Giants – 45 (2-2), Redskins – 14 (1-3) – Thursday Night Game
Heroes – Eli Manning (300 PaYd, 4 TD, 1 INT), Larry Donnell (54 ReYd, 3 TD), Andre Williams (66 RuYd, 1 TD), Victor Cruz (108 ReYd), Rueben Randle (89 ReYd), Daniel Fells (8 ReYd, 1 TD), Alfred Morris (63 RuYd, 27 ReYd, 1 TD), Andre Roberts (18 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Rashad Jennings (55 RuYd), Kirk Cousins (257 PaYd, 1 TD, 4 INT)
Remember Eli Manning? It was certainly his show on Thursday night as he led the Giants to victory over an embarrassed Redskins club, where tight end Larry Donnell has officially put himself on the map for fantasy owners with three TD catches. Manning was 10-for-11 in targeting his tight ends, so look for Manning to use Donnell consistently every game moving forward especially during red zone situations. While a ton of the credit goes to Manning, it was the Giants offensive line that really stepped up only allowing Manning to be sacked or seriously pressured on 2-for-41 pass plays. Kirk Cousins’ four interceptions all came on the outside edge of the field, leading to a total of six turnovers in the game for the Redskins, which ultimately led to their demise.
Packers – 38 (2-2), Bears – 17 (2-2)
Heroes – Aaron Rodgers (302 PaYd, 4 TD), Eddie Lacy (48 RuYd, 11 ReYd, 1 TD), Randall Cobb (113 ReYd, 2 TD), Jordy Nelson (108 ReYd, 2 TD), Matt Forte (122 RuYd, 49 ReYd), Martellus Bennett (134 ReYd), Alshon Jeffery (39 ReYd, 12 RuYd, 1 TD), Brandon Marshall (19 ReYd, 1 TD), Ka’Deem Carey (72 RuYd), Jay Cutler (256 PaYd, 29 RuYd, 2 TD, 2 INT)
Zeroes – None
Aaron Rodgers was the hero in this contest as he utilized his premier receiving options, Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson, as they were targeted a combined 21 times while catching 17 of those balls (Nelson 10, Cobb 7). Eddie Lacy scored his first rushing TD of the season, although his 2.8 YPC in this game leaves a lot to be desired. The Bears were unable to take advantage of their first quarter dominance where they rushed for 102 yards, and while Jay Cutler has been playing well individually inside the red zone for the Bears (all of nine of his TD passes this season have come inside the red zone) he threw two costly interceptions that squashed his teams chances of a comeback.
Texans – 23 (3-1), Bills – 17 (2-2)
Heroes – J.J. Watt (80-yard INT TD), DeAndre Hopkins (64 ReYd, 1 TD), Mike Williams (84 ReYd, 1 TD), Sammy Watkins (30 ReYd, 1 TD), C.J. Spiller (60 RuYd, 24 ReYd), Fred Jackson (33 RuYd, 52 ReYd)
Zeroes – Alfred Blue (9 RuYd, 16 ReYd)
It’s quite difficult to win a football game when your team rushes for only 37 yards and your leading rusher is your quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick (14 RuYd), who is a non-rushing quarterback, but that’s exactly what the Texans did. They won thanks to excellent defense (J.J. Watt tipped an E.J. Manuel pass, caught it himself, and ran for the 80-yard TD score) and solid receiver play. DeAndre Hopkins scored his third TD in four games and is turning into a premier wide receiver option in only his second NFL season. E.J. Manuel continued his learning curve as he was only 5-of-18, with a TD and two INTs, when the Texans sent five rushers.
Colts – 41 (2-2), Titans – 17 (1-3)
Heroes – Andrew Luck (393 PaYd, 4 TD, 1 INT), Trent Richardson (47 RuYd, 52 ReYd, 1 TD), Ahmad Bradshaw (32 RuYd, 20 ReYd, 1 TD), Reggie Wayne (119 ReYd, 1 TD), Dwayne Allen (38 ReYd, 1 TD), Coby Fleener (26 ReYd, 1 TD), T.Y. Hilton (105 ReYd), Bishop Sankey (34 RuYd, 23 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Hakeem Nicks (12 ReYd), Charlie Whitehurst (177, 40 RuYd, PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Kendall Wright (55 ReYd), Justin Hunter (12 ReYd), Nate Washington (20 ReYd), Dexter McCluster (1 RuYd), Shonn Greene (10 RuYd)
The Titans didn’t really have much of a chance in Week 4 with backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst at the helm for an injured Jake Locker. They couldn’t get much of anything going offensively with only 261 total yards, while turning the ball over three times. Andrew Luck was 7-for-13 on passes thrown for 15 yards or more, including 3-of-3 for 66 yards and a TD when he targeted Reggie Wayne, but more importantly Luck has thrown for 1,305 yards and 13 TD in four games. Luck is now in an elite class with the likes of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.
