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NFL Top Headlines for Week 4

After a wild week of football, the NFL had 30 teams play football on someday of the week. Here are reactions to ESPN’s top headlines for Tuesday Morning from questionable calls, firings, and fines.

Questionable Calls

In the Chiefs 26-10 win over the Patriots, the referees were questioned over a whistle that prevented the Patriots from retaining the ball in Chiefs territory. Patrick Mahomes was in the process of being dragged down when he tried to throw the ball, which resulted in the ball being knocked out and picked up by New England.

NFL
Oct 6, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) is sacked by Indianapolis Colts defensive end Jabaal Sheard (93) and defensive tackle Denico Autry (96) during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The whistle came from long-time official Tony Corrente, who deemed he was “being controlled quite a bit,” according to an ESPN article, and “…other players were coming at him.” Corrente goes on to say it is the head official’s job to protect the quarterback and when he saw the other players coming, he whistled to avoid getting Mahomes hurt.

Now, this was painful to the Patriots, as a score here would’ve been important for the stolid offense. New England was down a quarterback, Cam Newton, as the former MVP was out with COVID-19. The Patriots fill-in was Brian Hoyer, who struggled throwing an interception on 24 passes thrown with 15 completed for 130 yards. Jarrett Stidham, the former Auburn quarterback, came in and was arguably worse, completing 5 of 13 passes thrown and chucking two picks. (one on an Edelman drop)

Now, understand that this call was, to the eye, bad. But Corrente has a point. Defenders were closing in on Mahomes, and he was already wrapped up. Corrente felt the “player’s safety was jeopardized.” From the TV angle, this call is quite bogus, as Mahomes was still looking to make a play while being wrapped up.

The call could fly either way. You let it play because the quarterback can still throw the ball(which he attempts and fumbles), or you stop it because a downhill defender will hurt him. Mahomes was in a state where a defender could hurt him, but at the same time, he could make a play.

Let’s put it this way. If Mahomes doesn’t get called down, do you think he would argue that the play should be dead? I don’t think so.

Bye, Bye, Bill

Now former Texans head coach and GM, Bill O’Brien, was canned after an 0-4 start to the Houston season. O’Brien was 52-48 with the Texans and won four division titles.

His general manager position wasn’t as highly praised as he traded away Pro-Bowl wideout, DeAndre Hopkins for David Johnson and a second-round pick. Johnson ran for 345 yards in 2019, playing 13 games. Just for reference, Johnson is 27th among running backs in yards, and DeAndre Hopkins is fourth in receiving yards. Also, Johnson is 20th among rushing attempts where Hopkins is third among targets and has brought in the most receptions in the NFL through four games.

The trade would make sense if they used the former Pro-Bowler in David Johnson, as he also isn’t Top Ten in receiving yards for running backs in 2020. O’Brien also traded away former number one pick, Jadeveon Clowney, to the Seattle Seahawks in 2019.

Sep 9, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson (31) against the Washington Redskins at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

O’Brien was a troubling GM and not a bad coach, as some have said lately. But when a good coach’s team goes 0-4, it’s time to clean the house.

The Mask Goes Over the Nose or it Gets the Hose

Ahh… I love that meme. Anyway, ten Oakland Raiders players were fined after not wearing masks at a public charity event hosted by the Waller foundation, according to ESPN. This comes after the Raiders coach, Jon Gruden, was fined for his absence of mask-wearing in a game against the Saints.

Some of the fined players were Derek Carr, Darren Waller, Hunter Renfrow, and Jason Witten.

The praise should fall on the NFL. It shows that they respect the situation they are in and understand that the NFL is extremely lucky to be playing in a time of crisis. If the players can’t follow the rules, they should pay the price. It could be argued the fine should be more since the event probably shouldn’t even occur in person. They may have spread it to their own teammate as Maurice Hurst, who wasn’t fined, is positive for COVID-19.

Nov 17, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

What we learned from this week is the NFL is flawed in many ways. The headlines are mostly negative, showing why we love football because the National Football League is dramatic. And everyone loves a little drama deep down inside.

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