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#pounditSaturday, September 18, 2021

15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 4

Amari Cooper

Week 4 featured a few surprises — hello Houston! — while some teams continued impressive trends of winning or disappointing trends of losing. You had the Titans get blown out, the Dolphins’ offense fail to produce once again, and four teams slipped to 0-4. Some team units had abysmal performances on Sunday, and some star players had down days.

Here’s a look at the 15 biggest disappointments of Week 4 in the NFL.

Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders

The Oakland Raiders’ offense was anemic for the second week in a row, and Cooper was at the center of the disappointment. Cooper had just two catches for nine yards on eight targets. He dropped a pass in the fourth quarter, giving him an NFL worst seven drops on the season. Then when the Raiders were making a final effort late in the game to try and take the lead, a pass intended for Cooper was intercepted. One could argue he could have done more on the play.

After consecutive 1,000-plus yard seasons to start his career, Cooper has been a total disappointment this season with just 12 catches for 110 yards and one touchdown. That’s the kind of stat line fantasy football players were hoping to see weekly from the receiver!

New England’s defense

The Patriots were hoping that Dont’a Hightower’s return would help stabilize one of the NFL’s worst defenses, but it was not to be as New England once again struggled to stop an opponent at home. Cam Newton’s Carolina Panthers entered the game looking like an inferior opponent, having struggled with inconsistency during the season. But they came into Foxboro and posted 444 yards on a comparatively modest 60 plays. New England forced two turnovers, but it wasn’t enough, as they still lost 33-30. There has to be serious concerns about how bad this unit has been all season.

Nick Folk, K, Buccaneers

Let’s give some credit to where it’s due: yes, Nick Folk did make the game-winning kick for the Bucs on Sunday to help them win 25-23. But the game wouldn’t have come down to that kick if Folk hadn’t made so many errors earlier in the game. The 32-year-old missed a 46-yard field goal early in the second quarter, a 49-yard field goal attempt early in the third quarter, and he missed an extra point in the first quarter. That’s seven points he left on the table that he is expected to convert. “It’s probably the worst you can feel after a game-winner,” Folk said of his feelings following the game.

Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins

Ajayi’s London homecoming very much did not go according to plan. Perhaps a nagging knee issue had something to do with it, and his lack of carries — he had just 12 — was probably the biggest catalyst, but it was not a memorable day for the running back. Ajayi managed just 46 yards on his 12 carries, with 15 of those yards coming on one play. The Saints controlled the football and the game, starving Ajayi of oxygen. He’d have wanted to do better in his hometown, but instead, he’ll have to put this one behind him quickly.

Kenny Britt, WR, Browns

Britt was targeted eight times but made just three catches on Sunday. He was plagued by a litany of dropped passes, including one that resulted in an interception. That wasn’t his only issue, either, as he also committed a false start. His 52 yards marked his second-highest total this season.

The Browns are now 0-4. You have to be pretty bad to stand out as a particularly poor option on a team like this, but Britt is certainly doing so. All this for a guy given a $32.5 million contract with $10.5 million guaranteed.

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens

As the Ravens struggled against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Flacco was asked to throw a lot to try to get Baltimore back into the game. He was not up to the task. The veteran quarterback completed 31 of his 49 attempts for 235 yards, but his one touchdown and two interceptions told the story. The offense managed just that one touchdown plus a field goal and was never really in this game as Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers thoroughly outplayed Flacco and the Ravens. Flacco put it best after the game when he said of his play, “I sucked.” His teammates didn’t help him much by dropping five passes and allowing him to be sacked four times.

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons

For the second consecutive game, Ryan had a nasty habit of turning the ball over. He followed up three interceptions at Detroit with two more at home against the Buffalo Bills. After a nearly flawless season last year, Ryan is only two interceptions shy of matching the seven that he put up in the entire 2016 season. Ryan threw for 242 yards and a touchdown, but the Falcons lost at home to Buffalo, and the quarterback’s performance simply was not up to his usual standards.

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