NFL Week 4: Saints Nab First Win; Broncos Remain Undefeated

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Source: Steve Nehf/The Denver Post/The Hayride

Source: Steve Nehf/The Denver Post/The Hayride

A quarter of the way through the 2016 NFL season, we’re beginning to see who the real heavy-hitters are (primarily in the AFC) and some surprising disappointments (Panthers and Cardinals) as well as some surprising first-place divisional teams (Rams and Ravens). Let’s catch up on all the action from around the league.

Week four of the young NFL season started with the Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) winning an ugly affair against the Miami Dolphins (1-3), who continue to look like a team without an identity. One sure aspect of that unknown identity on Thursday night was that the Dolphins could not stop Bengal receiver A.J. Green, who tore them apart to the tune of 10 catches, 173 yards, and a touchdown.

In divisional action, the Atlanta Falcons (3-1) may have proved they are “for real,” as they took down the Carolina Panthers in a wild 48-33 victory. Carolina (1-3) might have bigger issues than this loss, as quarterback Cam Newton was knocked out of the game and is undergoing a concussion evaluation. Though the Atlanta defense may have its own issues, the offense more than makes up for it, as the high-flying Falcons put up over 500 yards of offense. The outburst was headed by phenom receiver Julio Jones, who put up a mind-boggling stat line of 12 catches, 300 yards, and one touchdown.

The Buffalo Bills (2-2) stunned the New England Patriots (3-1) in a 16-0 shutout, ending their undefeated, Tom-Brady-less run at Gillette Stadium in New England, no less. Buffalo’s defense had the Patriots’ number, especially on third-down, as they went 1-for-12 on conversions. LeSean McCoy had a big game, scoring the one touchdown of the matchup – and Coach Bill Belichick did not like it.

Jacksonville (1-3) got their first win of the season against the Indianapolis Colts (1-3) in London, England, the Jaguars’ home away from home. Quarterback Blake Bortles finally had a turnover-free game, and the Jaguars defense survived a furious Colts’ rally in the form of three touchdown drives by Andrew Luck and the offense in the fourth quarter. The “Allen Twins” had big games, with receivers Allen Robinson scoring and Allen Hurns taking a short throw 42 yards to the house.

The Los Angeles Rams (3-1) are proving yet again their prowess when facing their division rivals, as they took down the Arizona Cardinals (1-3) in Arizona. Quarterback Carson Palmer was harassed all day and finally knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter. The Rams are suddenly finding their offense after getting shut out in the first game of the season, including some big plays by receiver Brian Quick.

In non-divisional action, the Denver Broncos (4-0) remained undefeated as they outclassed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) in Florida, 27-7. Cornerback Aqib Talib returned to his previous stomping grounds to collect two interceptions, but the biggest story of the day was Trevor Siemian being knocked out of the game, which then resulted in rookie first round pick Paxton Lynch taking the reigns of the Denver offense. The rookie played well, making a few strong throws, including his first professional touchdown.

The New York Jets (1-3) were thoroughly outplayed by the Seattle Seahawks (3-1) on the way to a 27-17 victory. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick now has nine interceptions in the last two weeks as he threw three more on Sunday. One particularly hilarious moment came during a strange play in the fourth quarter: Fitzpatrick fumbled the football, and while every other player thought it was an incomplete pass, rookie Jets receiver Charone Peake scooped up the football and ran for a touchdown. After review, it was confirmed a fumble-and-score. Safety Earl Thomas decided to share his thoughts on the matter.

The New Orleans Saints (1-3) may have saved their season, literally stealing a victory from the jaws of defeat against the San Diego Chargers (2-2). After back-to-back fumbles by the Charger offense, Drew Brees and the Saints took advantage of short fields to snatch a W. This is yet another crazy collapse by the Chargers team this season. Saints Fullback John Kuhn converted all three of his redone chances:

Below is the full scoreboard of Week 4’s action, along with Fantasy Football Stars:

Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) def. Miami Dolphins (1-3) 22-7
Fantasy Star: A.J. Green – 10 catches, 173 yards, one touchdown

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-3) def. Indianapolis Colts (1-3) 30-27
Fantasy Star: Blake Bortles – 19/33 for 207 yards, two touchdowns, seven carries, 36 rushing yards, one touchdown

Atlanta Falcons (3-1) def. Carolina Panthers (1-3) 48-33
Fantasy Star: Julio Jones – 12 catches, 300 yards, one touchdown

Oakland Raiders (3-1) def. Baltimore Ravens (3-1) 28-27
Fantasy Star: Michael Crabtree – seven catches, 88 yards, three touchdowns

Chicago Bears (1-3) def. Detroit Lions (1-3) 17-14
Fantasy Star: Brian Hoyer – 28/36 for 302 yards and two touchdowns

Houston Texans (3-1) def. Tennessee Titans (1-3) 27-20
Fantasy Star: Will Fuller – 148 total yards from scrimmage, two touchdowns

Buffalo Bills (2-2) def. New England Patriots (3-1) 16-0
Fantasy Star: LeSean McCoy – 19 rushes, 70 yards, six catches, 38 receiving yards, one touchdown

Seattle Seahawks (3-1) def. New York Jets (1-3) 27-17
Fantasy Star: Russell Wilson – 23/32 for 309 yards and three touchdowns

Washington Redskins (2-2) def. Cleveland Browns (0-4) 31-20
Fantasy Star: Kirk Cousins – 21-27 for 183 yards and three touchdowns

Denver Broncos (4-0) def. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3) 27-7
Fantasy Star: Emmanuel Sanders – eight catches, 88 years, one touchdown

Los Angeles Rams (3-1) def. Arizona Cardinals (1-3) 17-13
Fantasy Star: Brian Quick – two catches, 69 yards, two touchdowns

New Orleans Saints (1-3) def. San Diego Chargers (1-3) 35-34
Fantasy Star: John Kuhn – three rushes, five yards, two catches, seven receiving yards, three touchdowns

Dallas Cowboys (3-1) def. San Francisco 49ers (1-3) 24-17
Fantasy Star: Dak Prescott – 23/32, 245 yards, two touchdowns

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) def. Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) 43-14
Fantasy Star: Ben Roethlisberger – 22/27 for 300 yards and five touchdowns

Minnesota Vikings (4-0) def. New York Giants (2-2) 24-10
Fantasy Star: Kyle Rudolph – 5 catches, 55 yards and a touchdown.

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