It was another exciting week in the NFL. The NFL's International games for the 2022 season kicked off in London with the Vikings facing the Saints. Several teams faced adversity with the effects of the weather, due to Hurricane Ian, setting up multiple running backs with career days. Before week five kicks-off with the Colts and Broncos, let's take one last look at week four in the National Football League.
Top Games from the week:
Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions
This matchup was not one of the more anticipated games of week four, to say the least; but it may have ended up as the most entertaining game overall. If you enjoy watching dominant defenses, however, then this game wasn’t for you. Neither offense could be stopped at Ford Field Sunday, as there were two total punts throughout the game with one in each half. Seattle scored on every drive of the first half, taking a 24-15 lead into the halftime break. But after a pick-six on the first play of the second half by rookie Tariq Woolen, they quickly extended their lead to 31-15. After a pick-six and a punt to begin the half, Detroit’s number-one-ranked scoring offense was reawakened. Just three plays after a Jason Myers missed field goal, Jamaal Williams broke free for a fifty-one-yard touchdown, cutting into the two-possession deficit. But Seattle wouldn’t go away, scoring on the very next drive after a touchdown run by Rashaad Penny. Seattle now led 38-23 just seconds before the start of the fourth quarter. Detroit’s offense continued to rally, scoring twenty-two points in the final period. However, their defense was unable to secure a single stop in the fourth quarter. The two offenses totaled thirty-two fourth-quarter points, striking quickly and repeatedly. After a failed attempt at an onside kick, Geno Smith and the Seahawks were able to run out the clock, securing a 48-45 victory in the Motor City.
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints
The Vikings and Saints have built somewhat of a rivalry over the last few years; the two conference foes met in London for the season’s first international matchup. Both teams had up-and-down first halves; both scoring at least one touchdown, but committing one turnover as well. As both teams entered the locker room after the second quarter, Minnesota held a 13-7 lead. Neither team could score on their first drive of the second half, but once the Vikings extended their lead to 16-7 after a Greg Joseph field goal; the floodgates opened. New Orleans trimmed Minnesota’s lead down to 16-14 on the ensuing drive after a touchdown from one yard out for Latavius Murray. Minnesota responded with yet another field goal making it 19-14 just as the fourth quarter began. Nine plays later, the Saints took their first lead of the game, 22-19, upon Taysom Hill’s second touchdown of the season and a successful two-point try. The Vikings responded with a ten-play scoring drive, feeding their star receiver Justin Jefferson as he walked in for the go-ahead touchdown with 4:15 left. Andy Dalton then led the troops down the field as the Saints were able to tie the game on a miraculous sixty-yard-field goal from Will Lutz with under two minutes to play. Cousins and the Vikings effortlessly got into field goal range, reaching the Saints’ twenty-nine-yard line in just two plays. After New Orleans used all of their timeouts, Minnesota kicked a go-ahead field goal with under thirty seconds left, now back on top 28-25. The game wasn’t over yet though. Dalton connected with rookie Chris Olave for thirty-two yards, giving the Saints a chance to get in range for a game-tying field goal. But, the offense was unable to muster another completed pass, setting up Will Lutz for a sixty-one-yard kick to send the game to overtime. Lutz came up just short on the kick, hitting the sidebar as the Saints fell to the Vikings once again.
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Philadelphia Eagles
It was everything but sunny in Philadelphia Sunday for the matchup between the Eagles and Jaguars. Lincoln Financial was one of several NFL stadiums that experienced consistent rain due to Hurricane Ian, and the weather played a huge role in this game. Both teams struggled to find success throwing the ball–or even holding onto it. Jacksonville jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead after a Jalen Hurts pick-six, and a four-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Lawrence to Jamal Agnew. But not much else went as planned for the visiting Jaguars. Philadelphia scored twenty points in the second quarter and shut out the Jags. Hurts and the Eagles took a 20-14 lead into the half. Both teams went scoreless throughout the third quarter, but the Eagles took a 23-14 lead early in the fourth after a field goal from Jake Elliot. The final period of the game was entertaining, yet sloppy. QB Trevor Lawrence fumbled yet again, giving Hurts and the Eagles a short field. The offense capitalized in just six plays, pushing their lead to 29-14 after a Miles Sanders touchdown. Just a minute and a half later, the Jags fired back, trailing now 29-21 with 7:19 to play. After forcing a turnover on downs, Jacksonville had one last opportunity with under two minutes left to tie the game. But on the first play of the drive, Lawrence fumbled yet again. The eagles recovered and kneeled out the game and secured a victory to move to 4-0.
