One Thing Every NFL Team Should Celebrate After Week 4
The fourth week of the 2012 NFL season brought more blowouts than any other week of this young season. That made it extremely difficult to come up with a reason for many teams to celebrate after Week 4.
However, few people are as optimistic as I am and I was even capable of coming up with a reason to celebrate for the lowly New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. Here are those reasons, along with a reason for every other team in the NFL to be celebrating following Week 4.
Please note that the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers both had byes this week and they will collectively be celebrating their bodies getting much needed rest.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Things Could Be Way Worse
Yes, the Cleveland Browns have yet to win a game this season, but they've been competitive in every single game they've played.
They could easily be 2-2 instead of 0-4 had quarterback Brandon Weeden not made some poor decisions.
While I don't feel confident saying that Cleveland will win a game this year, I do feel confident saying that things could be way worse than they are right now.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith is Becoming Dynamic
In the past two games, Flacco has found Smith 12 times for 224 yards and three touchdowns. While many expected a breakout season for Smith, I don't think anyone thought he'd be this good.
However, as good as Smith has been, Flacco has been even better. He's carried the Baltimore Ravens to back-to-back victories and is finally looking like one of the better quarterbacks in the league.
With these two players becoming more in-tune with each game that passes, the Ravens and their passing offense will be rather dynamic this year.
San Francisco 49ers
One Thing They Should Celebrate: You Delivered the Ultimate Beatdown
It is one thing to win a game. It is another thing entirely to completely demolish a team.
That is what the San Francisco 49ers did to the New York Jets on Sunday. They dominated them in every facet of the game. It was over before it even began.
New York Jets
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Tim Tebow's 104.2 Quarterback Rating
Who cares if that 104.2 quarterback rating came off only one pass.
The New York Jets have no other reason to celebrate this week than this one nine yard pass from Tebow.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Marshawn Lynch Continues to Dominate
Lynch went off for 118 yards and a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams and now has 423 rushing yards on the season.
While the Seattle Seahawks are only 2-2 on the season, they'll have a chance in every game as long as Lynch continues to look like the best running back in the league.
St. Louis Rams
One Thing They Should Celebrate: They Might Have the Best Secondary in Football
Another game and another outstanding performance from the St. Louis Rams secondary. Even though this performance came against a rookie quarterback, it shouldn't take away from how impressive this unit has become.
The starting combination of Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins looks like the best one-two punch in football at cornerback. However, even Trumaine Johnson and Bradley Fletcher looked very good on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
The Rams haven't been too impressive on offense this year, but with how good this secondary has played, it might not matter.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Cam Newton Finally Showed Resilience
Thanks to a poor start, there has been quite a bit of hating going on against Newton in recent weeks.
However, Newton came back in a huge way against the Atlanta Falcons. He accounted for three touchdowns and had the Carolina Panthers in position to win the game late in the fourth quarter.
While a late fumble by Newton ultimately gave the ball back to Atlanta to give them a chance to win, it was still an extremely gutsy performance from Newton.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: No Quarterback is as Clutch as Matt Ryan
Staring down 99 yards with less than two minutes remaining would probably give most quarterbacks nightmares.
However, that didn't happen to Ryan as he quickly and efficiently moved his team down the field and into field-goal position to come away with the victory. If I had to choose one quarterback to hand the ball to with the game on the line, it would be Matty Ice and it wouldn't even be close.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Few Players Are as Dynamic as Percy Harvin
There are many things that the Minnesota Vikings could be celebrating this week, but Harvin is the best thing for this team to be celebrating right now.
Even though he didn't make much of an impact on offense, he did return the opening kickoff 105 yards for a score. That play set the tone for the rest of the game as the Vikings came away with a huge win against the Detroit Lions.
Harvin continues to prove how valuable he is to this team and firmly establishes himself as one of the premier players in the NFL this season.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Calvin Johnson Can't Play Much Worse
It hasn't quite been the record-breaking season many expected from Johnson this year. While he hasn't been truly dominant in any games this season, he has at least played solidly in each one.
