Week 3 Review
RAMS @ 49ers: 41-39
A thriller! Check out the TNF review
Ravens @ JAGUARS (London) 44-7
My oh my, I didn’t see this coming, and surely, I can’t be the only one. The Baltimore Ravens entered the 4th quarter down by 37 points, with a total of 25 passing yards on offense and a quarterback who managed just 7/17 with 2 INTs, putting no points on the board. Joe Flacco looked terrible, he must be struggling more with his back injury than previously thought and the long-haul flight can’t have helped. Unable to accurately pick out receivers he was intercepted twice (10games in a row with pick) and looked slow in the pocket resulting in 2 sacks. The loss of Guard Marshall Yanda last week is clearly affecting the Ravens ability to shield Flacco. Conversely, Blake Bortles looked after the ball well (20/31) and put up 4TDs without an interception. Allen Hurns made it 3TDs in 3 London games and Tight End Marcedes Lewis snagged his first catch of the season for a T.D, and then added two more! The Jags D didn’t surrender a play of 10yards + in the first half as the much respected Ravens D gave up 12 such plays. This was a remarkable game that saw the Jags move to 2-1 to start the season for the first time since 2007.
Browns @ COLTS: 28-31
The Browns sank to 0-3 again and 1-18 under Hue Jackson as Kizer served up three more picks to a previously dower defensive unit that put good pressure on the Browns o-line all game. With the run game stifled (Crowell had just 44 yards) the rookie was forced to throw once the Colts went 2 scores up in the second qtr. The results were predictable. Give Jacoby Brissett his due, he too is rookie, two rushing TDs as well as over 250 yards passing (mostly to T.Y Hilton) finally got the Colts up and running. Well, cantering at least.
Giants @ EAGLES: 24-27
A last-gasp 61 yard field goal drilled home by a rookie kicker who’d missed from 10 yards fewer earlier in the game deprived the Giants the chance to reach overtime and a possible 1st win of the season. Instead, the Giants are now 0-3 (3 teams since 1992 have made the Playoffs from 0-3) and face the prospect of missing the post season after being touted as a Super Bowl contender. The lack of a run game is killing the Giants (147 rush yards in total for the season). OBJ did show up in the 2nd half but he alone cant rescue a team who don’t have an easy schedule to come. The eagles are 2-1 and look to be getting into stride. The loss of Darren Sproles to arm and ACL injuries will be a big blow however.
Dolphins @ JETS: 6-20
Jets win! The cruise to 0-16 is over! The aim of no.1 pick is…derailed?! McCowns first win since November 2015 came as he completed another efficient game and threw a bomb to Robbie Anderson. The Dolphins failed to show up until their final play. Cutler looked flawed as he ever has and Ajayi (16 yards) couldn’t overcome the Jets D-line.
Broncos @ BILLS: 16-26
Well, the dominant Broncos were dominated by a Bills D that are meshing well. Trevor Siemian was forced into some poor decisions as he threw picks to the secondary. 2 INTs are always hard to overcome and in the end they counted as the turnover battle was key. Jaamal Charles did return to form with 56yards and a TD but he was the bright spot. For the Bills Tyrod Taylor kept his nose clean and spread the ball around well. Bills still top AFC East.
SAINTS@ Panthers: 34-13
The Saints proved that when the D is not under constant threat they can win games. Brees and co were ahead throughout and never in trouble as Cam and the Panthers simply couldn’t get going. McCaffrey looked excellent with over 100 yards but he cant make up for the shortfalls elsewhere and Newton needs to find his fire power again before the Panthers are contenders. Thomas, Ginn, Kamara, and Coleman all had TDs for the Saints, and Willie Snead is back this week…
Steelers @ BEARS: 17-23
No, you didn’t predict this did you? Be honest. The Jordan Howard run in overtime that sealed this one was a thing of beauty. Unless youre a Steelers fan who had just seen Tarik Cohen perform a similar run to get the Bears within TD range. Big Ben was unassured away from Heinz Field again, and LeVeon Bell still hasn’t cracked 100yards in a game. Lets not forget Marcus Cooper failing to return a blocked Kick for a TD after deciding to walk into the endzone rather than run and being tackled at the 1-yard line. Idiot. That play could’ve made this a decisive win for Chicago.
