NFL Quick Hits: Week Four

The first quarter of the NFL season is in the books, and America’s most popular game continues its assault on any sort of productivity on Sundays. It started with the 49ers trying to prove they’ve righted the ship after back-to-back below sub-par efforts, and the night ended with the Patriots improving to 4-0 with their first good win of the season. Let’s get straight into the Quick Hits.

  • If you ever pay attention to Colin Kaepernick’s Twitter account, check the Favorites section. The 49ers quarterback seems to have a quiet confidence that can’t be affected from the outside, but he shows something a little different here. He marks negative tweets directed toward him seemingly for motivation to prove doubters wrong. Thursday, he silenced them for a few days at least with an efficient effort in the win.
  • Of course, it helps when your running back breaks out of a season long slump. After rushing 41 times for 140 yards the first three weeks (3.4 yds/carry), San Fran‘s Frank Gore broke off a 20 carry, 153 yd effort with a touchdown.
  • Staying in the NFC West, the Seahawks are a juggernaut at home and escape artists on the road. If teams want to keep Seattle from taking the homefield advantage in the playoffs, they’ll need to beat them where they’re vulnerable, away from home. So far, not so good. Houston controlled the game Sunday, but the Seahawks showed an incredible amount of resilience in the win.
  • On top of that, Matt Schaub, what were you thinking throwing across your body, up a touchdown, with under 3:00 remaining, straight at Richard Sherman? There aren’t many worse decisions the Texans‘ veteran quarterback could’ve made in that situation. Directly affected the outcome of the game.
  • Houston is definitely looking like the 2nd best team in the AFC South behind the 3-1 Colts. Indy did exactly what it was supposed to do Sunday, dismantling the Jaguars and not falling into a struggle against an inferior team. It does appear that it’ll take a little more time for Trent Richardson to fit into the Colts offense with just 60 yards on 20 carries.
  • The AFC is looking wide open right now because teams just can’t seem to put up consistent efforts week-to-week. I’m looking at you AFC North. The Ravens lay an egg a week after a dominant performance, the Bengals were completely shut down by the Browns, and Cleveland is now 2-0 since quitting on their season.
  • The Broncos and Chiefs aren’t eliciting the same reaction out West. Both teams are 4-0 and doing it in very different ways. Denver’s defense has played well, but they don’t need to with the Peyton Manning air assault offense. Manning’s line: 16 TDs, 0 INTs. If there’s anyone in “Super Bowl or Bust” more than this guy, I have no idea who it is.
  • Meanwhile, Kansas City faced the adversity of the season’s first two turnovers against them, but the Chiefs rolled anyway, blowing out the suddenly hapless Giants. Seeing them take apart a team they should beat is a good sign that this squad is in it for the long haul.
  • With the Packers on BYE, the NFC North decided to get a little more interesting. The Lions looked outstanding against knocking Chicago from the ranks of the unbeatens. It wasn’t close until the Bears mounted a very late comeback. When Reggie Bush is in the lineup and healthy, Detroit is a legitimate threat in that division.
  • Somebody had to win over in London, and the Vikings were that team. Adrian Peterson now has 12 TDs of 60+ yards in his career. That’s the most ever. Second on the list: Jim Brown with nine.
  • Let this soak in for just a second. The Steelers are 0-4 for the first time since 1968. They had never even been two games below .500 since Mike Tomlin took over. Pittsburgh’s coach said no one on the team will give up, but for Steel City fans, it’s a good thing the Pirates made the playoffs and hockey’s about to start.
  • No division is more of a nightmare right now than the NFC East, where the Cowboys lead at a less-than-inspiring 2-2. No one knew what would happen in yesterday’s 4th Quarter at San Diego because Dallas and the Chargers have a tendency to fall apart at the end of games. It ended up being the home team with the answers though, and the Boys get a consolation prize of Peyton Manning up next.
  • The Redskins finally have a win after putting up their best effort of the year out in Oakland. They had been passing over 70% of the time this year since they’ve trailed basically the entire season. But with the defense doing its job, Washington was able to balance the offense and get a win on the board. Hopefully for them, Alfred Morris’ injured ribs aren’t serious, though Roy Helu looked great in relief.
  • And in the nightcap, the Patriots won for the first time over a team that many consider a contender, improving to 4-0 for the first time since 2007’s undefeated regular season. Tom Brady’s no name receivers are starting to get the hang of things with Julian Edelman and Kenbrell Thompkins both topping the century mark for receiving yards. The bad part: defensive tackle Vince Wilfork is lost for the season to a torn achilles. That’s a huge blow, especially considering his replacement was an undrafted free agent, Chris Jones.
  • As for the Falcons, it’s certainly not the start they wanted. Sitting at 1-3 with the undefeated Saints playing on Monday Night Football, a three game deficit is not ideal. Of course, you can’t fault them entirely. The three teams that beat them are all undefeated as I write this. Up next, time to right the ship with four straight against teams without a winning record.