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Week 4 (7 p.m.): Justin Fields explodes in flight, Pittsburgh gets depressed

Buffalo Bills (3-1) – Miami Dolphins (3-1): 48-20

Carolina Panthers (0-4) – Minnesota Vikings (1-3): 13-21

Philadelphia Eagles (4-0) – Washington Commanders (2-2): 34-31

Tennessee Titans (2-2) – Cincinnati Bengals (1-3): 27-3

Cleveland Browns (2-2) – Baltimore Ravens (3-1): 3-28

Chicago Bears (0-4) – Denver Broncos (1-3): 28-31

The Bears led 28-7 in the third quarter. Everything seemed to be going well. And then ? Nothing. Or almost: punt, fumble lost and returned for a touchdown by the defense, failure on fourth attempt and interception.

Beyond the result, it is the manner that is terrible. While Denver returned to 28 everywhere, Chicago had a 4th & 1 on the opposing 18 yards. Matt Eberflus decides to try it, but Khalil Herbert’s race (18 races, 103 yards) crashes into the defense.

The Broncos score on foot in stride (28-31), but Justin Fields (28/35, 335 yards, 4 TDs, 1 int) and his teammates have one last chance with 1 minute and 46 seconds on the clock. With 32 seconds left, when Fields arrived almost halfway, he threw the ball into the hands of Kareem Jackson. Enough to crown a terrible in-flight explosion for Chicago.

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From the start of the second quarter to the middle of the third, the Bears had scored four touchdowns in five possessions to take the lead. So many good memories already gone. Matt Eberflus is more than ever in the hot seat.

Conversely, Sean Payton and Russell Wilson (21/28, 223 yards, 3 TDs) were saved at the last minute. After a touchdown at the start of the match (0-7), Denver was extinguished, with four consecutive punts. Brandon Johnson and Courtland Sutton restarted the game after the break, before the defense finished the job.

Houston Texans (2-2) – Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2): 30-6

The Steelers offense is missing. Trailing 16-0 at halftime, Kenny Pickett (15/23, 114 yards, 1 int) and his teammates never seemed dangerous in this match.

Worse, after two field goals which put Pittsburgh back in the match a little (16-6), Pickett injured his knee and had to leave the field. No information yet on the severity of the injury. Just after his exit, Houston did not make any feelings, with a touchdown from Dalton Schulte (3 rec, 42 yards, 1 TD) to widen the gap (23-6), and a last one from Nico Collins (7 rec , 168 yards, 2 TDs) (30-6) to add to the score.

Because CJ Stroud (16/30, 306 yards 2 TDs) and his Houston teammates are fueled! Houston started the match on the floor, with an offensive lasting more than six minutes and a connection between Stroud and Collins for the opening score.

After an interception by the defense, the Texans added a field goal, then two others before the break (16-0). Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is getting nowhere on offense. The runners are blocked. Pickett cannot find solutions. Depression.

Despite the two kicks, Pickett’s injury will have finished dampening the morale of the Steelers in this Sunday to forget. Quite the opposite of Texans who are much more attractive than expected this year, with dashing and dynamic young people.

Indianapolis Colts (2-2) – Los Angeles Rams (2-2): 23-29 ap

A very, very cruel match for the Colts and Anthony Richardson (11/25, 200 yards, 2 TDs – 10 races, 56 yards, 1 TD). Trailing 23-0 in the third quarter, the rookie and his teammates produced a monumental effort to win overtime.

But in the extra period, they were victims of the sensation of this start of the season: Puka Nacua (9 rec, 163 yards, 1 TD), author of the winning touchdown for the Rams on the first possession, sending back Richardson and the Colts in the locker room without them being able to touch the leather during overtime.

Dominated in the trenches and unable to keep the ball on offense at the start of the match, the Indianapolis players quickly found themselves trailing 14-0 after two touchdowns from Kyren Williams (25 races, 103 yards, 3 TDs) on the first two Rams possessions. With two field goals on the following offensives, the Rams lead 20-0 at halftime. Then 23-0 midway through the third quarter.

This is where everything comes to a head. Richardson finds Mo Alie-Cox for a touchdown, with the two-point conversion as a bonus (8-23), and the defense intercepts Matthew Stafford (27/40, 319 yards, 1 TD, 1 int). Indianapolis does not capitalize, but the Rams miss a field goal. Anthony Richardson scores on the ground (15-23). The Rams are stalling again. And Richardson finds Drew Ogletree for one more touchdown with 1mn56 remaining. We still have to achieve another two-point conversion… it’s done on an improvised pass to Michael Pittman! 23 everywhere.

The Rams have a match point but settle for a punt. Their defense tightens the game and recovers the leather with 1mn09 to play. But Stafford and his teammates are still short. Ultimately, the extension draw favored them. They unroll and Nacua delivers them. They largely led, they scared each other, but disaster was averted.

New Orleans Saints (2-2) – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1): 9-26

Derek Carr (23/37, 127 yards) was there despite a shoulder injury a week ago. But was he all in? In any case, the New Orleans attack did not worry the Buccaneers. The return of Alvin Kamara (11 races, 51 yards – 13 rec, 33 yards) didn’t change much either.

New Orleans gained only 197 yards and scored three field goals in the entire game. Tampa’s defense is full of quality, it contained the Lousiane team well. But the Saints also seemed to be sorely lacking in explosiveness and imagination.

The Buccaneers didn’t do anything extraordinary either, but Baker Mayfield (25/32, 246 yards, 3 TDs, 1 int) was able to seize a few opportunities. After two punts to start, the Tampa attack managed to keep the ball for almost nine minutes for Cade Otton to score the first touchdown of the match (3-7). Mayfield was then intercepted, but his defense immediately snatched the ball from Adam Prentice’s hands to recover the leather just 6 yards from the Saints end zone! Deven Thompkins (4 rec, 45 yards, 1 TD) then scored the touchdown to make it 14-3 for the visitors.

A festival of punts and field goals punctuated the return from the locker room after the break. It was ultimately Mayfield and Thompkins who connected with 3mn44 remaining for the decisive touchdown (9-23). Still as laborious, the Saints then finished with a fumble and an interception. Enough to bring the total of their lost balloons to three.

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