The Saints Stink & Other Things We Learned From The NFL’s Week 4
A previously unbeaten team lost, and a formerly winless team tasted victory for the first time this season during the thrilling NFL action on Sunday. Here are the most interesting things we learned in Week 4:
The Saints Are So Bad That The Cowboys Routed Them
Remember when the Saints were among the NFC’s elite teams? Not anymore. New Orleans (1-3) suffered a 38-17 bludgeoning at the hands of the Cowboys on Sunday night. Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray rolling up yards and points on Rob Ryan’s defense wasn’t surprising, but the inability of Saints’ QB Drew Brees to victimize the sketchy secondary of Dallas (3-1) certainly was. The Cowboys led 24-0 at halftime and 31-3 heading into the fourth quarter.
New Orleans probably should have been undefeated heading into their home game against equally dreadful Tampa Bay next week, but instead it faces the possibility of missing the playoffs with Green Bay, San Francisco, Cincinnati and Baltimore still left on the schedule.
The Eagles Offense Didn’t Score Today, And They Still Almost Won
Philadelphia got two touchdowns from its special teams unit and one from its defense, but head coach Chip Kelly’s vaunted offense never crossed the goal line — not even from the 49ers’ two-yard-line with under two minutes left — so the Eagles consequently lost to San Francisco, 26-21. Philadelphia’s loss left Cincinnati and Arizona, both of which were on a bye week, as the NFL’s last two unbeaten teams.
The 49ers (2-2), um, Gored the Eagles, with franchise all-time leading rusher Frank Gore running for 119 yards to help set up four Phil Dawson field goals and keep Philly’s offense on the sidelines. The Eagles (3-1) were able to muster just 213 total yards, with most of those coming on the drive that stalled within six feet of the San Francisco end zone.
Jay Cutler Doesn’t Like Playing The Packers
The Bears-Packers series is among the NFL’s most storied rivalries. Jay Cutler is doing what he can to change that. The Packers defense picked Cutler off twice in a 38-17 drubbing on Sunday at Soldier Field. Scruffy McBear fell to 1-9 against Green Bay (2-2) since joining Chicago in 2009.
The Bears (2-2) allowed Aaron Rodgers to throw for 302 yards and four touchdowns. Green Bay scored on its first six possessions in the rout. The teams ended Week 4 in a three-way tie for second in the NFC North, but the momentum has certainly swung toward the Cheeseheads and away from the Monsters of the Midway.
Steve Smith Gained Yards — And Revenge — On The Panthers
The Panthers released 13-year veteran wide receiver Steve Smith last off-season to save money. He finally made Carolina pay on Sunday. The 35-year-old Smith torched his former team for seven receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns, as the Ravens beat the Panthers, 38-10, in Baltimore on Sunday.
Included in Smith’s onslaught on his former team was a 61-yard TD catch off a tipped ball early in the first quarter. Not included: any verifiable trash-talk toward Carolina (2-2), which suffered its second straight decisive defeat. Joe Flacco completed 22 of 31 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns for Baltimore (3-1).
Tampa Bay Won’t Go Winless, But The Raiders Might
Tampa Bay rallied to beat the Steelers, 27-24, on Sunday in perhaps the biggest upset of the 2014 NFL season thus far. Mike Glennon’s 41-yard pass to Louis Murphy set up a 5-yard touchdown toss to Vincent Jackson with seven seconds left to give the Buccaneers (1-3) their first victory of the year. Pittsburgh (2-2) seemed destined to become the third AFC North team (Cincinnati, Baltimore) with three wins, but it let the game slip away.
The Raiders lost another game and, maybe, their head coach. After scoring on their first drive, Oakland (0-4) allowed Miami (2-2) to reel off 38 straight points in the 38-14 defeat in London. Raiders’ head coach Dennis Allen was reportedly in line to be fired by the team after the game, but there has been no confirmation from the organization. Whether Allen stays or he goes, the Raiders have perhaps three possible wins left on their schedule (Cleveland, St. Louis and Buffalo). Oakland is thisclose to starting preparation for the 2015 NFL Draft. Yes, already.
Th. Sept. 25
N.Y. Giants 45, Washington 14
Sun. Sept. 28
Houston 23, Buffalo 17
Indianapolis 41, Tennessee 17
Detroit 24, N.Y. Jets 17
San Diego 33, Jacksonville 14
Minnesota 41, Atlanta 28
Bye Week: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis, Arizona, Seattle