Week 3 of the NFL season saw a lot of the unexpected, whether it be the first overall pick leading his team to its first victory in almost two years, the bevvy of upsets from some of the league’s top teams, or the handful of offensive explosions that took place. Not to mention Patrick Mahomes adding to his impressive early-season touchdown number and Drew Brees breaking another record. Let’s just say it was nothing short of an exciting weekend in the world of the NFL!
Let’s get started!
NY Jets 17-21 Cleveland
The New York Jets came into Thursday night with a 1-1 record. Through two games rookie quarterback Sam Darnold had a decent showing in Detroit and a bad one against Miami in Week 2. Cleveland, on the other hand, hadn’t won a game in 635 days before Thursday night.
Tyrod Taylor continued as the starter for the Browns but looked shaky all first half. On a Browns punt, Kevin Pierre-Louis would get a hand on it for the block setting the Jets up in the red zone. A few plays later Isaiah Crowell would run one in for the 7-0 Jets lead.
New York would march back down the field a little over halfway through the second quarter. The drive would be capped off in another Crowell TD run for his second against his former team and the 14-0 lead. Just before the end of the half Taylor would be sacked Avery Williamson and on the hit, Taylor’s head would hit the turf forcing him to leave for concussion protocol.
Begin the Baker Mayfield era. Mayfield would enter the game at that point and take the night by storm. Cleveland would add a field goal for the 14-3 halftime score. Cleveland carried some momentum into the second half. The defence came up with a huge takeaway forcing a fumble on a Robby Anderson catch giving them possession inside the Jet 10-yard line.
The turnover would result in a field goal and the 14-6 score. As Mayfield took over and found rhythm Darnold looked to struggle more against a very solid Browns defence. With under two minutes left in the third quarter, Mayfield would hit Jarvis Landry with a pinpoint throw, while Landry made an even better catch setting the Browns up at the 1-yard line.
Carlos Hyde would run it the extra yard for the touchdown and the 14-14 score with a Landry throw to Mayfield in the end zone for the 2-point conversion. The Jets would take a lead in the fourth quarter with a field goal and the 17-14 score.
Let the Mayfield magic continue! The former Heisman winner led the team down the field with bullet passes and precision that you don’t see from a rookie QB. The drive ended in another Hyde TD giving Cleveland the 21-17 lead, and two minutes from their first win in almost two years.
On the Jets final two drives, Darnold would throw an interception and run out of time sealing the Browns victory and elation of finally getting the monkey off their backs.
The Baker Mayfield era has officially begun as I find it impossible for the Browns to go back to Taylor should he be healthy. Albeit it is one victory against the Jets, but Mayfield looked poised and threw passes you normally see from a seasoned vet. I believe Cleveland has no choice but to stick with him at QB and if so, they may have finally found something.
CLE: B.Mayfield: 17/23 201YDs C.Hyde: 23CAR 98YDs 2TDs J.Landry: 8CAT 103YDs
NYJ: S.Darnold: 15/31 169YDs 2INTs B.Powell: 14CAR 73YDs I.Crowell: 16CAR 34YDs 2TDs
New Orleans 43-37-OT Atlanta
This Week 3 battle of NFC South rivals was much anticipated earlier in the year. However, both teams have been slightly disappointing to start the year. The Saints dropped the season opener against Tampa Bay and snuck out a win over Cleveland. Atlanta looked lost on offence with a loss on opening night to the Eagles followed by a win over Carolina in Week 2.
The matching 1-1 records made this game one with heavy implications early in the year. The Saints would strike first with Drew Brees leading the team on a 6-play, 75-yard drive resulting in a TD pass to Ted Ginn for the 7-0 lead. Atlanta would then tie the game with under three minutes left in the first quarter. Matt Ryan hit Calvin Ridley for the TD and the 7-7 tie.
New Orleans found a 13-7 lead after a couple of field goals before Atlanta stole the lead with four minutes left in the half. Matt Ryan found Calvin Ridley again, this time for a 75-yard TD pass and the 14-13 lead. It didn’t hold up however with Wil Lutz kicking a 45-yard field goal with six seconds left in the half for the 16-14 lead.
Atlanta took the lead back two minutes into the second half, thus beginning the shootout. Ryan would Ridley again in the back of the end zone for the 9-yard TD and the 21-16 lead. New Orleans took the lead back on just four plays. After a blocked punt gave them possession at the Atlanta 16-yard line, Brees would throw one over the middle to Cameron Meredith for the 11-yard TD and the 23-21 lead.
