NFL Nutshell: Week 4

3 10 2011

Detroit 34, Dallas 30

Well, Tony Romo just can’t decide whether he wants to be the town hero or the town pariah.  Shortly after halftime, Romo had a stellar passing rating, three touchdowns, no interceptions, and the Cowboys were up 27-3. (Sounds kind of familiar, right?) Of course this year’s Cowboys are never short on drama, and the Lions then outscored the ‘Boys 31-3. During this period, Romo threw no touchdowns and three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns the other way. Even though many – myself included – sometimes feel as though Romo receives a lot of criticism that is solely based on the fact that he’s a “Dallas Cowboy,” the criticism for this game is warranted. Matthew Stafford and the Lions are standing at 4-0 for the first time since 1980, and Dallas is left with a lot of thinking to do.

San Francisco 24, Philadelphia 23

Not to be outdone by their divisional rivals from Texas, the Eagles had their own collapse on Sunday. About halfway through the third period, Philadelphia held a 20 point lead, but San Francisco was able to battle back and take the lead in the final minutes. Understandably, Michael Vick looked very frustrated at the post-game mic; even with a career best 416 passing yards, his team lost and sits at an unbelievable 1-3 . The most apparent weakness to their game so far is their rushing defense, which is giving up 139.5 total rushing yards per game – worst in the league. If they want to push for making the playoffs, they might need to change their team name from “Dream Team” to “Redemption Team.”

Pittsburgh 10, Houston 17

Roethlisberger was beaten up (many times because he held the ball too long); furthermore, the Steelers were plagued with injuries, and Houston made them pay for it. Big Ben was sacked five times, and Pittsburgh lost Rashard Mendenhall and James Harrison during the course of the game. With the Colts having a down year, the Texans are really looking to break out of the shadows this year. Even though Arian Foster is finally back and healthy, Ben Tate needs to be given a lot of credit for successfully carrying the load during Foster’s absence. Through four games, the Texans have outscored their opponents in the first half 76-13.

Denver 23, Green Bay 49

Week in and week out, the Packers show the country why they are the defending champs. Aaron Rogers had a career day passing for 408 yards, throwing four touchdowns, and rushing for two more. Coach Mike McCarthy continues to say his Packers have plenty of room for improvement, but if they keep performing like this, very few teams are going to be able to keep up with them. Sitting at 1-3, if the Broncos rack up a few more losses, be prepared to see Tim Tebow advertisements on your TV.

Monday Night Football:

Indianapolis vs. Tampa Bay – 7:30 P.M. CT

The Colts will be trying to avoid starting 0-4 for the first time since injured Peyton Manning was a rookie in 1998, and there is a reason they’re in that current state. They have been struggling to establish any kind of identity with Kerry Collins at the helm, ranking in the bottom five of the league for points, total offense, and passing. Because of concussion-like symptoms, Collins will be sitting out tonight and third-string quarterback Curtis Painter will be stepping onto the field. Even though he is third-string for a reason and has less experience than Collins, I think this will be good for the Colts season; when you’re in a bad slump like Indy is currently in, change is the best way to fire up a team. Tampa Bay started off the year with a loss to the Lions, scaring a lot of analysts that had them pegged as dark horse championship contenders. Even though Josh Freeman has stellar completion percentage and respectable passing yard totals, he only has two touchdowns, while also throwing four interceptions; he hasn’t been able to get into any kind of red zone rhythm. However, while I can picture an upset taking place tonight and the Colts finally getting a W, I really think Painter needs a few more starts under his belt before he can provide enough firepower to lead this team to victory (and he is the only person that has the potential to do so). Additionally, Buccaneer LeGarrette Blount has increased his total rushing yards in every game he’s played in this season, and I think that trend will continue tonight, along with Freeman doubling the total amount of touchdowns he has on the year. Pick: Tampa Bay.

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