Top Five Biggest Meltdowns of NFL Week 4
Top Five Biggest Meltdowns of NFL Week 4
Week 4 of the NFL schedule is officially in the books with a number of teams extending their perfect starts to the season, others extending their losing streaks and the Minnesota Vikings getting fortunate enough to play the Pittsburgh Steelers (who was described by their own QB as “the worst”). For every hero and star that made their mark on the weekend, there were plenty of teams who completely dropped the ball.
The New York Giants flashed the briefest moments of competitiveness before getting blown away in Kansas City while Eli Manning continues his quest this season to average out the quarterback rating of the Manning family. Football is still being played (sort of) in South Florida as the Jacksonville Jaguars did the bare minimum by putting 11 warm bodies on the field. Beyond that, they didn’t accomplish much as they were once again blown out.
And neither of those teams even made this list. On top of the pure ineptitude of some NFL teams, there were other teams who played the cruel trick of playing well enough to win before crashing in a brilliant blaze of horrible decision making. They string along their fans into thinking they’ve got a shot and then drop the ball with a resounding thud felt in the guts of everyone with a rooting interest. Week 4 didn’t disappoint, giving us plenty of teams that peaked early, looking like they were on their way to win, before crashing down the other side to a disappointing loss.
So without further ado, let us count down the disappointment with the five biggest meltdowns in the NFL for Week 4.
5) Cowboys Did Not Prepare for Antonio Gates: Professional Pass Catcher
The Dallas Cowboys took on the San Diego Chargers and did the one thing that the Tennessee Titans couldn’t do in Week 3: Make Philip Rivers look like an NFL MVP. Even after getting the complimentary pick-six from the San Diego signal caller (free with overnight stay in the San Diego area) to push their advantage to 20-10 late in the first half, the Cowboys gave it away as the Chargers scored the final 20 points of the game as they racked up 506 yards of total offense.
Not helping the cause was the Cowboys’ complete and total inability to cover noted pass catching enthusiast Antonio Gates. The long-time favorite target of Rivers caught 10 passes on Sunday for 136 yards and a touchdown that turned out to be No. 200 of Rivers’ career. Dallas should have seen it coming, though, since TD pass No. 100 also went to Gates…against the Cowboys. HISTORY REPEATS!
4) “No Pryor? No Problem!” - Matt Flynn, Liar Extraordinaire
The Oakland Raiders were forced to turn to their very expensive backup quarterback Matt Flynn on Sunday against the Washington Redskins thanks to the concussion of Terrelle Pryor that robbed him of the memories of his last two plays against the Denver Broncos (maybe for the best). After the first quarter, it looked like things would be just fine in Flynn’s third start ever with the forever backup throwing a touchdown pass to push the Raiders’ lead to 14-0 after one quarter.
And apparently Flynn and the rest of the Raiders’ team felt like that would be enough. Against one of the worst defenses in the NFL coming into the game, Oakland failed to score another point the rest of the day. Flynn felt so good about the two-touchdown lead, in fact, that he gave one back with a pick six before halftime. That turned out to be a bad choice as the Redskins offense put up 14 points in the second half which was more than enough to overcome Oakland’s zero second half points. Math can be simple sometimes.
3) Mike Glennon Keeps the Josh Freeman Magic Alive for Tampa Bay
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have closed the book on Josh Freeman as their starting quarterback, going so far as to de-activate him before Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals. In his place stepped rookie Mike Glennon who looked like he might back up the confidence of his head coach, Greg Schiano, for handing the offense over to his untested hands as the Bucs took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter.
But then Glennon showed off everything that Freeman taught him and threw the game away with two interceptions just a couple minutes apart to Patrick Peterson that led to Arizona’s go-ahead field goal and iced the game with under two minutes to go. It’s the third time that the Bucs have snatched defeat right out of the jaws of victory sooo maybe the quarterback isn’t the biggest problem? *cough*Schiano*cough*
2. Joe Flacco Displays Elite Color-Blindness as Best Player for the Bills
Super Bowl MVP and self-proclaimed elite quarterback Joe Flacco has found some tough sledding this season with the Baltimore Ravens. It turns out that letting your most reliable receiver go via trade and losing your only tight end with hands to injury before the receiver that was supposed to become a part of the offense gets hurt when a member of his own team runs into him does not make for a dynamic passing attack. Also unhelpful: throwing five interceptions to the Buffalo Bills who were missing their top two cornerbacks going into the game.
Afterwards, the Ravens bemoaned their lack of balance as if they weren’t the ones telling Flacco to continually throw it to Bills’ defenders (on 50 pass attempts!) saying they would have liked to use the running game more but just couldn’t get it going. While it’s true their rushing production was low (24 yards), part of the problem could have been THEY ONLY ATTEMPTED NINE RUSHES. Ray Rice, arguably the best player on the offense, carried the ball just five times for 17 yards and was targeted once in the passing game. Maybe Jim Caldwell should call up Cam Cameron and ask how ignoring Ray Rice in the gameplan works out. SPOILER: It gets you fired.
1. Texans Figure 30 Minutes is Enough to Win a Football Game (It Isn’t)
In what safety Ed Reed described in the leadup as a potential Super Bowl preview, the Houston Texans came out like a team destined to punch their ticket there in the first half. Unfortunately, football games added a second half recently* and forgot to tell the Texans about it. After physically dominating the Seattle Seahawks and jumping out to a 20-3 halftime lead, Houston fell apart after halftime, capped by an unforgivable throw by Matt Schaub that turned into a pick-six for Richard Sherman. That blunder capped a 17-point rally in regulation for Seattle before they kicked a game winning field goal in overtime.
The biggest difference between the first and second half seemed to be Russell Wilson. Specifically, Russell Wilson’s legs. More specifically, the Texans seemed to forget Wilson had legs and knew had to use them. After halftime, Wilson took the game over and ran circles (sometimes literally) around the Houston defense as he extended plays or simply made them himself. J.J. Watt worked himself bloody trying to catch Wilson but couldn’t touch him. Schaub, apparently so impressed with his counterpart’s heroics, decided to respond by being absolutely no help to his team’s cause. If this was a preview of the Super Bowl, then at least we can look forward to the commercials?