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Green Zone League Articles

The Week That Was: 2018 Week 4
By Garth Pearce
Special to gzl-football.com

BENGALS VS 49ERS

Game: Going into this game both teams were winless but the 49ers had shown a resurgence in offense this year whilst the growing pains of Johnny Football continued. Manziel had another poor showing in this one, but it was Giovani Bernard who stepped up with a 138 yard day at 5.52 ypc and a score on a 78 yarder. Overall the Bengals were outgunned 449 yards to 187 and had 9 minutes less of the ball. This victory can be attributed to the contributions of the defense for the Bengals, were they made their 2 turnovers count by returning the pick and the fumble for scores (Germane Baker a 53 yard pick 6 and Stuart Simpson a 28 yard fumble return) for the 28-24 result. Dqayen Coyle had 2 sacks for the visitors whilst the 49ers Whitney Mercilus had 2 of his own. Geno Smith had a strong performance with 365 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 pick but the 49ers run game was non-existent.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


BILLS VS TITANS

Game: The Titans have been the toughest outfit to face in the regular season in recent times and the Bills ran into this wall in week 4. They were never out of the game, especially with the hard running of Riddick Owen (11 yards and 2 touchdowns), but it may have been the costly turnovers of Andrew Luck that resulted in the two field goals that gave the Titans the 26-22 edge. Christopher Henderson didn't see much of the day for the home team, with backup Jay Cutler making 32 pass attempts with a pick. Even with Owen's good running, Aaron Curry managed to stop the run behind the line 4 times for the Titans, but most of the big performances came from the Bills. Leodis McKelvin and Thruman Blount both had 4 deflections, Jack pounds 3, whilst defensive rookie of the year candidate Shawn Oakman added another 3 sacks to his impressive tally.

Teams: Davon House makes it the second corner out for the Titans this year after he suffered a dislocated elbow and joins Jalil Brown on the sidelines for at least 4 weeks.


BRONCOS VS RAVENS

Game: Getting shutout in any game is a bad omen, but getting shutout at home is a distaster! The Ravens were stomped 38 to zip by a rampaging Broncos outfit who maintained possession and stifled offensive production. It was pretty much a clinical display of safe offense with shutdown defense as Howard Christensen led the way with 232 yards at 65.38% completion and 4 touchdowns. He only used 3 receivers all day who each got a score (124 yards and 2 scores to Mark Perez). Harry Diaz also returned a fumble for a score to add to the Ravens woes. Manti Te'o had 3 tackles for a loss as the biggest standout for the Ravens, whilst Joe Flacco spent some time off the field injured.

Teams: The Broncos feel the pain this week with a 1 week layoff for CB Harry Diaz with a bruised shoulder.


EAGLES VS LIONS

Game: After breaking their losing hoodoo in week 1 the Eagles returned to their 2017 form with back-to-back losses, however they headed into Detroit with new determination and set to work on the inconsistent Lions. Both starting quarterbacks saw time on the sidelines and matched their touchdowns with interceptions, but even though the Lions had the most yards it was the Eagles who emerged triumphant with a 34-27 win. Malik McNabb had all the offensive scoring for the Eagles with 3 touchdowns (plus 3 picks) over 211 yards (along with 30 yards on 3 attempts rushing), whilst a pick 6 of 73 yards to Alan Hill added another score to give them the edge. Keeping the Lions to 4 field goals was a big boon to their chances, especially with the amount of turnovers going around. Ray Turner had 2 picks for the Lions and Dana Garcia deflected 3 passes but it wasn't enough to stop the points piling on. Cameron Heyward and Wesley Washington both got behind the line twice to stop the run whilst Blidi Wreh-Wilson knocked down 3 passes himself.

Teams: It's a tough blow when your backup/mentor QB takes the biggest injury whilst filling in for your injured starter, but that's what the Eagles' Kyle Orton has to deal with. The journeyman QB suffered a broken jaw and will miss another 6 weeks.


SEAHAWKS VS RAMS

Game: The Seahawks had a slow start to this one but made a showing of it late to force this divisional game to overtime. There was a lot of passing for both sides in this one as both teams had over 300 yards from their starters at over a 60% completion rate. In the end it was the turnover free day and 3 touchdowns to Sam Bradford that ended in a Rams win, 33-30. Rookie Odell Beckham Jr caught 7 balls for 132 yards and 2 scores whilst TE Ed Moss had an impressive 109 yards. The Seahawks had more of the ball but weren't as effective in their use, as apparent by the running back comparisons that sees Knile Davis average 2.61 yards on 19 caries versus LaVonte Bell @ 5.31 yards from 16 attempts. The Rams defensive line did a lot of the hard work, with Nick Failrey registering 2 sacks, 1 TFL and 4 tackles, Sheldon Richardson with 1 sack, 2 TFL and 6 tackles, while Justin Houston had 1 sack, 1 TFL and 3 tackles.

