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Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Week 4 Open Game Discussion
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

Admittedly, the Vikings-Rams Thursday night tilt lost a lot of luster after Minnesota got stomped by Buffalo last week, but at least Los Angeles will be wearing their throwback uniforms. Other big games this weekend include Miami at New England, Chicago at Tampa Bay, and Kansas City's trip to Denver on Monday night. Use this thread to talk about them all.


136 comments, Last at 02 Oct 2018, 10:42am

1 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

This has got to be on, on paper at least, one of the best Thursday Night matchups we've ever seen. It would've been more so if the Vikings had performed as expected against the Bills, but it's still what appears to be the best team in the league against another strong contender.

3 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Will somebody please explain to me how, in 2018, the national broadcast begins with the suggestion that the Vikings "keep the Rams offense off the field" by "controlling the ball." It's particularly jarring coming from a guy who spends most of his time talking about the top and bottom of innings. Has Buck ever said something like "I know it's frustrating that Clemens is taking so long between pitches, but he's doing a great job of keeping Pedro Martinez off the mound."?

12 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

I think what they mean to say with this is to take a lot of time to effectively reduce the total number of drives in the game. That gives the less opportunity for the Rams advantage in efficiency to express itself so a bit of luck with randomness is all the Vikings might need to win.

6 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

This may violate Rule #1 (I don't know because I couldn't find a copy of Da Rules, and I checked a lot of the things under About), but even though the Broncos [almost certainly] suck this year the Rockies might just win their division for the first time ever, so that's nice.

That said, both offenses have looked good on their first drives; Cousins was on point with most of his passes, while the Vikes can't seem to stop L.A.'s run game.

45 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

I thought it was the "Prime Directive" not "Rule #1". Under the FAQ's sections it is hidden in the middle. "Q: Are there any rules for the discussion threads? Do you guys moderate at all? Are any topics off-limits?

A: We generally just ask that you keep the discussions civil and relatively family-friendly. Personal attacks are discouraged, comment spam is not well-received, and comments that are racist or otherwise blatantly offensive will be removed. Repeated offenses can result in a banning, although we hope to avoid that whenever possible. The comment filter picks up most swears, so try not to use them. It also picks up a lot of references to gambling and specific drugs, words popular with spammers. Please limit political commentary as much as possible, as it tends to dominate any thread in which it's started.

We do pride ourselves on having some of the most intelligent, humorous, and thoughtful readers on the Internet, and our discussions cover a wide variety of topics. In general, we frown on thread hijacking, except of course for the weekly game discussion threads where you can discuss pretty much anything. Our readers do a very good job of self-policing, and we encourage you to help keep things under control and nicely warn people who may be getting out of hand.

One good guideline: If you feel the need to describe any NFL player as "the black ___," don't."

8 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Bad call costs the Vikings 4 points early, when Thelien was clearly untouched

9 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

That's intentional grounding on Goff according to last week's refs! On two plays in a row no less!

16 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Both QBs are on pace for 500 yards passing. Meanwhile there are only 54 yards of rushing total. Don't know what the record is for combined passage yardage in a game, but it seems like it could be set tonight. Though, I think there's a decent chance the Rams pull away with this one and the game slows down as a result.

17 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Packers Lions in 2012 had 971

I thought the 2013 Broncos Cowboys had more but it was only 881

23 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

It used to be the 51-45 Jets-Dolphins shootout between Marino and Ken O'Brien, with over 1,000 yards, but I believe that's been beat. Check that, claims that game only accounted for 884 yards and is still the leader, but I doubt that's true...

24 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

The Rams have abused Anthony Barr in coverage tonight. Goff is averaging 15.3 yards per dropback—Minnesota is not going to give up 15 yards per carry to Gurley if they pull Barr off the field for a DB.

27 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Damn, I thought the Rams were really going for it on that 4th and inches from their own 35. That would have been so ballsy.

Isn't slamming the QB to the turf supposed to be a penalty? We're way overdue a BS roughing call

29 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

I think they should have. The Vikings were likely to go down and score whether they had to go 34 yards or wherever the punt put them. Your odds of converting a 4th-and-inches are excellent and doing so would just about clinch the game. What the Rams did obviously worked out, but I think going for it would've been wise.

28 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Rough loss for the Vikings, they played every bit as good as the Rams, but those two horrible calls cost them 7 points, and they went 0-2 in fumble recoveries

30 Good ole Cousins

Kirk found again a way to screw. Even Troy Aikman said that he should have felt that pressure was getting to him, and should have slid a bit before unloading.(or take the sack and keep the drive alive).
This is a subtle form of mental choke. The only thing he could process at that moment was the movement of his chosen receiver, he even made a pump before being sack, like if the world around him didn't exist, and more importantly, like if it was his last snap.
To me, those kind of plays that literally loose a game for good,while there is still hope, should be weighted more heavily in the evaluation of a QB.
Sure, Cousins did have a great game, great stats, no turnover up to that point. But he blew it all for good, on his own.

