Cleveland Browns @ Dallas Cowboys ( 49-38 Browns)
Mike The Ace @TheAceWriter
Bad tackling, coverage busts, and mental lapses have plagued a decent amount of NFL teams so far. Through the first four weeks of the season, defenses league wide have struggled. However, none of these defenses may have struggled as badly as the Dallas Cowboys .
It seems to be the same story every week for Dallas. They start by exchanging scores with the opposing team on the first few drives. At some point they end up turning the ball over, and the other team almost always capitalizes. After building up a deficit, they storm back with a high octane passing offense. This script has played out in all four of their games so far. They have only been able to complete the comeback once, leading them to a record of 1-3.
Their defense wasn’t expected to be the best, but it has been awful. They have injuries at all three levels of their defense, and critics are now beginning to blame the complex scheme for their early problems. I believe a lot of their problems are due to a lack of effort. As highlighted in this breakdown here. In my opinion, stopping the run is the top priority for any defense. They have been unable to do so through the first quarter of the season.
On the flip side of things, you have to love what you’re seeing from Cleveland and their offense. They have been able to run the ball well, and have scored over 34 points in their last three outings. Odell Beckham Jr. went ballistic this past weekend, catching 8 passes for 81 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also sealed the game on a reverse play that went for a 50-yard touchdown.
Cleveland looks like they are on a roll. They are in a tough division, and will need to keep this focus and intensity in order to compete. Baker Mayfield has to limit his mistakes, and they will continue to bully teams on offense. On the other hand, Dallas is in the worst division in football and has a great chance to make the playoffs. They will need to find some kind of answer defensively.
Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers (30-16 Packers)
The Packers came out and dominated from start to finish at Lambeau on Monday night. Aaron Rodgers is continuing to have an MVP year even with a weak WR core, not having Allan Lazard and Devonte Adams.
Matt Ryan was 28/39 for 285 yards and with no touchdowns. He was under fire from the Packers defense all game. He was sacked 4 times, but it was the QB hurries and getting him off his spots, which allowed for a bad offensive night from the Falcons. It also didn’t help much that Atlanta could not establish the run game. With Julio hampered by a hamstring, Green Bay stacked the box and dared Matt to throw, but there was unfortunately no time given by the offensive line.
Aaron Rodgers went 27/33 for 327 yards and 4 touchdowns. With his top two receivers out, he went to his best threat left, tight end Robert Tonyan. He racked up 6 catches for 98 yards and 3 TDs. He does have 5 TDs on the season and is slowly turning into one of Rodgers favorite red zone targets. Aaron Jones also added 15 rushes for 71 yards and backup RB Jamal Williams added 105 all purpose yards.
Aaron Rodgers is putting together another MVP caliber year for the Packers and with the rest of the WR core coming back from injury, there is no reason why the offense won’t get even better. The defense also stepped up in a great way and used their pass rush led by Za’darius Smith. This loss puts Dan Quinn in an extremely hot seat, and it could be any day now that he’s fired with an 0-4 record on the season.