Seattle Seahawks and Detroit Lions offenses
It would be impossible to highlight individual players from the shootout Sunday between the Lions and Seahawks. So instead, let’s take a look at both offenses as a whole, from this season’s highest-scoring game thus far. Both teams combined for over one-thousand total yards and just over ninety points (93). Neither defense had an answer for the QBs or running backs. Seattle’s Geno Smith threw for three hundred and twenty yards and ran for forty-nine more while scoring three total touchdowns. Jared Goff on the other hand passed for three-hundred and seventy-eight yards and four touchdowns. Running backs Rashaad Penny (SEA) and Jamaal Williams (DET) had explosive outings as well. Penny ran for one-hundred and fifty-one yards, while Williams recorded one-hundred and eight yards; both added on two rushing touchdowns as well. Detroit Tight End T.J. Hockenson stood out amongst the multiple efficient receivers. Hockenson broke the Lions’ record for yards in a game from a Tight End, which had stood since 1964 (lionswire.usatoday.com). Hockenson tallied one-hundred and seventy-nine yards and two touchdowns, including a career-long eighty-one-yard scoring reception.
Josh Jacobs RB, Las Vegas Raiders
Jacobs and the Raiders came into week four sitting at 0-3 and were struggling to get the ground game going. Before this week’s matchup, the Broncos had yet to give up one-hundred yards or more on the ground. But that wasn’t the case Sunday. The Raiders, and Josh Jacobs, recorded season highs on the ground, as they ran for over two hundred yards (212) as a team. The majority of this production was created by Jacobs though, as he carried the ball twenty-eight times for one-hundred and forty-four yards. Jacobs was able to add two rushing touchdowns as well. With the Raiders currently facing injuries at the receiver position and the inconsistencies from their passing game; we may see the Raiders continue to lean on Jacobs going forward.
Miles Sanders RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Lincoln Financial field was one of several stadiums that were hit with nasty weather on game day. With the brutal conditions of the weather, neither team was able to pass the ball with much success; calling on the rushing offenses to step up. Miles Sanders did exactly that, posting career-highs in both total carries (27), and rushing production with one-hundred and thirty-four yards. Sanders also got into the endzone two times, accounting for half of Philadelphia’s scores.
Austin Ekeler RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Ekeler had been off to a slow start before week four, having not scored a touchdown, or eclipsed one-hundred total yards yet. Ekeler took full advantage of a defense that has given up impressive performances thus far. Ekeler finished with one-hundred-nine total yards and three touchdowns. He shined in the receiving game with the second-most targets and catches for the Chargers.
Mike Evans WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa’s run game was so poor against Kansas City, that they stopped running the ball. But as a result, Mike Evans was targeted early and often. Evans hauled in eight receptions for one hundred and three yards and caught two of Tom Brady’s three touchdown passes. Although Evans missed week three versus Green Bay, he didn’t lose a step after a one-game absence.
Patrick Mahomes QB, Kansas City Chiefs
Other than an interception late in the fourth quarter while holding a seventeen-point lead, Mahomes was unstoppable. Throwing for two-hundred and forty-nine yards, and rushing for thirty-four more, Tampa’s defense had no answer for him. Mahomes made multiple backyard-football-like plays, toying with Tampa’s defense before finding his receivers downfield. After a tough loss versus the Colts, Mahomes and the offense bounced back strong.
