Week 4 Full of Surprises

Steve O Speak

Wow this week was full of a number of shocking games and brutal losses against the spread (and hopefully no one bet on too many of my predictions this week as no one saw this coming!)

Ravens over the Steelers: While Pittsburgh played well enough to win, they ended up beating themselves in the end. Between missed field goals and stupid penalties, Pittsburgh continued to shoot themselves in the foot. How you have three penalties on your last offensive series, while you are trying to put the game away is beyond me. The Steelers have the return of Ben Roethlisberger this week (they have a bye, so he won’t play until the following week) so I think they will be quite alright, but it was still a rough loss to Steelers fans.

Atlanta Beating the 49ers on a last second FG: The Falcons were coming off a win against the Saints and were once again at home, but they were a completely different team yesterday. Atlanta was sloppy all game (and the 49ers weren’t that much better) and needed a last second 43 yard field goal to beat San Francisco. Although the shock of the season might be the 49ers 0-4 start, the Falcons barely squeaking by shows some weaknesses on that team. The Falcons should still be a solid playoff contender, but that offense was not clicking on all cylinders yesterday against a team that can’t seem to get out of their own way. Atlanta will need to tighten up if they are to contend with the best teams in the NFC.

Saints squeaking by the Panthers: New Orleans was favored by two touchdowns, but needed a FG late in the 4th quarter to get past the hapless Panthers. Carolina played well enough to win this game against the Super Bowl Champs (in New Orleans no less). Rookie Jimmy Clausen showed some promise and their running game did well against the Saints defense. New Orleans is still 3-1, but they haven’t dominated anyone the way they did last year, and have some major questions going forward. I will say it is probably a good thing they changed placekickers as John Carney’s leg was needed three times.

Redskins Upset Philly, In McNabb’s Return (and Vick’s exit): Washington scored 17 points on their first three drives, and it is a good thing they did since those were the only points they had. While Washington’s offense struck early, this ended up being a defensive game as the Redskins held the Eagles to just 12 points. Philly lost starting quarterback Michael Vick to a rib injury at the end of the 1st quarter, but Kolb came in and played a solid game. Some bad coaching calls help lead to Philly’s demise (the whole 4th and 1 thing at the end of the first half was ridiculous). The Redskins won the game based on their rushing attack and defense, but the win still propelled them to 2-2 and atop the NFC East.

Colts Lose Their Second Divisional Game on a last second FG: Indianapolis has at times appeared dominate this season (weeks 2 and 3 and the last 5 minutes of week 1) but at other times has looked pretty ordinary. While Peyton put up another 350 yards and two touchdowns, their rushing attack failed to average any better than 3.1 yards per carry. While the Colts defense didn’t give up major yards like they did in Week one, they still gave up some big plays that put them in a hole. Overall I wouldn’t be too worried about the Colts as they are still a playoff team, but this loss could really hurt their chances for the division.

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