AROUND THE LEAGUE
NFL Week 3 observations
Week 3 of the NFL season was all over the map. We saw results and performances we expected, and some we couldn’t have predicted. It was sort of like that crazy ex everyone has had: never know which side you’re going to get. Here’s my version of the observations I saw:
-The Browns’ Tyrod Taylor got Wally Pipp-ed by Baker Mayfield. Taylor went down with a concussion in the first half down 14-0. Mayfield led the team to a 21-17 victory going 17 of 23 for 201 yards and caught a two-point conversion. This was their first win in 635 days. Bud Light had fridges placed around the city which would be unlocked via satellite if they had won. Mayfield gave them the biggest “Dilly dilly” with his performance.
-Bills’ rookie quarterback Josh Allen had his coming out party against the Vikings. The Bills were widely considered the worst team in football and were 16.5 point underdogs on the road against one of the best teams in football. Allen threw for one touchdown and ran for two more. His signature highlight was hurdling a defender on a scramble. Known for his arm strength, seeing Allen hurdle a guy on a scramble was akin to witnessing fat NBA guys dunk.
- The Miami freaking Dolphins are 3-0. Let that sink in. The play they used to take the lead for good was a reverse wide receiver pass that went for a 52-yard touchdown. Dolphins’ fans should rejoice now while they’re leading the AFC East, because when the clock strikes midnight, Cinderella will lose her slipper.
-The Titans and Jags decided to set football back 100 years with a 9-6 finish. Neither team averaged more than four yards per pass, each averaged right at four yards per play, and the lone turnover was a Jags fumble. It was a game not even their families would want to watch.
-The Patriots are 1-2 after losing to the Lions 26-10 on Sunday Night Football. The Lions held the Pats to just 209 total yards. It appears as if Lions coach Matt Patricia got the best of his mentor, Pats coach Bill Belichek. If the Lions keep this up, Patricia may turn out to be the exception to the rule on Belichek’s coaching tree.
-It only took the first half for Bucs’ quarterback Ryan Fitz-magic to turn back into Fitzpatrick. He threw three first half interceptions and “helped” his team to a 30-10 deficit. With them wanting to ride the hot hand even when Jameis Winston comes back, this type of performance (which the smarts saw coming eventually) will have the Bucs rethinking their strategy.
-49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo tore his ACL with less than six minutes left in their game against the Chiefs. Garoppolo scrambled down the sideline and failed to get out of bounds. As he took another step bracing for a hit, he crumbled holding his left knee. Now San Francisco’s $137.5 million dollar man is done until next year and all hope lies within C.J. Beathard.
-Packers’ linebacker Clay Matthews was flagged with another roughing the passer penalty! He’s gotten one in every game this year. The fact that two he got in previous games could have cost them those games is debatable. When former players on both sides of the ball as well as former officials come to his defense, that speaks volumes. The rule was originally created because of a hit Troy Aikman took and reemphasized when Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone last year. The Competition Committee has to do something about this.
-The Cowboys are in trouble and it’s not all Dak Prescott’s fault. Their offensive line isn’t what it used to be which is hurting the run game and pass protection. When Dak has time to throw, he’s throwing to a subpar receiving corp. I am not a Cowboys fan at all, but all this Dak hate by that fan base is getting ridiculous.
Weeks like this bring about the type a parity the league has been looking for. Contenders are emerging. Pretenders are showing their hands. But most of all, nothing is truly settled. Anything can still happen as this week has shown us.