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Knights in the NFL: Week 4 Recap

Kroft goes off for two scores.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Kroft had the game of his career as he wouldn’t be denied.
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

NFL week 4 couldn’t possibly top Week 3, could it?

Michael Burton, Marcus Cooper, and Andrew DePaola played hated rival Green Bay on Thursday Night Football. Despite an overall OK effort by the Bears pass defense Cooper (1 tackle) was victimized badly on the longest gain of the day by Jordy Nelson where safety help came too late. Burton saw little action as the Bears offense (4 turnovers) was in catch up mode from early in the second quarter, ultimately falling 35-14. Due to the turnovers, the Bears only punted three times, dropping two inside the 20.

NFL: International Series-New Orleans Saints at Miami Dolphins
A nice moment in London for a pair of former teammates and RU record setting WRs.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Brandon Coleman’s Saints faced Leonte Carroo and the Dolphins in London. Miami played what seemed like a carbon copy game as the week prior, this time unable to punch in a last minute touchdown and falling 20-0. Carroo was statless, as Miami totaled only 186 total yards. The game was still close, but turned early in the third quarter. On a second down with the Saints holding only a 3-0 lead, Drew Brees found Coleman for a gain of 31 yards to cross into Dolphin territory. It would be Coleman’s only target of the game as the Saints played ball control the rest of the way.

Mohamed Sanu and the previously undefeated Falcons hosted the Buffalo Bills. The Bills played a solid game, and the result came down to the final minutes. Sanu caught one pass for 3 yards and added a 4 yard run before leaving the game due to a hamstring injury. Without their emotional leader, Atlanta fell at home 23-17 as they could not convert a touchdown deep in Buffalo territory.

The Bengals Clark Harris and Tyler Kroft were not going to be denied against Jason McCourty and Kenny Britt in Cleveland. Cincinnati broke through against in-state rival Cleveland, winning a laugher, 31-7. Kroft surprised everyone, by not only outperforming Britt on the other side, but leading all receivers with 68 yards on six catches. Kroft added both the second and third touchdowns of his career in the win. Britt added 3 catches for 52 yards. McCourty was busy, recording 7 tackles. Harris and the kicking unit converted all 5 placekicks and was strong on their 4 punts also. One of Kroft’s touchdowns that iced the game will likely end up being the play of the week across the entire league.

Logan Ryan and the Titans were walloped by upstart rival Houston, 57-14. The Texans offensive output against New England last week was no fluke as they got 4 touchdowns from the arm of DeShaun Watson. Ryan had 5 tackles, but the Titans defense never had a chance with their offense committing 5 turnovers.

Steve Longa (4 tackles) and the Lions had a nice 14-7 win against division rival Minnesota. Recently signed George Johnson added a tackle. Detroit now sits in 1st place in the NFC North at 3-1 after the tremendous defensive effort. Longa played with a heavy heart after the unexpected death of his father earlier in the week.

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys
Johnson (#93) shown here blocking during his first stint with the club, returned to the Lions.
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon played in another classic, this time against Carolina. That Patriots stormed back to tie the game late, but Carolina regrouped to put through a late field goal for a 33-30 win in New England. McCourty had five tackles while Harmon added two. The Patriots drop to a surprising 2-2 in a second place tie with the New York Jets (??) behind the Buffalo Bills (?) in the AFC East.

Local scores: Jets 23, Jaguars 20 (OT). Buccaneers 25, Giants 23. Eagles 26, Chargers 24.

Practice squads: Andre Patton (Chargers), Carlton Agudosi (Cardinals)

Knights in the Pros flashback ... 2008.

On October 5, 2008 the Indianapolis Colts limped into division rival Houston with a 1-2 record. The Colts coming off five straight division titles were staring 1-3 in the face as they trailed Houston 27-10 with less than 5 minutes remaining in the game. After a Peyton Manning Touchdown pass cut it to 27-17, an onside kick fell into the arms of the Texans hands team, namely David Anderson.

Houston looked to run out the clock with 4:03 to go and on a third down, Texans QB Sage Rosenfels scrambled and was near the first down marker when he was stripped. Rather than just fall on the fumble, the loose ball was picked up by Gary Brackett (5 tackles) who sprinted 68 yards for the touchdown (3rd of his career) cutting it to 27-24. The Colts defense forced another fumble which they turned into another Manning touchdown to take a lead with less than two minutes to go that they would not relinquish. The Colts carried the momentum the rest of the year, going on to finish 13-3, having won 12 of their final 13 contests.

Gary was a walk-on at Rutgers who ultimately became team captain and defensive MVP during Greg Schiano’s second season (notice the parallel?) Undrafted in the NFL, Brackett defied the odds once again to become a starting linebacker for the Colts. This coming after he lost his mother, father, and brother all during a few months of 2003.

Brackett participated in two super bowls, winning one. Our friends at Stampede Blue named Brackett the top inside linebacker on the Colts all-time 53 man roster they compiled. Since he retired, he has published a book and is known for his charitable contributions.

New England Patriots v Indianapolis Colts
Brackett participated in many big games coming up with several big moments.
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images