Sam’s NFL Week in Review: Week Three and Four


Photo: Sierra Sellers

Reporter Sam Kuykendall breaks down NFL games from weeks three and four.

Week Three:

Before I get to the important games this week, I just want to say an apology to Dave Gettleman and the Giants. I was one of the many who was incredulous and found it funny that the Giants picked Daniel Jones out of Duke at 6th overall. Oh, how wrong we were. Danny Dimes had a first game for the ages when he got the starting nod against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The rookie clearly had something to prove, and he definitely did after throwing for 336 yards, no interceptions, two touchdowns, and running for two touchdowns on the ground, including the game-winner on 4th and 5. Granted, the Bucs missed an easy game-winning field goal as time expired, but Jones has done something that hasn’t happened in years: he’s given Giants fans hope. Hats off to Daniel, and I for one will be interested to see how his career progresses.

Jaguars 20, Titans 7

Well then. After clobbering the Browns in week one, the Titans have proceeded to drop two straight to division rivals in horrible fashion. The Titans offensive line simply couldn’t protect Mariota, and thus the Titans only were able to put up seven. Granted, the Jaguars have a very good defense, but seven? Seriously? As for the Jags, rookie Gardner Minshew looked good once again. The man with a plan and a really nice stache put up 204 yards and two touchdowns (he should have had a third). The Jaguars have a chance to get to a .500 winning percentage against the reeling 0-3 Broncos week four. The Titans hope for a repeat of their first game against the Falcons week four as well.

Colts 27, Falcons 24

It’s Manning! No, it’s Luck! No, it’s… Jacoby Brissett? The Luck-less Colts had the coin flip their way once again as they squeaked by the Falcons for their second win of three points or less in a row. With the departure of Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett has really been impressive so far this season, and he looked sharp again today, throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns. Marlon Mack added 74 yards and a touchdown on the ground, and the Colts are looking like their playoff hopes might not be gone just yet. They play a below average Oakland defense on Sunday, where Brissett will once again have a chance to shine. Meanwhile, the Falcons’ turnover issues continue. Matt Ryan really needs to get his interception problem under control, as he has thrown six already this season in three games. Looking beyond this, the Falcons did reasonably well, with Matt Ryan throwing three touchdowns through the air, two going to tight end Austin Hooper and one to Julio Jones. The Falcons know they have the ability to win games, but need to figure out how to close them out at the end. They play a stumbling Titans team week four where they have a chance to pick up a second win.

Chiefs 33, Ravens 28

The Chiefs and Ravens had two of the highest-scoring offenses coming into week three,
and naturally, the game turned into a shootout. The Ravens’ passing attack finally
faltered, though the run game was ready to pick up the slack. The Ravens scored all four touchdowns on the ground, with three of them going to Mark Ingram. They are still looking like one of the NFL’s best teams thus far, and have an important divisional game against the Browns on Sunday. On the other side, the Chiefs offense continues to look
like the spitting image of last year’s team. Mecole Hardman and Demarcus Robinson have been productive in the absence of Tyreek Hill, as each scored a touchdown, as did LeSean McCoy to give three for Patrick Mahomes, who looks as sharp as a tack thus far. The Chiefs hope to improve to 4-0 against the Detroit Lions next week.

Lions 27, Eagles 24

Somehow, someway, the Lions are off to a hot start to the season, with back to back victories over 2018 playoff teams in the Chargers and now the Eagles. Jamal Agnew scored the first kickoff return touchdown of the season, and the Lions were able to hold off a late Eagles comeback attempt. The Lions have been impressive, but play Patrick Mahomes and the potent Chiefs offense and will likely have a difficult time next week. The Eagles played well as Carson Wentz threw for two touchdowns and no interceptions, but were not able to complete the comeback. They will need to do better if they hope to beat the 3-0 Green Bay Packers on Thursday.

Saints 33, Seahawks 27

After the Drew Brees injury, who would have thought the Saints would beat the 2-0 Seahawks on the road? Not me, but it happened. Maybe it wasn’t a Brees (get it?) but the Saints pulled out a win behind Teddy Bridgewater’s 2 touchdown passes and a helpful fumble return touchdown from the defense. Another test will come for this team as they play the Dallas Cowboys, who have a lot of firepower on offense. Meanwhile, Russell Wilson, who turned in an impressive 406-yard passing day, will have an easier time against the struggling Cardinals defense next week.

Texans 27, Chargers 20

A matchup between two playoff teams from last year didn’t disappoint. Deshaun Watson looked impressive, throwing for 351 yards and three touchdowns while leading his team to a narrow win after being down 17-7 at halftime. They play an inconsistent looking Panthers team week four. The Chargers, who have narrowly lost their past two games, will most likely rebound on Sunday against the woeful looking Dolphins. The Chargers haven’t had any real problems thus far, but they need to translate that to the win column if they want to make another playoff run.