The Falcons then matched that score with a 12-play 84-yard drive finishing in a 5-yard TD pass to Tevin Coleman and the 29-23 score after the 2-point conversion. But it would be foolish to assume it would stop there. New Orleans moved down the field with a huge 35-yard run by backup QB Taysom Hill and another 15 yards added on a horse caller penalty. The drive would end in a 1-yard TD pass from Brees to Zach Line for the 30-29 lead.
On the Falcons’ ensuing drive Ryan hit Julio Jones for a 58-yard gain down the seam before making a field goal for the 32-30 lead. But they would be given another chance. On the attempt, New Orleans took an unnecessary roughness penalty giving Atlanta a first down. Ryan then connected with Mohamed Sanu for the TD and with the 2-point convert a 37-30 lead.
As if Brees and the Saints didn’t have an answer for that. They marched down the field for an 81-yard drive resulting in a beautiful TD run by Brees for the 37-37 tie with just over a minute left in regulation sending the game into overtime.
The Saints took the ball on their first drive of OT and marched down to the 1-yard line. Brees would take it the rest of the way for the TD and 43-37 victory in OT. This was a heavyweight showdown between two NFC South powerhouses. Both teams lit it up exchanging touchdowns back and forth before the exciting finish. If this is a sample of anything to expect going forward this will be a very exciting division to follow.
Drew Brees would break Brett Favre’s NFL record for completions and now holds the number one spot in league history.
NO: D.Brees: 39/49 396YDs 3TDs A.Kamara: 16CAR 66YDs 15CAT 124YDs M.Thomas: 10CAT 129YDs
ATL: M.Ryan: 26/35 374YDs 5TDs C.Ridely: 7CAT 146YDs 3TDs J.Jones: 5CAT 96YDs
Cincinnati 21-31 Carolina
The Bengals have been one of the hottest teams through the first two weeks. They put up impressive wins over the Colts and Ravens while Andy Dalton has looked like he’s playing the best football of his career. Carolina outmatched Dallas in Week 1 but dropped their Week 2 matchup with the rival Falcons, so this game was huge for them in a crowded division.
Cincinnati would take their first drive of the game on an 11-play drive for 73 yards capping it all off with a 1-yard Giovani Bernard touchdown run for the 7-0 lead. Carolina would answer right back, however, as they took the ball on a 75-yard drive. After a 45-yard run by Christian McCaffrey, Cam Newton would take the play-action rollout two yards in for the score tying the game 7-7.
The Bengals took the ball but gave it back to the Panthers on the following drive. Dalton would try and squeeze a pass to John Ross along the sideline, but it would be picked off by Donte Jackson. On the ensuing drive, Carolina would make Dalton pay for his mistake.
They would take possession into the second quarter while taking the ball 58 yards down the field. Newton would then hit Devin Funchess for the TD and 14-7 lead. Cincinnati would come right back with a 12-play 75-yard drive ending in a TD pass from Dalton to CJ Uzomah for the 14-14 score.
Newton and the Panthers weren’t done, however, wanting to take the lead back before the half. They went on another drive lead by McCaffrey before Newton hit CJ Anderson with a screen pass for a 24-yard TD and the 21-14 lead.
The lead would be extended with just over five minutes left in the third quarter. After an interception, Cam Newton would run the ball in for his second rushing TD of the game and the 28-14 lead. The Bengals would close the gap on their following drive. They took the ball 75 yards before Dalton hit Tyler Boyd in the back of the end zone for the 28-21 score.
The Bengals would try and tie the game in the fourth quarter with an impressive drive, but it would stall forcing them to settle for a field goal attempt. After a holding call pushed them back, Randy Bullock would have to kick from 53 yards out, with the kick, however, being missed.
After another interception thrown by Dalton, the Panthers would kick another field goal sealing the deal with the 31-21 victory for Carolina. The Panthers controlled the pace of the game by outrushing Cincinnati by 230 yards to 66. The Bengals were able to put up 330 yards through the air, but Cam Newton put together a great game through the air and on the ground with help from McCaffrey and company.
Turnovers and a missed field goal really took the Bengals out of this one, other than that it was relatively close. Cincinnati’s defence needs to be better in the future to hang with the better teams in the league.
CAR: C.Newton: 15/24 150YDs 2TDs 10CAR 36YDs 2TDs C.McCaffrey: 28CAR 184YDs
CIN A.Dalton: 29/46 352YDs 2TDs 4INTs T.Boyd: 6CAT 132YDs 1TD
LA Chargers 23-35 LA Rams
The battle of LA kicked off in Week 3 with the Rams sitting at 2-0 and the Chargers at 1-1. Regardless of the records, both teams have put out offences that have looked explosive setting up an anticipated day of fireworks in the City of Angels.
