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Mostly NFL Notes: Week 4 Recap

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Elite QBs getting their groove back (USP)

What a dominant performance by the 49ers, holding the Jets to just 2.9 yards per play on defense while rushing for 245 yards on offense (the most the Jets have allowed since Rex Ryan took over). Tim Tebow completed his first pass attempt of the season for nine yards (resulting in his vulnerable receiver getting blown up and losing a fumble), but it was Colin Kaepernick who continues to be the bigger threat when entering the game, although his deep ball to a triple-teamed Randy Moss wasn't the best decision. As a runner, he looks like a problem for defensive coordinators moving forward. And how nice was he sliding down before a sure touchdown at the end of the game?…Michael Crabtree is San Francisco's most reliable wide receiver, but Mario Manningham is clearly more explosive…That injury when Santonio Holmes gave away a touchdown to SF didn't look good. Mark Sanchez has plenty of faults, but he also might have the worst weapons at his disposal in all of football…Aldon Smith had two more sacks (and had another taken away thanks to a penalty. Although to be fair, Tebow actually blew him up while blocking on another play), giving him 20.5 over the first 22 games of his career (including the playoffs). As crazy as it sounds, Patrick Willis is probably the fourth most important player on the 49ers' defense.

Over his past 11 games, Steven Jackson has reached 80 rushing yards once. He had a 23-yard run Sunday. On his other 17 carries, he got 22 yards…If healthy, I thought Sidney Rice would have fantasy value this year. I was wrong. Feel free to cut bait…St. Louis' fake field goal was fantastic. It resulted in the team's first offensive touchdown over their previous 100 plays…So I just realized Saturday the Rams' kicker might be following me on Twitter (it could be a fake, but from what I can tell, it's him), so I was happy to see the rookie go 4-for-4 on FG attempts, including boots from 48, 58 and 60 yards out. He's now 12-for-12 on the year (including eight from 40+ yards) and became the first kicker in NFL history to kick a 50 and 60 yard FG in the same game. Greg The Leg!

Luckiest truck driver in Russia.

The Falcons entered Sunday having trailed this season a grand total of zero seconds, but they soon fell down 7-0, although that ultimately didn't matter thanks to an incredible comeback. Despite starting at its own 1-yard line with just 50 seconds left and no timeouts, Atlanta won on a last second field goal, thanks mostly to a terrific 59-yard play from Matt Ryan to Roddy White, who tore it up all of Sunday. I actually had multiple people text me wondering if Julio Jones left hurt, as he was held without a catch until the middle of the fourth quarter. Part of it is defenses giving him extra attention, but could his hand issue also be limiting him in such a capacity? He did have some drops…Worried Cam Newton owners can certainly breathe a big sigh of relief. After rushing for 706 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, he's on pace for 668 and 12 this year, as the regression police weep. He's also getting a decent 9.5 YPA…More fun with "on pace for" numbers; Matt Ryan's current projection calls for 4,648 passing yards with a 48:8 TD:turnover ratio…Since I made fun of those who called for Cam Newton's decline, it's only fair to point out I thought Michael Turner was done like dinner. He certainly didn't look so Sunday, although now is probably the time to try to sell if possible…I'm beating a dead horse by now, but yes, Ron Rivera's decision not to go for it at the end was terrible.

TSA agent caught stealing iPad.

Before this season, RotoWire's Chris Liss argued against Matthew Stafford, saying he relied too much on volume in 2011, as his 663 pass attempts were the third most in NFL history. I argued back that while acknowledging that's not repeatable, his efficiency will increase; after all, he entered last year (at age 23) with just 13 career starts under his belt and got 8.7 YPA over his final six games (including playoffs), which I said showed real growth from a young player. So naturally, Stafford is on pace to finish with 692 pass attempts this year, which would be an NFL record (mind you this is also with Shaun Hill attempting 13 passes), and he's got just 6.8 YPA. Funny stuff…This Vikings team has officially become interesting. Here's Minnesota's upcoming schedule before its bye: TEN, @WAS, ARI, TB, @SEA, DET. So they absolutely could enter Week 12 with a 7-3 or better record…The Lions became the first team in NFL history to allow a kick and punt return for a touchdown in each of their past two games and are now 6-10 over their past 16 contests (including the playoffs)…According to Pro Football Focus, Percy Harvin has forced 10 missed tackles this season. Andre Johnson, Marques Colston, Jordy Nelson, Mike Wallace, Torrey Smith, Eric Decker and Vincent Jackson combined = zero.

Here's a ridiculous 30-yard behind the back TD pass.