42 Re: Good ole Cousins

In reply to by psi0016000

Blaming Cousins for that loss is crazy. He and the rest of the offense are the only thing that gave the Vikings any shot at all to win.

44 Re: Good ole Cousins

Clearly it was Cousins' lack of leadership that failed to motivate the Vikings defense to play better. Also, he choked by failing to suggest to his coaches that Anthony Barr shouldn't be asked to cover wide receivers.

Edit: I re-read OP's post, and I'm not 100% sure he isn't being sarcastic/trolling. Clues include the purposeful misspelling of "lose".

50 Re: Good ole Cousins

In reply to by JoeyHarringtonsPiano

I dunno. Even trying to read it as sarcasm I don't see it. I think this is simply a guy who thinks Troy Aikman's analysis is worth listening to.

116 Re: Good ole Cousins

Cousins musn't just be good enough to keep his team in the game, he also has to be able to win it regardless of how poorly the defense plays.

If he's anything less than a contender for Best QB In The Game then he's a failure.

31 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Looking at how the Vikings defense has performed so far this season, is it not reasonable to consider that unit a little overrated coming into 2018?

32 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Last year, when Everson Griffin lost his burst, due to a nasty case of plantar fasciitis, the Vikings defense declined significantly. They missed that burst last night as well. I was pleasantly surprised at the offensive performance, but the team is definitely demonstrating that they can avoid winning any game due to a failure in offense, or defense, or special teams. Like a PGA golfer who drives it out of bounds both right or left, that's problematic, in terms of getting it fixed.

36 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Griffen's injury really flared up at the end of November last year, and that's when they became a lot more ordinary. I thought they might reduce his snap count this year, to keep his feet healthy into January. Didn't anticipate a full blown mental health crisis.

35 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Letting Matt Kalil go to the Panthers cost the Vikings the game last night. If they had let him go to the Rams, Vikings would have won.

38 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Glad to see that LAR is not on the NE schedule. The Rams would have a shot at breaking the single-team game scoring record.

46 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Good for Goff. I basically wrote him off after a historically bad rookie year (contributing factors included his lack of knowledge regarding the rotation of the earth). His second year made me think that he's at least a competent NFL starter (benefiting from great circumstances), but his third year is making me think that he is true franchise QB.

Now Mitch Trubisky, on the other hand...

51 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

It is literally impossible to underestimate how much Jeff Fisher sucked. But he was down with coaching the team before and after their move, which was critically important for some reason.

105 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Fisher was the color man for Jets-Jags on Fox today. And man, if you thought he was a a tepidly incompetent head coach, wait til you hear him as a tepidly incompetent commentator. He sounded half asleep the whole time, and rarely offered anything more than Aikman's patented move of agreeing with the play-by-play guy's analysis and then restating it but only using bad cliches.

53 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Ugh, four weeks in and CBS has yet to show a single game with Romo in the booth in my area. At least nobody will be subjected to Aikman this weekend.

I saw that Jeff Fisher is calling the Jacksonville game. That's got to be an even bigger fuckshow than usual.

54 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Here in Colorado, we get New England/Miami and Dallas/Detroit as the early games. As someone who is not a fan of the Patriots or the Cowboys, this does not please me; it's pretty obvious that New England will run a chainsaw through the Dolphins and that Dallas and Detroit will just kinda suck. To make things worse, looking at Fox's schedule I see that Browns/Raiders was a possibility (as a late game); since we usually get those games (AFC West) and that one looks like it will be bad but in a good way, I'm left scratching my head as to why they decided it would be a good idea to serve us Matty Patty vs. The Clapper.

As for the NE game, I get why that's on, but I'd much rather see Cincinnati/Atlanta.

58 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Where in CO? I'm in the Springs, but I'll be in Denver for RMAF next weekend :)

Mia/NE isn't a bad matchup to watch IMO, but the Cowboys game is easily the least interesting game this week. CIN-ATL is clearly the best game this week.

55 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

It's time for another season of FO gameday chat! Join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters as we say smart, analytic and totally backed by data things about the football real time!

Unlike Jon Gruden, FO gameday chat isn't beholden to old ways of doing things so we've migrated from slack to discord the season. Among other advantages, it makes it really easy to join, just click the discord invite link:

Please note that it'll probably take a few minutes for one of our admins to matriculate you into the chat

56 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Geez, almost every pass Brady throws is getting deflected in the secondary, but every one has fallen incomplete.