The Rams would get on the board first with an 11-play 75-yard drive ending in a 1-yard touchdown run by Todd Gurley for the 7-0 lead. The Chargers would answer on the following drive with a three-play scoring drive. Phillip Rivers would hit Mike Williams for a 42-yard TD, but a missed PAT would result in a 7-6 score.
The offences continued to fire in the first quarter. The Rams went back down the field on seven plays before Jared Goff hit Robert Woods for a 3-yard TD and the 14-6 lead. The Rams would pile on more with a blocked punt just outside the Chargers end zone that was recovered by Blake Countess for the TD and the 21-6 lead.
Melvin Gordon would add an 11-yard touchdown run before the end of the half for the 21-13 halftime score. In the third quarter, the Rams would extend the lead once again with a 53-yard bomb from Goff to Cooper Kupp for the 28-13 lead.
The Chargers would get those seven points back on their next drive. Rivers took the team on an 8-play, 75-yard drive down the field ending in another touchdown pass to Mike Williams, this time for 20 yards, cutting the lead down to 28-20.
But just as fast as the Chargers were able to score, the Rams were able to take it right back. Goff led an 11-play drive down to the 6-yard line. He would then hit Robert Woods for the TD at the goal line for the 35-20 lead.
The Chargers would add a field goal but that’s as close as they would get with the Rams winning this one 35-23. The Rams looked as explosive as they did last year. Goff was incredible throwing for over 300 yards while getting big games out of Gurley, Woods and Brandin Cooks.
Both Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib left the game with injuries. Talib suffered a high-ankle sprain while Peters was said to have suffered a calf strain. Talib’s injury believes to have him our four to six weeks while Peters is set to sideline him for two to four.
The Chargers have been great offensively this year, but they weren’t able to keep up with the Rams in this one. Phillip Rivers and company played a decent game and Mike Williams finally looked like the top draft choice that he was coming out of Clemson. It just wasn’t enough as they fall to 1-2.
Rams: J.Goff: 29/36 354YDs 3TDs 1INT T.Gurley: 23CAR 105YDs 1TD R.Woods: 10CAT 104YDs 2TDs B.Cooks: 7CAT 90YDs
Chargers: P.Rivers: 18/30 226YDs 2TDs M.Gordon: 15CAR 80YDs 1TD M.Williams: 4CAT 81YDs 2TDs
Pittsburgh 30-27 Tampa Bay
No one anticipated the Buccaneers to be as explosive as they have been through two weeks, nor did they expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to be as dominant as he has. Add to that the surprise that has been the Pittsburgh Steelers. With LeVeon Bell still missing, the Steelers have looked lost through two weeks, not to mention some of the behind the scenes drama with Antonio Brown.
The Bucs would continue their high-powered offensive trend early in the game. On their second drive of the game, coming off an interception, Tampa Bay marched downfield, capping off the 53-yard drive with a touchdown pass from Fitzpatrick to Cameron Brate for the 7-0 lead.
The Steelers would answer back with a 75-yard TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Vance McDonald. On the catch and run play McDonald laid out one of the most devastating stiff-arms you’ll probably see all year on Chris Conte. The PAT was missed resulting in the 7-6 score.
It was all Steelers the rest of the first half. After a Chris Godwin fumble, Roethlisberger would find Antonio Brown for a short dump-off pass. AB would then take it the remaining 24 yards for the TD and 16-7 lead. After Terrell Edmunds came up with Pittsburgh’s second consecutive pick, the Steelers would have to punt pinning the Bucs at their own 2-yard line.
On the ensuing drive, Fitzpatrick would throw his third consecutive interception. Bud Dupree came up with the pick and ran it the short distance for the score and the 23-7 lead. Tampa Bay would add a field goal, but Pittsburgh would add a touchdown. With time dwindling Big Ben took the team down the field and threw a TD to Ryan Switzer with eight seconds left for the 30-10 halftime lead.
For as dominant as the Steelers were in the first half the tables flipped in the second. After adding a field goal Fitzpatrick and company took possession off a missed Steelers field goal and marched down the short field. Fitzmagic would then hit Chris Godwin in the back of the end zone with a lob pass, cutting the lead down to 30-20.
With just under six minutes left in the game, Tampa Bay kept the comeback alive. Fitzpatrick would hit Mike Evans in the end zone on a 24-yard touchdown pass. Evans made a beautiful catch falling backwards and maintaining enough poise to make the clutch catch on the under-thrown ball for the 30-27 score.
After Tampa Bay was unable to move the chains with under five minutes left the Steelers iced the game with a clutch throw from Roethlisberger to JuJu Smith-Shuster and a few big runs by James Conner sealing the 30-27 win.
