2018 NFL Week 4

2018 NFL Week 4: More Crazy Action

More unpredictability and zaniness as the NFL concludes its first quarter.

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Week 4 of the 2018 NFL season is in the past, and what a week it was. This season is hectic and unpredictable so far, and it may become even more so in the weeks to come. Although two teams (the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins) served their bye week, there was a plethora of noteworthy action from the 30 remaining teams who played this week. The NFL is shaping up to be different this year with new teams emerging at the forefront, even in the normally predictable AFC. Here are a few summaries of the most notable games from Week 4.

Houston Texans 37, Indianapolis Colts 34, OT

Quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck, both of whom returned from injuries last year, lit up the stat sheet with stellar passing performances in this divisional offensive spectacle. The game went to overtime, and Indianapolis head coach made a questionable decision to go for it on fourth down at their own 43 with 27 seconds left in the game, which they failed to convert. In the end, Houston prevailed after kicking a game-winning field goal. Both teams move to 1-3 on the season with the Texans holding the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10, Chicago Bears 48

Whatever "FitzMagic" Ryan Fitzpatrick had diminished as Chicago steamrolled Tampa Bay en route to a blowout victory. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had a career day with 354 passing yards and six touchdowns as the Buccaneers had no answer for him and his bevy of offensive weapons. The Bucs put starting quarterback Jameis Winston in the game in the second half, but he could not get anything going and threw two interceptions. The Bucs drop to 2-2 while the Bears improve to 3-1.

Detroit Lions 24, Dallas Cowboys 26

After the two teams traded blows throughout the contest, the Lions were handed a heartbreaking loss in Dallas as Cowboys kicker Brett Maher kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired. Detroit looked solid offensively overall, but so did Dallas as their quarterback Dak Prescott picked up the slack and led his team to a victory with running back Ezekiel Elliott. The Cowboys move to 2-2, while the Lions regress to 1-3 as their margin of error grows thinner.

Cincinnati Bengals 37, Atlanta Falcons 36

Atlanta regained its peak offensive form from 2016, but the defense's weak spots shone through as injuries continue to ravage them. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green lifted Cincinnati to victory, scoring a game-winning touchdown at the last second. Another heartbreaking loss for the Falcons as they drop to 1-3, while the Bengals take the lead in the AFC North at 3-1 with a head-to-head tiebreaker over Baltimore.

Cleveland Browns 42, Oakland Raiders 45, OT

Perhaps the wildest game in a week full of wild games, the Raiders prevailed over the Browns after Cleveland squandered an eight-point lead to force overtime. Another offensive clash, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr played his best game in recent memory as the defense struggled. A field goal in overtime sealed the deal for Oakland as they improve to 1-3, while Cleveland regresses to 1-2-1.

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Why I Love Basketball

I will never stop playing what I love —​ this sport that is my comforter, my teacher and my companion in life.
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The squeak of the court, the swish of a shot, the smack of a block, the shared laughter of teammates — these moments and memories last forever. Ever since the 7th grade, basketball has been one of my favorite aspects of life. I’m not an incredible player, but it has never made a difference. I was easily the worst player on my team in middle school, yet it never changed how much I loved the sport. Endless hours, which were well spent, were put into my practice with the school team, with friends or just by myself. Be it an actual game, practice drills, or imagining I was actually a great player hitting a game winning shot, I would always use my spare time to play.

Even though I love every aspect of basketball, there has always been one part of it that sits as king above all the rest — playing a real game. Those who’ve played on a team know exactly what I’m talking about. There is absolutely nothing like the nerves you get right before a game, the hype that rises within you as you listen to your music during warm-ups and the rush of adrenaline as soon as that jump ball starts. Once the ball goes up, you know what’s about to go down. All that matters in that moment is playing the game.

Reflecting on all this, it becomes clear to me that I love basketball not because it’s a sport but because it represents so much more. It’s my release, the opportunity for me to just set aside any worries or troubles, even for a moment, and to focus on just playing my heart out in a game that brings me so much excitement and joy. I get connected to those I play with, not only growing closer with teammates but also developing respect for those I play against. Basketball forces me to trust my teammates, teaches me to be a team player and pushes me to get back up and keep playing, no matter how bad the score may be or how bad of a game I might have had. The next game can always be different.

Even with all the losses, the injuries and the frustrations that may arise when playing basketball, there remain endless memories of sheer happiness, joy, contentment. I wouldn't trade any of it away because it has made me who I am today. Without basketball, I wouldn’t have had the determination to keep moving forward, the opportunity to meet new people or the feeling of freedom from burdens and responsibilities. To imagine my life without this sport and all that comes with it would be impossible.

I could simply go on forever about the reasons why I love basketball, which I’m sure by now is pretty clear. I dread the day when my body can no longer handle running on the court or handling the ball, but until that day comes, I will never stop playing what I love — this sport that is my comforter, my teacher and my companion in life.

Cover Image Credit: Artie Markosov

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Will The Seahawks Extend Bobby Wagner?

The star veteran linebacker will turn 29 in June.

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The Seattle Seahawks have made a few notable moves so far in the 2019 NFL offseason. They traded star pass rusher Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs for significant draft capital and made quarterback Russell Wilson the highest-paid player in NFL history after his self-imposed April 15 deadline for a contract extension. In addition, they selected Ohio State wide receiver D.K. Metcalf in the 2019 NFL Draft after he surprisingly fell to the 64th overall pick at the end of the second round. However, there are still a few questions to be answered. Most notably, will the Seahawks extend veteran linebacker Bobby Wagner?

Seattle drafted two linebackers in Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven in this year's draft. However, Wagner has been one of the NFL's top linebackers throughout his seven-year career and is considered by many to be the best along with Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. Although a versatile player, he is perhaps most known for his elite tackling ability and efficiency in that department. In the 2018 season, he missed only one tackle out of 139 attempts and was given a 139.0 tackling efficiency score from Pro Football Focus, more than double the score of runner-up Jon Bostic. However, he is entering a contract year and approaching his 29th birthday, so Seattle must make a decision on his long-term future.

Wagner is expected to become the highest-paid linebacker in the NFL after being overtaken by five other players of his position since he signed his initial four-year, $43 million contract extension on August 2, 2015. He has been one of the most consistent linebackers in the league and has stayed relatively healthy throughout his career with few character concerns. After Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley set the market for the position with his five-year, $85 million contract, the Seahawks will have to offer a significant amount of dough to their star to keep him. Wagner has stated that he will play the 2019 season as if it is his last in the Emerald City and reports say that he is not keen on taking a hometown discount to stay with the team.

The Seahawks were in a similar situation with veteran safety Earl Thomas last offseason when he held out for a contract extension that paid him his perceived value. We all know how that turned out. Could the same scenario happen with Wagner? All we know for sure is that Seattle has another large decision to make for another veteran star player.

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