Sunday's games are in the books for Week 4. What plays will we remember? Marc Sessler chooses the five runs that defined Sunday's action
Tom Brady and the passing game have hogged the attention in New England for years, but that wasn't the case in Sunday's emphatic 52-28 win over the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots' ground game exploded for 247 yards, led by Stevan Ridley and rookie Brandon Bolden, whose 27-yard burst is an example of the hard-running style he challenged Buffalo's defense with for four quarters. Bolden had 137 yards; Ridley added another 106; and Bill Belichick keeps reinventing this offense at will.
The New York Jets find themselves in a dark place following Sunday's 34-0 beatdown at the hands of the San Francisco 49ers. What Jim Harbaugh's team accomplished at MetLife looked like a blueprint for what the Jets had hoped to become this season. Dominant, pounding running game and a subpackage quarterback in Colin Kaepernick who out-Tebowed Timmy and left the Jets wondering what's next in a spiraling season.
There isn't a tougher runner in the NFL than Adrian Peterson, who gains speed and power with each passing week and has helped turned the Minnesota Vikings into the surprise story of this early season. Sunday's victory over the Detroit Lions was Peterson's best game of the year. He rumbled for 122 yards on 25 carries, and this 15-yarder below shows the difference he makes behind so-so protection. "It just seems like that was the Adrian that we were hoping to see," coach Leslie Frazier said after the game. We agree.
The Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants tangled in a physical affair on "Sunday Night Football" that went the way of Philly largely because of the handiwork of LeSean McCoy. Shady's 123 rushing yards was the third most league-wide on Sunday and the Giants had no answer for him. On a third-quarter scoring march, Philly dialed up the same running play to McCoy over and over and over. On the heels of a 34-yard rip, the Eagles back took this one for another 22 yards down to the New York 1. He's the NFC East's most dominant threat on the ground and continues to rescue the Eagles on offense.
It's a challenge to boil this down to five runs. For instance, we could go with one of Cam Newton's specialties from Sunday, or focus on the fine work by Washington Redskins rookie back Alfred Morris, but how about a head nod to Chris Johnson, who finally materialized on Sunday for a league-leading 141 yards on 25 carries. The Tennessee Titans were waxed by the Houston Texans, but CJ2K appears to be back. We'll monitor this closely, friends.
We can't list them all, but these were our favorites from Sunday. What were yours?