Image courtesy of The Philadelphia Inquirer
By Jack Cherico
Weeks three and four of the 101st NFL season are in the books, and just like its predecessors, they were not short on excitement.
The biggest game of week three was the matchup between two faces of the league, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City chiefs. Although it was hyped up to be the game of the season, Jackson struggled, only passing for 97 yards and a touchdown, while Mahomes dominated with 385 yards and four touchdowns. This pumped the brakes on the Ravens season, and exemplified the struggles Baltimore has had against KC.
In other week three news, The Atlanta Falcons have continued to blow leads, with the Chicago Bears putting up 20 points in the fourth quarter to win 30-26. The Bears finally benched quarterback Mitchell Trubisky during the game in favor of Philadelphia legend Nick Foles, and it paid off for them In week 3, but not In week 4, as they lost to the League leading defense Indianapolis Colts.
The craziest game of week four was the Cleveland Browns against the Dallas Cowboys, which ended 49-38, with Cleveland coming out with the win. Cowboys signal caller Dak Prescott threw for five touchdowns, yet because of Dallas’s defense that ranks dead last in the league, it wasn’t enough. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Junior ran for a 50 yard touchdown, as well as 2 touchdown catches, one of those coming from fellow wideout and former LSU teammate, Jarvis Landry.
On September 29, news broke that the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans would have their week 4 matchup be postponed until Monday or Tuesday due to players testing positive for COVID 19. The Titans players that tested positive were defensive lineman DaQuan Jones, long snapper Beau Brinkley, practice squad tight end Tommy Hudson, linebacker Kamalei Correa and cornerback Kristian Fulton (at the time this is being edited). The Titans also had 6 staff members test positive for COVID. The NFL then made the decision to move the game to another date, giving the Titans and Steelers a bye this week.
The other big COVID news that broke was that Patriots Quarterback Cam Newton tested positive, ruling him out for the game against the Kansas City chiefs. The game, slated for 4:25 on Sunday, was moved to Monday night. In all honesty, it would’ve been better if the game was postponed, because although the Patriots defense had a solid game, the quarterbacks playing in relief of Newton, Brian Hoyer and later Jarrett Stidham, had a performance to forget, combining for 3 interceptions, and a fumble. On Wednesday October 7th, it was released that reigning defensive player of the year cornerback Stephon Gilmore, and practice squad defensive tackle Bill Murray (no, not that one) have contracted COVID, so the Patriots next game is thrown into doubt as well.
As I said when the year started, this season is going to be very unpredictable, and the league has to find ways to get over these obstacles.
The biggest news to come out of the league however is the firing of Texans head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien. O’Brien’s questionable decisions in the front office, as well as the Texans 0-4 start, has driven him out of Houston. Romeo Crennel has assumed interim head coaching duties, and hopes to lead the Texans to their first W.