Week 4 kicked off on Thursday with the Rams/Vikings game, in what proved to be an offensive thriller. On Sunday, the other three teams from the North played and just like last week, the NFC North was divided with 2 wins and 2 losses across the board.
Minnesota Vikings Out-Gunned By the LA Rams
In a quarterback clash for the ages, Jared Goff would face Kirk Cousins. Cousins threw for 442 yards and 3 touchdowns in a solid performance for his team. He was also able to successfully involve the majority of his receiving core, connecting with 9 of his receivers. On the other hand, Dalvin Cook was insufficient in his performance, failing to provide a sustainable run game with just 20 rushing yards on the day from 10 carries. It should also be noted that Cousins was unable to lead his team to victory, fumbling the ball in the final 2 minutes of the game.
The Rams offence however was absolutely fantastic on the day. Jared Goff compiled 465 passing yards and 5 touchdowns, whilst the explosive Todd Gurley ran the ball for 83 yards. Cooper Kupp was another standout performer, with 162 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods and Todd Gurley also caught touchdown passes to contribute to the Rams’ big 31-38 win.
The result for the Rams means that they go 4-0 on the season. The lowly Vikings are now 1-2-1, entering a crucial game at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday.
Tough Game in Dallas For the Lions
The Lions travelled to the Cowboys with a huge victory over the Patriots under their belts. Mathew Stafford continued his fine form, completing 24 of 30 passes for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns. Golden Tate III caught both of those touchdown passes which were highlight-reel worthy. Kerryon Johnson also impressed with a touchdown run of his own in the game. On defence, Jarrad David totalled 11 tackles, whilst Da’Shawn Hand, Devon Kennard and Romeo Okwara each produced a sack for the Lions.
In spite of that, the Cowboys simply out-scored their opponents. Dak Prescott made great progress from a poor start in the season, amassing 225 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. However, Ezekiel Elliot was the game-changer for the Cowboys. He had a combined 240 yards in the game, with 1 touchdown and also several crucial third-down completions. He actually looked like the 2016 NFL Rushing Yards Leader that we all know and love (or hate depending on who you ask).
The Cowboys emerged victorious with a clutch field goal from Brett Maher in the dying embers of the game to produce a 26-24 win. The Lions regress to 1-3, with the Cowboys improving to 2-2 on the season.
Packers Too Good For the Bills
The Packers were simply too good for the Bills in week 4, despite them playing relatively poorly. Aaron Rodgers was unusually inaccurate at the helm, connecting on just 22 of his 40 passes. He also gave up one interception. Despite that, he did throw 1 touchdown and compile 298 passing yards, so he can be excused. Jimmy Graham announced his arrival with a touchdown in the first quarter, making the daunting ‘Lambeau Leap’ into the crowd. Although, The defence were the real stars of the show for Green Bay. HaHa Clinton-Dix made 4 tackles and intercepted Josh Allen once, whilst Jaire Alexander had an interception.
The Bills have very little to shout about in this depressing shutout. As previously mentioned, Allen threw 2 interceptions and completed only 16 of 33 passes. LeSean McCoy was equally poor, rushing for just 24 yards. The Bills look to have a difficult season ahead of them and something must change; sooner rather than later.
The 22-0 victory for the Packers elevates their record to 2-1-1 on the season while the Bills drop to 1-3.
The End of FitzMagic
FitzMagic, though short-lived, was and forever will be a phenomenon. However, the Bears stomped out the magic in Chicago in a dominant 10-48 win. Mitch Trubisky looked comfortable in his performance, accumulating 354 passing yards and an incredible 6 touchdown passes. He also ran the ball 3 times for 54 yards. The defence once again prevailed, with 3 interceptions and 4 sacks divided across the team.
Unfortunately for Ryan Fitzpatrick, he was pulled from the game at the half, having played fairly poorly. He was able to connect on just half of his 18 passes for 126 yards and conceded an interception to boot. His replacement, Jameis Winston, didn’t fare all that better, throwing 2 interceptions of his own. Nevertheless, he completed 16 of 20 passes and threw a touchdown, yet it was simply not enough against this explosive Bears outfit.
The win for the Bears reinstates their position atop the division with a 3-1 record. The Buccaneers drop to 2-2, but will be looking to bounce back with the reigns now firmly in Winston’s hands.
The Jared Goff image above was tweeted by @JaredGoff16.
This guest piece has been written by Greg Forbes. Greg is a Pittsburgh Steelers who not only has love for his team but the NFL itself too. You can follow Greg over on Twitter at @G29750721.