Javonte Williams RB, Denver Broncos
Williams left Sunday’s loss versus the Raiders with a knee injury and did not return. Denver’s original fear was that Williams’ knee injury was serious; after going through an MRI on Monday, their fears were unfortunately confirmed. The MRI revealed that the second-year running back had torn his ACL and his LCL, ending his 2022 season. It’s a tragic blow for Williams and the Broncos as a breakout year for the UNC product was anticipated.
Jonathan Taylor RB, Indianapolis Colts
Taylor suffered an ankle injury in Sunday’s defeat against the Titans and has been ruled out for Thursday’s matchup against Denver. Taylor was seen in a walking boot after the game and was also held out of practice all week. With the Colts having a short week, it’s no surprise that they’re playing it safe with Taylor.
Lewis Cine S, Minnesota Vikings
The rookie safety suffered a gruesome leg injury during Sunday’s game in London and was placed on the injured reserve. Cine suffered a compound leg fracture, requiring two procedures; which he will undergo in London. The Georgia product will remain in London for the time being and will return to Minnesota when the time is right, according to the team. Cine will miss the rest of his rookie year, but will hopefully be able to return in 2023 for his sophomore campaign.
Brian Hoyer QB, New England Patriots
Hoyer got the start against Green Bay in week three with Mac Jones being held out with an ankle injury. However, Hoyer left the game early in the first quarter after a hard hit while being sacked. Hoyer entered concussion protocol and was ruled out for the remainder of the game, putting rookie Bailey Zappe into the game. Hoyer has yet to practice as of Wednesday, so it seems unlikely that he’ll suit up in week five. If he can’t play, Bailey Zappe will probably make his first career start Sunday versus Detroit.
Tua Tagovailoa QB, Miami Dolphins
Tagovailoa was cleared to play after a quick turnaround for the Dolphins, and after suffering what most believed was a head injury in week three versus the Bills. Although Tua cleared concussion protocol during weeks three and four, the NFLPA launched an investigation into how the Dolphins Handled his injury. To make matters worse, Tua took a hard hit while being sacked in Thursday night’s game and froze up after his head violently hit the ground. The scariest injury of the season thus far, Tua was stretchered off the field and taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. Thankfully, Tagovailoa was conscious and had movement in his extremities and was released from the hospital that night. With Tua still dealing with the head injury and having to go through the NFL’s concussion protocol, coach Mike McDaniel has already ruled him out for week five.
Treylon Burks WR, Tennessee Titans
Burks exited week four’s victory over the Colts with what has been diagnosed as “turf toe.” Burks has yet to practice as of Wednesday and although he hasn’t been ruled out for week five yet, he’s expected to miss one or two games. The Titans are already slim at receiver, so losing Burks is a huge blow for their offense.
Cordarrelle Patterson RB, Atlanta Falcons
Patterson was a game-time decision heading into week four but ultimately was able to play. Patterson was limited in Sunday’s win against Cleveland as his knee injury continued to bother him. Patterson underwent a minor procedure on Monday, resulting in the Falcons placing him on the injured reserve. Patterson will miss at least the next four games as Atlanta’s running back room continues to be hit with injuries.
Randy Gregory OLB, Denver Broncos
Gregory was placed on the injured reserve with a right knee injury, sidelining their new free-agent acquisition for a couple of weeks. Gregory will also have to go through a slight procedure on his meniscus, but as of now has no other structural damage to his knee. The current expectation is that Gregory will miss anywhere from two to six weeks due to the injury, but it will depend mostly on his recovery according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Arik Armstead DE, San Francisco 49ers
Armstead’s status before Monday’s game versus the Rams was in the air, yet he was able to suit up for the 49ers' victory. However, Armstead left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle and foot injury and did not return. The former Oregon Duck is now questionable for week five against the Panthers and as of Wednesday, he has yet to practice since Monday’s game. Reports suggest that Armstead may try to play Sunday, but that’s likely based on in what capacity he’s able to practice.
*All stats and injury info was received from ESPN’s Statistics & Info. Department