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Monday Morning NFL Recap - Week 4 Surprises, Busts & Laughers

To be honest, I'm not really sure what happened this weekend.  Watching the games this week, I gave it 50-50 odds I somehow drove through some sort of weird sci-fi dimensional portal when I wasn't looking and ended up on Htrae or something and I just can't cope right now.  The Rams are winning the NFC West?  The Panthers are 1-3?  The Bills shut out the Patriots at home?  Blake Bortles was the best quarterback in the country?

(I'll pause for a second for Falcons and Steelers fans to realize the Jags played in England.  Can't really blame them for not knowing that, though, considering it was an extra-early Jaguars game which means statistically the only people who watched it on TV were the direct family members of the players.)

It got so weird today that I was seriously expecting backward language from the next person I spoke to, but then Antonio Brown was flagged and fined for a taunting penalty after scoring and I realized that the natural order was fine.  Sometimes crazy things happen in the NFL, but as they say, "birds fly, fish swim, and the stick up Roger Goodell's ass fines players for no good reason."

So now that I've got my feet back under me, let's dive into the results of Week 4.

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It's Monday Morning... What Just Happened


The Winners:

  • Julio Jones and Matt RyanFunny story - I've got a friend who asked me for draft advice this year.  Said he was picking fourth.  I told him "Julio dude."  I am truly eloquent in text messages.  His response: "F*ck Julio," and he proceeded to draft Odell Beckham Jr.  He played against Julio this week.  I laughed.  For those who don't know, Julio Jones had 300 yards receiving on 12 catches, with a touchdown for good measure.  Matt Ryan also went supernova, passing for 500 yards and 4 TDs, and they did it all against the feared Panthers' defense.
  • Russell WilsonWilson rebounded nicely after a rough start to the season, posting 300 passing yards and 3 touchdowns.  Unfortunately for fantasy players, those passes went to C.J. Spiller, Christine Michael, and Tanner McAvoy, who I thought for a second was the guy who plays Professor Xavier nowadays.  For a brief moment, a glorious vision of mutant football sprung forth in my mind's eye, as Colossus rumbled down the field until getting blasted to the ground by one of Cyclops' optic blasts.  Sadly, though, I was misinformed, and mutant football will exist only as an increasingly battered script proposal that the NFL keeps sending back to me with a restraining order attached.  Which I feel is unfair, considering they actually made the movie Draft Day.
  • Jordan ReedAny time the game of "tight end roulette" ends with two touchdowns, you've had a good game.  Also, any time I get to use the phrase "tight end roulette," I snicker like a teenager.  I make no apologies for this.  You know what you've gotten into.  God, I can't wait for Jake Butt to get drafted.
  • Michael CrabtreeCrabtree had a monster game for the 3-1 Raiders, netting 88 yards and 3 touchdowns.  Naturally, I traded him away for Eric Decker in week 1.
  • Ben RoethlisbergerRoethlisberger may have put up a flaming wreck last week, but he made up for it in spades.  Throwing for 300 yards and 5 touchdown passes, Roethlisberger and the Steelers cruised to a 43-14 rout of the Chiefs that was never really that close.  The return of Le'Veon Bell proved to be a huge boon to the Steelers' offense, which will be sorely needed when Brown gets himself ejected by saying something mean-ish in the general vicinity of a referee one of these weeks.
  • Ezekiel ElliottZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEKE.  The rookie leads the NFL in rushing yards through 4 weeks after putting up 138 yards rushing and a touchdown.  I'd hate to say "I told you so" to all the people who told me stupid shit like "Darren McFadden will get most of the Cowboys' carries and also Zeke isn't that good" but I'm also lying, so haha I told you so.

The Losers:

  • London: Poor England.  We force the Jaguars on them annually like a five-year-old running up to his mommy and saying "look, I drew a professional football team," but mostly it's just hideous uncoordinated colors blotching up and down the page and the mom is thinking "ugh, it's just Jaguars, it doesn't look anything like a football team," and she has to stick it on the fridge anyway.  This seems mean considering the Jaguars won, but the Colts are one ambitious Van Helsing wannabe away from losing their franchise QB for good and being permanently 2-14, so we've got to keep some perspective here.
  • The NFC West: You let the Rams take the division lead.  Have you SEEN the Rams?  They have an offensive line so bad they let the 49ers hold Todd Gurley to 47 yards, and he had 52 yards after contact in that game.  That is legitimately mind-blowing, and somehow that unit is leading the NFC West.  Seriously.  Case Keenum is winning this division.  If I were a neutral fan, I'd see this and be furious.  However, I'm an Angeleno, so I'm seeing this and being all like "suck it, everyone who thinks we didn't deserve our team back."
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick again, because it's just too easy: I mean, at least it was the Seahawks this time.  The Legion of Boom.  Kansas City has a pretty decent secondary when it's not being lit up by the Steelers, but they don't have a fun name and a Campbell's commercial.  It makes sense for quarterbacks to have bad games against them.  But the fact that Fitzpatrick played two decent secondaries in a row and averaged 4.5 picks per game bodes ill for the Jets' playoff hopes.  And their fans' not dying of alcohol poisoning hopes.
  • The Patriots: Which is extra satisfying, considering the fact that in the last week I've heard the statement "We get the best quarterback in history back next week" three fucking times and it turns out that while the natural human response to smugness that concentrated is "savage beatings," those are actually against the law.  So the week's been frustrating.

All in all, it was a pretty good week of football, despite its identity-crisis-inspiring beginning.  Be sure to enjoy your victories this week.  Go out and celebrate that hard-earned fantasy win.  I suggest a nice dinner, accompanied by the adult beverage of your choosing.  Just make sure it's not TOO nice, cause you don't want Roger Goodell mailing you a penalty flag for "excessive quality of food and beverage consumption."

That fine is killer.


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