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- Western Conference Finals Preview – The Next First Step - June 20, 2021
A quarter of the way through the NFL season and the vision becomes a little clearer. There were strong showings from unlikely sources and weak and pathetic outings flanked by delusions of grandeur (and a false sense of security) all wrapped up in big plays, miracle catches, big hits and pick sixes.
Quarterback Hot Seat:
Mike Glennon (Chicago Bears) has been benched in favor of rookie Mitchell Trubisky.
Jay Cutler’s (Miami Dolphins) seat is on fire after two straight weeks of ineptitude.
Andy Dalton’s (Cincinnati Bengals) seat has cooled off after a couple good outings in a row. On to the games.
Monday Night Football, the Kansas City Chiefs (4-0) defeated the Washington Redskins (2-2) by the score of 29-20. Travis Kelce grabbed seven catches for 111 yards and a touchdow. Alex Smith finished with 298 passing yards, 56 rushing yards and two combined touchdowns. The Chiefs stand atop the league as the lone undefeated team after week four.
The Miami Dolphins (1-2) lost to the New Orleans Saints (2-0) in London 20-0. Michael Thomas grabbed eight catches and finished with 89 yards. This marks the second time in as many weeks the Dolphins lost a game scoring six points or less. The Saints have zero turnovers in four games this season.
The New York Giants (0-4) fell to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) on a last second field goal for the loss 25-23. Jameis Winston finished with 332 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Giants have failed to gain 100 yards on the ground in every game this season. Eli Manning finished with 288 passing yards and three total touchdowns (1 rushing [seriously] ).
The Los Angeles Chargers (0-4) are not reaping the benefits of moving to the big city just yet They lost to the Philadelphia Eagles (3-1) by a score of 26-24. LeGarrette Blount had 16 carries for 136 yards. The Eagles held the Chargers to only 58 yards on the ground.
The Cleveland Browns (0-4) lost the battle of winless teams to the Cincinnati Bengals (1-3) by a score of 31-7. Andy Dalton threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns. The Bengals are (surprisingly) ranked third giving up only 67 points in four games.
San Francisco 49ers (0-4) lost to Arizona Cardinals (2-2) 18-15 in overtime: Carson Palmer threw for 357 yards and the game’s lone touchdown to keep the 49ers winless. San Francisco has given up seven passing touchdowns while scoring only twice through the air all season.
Indianapolis Colts (1-3) got embarrassed by the Seattle Seahawks (2-2) 46-18. In the Sunday night game, Russel Wilson threw for a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another. The Seahawks outscored the Colts 36-3 in the second half.
Oakland Raiders (2-2) went down to the Denver Broncos (3-1) 16-10. Denver’s defense held Oakland to 24 yards rushing. A.J. Derby had 75 yards receiving and C.J. Anderson had 90 yards on the ground. Denver has given up only 203 yards on the ground in four games.
Los Angeles Rams (3-1) defeated Dallas Cowboys (2-2) 35-30. Todd Gurley finished with 121 rushing yards and 94 recieving yards with a touchdown. The Rams have scored the most points in the NFL, averaging 35.5 ponts per game.
Detroit Lions (3-1) defeated Minnesota Vikings (2-2) 14-7 : The Lions defense forced three turnovers, while Ameer Abdullah finished with 94 rushing yards and a touchdown. The Lions have forced the most turnovers in the league.
Tennessee Titans (2-2) got annihilated by the Houston Texans (2-2) 57-14 : Deshaun Watson had the game of his life, finishing with 288 yards passing and five total touchdowns (one rushing). The Texans scored the most points in franchise history.
New York Jets (2-2) snuck past Jacksonville Jaguars (2-2) 23-20 in overtime. Bilal Powell made mince meat out of Jacksonville’s defense, finishing with 190 total yards and a touchdown. The Jets have won two straight to even their record.
Pittsburg Steelers (3-1) blows past Baltimore Ravens (2-2) 26-9. LeVeon Bell finished with 35 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns. The Steelers defense forced three Ravens turnovers.
NFC South Round up:
Buffalo Bills (3-1) defeated the Atlanta Falcons (3-1 in a nail biter 23-17. The Bills rumbled into Atlanta with the least amount of points given up all season and rumbled out with the same distinction. Tight end Charles Clay had five catches for 112 yards. The Bills defense forced three Matt Ryan turnovers, taking one of them (fumble) in for a touchdown. Tevin Coleman finished with 144 total yards for Atlanta. The Falcons remain at the top of the NFC standings heading into their bye week. The Bills are in first place in the AFC East.
Carolina Panthers (3-1) withstood the force of Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (2-2) and won on a last second field goal 33-30. Cam Newton threw for 316 yards and had four combined touchdowns (one rushing) as the Panthers stunned the Patriots in Foxboro. Brady finished with 307 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. The Patriots have the dubious distinction of gaining the most yards on offense while giving up the most yards on defense in the NFL. The Panthers rank in the top five in both points and yards given up.
See you next week!