FALCONS @ Lions: 30-26
Was it a TD at the end? No. It wasn’t. But the 10second run-off cost us a thrilling finish. Terrible idea. Tates knee was down for sure, but what a heart breaker. Stafford left it late and couldn’t quite pull of the miracle this week. The Falcons win despite 3 INTs from Matt Ryan. Devonta Freeman grabs a TD and 100yards. Falcons 3-0 and looking hot favorites to get back to the Super Bowl after week 3.
Buccs @ VIKINGS: 17-34
Will the real Jamis Winston please stand up? Oh, he did. 3 INTS killed the Buccs who fell to a Bradford-less Vikings team with a bit of a whimper. If the QB doesn’t learn to protect the ball better his ceiling will always be limited. DeSean Jackson finally got involved with an 84yard TD but that was the highlight play for the Tampa team. Case Keenum on the other hand had a career game, threw 3 TDs no picks and looked composed. Stephon Diggs is a true no.1 WR. Which helps.
Texans @ PATRIOTS: 33-36
Brady did it again, throwing a last min TD to Cooks who kept his feet just inbounds to cap a comeback drive that the Pats barely deserved. In fac, a 5 TD show from Brady masked a poor defensive performance again. DeShaun Watson is growing into his role weekly and nearly became the first rookie QB to win at Gillette. The Texans managed 5 sacks and will be disappointed at letting this opportunity slip away. Some poor clock management at the death cost them a Field goal chance.
Seahawks @ TITANS: 27-33
373 YARDS FROM Wilson couldn’t overcome another poor performance from his team as they managed just 34 rush yards from their lead back (Carson) and were lucky not to lose Richard Sherman for multiple infringements on one play. For the Titans, Murray showed up at last with 100+ yards and a score, Rishad Matthews outshone Decker again in the WR game and the O-line kept Mariota clean all day.
Bengals @ PACKERS: 24-27
Was this the Bengals offense coming to life or just another example of how flawed the Packers defense really is. Probably both to be fair. Rodgers was picked off again (PICK 6) but grabbed 313 yards and 3 TDs as he kept the Packers noses ahead despite being sacked 6 times. Dalton finally threw a TD and as A.J Green came out to play. Marvin Lewis must be in trouble at 0-3. Mike McCarthey needs to sort his D if the post season is to be a success.
CHIEFS @ Chargers: 24-10
Another 0-3 team, the Chargers look direction-less, Lynn and co need to turn this around quickly if they want to cement their standing in L.A. as the Rams have done. Phillip Rivers three 1st half INTs were poor, he seems to be struggling very badly to find receivers in tight windows. For the Chiefs, Kareem Hunts third successive 100yard game combined with Smiths efficiency have got them rolling along nicely. They are now statistical favourites for the Super Bowl and don’t look like they’ll be easy to stop on either side of the ball.
Raiders @ REDSKINS: 10-27
I called the Redskins to win, but this was domination. The red hot Raiders never got going and Carr was as poor as I’ve seen him. 2 picks and 118 yards wont win many games in the NFL and especially not when you have Kirk Cousins putting up 365 yrds and 3 TDs. Chris Thompson was great again from the backfield. Neither Cooper or Crabtree made double-figures in receiving yards for the first time since 2015. Lynch was very quiet too in a game where they really needed him to be counted upon to put up numbers. In a tough division the Raiders need to get back to form fast.
Aaaand finally, Mondays game….
COWBOYS @ Cardinals: 28-17
Despite an early lead, the Cardinals couldn’t produce enough on offense to withstand the Dak attack. No David Johnson is killing Arizonas hopes as CJ2K and the rest of the ‘backs look unable to fill the void. 13 receptions for 149 yards and a TD were huge numbers for Fitzgerald but the rest of the team look less than stellar. Zeke returned to form with 80yards and a TD in response to criticism of his display in defeat last week.