15 biggest disappointments of NFL Week 4
Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers
The NFL’s leading receiver entering the week was not much of a factor against Baltimore. Brown was held to four catches for 34 yards — both season-low marks. He also did not have a play of at least 15 yards for the first time since 2013, according to Pro Football Focus. He was part of a bizarre play where he was unable to complete a catch and the ball popped out for an interception. For good measure, Brown threw in a sideline temper tantrum after Ben Roethlisberger failed to see him wide open on a play. He’s a lock to play much better in the future.
Tennessee Titans defense
There’s no way to avoid landing on a list of disappointments if your unit gives up 50 points (seven points were scored on a pick-six). The Titans’ season had been off to a fairly good start, but Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans picked them all apart on Sunday. The numbers were about as bad as you could possibly imagine — 446 total yards, 33 first downs, nearly six yards per play. Houston even came fairly close to racking up 200 yards both through the air and on the ground, falling 26 rushing yards short. The Titans’ defense put together a thoroughly embarrassing performance.
Chargers owner Dean Spanos
What’s happening in Carson is bad and needs to be recognized. The Chargers moved to Los Angeles as the second team in a market already saturated with entertainment options — a market that had gone without an NFL team for over two decades. They’re currently playing in a soccer stadium with a capacity of 27,000. They’ve had three “home” games so far that are turning out to be neutral field games at best. On Sunday, Eagles fans took over and turned the stadium into a home game environment like one seen in Philly. The Chargers didn’t need to move away from San Diego, but Spanos decided to move them anyhow.
Maybe the Chargers will start winning. Maybe their popularity in the LA and Orange County areas will increase over time. But for now, the move is not going well and certainly leading to embarrassing results. The team’s players deserve better.
Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings
Thielen had quickly become Minnesota’s preferred big-play receiver, racking up a pair of big games to start the season. Not only was Thielen held in check by the Detroit Lions on Sunday, but he was responsible for a backbreaking turnover that ended the Vikings’ hopes of a comeback victory. With under two minutes left and the Vikings driving into Detroit territory down a touchdown, Thielen caught a Case Keenum pass, turned to run, and then fumbled the ball and the game away. He had just 49 yards on five catches, and when you add in the turnover, Thielen had a very bad Sunday.
Jason Witten, TE, Cowboys
Dallas’s offense struggled through parts of the second half, with quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Dez Bryant both facing moments of vulnerability. It was Witten, however, who was a virtually invisible part of the offense. The tight end was targeted just twice by Prescott and made one catch for nine yards as Dallas lost to the Los Angeles Rams. It’s not as if Witten has been completely gameplanned out of the Dallas offense — he’s just two weeks removed from a ten catch performance — but this is the second consecutive week that the veteran has been more or less anonymous.
Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots
The Patriots’ defense as a whole already made this list, but Gilmore deserves a specific mention here too. New England’s high-priced free agent was benched to start the second half of the team’s loss to Carolina, though he quickly reentered the game after an injury. He was a part of a couple of coverage busts in the second quarter. And in addition to allowing a touchdown when targeted, he also was called for two penalties, including a killer illegal use of the hands penalty that extended the Panthers’ final drive instead of forcing them to punt. He was also called for illegal use of the hands in the third quarter of the game.
Mike Glennon, QB, Bears
Perhaps it’s a bit unfair for Glennon to be featured here. After all, expectations were never particularly high for him in the first place. However, we’re four games into the season and there is already talk of a quarterback change in Chicago. Glennon has turned the ball over eight times in those four games, including twice more against Green Bay on Thursday. The Bears aren’t going anywhere this season no matter who their quarterback is, but Glennon hasn’t even shown himself to be a competent game manager.