PORT CHARLOTTE, FL – With just about a week and a half...
Weekly Takeaways: Week 3
A Week Full Of Upsets, Close Games, And Weather Were All Part Of The Lessons Learned From Week 3 of NFL Action
Just when you think you have everything figured out, week 3 happens. From third string quarterbacks to unforeseen upsets, week 3 had plenty of lesson to be learned. Until next week that is…….
Houston Texans 0 @ New England Patriots 27
The Houston Texans may have exposed as pretenders by the New England Patriots- Not ready to waive the white flag in Houston, but this game made the Texans look bad. Really bad. After a 2-0 start, the Texans should have at least made the Patriots break a sweat, but it wasn’t meant to be. After the Titans this week, they face the Vikings, Colts, and Broncos, which will really prove if the Texans are ready to hang with the big boys or not. Losing J.J. Watt for possibly the year isn’t going to help things.
Bill Belichick is the greatest coach ever- Not talking about the greatest coach right now. I’m talking about ever. Let the hate mail flow, but after seeing what Belichick has done the past three weeks, I’m ready to throw Belichick in front of John Madden, Vince Lombardi, and even Don Shula. This guy can make a winner out of anybody.
Arizona Cardinals 18 @ Buffalo Bills 33
Lesson? Don’t have one. Sorry, who are the real Cardinals?- Trying to learn who the real Arizona Cardinals are this season is like trying to learn Egyptian hieroglyphics. Week 1 they lose to the Brady and Gronk-less Patriots. They follow that up with a whipping at the expense of the Buccaneers, and now this? I’m going to lay down my head hurts.
Feeling the pressure of losing his job Rex game planned with the best of them- Well after the firing of Greg Roman, the only place left to point fingers was the Ryan brothers, and they responded. The defense forced five turnovers, and made big plays all over the field. The offense established a running game that set the pace of the game. it was a good all-around win that cooled off a hot seat, even if it was just for a week.
Minnesota Vikings 22 @ Carolina Panthers 10
The Vikings defense makes them a front runner for not only the division title but a Super Bowl run- Wow. That is the only word to describe how the defense has played so far. They have shut opponents down, and have scored 16 points through three games as well. This past week, they help the reining MVP and his offense to a mere ten points, all of which were in the first quarter. It is early to talk about, but this defense looks like they could put the Vikings in a 2000 Ravens situation…….
The offense needs to find a way to not lean solely on Cam Newton- With the return of Kelvin Benjamin to the lineup this year, it appeared Cam finally had a number one receiving threat and the offense would be even better than it was last year. So far that has not been the case. The problem could be the ground game. With Johnathan Stewart hurt now, it may not get any better anytime soon. Cam has had his hand in every Panthers touchdown this year, they need to find a way to give him help via the running backs.
Denver Broncos 29 @ Cincinnati Bengals 17
Don’t question John Elway- After losses on both defense and offense, the ability of the Denver Broncos to be contenders to defend their title came into question. Just like on the field however, John Elway should not be questioned on his motives. He has made nothing but good moves since becoming the G.M. of the Denver Broncos, and they should not be doubted as serious contenders for the Super Bowl LI title.
Defense seems to be slipping in Cincy- After a season that saw the Bengals defense help bring them to the playoffs a year ago, they seem to be slipping. It’s to earl to flip the panic switch, but the defense needs to find a way to band together and show the league why they were one of the top teams last season, even if it didn’t show in the playoffs. Maybe a little hangover from a devastating defeat against the Steelers in the playoffs?
Detroit Lions 27 @ Green Bay Packers 34
The Lions offense will keep them in many games- People doubted the Lions ability to play offense after the off-season departure of Calvin Johnson. They have been just fine, and even with the loss of starting running back Ameer Abdullah the offense appears to be one of the better ones in the league, even if they are doing it under the radar. The Lions rank 4th in the league in total yards, and should keep them in most games. even if the defense isn’t showing up
Ty Montgomery may be the smartest player in the league- In case you missed it, Montgomery used the rule book to his advantage in this game. A kickoff in the second quarter wound up by the sideline on the two yard line. Instead of picking the ball up and running with it like most players would have, Montgomery stepped out of bounds and reached for the ball causing an illegal procedure and giving the Packers offense the ball on the 40 yard line. One of the most heads up plays seen in awhile, and a play that will undoubtedly cause a rule change next year.