Ravens – 38 (3-1), Panthers – 10 (2-2)
Heroes – Joe Flacco (327 PaYd, 3 TD), Lorenzo Taliaferro (58 RuYd, 1 TD), Justin Forsett (66 RuYd, 31 ReYd 1 TD), Steve Smith, Sr. (139 ReYd, 2 TD), Torrey Smith (53 ReYd, 1 TD), Kelvin Benjamin (76 ReYd, 1 TD), Jerricho Cotchery (80 ReYd)
Zeroes – Owen Daniels (43 ReYd), Marlon Brown (31 ReYd), Cam Newton (197 PaYd, 1 TD), DeAngelo Williams (34 RuYd), Greg Olsen (30 ReYd)
Joe Flacco’s trend of inconsistency continues as he remains one of the more unreliable options from week-to-week this season and over his career. This week, however, Flacco was on his game as he took advantage of his deep-threat wide receivers going 6-of-8 for 172 yards and three TDs on passes 15 yards or more. The Panthers defense failed heavily allowing the Ravens to take advantage of downfield situations, while giving up 35 points for the second week in a row. An interesting stat: Steve Smith, Sr. has caught five balls this season for 122 yards and two TDs at the 2-minute warning.
Lions – 24 (3-1), Jets – 17 (1-3)
Heroes – Matthew Stafford (293 PaYd, 8 RuYd, 3 TD), Golden Tate (116 ReYd), Jeremy Ross (65 ReYd, 1 TD), Eric Ebron (34 ReYd, 1 TD), Chris Ivory (84 RuYd, 16 ReYd), Eric Decker (48 ReYd, 1 TD), Chris Johnson (44 RuYd, 16 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Calvin Johnson (12 ReYd), Reggie Bush (46 RuYd, 19 ReYd), Joique Bell (32 RuYd, 7 ReYd), Geno Smith (209 PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Jeremy Kerley (3 ReYd)
With Calvin Johnson fighting off and ankle injury, it was suggested that he was really only on the field to provide the defense with a decoy. It seemed to have worked as Matthew Stafford spread the field connecting with Golden Tate eight times on the afternoon, while throwing for two TDs and rushing for one. Stafford was 13-of-16 throwing for 214 yards and a TD, while targeting his wide receivers. Geno Smith, who had to listen to chants on Sunday of “We want Vick!”, fumbled twice – one was recovered by the defense – and threw for one INT as the Jets offense couldn’t do enough against the Lions’ top-ranked defense.
Buccaneers – 27 (1-3), Steelers – 24 (2-2)
Heroes – Mike Glennon (302 PaYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), Doug Martin (40 RuYd, 16 ReYd, 1 TD), Mike Evans (65 ReYd, 1 TD), Louis Murphy (99 ReYd), Vincent Jackson (32 ReYd, 1 TD), Ben Roethlisberger (314 PaYd, 3 TD), Le’Veon Bell (63 RuYd, 46 ReYd), Antonio Brown (131 ReYd, 2 TD), Heath Miller (85 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Bobby Rainey (2 RuYd, 16 ReYd)
Well, there goes my big Survivor pool. I’m still fuming over this one, with the way the Steelers gave this game away with just a bit over a minute to go. You couldn’t have asked for more from Big Ben and Antonio Brown (20th consecutive game with at least five receptions, an NFL record), but shoddy play calling, penalties, offensive line collapses (Big Ben was sacked five times) and a shank-kick for 29 yards did the Steelers in. The Bucs played their hearts out and took advantage of the Steelers’ mistakes making Vincent Jackson a last-second hero. Mike Glennon filled in admirably for an injured Josh McCown.
Dolphins – 38 (2-2), Raiders – 14 (0-4)
Heroes – Ryan Tannehill (278 PaYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), Lamar Miller (64 RuYd, 2 TD), Mike Wallace (35 ReYd, 1 TD), James Jones (83 ReYd), Andre Holmes (74 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Derek Carr (146 PaYd, 1 TD, 1 INT), Matt McGloin (129 PaYd, 1 TD, 2 INT), Maurice Jones-Drew (1 RuYd, 2 ReYd)
The NFL, in all their wisdom, gave London the Raiders to watch live and in person. Mistake? Yeah. The game started off competitive enough with rookie Derek Carr taking a 7-3 lead into the second quarter, but after that it was all Dolphins as they scored 35 unanswered points heading into the fourth quarter. Ryan Tannehill played great ball, completing 17-of-19 passes in the first half alone. Tannehill took advantage of all of his weapons, spreading the ball around to nine different receivers. Carr left the game due to a high ankle sprain and a sprained MCL, so it’s a good thing the Raiders are on bye in Week 5.
