NFL Week 3 Recap
Dolphins 31, Jaguars 13
The defenses were the big difference in this one. Miami was able to hold the Jaguar offense to just 2 scores-- forcing 3 punts, 2 turnovers, and 2 fourth down stops along the way. Meanwhile, Jacksonville's defense allowed Miami to score touchdowns on its first 2 possessions, effectively building a two score lead. The Jags had several chances in the 2nd and 3rd quarters to cut it to a one score game, but failed each time. Both teams are now 1-2 on the season.
Bears 30, Falcons 26
The Falcons were in control of this one for for the first 3 quarters, building a 26-10 lead. Everything seemed to be going right, including an overturned Chicago 4th down conversion that had been ruled a touchdown. Atlanta was even scoring on the ground with Todd Gurley and Brian Hill. In the third quarter, the Bears benched Mitchell Trubisky for Nick Foles, and Foles did what he's become known for: engineering an impossible comeback. The Bears outscored the Falcons 20-0 in the fourth quarter--scoring 3 touchdowns in the last 6:20 of the game. The Falcons would get a final shot, making it to the Chicago 44, but the drive would end on a Matt Ryan interception. It's the second straight big lead blown by Atlanta, dropping them to 0-3. Chicago is somehow 3-0 with a new QB taking the reins.
Bills 35, Rams 32
This one involves another blown lead, but the team blowing it still came out on top. The Bills led at halftime 21-3 and 28-17 entering the 4th quarter. Josh Allen had thrown 3 TD passes and run for one himself. The Rams couldn't seem to get pressure on Allen, while the Bills were in Jared Goff's face every play. That seemed to change in the second half. After giving up a touchdown on the first drive of the half, the Rams defense got a big interception. The offense would go on to score touchdowns on its next 4 possessions, and would take the lead after Aaron Donald sacked Allen and forced him to fumble. After a 4th down pass interference penalty nullified a Rams' defensive stop, Allen found tight end Tyler Kroft for his second touchdown of the day with 15 seconds left. It would turn out to be the winning score.
Browns 34, Washington 20
This one was close for most of 3 quarters, but Cleveland used the 4th quarter to put Washington away. Cleveland led 17-7 at the half, but scores by Dontrelle Inman and Antonio Gibson gave Washington the lead heading into the final quarter. Cleveland answered with a touchdown and capitalized on 2 late Washington turn over to put the game out of reach. The win gives the Browns their first winning record since 2014.
Titans 31, Vikings 30
This was another wild game on a very entertaining Sunday afternoon. The Vikings offense seemed to awaken and find more weapons than just Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen. In the third, Kirk Cousins hit rookie Justin Jefferson for a 71 yard touchdown to give Minnesota a 2 score lead. Tennessee would score on its next 2 drives. After Minnesota punted, Ryan Tannehill hit Kalif Raymond for 61 yards to set up Derrick Henry for the go ahed TD. Minnesota answered with a Kyle Rudolph TD to reclaim the lead 30-25. The Titans would kick field goals on their next two possessions before sealing the game with an interception.
Patriots 36, Raiders 20
Cam Newton has been a great story for the Pats so far, but it was the running backs who led them in this one. Sonny Michel ran for 117 yards, while Rex Burkhead scored 2 rushing touchdowns and added another as a receiver. The Raiders were in this one, and moved the ball pretty well in the first half, but a missed field goal to start the second half allowed the Patriots to take control. The Pats quickly built a 2 score lead, then added a fumble return touchdown from the defense to make it insurmountable. The Raiders got a late touchdown to make it look a little more respectable.
49ers 36, Giants 9
Even down 9 starters, San Fran had no problem in this one. The game started kind of close, but the Niners completely dominated the second half--using 3 rushing touchdowns to increase the lead to 4 scores. Nick Mullens threw for 343 yards filling in for Jimmy Garoppolo, and Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr had good days out of the backfield. The Giants' offense struggled in its first game without Saquon Barkley, managing only 3 field goals.
Bengals 23, Eagles 23
We have our first tie of the season. Joe Burrow tore apart a still-struggling Eagles secondary with 312 yards, finding Tee Higgins for two touchdowns and Tyler Boyd for 125 yards on 10 catches. There wasn't much offense going on in most of this game. Carson Wentz once again struggled with turnovers throwing 2 interceptions and fumbling once (Philly recovered the fumble, so technically it wasn't a turnover). Still, he and Miles Sanders were the best players the Philly offense had. Wentz had a hand in both Eagle touchdowns, and Sanders added 95 yards rushing. The Eagles scored late to salvage a tie, but neither team looked good.
Steelers 28, Texans 21
Close game between two teams that are supposed to be contenders in the AFC. After struggling in its first 2 games, the Houston offense looked better in this one. However, all 21 points in this game were scored in the first half, thanks to Dashaun Watson, Will Fuller, and Randall Cobb. The Steelers scored 11 unanswered in a defensive 2nd half. Mike Hilton intercepted Watson with 13:27 left, and the Steelers would engineer a methodical drive down the field-- ending with a 12 yard TD run by James Conner. Pittsburgh is now 3-0, while Houston has a big hill to climb to get back in the race at 0-3.
