Granted the refs helped with a couple of questionable calls, but Cleveland did enough to lose this game without the official’s help.
They host Baltimore this Sunday, and the Ravens have the No. 1 defense. Should be another long day for the Browns.
All is not well in Steel City, and no one is pretending that it is. They kept up with Baltimore for the first half, but gained just 47 total yards in the second half.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looked lost at times and summed up his frustration after the 26-14 defeat.
“I don’t think I’m on the same page with anybody right now,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m not playing well enough. I need to play better. Today was just a bad day at the office.”
The Seattle safety held out for most of the preseason because he wanted a new contract. He came back in time for the first game, even though he didn’t get a new deal.
Sunday he fractured his left leg in the team’s 20-17 victory over the winless Arizona Cardinals.
As he was leaving the field in a cart with an air cast on his leg, he flipped someone off. No truth to the rumor that it was Seattle general manager John Schneider.