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NFL Week 4 Thoughts & Recap – Inside The Wheelhouse

peyton manningLet’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 4 in the National Football League!

– If you are considered to be a mediocre Quarterback in the NFL or one that may be underrated my best suggestion for you would be to announce you are an elite QB at the start of the season because you will start playing like one. Say what you want about Joe Flacco but he is playing like a top notch QB for the Ravens so far this season. In my opinion Flacco is that final “ingredient” to being a Super Bowl caliber team for the Ravens and if he plays like this for the rest of the season Ray Lewis may get that final chance at a ring.

– Sure Cleveland lost, no surprise there, but they looked impressive for a young team. I really like how this team was built in the offseason through the draft and while their record may not be all that great I continue to expect good things out of this team in a couple years.

– The Atlanta Falcons are 4-0 on the season and do so in the most improbable of fashions after driving to take the lead from the 1-yard line. Sometimes things like that happen when you know you are a team of destiny. We are a quarter of the way through the season but this Falcons team certainly is looking like a team of destiny at the moment.

– For the 2nd straight week we will be questioning the leadership skills and mindset of Cam Newton after a tough loss to Atlanta. How Cam Newton bounces back in his next game will really define what type of player we can expect him to be in his young career.

– Think the Patriots sent a message to the NFL after that win? The window isn’t closing and the Belichick/Brady era is still going strong.

– Not sure what to think of this Bills team yet. They have the potential but don’t execute it as well as I think they should. Wonder if Chan Gailey just isn’t the right coach for this potentially good team.

– No matter how you look at it the Minnesota Vikings are 3-1 to start the season. Let that settle in for a bit.

– Detroit is one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this season (of course New Orleans is #1) and don’t look like the team that had the fight they had last year. Stafford needs to step as a leader for this Lions team because they are too good to be 1-3.

– I was a big fan of a bounce-back year for both the Chargers and Phillip Rivers and they looked great on both sides of the ball against a division rival. I liked Denver in the AFC West this season but won’t be surprised if San Diego surpasses them in the division. It’s also nice to see Rivers stepping up as a leader this season as well, his buddy Jay Cutler should take note.

– Kansas City looked good at times but very sloppy most of the time. Matt Cassel has never panned out to be that franchise saving Quarterback they thought he’d be when they first got him. I really believe it’s time for KC to start thinking elsewhere on the QB front no matter how well they do this season.

– Many people liked the Rams as a potential sleeper pick in the NFC…well after a Week 4 victory put them at 2-2 on the year we now see how they will fair against the Cards on Thursday. That will be a very interesting matchup.

– Does anyone else think karma could come back to haunt this Seahawks team all-season long now?

– The San Francisco 49ers went back out in Week 4 and proved they are still a heavy NFC favorite this season. The loss to Minnesota in Week 3 was one of the best things to happen to this team because it woke them up and showed they can be vulnerable at any given week.

– Mark Sanchez went 13-29 for 103 yards with 1 INT and 0 TD’s. It’s “Tebow Time” in New York because at this point…why not?

– Houston is looking very dominant this season on all fronts and this could be their year where the stars finally align themselves in the AFC. Really liking what I see from this team at every point of their game, very solid and dangerous team.

– The only good news for Tennessee this week: Chris Johnson ran for 141 yards. The bad news: they still lost.

– Think Peyton Manning was upset about everyone writing him off as being “old” after just one week? How about 30-38 for 338 yards and 3 TD’s as he led the Broncos over the Raiders? Broncos and Chargers starting to pull away from the pack in the AFC West can’t wait for those two teams to battle it out.

– Sure Miami pushed the Cardinals to the brink in Week 4 but I love what I am seeing out of the Cards this season. Ken Whisenhunt is one of the most underrated head coaches in the NFL and is proving that this team will test San Francisco this season. Amazing how the NFC West could end up being the most interesting division this season as it is two seasons removed from sending a 7-9 team to the playoffs!

– Got to give the Dolphins credit, they gave it their all against the Cardinals this week. That’s what makes the NFL the best sport in America because on any given Sunday any team can win. Oh and by the way, what was up with Brian Hartline!?

– Quietly the Cincinnati Bengals are 3-1 on the season and made it look very easy against the Jacksonville Jaguars. “Dalton to Green” is going to be said a lot by various commentators for a number of years in the NFL. This team is extremely fun to watch on any given week.

– Jacksonville is the worst team in the NFL. How does Maurice Jones-Drew only get 13 carries on the ground? Simple, horrible offense and not possessing the ball for very long, I was very hard on Blaine Gabbert last season and I will be this year until he improves. Maybe the Jaguars and Jets will swap starting Quarterbacks…*drops mic and walks away*

– Washington squeaks one out from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 4 and improves to a very surprising 2-2 on the year. After 4 weeks Robert Griffin III is everyone’s favorite story in the NFL, which I’m sure is making Tim Tebow very jealous, and when you watch him play you have to wonder if the Colts made the right decision to draft Luck over RGIII. While I believe both QB’s will be very good in their careers one will clearly be better then the other, too soon to tell but certainly a great story to watch for many years to come.

– I’ve come to really enjoy this Tampa Bay Buccaneers team this season because you watch them play and know they have the potential to be good at some point. Whether it’s later in this season or next, they will be a good team. Hopefully the franchise and the fans have the patience to watch this team really develop.

– Do the referee’s hate the Green Bay Packers or something? We nearly saw Lambeau Field go into riot mode after the refs made a horrible call on a clear Darren Sproles fumble. Thankfully for the Packers (and the refs) we witnessed Garrett Hartley missing a field goal and leading the Packers to their 3rd, I mean 2nd victory of the season.

– The New Orleans Saints are 0-4 on the season. They play San Diego next week and can potentially go 0-5. Is this karma, bad luck or a team that is nothing without Sean Payton? Heck, maybe its all 3!

– For the first time this season the Philadelphia Eagles played like a team that can be a serious NFC East threat this season. Despite being 3-1 the Eagles have not looked like nor played like a team that can really be a top team in the NFC East this season. That all changed after a very solid victory Sunday Night against the Giants and it’ll be interesting to see if they can build off of this win for weeks to come.

– I continue to give reasons why I believe the NFL is the best sport in the United States in this week’s blog. Last week the New York Football Giants looked like a serious Super Bowl contender after the knockout punch they gave to Carolina on Thursday night. This week they lose to the Eagles in primetime and are no longer the top team in the NFC East. As they say: “on any given Sunday…”

– This was going to be a game of two Quarterbacks on Monday Night and whoever became the victor was the one that would have a pass from being under the microscope for this week. That was Jay Cutler and the Bears improve to 3-1 on the season after an impressive Monday Night win. I’m not sure how this team will fair against division rivals but for the time being the Bears are looking like a potential playoff team again.

– Where was the Week 1 Dallas Cowboys team that we saw open the season? This is a team that is too inconsistent and I believe that will be the type of season they will have from here on out. Are they a playoff team? No not in my opinion but that can all change if Tony Romo becomes the MVP caliber Quarterback people have waited for him to be.

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at 979espn.com!

You can listen to Jeff on “The Bower Show” every Monday – Friday from 3pm – 7pm ET on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, CT. You can listen online at www.979espn.com

You can follow Jeff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck

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Check out Jeff Peck’s wrestling podcast “The Still Real to Us show” which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and www.wrestlechat.net

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Jeff Peck

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