Week 4 in the NFL was another offensive showcase with the league on a record scoring pace. The league has averaged 51.3 points per game in 2020, the most since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The previous high was 48.1 points per game, a score that was set in 2018.
Many former Huskers have contributed to these prolific offensive numbers, while defenders have been forced the task of slowing them down. Let’s take a look at how a few of them fared in Week 4.
Zac Taylor, HC, Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor led his team to their first win of the season on Sunday with a 33-25 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
During Taylor’s first season in charge in 2019, the Bengals didn’t win their first game until Week 13 against the New York Jets. This win was only Taylor’s third of his tenure and raises his overall record to 3-16-1.
While that record isn’t a welcome sight for Bengals fans, the development and performance of 2020 No. 1 draft pick Joe Burrow is. Burrow is 10th in the league in passing yards, just 1 yard behind Tom Brady.
Taylor will most likely continue to have a job past this season if he develops a relationship with his young quarterback and assists in his continued improvement.
Cincinnati visits the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5 in a divisional showdown at noon on Sunday on CBS.
Nathan Gerry, LB, Philadelphia Eagles
Linebacker Nathan Gerry led the Eagles with eight tackles in their 25-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football.
Gerry is the leading tackler for the Eagles’ in his fourth season with the team. He played in 99% of the Eagles’ snaps against the 49ers and the fewest snaps he’s played so far this season is 97% in their marathon overtime game in Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Despite that, Gerry’s play has been subpar at points, away from his usual reliable self.
49ers tight end George Kittle burned Gerry to the tune of 15 receptions for 183 yards and one touchdown. Through four games, Gerry has the 2nd-worst tackle efficiency in the NFL, has allowed 19 catches on 19 targets and is allowing a passer rating of 148.2 — the second worst mark in the league, bringing down an otherwise good Philadelphia defense.
Gerry will look to rebound next week, as the Eagles face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at noon on FOX.
Lamar Jackson, CB, New York Jets
Cornerback Lamar Jackon made his NFL debut for the New York Jets in their 37-28 loss to the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football.
Jackson went undrafted, but was signed by the Jets in May and eventually added to the practice squad in September. Earlier last week, he was elevated to the active roster for the Jets’ clash with the Broncos. Jackson had two tackles and a pass defended in his first ever NFL action. He was thrown into the fire, playing on 84% of the Jets’ defensive snaps.
With the Jets continuing to languish at the bottom of the league standings, Jackson could continue to get more opportunities in his young career.
The Jets will continue to look for their first win of the season when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at noon on FOX.
Sam Koch, P, Baltimore Ravens
Punter Sam Koch had 15 yards passing and three punts for 141 yards, pinning all three inside Washington’s 20-yard line in the Ravens’ 31-17 win over the Washington Football Team.
Koch has a long history of fake punts, either running or passing to convert key first downs. He has now thrown a pass in four consecutive seasons.
Koch has thrown seven passes in his career and has completed all seven of them for 82 yards. His quarterback ranking is a sparkling 115.5. In fact, Koch’s fake punt conversion against Washington made him the most accurate passer in NFL history. Of players with at least five completions, he holds the record with his 100% completion rate.
This fake punt came in the second quarter around midfield with the Ravens ahead 14-7, looking to bury Washington early. It led to a 25-yard passing touchdown from quarterback Lamar Jackson to tight end Mark Andrews.
The Baltimore Ravens face the Bengals in Week 5.
Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Linebacker Lavonte David led the Buccaneers with 11 tackles in their 38-31 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Week 4 marked the first time David missed any defensive snaps for Tampa Bay, featuring in 96% of the Buccaneer’s defensive snaps against the Chargers.
The Buccaneers’ defense once again silenced the opposing running attack, holding the Chargers to 46 rushing yards. Tampa Bay defense is allowing 64.3 rushing yards per game, second in the league behind the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Tampa Bay faces the Chicago Bears on Thursday Night Football, a contest slated for a 7:20 p.m. kickoff on FOX.