If you’re new to the blog, welcome. If you’re not new, welcome back.
Today, we’re bringing you game summaries from week 3, along with an update on our Weekly Pick ‘Em league, AND an awesome selfie we took at the Taylor Swift concert this summer. (If you haven’t seen TayTay in concert, you should immediately put that on your list of life goals. There are no words for the Taylor Swift experience. #TayTayIsBae #SquadGoals #LifeGoals)
If you’re short on time, we’ve bolded the most important takeaway from each game.
Here’s what we thought about week 3 in the NFL…
Washington (21), New York Giants (32) – The Giants won this game as a team – no big mistakes on offense, three turnovers forced by the defense, and a safety by special teams. Washington looked uninspired, and their defense did not perform as well as it had the first two weeks. The game was as not as close as it may seem – there were four touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and three were within 32 seconds in garbage time. Both teams are lucky they play in the NFC East division, which has gotten off to a slow start overall.
Cincinnati (28), Baltimore (24) – This is the first time in franchise history the Ravens have started 0-3. Ruh-roh. QB Joe Flacco needs some more weapons on offense – he is relying on 36 year-old WR Steve Smith (2 touchdowns in this game), who has already announced he is retiring after this season. The Ravens came back from a 14-point deficit, but let the Bengals make big plays and did not help themselves by getting called for 13 penalties. Their defense misses Terrell Suggs. Bengals WR AJ Green put on a clinic with a career-high 227 yards and two scores off 10 catches.
New Orleans (22), Carolina (27) – Can’t help but feel bad for the Saints. Backup QB Luke McCown had a great game in place of Drew Brees and put his team in a position to win the game. It’s not his fault the Saints defense can’t stop their opponents. Saints coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan were seen arguing on the sideline – week 3 feels early to predict a firing, but if we had to guess, Rob Ryan will probably not be the Saints defensive coordinator next year. Panthers QB Cam Newton took advantage of the Saints’ weakness. TE Greg Olsen had a great game as New Orleans could not cover him. Although they won, the Panthers must be looking forward to getting LB Luke Kuechly back from his concussion as his absence was noticed when the Saints were throwing short passes in the middle of the field, where he usually covers. We’re conflicted about Cam’s post-game press conference outfit. There’s just a lot going on.
OK, we forgive you Cam.
Oakland (27), Cleveland (20) – The Raiders won a game in the Eastern time zone for the first time since 2009! QB Derek Carr is off to a solid start this year. He is getting help from rookie WR Amari Cooper and RB Latavius Murray. Oakland’s pass rush could be a strength with Justin Tuck, Khalil Mack, and Aldon Smith. It can’t be easy for Browns offensive players to be switching between QBs Johnny Manziel and Josh McCown to start the year. McCown got the start today after being cleared from concussion protocol, and threw an interception to end the game and seal Oakland’s victory.
Atlanta (39), Dallas (28) – After being down by 14 points, the Falcons remain undefeated after scoring the final 25 points of the game. WR Julio Jones is a beast – he has 34 catches so far this year, which is the most through three games by a player in NFL history. Dallas backup QB Brandon Weeden played better than expected in Tony Romo’s absence, but Dallas is still without play making WR Dez Bryant. The Cowboys’ strength is their offensive line, which helped them get their run game going. In the end, it wasn’t enough once Atlanta started pointing up points both through the air (Julio!) and on the ground (3 rushing touchdowns by RB Devonta Freeman).
Tampa Bay (9), Houston (19) – A game between two teams that are struggling – both teams missed an extra point attempt after touchdowns, and TB’s kicker missed three field goals. TB QB Jameis Winston plays like the rookie he is – some really good throws, and some questionable ones. He is lucky to have WRs Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. Houston’s offense needs a spark – QB Ryan Mallet had a lot of sloppy plays in this game. Houston really needs RB Arian Foster back (he has returned to practice following groin surgery, but has not been cleared for games). Overall an “eh” game, which is why J.J. Watt only made 3 tackles and 2 assists. (That’s 3 more tackles than we’ve made this week, so who are we to criticize?)
San Diego (14), Minnesota (31) – The Vikings defense was in charge of this game, forcing Chargers QB Philip Rivers to throw two interceptions. SD’s offensive line couldn’t contain the Vikings and the therefore wasn’t able to establish their run game. On the other hand, the Vikings got their star RB Adrian Peterson the ball to the tune of two touchdowns. Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater plays better when Peterson is on a roll.
Jacksonville (17), New England (51) – Tom Brady was on fi-yah yet again and joined the 400 touchdown club. Pats kicker Stephen Gostkowski broke an NFL record – he hit his 425th extra point. Pats punter Ryan Allen did nothing because the team did not have to punt – they scored on every offensive drive. (Can we order our Redemption Tour t-shirts yet?) Oh, and the Jaguars were there too, but not much to say about them.