Rams 20, Browns 13

The Rams emerged victorious in a bout between two struggling offenses. Jared Goff and Baker Mayfield combined for 3 touchdowns and just as many interceptions, while each fumbling the ball once. The Rams offense is clearly not finding it easy to beat teams, as they seem to struggle with turnovers and finishing in the red zone. The 2018 Rams offense was one of the highest scoring in the NFL, and personally, I am surprised that they have not produced the same results after getting Cooper Kupp back and not losing any key pieces, though Kupp has certainly made his mark already with two touchdowns against the Browns. Meanwhile, the Browns are not living up to their preseason hype, with the offensive line not doing a good job of protecting Mayfield, and with Mayfield making questionable decisions more often than not. Against the high octane Ravens offense, the Browns offense will need to put up more points than 13 if they want a shot to


Week Four:

Eagles 34, Packers 27

It was a sad day in Lambeau on Thursday. On the first play from scrimmage, Packers running back Jamal Williams was carted off and taken to a hospital after taking a hard hit from Eagles defender Derek Barnett. Later in the game, Eagles defensive back Avonte Maddox collided with his teammate Andrew Sendejo and was also carted off the field and taken to a hospital. The game was close, with the Eagles leading 21-20 at halftime and making two red-zone stands to keep the Packers from tying the game late in the fourth quarter. It was the Eagles run game that looked most impressive, as the duo of Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard each ran for over 70 yards, with Howard punching in two scores. The Packers defense looked to be on their heels for the first time this season, but it was the Packers offense that kept them in the game. Aaron Rodgers looked like himself again, throwing for 422 yards and two scores. However, the Eagles were able to seal a win off a lucky bounced interception in the endzone with just over 30 seconds left in the game. The Eagles play a dreadful Jets team next week in what should be an easy win. Meanwhile, the Pack plays an intriguing Dallas Cowboys team that looks like a possible playoff contender in what should be a game to watch next week.

Browns 40, Ravens 25

Well, well, well. The Browns managed to shake off their offensive woes and were able to beat the Ravens in an important divisional game. The Browns’ offensive struggles seemed to disappear behind Nick Chubb, who ran for 165 yards and three scores. The Browns hope to keep the tempo going next game against the undefeated 49ers. The Ravens offense put up points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the amount that Cleveland was putting on the board. Lamar Jackson and company have an important division game against the Steelers next week, and will need their defense to keep the Steelers from putting up more than the offense can score.

Chiefs 34, Lions 30

In a nail-biting game, the Kansas City Chiefs were able to avoid an upset by the Lions. This game had everything you could want in a game. Five fumbles in a single quarter, back and forth touchdowns, and a game-winner in the final seconds. Interestingly enough, Patrick Mahomes did not throw a touchdown pass this game, which is a rarity for sure. The Chiefs running backs accounted for all the Chiefs points, and will need to keep it up against a middle-of-the-pack Colts team in week five. The Lions should not be disappointed with how the game went. To hold Mahomes to no touchdowns and to almost pull off the upset is not something to feel bad about. Matthew Stafford and the offense looked good, and the Lions will need that trend to continue against Green Bay next Monday.

Patriots 16, Bills 10

In a battle of undefeated teams, the Patriots were narrowly able to escape the surging Bills. The defenses were the spotlight of the game, as Tom Brady and Josh Allen combined for zero touchdown passes and four interceptions. There wasn’t much to see on offense for either team except that Frank Gore became the fourth player to rush for 15,000 yards in a career, the others being Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders. That’s some pretty good company if you ask me. The Patriots have an easy win next week against a struggling Washington team. The Bills, on the other hand, will need to learn to limit their turnovers if they want to beat a Titans team that just rolled all over the Falcons.

Bears 16, Vikings 6

Two NFC powerhouses and rivals clashed in the Windy City on Sunday, and the Bears emerged victorious behind their stifling defense. The Vikings came into the game as the NFL’s most run-heavy team, and the Bears forced them to try to pass, holding the Vikings to only 40 yards on the ground. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky went down with a shoulder injury in the first quarter, forcing the Bears to turn to backup Chase Daniel. Daniel was impressive, going 22-30 for 195 yards and a touchdown. With the defense running rampant and the offense doing their part, the Bears are a favorite to win their next game against the Raiders. The Vikings play the New York Giants next, and will have a much easier time running the ball again against basically anyone other than the Bears’ monstrous defensive front.

Saints 12, Cowboys 10

What a reversal of fortune. Last year, the Cowboys held Drew Brees and the high powered Saints offense to an uncharacteristic 10 points in a 13-10 win. This time, the Saints were the ones holding the Cowboys offense to 10 while kicking four field goals to hang on. This is win number two with Teddy Bridgewater as the starter, and the Saints are looking like they certainly have the ability to keep winning, though not putting up as many points as Brees would. The Saints play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next, and will once again call on Bridgewater to man the helm and lead them to victory. The Cowboys have an opportunity to rebound, though it comes against a very good team in the Green Bay Packers, setting up an important NFC matchup next week.