Just when you thought it was safe to count out some teams, they spring back to life from the grasp of death (I’m looking at you, Indy). That’s the beauty of parity in the NFL.
But then again, the Patriots will always be the Patriots and the Jaguars will always be the Jaguars, and that gets you a 51-17 stomping. That was actually the theme of the day: blowouts. There were some close games, but most were either offensively challenged or run-away trashings. Ten games were decided by at least 11 points or more.
Some teams are continuing to show poise by winning while others, well it seems their season may have fallen apart. Lets recap the action from Week 3.
WSH 21, NYG 32
The Giants saved their season with this win. Granted, Kirk Cousins was never a threat to beat them, but in the NFC East with the aimless Eagles and Romo and Dez-less Cowboys, they’re still in the thick of it. Cap that off with OBJ exploding and the return of Victor Cruz, and you got yourself a contender (in the NFC East).
ATL 39, DAL 28
The curse of Brandon Weeden rears its ugly head again. That second half interception was pretty stupid. It stunted their offensive momentum and placed all the pressure on their defense. Which was followed by a Julio Jones explosion (12 catches, 163 yards, 2 TD) and you got yourself a Cowboys choke-job and a 3-0 Falcons team.
CIN 28, BAL 24
I really want to praise this Bengals team, who blew a 14-point lead at Baltimore, only to storm back after losing the lead a second time to kill the Raven’s playoff hopes. And I will, great job Bengals, but please play like this in January, or Marvin Lewis will be fired. As for the Ravens, unless they turn a miraculous turnaround along with a lot of help (Big Ben’s injury is a first step), they’re almost out of it. The only reason I give them shot is because they’re the Ravens.
JAX 17, NE 51
New England’s first 50-burger was directed at the lowly Jaguars. Can’t really blame Jacksonville, New England is on a mission to prove the doubters wrong and Brady is playing at a ridiculous level. Rodgers and Brady are on a collision course to the greatest Super Bowl quarterback matchup ever. Wouldn’t that be something.
NO 22, CAR 27
Let’s just say it: New Orleans is dead. They made a game of it, going up 10-0, but they still lost. It wasn’t surprising considering Drew Brees wasn’t playing, but at 0-3 and two 3-0 teams in their division, they’re done. The Panthers are showing a lot of poise coming through without their number one receiver, especially Cam Newton (did you see that flip touchdown?). Add in Jared Allen, who they acquired Monday from the Bears, and the Saints are in a hole too big to dig out of. It’s over.
OAK 27, CLE 20
There is something different in Oakland. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper are providing Raider Nation with hope for the future. At 2-1, they have a winning record for the first time since 2011. The Browns on the other side, well they got quarterback issues. One week after winning high with Johnny Football, they benched him and the team lost its spark.
TB 9, HOU 19
Houston won, and Tampa Bay lost. This means almost nothing. Tampa Bay still has many growing pains to go through and Houston has no quarterback. Ryan Mallett isn’t the solution – nor is Brian Hoyer – and it’s sad they’re wasting J.J. Watt’s prime years with no hope of making the playoffs, let alone doing any damage in the postseason.
SD 14, MIN 31
It appears the Chargers think Norv Turner is their coach again. After beginning with a win over the Lions (who are 0-3 now), they’ve lost two in a row. Couple that with injuries along with offensive line and things are not looking great unless they can protect Phillip Rivers. For Minnesota, Adrian Peterson finally played like the 2012 NFL MVP. Running the ball 20 times for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns, he sparked the offense that way aided by a strong defensive performance.
PHI 24, NJY 17
Boy, did Chip Kelly desperately need this victory. He needs to be thanking his lucky stars Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three picks. The offense was outgunned by the Jets 323-231 and Bradford accounted for 118 of those yards, completing only 50% of his passes. At least he didn’t throw an interception. The Jets just had a bad game, but they’re the better team. Four turnovers almost always loses you the game.
PITT 12, STL 6
Just when you thought the Steelers were ready to make another Super Bowl run, Big Ben goes down. They too need to be thanking their lucky stars too he’s only out for at most 6 weeks, and not the whole year with an MCL sprain. An ugly game that may have changed the landscape of the AFC. Oh, and the Rams set their turf on fire. They really want to leave St. Louis.
IND 35, TENN 33
A terribly failed two-point conversion by the Titans saved the Colts season. They still looked pedestrian against an unproven Titans squad and Andrew Luck tossed another two interceptions to bring his total to seven in three games. As I said las week, their saving grace is the AFC South, which they’re tied for first place, as all teams are 1-2. You got to love parity in the NFL, even though at times it promotes futility.
SF 7, AZ 47
Super Bowl XLVII seems like a long time ago for Colin Kaepernick. Tossing four interceptions (two pick-6) in a blowout loss against a division opponent doesn’t look good. Questions about possibly benching him are already starting to bubble up. Tomsula has his worked cut as the Packers come to town. The Cardinals, along with the Patriots, are the best teams in the NFL right now. Period.
BUF 41, MIA 14
Joe Philbin may not even survive the season if the Dolphins play like this. The worse home-opening loss in franchise history was a pathetic effort by a team with playoff aspirations. Tannehill, who had been playing solid the first two weeks, tossed three interceptions. The Bills had a nice turnaround after a terrible loss to the Pats last week, with Taylor passing for three touchdowns and turning the ball over zero times.
CHI 0, SEA 26
The big goose-egg finally showed up in Seattle this week. The Legion of Boom, with Chancellor back in the fold, stifled any minuscule threat Jimmy Clausen posed. Punting the ball ten times just elaborates how pathetic the Bears offense was. Seattle found its mojo back in front of the 12’s. It’s good to see Kam and company play ferociously great defense. And there was a Jimmy Graham citing this week.
DEN 24, DET 12
This ain’t your parent’s Peyton Manning-led offense. He just isn’t the same player he was ten years ago, but lucky for him he doesn’t have to. The Broncos defense is more than up to task of carrying the load. The three Broncos victories are because of the defense, not the offense. It’s a brave new world for this Peyton Manning-led team. What more can you say about the Lions, who at 0-3 are currently in last place in the Packers-led NFC North. It’s hard to imagine how a team with this kind of talent can’t find a way to win.
KC 28, GB 38
Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, the only other quarterback that has an argument is Tom Brady. I don’t know how Green Bay does it. They lose Jordy Nelson, and the pluck James Jones from the street and he now has four touchdowns. Kansas City is a solid team. They should’ve won the Thursday Night Game against Denver, but they didn’t. Can’t fault them too much, most if not all teams playing at Lambeau would lose.