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The ‘A Gap’ week 4 NFL editorial by Josh Slocum

The ‘A Gap’

week 4 NFL editorial

by Josh Slocum

 

Just when you thought you had an easy week of tipping, week 4 came along.

 

Who would have thought:

 

The Bills would pants the Patriots in Foxboro to the tune of a shut out? They hadn’t done that since 1960 and the Pats hadn’t been shut out at home since 1993! The Bills D is finally looking like a Rex Ryan defense and Tyrod Taylor continues to be decent.

 

The Falcons would put up 48 on the Panthers? That’s 2 terrible losses now for the reigning NFC champs and they are in a battle to win their division. Meanwhile the Falcons offense is clicking again. Julio Jones broke a franchise record to go for 300 yards and Matty Ice also broke a Falcons record for most passing yard with over 500. The Falcons are the number 1 offense, but a number 1 offense hasn’t taken the Lombardi home since the 09 Saints. If they could just rush the passer then they would be a legit shot at doing something in the playoffs.

 

The Rams would win in Phoenix? The Rams do have a good record against divisional rivals but I really thought after the debacle in Buffalo, that the Cards would respond with a win at home.

 

The Seahawks would be fine in the Meadowloands? Wilson was banged up with a knee and ankle and the o-line suspect, but Wilson started 10/11 for 191 yards and a 2 TD’s! And that’s against the vaunted Jets d-line.

 

 

It was great to see:

 

Jimmy Graham return to form. He broke 110 yards, hauled in a 1 handed catch, and finally looks to have a connection with Wilson.

 

Jamaal Charles return to the field after a year out with an ACL injury.

 

Wasn’t good that:

 

QB’s went down. Siemian, Palmer & Newton are all unlikely next week.

 

My favourite player NaVorro Bowman go down with yet another serious injury, this time an Achilles.

 

Golden Tate continues to struggle, with just the 1 reception and a wrong route that resulted in an INT for Stafford.

 

The Chargers had yet another terrible loss after leading. This time turnovers on consecutive plays let the Saints back in it. Not what they need at home with the uncertainty surrounding their tenure in SD.

 

What on earth:

 

Were the refs doing when they blew a blocked play returned for a TD dead in the Texans & Titans game? Luckily that error didn’t cost the Texans a win.

 

Had a feeling that:

 

The Ravens and Raiders match would be terrific. Veteran WRs Steve Smith and Michael Crabtree put on a clinic.

 

 

Looking forward to watching:

 

How the Falcons go against the Broncos D.

 

What Ton Brady does to the Browns in his return.

 

Thoughts after 4 weeks:

 

It’s never been a better time to be a young QB. Rookie’s Wentz & Prescott are shining, Brissett & Kessler have played well and young QB’s in Siemian and Garrapolo have been terrific. Even Lynch filling in for Siemian looked great.

It helps that former QB’s are coaching Wentz, Siemian/ Lynch and Kessler but rule changes protecting the QB and enabling the passing game means rookies and youngsters can shine sooner than ever before.

 

The best systems continue to shine.

 

The Broncos are incredibly impressive. I had them missing the playoffs after a QB change and good defenders lost in FA but they are rolling at 4-0.

 

The Seahawks also lost 2 quality defenders but are currently ranked 2nd for yards and 3rd for points. They should win the NFC west now.

 

The Patriots have been super impressive without Brady and Gronk and at 3-1 are poised to make another run at the Super Bowl.

 

The Vikings are looking to leap into that franchise category under HC Zimmer. The move to acquire Bradford was smart. Their defense looks to have taken another step towards being elite and having a capable QB still means they are a chance to go deep in the playoffs.

 

Jim Schwartz is one of the best defensive co-ordinators. I thought he’d improve the Eagles D but they were amazing against the Steelers. With Wentz firing under great offensive planning the Eagles are a real shot to win the division.

 

The Steelers bounced back after that humiliating loss to hand the Chiefs that batton. Big Ben threw as many TD’s (5) as incompletions.

 

What has happened to:

 

Both NFC teams that fought it out in the championship game last year? The Cards and Panthers are 1-3. I trust the coaching staff to figure it out, but they better do it soon as one would think that either the Packers or Vikings will secure the North and a wildcard, leaving only 1 spot for those 2 teams and even a NFC East team to fight it out.

 

Both AFC South teams in the Colts and Jaguars? The Colts have had injuries across the board but that doesn’t excuse dropped passes, penalties and poor play in general. The Jags were many people’s fancy but after watching them the last 3 weeks, they still have an average o-line when running the ball and a suspect coaching staff. Check out the game against the Ravens to see a team out schemed by another. It appears the South is the Texans to lose.

 

The Raiders D? They came into week 4 ranked last for yards after picking up 3 big profile FA’s in the off season. I knew it may take a while to gel but that’s far below expectations.

 

 

 

 

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Born into the red and white of the South Melbourne Swans, I remember being amazed at age 7 to see a team with our colours that actually won something when the 1984 49ers won the Superbowl. I've been following the red, white and gold ever since. Of recent times my frustrations at not winning a Superbowl since 1994 can be heard occasionally on the aussieguysnfl podcast.

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