Welcome to the Fifth Quarter, the only NFL recap column you’ll ever need. It’s the only one to provide a full day’s supply of Vitamin C, after all. Here’s what was going on around the rest of the league while you were selfishly focused on your home team and your fantasy players.
Every Sunday brings whole a new crop of heroes and goats, so you've got to do something really special to rise above (or, well, drop below) the crowd. In Week 4, Houston's Matt Schaub did something really special ... for the opposing Seahawks, at least. Schaub had guided the Texans to a 20-point lead over The Greatest Team Not QBed By Peyton, and even though Seattle was threatening, all Schaub had to do was hang onto the ball with three minutes left in the game to give Houston a huge win.
Well, he didn't. Richard Sherman picked off an errant Schaub throw to tie up the game, which Seattle would win in OT. Schaub was left pounding the turf in impotent frustration.
It was the third pick-six Schaub has surrendered in just four games this year, and finally, some Texans fans had seen enough. In the Reliant Stadium parking lot after the game, some fans took it upon themselves to cleanse the sins of the franchise QB with fire. Thanks to the miracle of social media, we can follow this storyline as it develops. First, the application of the lighter fluid:
— Javier Hernandez (@javi5705) September 29, 2013
Next, the jersey-b-cue:
Finally, the remaining scraps:
Schaub Jersey Burnings 2 pic.twitter.com/KBUCjeDvhd
— SN0WBLACK_ByeSchaub (@sportsmediaLM) September 29, 2013
Running down the biggest stories of Week 2. We'll try not to catch you offsides.
• Forget about it, Jake, it's Nashville. Tennessee's Jake Locker is fast establishing himself as a quarterbacking legend, what with multi-touchdown performances and last-second heroics. So it's cruelly unfair that he was carted off the field in his game against the Jets. If he's out for any length of time, this ought to finish off paying Tennessee's karma debt from the Music City Miracle.
• The mighty laid low. Pittsburgh and the New York Giants are a combined 0-8, and they haven't even looked that good. These are two teams, it bears noting, that have both been in the Super Bowl in the past three years, and at this point they look so lost you're not even sure if they can figure out which direction to put on their helmets. Their offenses couldn't score on an empty field, their defenses crumple in gentle breezes, and their quarterbacks may very well be throwing with the wrong hand. Other than that, all's dandy. Speaking of which ...
• Get it? Get it? 'Cause they've got the same name n' all! Somebody somewhere in a production studio thought this was a really clever idea:
Tower's still more mobile in the pocket, though. (Via KSK)
• Not Madden glitches, we swear. Sunday featured not one, but two dead-bang perfect circus interceptions. First, we had every Seattleite this side of Eddie Vedder getting a hand on this errant Matt Schaub pass:
Then, Antrel Rolle provided the lone highlight of the New York Giants' season to date when he reeled in this kick-save INT from the hand of Alex Smith and the foot of Jamaal Charles:
Interceptions had a huge impact on this week's slate of games. Neither of those amounted to much on the scoreboard, but they showed that the NFL can't help but be fun.
• Peyton Manning, your new Lord and Master. Manning and the Broncos efficiently demolished yet another team on Sunday, grinding the Eagles into dirty green sludge. Manning now has 16 touchdowns through four games, an NFL record, and hasn't thrown an interception yet this year. If you don't own him in fantasy, your only hope is that Denver will probably rest him right in the heart of fantasy playoff season.
• Matthew Stafford, falling face-first into glory.
Just like they drew it up.
In which we recap every game in seven words. Ready ... go!
San Francisco 35, St. Louis 11: Sam Bradford dropped himself in fantasy football.
Minnesota 34, Pittsburgh 27: Oi! Wot's all this 'bout colony football?
Tennessee 38, New York Jets 13: These are the Jets we all expected.
Seattle 23, Houston 20: Allowing 20 unanswered points rarely ends well.
Washington 24, Oakland 14: Washington wins! Against gimpy Oakland, but still!
Detroit 40, Chicago 32: The era of Clutch Cutler is ending.
Indianapolis 37, Jacksonville 3: Beating up Jax like kicking puppies now.
Kansas City 31, New York Giants 7: AFC West, best division in football? Huh?
San Diego 30, Dallas 21: San Diego could be 4-0. Yes, really.
Arizona 13, Tampa Bay 10: Welp, someone had to win, we guess.
Cleveland 17, Cincinnati 6: In Cleveland, orange is the new orange.
Denver 52, Philadelphia 20: Denver will rest starters beginning next week.
Buffalo 23, Baltimore 20: Joe Flacco? More like Joe Flaccid, amirite?
New England at Atlanta: Tom Brady could win with you receiving.
Miami at New Orleans: Losing city goes alcohol-free this week.
Champ: Reggie Bush, Detroit Lions. Wait, Reggie Bush? The Detroit Lions? Is this real life? Yes, somehow the laughingstock has become the ... what's the opposite of laughingstock? Smackingstock? Whatever, Detroit's good. And Bush, with 139 yards and a pivotal second-quarter touchdown, is somehow leading the charge. Somewhere deep in the Kardashian Empire, Kanye West is changing diapers, listening to the story of Bush's renaissance and weeping a single, envious tear.
Chump: Chip Kelly, Bronco Roadkill Philadelphia Eagles. Remember those days of early September, when we said Chip Kelly was going to revolutionize the NFL as we knew it? Back in those days, Barack Obama was president and "Breaking Bad" was still on the air. We were so young and innocent back then, weren't we?
Holy heaven. Fred Jackson must not have been thinking clearly when he leaped into this roiling mass of Buffalo Bills fans. He looks like one of those poor souls who gets swallowed up by the zombie hordes of "The Walking Dead." And what's up with the dude in the Marcell Dareus #99 jersey there in front? He looks like he's fixing to crack Jackson apart at the hips like a crab. So much to love about this photo, and so much to fear about it too.
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There's plenty of good writing every day on the NFL. Here are a few choice reads to keep you busy while there's no football. Because the other alternatives are talking to your family or doing chores, and nobody wants that. (Send us your favorite words of the week.)
• Jim Brown got the Cleveland Browns fired up, and our own Eric Adelson was there to document the happy aftermath of a trade and a locker room tirade. (Yahoo Sports)
• Don't miss this great Les Carpenter story about a forgotten Redskins pioneer. (Yahoo Sports)
• Kansas City's Eric Berry has an irrational fear of horses. He plays for a team that has a horse mascot. What happens when the two get together? (NFL Films)
• The face value of a Super Bowl ticket has more than doubled, to $2,600. Yeah, you're not going to a Super Bowl. (Sports on Earth)
• A first-person story from Austen Lane about what it's like to be cut unexpectedly right before the season starts. (MMQB)
Each week, we’ll make a random Super Bowl pick based on trends, stats or general nonquantifiable gut feelings. One of these weeks, we’ll be right. Probably right after both conference championships.
Saints vs. Broncos. We seriously could put Denver here every single week, that's how impressive the Broncos are. But, as the 2007 Patriots could tell you, looking good in the regular season doesn't mean a whole lot come playoff time. Still, nobody's near Denver right now. To mix it up a bit, we're throwing in New Orleans, if only because Seattle looked the tiniest bit vulnerable outside of their home turf.
Super Bowl picks, full season: Denver 3x, Seattle 2x, New England, San Francisco, New Orleans.
And that's a wrap for this week's edition of Fifth Quarter. Got a question? Comment? Concern? Rant? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @jaybusbee. We’ll run your words here or in Thursday’s weekly letters column. For now, enjoy the week. It's not long 'til more football!