While Pittsburgh was hot to start the game, they slowed down in the second half and while not getting the ball to Antonio Brown. They almost let the Bucs back into this one when it should have been done at the half. Despite the magnificent passing numbers for Fitzpatrick, it was an atrocious first half with him throwing multiple interceptions and never looking on point. Which Fitzpatrick can we expect on a week to week basis?
PIT: B.Roethlisberger: 30/38 353YDs 3TDs 1INT J.Smith-Shuster: 9CAT 116YDs V.McDonald: 4CAT 112YDs 1TD
TB: R.Fitzpatrick: 30/50 411YDs 3TDs 3INTs M.Evans: 6CAT 137YDs 1TD
**R.Fitzpatrick first in NFL history to throw 400+ yards in three consecutive games
Denver 14-27 Baltimore
J.Flacco: 25/40 277YDs 1TD J.Brown: 5CAT 86YDs/C.Keenum: 22/34 192YDs 1INT D.Thomas: 5CAT 63YDs
NY Giants 27-22 Houston
E.Manning: 25/29 297YDs 2TDs S.Barkley: 17CAR 82YDs 1TD O.Beckham: 9CAT 109YDs S.Shepard: 6CAT 80YDs 1TD/ D.Watson: 24/40 385YDs 2TDs 1INT W.Fuller: 5CAT 101YDs 1TD D.Hopkins: 6CAT 86YDs
Tennessee 9-6 Jacksonville
M.Mariota: 12/18 100YDs/B.Bortles: 21/34 155YDs
San Francisco 27-38 Kansas City
P.Mahomes: 24/38 314YDs 3TDs T.Kelce: 8CAT 114YDs/J.Garoppolo: 20/30 251YDs 2TDs M.Breida: 10CAR 90YDs
**J.Garoppolo leaves with torn ACL
Oakland 20-28 Miami
R.Tannehill: 17/23 289YDs 3TDs A.Wilson: 2CAT 74YDs 1TD/D.Carr: 27/39 345YDs 1TD 2INTs J.Nelson: 6CAT 173YDs 1TD
**W.Hayes leaves with torn ACL. Injured trying to avoid putting weight on QB
Buffalo 27-6 Minnesota
J.Allen: 15/22 196YDs 1TD C.Ivory: 3CAT 70YDs/K.Cousins: 40/55 296YDs 1TD 1INT A.Thielen: 14CAT 105YDs
Indianapolis 16-20 Philadelphia
C.Wentz:25/37 255YDs 1TD 1INT D.Goedert: 7CAT 73YDs 1TD/A.Luck: 25/40 164YDs 1TD
Green Bay 17-31 Washington
A.Smith: 12/20 220YDs 2TDs 1INT A.Peterson: 19CAR 120YDs 2TDs/A.Rodgers: 27/44 265YDs 2TDs 2INTs
Chicago 16-14 Arizona
M.Trubisky: 24/35 220YDs 1INT J.Howard: 24CAR 61YDs 1TD/S.Bradford: 13/19 157YDs 2TDs 2INTs J.Rosen: 4/7 36YDs 1INT C.Kirk: 7CAT 90YDs
Dallas 13-24 Seattle
R.Wilson:16/26 192YDs 2TDs C.Carson: 32CAR 102YDs 1TD E.Thomas: 2INTs/D.Prescott: 19/34 168YDs 1TD 2INTs E.Elliot: 16CAR 127YDs
New England 10-26 Detroit
M.Stafford: 27/36 262YDs 2TDs 1INT K.Johnson: 16CAR 101YDs/T.Brady: 14/26 133YDs 1TD 1INT
1.Chiefs (3-0) 2.Broncos (2-1) 3.Chargers (1-2) 4.Raiders (0-3)
1.Dolphins (3-0) 2. Jets (1-2) Patriots (1-2) 4.Bills (1-2)
1. Titans (2-1) 2.Jaguars (2-1) 3.Colts (1-2) 4.Texans (0-3)
1.Bengals (2-1) 2.Ravens (2-1) 3.Browns (1-1-1) 4.Steelers (1-1-1)
1.Rams (3-0) 2.49ers (1-2) 3.Seahawks (1-2) 4.Cardinals(0-3)
1.Eagles(2-1) 2.Washington(2-1) 3.Cowboys(1-2) 4.Giants(1-2)
1.Buccaneers (2-1) 2.Saints(2-1) 3.Panthers (2-1) 4.Falcons (1-2)
1.Bears (2-1) 2.Packers (1-1-1) 3.Vikings (1-1-1) 4.Lions (1-2)