Monday, September 26, 2016

NFL Week 3 Review

Washington 29, NY Giants 27 - This game gave me a bad feeling all week. Just had a feeling that Washington would be absolutely determined to find a way - any way - to win it. And indeed, that is what they managed to do. Of course, they were helped by some inopportune interceptions by Eli Manning. Odell Beckham caught seven passes for 121 yards, and he had some spectacular catches among those. Still, it was not enough, as Washington, wearing their older style uniforms reminiscent of their glory days from the 1980's and 1990's, did just enough to take this one. The Giants are knocked off from the ranks of the unbeaten teams.

Green Bay 34, Detroit 27 - After snapping a losing streak at Lambeau that had lasted more than two decades last season, the Lions were hoping to rebound from a disappointing loss last week to get back to a winning record. Indeed, they played well, too. Matthew Stafford was sharp, and he was impressive in a losing cause. But the Packers just proved to be too strong today, as they recovered from a disappointing loss at Minnesota last weekend.

Miami 30, Cleveland 24 (OT) - The Browns have played well so far this season, but they just cannot seem to catch a break. Indeed, despite the Cavs finally bringing a championship back to Cleveland, the Browns have seen no change in their "Factory of Sadness" curse. This time, they were good enough to challenge the Dolphins in Miami, and  even forced the game into overtime after being down by 11 in the fourth quarter. But in overtime, the two teams exchanged possession, before the Dolphins finally got in gear, getting into the red zone. Jay Ajayi then ran it in from 11 yards out to hand Miami their first victory of the season, while the Browns continue to wait for their first taste of victory this year, dropping down to 0-3.

Minnesota 22, Carolina 10 - Now, to me, this surely was the most shocking outcome of the week! I mean, okay, fine, the Panthers lost in Denver in week one. But the Broncos are the Super Bowl champs, and Mile High has always been a tough place to play. The Panthers entered this home game with a 1-1 record, and looked to get their second straight win. Remember, this team went 15-1 last regular season, and everyone is kind of waiting for them to catch fire again. But it did not happen today, as the Vikings defense wore down Carolina's dangerous offense. They sacked Newton eight times, and there were other hits on him, as well, as the star quarterback, last season's MVP, looked frustrated and worn down. Minnesota just outmuscled them, taking the script from Denver in the opener and the Super Bowl, and Carolina, rather shockingly, now stands with only a 1-2 record after three games. For the Vikings, this was a huge road win that establishes them as a bona fide playoff contender, and keeps them as one of the five remaining unbeaten teams.

Buffalo 33, Arizona 18 - This came as a surprise as well, although when you make as many mistakes as the Cardinals did against Buffalo yesterday, there is a good chance that you are not going to win. Carson Palmer threw four interceptions, and the Cardinals just appeared sloppy throughout this game, while a hungry Buffalo team took care of business and got the job done when they needed it, earning their first victory of the season. The Cardinals made it easy for them, allowing Buffalo to stand back and take advantage of the plentiful opportunities when they came.

Denver 29, Cincinnati 17 - This was an early season battle between two consistent playoff contenders. However, one team happened to be the defending Super Bowl champions, and the other happened to be the Bengals, a team that has not won a playoff game since the first Bush was occupying the White House, and Gorbachev still was the leader of the Soviet Union. Not surprisingly, the Broncos had their defense wear the Bengals down, and Cincinnati, with two losses in a row to Pittsburgh and now Denver, looks like they are being exposed as a weaker team than many had expected. Denver now stands at 3-0, and are looking truly awesome this early on!

Baltimore 19, Jacksonville 17 - Another back and forth affair, and another low scoring game involving the Ravens. Also, another win for the undefeated Ravens, and another loss for the winless Jaguars. Baltimore had a seemingly commanding 10-0 lead until Jacksonville finally got a touchdown when Blake Bortles found Allen Robinson late in the second quarter. That same combination struck again late in the final quarter, drawing Jax to within two points, and the Jaguars actually had the lead late into the fourth, before Ravens placekicker Justin Tucker converted a successful 54-yard field goal attempt to win it.

