Every-Thing Sports

NFL Week Four: Good, bad & ugly

Bill Wippert, buffalobills.com

Week four of the NFL season was a wild one. There were a few unexpected results of different varieties on different levels. This week marks the end of the first quarter of the NFL season. Here's some of my observations:

The Good

-Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones won his second straight start this week in a 24-3 win over division rival Redskins. "Danny Dimes" didn't have a great game (two picks and only one touchdown), but did enough to help his team win by going 23/31 for 225 yards, along with five runs for another 33 yards. Jones is showing some of the same promise he showed in the preseason. He might be as good as his draft position (#6 overall)...might is the key word here.

-Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes did it again. Every week he shows us something we haven't seen, rarely see, or a "wow" play. This time, he took off on a scramble, but stared down a ref mid-play, and still managed to run for a first down! While he didn't throw a touchdown pass this week (first time in his career), he led a comeback win in Detroit. Wonder what he'll do next week?

-I've been watching Bills running back Frank Gore for the better part of about 20 years now. He was a stud at the University of Miami. Sans his knee injuries there, we may have never heard of Willis McGahee or Clinton Portis. At 36, he ran for 109 yards in a loss against the Patriots, but moved himself into fourth place all-time behind Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, and Barry Sanders. Kudos to the ageless wonder. I've enjoyed watching him play. Hopefully, he gets a gold jacket whenever he decides to hang up his cleats.

The Bad

-The Ravens fell to 2-2 after giving up over 500 yards on defense for the second week in a row. The Browns also put up 40 points in Baltimore which hasn't happened in several years. The Ravens were leading the AFC North. Now they're tied with the team they just lost to and gave them a confidence boost.

-The Bills forced Tom Brady into one of the worst games of his career...and still lost. Brady was 18/39 for 150 yards, no touchdowns and threw an interception. Not only that, but Bills quarterback Josh Allen was knocked from the game by Jonathan Jones after a helmet to helmet hit. Disappointing way to lose your first game of the season to a division rival and defending champs.

-The Rams gave up 55 points in a home loss to the Bucs. Their quarterback Jared Goff threw the ball 68 times (the third highest total in NFL history) in the loss. The Bucs aren't an offensive juggernaut and the Rams' defense is thought to be better than this performance. This is why they play the games.

The Ugly

-Add Mitchell Trubisky to the list of quarterbacks that have been sidelined due to injuries this season. It was a non-throwing (left) shoulder dislocation and slight labrum tear, but it'll still keep him out for an undisclosed amount of time. It occurred on the sixth play from scrimmage. Backup Chase Daniel came in and secured a 16-6 win for the Bears over the Vikings.

-Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict was suspended for the rest of the season after his helmet to helmet hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle. Burfict has been warned, and suspended/fined, several times previously for similar offenses, hence the heft of this suspension. Burfict is a guy that can't seem to get himself together, and it may have cost him his career. Doyle said he thinks the hit was worse than what it looked.

-Broncos outside linebacker/defensive end Bradley Chubb suffered a partially torn ACL in their loss to the Jags. He was injured on a play in which he was attempting to shed a block on a run to his side of the field. There was no contact, as he seemed to plant and barely twist is leg when the injury occurred. The fact that he came back and played after the injury is crazy!

With one fourth of the season down, we now have a clearer picture of the division and playoff races. There are several good surprise teams (Bills and Lions come to mind first), and several expected awful teams (Cards and Dolphins). With 25% of the season done, there's still a long way to go. Too early to tell who's a favorite to win it all, but we can certainly see who won't have an ice cream sandwich in a Houston July's chance. Looking forward to seeing the dust settle in a few more weeks.

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When a best of seven series is tied 2-2, the winner of game five goes on to win the series roughly 70-80% of the time across all major sports. The Astros came into this game riding high off their game four 5-0 combined no-hitter. With future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander taking the mound, there was some skepticism entering this game. As good as Verlander's regular season has been throughout his career, even his postseason stats, his World Series record is horrendous. 0-6 in eight starts with a 6.07 ERA and nine homers given up doesn't say Hall of Fame caliber pitcher. Things got going early on in the game.

Jose Altuve got the party started with a triple off the wall to right field. Jeremy Pena followed with a single to score Altuve and make it 1-0 Astros. Phillies starter Noah Syndergaard only lasted a couple more innings after that. Verlander gave up a solo homerun to Kyle Schwarber on his second pitch to tie the game at 1-1. It was Verlander's 10th World Series homerun allowed most of all time. Pena gave the Astros the lead with a solo shot in the fourth inning. Verlander went five innings only giving up the solo homer to Schwarber. He settled down and got out of some jams with 94 pitches thrown and six strikeouts.

In the eighth inning, both teams scored another run. In the top of the inning, Yordan Alvarez grounded to first base and Altuve scored from third. In the bottom of the inning, Ryan Segura singled to right and Nick Castellanos scored. 3-2 going into the ninth inning with Ryan Pressley on the mound is about as solid as things can get. Except the Phillies had their two, three, and four hitters coming up. Those guys were a combined 0 for 8 with six strikeouts in the game.

Rhys Hoskins got up and struck out after fighting off several 0-2 pitches. J.T. Realmuto was up next and gave a ball a ride to the warning track where Chas McCormick made a tremendous catch against the wall for out number two. Phillies big bopper Bryce Harper was up with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Pressley hit him in the shoe to put the winning run in the batter's box. Castellanos, the free swinger, was up next. Pressley got him to ground out to Pena. Ball game!

Verlander got off the schnide with his first World Series win. The Astros take a commanding 3-2 series lead. The series is headed back to Houston for Game Six. Now this team has the opportunity to close out the series at home. They have the chance to quiet the haters and doubters with their second World Series title in their fourth appearance in the Fall Classic in the last six seasons. This will cement legacies and be a fitting feather in the cap of this dynasty. One more win. Nine more innings. 27 more outs away from one of the biggest EFF YOU'S in sports history!

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