Well Ryan Mathews owners, I didn't see that coming, even after GM A.J. Smith called him out for his fumbling issues this week. Entering the fourth quarter, Mathews had four carries for one yard, as apparently he was lucky it was such a lopsided score so he could get some action in garbage time. Jackie Battle, really? Call me stubborn and/or crazy, but I say make trade offers to Mathews owners aggressively this week…The Chiefs surprisingly entered the week leading the NFL in offense, getting 441.7 yards per game…What was up with the Chargers attempting an onside kick with a 37-20 lead with 1:56 left? Supposedly substitute kicker Nick Novak misread a signal, but who would ever even think of such a play in that situation? Weird…Jamaal Charles didn't have his best game Sunday, losing two fumbles, but his 37-yard TD run in the second quarter was easily one of the best plays of the season so far. With the new regime clearly not worried about his workload, how high should he be ranked right now? I mean, if a draft were held today, he'd certainly be a top-five pick.

Here's a crazy 2-point conversion — AKA "The Bouquet Pass."

Nice to see Chris Johnson have a pulse, although I imagine he was on a lot of fantasy owners' benches during a tough matchup in Houston. He really did look much better, but the worry here is that now with this performance he's going to be started with confidence next week, which happens to be in Minnesota against a Vikings defense that has allowed the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, presenting an opportunity for him to become even more frustrating…It's almost as if Kenny Britt can't be relied upon to stay healthy…Arian Foster is on pace to finish with 448 touches this season. Entering the fourth quarter with a 21-point lead, he was still given seven carries compared to just two to Ben Tate. Houston should eventually ease back this pace (and this is coming from someone heavily invested in Foster), but this is no timeshare in Houston.

I saw "Menomena" last week in what turned out to be a perfect combination of a group I absolutely love yet not famous enough to still have to play in an awesome venue like this. Easily a top-five concert I've ever been to. Their new album  is lyrically genius and ridiculously good.

The last time the Patriots faced the Bills, they found themselves down 21-0 after the first quarter, only to ultimately win 49-21. This week New England was down 21-7 to Buffalo into the second half, ultimately winning 52-28. Of course this means nothing, but it's pretty crazy to point out the Pats have scored 80 points after halftime during these teams previous two meetings…After ruining my Survivor pool, I can't say I was exactly broken up to see Stephen Gostkowski shank his first two attempts, although it was a bit like cutting off my nose to spite my face, since I bet on the N.E. "over" before the season…Ryan Fitzpatrick put up a nice fantasy day, but some of his passes were truly awful, highlighted by his interception toward the beginning of the second quarter…The Buffalo backfield situation didn't clear up much, as Fred Jackson saw 16 touches while C.J. Spiller saw 10. Jackson totaled 79 yards compared to Spiller's 38, but both lost fumbles, and Spiller was considered the more injured of the two entering the game…As for the Pats' backfield, Stevan Ridley owners can't be thrilled with Brandon Bolden getting 16 carries for 137 yards and a touchdown, but on the other hand, how can you argue with 22 totes for 106 yards and two touchdowns? His production may be more unpredictable than you'd like, but barring an injury, Ridley should easily finish as a top-15 fantasy back…And yes, this is pretty much the best picture ever.

Here's a pretty funny "Key & Peele" sketch.

After going his entire NFL career without fumbling, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has now done so in back-to-back weeks, with Sunday's being lost at the goal line…Even after Sunday's game, the Bengals have still allowed an NFL-high 5.4 YPC, so it was highly disappointing to see Maurice Jones-Drew run for just 38 yards (2.9 YPC)…A.J. Green had another nice game, racking up 117 yards and an 18-yard touchdown, but while his fantasy owners won't want to hear it, he was also tackled during two different drives at the 1-yard line. His day was so close to being truly monstrous.

Woman screams at a bear on her property. Bear runs away frightened.

Both the Broncos and Raiders entered their matchup Sunday 1-2, with each of their lone victories coming against the Steelers. Still, I thought their similarities ended there and didn't understand all the hate on Denver, whose two losses came against the two teams most likely to be considered the best in football (@ATL, HOU), so I happily made the Broncos part of my two-team teaser this week (please don't take this as bragging, as my other team was Green Bay -1.5. Damn me for being cheap with the juice, but how rare does 1.5 vs. 0.5 matter?! But I digress). Anyway, bottom line, this Broncos team is very good, and Peyton Manning isn't even close to done. And even if he's not what he once was, he has the benefit of working with probably the most (at least athletically) skilled teammates he ever has…While Denarius Moore clearly shouldn't be on any waiver wires, Mike Goodson shouldn't be either in deeper leagues…It's interesting to note most of Demaryius Thomas' big plays this year have come off WR screens, but it's worked either way. He's on pace for 1,300 yards this season. Keep it up!

Here's  possibly the best HR trot in baseball history, as Michael Morse first runs the bases backward, then swings with an imaginary bat, then re-runs bases forward.