Teams: The Rams were hit with a bad blow in this outing, losing FS Patrick Chung for the year with a broken elbow.


FALCONS VS PANTHERS

Game: The Falcons entered this game winless and left the same way, failing to capitalise on an injury to Matt Barkley and make the Panthers pay whilst Tim Tebow was behind center. Before exiting, Barkley was 11-of-12 (91.67%) for 214 yards and 3 touchdowns in less then a half of football, whilst Gerard Campbell was piling up the yards with 160 at 5.71 ypc and a score and Torrey Smith was catching 5 balls for 131 yards and 2 toucdowns. The Falcons did their best by winning the second half and limiting the Panthers to 1 field goal, but the 28 point first half was too much to overcome for youngster Bo Callahan (262 yards at 54.05% and 4 touchdowns) and Mario Fannin (118 yards at 5.13 ypc) to reel in. Curtis Lofton had 3 tackles for loss for the losers but the combined 10 catches allowed by the starting corners along with 19 tackles by the secondary proves how effective Barkley was early to impact the 28-31 result.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


DOLPHINS VS JETS

Game: In this divisional outing the Jets had more of the ball and produced more with it but failed to stop a fourth quarter comeback from the Dolphins to go down 33 to 25 at home. The run was strong in this one, with Le'Veon Bell going for 135 yards at 6.43 ypc and a 58 yard score, whilst on the other side Marcus Lattimore punched out 142 yards @ 5.46 ypc as the starter and was backed up by 110 yards and a 68 yard score from Elias Vaughn (12.22 ypc from 9 attempts). Russel Wilson hit up Ricardo Lockette twice for scores as he notched up 148 receiving yards for the day. Defensively the Dolphins were led by Canton Larsson with 2 sacks, Dante Fowler and K.J. Wright with 2 tackles for loss each, 3 deflections by Tyrone Booker and a pick to Shyrone Mills. Prince Amukamara had 3 deflections for the Jets as the only notable for the Jets defensively, whilst A.C Terrell did wonders for the run with 10 pancakes.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


VIKINGS VS BEARS

Game: The Vikings started the year well but have failed to find the same level of offensive numbers since then, and that is something they needed today against the Bears. The Bears came out fast and had 27 points by half time. Their run game was working and Bronze Pittman finished with 104 yards at 4.95 ypc and 2 touchdowns whilst Collin Klein went 14-of-16 for 264 yards and an 80 yard touchdown to Percy Harvin (145 receiving yards for the day). Colt McCoy tried to keep the Vikings going (367 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception) but was playing a lone hand as David Wilson got no traction against the Bears defense, even if Sammy Watkins caught 6 balls for 155 yards and a score. Jimmy Smith had a pick for victors whilst Marc Thomas collected a fumble, a sack, a tackle for loss and 4 tackles.

Teams: The Bears spent big over the off season to fill some voids in their defense, but that spending isn't going to pay off. Big name acquisition Morris Claiborne broke his collarbone and will 9 weeks of football. He's not alone as FS Patrick Murphy is also out for at least another week with a strained shoulder.


PACKERS VS RAIDERS

Game: This game was all about pounding the turf as two strong run games went head to head in a game where passing was a volatile optional extra. Mark Ingram had the biggest day with 178 yards at 6.85 ypc and a 77 yard score, whilst Doug Martin worked up to 105 yards and touchdown but was trumped by his backup Mike James who added 80 yards at 8.89 ypc and 2 scores to give the Packers the biggest advantage of the day...touchdowns over field goals for a 34-22 win. The Raiders had a solitary touchdown on the day with 5 field goals whilst the Packers achieved for maximum points 4 times to go with their 2 field goals. Chad Jamison blocked well for the Packers running game with 11 pancakes whilst Cobrani Rogers (interception) and Daymond Van Dyke (fumble recovrered) had the turnovers for the Packers. Rolando McClain and LE Andre Branch had a pick each for the Raiders, plus McClain added 2 TFLs and 12 tackles to his tally.

Teams: TE Jordan Reed's time in Oakland was short lived as he was cut after only 1 game to make room for the new acquisition of Jonathan Schaub from Cincinnati. Schaub has been on the radar since the off season with future plans to see him at full back, but for now he provides a number 2 option behind Thompson with decent blocking skills.
Courtney Upshaw may have landed the game winning sack on RG3 to stall the Raiders' last ditch drive, but it cost him his season with a complete PCL tear. Time for second year player Kony Ealy to step up to the big time.