Philadelphia (24), New York Jets (17) – While the Jets defense forced 10 turnovers in the first two weeks of the season, this week their offense committed 4 turnovers. The Eagles led most of the game up 24-0, and when Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had to start throwing the ball to play catch-up, things didn’t go so well. The Jets were hurt by the absence of WR Eric Decker. The Eagles were without the services of RB DeMarco Murray, last year’s rushing champion who has a whopping total of 21 yards through the first two weeks of the season. It’s not known how long he’ll be out with his hamstring injury. The Eagles’ victory subsided some of the panic in Philly in combination with the close records of the other NFC East teams, and the team looked much better than it did in its first two games.
Pittsburgh (12), St. Louis (6) – The start of this game was delayed almost 30 minutes because the turf caught on fire from a pyrotechnics mishap as the Rams players were running through fireworks for their introductions. Then Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger left the game – he sprained his MCL and has a bone bruise and will miss 4-6 weeks. Bad news bears for the Steelers. Backup QB Michael Vick came into the game, and was lucky to have a great game from his defense and the fact the Rams were not able to capitalize on his mistakes. It also helped that RB Le’Veon Bell was back from his suspension. The Rams offense couldn’t get anything going. Their defense kept things close, but they couldn’t put points on the board.
Indianapolis (35), Tennessee (33) – The Colts were very close to starting their season 0-3 before they managed to score three touchdowns in a four-minute span of the fourth quarter to overcome a 27-14 deficit. Their offensive line is still a weak spot. Titans rookie QB Marcus Mariota led a two-minute drill to score another touchdown, but with a chance to tie the game with less than a minute remaining, the Titans were unable to execute a two point conversion. In other news, QB Andrew Luck’s post-game attire was criticized by ex-Colts coach Tony Dungy. (We agree with this assessment. He should take a note from Cam Newton or Tyrod Taylor.)
San Francisco (7), Arizona (47) – The 49ers suffered a beat down for the second week in a row. Of QB Colin Kaepernick’s first 10 passes in the game, 4 were intercepted and 2 were returned by the Cardinals for touchdowns in the first six minutes of the game. Ouch. His offensive line did not protect him. On the other hand, the Cardinals played well in all phases of the game. QB Carson Palmer has had a strong start to the season and it helps that he has support from a run game led by Chris Johnson, lots of capable WRs, and a talented defense.
Buffalo (41), Miami (14) – This Buffalo team more closely resembled the one that embarrassed the Colts two weeks ago than the one the Patriots took care of last week. Their defensive line dominated the Dolphins, who can’t seem to find a rushing attack and lack big plays from QB Ryan Tannehill. The Dolphins defense has been a disappointment after signing DT Ndamukong Suh. Bills QB Tyrod Taylor has been a pleasant surprise, but there are two injuries to keep an eye on for the Bills in RB LeSean McCoy (who spent a lot of the game riding a stationary bike on the sideline) and WR Sammy Watkins (who left the game with a hamstring injury and did not return). Also, Tyrod was on-point again in his post-game press conference attire.
Chicago (0), Seattle (26) – Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor returned from his contract holdout to help the Legion of Boom shut out Da Bears. Chicago was starting their backup QB Jimmy Clausen and was without their leading WR Alshon Jeffery. There were no turnovers in this game, but the Bears punted on all ten of their drives. The Bears defense did their best to keep the team in the game – the score was only 6-0 at halftime. The team already seems to be looking ahead to rebuilding for next year as they kicked Monday off by trading several players for draft picks. Seattle fans should be happy the offensive game plan finally got TE Jimmy Graham involved to the tune of 83 yards and a touchdown, but worried that RB Marshawn Lynch didn’t play the second half of a game after sustaining a hamstring injury.
Denver (24), Detroit (12) – The Broncos are having trouble establishing a run game, and lost more RBs to injury during the game. They won’t make it through the season without some reinforcements or better play from their o-line. Their defense is solid – they had three more takeaways. Talk of Peyton Manning’s demise seems premature; sure, his arm strength isn’t what it used to be, but the Broncos are sitting 3-0, so things are not bad in Denver. The Lions had a rough night going against Denver’s defense; their receivers were kept in check and the Broncos stopped their run as well.
Kansas City (28), Green Bay (38) – How about that Aaron Rodgers? Green Bay’s QB threw 5 TDs for 333 yards. Green Bay is a scary team and it’s only week three. The Chiefs came alive in the 4th quarter, ending their WR TD drought with a Jeremy Maclin catch in the end-zone. It’s about time they started using him considering how much he’s being paid each year.
We’ve had some minor changes in our top 5 in the our Weekly Pick ‘Em league. If you’re lower in the rankings than you would like, don’t give up yet – there are still 14 more weeks to redeem yourself. Here are the standings as of week 3:
– Swifties Val and Michelle