NFL fans celebrated the return of the referees this week. Week 4 saw dominant wins and thrilling finishes. About a quarter of the way through the season, we are starting to get a feel for which teams could be contenders and which teams will not be. Here’s a recap of some of the big finishes and big-time performances.
1. Eagles Edge Giants on Missed Field Goal
The Giants fought back in the 4th quarter as they usually do when trailing. Eli Manning led Big Blue into field goal territory, but Lawrence Tynes failed to connect on a 54 yard field goal, coming yards short. A big offensive pass interference call on Ramses Barden costs the G-Men forcing Tynes into a longer field goal. The 19-17 loss propels the Eagles to a 3-1 record and drops the Giants to 2-2. The Giants will need a more effective rushing attack as they return home Sunday to face the Browns. Michael Vick looks to get the first place Eagles to a 4-1 start in Pittsburgh Sunday.
2. Falcons Stay Undefeated
It took them a game-winning field goal in the final seconds, but the Falcons emerged victorious once again Sunday defeating the Panthers, 30-28. The Falcons improved to 4-0 with the win. Matt Ryan was terrific Sunday throwing for 369 yards and 3 touchdowns. Atlanta looks awfully good and is definitely a threat in the NFC. The Falcons will face RGIII and the Redskins next as they go for a 5-0 start to the 2012 NFL season.
3. Surprising Cardinals Improve to 4-0 with OT Win
Kevin Kolb and the Arizona Cardinals have shocked the world so far this season. Sunday, the spectacular start continued as the Cardinals came back to top Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins in overtime, 24-21. Despite only rushing for only 28 total yards and giving up 431 yards passing to the rookie quarterback, Arizona found a way to rally thanks to Kolb’s 3 touchdown passes in the second half. The Dolphins drop to 1-3 with the tough overtime loss. The Cardinals look for a 5-0 start when they play the Rams tonight in St. Louis.
4. Packers Drop Saints to 0-4
It has been a nightmare start for the New Orleans Saints. Sunday, it only got worse when Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a 28-27 win at Lambeau Field. Rodgers found his groove again throwing for 4 touchdowns after the Packers got robbed in Seattle last Monday night. Despite 446 yards passing and no interceptions from Drew Brees, the Packers prevailed with the help of a missed 48 yard field goal from Garrett Hartley. Rodgers and the Packers travel to Indianapolis to face Andrew Luck and the Colts Sunday. The Saints will return home to face the surprising 3-1 Chargers.
Players of the Week
1. Brian Hartline-12 rec, 253 yards, 1 TD
2. Matt Ryan-25-40, 369 yards, 3 TDs
3. Peyton Manning-30-38, 338 yards, 3 TDs
4. Drew Brees-35-54, 446 yards, 3 TDs
5. 49ers rushing attack from 9 different players-44 carries, 245 yards, 3 TDs