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News » Titans' win over Vikings is big surprise in Week 4 2008-09-29


Titans' win over Vikings is big surprise in Week 4 2008-09-29


Titans' win over Vikings is big surprise in Week 4 2008-09-29
There were three surprises on Sunday. I was surprised that Dallas wasn't able to run the ball on Washington and the Redskins winning means the Giants still have a great shot at repeating in the NFC East. What a division! New York is unbeaten, and they should be able to beat the Seahawks next Sunday without Plaxico Burress.


I was also really surprised by how easily Tennessee handled Minnesota. I never thought Tennessee was going to pull away like that. I mean, both teams have older guys at quarterback, a history of being very good up front on defense and grinding it out on offense. I didn't see a high-scoring game with all the defense and the pass rushers on both teams, but it didn't work out that way. Tennessee really man-handled the Vikings.

NFL Week 4

Week 4 action

    Bucs 30, Packers 21 -- Recap | Box
    Titans 30, Vikings 17 -- Recap | Box
    Jets 56, Cardinals 35 -- Recap | Box
    Saints 31, 49ers 17 -- Recap | Box
    Panthers 24, Falcons 9 -- Recap | Box
    Browns 20, Bengals 12 -- Recap | Box
    Jaguars 30, Texans 27 -- Recap | Box
    Chiefs 33, Broncos 19 -- Recap | Box
    Chargers 28, Raiders 18 -- Recap | Box
    Bills 31, Rams 14 -- Recap | Box
    Redskins 26, Cowboys 24 -- Recap | Box
    Bears 24, Eagles 20 -- Recap | Box
    Steelers 23, Ravens 20 -- Recap | Box

Analysis

  • Marvez: NFL beasts in NFC East
  • Glazer: Plaxico fined 40-50 times
  • Strahan: Titans are still surprising

Video

  • Glazer: Week 4 injury update
  • Peete: NFC weekly review

Photos

  • NFL Week 4's best
  • Biggest moments

Green Bay losing really surprised me. I didn't expect the Packers to get beat like that. I understand that Tampa has a great defense, but I thought after how Aaron Rodgers played against the Cowboys that he would come in much better and score more points than they did.

Good news on Boldin

When I wrote this, Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin was moving his extremities and talking and the news was he was doing well. But I couldn't believe the hit on Boldin. He seemed out before he even it the ground. Of all the players, I didn't think I would see that. Fans don't know how tough he is as a player. He is so physical and tough. To see him down and out like that before he even hits the ground, it really concerned me. I knew right away it was serious because I think Boldin is one of the toughest guys in the league at any position.

As a former player, it takes you back. I said to myself, "Thank goodness I got out of this game when I did, before it happened to me." You know, you pray for a guy like that. You hope he's going to be well, and you hope he's able to come back as quickly as he wants. It's really early now, but you hope everything checks out. He does have movement in his limbs. I just hope it totally checks out, and that Boldin has no long-term effects.

Betting on Deuce

The Saints needed the return of Deuce McAllister. They needed his power running inside to give Drew Brees the play-action opportunities that he loves so much. When the Saints made it to the NFC championship game two seasons ago, play-action and Deuce running played a huge part.

In a game like this against the 49ers, the Saints have a great outside runner in Reggie Bush, but he's going against Patrick Willis, the San Francisco linebacker who can run sideline-to-sideline with just about any running back in the league. Willis may be faster than a lot of running backs. So, the Saints needed Deuce, the guy who can run it into the middle and open up the passing game for them.

The thing that impressed me about the Saints is that they have so many players beat up everywhere, offense and defense. When you have a team hurting like that, it's a great thing that they have an established quarterback who is also a leader. And it looks like Drew Brees still has enough pieces in the passing game to win. He proved that Sunday. And I'm sure Coach Sean Payton has been preaching to his team that having guys hurt is still not an excuse for not winning.

I mean, the rest of the NFC South has to start wondering now how good can the Saints be once they get Jeremy Shockey and Marques Colston back. When they do, it's going to be a very interesting race in the South with both Carolina and Tampa Bay 3-1 right now.

Bucs are good

The thing about Tampa Bay is that it is so strong on defense. Yes, the Bucs are opportunistic. The Bucs live and die with their defense. There were times Sunday when they made Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers look like a below-average quarterback. I mean, in the first half alone, linebacker Derrick Brooks should have had five interceptions.

And at the end, when Rodgers hurt his shoulder, the defense really turned it on against his replacement and back on him once he returned to the game. Gaines Adams really played a great game; he turned the pressure up once Rodgers came back. Monte Kiffin is a defensive coordinator that doesn't hold back. Monte saw bleeding fish in the water and said, "Let's go ahead and finish them off." Defense has carried Tampa's team for as long as I can remember.

They play with a lot of energy and heart. How far can they go? Well, they still have a great shot to repeat as champions of the NFC South, but it's going to be tougher the deeper they go in the playoffs because you are going to have teams with a defense as good, if not better, than theirs, and the offense may be better than what they have right now.

Favre's big day

Brett Favre put up phenomenal numbers, yes, against the Cardinals, but you also have to understand who he played against. Arizona started the season strong, but now that they have played two good teams, they are 2-2.

They stayed on the East Coast for an extra week after losing to the Redskins. I don't know if their guys were able to handle that. Obviously, it didn't look like they did. And it was a good confidence booster for the Jets. They got the fans excited. But I still want to see them against better competition. Remember, the Jets struggled last Monday night against the Chargers.

Right now, it doesn't look like the extra week in Washington, D.C., helped the Cardinals. But I'm not sure if it makes a difference whether the team is coming from the east or the west when they decide to stay and not fly back.

It's all about the guys still working on their preparation and being focused for the game, and ultimately the guys' resolve toward winning the game. I think the hardest part for a team is that there are going to be certain guys — I don't want to say they are not professional enough — but they don't approach such a trip the right way. They might take it as a vacation, more so than this is a good opportunity to work toward a great win. The way the Cardinals played Sunday, they started a little bit late. They didn't score until the second half, and they never seemed capable of stopping the Jets' offense.

I'm OK with Coach Ken Whisenhunt's decision to stick with Kurt Warner. I still think Warner is the best quarterback they have, and that's the reason to play him. I still believe Matt Leinart is a talent, but I don't know if he's ready like Warner is right now. Now, had the Cardinals been completely blown out and not scored like they did in the second half, then I think the Cardinals and Whisenhunt would have faced a lot of pressure to make the switch to Leinart. But I don't think it's necessary at this point. They've only played four games.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 29, 2008

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