Analysis

Spoiler Alert, Week 4: Three undefeated teams due for first loss

I should've seen it coming, what with this being a copycat league and all.

I was nonetheless bemused and -- as a Steelers fan -- disgusted by Pittsburgh OC Todd Haley's decision to not simply hand the ball to his unstoppable running back in short-yardage during Thursday night's most critical moments.

Todd, are we to assume you're the only human who approved of Seattle play caller Darrell Bevell's aversion to Marshawn Lynch on the goal line at the end of Super Bowl XLIX?

Eight months to the day after the Seahawks outsmarted themselves at the goal line in the final minute of the Super Bowl, the Steelers could've -- should've -- gone to 3-1 while putting the playoff hopes of the archrival Ravens on ice on the first night of October. All Haley needed to do was ride red-hot Le'Veon Bell one (or two) more times, and the game would've been over. Instead, he made like Bevell and left the outcome up to someone other than his best player.

Yes, Josh Scobee deserves blame ... But the kicker's inaccuracy doesn't fall under the heading of "Things Todd Haley Can Control."

Mike Vick was on the street just a few weeks ago. Why, then, put the game on Vick's shoulders on two overtime, short-yardage fourth downs instead of riding the runner who was consistently gashing the Ravens' sagging D?! (Don't answer, Todd: It's a rhetorical question.)

It doesn't take 20/20 hindsight to know rolling Vick out of an empty backfield on the first fourth-and-2 in OT, then having Vick throw an out on an ensuing fourth-and-1 (with both plays in Baltimore territory) is wrongheaded. Of course, those two questionable calls could've been rendered moot with better calls on the preceding third downs. Why throw in those spots if you knew you'd go for it on fourth down? Did you doubt Bell -- running behind the left side of the line -- wouldn't be able to make 2 yards with two tries? (Again, that's rhetorical, Todd.)

My guess? Haley (and Mike Tomlin) didn't give any forethought to what they'd do on fourth down until third down failed. Wanna blame the kicker who didn't perform at an NFL level? Fine, but save some for blame for the guys who depended on said retread kicker and backup QB over their franchise RB in the clutch.

Sheesh.

Let's get to the rest of the Week 4 games.

WARNING: Do NOT continue reading if you don't want to know the final scores of the Week 4 games.

(0-1 this week, 10-6 last week, 30-19 on the season)


JETS 14
DOLPHINS 16

B. Marshall: 45-yd TD rec
A. Franks: GW 38-yd FG


CHIEFS 26
BENGALS 21

J. Charles: 140 yds/scrimmage, TD
T. Eifert: 4 rec, 60 yds, 2 TDs


TEXANS 29
FALCONS 26

R. Mallett: 340 yds, 2 TDs, 2 INTs
J. Jones: 8 rec, 90 yds


RAIDERS 25
BEARS 15

A. Cooper: 10 rec, 125 yds, TD
M. Forte: Underappreciated


JAGS 21
COLTS 24

T.J. Yeldon: 15 car, 100 yds, TD
F. Gore: 25 car, 120 yds, TD


PANTHERS 23
BUCS 17

P. Brown: 15-yd TD rec
M. Evans: 2 TDs


GIANTS 20
BILLS 18

O. Beckham: 7 rec, 110 yds, TD
P. Harvin: 100 yds/scrimmage, TD


EAGLES 40
'SKINS 20

S. Bradford: 380 yds, 3 TDs
K. Cousins: 260 yds, TD, 2 INTs


BROWNS 13
CHARGERS 23

J. McCown: McCowny :(
S. Johnson: 3 rec, 60 yds, TD


RAMS 13
CARDS 14

STL D: 6 sacks
C. Johnson: 25-yd TD run


VIKES 22
BRONCOS 19

A. Peterson: 90 yds, 2 TDs
E. Sanders: 5 rec, 100 yds, TD


PACKERS 37
NINERS 30

E. Lacy: 16 car, 105 yds, 2 TDs
C. Hyde: 20 car, 100, TD


COWBOYS 19
SAINTS 24

B. Weeden: 2 INTs
D. Brees: 2 TDs


LIONS 14
SEAHAWKS 20

C. Johnson: 5 rec, 80 yds, TD
M. Lynch: 22 car, 120 yds


Enjoy Week 4! I hope your team wins.

Follow Dave Dameshek on Twitter @Dameshek.

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