Chargers – 33 (3-1), Jaguars – 14 (0-4)
Heroes – Philip Rivers (377 PaYd, 3 TD), Eddie Royal (105 ReYd, 2 TD), Malcom Floyd (39 ReYd, 1 TD), Keenan Allen (135 ReYd), Toby Gerhart (32 RuYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Donald Brown (19 RuYd, 35 ReYd), Antonio Gates (30 ReYd), Allen Robinson (38 ReYd)
Rookie Blake Bortles made his first career start for the Jaguars, and didn’t play too poorly against an underrated Chargers defense. Bortles did throw two interceptions, but was efficient completing 29-of-37 passes for 253 yards and a TD. With Ryan Matthews out to injury, the Chargers had a very difficult time getting their running game going (42 total rushing yards) and had to rely on Philip Rivers once again to lead them to victory. Rivers took advantage of his excellent receivers, as he targeted Keenan Allen 11 times completing 10 of those passes. Eddie Royal and Malcom Floyd stepped up with the TD scores, while Antonio Gates was a non-factor in this one disappointing fantasy owners yet again after his brilliant game two Sunday’s ago against Seattle.
49ers – 26 (2-2), Eagles – 21 (3-1)
Heroes – Colin Kaepernick (218 PaYd, 58 RuYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), Frank Gore (119 RuYd, 55 ReYd, 1 TD), Darren Sproles (82-yard Punt Return TD), Eagles D/ST (Three TDs)
Zeroes – Carlos Hyde (26 RuYd), Michael Crabtree (43 ReYd), Vernon Davis (8 ReYd), Nick Foles (195 PaYd, 2 INT), LeSean McCoy (17 RuYd), Riley Cooper (54 ReYd), Zach Ertz (43 ReYd), Jordan Matthews (28 ReYd)
For the second consecutive week, LeSean McCoy could do nothing to help his team as he was held to only 10 rushes on 17 yards. The Eagles will have to figure out a way to get McCoy more involved in the offense, or at least make his touches count. The 49ers defense stepped up to stop the run and in turn kept Nick Foles and the passing game in check too. In fact, it was a miserable offensive output for the Eagles as they could only muster 213 total yards. The only reason the Eagles stayed in the game is because their defense and special teams kept things close with three touchdowns. Foles will have to correct his ways, as he went 0-of-10 with two interceptions on passes that went 20 yards or more downfield.
Vikings – 41 (2-2), Falcons – 28 (2-2)
Heroes – Teddy Bridgewater (317 PaYd, 27 RuYd, 1 TD), Jerick McKinnon (135 RuYd, 17 ReYd), Matt Asiata (78 RuYd, 22 ReYd, 3 TD), Jarius Wright (132 ReYd), Matt Ryan (298 PaYd, 3 TD, 2 INT), Antone Smith (62 RuYd, 1 TD), Roddy White (73 ReYd, 1 TD), Devin Hester (70 ReYd, 1 TD)
Zeroes – Cordarrelle Patterson (38 ReYd), Steven Jackson (49 RuYd, 13 ReYd)
Rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater started his first NFL game due to starter Matt Cassel suffering injury, but Bridgewater himself was carted off the field with an apparent ankle injury; however, it was noted by Bridgewater that he expects to play next week against the Packers. His debut was certainly exciting as he led an upset victory over the Falcons. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner developed a special game plan for Bridgewater, which included drag routes and screen passes since the offensive line was having issues protecting the quarterback in previous games this season. Bridgewater was 8-of-12 on passes that were 10 or more yards, while rushing for his first NFL career TD. The young quarterback did get help from Matt Asiata, who rushed for three touchdowns on the afternoon.
Cowboys – 38 (3-1), Saints – 17 (1-3)
Heroes – Tony Romo (262 PaYd, 20 RuYd, 3 TD), DeMarco Murray (149 RuYd, 6 ReYd, 2 TD), Terrance Williams (77 ReYd, 2 TD), Dez Bryant (44 ReYd, 1 TD), Drew Brees (340 PaYd, 2 TD, 1 INT), Jimmy Graham (86 ReYd, 1 TD), Khiry Robinson (87 RuYd, 18 ReYd)
Zeroes – Pierre Thomas (8 RuYd, 15 ReYd), Marques Colston (50 ReYd), Brandin Cooks (31 ReYd)
The Cowboys jumped out to a 24-0 lead before the Saints could finally put points on the board. Tony Romo played mistake-free football, while DeMarco Murray ate up the Saints rush defense. Murray had 103 yards before contact, and currently leads the NFL with 554 total yards rushing. Romo had huge success when the Saints sent five or more pass rushers as all three of his TD passes came when they blitzed a defensive back. Statistically, the Saints look good on paper although almost all of their production came in the fourth quarter. Second-year running back Khiry Robinson displayed his potential on a 62-yard run and tight end Jimmy Graham was kept in check for most of the game until his fourth-quarter TD.
Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you for Week 5! And, don’t forget that you can catch me on Twitter @TheRolyPolyBoy.