Triple coverage catches, record setting returns, gutsy comebacks.
For an NFL fan, interesting was an understatement as Week 4 provided entertainment in every facet of the game.Â Â In my games of the week, we saw the Bears outduel the Panthers, the Bengals upset the Bills, and the Lions triumph as they came back to defeat the Cowboys.
Panthers vs. Bears
In Week 4, the Chicago Bears looked to bounce back from two straight losses to the Saints and Packers as they took on the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers, led by one of the best quarterbacks in the league statistically right now in rookie Cam Newton, were coming off their first win against Jacksonville.
The Bears came in with a different offensive game plan than they have been using this year and this proved to be too much for the Panthers as they won 34-29.
The game was close throughout but the consistency in the run heavy Bears offense preserved their lead and could not be stopped.Â Cam Newton made an early mistake by throwing an early interception in the first quarter that DJ Moore took in for a score for a 10-3 Bears lead into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, we witnessed history as Devin Hester ran back a punt 69 yards for a touchdown.Â This set an NFL record as this was his 11th punt return for a touchdown.
However, Cam Newton had spoiler in mind.Â Newton ran for two rushing touchdowns in the second to close the gap to 24-20.Â But a consistent running game helped the Bears hold off the Panthers in the fourth quarter and advance to 2-2 for the season and pick up the win 34-29.
Matt Forte finished with 205 yards rushing along with one touchdown.Â Â Cam Newton continued his great season, despite the loss, with 374 yards and one passing touchdown accompanied by two rushing touchdowns. The Bears will look to move over .500 when they take on the undefeated Detroit Lions in Week 5 on Monday night.
The Panthers are striving to get their second win of the season and will attempt to do so in Week 5 when they face the New Orleans Saints.
Lions vs. Cowboys
So, record setting special teams performance, check.Â Now, itâ€™s time for the spectacular offensive performance and valiant comeback.
After coming off two comebacks of their own, the Dallas Cowboys attempted to pick up their third straight win against the undefeated Detroit Lions.
Tony Romo and the Cowboys came out firing on offense as they jumped out to a huge lead.Â It started with a 25 yard touchdown throw from Romo to Dez Bryant.Â This was the only score in the first quarter.
The second quarter began with yet another Romo and Bryant connection with a 6 yard touchdown score.Â Dan Bailey added two field goals to add to the Cowboys 20 points in the first half.
However, in a complete 180, the Lions struggled offensively in the first half.Â Their sole points came from a 33-yard field goal with four minutes to go in the half.Â But, the Lions werenâ€™t ready to lie down and give up.
The third quarter opened with yet another Tony Romo touchdown pass, but this time to Jason Witten.
Despite the hot start, this was the last of Tony Romoâ€™s shine for the game.Â The Lionsâ€™ defense stepped up and preceded to pick off two Romo passes for scores.Â Bobby Carpenter and Chris Houston ran back interceptions for 34 and 56 yards respectively for the Lionsâ€™ first touchdowns of the game.
The Cowboys did manage to tag on another field goal to take a still commanding 30-17 lead into the fourth quarter.Â But, in the fourth quarter, the NFL witnessed what could be called an epic comeback or collapse depending on your point of view.
The fourth quarter was all Detroit.
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson connected for two touchdowns, one of which Johnson leaped over triple coverage to make an amazing catch, accompanied by a Jason Hanson field goal accounted for 17 points in the fourth quarter.
This, along with a solid defensive performance in the third quarter to get the scoring started and the fourth quarter to shut down the Cowboys offense, led to a 34-30 comeback win for the Lions.
The Lions improved to 4-0 and will look to stay undefeated when they take on the Bears in Week 5.Â The Cowboys will look to regroup in Week 5 during their bye week.
Bills vs. Bengals
Now, special teams, check, offense, check, and now itâ€™s time for a defensive showing.
In my final game of the week, the Buffalo Bills, perhaps one of the biggest surprises of the NFL season, went to Cincinnati in Week 5 ready to continue their offensive dominance.
In the first half, it appeared we were witnessing yet another dominant Bills performance as they used a Rian Lindell field goal, a Byran Scott 43 yard interception return for a TD, and a two yard rushing TD by Fred Jackson to take a 17-3 lead into halftime.
So, the Bills will join the Packers and Lions as the only teams undefeated going into Week 5 right?
Unfortunately for the Bills, this was incorrect and in reverse of what we have seen from the Bills. This time it was the opposing team making a comeback to win the game.
Despite throwing two interceptions in the game, Andy Dalton threw a 17 yard touchdown to Jermaine Gresham and added a rushing score of his own in the second half to come back and win.
Mike Nugent added two field goals in the second half, with one being as time expired to defeat the Bills and pull to .500 at 2-2 for the season.
The Bengals defense was spectacular which contributed to the win.Â Also, Cedric Benson played a big role in the win as he added 104 yards rushing on 19 carries for the Bengals.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the offense for the Bills looked uncharacteristic as their only offensive score was a Fred Jackson touchdown run. The Bills hope to fix their Week 5 slip up in offense when they face the struggling Philadelphia Eagles next week. The Bengals hope to continue these winning ways against Jacksonville in Week 5.
Week 4 was fun to watch. With all the spectacular plays and performances, it just leaves us NFL fans wanting more and looking forward to seeing what Week 5 brings. Some headlining games to look forward to and tune into for Week 5 include Philadelphia at Buffalo, the AFC East rivalry battle between the N.Y. Jets and the New England Patriots, and finally Chicago traveling to Ford field to take on the undefeated Detroit Lions.
Get ready NFL fans for another great week of football.