Good morning! I. B. Reporting here with your week 4 wrap up. This week saw a few key injuries shake up some depth charts to great effect. Some teams continued to roll right along, and others stumbled and lost games that they probably should have won. Let’s take a look at the action around the league.
Chicago 45 – Green Bay 28
Chicago continued their torrid start to the season with a 45 point effort against the Packers. Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler both felt generous today, throwing 4 passes to the other team. Cutler was able to get it together and offset his mistakes with 5 touchdowns. Trindon Holliday and Martellus Bennett combined for 3 TD’s and over 350 yards in the win, and the Bears defense notched 5 sacks to pair with their 4 interceptions. The Bears will look to continue their streak against the Panthers.
Coach Boone, do you plan to dial back your aggressiveness in order to cut back on turnovers?
In short, no. We believe in our high risk, high reward offense, and the numbers don’t lie. We’re leading the league in offense, and we have only lost a single game. If we decide to change what we do, it won’t be reactionary. Of course the aim is to protect the ball, but the aim is also to put pressure on opposing defenses.
Houston 25 – Buffalo 10
New coach, same outcome. Buffalo continues to look uninspired on the field, and leadership has to be concerned. Garoppolo has shook off a shaky start to the season to lead the Texans to yet another win. 2 TD’s and close to 400 yards will always give you a shot, and Arian Foster added another score and 92 yards. Percy Harvin and Julio Jones both eclipsed the 100 yard mark. Jones and his cross field partner Andre Johnson found the end zone.
Garoppolo, you seem comfortable after showing some early jitters. Do you feel like you’ve finally adjusted to the speed of the NFL?
There are always adjustments to be had, but for the most part I feel like I am almost fully acclimated. The staff and my teammates have done everything they could to prepare me to be successful. I feel like the best way to repay them is lead us to victory every time I lace the cleats up. Seems like a fair exchange to me.
Indianapolis 31 – Tennessee 17
Luck and the Colts continued their undefeated start by forcing Jake Locker to throw 2 interceptions. Trent Richardson made the most of his limited carries with 89 yards and a touchdown, and Steven Ridley added another 79 yards. Luck found all of his targets today, and several people contributed in the receiving game.`The Colts have looked the part of an early season contender, but one must wonder if their soft schedule plays a part. We’ll find out soon.
Luck, do you feel different in your 3rd year? You’ve seen almost everything there is to see at this point.
There is indeed a calm that wasn’t there in previous seasons. Continuity helps of course, a familiarity with personnel and system goes a long way towards building comfort. I know we have a chance to win every week because I’m fully confident in what we can do every week.
New York Jets 17 – Detroit 0
The Jets blanked Detroit in a much needed win. Matthew Stafford was forced into 3 interceptions with a steady dose of the blitz. That very blitz was also responsible for 7 sacks in total. I’m sure Stafford spent some extra ‘time on the trainer’s table. Chris Johnson rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown, and the Jets made the most of their limited red zone opportunities with 2 touchdowns. Strong defense and conservative offense seem to be the blueprint here, but the Jets may be better served by letting Geno Smith make plays.
Coach Whitfield, do you think your defense can continue to carry the team as it has lately?
What I expect is for my defense to defend. They have, and they will continue to. No further questions.
Miami 38 – Oakland 10
50 attempts for Ryan Tannehill? Huh? Tannehill threw for 435 yards and 4 TD’s in his player of the week performance. Lamar Miller added 67 yards and a TD, while the Miami defense made it difficult for Oakland to do much of anything. Brian Hartline had 3 TD’s on the day, while MIller and Mike Wallace had 100 plus yard performances. Miami will face a stiff test against Green Bay in 2 weeks after their bye.
Tannehill, how will you build on this impressive performance, particularly your second half?
Well, all I can do is aim for a repeat performance. I felt good out there in the second half, it was like pitch and catch. We have 2 weeks to prepare for GB, so we’ll examine what worked well and why. Hopefully this momentum rolls over into our next game.
Jacksonille 17 – San Diego 3
Blake Bortles threw 2 touchdowns, and the defense did the rest in this contest. Chris Clemons 2 sacks were part of a 6 sack day for the Jags defensive unit. Philip Rivers completion percentage was adequate, but he was held in complete check otherwise. There wasn’t any breathing room for his receivers to make anything happen. Jacksonville looks to build off of this win next week against the Steelers.
Coach King Jr., do you believe the playoffs are possible this year?
*room bursts into laughter*
Seriously guys, let me worry about our next opponent. My first job when I arrived was to insert a winning culture here. I am only focused on that. The other stuff will come when everything we do is about winning.
San Francisco 51 – Philadelphia 20
Well. This was a laugher. Kaepernick has an easy day at the office, only dropping back 12 times. He did rush for 59 yards and a pair of TD’s. Frank Gore continued his bid for the rushing crown with 154 yards and a TD. Vernon Davis caught two touchdown passes as well. 78 yards for Shady McCoy has to be considered a successful defensive effort. 7 sacks turns that into a dominant defensive effort. The undefeated 49ers meet with the Chiefs next, and that could get ugly.
Coach Coach, do you feel you have what you ned to win the Super Bowl as a rookie head coach?
Am I supposed to say no?
I mean, we sure look the part don’t we? We don’t get into that around here. We keep our head down and come to work ready to win. Right now it’s working. We’ll do that until I feel it doesn’t work anymore.
Minnesota 31 – Atlanta 24
Teddy Bridgewater went 19 for 23 to lead his team to victory. Adrian Peterson finally had an Adrian Peterson game with 118 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns, while adding a third by way of reception. The Minnesota defense was able to get to Matt Ryan 4 times as well. The Vikings were able to keep up in the race for the division lead, which looks like it will be a dogfight all season.
Coach Wilf, how good was it to see Adrian Peterson doing the things we’re used to seeing?
We made a focused effort to make sure Adrian got going early, and it paid off big time. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on, and he is a huge reason we were able to hold on and secure the win. It was great to see.
Dallas 38 – New Orleans 24
Tony Romo was able to outduel Drew Brees and secure a crucial win for Dallas. DeMarco rushed for a hard fought 105 yards and a TD to supplement the 4 that Romo supplied. Dez Bryant caught two of those touchdowns en route to an 88 yard night. Dallas dominated the time of possession and kept Brees on the sideline. They racked up 22 first down, and went 8 of 11 on third down to keep drives alive. The game plan couldn’t have been executed any better.
Coach Moore, what does this win mean for your team?
It was a great win, a hard fought win. But it’s just one. We’re going to need more than one to accomplish our season’s goal. So we will enjoy it, and then get back to work. Hopefully it’s the beginning of a streak.
New England 31 – Kansas City 24
Tom Brady offset an uncharacteristic 3 interceptions with 4 touchdowns to lead the Pats to a narrow victory. Jamaal Charles did what he could with 90 yards and a touchdown. T.Y. Hilton lead the Pats receiving corps with 142 yards, and Gronk added another TD to his total on the season. In the end, the Pats constant pressure was the difference, notching 8 sacks on the night and constantly forcing Alex Smith to get rid of the ball early. Kansas City cannot let that happen again if they hope to have a successful season.
Coach Whittaker, how were you able to maintain constant pressure on Alex Smith all night?
We worked on blitz packages that we thought would give their o line trouble. We used a lot of stunts and misdirection, utilizing our speed to create mismatches. A lot of it was simply wanting it more. Our defense got after it out there, and you see the result.
Catch us next week as we sum up Week 5. I’m hearing rumblings that a couple of coaches on the hot seat may be fired very soon. I’ll bring you the latest when I hear something.