NFL week 3

Nick Witwer

Staff Writer

Houston Texans 0, New England Patriots 27
No Brady, no Garoppolo, and a limited Gronkowski equals no problem for Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Jacoby Brissett led a heavy running attack with Brisset and LeGarrette Blount combining for 153 yards and three touchdowns. The Texans did not help themselves as they would fumble twice on kickoffs putting the Patriots in excellent field position. Moving forward, Houston, who looked like a strong playoff contender, now looks like just another pretender. Luckily for them they may still end up in the playoffs due to being in the weak AFC South division. New England without Brady has now beaten two playoff caliber teams in the Cardinals (week 1) and the Texans (week 3). If this is how they play without Brady, imagine how well they will play upon his week 5 return.

Arizona Cardinals 18, Buffalo Bills 33
Upset of the year candidate in what seemed like a guaranteed Arizona Cardinal win. The Buffalo defense dominated from the start, eventually pressuring Carson Palmer into throwing four interceptions. This game turned out to be a showcase of the running backs as both LeSean McCoy and David Johnson would have huge days from the line of scrimmage. Combined, the two running back ran for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Is this game a sign of a declining Carson Palmer or is this a sign of a Bills team that has found a new life? Only time will tell.

Oakland Raiders 17, Tennessee Titans 10
The Raiders squeeze out another close win on the road. So far Oakland is playing much better in away games than home games. The defense was able to come up with stops when they needed to most. If not for an offensive pass interference this game would have likely been going into overtime. Despite the loss, Titans fans can be satisfied that DeMarco Murray could not be stopped, as he picked up 114 yards and 1 touchdown on 16 carries. After the Texans became exposed Thursday night, Tennessee is still in good position to challenge for the AFC South division title.

Washington Redskins 29, New York Giants 27
This NFC East showdown did not disappoint. We saw Josh Norman try to continue his fisticuffs with Odell Beckham. However, Beckham would have none of it as he would move on to a different opponent found in the form of a kicking net. We saw Desean Jackson all over the field from start to finish. Finally, we saw Eli Manning once again throw an all-too-familiar late game interception. One big play to come out of this is the fake punt attempt Washington was able to pull off. Hopefully, the next meeting between these two rivals is as exciting as this one.

Cleveland Browns 24, Miami Dolphins 30
In what was an especially sad day in Miami this past Sunday, the Dolphins needed a win in the worst way. Before kickoff, Miami had a Moment of Silence for the tragic death of Marlins ace, Jose Fernandez. Both teams played hard and neither let the other get too far ahead. Terrelle Pryor showed off his athletic talent as he played wide receiver, running back, quarterback, and at one point, even safety. Cody Parkey had a chance to win the game for the Cleveland, but missed the field goal and sent the game into overtime. In overtime, the teams traded possessions until Miami was able to punch the ball into the endzone with a 11-yard Jay Ajayi rushing touchdown for the win. The Browns now fall further into the AFC basement while they struggle yet again to come up with their first win of the season.

Baltimore Ravens 19, Jacksonville Jaguars 17
Another 0-2 team that needed a win was the Jacksonville Jaguars. Many people had the Jaguars as this year’s sleeper team. After being embarrassed by the Chargers a week before, the Jaguars needed a win. This would require the offense to get going again. The Ravens were not going to let that happen as they picked off Bortles three different times bringing his interception total to six on the season. As Blake Bortles continued to play completely different than how finished last year, Baltimore kicker, Justin Tucker, is still just as good. Tucker was 4/4 on field goals on the day with a successful extra point attempt giving him thirteen of the nineteen points the Ravens scored. With a Baltimore win, they move on to join only four other undefeated teams left in the league.

Detroit Lions 27, Green Bay Packers 34
Aaron Rodgers and company needed to get their offense back on track and this was the match-up to do it. Playing at home for the first time this season, Rodgers had four touchdowns. The Packers would lead 31-10 at the half, but the Lions were not going down without a fight. In the second half, Detroit battled all the way back to pull within one score. With 3:34 left to play the Lions were unable to come up with a stop as the Packers would come away with the win. Despite the win, many questions remain surrounding the Green Bay defense and the Green Bay offense in the second half.

Cincinnati Bengals 17 , Denver Broncos 29
The Bengals impressive week one win over the Jets is becoming less and less meaningful. Two weeks in a row, Cincinnati has lost to playoff caliber teams with one being a divisional opponent. The Bengals came out swinging in this game, however, turnovers and terrible fourth quarter play ultimately lead to their demise. Trevor Siemian has now lead the defending Super Bowl champions to their third win of the season. He also was the only rookie quarterback to throw for four touchdowns and 300-plus yards in their career first road game. Siemian may not be perfect, but he’s good enough to get Denver to where they want to be at the end of the season.

