Most playoff pretenders prefer to be revealed as phonies in the postseason.
Looking at the Week 4 NFL scores, it seems as if some wanted to just get it out of the way now. While one loss doesn’t mean much, it’s difficult to imagine this handful of teams making any noise in January after their performances on Sunday.
3. Buffalo Bills
Week 3 Record: 2-1
Will Buffalo finish with at least a .500 record?
Week 4 Result: 52-28 loss to New England Patriots
Buffalo held a 21-7 lead in the third quarter against the Pats. It was less than a half of football away from being 3-1 and sitting atop the AFC East.
And then it choked.
New England scored an incredible 45 second-half points—31 in the fourth quarter—to send the Bills back down to Earth. Ryan Fitzpatrick helped the Patriots not only take the lead, but pad it with four interceptions.
2. Detroit Lions
Week 3 Record: 1-2
Week 4 Result: 20-13 loss to Minnesota Vikings
What is Jim Schwartz thinking? (via ESPN’s Kevin Seifert)
For those asking, Schwartz said "it is not a consideration" to fire special teams coordinator Danny Crossman. #Lions— Kevin Seifert (@espn_nfcnblog) September 30, 2012
After allowing two special teams touchdowns in an overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans last week, Detroit did it again against the Vikings. Percy Harvin returned a kickoff return 105 yards, and Marcus Sherels took a punt return back 77 yards. Matt Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the Lions offense failed to make up for their special teams' woes.
Sitting dead last in the NFC North, Detroit needs a miracle to turn its mess around.
1. New York Jets
Week 3 Record: 2-1
Week 4 Result: 34-0 loss to San Francisco 49ers
Rex Ryan and Bart Scott are silent.
I know such a thing is difficult to imagine, but after getting embarrassed in their house, the Jets don’t have too many reasons to boast.
New York blew out the Bills and snuck away with a win over the Miami Dolphins. But against legitimate playoff contenders in the 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers, it didn’t compete. Ryan’s defense isn’t anything special, and the Jets need a special defense with Mark Sanchez under center.
The fourth-year quarterback completed just 13 of 29 passes for 103 yards, threw an interception and also lost a fumble. And with Santonio Holmes potentially out with an injury, it looks as if things could get worse for Sanchez in the coming weeks—if that’s even possible.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.