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.

NFL Week 10

NFL Week 10: Good, bad and ugly

Phil Hoffman, Baltimore Ravens Team Website

Week 10 of the NFL brought us some good games. 11 of the 13 game splayed were decided by one possession (touchdown and two point conversion) or less. Good football and parity is what the league wants. Here's what I observed this week:

The Good

-Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is the clear cut league MVP after his performance this past weekend against the Bengals.He was 15/17 for 223 yards and three touchdowns passing to go with his seven carries for 65 yards and a highlight reel-worthy touchdown rushing. The spin move he made on that touchdown run looked like a Madden glitch.

-Including Monday night's OT comeback, Seattle's Russell Wilson is tied for the most game wining drives since entering the league in 2012 with 28 (the Lions' Matthew Stafford also has 28). Here's yet another reason why Wilson is an MVP candidate this season. Look around him and notice he's not working with a whole lot of top notch talent.

-Cardinals wide receiver Christina Kirk had himself a game in their 30-27 loss to the Bucs. Kirk ended his day with six catches for 138 yards and three touchdowns, including a 69 yards touchdown catch that tied the game at 20 in the 3rd quarter. Kirk was a top recruit coming out of high school and did some good things at Texas A&M, but this was a perhaps his breakout performance in the NFL for the former 2nd round pick. Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray will need a him moving forward if the duo hopes to succeed.

The Bad

-Lions' wide receiver Kenny Golladay caught a pass near the end of their 20-13 loss to the Bears and tried to hurry things along by spotting the ball for the refs. Nothing uncommon about what he did...except he moved the ball up a few yards and the refs did nothing about it! Just another reason why officiating has been so terrible as of late.

-Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan is having a bad year. Even after missing four games due to suspension, he's still leading the team in penalties. He singlehandedly killed their first possession of the second half with back to back penalties forcing them to punt. To his credit, he totally owned it when the media came in the locker room after the game.

-Panthers' running back Christian McCaffrey is an amazing talent at the running back position. However, he isn't a bruiser of a runner. He's more of a finese guy. So asking him to bang it inside from the 2-yard line with no timeouts left and the game on the line is not ideal. How about coming up with a more creative way to get him the ball in space? They went on to lose to the Packers 24-16. This and the failed two-point conversion on their previous touchdown were both baffling calls.

The Ugly

-The Rams will be without offensive lineman Rob Haverstein for a week and Brian Allen for the remainder of the season with injuries. Things are getting worse by the minute for the Rams who came into this season off a Super bowl appearance.

-The Chiefs lost their leading sacker Emmanuel Ogbah for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Losing to the Titans was one thing, but losing a talented pass rusher for the rest of the season as bad as their defense has been is icing on a poop cake.

-Former #2 overall pick Charles Rogers passed away at the age of 38 due to liver failure. Rogers' life was a tragic tale of a talented guy who wasn't ready for what his talent gave him in the way of fame and fortune. He was selected one pick ahead of Texans' all time great Andre Johnson as the two were said to be the best two receivers in the 2003 draft.

Week 10 of NFL action was capped off by a battle in the NFC West between the 49ers and the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. With only two games decided by more than one possession, we were trewated to another good weekend of football. The '72 Dolphins popped their champagne somewhere after the 49ers lost. Division races became a tad more clear. Some became more crowded. But overall, it was another good week of football. Weeks like this one are why people are hooked on football and can't get enough.

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