Josh Gordon sighting! I wonder if he's sober, and if so, if he can still play the same way.

60 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Seems like Bucs games are almost guaranteed to have a 400-yard passer, one way or another. Either from Fitzpatrick or from the opposing QB since the Bucs are so terrible on defense. Trubisky has 3 TDs and 154 yards early in the 2nd.

61 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Is Tannehill always this inaccurate? He's not even been close, really. NE's special teams have been giving Miami great field position too, this is the 2nd drive in a row to start at the 38

66 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Oddly eenough, Lions-Cowboys is the most competitive (by score, anyway) of 3 available to me. Pats and Packers each had double digit leads early.

70 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Re: choice of games, for those in Canada I really like DAZN. $20/mo for live streaming of all the games and Red Zone. If you use a DNS service you could easily access it from the States too. I use Getflix to access Hulu and I toggle from US to Canada based on what I want to use.

65 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Dallas wastes both of their challenges on relatively inconsequential plays in the first half. So that's neat!

69 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

One of the worst personal foul calls of the year: Dak gets in trouble in the backfield, falls down, gets up, and gets pushed down by a Lion (he has the ball this whole time). NO WHISTLES HAVE BLOWN. The official ruling? Unnecessary roughness.

71 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Watching RedZone. They just showed the Tyler Eifert ankle injury. Sickeningly ugly, like the Joe Theismann broken leg. Eifert seems to be cursed by injury, but this could have happened to anyone.

72 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Trubisky up to 6 TDs with 10 left in the third. The Bears are probably going to be able to get him the single game passing TD record if they want to. Just one more to tie, two to be the first to ever get 8 in a game.

76 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

It would be pretty ridiculous and goofy, especially if Trubisky ends up having a no more than mediocre career. However, now it's the end of the third and he's stuck on 6 still, so it's becoming less likely.

78 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

"Robert Alford is an All-Pro for a reason"
-Idiot broadcaster

Uhhhhh, Alford is a fine player and all, but he's never been to a pro bowl, let alone the all-pro team. They're just saying anything now apparently

100 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Maybe. They had a 1st and 10 from the ~25 with 55 secs left and they were still hurrying which I thought was a mistake, until Cordy Glenn got called for a 10-yard penalty and suddenly they needed all that time they saved.

83 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Browns just missed on a long bomb. The first think I had was, "Gordon would have caught that".

86 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Texans might be a contender for the best DVOA ever for an 0-4 team if Indy completes this drive.

87 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Titans have converted three 4th downs on this OT drive down 3. The last came within FG range but they decided to go for the win. I'm not sure I would've done that since they were basically giving up an automatic tie, while even after the conversion they still have lots of work to do to get the win.

88 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

I'm gonna be a crotchety old man here. I just saw that apparently, OT can be extended with a tying field goal. This, I feel, is stupid. If overtime exists to avoid ties, quit making ties more likely. Sudden death was fine. The TD rule was fine. Allowing them to trade field goals is just asinine. Either force somebody to score a touchdown, go back to sudden death, or, novel idea, GET RID OF OVERTIME IN THE REGULAR SEASON AND JUST HAVE TIES. These rules are amazingly dumb.

90 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

It's the sudden death that was the worst. Having a game swing on a literal coin flip was terrible. Actually, that can still be a problem in a game that was dominated by offense where it's likely that whoever wins the coin flip will just march down and win with a TD. See the Super Bowl of two years ago. The college system has its problem but is still better than what the NFL does.

124 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

I liked that, actually. Adding a bit of chance spices up the game, and if neither team could close the other one out in the game itself, why not largely leave it up to calling the toss correctly?

92 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

What are the Colts doing going for it on fourth down from their own half in a tied OT game??? I don't understand. Most NFL coaches are far too unwilling to risk it on fourth down. This is way, way the reverse of that.

91 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Loved the colts going for it on 4th and 4 in their own territory. Didnt get it though..can they hang on and win?

95 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

They still would've had to pick up maybe 20 more yards to even get into FG range after a potential conversion. Meanwhile, once they fail the Texans only needed maybe ten more yards. I think it was very bad call.

93 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

If you're gonna go for it there, you have to do it on the first play. Pretend that you're trying to draw the defense offsides and then run something when the play clock is down to 3 seconds.

97 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

One of the big problems with that Colts fourth down decision, for me, was that even after a conversion they wouldn't have been all that likely to win. There were only 24 seconds left. You have time for just a couple plays, and would likely have been forced to, at best, hit a pretty long FG. Failing just set Houston up in a position where they only needed to have one good play to get a good FG chance.

