October 5th, 2009 14:57 EST
Week Four of the NFL Keeps Fans Guessing
Week four of the NFL rolled on with more close games, a few upsets and the spirit of winning. The Lions battled it out in Chicago and kept the Chicago Bears on their toes with a back and forth battle. The Lions were trying to move into week five with two straight wins and with showing much improvement. At different points of the game, the Lions took the lead and looked liked they may pull off an upset in Chicago but with the new franchise quarterback for the Bears and their offense prevailed as they beat the Lions 48-24.
A game that was a nail biter was the Patriots and Ravens. The game stayed close and the Ravens had a chance to pull off the victory in the last seconds but Clayton the normally sure handed receiver for the Ravens dropped the ball within the ten yard line and the victory for the Ravens. The Ravens are 3-1 and still look good with the tremendous defense.
One piece of controversy that is really starting to take shape and is becoming an issue in the NFL this year is the referees being way too sensitive to any defensive lineman hitting the quarterback. In the Ravens and Patriots game yesterday, number fifty-five for the Ravens was pushed into Tom Brady`s leg and just barely touched his leg moving it about an inch. Brady who in my opinion has to learn to be a tough quarterback and has a long road to go down to even come close to being an all-around quarterback, ran over to the line referee and made a comment that the lineman was going for his knee. The referee threw a flag and branded the Ravens with a fifteen yard penalty. This is unbelievable because there actually were two incidents like this in the Ravens and Patriots game yesterday and both penalties resulted in two touchdowns for the Patriots.
As Ray Lewis put it after the game, if the referees are going to be that sensitive to quarterbacks being barely touched and then penalize the defense for basically doing their job; then they should put flags on the quarterback and a buzzer that goes off every time the quarterback is touched.
To me, this is pettily. I remember watching the quarterbacks of the 1970s era take hits as if they were being hit by a Mack Truck. Quarterbacks like Bradshaw, Tarketon, Stauback and others of that era of sports would take a hit and get up looking for their teeth on the ground, or get up woozy as if they were hit by a powerful right hook and then stumble back to the huddle and do it all over again the next play. Of course, the rules have changed since then but we cannot get so sensitive to the fact that, these are quarterbacks and their job is to lead the team. They are always going to be a target for lineman to sack and there really has to be a medium line drawn here as to what really is an intentional and violent or late hit that warrants a penalty for the defense or if that was the lineman just playing the game of football and trying to sack the quarterback.
Another big surprise this year is the New Orleans Saints who seem to not only be winning games but dominating teams. The Saints are a fan favorite and have the people of New Orleans celebrating all ready as if it was a year round Mardi Gras event. I have seen the Saints defense improve this year from a defense that basically used to give up the running game tho their opponets to a defense that is up there with the Ravens.
The Saints have a good secondary with players like Darren Sharper who returned one of his interceptions off the Jets Mark Sanchez for a touchdown and kept Jets receivers at bay with low scoring.
The Saints went into the game ranked number one in offense and lived up to that ranking with a 24-10 win over the New York Jets. The Saints were basically being tested on Sunday since this was really the first game this season they played a credible and good team and it looks like they passed the test with a victory.
I believe the Saints are for real this year and should prove to move steadily towards post-season play but as with any professional sport; anything can happen and the true test, especially for the NFL are the wins that come in November and December that get you to the post-season. The Saints have a bye next week for week five and then take on another good team, the New York Giants in week six.
Other scores yesterday, the Bengals beat the Browns, 23-20 in overtime, the Texans spanked the Raiders who are still slumping 29-6, the Colts continue to roll with their new head coach by beating the Seahawks, 34-17, the Jaguars beat the Titans, 37-17, the Giants beat the Chiefs, 27-16, Washington squeaked by the Bucs by a score of 16-13. The Dolphins got back on the winning track by beating the Bills, 38-10, Denver remained undefeated in a surprise game by beating the Cowboys, 17-10, the 49ers who look like the team of old crushed the Rams, 35-0 and the Steelers got back on the winning track by defeating the Chargers, 38-28.