Colts 36, Jets 7
The Colts' defense had 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns as Indy rolled over the Jets. In total, the Colts' defense would intercept Sam Darnold 3 times and also sack him for a late safety. Philip Rivers threw for 217 yards and a touchdown, while Jonathan Taylor added 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The Jets best performances came from WR Braxton Berrios, who scored their lone touchdown, and veteran RB Frank Gore, who had 57 rushing yards. Big day for the Colts and Jets fans who want Adam Gase to be fired.
Lions 26, Cardinals 23
I was one of many who expected to see Kyler Murray and that Arizona offense completely annihilate what had been an completely nonexistent Lions defense. However, the Lions showed they have the flexibility to adjust their scheme, playing a good amount of zone coverage and actually getting some pressure on the QB. Jamie Collins forced an interception with a QB pressure and later had a pick of his own. Rookie Jeff Okudah would also get his first career interception, making 3 total on the day for Detroit. Kenny Golladay seemed to make a huge difference for the Lions offense, even though they probably should have scored more. After the Cardinals took the lead in the 4th quarter, the Lions tied it up and forced a punt. They'd run the remaining 4:49 down to kick a game-winning field goal from Matt Prater. DeAndre Hopkins was still unstoppable for Arizona, and Andy Isabella scored 2 touchdowns. It was a much needed road victory for Detroit against a team that should be in the playoff hunt.
Panthers 21, Chargers 16
The Panthers got Matt Rhule his first win as an NFL head coach. They jumped on top of the Chargers early, scoring most of their points in the 2nd quarter. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 235 yards and found Mike Davis for the team's only touchdown. Davis was filling in for the injured Christian McCaffrey and had 46 yards rushing to go with 8 catches for 45 yards in the passing game. Keenan Allen had a huge game for LA-- 13 catches for 132 yards and a late 4th quarter touchdown. The ensuing 2 point conversion would fail, and, after forcing a Carolina punt, Allen would fumble the ball away deep in Carolina territory on the last play of the game.
Buccaneers 28, Broncos 10
Much was made of the Bucs offense this offseason, but their defense has been terrific. On Sunday, they held Denver to just 42 rushing yards. They also added 2 interceptions, 6 sacks and a safety. Tom Brayd threw for 297 yards and touchdowns-- all of which came in the first half. Mike Evans only had 2 catches for 2 yards, but both of those were touchdowns. Chris Godwin also had a touchdown catch. The Broncos only scoring came in the 2nd quarter, highlighted by a Jeff Driskel TD pass to Tim Patrick. Driskel was later replaced by Brett Rypien, who was announced as next week's starter.
Seahawks 38, Cowboys 31
Dallas nearly had its second comeback victory of the young season, but Russell Wilson and the Seahawks had a just too much for them to handle. Wilson threw for 315 yards and 5 touchdowns- hitting Tyler Lockett for 3 of those. Dak Prescott threw for 472 yards with 3 TD and 2 INT for Dallas. With Dallas trailing 30-15 in the 3rd, Prescott found Cedrick WIlson for his 2nd TD of the game. The Cowboys would tack on 10 more, forcing a clutch drive from Seattle with less than 4 minutes to go. Russell Wilson would find DK Metcalf for the go ahead score and convert the 2-point conversion on a pass to Jacob Hollister, forcing Dallas to need a touchdown for the game to continue. Prescott would lead them down the field but tried to force a throw that was intercepted.
Packers 37, Saints 30
Two really good offenses led by 2 great QBs. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers came out on top in this shootout. Rodgers threw for 283 yards with 3 touchdowns, and Allen Lazard had 146 receiving yards with a score. Alvin Kamara did most of the work for the Saints with 139 receiving yards and 2 TDs on 13 catches. He also had 58 rushing yards on just 6 carries. The game was going back and forth until Taysom Hill fumbled the ball away for the Saints. Green Bay would get a field goal off the turnover, then add a touchdown after forcing a New Orleans 3-and-out. The Saints drove down to add a field goal, but could not recover the onside kick and that was that.
Chiefs 34, Ravens 20
The Chiefs put the Ravens in a big hole, leading 27-10 at the half. Patrick Mahomes threw 3 touchdown passes in the 2nd quarter- part of a 385 yard 4 TD night for the young star. Even offensive tackle Eric Fisher got in on the action with a 4th quarter touchdown catch. Baltimore's offense is built on the running game. so it wasn't a surprise that they struggled to come back from such a large deficit. What was a bit of a surprise was that they fell so far behind. The only touchdown they scored in the first half was on a kick return from rookie Devin Duvernay. They didn't play much better in the second half and only managed 228 yards of offense on the night.