News and Notes

Sunday Scaries: The Comeback King

What appeared to be a Sunday that would be anchored by a meeting between the last two Super Bowl champions, turned into another high-scoring weekend filled with anxiety on what dangers COVID-19 has lurking around the corner as the NFL finishes off Week 4 on Monday.

NOT DONE YET:

BUCCANEERS 38, CHARGERS 31: Tom Brady threw his fourth pick-six in his last six games but ultimately showed he has more than enough gas in the tank left in a seven-point win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Brady threw for 369 yards and five touchdowns while he and the Bucs erased a 17-point first half deficit. Outside of Brady’s performance, the most notable thing to come out of this game may have been the play of Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert.

Herbert threw for 290 yards and a pair of touchdowns. However, a critical fourth quarter interception sealed LA’s fate. The day belonged to the six-time Super Bowl champion Brady and the NFC South-leading Buccaneers

THE NFC (L)EAST:

First, a tweet from the great Mina Kimes to celebrate a division that is a combined 3-12-1 so far:

BROWNS 49, COWBOYS 38: The Dallas Cowboys put up one of their worst defensive performances in franchise history on Sunday in a loss to Cleveland. The 3-1 Browns racked up 307 yards rushing and built a 41-14 lead before the Cowboys mustered a comeback behind over 500 yards passing from Dak Prescott.

Through four games, Dallas is allowing a mind-numbing 36.5 POINTS PER GAME. Let me repeat, the Cowboys are allowing 36.5 POINTS PER GAME. That is the worst total through four games in franchise history.

The good news for Dallas is that Prescott is on pace to shatter the NFL passing yardage record set by Peyton Manning in 2013. Prescott is on schedule to throw for 6,760 yards. So, there’s that, right?

EAGLES 25, 49ERS 20: If you haven’t followed Eagles Football since basically the late 80s, they follow a pretty similar pattern normally:

  1. Start slow/underperform
  2. Fans quit on them.
  3. Team beats someone unexpected to renew city’s interest in team.
  4. Renewed interest gets thwarted again once the Eagles go into another slump and lose to a Super Bowl contender.
  5. Eagles get fans to believe they are going to make a playoff run.

What’s not accounted for in here is the awful nature of the NFC East. It’s an abomination that the Eagles lead by a half-game by virtue of their win over the 49ers on Sunday night.

As for the 49ers, Nick Mullens threw away his chance to potentially cause a little bit of a quarterback controversy in San Francisco by virtue of what I believe to be the worse throw of the season by a quarterback.

The Mullens pick tilted the game in Philly’s favor and wasted an amazing return performance by tight end George Kittle, who caught 15 balls for 183 yards and a touchdown.

CJ Beathard replaced Mullens late in the fourth quarter and almost led the Niners to a comeback and got a hail mary attempt off.

How close did his throw come to winning it?

This close:

RAMS 17, GIANTS 9: Forget about the game result for a second. Look what happened after this game between Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Giants wide receiver Golden Tate:

The final sentence of John Clark’s tweet tells you all that you need to know about why this happened….oh, and this hit. Just in case, Tate and Ramsey have a rather interesting history.

RAVENS 31, WASHINGTON 17: The most predictable result of the week. The Ravens bounce back strongly after Monday night’s dud against the Chiefs. Also, it appears the Dwayne Haskins era may already be reaching the finish line.

THE LEADERS OF THE PACK:

BILLS 30, RAIDERS 23: Matt Barkley had to make a cameo appearance due to an injury suffered by starter Josh Allen, which scared Bills fans but ultimately the budding MVP candidate did his thing once again to propel the Bills to a 4-0 mark.

Allen finished with 288 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. Meanwhile, Stefon Diggs caught six passes for 115 yards and a touchdown for Buffalo. Diggs shares the NFL receiving yardage lead (403) with Seattle’s DK Metcalf.

If the Patriots lose on Monday night, the Bills will have a two-game lead (GASP) on their closest competitor in the AFC East. We will learn a lot about Buffalo over the next two weeks. Next Sunday (COVID permitted), they will play Tennessee and the Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Thursday Night Football.

SEAHAWKS 31, DOLPHINS 23: Whenever I type RUSSELL WILSON it’s coming in all caps for some reason. I have no clue where this started. Anyways, RUSSELL WILSON threw for 360 yards and a pair of scores as Seattle moved to 4-0 on the season.

The NFC West leaders had a hard time shaking Miami, who cut the deficit to two by the start of the fourth quarter but just didn’t have enough juice to get by Mr. Unlimited and company. A key to Seattle’s long-term success will be their defense, which has been a sieve through the first three weeks. They still allowed over 400 yards of offense and a fourth-straight opposing quarterback to hit over 300 yards passing.

NUMBA ONE:

COLTS 19, BEARS 11: The Bears were put into a sleeperhold by the NFL’s number one DVOA team according to Football Outsiders. The switch from Mitchell Trubisky to Nick Foles had little impact on the Bears, who rushed for a paltry 28 yards.

Congratulations for being one of the few teams to field a competent defense that does things like stop people for scoring in bunches.

It’s onto Thursday night for the Bears as Nick Foles and Tom Brady meet for the first time in the regular season since their memorable encounter in Super Bowl LII where they combined for over 800 yards passing.

Spoiler alert…they will not combine for over 800 yards on Thursday night.

THE REST:

SAINTS 35, LIONS 29: See what can happen when Drew Brees throws the ball past the first down markers?

PANTHERS 31, CARDINALS 21: Are you old enough to remember when the Cardinals were 2-0?

VIKINGS 31, TEXANS 23: The Vikings held off Houston for their first win of the season. By the way, Justin Jefferson appears to be the best receiver out of this year’s draft so far.

BENGALS 33, JAGUARS 25: Joe Burrow enters the winner’s circle for the first time in his NFL career. Joe Mixon roughed up the Jaguars with 151 yards rushing and three total touchdowns for Cincy.

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