Minnesota Vikings 22, Carolina Panthers 10
If the Vikings came out to make a statement, then they certainly did that in this game. Once again the defense came up huge as Cam Newton was forced into throwing three interceptions. Trae Waynes in back to back weeks picked off the best two quarterbacks in the league. The Vikings also sacked Newton eight times. This was the most he had ever been sacked in a game. In addition to that, Minnesota’s secondary held both Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess without a single reception. The Panthers looked good early with a commanding 10-0 lead. All that changed after Danielle Hunter sacked Newton in the endzone for a safety. That would eventually be followed by a Marcus Sherels punt return for a touchdown. Jerick McKinnon would add a rushing touchdown of his own. Add a Blair Walsh field goal and the Vikings take out another top NFC team. With an Arizona Cardinals loss in Buffalo, Minnesota could very well make a case to be the NFC’s best team.

Los Angeles Rams 37, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32
The Rams picked up their second win since their move to LA. In what many thought would be a low scoring game, both the Rams and the Bucs were able to light it up Sunday. Gurley finally came to life powering through the Tampa Bay defense for 85 yards and two touchdowns. Winston found a way to bounce back as he threw for 405 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Late into the fourth quarter, the game was forced into a weather delay. When the game resumed, the Buccaneers came up short as they ran out of time just five yards away from the game winning touchdown.

San Francisco 49ers 18, Seattle Seahawks 37
After Seattle’s slow start, they seemed to rediscover themselves in this game. Doug Baldwin, Jimmy Graham, and Christine Michael came out of hiding. Baldwin had eight receptions for 164 yards and one touchdown. Graham had six receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. Michael exploded for 106 yards and two touchdowns on twenty carries. With Seattle’s win, they also lost a big piece of their game. Russell Wilson was taken out of the game with a sprained MCL. It will be interesting to see how the Seahawks are able to manage without Wilson moving forward.

New York Jets 3, Kansas City Chiefs 24
The New York Jets could not get anything going for them on Sunday. New York would turn the ball over eight times while six of those turnovers came from Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Jets have now lost to both playoff caliber teams they played making them look like a very questionable team. The Chiefs on the other hand looked great on both sides of the ball. After losing to Houston, this was exactly the kind of showing that Kansas City needed to regain the momentum they had after the huge week one comeback.

San Diego Chargers 22, Indianapolis Colts 26
The Colts were another team that remained winless through the first two weeks of the season. With the Chargers coming off a blowout win against the Jaguars it was safe to say that they had the momentum going into this game. Andrew Luck started the day off slowly as the halftime score in this one was 13-13. In the second half, it seemed as though the Chargers would be able to hold on for another win. However, with just over a minute left to play, Luck would find T.Y. Hilton for a 63-yard game winning touchdown.

Pittsburgh Steelers 3, Philadelphia Eagles 34
The battle of PA was one as Bensylvania was set to take on Wentzylvania. Carson Wentz went into this game looking to silence more of his doubters. Wentz played like he was a ten-year veteran instead of a rookie in only his third career NFL game. He threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns. As impressive as Wentz was, the Eagles defensive was even more impressive. Philly was able to hold one of the NFL’s top offenses to 3 points. While Antonio Brown was able to pick up over 100 yards, not once did he get in the endzone. With how lopsided of a game this was, maybe it is time to start hopping aboard the Wentz Wagon.

Chicago Bears 17, Dallas Cowboys 31
In the Sunday night game, the Cowboys were able to keep up with the Eagles who had won earlier in the day. Dak Prescott picked up another win for the Boys as he threw for 248 yards and the first touchdown of his career. Another Dallas rookie had a big day as Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 140 yards. The bad news from this win is the status of Dez Bryant, who was taken out of the game early with an apparent knee injury. On the Bears side it was all Zach Miller, who had eight receptions, 78 yards, and two touchdowns. Look for him to be a big offensive player moving forward while Jay Cutler is out with a thumb injury.

Atlanta Falcons 45, New Orleans Saints 32
The Monday night game treated us to yet another shoot out between the Falcons and Saints. Both quarterbacks put up respectively good numbers. The game changer here was the turnovers. The Falcons went the whole game without turning the ball over while the Saints turned it over twice. Atlanta took advantage of that as they beat New Orleans 45-32. The big part of this is how the NFC South now stands. The Buccaneers, Saints, and Panthers all sit at 1-2 while the Falcons are alone atop the division at 2-1. How this division works out throughout the rest of the season will be interesting to see.