We’re unveiling a new feature this season – weekly NFL superlatives. It’s meant to be a lighthearted look at Sunday’s games, as we highlight best shoes, worst class trip and most likely to succeed. Here are the picks for Week 4:
Life of the Party: Wade Phillips, Los Angeles Rams
At age 70, not only is Phillips old enough to be a grandfather to the players he coaches, he’s old enough to be grandfather to the man who hired him as Rams defensive coordinator: first-year head coach Sean McVay, who’s just 31. But just like your granddad tries to stay hip to impress you, Phillips did the same on Sunday, dancing as he got a game ball for helping Los Angeles beat his former team, the Dallas Cowboys.
Sanu’s pregame cleats paid tribute to wrestling legend Ric Flair, who has been battling health issues of late. There was an image of Flair and his signature blonde locks on the left shoe and “Ric Flair” in script on the right. On top of both shoes, of course, was the Nature Boy’s favorite phrase, “Woooo!!”
Worst Class Trip: Miami Dolphins
While the tea and time change seem to do wonders for Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles, London has not been kind to the Dolphins: two years ago, a lackluster loss to the New York Jets led to the firing of head coach Joe Philbin, and on Sunday, it seemed the team left its offense back in Florida. Jay Cutler threw an end-zone interception to kill an otherwise successful opening drive, and Miami never got past midfield after that.
Phillips’ defensive game plan against Dallas was critical, but Zuerlein had a huge role in the Rams’ 35-30 win. He lined up for a field goal seven times and nailed all seven, ranging from 28 to 49 yards. The sixth-year kicker is perfect so far this season, 14-for-14 on field goals, and 14-for-14 on extra points.
Worst Candidate for the CIA: Matt Ryan, Atlanta
CIA agents are supposed to be stealthy, moving as quietly as possible so as not to arouse suspicion. Ryan was none of those things on Sunday as he ran out wide for the Falcons’ attempt at a Wildcat play, tripping on the turf and falling to his knees. Not exactly a top-secret maneuver.
Most Likely to Sleep in Class: Jay Cutler, Miami
Long before it became apparent that it just wasn’t going to be Miami’s day on offense against the New Orleans Saints, Cutler could not have seemed less interested during the Dolphins’ Wildcat try. Cutler, out wide right, stood statue-still with his hands on his hips while his 10 teammates on the field tried to make the play successful. Cutler has often seemed so disinterested there are memes and GIFs dedicated to his indifference, and that play did little to dispel that idea.
Play to the whistle. Pop Warner and high school coaches everywhere will be playing the clip of Powell’s 75-yard touchdown run against the Jaguars, when he was tripped up and slid on his stomach but was never touched down by a Jacksonville defender. So Powell got up and kept running, all the way to the end zone.
Watson set an NFL rookie record with five total touchdowns against the Titans on Sunday, four passing and one rushing, in a massive win against the Texans’ divisional rival. It’s been quite a week for Watson, who threw for over 300 yards in New England in Week 3, almost pulling off an upset, then warmed hearts everywhere when he donated his first NFL game check to three cafeteria workers at the team facility who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
He may be 34-years-old, and there are many who believe this will be his final NFL season, but Fitzgerald is still playing at a high level, and is still integral to the Cardinals’ success. With just 32 seconds remaining in overtime and Arizona needing a touchdown (the 49ers had scored a field goal earlier in OT), Carson Palmer found Fitzgerald in the end zone, and falling backward, he beat two defenders for the ball and the win.
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