Every-Thing Sports

NFL Week Three: Good, bad & ugly

Brandon Todd, panthers.com

Week three of NFL action brings us to a point in which we know who's most likely to be in the playoff picture and who's not. It's still too early to tell, but history isn't on the side of those who have losing records after three games. Let's take a look at what I observed this week:

The Good

-Panthers backup QB Kyle Allen was once on top of the football world as the best QB prospect coming out of high school in the class of 2014. He bounced from Texas A&M to UH and never realized his potential ultimately leaving UH with a year of eligibility left. Allen started opposite Kyler Murray Sunday (the same guy he once competed for playing time against at A&M, but both transferred) and went 19/26 for 261 yards and four touchdowns as starter Cam Newton missed time due to an injury. He may have just Wally Pipp'd Cam.

-Ravens vs Chiefs showed us the future of the game offensively. On one hand, Pat Mahomes did Pat Mahomes type things with his generational arm talent. Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson continues to show what an uber athletic QB looks like at the highest level. While Jackson barely completed more than 50% of his passes, he showed that guys with his skillset can survive and thrive at the NFL level. There were plays he made that 90.625% of QBs cannot make. The game ended with a 33-28 Chiefs win behind Mahomes' 374 yards on 73% completion with three touchdowns.

-Shout out to the unexpected undefeated teams left. The 49ers, Bills and Lions (albeit with a tie) are all amongst the league's eight undefeated teams remaining after three weeks. All three of these teams were expected to miss the playoffs, and/or be bottom feeders this year. Now, they're ahead of the rest of the pack. Buyer beware: they may be some of the best or worst bets over the next few weeks so proceed with caution.

The Bad

-The Jags beat the Titans 20-7 on Therusday Night Football this week for their first win of the season. Good right? No. Especially not when your best defensive player, CB Jalen Ramsey, is still insisting upon a trade and calls in sick. I'm all for NFL players using their leverage since they have the least amount of guaranteed money amongst pro athletes, but calling in sick as a football player is pretty weak.

-The Falcons fell to 1-2 in a 27-24 loss to the Colts.Despite outgaining the Colts by 18 total yards and losing the time of possession battle by about three minutes, the Falcon managed to out-penalty the Colts16 to four with a penalty yards differential of 89 yards. Committing only one turnover via a Matt Ryan interception, the Falcons simply beat themselves. Seems as if they still haven't recovered from 28-3.

-The Vikings beat the Raiders 34-14. On the surface, one would think the Vikes either greatly outgained the Raiders, caused a few more turnovers, and/or had a great desparity in time of possession. Truth be told, there was only +83 total yard advantage, +1 in tunrnover department, and +3:04 in time of possession. The Vikes killed the Raiders in the run game with a +123 yard advantage in rushing yards. Outgaining an opponent by that many rushing yards with only one extra turnover would normally amount to a much larger time of possession differential. However, that wasn't the case in this game.

The Ugly

-When you're facing 4th&9, down by four points with about nine minutes left in the game on your opponent's 40 yard line, you'd most likely call for a pass play if you're going for it, unless you think your kicker can make a 57/58 yarder. Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens decided a draw play was the best call. This is the early frontrunner for the WORST play call in the NFL this season! Highly doubt we'll get a contender for this title.

-The Dolphins have been outscored 133-16 in three games this season so far. That's being outscored on a per game basis by an average of 44.33 to 5.33 for the mathematically challenged. They're "on pace" to shatter the most points allowed record by week 14. This is a whole new level of tanking. Let's call it torpedoing.

-Giants' QB Daniel "Danny Dimes" Jones' made his NFL debut with a 32-31 win over the Bucs in Tampa. You'd think the team would have more to celebrate. Not the case when they lose stud running back Saquon Barkley for at least four to eight weeks with a high ankle sprain. This is especially hurtful to those (myself included) who picked Barkley with the first overall pick in fantasy football instead of taking Christian McCaffrey (a PPR league no less). Jones will now have to shoulder more of a burden as a rookie than was expected on a team that was already void of talent before Barkley's injury.

Week three was pretty exciting and ho-hum at the same time. We saw results we expected, and some that came from nowhere. Over the next few weeks, water will find its level in the league and we'll better be able to determine the contenders and pretenders. Remember where you heard rushing yardage differential in relation to what team wins games. This'll be my contribution to football analytics. I'm praying I can retire early, pay off my house and trust fund my kids off the money I make. Only if you guys stay tuned and I can keep you entertained.

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Houston's losing streak extended to five games

With key Astros missing, Detroit completes the series sweep

An overall bad day for the Astros on Wednesday. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

On Wednesday afternoon, the Astros received a big blow to their chances in the series finale against Detroit and potentially longer. Five players: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Martin Maldonado, and Robel Garcia would all be moved to the IL due to health and safety protocols, leaving them scrambling to get a whole team together for the game against the Tigers.

The Astros would not be able to overcome both the loss of players and the onslaught of another strong start by Detroit in Wednesday's game which put them too far out front for Houston to come back from to avoid a series sweep.

Final Score: Tigers 6, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 6-6, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Michael Fulmer (1-0)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1)

Tigers knock out another starter early

Detroit continued their success of making Houston's starter work hard in early innings, getting after Lance McCullers Jr., and giving him an early exit. After a lengthy fist, they broke through in the second getting two hits, a walk, a hit batter, and an RBI groundout to put up three runs on 34 pitches.

He would have a quicker 1-2-3 third, but after giving up a single, a walk, and hitting another batter to load the bases and reach 87 pitches, he would be removed in favor of Joe Smith. Smith would allow all three of the inherited runners to score, adding those runs to McCullers Jr.'s final line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 87 P.

Astros try to claw back into it

After Smith would go on to load the bases again in the inning, still with two outs, Houston made another pitching change to bring in Brandon Bielak to get the third out and stop the bleeding at 6-0. The Astros would get on the board in the fifth, getting a runner on base to set up a two-run homer by Jason Castro to cut the lead to 6-2.



Bielak remained in the game to try and eat up as many innings as possible. While he continued to hold the Tigers to their six runs through the six innings, the Astros clawed back into the game. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put their first two batters on base with a walk and single before an RBI-single by Yuli Gurriel to make it 6-3. They would threaten for more but be held there for the time being.

Astros can't cash in, Tigers complete sweep

Ryne Stanek was Houston's next reliever in the top of the seventh, getting a 1-2-3 frame to keep it a three-run game, as did Brooks Raley in the eighth. In the home part of the inning, the Astros put their first two runners on base on an error and a walk, then loaded them with a one-out single by Carlos Correa. They'd waste their chance to make something happen, though, with an inning-ending double-play.

Ryan Pressly, who had no save opportunities in recent games, entered to get some work in the top of the ninth. He worked around a leadoff double for a scoreless inning, sending the 6-3 game to the bottom of the ninth. The Astros had yet another chance to make something happen, loading the bases with no outs to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. After two outs, Yuli Gurriel would bring one run in with a walk, but that's as close as they'd come, extending their losing streak to five games and getting swept by the Tigers.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off tomorrow to try and leave this poor homestand behind them. They'll pick things up in Seattle on Friday, with first pitch of the opener of three games at 9:10 PM Central. The expected pitching matchup is Jose Urquidy (0-1, 5.23 ERA) for the Astros and Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 3.75 ERA) for the Mariners.

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