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Monday, December 9, 2019

10 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 4

Ezekiel Elliott

The NFL’s Week 4 included a game in which two teams scored 95 combined points, a late rally to keep the Kansas City Chiefs unbeaten, and the highly-awaited debut of a rookie quarterback in Washington. It also brought its fair share of disappointments — and some of them had to do with those exact storylines.

Who underwhelmed in Week 4? Here are 10 big disappointments.

Dallas Cowboys’ offense

The Dallas Cowboys’ offense looked pretty awesome the first few weeks of the season as they started off 3-0 and scored over 30 points in every game. On Sunday night in New Orleans, their offense went missing. Dak Prescott failed to throw a touchdown for the first time all season. His 6.8 yards per attempt was his lowest of the year. The rushing game was arguably worse and went for just 45 yards on 20 carries. Ezekiel Elliott rushed for just 35 yards on 18 carries with a long of six. Both he and Jason Witten lost fumbles in consecutive possessions before halftime. When they needed big drives late in the game, they ended up punting twice. A 12-10 loss was a rude awakening for a team that had been great through three weeks.

Los Angeles Rams

What happened here? The Rams scored 40 but gave up 55 to a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that has been inconsistent at best. Jameis Winston went for 385 yards and four touchdowns. A lot of that was set up by quality field position owing to four turnovers by Jared Goff, including three interceptions and a late fumble that was returned for a Tampa Bay touchdown. This will raise a lot of new questions about Goff and the defense, and they’ll have to respond.

Vontaze Burfict, LB, Raiders

To be clear, Burfict is a dirty player. There’s an abundance of evidence to back that assertion at this point. His headshot on Colts tight end Jack Doyle is his latest transgression, and his ejection was deserved. Burfict continues to be a disgrace all too often, and the NFL should come down hard on him when they inevitably hand down punishment this week. Given his extensive history, they have no excuse not to.

Atlanta Falcons’ offense

The Falcons fell behind early in their home loss to Tennessee, which didn’t help. Matt Ryan’s statline isn’t a terrible one, as he came up with 397 yards and didn’t turn it over. He didn’t score, either, and got no help from a run game that managed 58 total yards. Even Julio Jones was held in check, limited to just four catches on seven targets. Things just didn’t click for the Falcons, and only one touchdown at home is never good enough.

Parris Campbell, WR, Colts

The Colts ran into a surprising brick wall in the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and the offense unexpectedly stuttered. Turnovers were a huge problem for the Colts, none more than wide receiver Parris Campbell’s. With T.Y. Hilton out injured, Campbell was supposed to be a key part of the offense, and he got plenty of targets. However, his five catches only netted 25 yards. The worst came when he fumbled in the red zone late in the second quarter, costing Indianapolis at least three points while down 21-10.

Odell Beckham, WR, Browns

Beckham was targeted seven times on Sunday but caught just two of them for a measly 20 yards. He took a bit of a beating during the matchup as well, and came away quite unhappy. He’s still scored just one touchdown since moving to Cleveland, and his struggles to adapt to the new offense are becoming a trend. That could change — the Browns improved on Sunday — but after four weeks, it’s kind of discouraging.

Houston Texans’ offense

There is no reason Houston’s offense should be this much of a mess. Deshaun Watson was sacked six more times and seemed rattled as he failed to make any big plays. DeAndre Hopkins can’t get going. The run game isn’t a huge threat. There are a lot of talented pieces here that simply are not clicking, and that’s a surprise given how thin the Carolina Panthers should have been on Sunday. At least Watson stayed late to try fixing things.

Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens

Jackson got going in the second half a bit, but in general, this was one to forget. A garbage time touchdown drive took him over 200 yards passing, but Jackson threw his first two interceptions of the season and struggled to get things going against Cleveland’s defense until it was far too late. He didn’t cost Baltimore the game, but he’s raised the bar so high for himself that this comes as a letdown.

Washington Redskins’ quarterbacks

It’s no surprise that Case Keenum was once again awful for Washington, and Jay Gruden was right to bench him and see what else he had. Unfortunately, the answer was not a lot. Haskins’ struggles were not what those who felt he could be the savior wanted to see, as he was intercepted three times, once for a touchdown. He was in a bad situation, already down big and without key weapons on offense, but his tenure didn’t inspire confidence. It has left the Washington quarterback situation very murky for Week 5.

Minnesota Vikings’ offense

We’ll be fair and note that the Vikings were facing arguably the league’s best defense in the Chicago Bears. That said, this was a disaster. Kirk Cousins averaged a measly 6.5 yards per completion. They only found the end zone once on a Dalvin Cook run, and he was otherwise bottled up. They got only 15 first downs. They were outplayed by Bears backup quarterback Chase Daniel. At some point, we have to accept that Cousins isn’t a good quarterback and this is not a good offense.



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