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NFL Week 4 Recap, 1st Quarter Quick Shot Analysis

Recap from Questions and Predictions for Week 4

The Lions go full dud against the Jets during the game, Jets win. – WRONG – The Lions controlled much of this game from the start and Geno Smith continues to underwhelm as an NFL Quarterback. Sunday was Smith’s 20th start of his career and although his career record isn’t that bad (9 wins, 11 losses) his other statistics are below par for the course for what it takes. Smith has a career completion percentage of 58% and combines that with 16 touchdowns and 26 interceptions as a NFL QB. Jets fans are rumbling for Michael Vick to take over the show in New York. I don’t think Vick starts against the Chargers next week but will finish the game.

Ryan Tannehill is not benched and starts, Dolphins defeat the Raiders. – RIGHT – The thought that the Dolphins were honestly considering the benching of Ryan Tannehill befuddled me all last week. Thankfully the Dolphins did start Tannehill and he helped lead them to a thrashing of a helpless Raider team. – Side note – If London does get an American Football team I hope they get better choices than the Raiders or Jaguars.

Bold Prediction from Week 4: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers upset the Pittsburgh Steelers for their first win of the season. – RIGHT – I will reiterate from the last blog that the Steelers are notorious for playing down to their opponent’s talent. They did have the lead very late in the game but they let Mike Glennon and Louis Murphy (Murphy who was just picked up off the street this week mind you) drive down the field late and get the victory. The funny thing with the Steelers is that I don’t expect a double dud against the Jaguars next week. The Steelers always tend to perform better after one of these “wake up” games

Guaranteed Lock from Week 4: The Bears continue to bury the Packers this season with a win on Sunday.  – WRONG – Aaron Rodgers spoke to the media and the Green Bay fan base last week telling everyone to “relax”. Okay so everyone did as instructed and low and behold the Packers finally looked like the team everyone expected them to be to start the season. Winners from start to finish. Rodgers had 4 TD’s and Randall Cobb finally complemented Jordy Nelson for what seems to be the first time all season.

Tony 1st Quarter Stats: My prediction and guess record total through the first 4 games is 9-7. Specifically I have been 3-0 in my bold predictions and in my guaranteed locks I am 2-1.

Bold Prediction for Week 5: The Arizona Cardinals beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos. The Cardinals have a great defense and a very underrated secondary. I expect this game to unfold exactly like the Bronco/Seahawk rematch from 2 weeks ago. Low scoring, Arizona leads most of the time and Peyton makes a late push to no avail. The Cardinals go to 4-0.

Guaranteed Lock for Week 5: The Cincinnati Bengals remain undefeated by beating the New England Patriots. Listen folks, the Bengals are for real all over the field with defense, offense and special teams. Tom Brady had a rough time against this team last year in Cincinnati (even when it wasn’t raining) and although I expect a decent showing from the Patriots they just have been too shaky to me to have them give the Bengals their first loss.

Best 1st Quarter Team: Cincinnati Bengals (3-0). The Bengals are solid on offense, great on defense and are proven regular season winners (especially within their own division). I expect heavy pressure from the Ravens in the 2nd quarter of the season for the top spot in the AFC North.  Honorable mention for best team – San Diego Chargers (3-1).

Worst 1st Quarter Team: Jacksonville Jaguars (0-4). They are making strides with finally naming Blake Bortles the starter but their team has huge question marks with a very young wide receiving corps, weak backfield and defense. I don’t know if its talent, coaching or both but whatever it may be it’s just not working. Honorable mention for worst team– Oakland Raiders (0-4)

Surprise 1st Quarter team: Minnesota Vikings (2-2). This is a tough team. They lose arguably the best Running Back in football to off the field issues for the foreseeable future, lose their preseason starting Quarterback and still manage a .500 record? Hats off to the Vikings and best of luck for the rest of the season. Teddy Bridgewater really shined in his first started this past Sunday.  Honorable mention for surprise team: New Orleans Saints (1-3)

1st Quarter League MVP: DeMarco Murray, RB, Dallas Cowboys – Leads league in rushing yards (534), Rush TD’s (5) and carries per game (24.8)

Runner-up: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts (leads league in passing yards (1,305), pass TD’s (13) and tied for league lead in completions (115).

3rd: Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers (2nd in the league in rushing yards (378), 2nd in average yards per game (94.5) and currently 3rd in the league in reception yards as a RB (192)

1st Quarter Defensive MVP:  JJ Watt, DE, Houston Texans – 2 sacks, 1 interception, 1 defensive TD, 3 passes defensed and 1 fumble recovery)

Runner up: Andre Branch, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars – Tied for 4th in the league in sacks (3), Tied for 2nd in forced fumbles (2).

3rd: Kyle Fuller, DB, Chicago Bears – Tied for 1st in the league in interceptions (3), tied for 5th in passes defensed (4) and tied for 2nd in forced fumbles (2)  

Stats that will help you win money from your friends:

  • Oakland Raiders Rookie Quarterback, Derek Carr has started all 4 games for the Raiders this season and has only been sacked a total of 3 times (tied for least in the NFL with a minimum of 3 starts). Who’s the league leader? That would be Chad Henne who was sacked 16 times in roughly 3 games behind center for the Jacksonville Jaguars (before being benched for Blake Bortles).
  • Demarco Murray is the only Running Back to average OVER 100 yards rushing per game this season. The next closest is the Steelers’ Le’Veon Bell with a 5 rushing yard average.
  • The Cleveland Browns are the only team in the NFL to not have ANY offensive turnovers this season! That’s counting BOTH fumbles and interceptions. The Browns, Patriots, Cardinals and Panthers are the only teams that have yet to throw an interception. The team leading the NFL in total offensive turnovers? That’s a tie with the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers both with 10 total.
  • Demarco Murray and Le’Veon Bell have dominated some of my statistics for the blog this week. Naturally that would lead you to believe that the Cowboys and the Steelers should be battling it out for 1st and 2nd in the league in rushing right? Well that’s partially The Cowboys check in as the league’s best rushing team (660 total yards) and the Steelers check in 3rd (575 total yards). Can you guess who’s second? That would be the New York Jets with 605 total team yards rushing.

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Tony Bitkowski

Contact Tony on Twitter @TonyBitkowski.

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