This Dolphins defense is no joke against the run, now allowing a league-low 2.4 YPC (next best is 3.0). They also tallied eight sacks Sunday, while on the road facing one of the only three remaining undefeated teams in football. Even with Ryan Tannehill (who actually got 10.5 YPA on Sunday) at QB, don't confuse Miami with a doormat…The Cardiac Cards! As someone who roots for the 49ers and started Miami's defense (in a last second decision over SD's, which was agonizing after seeing the Chargers get six turnovers and a defensive touchdown before the Dolphins game even started), watching yet another crazy finish go Arizona's way wasn't exactly ideal. But I've got to hand it to them. The NFC West is no joke…The Dolphins entered as the only team in the NFL without a QB to WR touchdown. I, for one, didn't see Brian Hartline's outing coming. And for that, I apologize.

This has to be one of the better mug shots of all time.

Robert Griffin continues to be an absolute fantasy monster, and this considering he lost a fumble about an inch before recording yet another rushing score Sunday (he may have crossed the line, but the review became moot - although certainly not to fantasy owners - when teammate Pierre Garcon recovered the fumble in the end zone). It was also nice to see Garcon back in action, but let's hope it didn't cause further damage to his foot…Griffin is on pace to finish with 1,008 rushing yards, just shy of Michael Vick's NFL record 1,039 set in 2006. Of course, Vick ran for just two scores during that campaign, while RG3 is on pace for 16 rushing TDs…Billy Cundiff was 0-for-3 Sunday (missing badly on every attempt) before making the game-winner with just three seconds left…Doug Martin hasn't lived up to the hype, but fantasy owners should remain patient. After the Bucs' upcoming bye, he faces teams that rank in the bottom nine in RB fantasy points against in three of the following four weeks.

Restaurant shut down after roadkill brought into kitchen.

Before scoring on their second drive Sunday, the Packers were the only team in the NFL that had zero points in the first quarter this season…With 9:27 left in the second quarter, Green Bay successfully executed a fake punt at their own 17 yard line, which was quite the gutsy call…Regarding the Darren Sproles kick return in the fourth quarter in which he clearly fumbled, the main takeaway is that referees should always err on the side of "can this close call be reviewed or not?" The Packers had no challenges left in this case and were therefore, totally screwed. Of course, Mike McCarthy deserves some of the blame for using a challenge early in the game on a play that wasn't of significant consequence…Kudos to the Saints for making such a game out of it (and they looked awfully bad using the transitive property in the early games after the Chiefs got annihilated at home to SD), but the score could have been much different. With five minutes left in the third quarter, the Packers had 1st-and-goal from the 2 yard line, and a touchdown would have put them up 28-17. But Aaron Rodgers sat out a play thanks to a scratched cornea, and backup Graham Harrell couldn't execute a simple handoff, tripping over his own lineman's feet while losing a fumble. And boom, an 80-yard TD pass by New Orleans right afterward (of course, they deserves credit for that). Not that I'm bitter about losing that teaser or anything.

If by "worst" you mean "best" death scene in a movie, then I agree.

Michael Vick entered Sunday night's game having been sacked nine times, yet remarkably, none were by a defensive lineman. LB Chase Blackburn made it 10 before Osi Umenyiora brought an end (no pun intended) to the madness…The Eagles' three wins this season are by a combined four points…It's a meaningless stat, but Philly is now 8-1 over its last nine games against the Giants…As impressive as he was against the Panthers, it's clear it will take an injury for Andre Brown to be usable in fantasy leagues. Also, David Wilson sure was explosive during his kick returns…It's certainly not a stretch to call Victor Cruz the No. 2 fantasy wide receiver right now. Andre Johnson has the most receiving yards per game in NFL history with 78.8. Since becoming a starter, Cruz has got 110.5 ypg.

A pretty crazy read about someone getting quite a surprise after discovering who's been trolling him online in the worst way.

And speaking of trolling. Wow is this a terrible article.

Not that he was making big plays downfield or anything, but it was nice to see Jason Witten finally have a good game, as he reeled in 13 of his 14 targets. The same can't be said about Dez Bryant. While he set a career-high with 105 receiving yards, Bryant couldn't possibly have been any less impressive while doing so, as he was likely responsible for at least one interception and probably more while leaving a ton of yardage on the field as well thanks to his shaky hands. What a massive disappointment. Could the Dallas offense look any more discombobulated?...For the second year in a row, I made a Dez Bryant vs. Miles Austin bet before the season (backing Bryant), but it looks like it's going to take another hamstring issue for me to win again. I've changed my tune and would prefer Austin right now in fantasy leagues…I'm a believer in DeMarco Murray's talent, and his schedule has been awfully tough so far, but man does Dallas have a bad run blocking O-line…With seven minutes left in the second quarter, Brandon Marshall caught a 13-yard pass on 1st-and-15, but Lovie Smith decided to accept a 5-yard penalty for illegal contact instead. Um, what? Not only is 2nd-and-2 preferable to 1st-and-10, he also forfeited eight yards! Ultimately it's a minor thing, but it continues to blow my mind just how bad coaches are with the simplest of common sense issues…Speaking of Marshall, don't underestimate just how impressive his performance was Monday night. The Cowboys entered having allowed by far the fewest points to opposing WRs this season.

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