Welcome to Around the NFL, where Cale Berger of Steelers Now will recap early-week action and take a look ahead at some of the most important matchups from the Pittsburgh Steelers perspective.
AROUND THE NFL THIS WEEKEND
Baltimore Ravens 27 Cincinnati Bengals 3
After a strong start to his rookie year, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow finally experienced his “Welcome to the NFL” moment in the form of the Ravens defense.
Baltimore tormented Burrow all afternoon, who passed for a career-low 183 yards and an interceptions, snapping a streak of three-consecutive 300-yard passing performances. They also sacked him seven times, and snagged two fumbles, both recovered by Burrow’s college teammate and fellow rookie, linebacker Patrick Queen. One of his recoveries was a scoop and score. Cincinnati had no success on the ground either, as running back Joe Mixon was held to just 59 yards on 24 carries.
The Ravens’ offense looked solid for the second weak in a row, after a dreadful performance against the Chiefs in Week 3. Quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for 180 yards and two scores, while the Ravens rushed for 161 yards on a porous Bengals defense.
Baltimore will face the reeling Eagles on the road next week, then host the Steelers for a heavyweight bout on Nov. 1. Cincinnati travels to Indianapolis next Sunday.
Houston Texans 30 Jacksonville Jaguars 14
The Houston Texans are winless no more, and all it took was the firing of head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson tossed three touchdown passes to three different receivers and running back David Johnson ran for 96 yards on the ground, but it was Houston’s defense that shined with three takeaways off the Jaguar offense. Defensive ends J.J. Watt and linebacker Tyrell Adams both recovered Jacksonville fumbles.
Credit for the win must also be given to the often-scrutinized Houston offensive line, which only allowed Watson to be sacked once on the afternoon. He was the most sacked quarterback in the league coming into the game.
Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II still played well albeit in a losing effort, throwing for 301 yards and two touchdowns.
Next up are the Tennessee Titans for the Texans, as they continue to drag themselves out of the 0-4 hole they dug to start the year. Jacksonville host the Detroit Lions next week.
Dallas Cowboys 37 New York Giants 34
While they may sit alone atop the NFC East, Sunday’s win over the Giants proved costly for the Cowboys after star quarterback Dak Prescott was carted off the field in the third quarter with a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle.
Prescott had been an MVP candidate through the first four weeks of the season, entering Week 4 as the league leader in passing yards (1,690) and completions (137). He threw for 166 yards and an interception before leaving the game, but he did catch his first career pass for a touchdown from wide receiver Cedrick Wilson.
Veteran quarterback Andy Dalton filled in admirably for the injury Prescott, completing nine of eleven passes for 111 yards and leading the Cowboys on their game-winning field goal drive. Rookie wide receiver CeeDee Lamb was also a bright spot catching eight passes for 124 yards. He is now the second player in NFL history with at least five receptions in his first five career games, joining Terry Glenn.
Running back Ezekiel Elliot was the star for Dallas offensively, rushing for 91 yards and two touchdowns. He will be relied on heavily to carry the Cowboys in the absence of Prescott.
Even against a poor Dallas defense, New York still failed to capture their first win of the season, as they continue to struggle in the absence of running back Saquan Barkley. Quarterback Daniel Jones passed for 222 yards with no scores or interceptions. He has throw for just two touchdowns in 2020. New running back Devonta Freeman and tight end Evan Engram scored the Giants’ fourth and fifth offensive touchdowns of the season, both coming on the ground. Linebacker Kyler Fackrell had a pick-six for the New York defense.
Dallas faces the Arizona Cardinals and young phenom Kyler Murray on Monday Night Football next week, and the Giants take on another division foe in Washington.
Cleveland Browns 32 Indianapolis Colts 23
The Browns are 4-1 for the first time since 1994 following their victory over the Colts on Sunday. Cleveland was led by head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Nick Saban that season 26 years ago.
Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield did revert back to some bad habits with two interceptions, but his 247 yards and two scores were enough to earn the win. The Browns’ run game was still solid without the injured Nick Chubb. Running back Kareem Hunt rushed for 72 yards, and also caught three passes for 21 yards and a touchdown.
Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. appeared in his 80th career game on Sunday, and achieved two historical feats in the process. His 6,805 career receiving yards and 485 catches are each the third-most through 80 games in NFL history, surpassing the legendary Torry Holt and the Chargers’ Keenan Allen, respectively.
The Colts fought hard until the end Sunday afternoon, but quarterback Philip Rivers’ two interceptions proved to costly and impactful to overcome. They will host the Bengals next weekend.
Cleveland is off to a historic start by their franchise’s standards, but they will face their toughest test yet in the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
REST OF THE SCHEDULE
Chicago Bears 20 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19
Carolina Panthers 23 Atlanta Falcons 16
Las Vegas Raiders 40 Kansas City Chiefs 32
Arizona Cardinals 30 New York Jets 10
Pittsburgh Steelers 38 Philadelphia Eagles 29
Los Angeles Rams 30 Washington 10
Miami Dolphins 43 San Francisco 49ers 17
Seattle Seahawks 27 Minnesota Vikings 26
Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints, Monday, 8:15 p.m., ESPN
Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans, Tuesday, 7:00 p.m., KDKA-TV