Well Week 3 of the NFL is now officially finished and I like to start my roundups with a line of 2 about the best games of that weekend so here it goes.
Somehow San Francisco lost to Arizona, Aaron Rodgers could only score one touchdown vs Detroit of all teams, and the Super Bowl that we had all hoped for back in January actually occurred this past Sunday afternoon.
Bears 27, Jets 19
It is a good thing that Jay Cutler helped put up 14 points in the first quarter and it’s a good thing that Geno Smith was error-prone in the 4th quarter because it led to the bears winning the game.
Smith who has been declared Jets’ starter even with Michael Vick now on the team, threw for 2 interceptions and had 4 shots at the end zone in the final minute and missed on all of them
Bears improve to 2-1 on the season, Jets drop to 1-2.
Pittsburgh 39, Panthers 19
The Sunday nighter was another potential thriller, and it turned into one too. Cam Newton somehow topped Ben Roethlisberger as the game’s top passer.Carolina held Roethlisberger to only nine points in the first half (3 FGs).
Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell and Legarrette Blount both ran for more than 100 yards each. That hasn’t happened in the same game since 1986.
The Steelers had gone eight quarters without a touchdown before Big Ben’s two scoring drives in the 3rd quarter. They were set up by Newton’s fumble and Bell’s 81-yard run.
Seahawks 26, Broncos 20 OT
I never thought that I would be writing a Bronco blurb after a loss (first time for this since the Super Bowl) but here it goes anyway.
The one game that has been dubbed ‘Super Bowl rematch’ wasn’t really a re-match because at least one of the teams has gone through a lot of changes since that cold night back in February, plus the logic that games played in Week 3 aren’t that important because a lot of teams in the league are still feeling themselves out.
However, this game is the matchup of probably the 2 best teams in the NFL. And it’s interesting because one of the teams really did have home field advantage.
Unlike the Super Bowl game, both team’s top players played like it for at least parts of the game. Denver’s defense took a pounding in the first half but woke up in the second half. Seattle’s offense was rolling for the first 3 quarters. Denver’s offense stopping sleeping right in a nick of time.
And, for the first time in many years, the Denver Broncos played into overtime.
Battling back from huge deficits is nothing new to Peyton Manning. When he led Indianapolis to the Super Bowl in 2007, he played against the Patriots in order to get there. Manning fell behind by 21-3 and came back in the 2nd half to light everybody up and won the game by a field goal.
It looked like that might be the story of the game Sunday in Seattle too.
On this night, he went 80 yards against by far the league’s best defense and he did it mistake-free. Of course we all expect him to do stuff like that. Then he hit WR Demaryius Thomas on a two-point convert. It is very easy to mess those up. But he didn’t.
Denver was able to do what nobody else in the league has, and that is expose the weaknesses in the Seattle secondary. We only wish that they could have done it back in New Jersey in January, but it’s still a bit of a moral victory for Seattle. The good news (asides from not getting blown away again) is that Denver proved to everybody that they can beat Seattle’s defense. They even beat CB Richard Sherman on at least 2 plays, the last of which tied the game and sent the shell-shocked crowd into overtime.
That entire drive was captioned by Peyton Manning without the aid of any time outs. Impressive.
Manning finished the game going 31-49 with 303 yards and 2 touchdowns, and had one extremely costly interception late in the game as his (brutal) pass to Wes Welker was picked off by Kam Chancellor.
Both quarterbacks in the game were 2-1 touchdown to interception ratio.
Chiefs 34, Dolphins 15
QB Alex Smith shook off 5 sacks in this game and threw 3 touchdown passes and succeeded on a 2-pt conversion pass as the Kansas City Chiefs improved to 2-1 on the season; Miami dropped to 1-2.
“Momentum’s a funny thing,” Smith said. “It’s hard to put your finger on it, but certainly this helps. This is what you’re looking for — a win on the road. A tough win, I thought. This is how you get started, for sure.”
Smith led touchdown drives of 62 yards, 76 and 66 in a span of only 4 possessions and the defense took care of the same offense that beat up New England in Week 1.
KC’s defense also sacked QB Ryan Tannehill 4 times. Quarterbacks in this sack hit the turf a total of 9 times.
“I forgot how good winning feels,” Chiefs linebacker James-Michael Johnson said on Twitter.
KC also played without 7 starters including Jamal Charles.
Arizona 23, SF 14
Every week of action in the NFL has its upsets and this is one of them. To show just how bad this was, QB Colin Kaepernick threw only 1 touchdown against one of the worst defenses out there.
Arizona won against SF for only the 2nd time in their 11 meetings.