However, that didn't happen in Week 4 as Johnson only recorded five receptions for 54 yards. What really makes those statistics bad is that Matthew Stafford completed 30 passes for 319 yards.
The good news for the Detroit Lions is that Johnson can't play much worse than he did on Sunday, which means that this offense should once again be a dominant unit.
San Diego Chargers
One Thing They Should Celebrate: The Backfield Looks Incredible
Ryan Mathews, Jackie Battle and Ronnie Brown combined for 212 total yards and two touchdowns on Sunday.
While fantasy owners may not like the running-back-by-committee approach that the San Diego Chargers are using, it seems to be working out pretty well. Don't be surprised if the combination of Mathews, Battle and Brown continue to get featured heavily in San Diego.
Kansas City Chiefs
One Thing They Should Celebrate: They Can't Have More Turnovers in a Game
On Sunday, Matt Cassel threw three interceptions, Jamaal Charles lost two fumbles and Shaun Draughn lost another fumble. Six turnovers, an average of one turnover for every 10 minutes.
That statistic is terrible and simply unacceptable, but at least the Kansas City Chiefs can celebrate the fact that this will likely be the most turnovers they'll have in a single game this season.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Chris Johnson is Looking Like His Old Self
After gaining only 45 yards on 33 carries through the first three weeks, Johnson had a huge game on Sunday. He carried the ball 25 times while gaining 141 yards and averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
The biggest issue with the Tennessee Titans offense this year has been the lack of Johnson making big plays. Now that he appears to be getting back to his old ways, the Titans could be a dangerous team offensively.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: 16-0 is a Legitimate Possibility
It seems we always speculate about a 16-0 way too early in a season, but the Houston Texans have looked unbeatable through the first four weeks.
Their offense has been as balanced as possible and the defense looks like the best unit in the league. This is the best team in the NFL, and they're going to need to have a really bad day to lose a game this season.
New England Patriots
One Thing They Should Celebrate: They Scored 31 Points in the Fourth Quarter
After looking sluggish on offense through the first three quarters, the New England Patriots absolutely went off in the fourth quarter.
They scored three touchdowns in the span of five minutes to pull away from the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter. If the Patriots can ever be this dynamic and potent over the course of a full game, records everywhere will fall to the ground.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: You Were the Best Team in the AFC East for Two-and-a-Half Quarters
Sure, the New England Patriots went on to score 35 straight points, but had your game on Sunday only lasted 34 minutes, you would have been the best in your division.
It isn't much, but after getting beat 52-28 after being up 21-7 in the third quarter, there usually isn't much to celebrate.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: They're Becoming a Truly Elite Team
While the Baltimore Ravens are still the team to beat in the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals are beginning to look like the second-best team in the division. On top of that, they're also looking like one of the better teams in the entire NFL.
With Andy Dalton and A.J. Green continuing to grow into a dynamic quarterback-receiver combination and the defense becoming more and more sound, this team looks extremely good through four weeks. They may still be a piece or two away from really challenging a team like Baltimore, but teams can no longer sleep on the Bengals.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Blaine Gabbert Continues to Surprise
A week after throwing a game-winning touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts, Gabbert avoided a poor performance in Week 4.
While his statistics weren't exactly eye-popping, there were a few surprising revelations from Gabbert's performance. The biggest surprise was his 67.6 percent completion despite being under constant pressure.
There is still much for Gabbert to accomplish before he can be considered the "answer" for the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, if he continues to play surprisingly well on Sundays, he'll continue to have a job in this league.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Shane Lechler, Baby!
There is nothing to be ashamed of if your best player is your punter, Oakland Raiders. A lot of teams' best players are their punters like the...okay, I got nothing.
That doesn't mean that the Raiders shouldn't be celebrating the awesomeness of Lechler heading into Week 5.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Old Peyton Manning Almost Looks Better Than Young Peyton Manning
Sure, his passes that travel more than 20 yards look like a dying duck, but what does it matter when he goes off for 338 yards and three touchdowns?
