5 Big Stories in the NFL This Week
David Goldman via AP
Topsy-Turvy in the Standings
Something must be wrong with my computer. And there must be typos in the newspaper. It’s the first week of October and the NFL standings on both my computer and newspaper list the Buffalo Bills (3-1) in 1st place in the AFC East and the Los Angeles Rams (3-1) in 1st place in the NFC West. The standings also show the Patriots (2-2) have already lost two home games. Stop the presses!
And the Giants are 0-4? Weren’t they supposed to beat-out the Cowboys this year for the best record in the NFC East? The Chargers are 0-4 in their first season since moving from San Diego to Los Angeles. Hey, the Chargers were supposed to be the winning team in LA while the hapless Rams continue to muddle their way along on offense. Wasn’t that the prediction of a lot of so-called “experts”?
Apparently, nobody told the Rams they were supposed to be bad. And who do the Bills think they are? Don’t they know the Patriots’ Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have a deal with the devil and can never lose the AFC East crown?
It’s certainly been a surprising first month of the season as teams that struggled mightily over the past several seasons are suddenly flexing their muscles and gaining attention for playing good football. There have been some very close games and some big surprises, including the likes of the L.A. Rams who traveled to Dallas and snagged the upset win by a score of 35-30. That puts the Rams a full game ahead of the Seahawks and Cardinals in the NFC West. These upstart teams are fun to watch and shaking things up early in the season.
Mark J. Terrill via AP
NFC East Update
The Eagles (3-1) are alone in 1st place in the NFC East thanks to their 26-24 win at the L.A. Chargers. The Eagles were the only NFC East team to win in Week 4.
The Cowboys (2-2) were upset at home by the Rams whose kicker, Greg Zeurlein, made 7 field goals. On Monday Night Football, the Redskins (2-2) lost a hard-fought game to the Chiefs in Kansas City, 29-20. And bringing up the rear again this week are the New York Giants, one of 4 teams to start the season 0-4 (along with the Browns, 49ers, and Chargers).
Here’s the good news for the Giants this coming weekend: they’re playing one of the other winless teams (Chargers). One of those losers will finally get off the schneid.
As for the 1st place Eagles, they have a tough game on Sunday hosting the Cardinals. The Redskins have their bye week which is good because QB Kirk Cousins can spend extra time at home during the weekend with his newborn baby son, Cooper.
As for the Cowboys, their home game this weekend hosting Aaron Rodgers and the Packers is a rematch of last January’s playoff loss in the divisional round. The Cowboys are still waiting to hear a ruling from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans regarding RB Ezekiel Elliott’s playing status. There’s a chance to court will allow Zeke to play the rest of the 2017 season. Then again, a ruling could come down this week which sidelines him for his full six-game suspension. Everyone is in limbo until the court announces a decision. The announcement could come later this week.
Hail to the Chief(s)
There’s only one NFL team that remains undefeated through the first 4 games of the regular season and they’re the Kansas City Chiefs (4-0). Fans of the Cowboys and Eagles owe a debt of gratitude to the Chiefs for knocking off the Redskins on Monday Night Football.
Ed Zurga via AP
Joe Mahoney via AP
Raiders QB Derek Carr Suffers an Injury Which Sounds Familiar to Cowboys Fans
The Oakland Raiders were a popular pick by many people to be a Super Bowl contender this season. After all, they’ve got arguably the hottest young QB in the game (Derek Carr) and the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year (Khalil Mack) and a running back who plays in Beast Mode (Marshawn Lynch). But the Raiders have lost their star QB for at least a few weeks. Derek Carr suffered a back injury when he was sacked late in the 3rd quarter of Sunday’s loss at the Broncos. Carr suffered a transverse process fracture in his back.
If this injury sounds familiar to you as a Cowboys fan, that’s because it’s similar to the injury suffered by Tony Romo in November 2014. He missed one game that season because of injury. The transverse process is a small bone that sticks out either side of the vertebrae.
As for how long Carr will miss, it’s still too early to tell but reports are indicating the team is hopeful he’ll return after missing just two weeks. E.J. Manuel will take over for Carr as the Raiders quarterback during the interim.
DeShaun Watson Brings Joy and Hope to Texans
It’s been quite a week for Texans rookie QB DeShaun Watson, the team’s 1st round draft pick. Watson threw 4 TDs and ran for another in a 57-14 home win over the Titans (the former Houston Oilers). The 57 points is the most ever scored in a Texans game. The big win and the large number of points was very, very cool. But not nearly as cool as what Watson did the previous week.
Eric Christian Smith via AP
Watson took his very first game check as an NFL player and presented it to three ladies who work in the Houston Texans cafeteria. All three were victims of Hurricane Harvey which destroyed their homes and possessions. The checks that Watson presented to Denisse Benavides, Isabel Sanchez, and Maria Rincon were for $9,100 each. Hopefully his generosity will get them back on their feet. He sure had the Texans’ fans on their feet during the win on Sunday over the Titans!