The start to Week 4 in the NFL can be summed up in three sentences:
- A team’s impressive offensive showing was spoiled by its inept defense, again.
- Three games continued past regulation.
- Officials made a call that may have cost one team its second win.
Another Heartbreaker in Atlanta
The Atlanta Falcons were coming off a crushing loss to the New Orleans Saints last week. They experienced another one against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton threw a pass to A.J. Green in the end zone, putting Cincinnati up 37-36 with seven seconds left on the clock. It was the final nail in the Falcons’ coffin.
As usual, Atlanta’s offense did its job. Quarterback Matt Ryan had another stellar performance for the third week in a row. He threw for a total of 419 yards and three touchdowns. Rookie receiver Calvin Ridley had himself a day, catching two of Ryan’s three touchdown passes.
However, the Falcons’ deficient defense, once again, overshadowed the powerhouse offense. The team was without starters Keanu Neal, Deion Jones and Ricardo Allen due to season-ending injuries. And it has shown each week.
A couple of Atlanta sports media personnel took to Twitter to talk about the Falcons’ defense.
Bengals go up by a touchdown after Giovani Bernard ran it in from ten yards out. Defense is even worse than I feared early on
— The Falcoholic (@TheFalcoholic) September 30, 2018
Last 6 Falcons' opponent possessions:
Saints: 16 yds (post blocked punt), TD
Saints: 75 yds, TD
Saints: 81 yds, TD
Saints: 80 yds, TD
Bengals: 67 yds, TD
Bengals, 51 yds, TD
— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzATL) September 30, 2018
Head coach Dan Quinn said the team isn’t letting the loss affect them in a negative way.
Overtime, Overtime, Overtime
Three games went into overtime on Sunday: the Houston Texans-Indianapolis Colts, the Cleveland Browns-Oakland Raiders and the Tennessee Titans- Philadelphia Eagles.
Thankfully, none ended in a tie.
The Titans stunned the Eagles in a 26-23 comeback win. It came down to the wire. With 17 seconds left on the clock, quarterback Titans’ Marcus Mariota hit receiver Corey Davis for a touchdown to seal the game.
Over in Indianapolis, the Colts could’ve pull out the win but were unsuccessful on a fourth-down conversion.
The Texans offense had another chance to score. And they did. Quarterback Deshaun Watson completed a 24-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins, which set up the winning 37-yard field goal by kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn.
It’s only the fourth time in NFL history that at least one game has gone into overtime in each of the first four weeks of the season.
Did the Officials Rob Cleveland?
Fans and media are still talking about the controversial call.
Cleveland’s Myles Garrett appeared to have strip-sacked Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr. But the officials said the quarterback’s forward progress had been stopped.
It’s possible the call stole a win from the Browns in regulation. Oakland went on to win 45-42.
ESPN College football analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who grew up in Ohio, didn’t agree with the officials.
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) September 30, 2018
The first quarter of the NFL season concludes tonight as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs take on Von Miller and the Denver Broncos at Mile High. Live coverage of the game starts at 7:30 p.m. on WRUF.