NFL Week 4 observations: The good, bad and ugly

Pat Mahomes kept the Chiefs unbeaten. Andrew Mather, Chiefs team website

Week 4 of the NFL season saw some high scoring games. We also saw nine games decided by one score. Three of those games were decided in overtime and could have ended in ties. What would another week of games be without more controversy and questionable decisions? Let’s take a look through my lenses at Week 4:

The Good

-Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliot tallied 240 total yards and a touchdown in a 26-24 win over the Lions. His most impressive play was a 34 yard over the shoulder catch in one on one coverage on their final drive to set up the game winning field goal.

-Bears second year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky threw six touchdown passes in a blow out win over the Bucs Sunday. Five of the six came in the first half! Trubisky also tied for the team lead with 53 yards rushing. So much for the sophomore jinx. Khalil Mack has competition for team MVP.

-Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes continues his assault on the record books and is drawing comparisons with Hall of Famer Brett Favre with his “gunslinger” mentality and playmaking ability. He led a fourth quarter comeback win over division rival Broncos on Monday Night Football. Some of the unconventional throws he’s able to make remind some of Favre, especially the cross-body pinpoint accurate throws with sauce on them.

The Bad

-The Vikings and Rams had a shootout Thursday night the ended with the Rams winning 38-31. Both teams are considered two of the best in the league. But did we see chinks in their respective armor? Both have great defenses, but gave up a lot of points. Let’s keep an eye on this moving forward.

-The Dolphins fell back down to Earth with a 38-7 loss to the Patriots. They looked fairly average being outgained 449-172. They’re still technically in the lead of the AFC East, but I believe Cinderella has lost her slipper.

-The Falcons are now 1-3 on the season after falling to the Bengals 37-36 Sunday. This team is two seasons removed from a Super Bowl appearance, and is now in danger of missing the playoffs. Sure, it’s early in the season, but key injuries on the defensive side of the ball will make this start to their season hard to overcome.

The Ugly

-Seahawks all pro safety Earl Thomas has been embroiled in a contract dispute with the team as he is in the last year of his deal. Last November, he openly campaigned for the Cowboys to trade for him. In Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, Thomas fractured his left tibia and will be out for the season. As he was being carted off, Thomas gestured a middle finger towards the Seahawks’ bench. Not a good look, for Thomas or the team.

-Browns running back Carlos Hyde appeared to pick up a crucial first down against the Raiders with under two minutes left and his team up 42-34. The call was reviewed and reversed. The Browns punted, the Raiders scored a touchdown and two point conversion to tie the game and send it into overtime where they would later win. Sure, the Browns shouldn’t have given up a 14 point lead, but the refs didn’t need to help them either.

-The Cardinals couldn’t even overcome the Seahawks after Thomas got hurt and lost 20-17. They’re a team that’s hard enough to watch because they’re so devoid of talent. Enter rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. He had a respectable start, but the talent around him wasn’t enough to overcome the Seahawks. This team shows the early signs of being a top contender for the first overall pick in the draft.

I believe shootouts every week are going to be the norm. So are ridiculous calls by the refs, as well as boneheaded decisions by coaches and players. Every week, we seem to lose another great player due to freak accident injuries. But that’s football. The same wonderful game we love can  cruelly remind us of how violent it can be. However, let’s enjoy the influx of young talent the league has to sustain this beautifully chaotic game.


Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
It's Draft SZN! Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

On Thursday June 22, the NBA will hold their annual draft. With the Rockets owning the number four overall pick, you'd think things would be looking up for them. However, in a draft where the top three players are all expected to be immediate impact guys, the drop begins where the Rockets are selecting. Armed with some young talent, cap space, and a new head coach, the Rockets are looked at as a team on the rise. But what will help contribute to that rise?

When you have assets, you have options. There are three main options I see here for the Rockets with number four: keep the pick and select the guy you think will work best moving forward; trade up to select the guy they feel they missed out on that isn't a punk Frenchie who dislikes Houston; or trade the pick for an established star. The other option is trading the pick for a good player and a future pick/s. Let's take a look at the options:

Option 1: Keeping the pick means you're drafting the leftovers. Those leftovers start with Amen Thompson. He's the guy I believe can come in and help sooner rather than later. At 6'7 and 215 pounds, he has an NBA body. His skill set can come in handy because he's played point guard. This team could use a true point guard, but Thompson isn't exactly a traditional point. He has the size of a wing player, which allows him to see over the top of the defense. His outside shooting is abysmal and needs a vast improvement. To me, adjusting to life as a pro without his twin brother Ausar, another good draft prospect himself, will be difficult. Overall, I believe he's the guy to take at four if they decide to stay.

Option 2: Trading up to get Scoot Henderson or Brandon Miller may prove to be difficult. Both teams picking ahead of the Rockets have their point guards. Charlotte wants to find Lamelo Ball a running mate and have their eyes rumored to be set on Miller. Portland is trying their best to keep Dame Lillard happy. The Rockets would be best served to trade with either team willing to move down for whatever they offer, provided it's worthwhile. Portland was just in the playoffs the last few years and aren't as far out as some would think. They're the ones I'd eye to trade with. Speaking of Portland and Dame…

Option 3: The Rockets need a point guard and Dame may be looking to get out. Help them start their rebuild and bring Dame to Houston. Or, how about the Jaylen Brown rumors? Fred VanVleet has a player option for next season, then becomes an unrestricted free agent. There are a few options of finding veteran help around the league, especially at the point. Problem is, are any of these team willing to take the Rockets' offers? It'd start with number four, and include other assets as well. This option makes sense if the organization believes the roster, with whatever vet addition they make via trade, is playoff ready.

Option 4: The last option I thought about is to trade the pick for a first rounder in next year's draft and a decent player. I see this as a last resort of sorts. But only if they do not feel comfortable with whatever player they may take. That, and if they want to save cap space for next free agency period. Not having a first rounder next year isn't as bad as one might think. The team will need to make the necessary moves this offseason to ensure that won't be an issue next draft. FOMO is real, especially when a team is rebuilding and can't use one of the best/cheapest forms of acquiring top talent.

I talked with my good friend “TC.” The guy loves basketball and even hips me to a bunch of stuff. He wants them to move up in the draft for Scoot or Miller. While he is a James Harden fan, he doesn't necessarily want him back. He wouldn't mind it, but it's not his first option. I've spoken with a lot of native Houstonians about this. They all want a winner sooner than later, but have different philosophies on how to get there. Personally, I say options two and three are my faves. Trade the pick for help, rookie or vet, and go from there. I guess we'll have to wait three more weeks before we find out. Or will we…

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome