NFL Week 4 Roundup: 10-05-2010

NFL Week 4 Roundup: 10-05-2010

If the Bears want Jay Cutler or any of their QBs to survive, they have to protect better (AP Photo)

Week 4 in the NFL proved to be the Week of the Upset. Several favored teams fell to underdogs and two of the three undefeated teams left in the league lost on Sunday. At the quarter mark of the NFL, the only certain thing is that the NFL appears at the moment to be more wide open than anyone could expect. Thirteen teams are 2-2, six of the eight divisions are at first place ties, and only the idle Chiefs are undefeated. Here are some observations from the week that was in pro football:

Key Points

-In my opinion, Joe Flacco took a huge step towards winning over the hearts of minds of those in Ravenland. After Pittsburgh's Rashard Mendenhall scored from six yards out to give the Steelers a 14-10 lead and after Baltimore turned the ball over on downs on the ensuing drive, Flacco got help from his defense to get the ball back in Pittsburgh territory, Flacco completed 4 straight passes. The last was a beautiful throw to T.J. Houshmandzadeh in the back of the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown. Flacco never won as a starter in Pittsburgh before Sunday. That win can give him the confidence he needs to lead this offense forward.

-Philadelphia has a major problem at quarterback. Andy Reid clearly saw something in Michael Vick that gave him the starting job over a cleared Kevin Kolb. After Vick's injury in Sunday's 17-12 loss to the Redskins, the offense had to adopt a much different look with Kolb at the helm. Much of passes were within 5 yards of the scrimmage and majority of his completions were check downs and screens. The deep attempts were absent through the whole game against the last-ranked pass defense. It will be interesting to watch for the next couple of weeks while Vick is on the mend and whether Kolb can take command of the Eagle offense and perhaps win his job back.
-The Chargers are the most schizophrenic team in the NFL. In weeks 1 and 3, they laid eggs offensively and made entirely too many mistakes in losses. In Week 2 against the Jaguars and Sunday's 41-10 whitewash of the Cardinals, they looked like the machine that many expected them to be. Still, most expected the Chargers to be 4-0 at this juncture. Key injuries to Shawne Merriman and Ryan Mathews have contributed, but the Chargers have demonstrated classic split-personality syndrome through the quarter mark. Another up and down, the underachieving season will not bode well for Norv Turner.
The Bears offensive line is TERRIBLE...point blank period. We saw glimpses of it in games against Detroit and Dallas, but Sunday was the icing the cake. Jay Cutler was sacked 9 times in Chicago's 17-3 loss Sunday night against a Giants front seven that was banged up. How bad is it? So far, Cutler has been sacked 17 times this year; he was sacked 35 times all last season. Cutler's backup Todd Collins was knocked out of the game after Cutler suffered a concussion. Do you know who the Bears third-string QB is? If I told you Caleb Hanie, would you believe me or even know who he is?
Offensive Player of the Week-Jets RB Ladanian Tomlinson (19 att. 133 yards, 2 TDs)
Wrote off in San Diego and thought to have his best days in his rear view, LT has experienced a resurgence in the early going with the Jets. Originally, he was supposed to provide spot duty for youngster Shonn Greene. His performance against the Bills might suggest that he has a lot more in the tank before being towed to the nearest service station.
Defensive/Special Teams Player of the Week-Patriots S Patrick Chung
The second-year pro from out of Oregon is making a name for himself as a solid contributor in New England. In the Pats 41-14 blowout win over the Dolphins, Chung recorded 4 tackles, broke up a pass, blocked a punt that set up a touchdown, blocked a field goal that Kyle Arrington returned for a touchdown and took a Chad Henne to pass 51 yards the other way for a touchdown. All in all, he contributed towards three TDs that helped blow the game open in the second half after a non-descriptive first half offensively for the New England.
Fantasy Stud(s) of the Week: Bengals WR Terrell Owens (10 rec. 222 yards-1 TD) and Texans RB Arian Foster (16 att. 131 yards-1 TD, 3 rec. 56 yards-1 TD)
Owens may have angered some fantasy owners that sat him down for lack of production thus far. Sunday, he had his best game in almost three years. He continually beat Brown's corner Eric Wright and other members of the Browns secondary. His chemistry with QB Carson Palmer seems to be improving and it will only be a matter of time before coverage slides over to T.O. and will open things up for Ochocinco.

Week 4 in the NFL proved to be the Week of the Upset. Several favored teams fell to underdogs and two of the three undefeated teams left in the league loss on Sunday. At the quarter mark of the NFL, the only certain thing is that the NFL appears at the moment to be more wide open than anyone could expect. Thirteen teams are 2-2, six of the eight divisions are at first place ties, and only the idle Chiefs are undefeated. Here are some observations from the week that was in pro football:

Fantasy Dud of the Week-Dolphin's Special Teams (Blocked Punt, FG, Allowed kick return for TD)
The special teams unit for Miami performance this season has been poor and it probably cost them their last two games, against division opponents nonetheless. Not even 24 hours after their latest blunders against the Pats, they fired special teams' coordinator John Bonamego. Despite that, fantasy owners who started this unit probably lost points and in some cases, a game.

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