Oakland 17, Tennessee 10 - A surprisingly tough, defensive game. Very low scoring, with physical play. And the Raiders managed to overcome an up and coming Titans team on the road, as well as some really questionable calls on the part of the refs, in order to take this game. After last weekend's disappointing loss to the Falcons, Oakland needed this. For the Titans, they suffered a disappointment on this day, but they clearly seem to be getting better and more competitive, which is a positive to take away from this loss.

Kansas City 24, NY Jets 3 - The Jets had some incredible scoring chances, but kept turning the ball over with key interceptions. Mostly, the balls were tipped in the air and then caught by Chief defenders, so it is not simply the case of it being Fitzpatrick's fault. However, Fitzpatrick did have six interceptions in this game, so a good deal of the blame does fall on him, even if there were a couple right by the end zone that were not his fault. New York kept missing on opportunities, and although the defense came up with some good stuff today, this game was decisively in KC's favor. 

Indianapolis 26, San Diego 22 - The Colts earned their first win of the season by outlasting San Diego in a back and forth contest. Both teams held the momentum at different points in the game, and the Chargers showed why they have been surprisingly good to this point. Yet, the Colts finally managed the win in the end, their first of the season, as both teams walked off the field with identical 1-2 records. In the end, the Colts managed to barely scrape by with Andrew Luck hitting TY Hilton for a 63-yard, game-winning touchdown.

Los Angeles 37, Tampa Bay 32 - This was a hard fought and intense game by both sides. Both teams played well, and can be proud. Ultimately, though, there can be only one winner. For the first time in well over twenty years, the Los Angeles Rams scored a touchdown in a regular season game, as they had failed to do so in either of the first two games that they played this season. In fact, the Rams scored quite a few touchdowns in this contest, going from one of the offenses that showed the least potential, to a downright explosive looking offense in this game. Tampa Bay played well also, but just fell short against LA. 

Philadelphia 34, Pittsburgh 3 - Now, this was surprising! In a battle of two unbeatens, the Eagles took early advantage, and then kept building up their lead, until the game was simply out of reach for the Steelers. The Eagles won the battle of Pennsylvania by leaving absolutely no doubt about which team was better in this game, as they remain one of the league's five undefeated teams.For the Steelers, they really will leave this week with their tail in between their legs, and they need to hope that Philly did not expose weaknesses that other teams can now exploit.

Seattle 37, San Francisco 18 - Russell Wilson completed 15 of 23 passes for 243 yards and a touchdown, helping Seattle romp over San Francisco. However, Wilson left the game with an injury to his left knee. For the Niners, Blaine Gabbert completed 14 of 25 passes for 119 yards, with one interception. This game was not as close as the score would indicate, as Seattle was completely obliterating the 49ers, 37-3, before San Francisco scored a couple of garbage time touchdowns to make it look more respectable. 

SNF - Dallas 31, Chicago 17 - It is almost surprising that it took over a year for the 'Boys to win a home game again. But with a weak team like the Bears coming to town, you had better take advantage of opportunities, and the Cowboys did last night. Dallas scored a lot of points, making this game not even really as close as the score would indicate, even though the score indicated a Dallas blowout win. Chicago is in serious trouble. They cannot stop anyone from scoring, and they cannot keep up with the scoring. Not a good combination, and this is evidence of why they are currently 0-3, and surely on their way to being a cellar dweller this year. 

1 comment:

  1. OK, so I was off slightly in predicting a Jets win, but man, what a nail-biter, huh? This was mostly a bleak sports weekend for me, although in soccer news two of my favorite teams (Saint-√Čtienne a.k.a. "Les Verts" and the Red Bulls) did manage to win. Getting back to the NFL though, it will be interesting to see how far the Vikings can extend their winning streak.