Since many NFL rookies don’t play in the preseason, the first few weeks of a new season are sometimes more bumpy and error-prone than expected.
But, by week 4, those kinks are starting to be ironed out and we are starting to see the stars shine on offense and defense.
And that was on full display this week, with some electrifying touchdowns, athletic catches and clutch shots (or missed shots in some cases) across the country and the world.
So after the San Francisco 49ers beat the defending champion Los Angeles Rams to wrap up Week 4, let’s take a look at the top stories to come out of the latest round of games.
The week started with Thursday Night Football, arguably the biggest talking point of the season so far.
In the Miami Dolphins’ 27-15 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was taken to the hospital after suffering a concussion in a scary-looking incident just four days after being sidelined for a game against the Buffalo Bills. the impact forced the back of the helmet into the grass. The 24-year-old quarterback stumbled to his feet against the Bills and was taken to the locker room for a concussion check, but later returned to finish the game.
Video of the Bengals’ loss showed Tagovailo’s forearms bent and fingers crooked, which CNN chief medical correspondent neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta called a “fencing response” and a sign that could be linked to a brain injury. The incident has raised concerns about the NFL’s concussion protocols and raised several questions about the treatment of head injuries.
An investigation into the management of Tagovailo’s apparent head injury is now underway, while the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant who was involved in evaluating the quarterback’s first concussion is no longer working with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA).
The NFL and NFLPA released a joint statement saying both sides agreed that protocol updates are necessary, particularly when it comes to incidents of “severe engine instability.”
NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills told Gupta on Friday that the league will complete its review of the situation and make “proper” changes to concussion protocols.
On Sunday, two quarterbacks left games due to concussion protocol — Tyrod Taylor of the New York Giants and Brian Hoyer of the New England Patriots — as the league clamped down on head injuries.
In a repeat of Super Bowl LV, the rematch between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers produced a very different outcome.
After the Bucs won convincingly in the championship game of the 2020 season, star quarterback Patrick Mahomes got some revenge on Sunday, as he returned to his magical self, leading the Chiefs to a 41-31 victory over Tom Brady and usually. Tough Tampa Bay defense.
The Chiefs signal-caller went 23-of-37 for 249 yards and three touchdowns, showing off his improvisational best while shuffling with his legs and throwing with awkward arm angles. A little pass at the last minute for a touchdown.
Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce called Mahomes “the Houdini of our time” as he proved once again why he’s one of the league’s best and why you’d be a fool to knock the Chiefs out of this year’s Super Bowl.
After weeks of tough offense and calls from fans for a quarterback change, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin finally relented on Sunday.
Kenny Pickett, selected by the Steelers with the 20th pick in this year’s draft out of the University of Pittsburgh, replaced starter Mitchell Trubisky in the second half against the New York Jets.
And while the evening didn’t end with success – he completed 10 of his 13 passes for 127 yards with three interceptions and ran for two touchdowns – the Steelers lost to the Jets 24-20 in death, a change at the most important position. It offers hope to Pittsburgh.
The rookie showed a glimpse of what he could bring to the team, and according to a report from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the 24-year-old is in line to make his first start against the Buffalo Bills next Sunday in Week 5.
It will be a tough place to make his first NFL start, but Pickett could provide the spark that can ignite the Steelers’ offense and plenty of offensive weapons.
Both of the league’s early season favorites continued their strong starts to the season as both secured narrow wins on the wet and windy US east coast.
The Philadelphia Eagles remain undefeated to start the season, beating the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars 29-21 in horrible conditions at Lincoln Financial Field in Philly.
A potent offense behind quarterback Jalen Hurts – and led by running back Miles Sanders – beat the Jags on the ground while a menacing defense forced five Jacksonville turnovers as the Eagles erased a 14-point deficit to win and improve to 4-0. 0 in the season.
For the Bills, they had to make an emotional comeback to beat Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
Trailing by 17 points in the second half, Buffalo needed quarterback Josh Allen to mount a comeback to become its favorite MVP.
Safety Jordan Poyer intercepted Jackson twice in the fourth quarter as well, as the Bills won 23-20 thanks to a Tyler Bass field goal as time expired to move to 3-1 on the year.
Week 4 also saw the first international game of the season, and the NFL’s 100th game outside the US.
The Minnesota Vikings took on the New Orleans Saints at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, and fans in the UK were treated to a thrilling finish.
Minutes after the 60-yard field goal, Saints kicker Wil Lutz had a chance to convert a 61-yard field goal as time expired to tie the score and send the game into overtime.
Unfortunately for Lutz, his serve hit the uprights and the crossbar before rebounding — coined the “double doink” — giving the Vikings a 28-25 win.
It’s the first of three games in London, with the New York Giants taking on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in Week 5 – both of which they beat in Week 4 – and the Jaguars playing the Denver Broncos on October 30 at Wembley Stadium.