SF put together 2 80-yard touchdown drives in the first quarter then they went and showered and left the building, blowing a halftime lead for the 2nd week in a row.
Former Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd caught five passes for 114 yards in the Arizona win.
San Diego 22, Buffalo 10
In this AFC matchup, both teams traded shots all the way through but in the end the visiting team came out on top as no one player stood out on either side.
Technically it was a mismatch of quarterbacks as the younger EJ Manual faced the experience veteran in Phillip Rivers. Manual finished with nearly 250 yards passing but missed 16 of 39 pass attempts.
Rivers was bang-on on all but 7 of his pass attempts.
Buffalo missed an opportunity to go 3-0 for the first time since 1993.
Despite a strong performance last week, rookie WR Sammy Watkins was limited to only 2 catches for 19 yards, he was targeted 8 times.
New England 19 Raiders 9
Needless to say this was not one of Tom Brady’s best performances. The New England quarterback should have shredded the Raider defense to nothing, but instead his team almost lost.
As if it wasn’t bad enough that this game was played in New England in front of all their fans, the visiting Raiders nearly found a way to tie the game as Darren McFadden thought he had the game-tying touchdown, only to have the play called back due to a penalty.
The game was also the home opener for the Pats, who managed to carry on their 12-year tradition of winning their home opener, the team’s play however, left much to be desired.
Dallas 34, STL 31
Had Tony Romo found a way to lose this game, he may as well find a new place to live. He and the Cowboys found themselves down 21 points before they finally took their heads out of their asses.
The St. Louis Rams blew more coverages than you would believe, including leaving Dez Bryant wide open for a touchdown pass that tied the game.
“No one ever comes that wide open,” quarterback Tony said of the 68-yard touchdown pass that was among the big plays that helped the Cowboys erase a 21-0 deficit and stun the St. Louis Rams 34-31 on Sunday. “You want to make sure you don’t do anything stupid.”
This 21-point deficit that Dallas overcame also happens to be the 21st time that Tony Romo has put together a comeback in either the 4th quarter or in overtime.
Sunday’s comeback started back in the 2nd quarter when DeMarco Murray ran one yard for a TD.
For the Rams, It tied the second-largest lead blown by the Rams (1-2), who slowed Murray but got burned everywhere else. Among other breakdowns was a flubbed snap by center Scott Wells, who didn’t realize Austin Davis was in the shotgun, resulting in a lost fumble, and a dropped touchdown pass by Jared Cook that could have put the Rams up 28-21. They settled for a field goal.
Dallas is now 2-1 for the 4th straight season. They have a pretty good chance of going 2-1 on the weekend when they host the struggling Saints on Sunday night at 8:30pm EST.
Eagles 37, R’skins 34
The PhiladelphiaEagles are on a roll. For 3 straight games, they are winning games.
Scoring at least 2 field goals in every quarter on Sunday against Washington was enough for a win, coincidentally by 3 points.
The 2 quarterbacks (Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins) combined to score 6 touchdowns.
The nasty game was marred by a fourth-quarter brawl near the Washington sideline after Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was blindsided by defensive lineman Chris Baker during an apparent interception return. Baker and Eagles left tackle Jason Peters were ejected — and then the INT was overturned by video replay. That led to Maclin’s 27-yard touchdown to break a 27-27 tie.
NY Giants 30, Texans 17
It seems like forever since the NY Giants won a football game but they did on Sunday, and it came against a team that is above .500.
Eli Manning did not have his strongest game, and was shown up by Houston’s Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Giants were apparently desperate to finally get a win so coach Tom Coughlin did something to lighten the mood.
Manning did throw 2 TD passes and now avoids another possible 0-6 start, which usually means missing the playoffs too.
Fitzpatrick threw for nearly 300 yards but also threw 3 picks.
Saints 20, Vikings 9
It’s about time New Orleans finally beat someone, for a team that has expectations higher than the New York Yankees, it’s about damn time! And the first victim is the Minnesota Vikings, who’ve been getting creamed this season too.
Bengals 33 Titans 7
Count Tennessee among the teams expected to fall quickly now that the fall is upon us. Tennessee may have been shut out of this one completely had it not been for a defensive lapse that led to the Titans’ only score.
The Bengals are off to their best start in 8 years now, and probably still have last season’s playoff performance in the back of their minds.
Meanwhile the Titans remain an example to the NFL of what not to do: The Titans committed a safety for holding in the end zone on a punt, missed those two field goal attempts, snapped the ball before Jake Locker was ready in shotgun formation, and whiffed on the game’s defining play.
Next game is a trip to Foxborough for Cincy on Oct. 5. This week will be their bye week. The Pats will be a test.