Only scanning the box scores, the first four games of the 2016 season for A.J. Green represent breaching of a new level for the Bengals star receiver. With 32 receptions for 468 yards and two touchdowns, Green’s off to the best four-game start to a season in his illustrious six-year career. His pace would blow past the franchise record of 1,440 yards set by Chad Johnson in 2006.
AFC North Bytes
All week in the locker room, the Pittsburgh Steelers were eager to retake the field for redemption after a brutal 34-3 loss in Philadelphia. The result: an explosion against the Kansas City Chiefs so massive that Seattle or New England or any other city with an NFL contender must have heard it.
Every defense in the NFL wants an opportunity to make a stand and cement a victory, and the Ravens are no different. But with a six-point advantage late in the fourth quarter of Sunday's home game against the Oakland Raiders at M&T Bank Stadium, the defense wilted. Oakland needed just six plays to march 66 yards in 1 minute, 24 seconds — a series capped by a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derek Carr to wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
The Cleveland Browns felt certain that Duke Johnson recovered his fumble with 9:32 left in the Browns' 31-20 loss to Washington. The officials decided otherwise. So the Browns were left to grumble about three costly turnovers in the final 16 minutes that led to 14 Redskins points. Johnson's fumble did not lead to Washington points, but it was part of a momentum shift away from the Browns as they saw a 20-17 lead fade into their fourth loss in four games.
When the New Orleans Saints came to Qualcomm Stadium to stretch their legs after a long flight Saturday, Drew Brees walked to the spot in the west end zone where he suffered a career-changing injury on the last day of 2005, and said a prayer.
It’s possible that it just doesn’t matter who the Broncos play at quarterback. After winning a Super Bowl with a smart-but-old Peyton Manning and their first three games with untested seventh-rounder Trevor Siemian, the Broncos were able to win their fourth game of the season with Paxton Lynch in relief.
Even if Cam Newton didn’t see Falcons linebacker Deion Jones coming, we’ve seen plays like this out of the Panthers quarterback before. The hit resulted in a concussion yesterday, which throws the MVP’s status for this week’s game against the Buccaneers into question. But his backup quarterback acknowledged that perhaps the hit could have been avoided if Newton had taken perhaps a more urgent approach to the goal line.
Week 4 of the 2016 NFL season is almost in the books, so it's time to give out some awards. Who had the best performances on Sunday? Which players deserve a shout-out?
The NFL Players Association announced Sunday night it won't pursue any further appeals regarding New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's Deflategate suspension.
The Raiders have a supremely talented young receiver in Amari Cooper. And while Michael Crabtree used to be the guy who got described that way, he’s now becoming known as something more important — clutch.