Here are some more quick thoughts on the action from week four of the NFL season.
The Atlanta Falcons remained undefeated thanks to a game winning as they defeated the Carolina Panthers 30-28. Unsurprisingly, the two biggest plays occurred late in the game. The Panthers faced a fourth and one at the Falcons 45 after Cam Newton fumbled the ball backwards on a third down run which would given the Panthers a first down. Instead of going for it, the Panthers punted and got the best possible result by downing the football on the Falcons one. Despite the result, I think the Panthers should have gone for it. Who better to sneak the ball on fourth and one than Cam Newton? Of course the other big play was Matt Ryan's 59 yard pass to Roddy White from the Atlanta one. It set up the game winning field goal and left the Panthers wondering what just happened.
The San Diego Chargers thumped the Kansas City Chiefs 37-20 at Arrowhead Stadium, but you almost would not have known it from the stats. The Chiefs had more first downs, pass yards, and rush yards. As usual, turnovers decided this game. The Chiefs had six turnovers to the Chargers one explaining the other deceiving stats.
Greg "the leg" Zuerlein had a day to remember when his St. Louis Rams faced the Seattle Seahawks. The rookie kicker out of Missouri Western State was 4-4 on field goals with distances of 58, 60, 48, and 24 yards. He became the first kicker to hit two field goals of 58 yards or greater in the same game. To make things sweeter for Zuerlein, the kicks were meaningful as they helped the Rams defeat the Seahawks 19-13.
The Houston Texans look dominant this season. They smacked the Tennessee Titans 38-14 to improve to 4-0 on the season. In their last eight games started by quarterback Matt Shaub, the Texans are 8-0 with an average margin of victory of 20 points per game. If they stay healthy, the Texans just may be the team to beat.
The Arizona Cardinals improved to 4-0 on the season with a tough 24-21 win over the Miami Dolphins. Speaking of dominant teams, the Cardinals are to the NFC what the Texans are to the AFC. In their last 13 games, the Cardinals are now 11-2. The Cardinals defense is clicking and they are winning despite the loss of starting quarterback Matt Skelton in week one. It seems odd to say, but a Texans-Cardinals Super Bowl is not only a possibility, but actually could have been predicted entering the season based on the teams performances at the end of last season.
I can't pass through this game without acknowledging the performances of quarterback Ryan Tannehill and wide receiver Brian Hartline. Tannehill somehow managed to throw for 431 yards on the vaunted Cardinals defense. Hartline had Madden-esque numbers with 12 catches for 253 yards and a touchdown.