What is so impressive about Manning this season is the fact that he is playing like one of the best quarterbacks in the league with a unspectacular receiving corps surrounding him. While I'm sure the Denver Broncos would have loved the 23-year-old Manning, I'm sure they're not complaining at all about the Manning they actually have.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Ryan Tannehill is the Future
The last time that a quarterback for the Miami Dolphins threw for over 400 yards, Noah was taking his family off The Ark. Okay, maybe not that bad, but it has been a long, long time since a quarterback has looked as promising as Tannehill has for Miami.
He has all the tools and abilities to go along with the mental makeup that any team would want in a franchise quarterback. As he continues to learn the position, he'll only get better and the Dolphins should celebrate that for a long time.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: They're Legit
Even after starting the season 3-0, I still had my doubts about the Arizona Cardinals. Through the first half of Sunday's game, it looked like those doubts were real.
However, the Cardinals fought back in a huge way to come away with an overtime victory against the Miami Dolphins. It wasn't the prettiest of wins, but it did prove that Arizona is a legitimate team and one that shouldn't be taken lightly as the season progresses.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Robert Griffin III is Magical
There really isn't another word in the English language to describe Griffin.
He gives 130 percent on every play and will single-handedly make the Washington Redskins a successful franchise.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Vincent Jackson is Starting to Pay Off
While Jackson hasn't been a complete disappointment for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he hasn't been a true No. 1 receiver either.
However, Jackson looked very good on Sunday as he brought in six receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. Even though that performance came against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, it was still a great sign for Tampa Bay and their big offseason investment.
New Orleans Saints
One Thing They Should Celebrate: 0-4 Isn't as Bad as 0-16
It is really hard to stay positive with the New Orleans Saints right now, but at least they have to lose 12 straight games in order to be considered one of the worst teams in NFL history.
And we all know that won't be happening this year.
Green Bay Packers
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Aaron Rodgers Looks Like His 2011 Self
The 2012 season hasn't been kind to Rodgers but that completely changed on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
Rodgers went off in a big way to the tune of 319 yards and four touchdowns while coming away with a victory. This was the first time this season that Rodgers looked as good as he did during his historic 2011 season.
That should be a scary thought for the rest of the NFL and a major reason to celebrate for the Green Bay Packers.
New York Giants
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Passing Offense Continues to Improve
Despite losing to the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants still need to be excited about the way their passing offense has looked this season.
Without Hakeem Nicks for the second straight game, the Giants and Eli Manning still threw for 309 yards. Last week we saw Ramses Barden have a huge game, and this week it was Dominek Hixon stepping up in a big way with six receptions and 114 yards.
It is going to be scary when Nicks gets back in the lineup, and New York needs to be celebrating that after this difficult loss.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: LeSean McCoy Played Exceptionally Well
This season hasn't started as quickly for McCoy as last season did, but there was no doubt heading into Sunday's game that he was still one of the better running backs in the league.
His performance against the New York Giants in the second half was simply beautiful. He finished the game with 140 total yards on 26 touches. While he didn't find the end zone, McCoy was crucial in all four scoring drives for the Philadelphia Eagles in the second half.
Philadelphia is at their best when McCoy is getting plenty of touches and the Eagles need to be celebrating the fact that he looked very good on Sunday night.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Turnovers Galore
More than half the teams in the NFL have less than five interceptions on the entire season, which happens to be the amount that the Chicago Bears had on Monday night against the Dallas Cowboys.
They lead the NFL with 11 interceptions through four games and have returned three of those for touchdowns. This defense is creating a ton of pressure which is forcing opposing teams to make poor decisions.
This, of course, has led to victories for Chicago.
One Thing They Should Celebrate: Jason Witten Finally Looked Good
There wasn't much to celebrate after a crushing defeat on Monday, but at least the Dallas Cowboys have their star tight end back.
Witten recorded 13 receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown against the Chicago Bears. All those totals were better than Witten's combined statistics through the first three weeks of the season.
With Witten back, the Cowboys offense will be one of the better units in the league. Of course, they'll need Tony Romo to stop throwing five interceptions in a single game, but there is a good chance he can do that.