Baltimore Ravens 19 @ Jacksonville Jaguars 17
The Ravens are the worst 3-0 team in the league- Not hating on the team, but their three wins are against teams that have a combined record of 1-8. The Jaguars seem poised to win this game, but they gift wrapped the victory for the Ravens to move them to 3-0 on the season. Although they currently sit on top of the AFC North, the Steelers and Bengals should have something to say about that before the season’s end.
Winners in the off-season means nothing if you can’t win on the field- The Jags were rated winners of the off-season by just about everybody, and for good reason. They added great talent through the draft and free agency to both sides of the ball. The winners of the off-season have yet to find a way in the regular season. It doesn’t have to be said which way to win is more important……
Cleveland Browns 24 @ Miami Dolphins 30 (OT)
We already knew this, but the Cleveland Browns really are cursed- Injuries cause them to start their 3rd sting rookie quarterback. Emerging rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman breaks his hand in practice. Joe Haden couldn’t play in this game due to a groin injury, the star of the Browns defense. After all that, they had a chance to win this game at the end of a regulation with a 46 yard field goal that wasn’t even close. They would lose this game in OT and the curse continues. There is a famous saying in Cleveland about the Browns, maybe next year.
Jarvis Landry is quietly leading the AFC in receiving yards- A 120 yard performance in this contest has Landry as the leader in receiving yards at 314 yards in the AFC. With all the inconsistency with the Dolphins as a team one thing remains true. Landry is a game changer and one of the best in the league. Hard to believe he and Odell Beckham Jr. played together in college and didn’t produce a championship.
Washington Redskins 29 @ New York Giants 27
Kirk Cousins showed why you shouldn’t doubt someone after two weeks- After a week that seemed like one giant distraction of players in the locker room doubting Cousins ability to run the team, Kirk comes up with a big game and leads his team to a big win against a division foe. Cousins threw for a touch under 300 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. You like that?
Eli, is still, well, Eli- Stop me if you heard this before. Eli makes big throws and has his team ahead. Eli throws a big 4th quarter interception. Make it two this week, one of them coming in the end zone when a field goal would have forced the Redskins to have to go for a touchdown instead of a field goal. He still puts up the yards, but the big interceptions late in the game are going to do nothing but prevent wins, and division titles.
Oakland Raiders 17 @ Tennessee Titans 10
Building off of last week’s takeaway, if the Raiders can find consistency on defense, they are one of the better teams in the league- The defense still gave up a bunch of yards on the ground, but if the defense can hold opposing offenses to under 20+ points per game. The Raiders offense will do enough to win most if not all of those games. Defense needs to build off this performance as far as the number of points given up.
The Titans need to protect the ball better- Turnovers are devastating for all teams, but more so for team trying to find an identity not only on offense, but overall. If the Titan’s can’t find a way to control the turnovers, they will find little success this season.
San Francisco 49ers 18 @ Seattle Seahawks 37
Chip Kelly’s style of coaching is going to leave him jobless- Here he goes again. The defense on Chip Kelly teams gets ran into the ground from being on the field so often. The offense does work, and it appears to have a positive effect on a 49ers team that wasn’t expected to wow anyone on offense, but the defense looks gassed all the time just like they did in Philly, and look how good their defense is playing now that they aren’t on the field for most of the game. Kelly won’t last long in San Fran if he doesn’t find a way to turn around a franchise that is used to winning.
Russell Wilson takes a beating and keeps right on- The starting quarterback for the Seahawks has been making the league take notice for his play since his rookie season, but now he gives us another reason to admire him, his toughness. He came back from an ankle injury to finish out the game against Miami. Then he hurts his knee in this contest and comes back in before Pete Carroll pulls him when he felt comfortable with their lead. It was reported that Wilson stood next to Carroll pleading his case to get back in the game till the end.
Los Angeles Rams 37 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32
The L.A. Rams are a first place team!- Been a long time since anyone could say that, but the Rams are on top of the NFC West. After a slow start to the season offensively, the Rams let out their offensive blues on the Bucs scoring 37 points. With both the Cardinals and the Seahawks in their division, their top of the world feeling won’t last forever. Let them enjoy it while they can.
The weather delay in Tampa absolutely played a role in their loss- Player safety should come above all else, but a weather delay in the final two minutes may have cost the Buccaneers a chance at their first victory of the season. The last drive the Bucs offense had, the Rams defense looked gassed and beatable. Getting over an hour to catch their breath before the next drive is a good remedy for that. The Bucs momentum and advantage over the Rams was destroyed as soon as Ed Hochuli called for the weather delay that lasted one hour and three minutes. Granted they also could have done a better job containing an offense that only mustered nine points combined in their first two games going into this contest.