98 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Great game by the Titans. D-line harassed Wentz all day. Refs were questionable for both teams today. Massive cajones by Vrabel going for it on 4th down, in OT, instead of trying the 50 yard FG for the tie. A lot of drops in this game too. Surprised Eagles didn't come up with a stop on that last TD drive by the Titans in OT as that has been what they do to win games.

104 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Chargers PK misses his 2nd PAT today. Sliced both of them. Gotta be correctable, right?

(Somebody's autocorrect changed "correctable" first to "forgettable", then to "corrective". How do I shut it off?)

106 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Commentators for SF-LAC game keep talking about importance of 2 missed PATs by Chargers kicker, forgetting that Chargers got one back by converting 2pt play earlier. They're all dumb.

107 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Robbie Gould has now made his 33rd consecutive FG. Anyone remember why the Bears released him?

109 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

He had a bad year immediately prior to his release. And his salary/cap hit was relatively high given his performance and the fact that they were a rebuilding team.

One of Pace’s few mistakes.

108 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Scary hit on CJ Bethard… the hit was 100% clean on a scramble, but he flopped around and hit the back of his head on the turf, showing a clear fencing response after that. Terrible bit of running, he was in over his head, it looked like. Horrible seeing that.


111 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Looked to me like Beathard took more of a hit on his shoulder than his head. And it looked side of the head, not the back. I can believe the story. Putting in their practice squad QB wasn't going to help.

110 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Kyle Shanahan goes after refs after apparent fumble recovery by Chargers. Why don't head coaches remember that turnovers are automatically reviewed by NFL officials?

112 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

What is it with Shannahans and playing injured QBs to get them more injured. This is fucking disgusting now. Fuck fuck fuuuuuckmmmmkkkkkk

119 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Man, that attempt by the Ravens to draw the Steelers offside was just silly. In that situation you would obviously want to run a play as quickly as possible if you were really going to go for it. Who's going to be fooled by you letting the clock drain drain like that?

120 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Colinsworth said it was to keep Tomlin from calling a time out if the punt team went straight out.

I generally hate these attempts to the other team offside when it's pretty clear you aren't going to go for it.

122 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Collinsworth: "you don't get drafted [by Pittsburgh] unless you're aggressive"

Dude, you don't get drafted anywhere unless you're aggressive. That's not some unique Steelers thing

123 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

It appears that reports of the death of the Patriots have been greatly exaggerated... For anyone who follows the MIA personal more closely than I do; Did the Pat's LB's play with that much more speed this week or does MIA just not have competent RB's & TE's to attack matchups in the short passing game? It didn't surprise me to see the Pats front 7 come out with lots of life against the run coming off an embarrassing loss and coming back home - but I didn't see a decent gain on a dump-off until late in the 4th quarter when the starters were on the bench on both sides.

131 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

The Chiefs rushed up to the ball after a long run even though there wasn't anything apparent to challenge. That seems like a good policy in general.

132 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Hurry up offense seem much more efficient in general though I don't have any data to back that up. It's probably also good if there does happen to be something that might be challenged.

133 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Ugh. Awful, heartbreaking loss for the Broncos. They HAD that game, except the offense is really kind of terrible -- why all the empty backfield plays? -- and the entire defense had Steve Sax syndrome when it came to tackling Mahomes for a sack.

134 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

I couldn't believe how many times Mahomes just managed to slip away and somehow make a big play.

I also wish that lateral play worked out at the end, I think laterals are really under used and that seemsled to be really good designed play for it, however, I don't think Sanders was looking for it.

Of course that would have been unnecessary if keenum didn't over throw a wide open Thomas.

136 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

Even when he didn't make the positive play avoiding the huge negative (unlike Keenum) was very important. If you could put the Denver Defense with the KC offense, that would be something. Keenum wasn't terrible last night, and I think this is more what you can expect from him the rest of the season rather than last year's Keenum.

135 Re: Week 4 Open Game Discussion

They really did. I'm surprised they didn't target Scandrick more in coverage as he appears to be the worst of an awful pass D. That overthrow to Thomas, on 3rd down, really stings. It sounds a bit strange to say this but the Broncos D did their job in keeping the Chiefs offense below 30. You've got to feel that, against this Chiefs D and at home, you've got a strong chance to beat them if you keep the offense under 30. It didn't feel so much like the Chiefs ever really stopped the Broncos but more the Broncos made mistakes. I can't remember who it was (maybe the TE) but someone took a first down completion to Sanders away by trying to snag a ball and not getting it, on another drive that ended with a FG. Moments like that are very frustrating. The left-handed completion whilst being dragged down by Von Miller, was absolutely ridiculous by Mahomes. It's one of those plays that when it works looks amazing but but if it falls incomplete or he gets intercepted, then it becomes a "what was he thinking?" play.