CHIEFS VS CHARGERS

Game: For a divisional game this one was a bit of a fizzer. Neither team were spectacular on offense whilst both showed up with solid defensive work that gave the Chargers the edge in time of possession by 7 minutes due to the fact that Christine Michael managed 101 yards at only 3.74 ypc, just enough to get through 3 downs and move the chains more often. Blaine Gabbert only spent half the time on the field, relieved by Sammy Harry when he went off injured and Harry turned out to be the better quarterback of the two by actually registering a score with 64.29% of passes complete. E.J. Manuel looked good with a 65.22 completion percentage, but he was sacked 3 times by improving presence of rookie Collin Kilpatrick. Fletcher Cox and Richard Sherman both had 2 tackles for loss for the Chargers also, whilst for the Chiefs you had Ronnell Lewis stuffing the run 3 times behind the line while Matt Burton chipped for 2 of the same thing.

Teams: No-one likes expensive wins, but expensive divisional loses hurt even more. The Chiefs are landed a double blow with Jason Pierre-Paul questionable going into week 5 with a strained Achilles, while DT Sedrick Ellis has a dislocated ankle and will miss 10 weeks.


TEXANS VS COLTS

Game: This was back-to-back Colts VS Texans games (only separated by a Bye) which looks to be one of the weirdest schedules I've seen. Needless to say the outcome of this match was the same as the week 2 version with the Texans making it two in a row with a hard fought 38-34 win. The Colts tried valiantly for a fourth quarter comeback but the mountain was too big to climb over, even if they did have the same number of scoring attempts as the Texans. Kendall Irving had a decent day with 282 yards and 3 touchdowns. Trent Richardson also found the end zone whilst Andre Burt took a kick back 96 yards for the score. Oliver Nixon had 3 tackles for loss and rookie Micah Price had his first pick of his career. For the Colts Ryan Tannenhill did his bit with 333 yards at 63.64% with 3 touchdowns (all to Kendall Wright who had 169 receiving yards) and 1 interception, whilst Cedric Peerman reeled off a 78 yard score on the ground. CB's Travis Murphy and rookie Trae Waynes padded their stats with 3 deflections and 2 TFLs respectively, but they also allowed 8 catches between them.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


CARDINALS VS BROWNS

Game: Both of these teams haven't been at their best so far this year and this win for the Cardinals was nother game of just enough is good enough. The Browns failed to find consistency on offense even though they had plenty of opportunity whilst it took a little bit of Ponder and a number 2 back to score the points for the Cards. HB Alex Green posted a 50 yard dash to the end zone to pad his yards per carry but was still the best looking offensive player. Nolan Carroll had 3 deflections whilst the rest of the defense shared the load. The same was true for the Browns as no-one stood out or stood up to give them a chance in this 23-10 defeat at home.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


JAGUARS VS SAINTS

Game: New Saints GM Jeff Downey finally found his groove for this game, posting some decent offense to record his first GZL win 34-24 over the Jaguars. Tyler Wilson finally gave a return on the investment spent to get him into New Orleans. Wilson returned figures of 341 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception to lead from the front in the Saints' first 2+ touchdown game of the season. His 1 pick was returned to the house by Dre Kirkpatrick, who also had 4 deflections on the day. Jags DE Amos Houston also sacked Wilson 3 times and Tysopn Alualu stuffed the run behind the line twice. Offensively LeSean McCoy had 100 yards, with the scoring success from his hard work going to the inconsistent Tyler Bray with 2 touchdowns. Bray also spent time out of the game again for the third straight week.

Teams: You'd think with the amount of time Tyler Bray has been in and out of games that he's be on this list, but instead it's LOLB Darnell Work who broke his collarbone to end his 2018 campaign.


GIANTS VS REDSKINS

Game: With Stanzi out and Edwards at the helm for the Redskins, the money was on the Giants to continue with their good form and take this one. Things turned out differently as the Skins D put the squeeze on Kaepernick whilst finding their spark in Bull Griggs to take this divisional match-up 20-16. Griggs had 151 yards at 7.19 ypc and 2 touchdowns to be the only multiple scorer for either team. Alan morris had 3 deflections whilst Donald Butler and Demarius Stonewall knocked down 2 a piece. The Giants defense worked just as hard, with Trent Tehti getting 2 sacks, Bernards Stecens and Brandon Hogan recoding 3 deflections each, plus Hogan added a pick. The Giants will lament their stalled drives in this one, settling for 4 field goal attempts (for 3 conversions) when an extra touchdown would've made this interesting.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


BYE:

BUCCANEERS

COWBOYS

PATRIOTS

STEELERS
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