Another week of NFL action, another Message Pitch review from yours truly. I know by now you anticipate these reviews like every millennial woman anticipated Hocus Pocus 2. Anyway, it’s hard to believe we’ve already reached the quarter-season mark. Still too early for your season to be over but late enough to begin feeling the pressure of getting on the right track. Here is what stood out in Week 4 action:
I have to say kudos to the Eagles fans for giving Doug Pederson the warm reception he rightfully deserved with his return to Philly. The man brought the Eagles their first championship. He ended all those recycled memes and “ZeRo SuPeR bOwL” jokes. Pederson never wanted to leave either. His vision for the direction of the team after the 2020 season differed from that of the front office. They weren’t aligned so both went their separate way. I would say though it’s worked out for both parties.
Jalen Hurts continues to impress and played well given the conditions from the remnants of Hurricane Ian. Trevor Lawrence, however, gave his best Carson Wentz impression and held on to the ball too long and fumbled four times. The Eagles defense was relentless, especially Hassan Reddick, and were the reason the Eagles ended the game on a 29-7 run. It was a slow start for the boys in midnight green, but they righted the ship and showed why the NFC will run through Philadelphia.
Despite Lawrence’s struggles it was overall a decent showing for Jacksonville. They were one bad pass away from being up 21-0 on the Eagles on the road. They had a chance at the end of the game to tie it up before another Reddick strip sack, but they showed these are not the Jaguars of old. Doug Pederson is doing everything the opposite of Urban Meyer and the Jags are now legitimate contenders in the AFC South.
Somebody get the Rams some Pedialyte and Ibuprofen. This team is officially hungover. After a poor showing on Monday Night Football, LA dropped to 2-2 and in a 4-way tie in the division. The Rams regular season struggles continued against the 49ers and Jimmy G outplayed Matt Stafford. I really thought the addition of Allen Robinson was going to do wonders for this Rams offense, but they just don’t have it right now. Still plenty of time but the Eagles, Packers, Cowboys and Bucs all look better right now. Dallas’s elite defense by the way comes to town next week.
I still don’t know what we have in this 49ers team. The Niners losses this year have come from the Bears and Broncos, two teams that are not playing very well. They also have playmakers on both sides of the ball and Jimmy G has won double than he has lost as a starter. I still trust the Rams a little bit more, but San Francisco is a team that can find themselves playing in the Divisional round if they play to their potential.
If you’re a Ravens fan you might only want to attend their away games. Baltimore again blew a lead of at least 17 points at home and went scoreless in the 2nd half. Lamar Jackson is showing he is worthy of a big contract, but this defense needs to improve greatly if they are going to make a postseason run. They are more than capable but the Bills and Chiefs are ahead of them currently. (Miami as well if Tua is back healthy).
Josh Allen didn’t have the best statistical day, but he helped lead a 2nd half comeback, including a strong TD run. He is still my way-too-early pick for MVP. Buffalo needs to get healthier if they are going to live up to their expectations, but Allen is good enough to keep them afloat in the meantime.
Much like the 49ers, I really don’t know what we have in this Green Bay Packers team either. They struggled mightily in their opener at Minnesota but have won 3 straight games. They disposed of the Bears and survived in Tampa but then proceeded to go to OT against a 3rd-string quarterback at home against the Patriots. A win is a win in this league and they are right in the thick of the division race but Aaron Rodgers is going to need to elevate this offense further if they are going to be contenders for the top seed.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The Patriots find themselves 1-3 and down to Bailey Zappe as their starting quarterback. Their schedule eases up a little bit with the Lions, Browns, Bears and Jets the next 4 weeks but will they honestly be favored in any of these games? That clam chowder doesn’t taste so good this year. If their struggles continue the Pats could be a team that suddenly finds themselves in the Bryce Young running.
I didn’t want to dive too deep into the Tua situation. I am not going to pretend that I am an expert in the medical field. I have a Mass Communication degree. What I saw transpire last Thursday was tough to watch. I do hope Tua can remain healthy and resume his career because he has been electric this year.
Lastly, the Vikings outlasted the Saints and gave the Londoners an exciting finish with a double-doink made field goal. They did have to suffer through a game of Andy Dalton and Kirk Cousins, though. I thought the British were our allies. Exposing them to this matchup would classify as the first act of war since the Boston Tea Party and signing of the Declaration of Independence. At least they get Aaron Rodgers and potentially Saquon in the Wildcat formation next week.