San Diego Chargers 22 @ Indianapolis Colts 26
The Chargers are their own worst enemy- The Chargers starting out 1-2 isn’t a huge surprise considering who they have played and that they lost their top two offensive stars in back to back games to start the season. It’s more how they lost that is the problem. In week one, they had a huge lead that they blew against the Chiefs and wound up winning in OT. This week, they had the lead within two minutes, but fumbled the ball twice and gave up a 63 yard pass to T.Y. Hilton to lose by four. They could very easily be 3-0, but they can’t seem to get out of their own way.
The Colts defense showed up at the end of this game- Have to give credit where credit is due. Although their defense is a liability for this team, they showed up recovering two fumbles towards the end of the game to preserve the win for their offense. If their defense can find a way to do enough to provide their offense with relief, the Colts could take down the AFC North crown.
New York Jets 3 @ Kansas City Chiefs 24
If Ryan Fitzpatrick cannot find a way to be more consistent, it’s going to be a long season for the green and white- Two weeks ago on Thursday night, Fitzpatrick won AFC Player of the Week after a 374 yard, mistake free performance. This week, one of the worst performances ever by a starting quarterback going 20 of 44 for 186 yards and six interceptions. This was an extreme example of the back and forth type performances Fitzpatrick has given the Jets during his time starting in New York, but he has been inconsistent throughout his stay. If they can’t find a game plan to keep Fitzpatrick more consistent, they should have just saved the money and let Geno Smith show what he had in a contract year.
The Chiefs defense are a bunch of ball hogs- This was an easy lesson learned as the Kansas City Chiefs forced eight turnovers on Sunday. This gives them a league high ten forced turnovers on the season. Actually a little odd they only won by three touchdowns when they won the turnover battle by seven. They have good offenses on the schedule for the next few weeks, and will need to maintain the ball hog mentality in order to be successful.
Pittsburgh Steelers 3 @ Philadelphia Eagles 34
The Steelers are ready to welcome back Le’Veon Bell- Yes, for the most part DeAngelo Williams filled in just fine for the suspended Bell, but this past week was proof that without a running game, the Steelers offense can fall flat, as their receiving weapons after Antonio Brown are limited. This is largely due to the season long suspension to Martavis Bryant , but regardless not only will Bell help out the running attack, but he is the best back in the league receiving the ball out if the backfield right now. Having Bell and Williams in the background at the same time is a nightmare match up for opposing defenses.
Carson Wentz is getting all the attention, but the Eagles defense has been huge for the quick turnaround of this team- Carson Wentz has been getting all the attention through the first three games of the season, and rightfully so, as he is having one of, if not the best start by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. The defense has been absolutely stellar so far thus season as well and should be getting major credit for the early success of this Eagles squad. They have forced six turnovers and lead the league in points allowed per game with a meager nine points allowed. The Eagles defense has been laughable for the past few seasons under the Chip Kelly style of play, and with a little more time to catch their breaths on the sideline now they have been absolutely dominate, and looking like an early season favorite to take the NFC East.
Chicago Bears 17 @ Dallas Cowboys 31
The Chicago Bears might as well hold open tryouts for the number of injuries they sustain- An injury plagued start to the season continued this week as the Bears lost Jeremy Langford to ankle injury for the next four to six weeks. Seems like if the injuries continue the Bears will need to have open tryouts just to fill roster spots. If rookie running back Jordan Howard, who has already been stealing carries away from Langford, has a few good games in his stead, the Langford experiment will be over before it even really gets started.
Dak has the ‘Boys rolling now- This is the season of two high quality rookie quarterbacks. Much like his NFC East counterpart, Dak also has yet to throw an interception. He has only thrown one touchdown pass, but has completed two thirds of his passes and is playing mistake free. The running game has been working for the Cowboys, and they have a huge decision looking when Tony Romo becomes healthy enough to play.
Atlanta Falcons 45 @ New Orleans Saints 32
This team is all offense, it it may be enough to win the NFC South- The Falcons are who we thought they were in the fact that they have a good offense and will struggle defensively. Thing is, they are even better offensively then most people gave them credit for. The passing game has been on point, and they have a true thunder and lightning running back duo in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman respectively. If they can maintain their pace, the offense may be enough for them to be competitive throughout the season in the NFC South, that is already looking to be more competitive then it was last season.
The Saints are the best 0-3 team in the league- This team is so similar to the Atlanta Falcons its scary. The difference between them? The Saints don’t have a potent running back duo, or running game for that matter. Drew Brees is asked to make up for that slack and he does, but it is impossible for a team to be successful when they are giving up over 30 points a game.