A big week for the NFL, and an exciting one as the refs ruin Detroit’s weekend: Week 3 Review
Week 3 came to a close on Monday night in Glendale Arizona, and what a week it was, writes Cameron Storer. From the first snap on last Thursday to the last kneel down by Dak on Monday, there was enthralling NFL action all across America. Half of the 16 games across week 3 were one score games, 2 were decided in overtime, 2 were decided on walk off kicks. What a week – unless you’re a Lions fan.
The Detroit Lions have not won a championship since 1957 and they have never been to a Super Bowl. Their fans know about hurt and Sunday was an unwelcomed reminder of that pain. The Atlanta Falcons travelled to Ford Field in a battle between two undefeated 2-0 teams. I called it a Detroit win, it was my upset of the week, but, controversially, that did not happen.
The Falcons led the whole game but, as Atlanta tent to do, they were starting to choke away their lead in the 4th quarter. Matthew Stafford had an opportunity to lead his Lions down the field to a win with a walk off touchdown. When Stafford linked with Tate on a 5 yard slant inside the ATL 10 yard line Tate landed on the 1 yard line and slid into the endzone. Touchdown, Lions lead, 8 seconds remaining, Ford Field goes wild. No complaint from the ATL defence at the call however, all scoring plays are reviewed. Against everyone’s conviction other than the video official in his ivory tower; the call on the field was overturned. Tate was ruled down by contact at the half yard line, and as the play happened within the last 2 minutes in bounds, by rule, there must be a ten second runoff. The Lions did not have a timeout left. The game ended. 30-26 ATL.
If ever any of you football fans wanted an argument for why video technology does not work in sports, watch this play. The ruling on the field was a TD meaning there has to be indisputable evidence to prove otherwise. Did it look like Tate was touched down shy of the TD? Possibly. But indisputably? Not. A. Chance. The Lions, who look like the real deal, got robbed. ATL? Count your lucky stars, you’re half the team you were last year and the worst 3-0 team I’ve seen in several seasons, but one thing is for certain; the NFC North looks like an enticing division.
There was one fan base that arguably felt worse than the Lions on Sunday however; The New York Giants. The Giants faced Philadelphia in a must win game even as early as week 3, and boy was it a heartbreaker. Even as a Cowboys fan, I did feel bad for all them New Yorkers in Philly. The 4th quarter came to life in the City of brotherly love with 3 lead changes in that quarter alone. The best WR in all of the NFL Odell Beckham Jr. was back for New York and looked as good as ever. For the first time all season, Eli Manning was given time in the pocket by his woeful O-Line and as a result threw for 366 yards and 3 TDs, the last putting the Giants in front with 7 minutes remaining,but it wasn’t enough.
In Heartbreaker style the Eagles got the football back. With 3 seconds remaining and the scores tied at 24, on came rookie kicker Jake Elliott to try a 61-yard game winning field goal. Pffft…surely not? To give this context; a 61 yarder has never been hit by a rookie kicker, a 61 yarder had never been made in Philadelphia, a 57 yard field goal was the longest game winning kick ever, until now. The kid made it! Philly walked off a winner 27-24 as they piled a 3rd defeat in as many weeks on the Giants. New York are 0-3, with 2 divisional defeats in a division where everyone is 2-1 and without an O-Line. Season over already? Not quite, but I’d think so. The Eagles are off to a hot start at 2-1 but they have Elliot to thank for that.
I could give in depth coverage of every single NFL game they were that enticing, exciting, and stat driven, but I’m afraid I can’t be bothered writing a 10k word dissertation today on week three of the NFL season so here are my quick fire reviews.
In one of the best Thursday Night games of recent seasons, the LA Rams squeezed past the winless 49ers in a thrilling 41-39 victory. With 2 turnovers each and over 400 yards of offence for both teams, it was a wild one in San Fran, but LA stayed strong. Despite a 19 point 4th quarter comeback by the 49ers, they fall to 0-3 after their best performance of the season. For LA? They stand alone on top of the NFC West with a 2-1 record ahead of a tough trip to Dallas in week 4.
The 2-0 Ravens and the 1-1 Jaguars met at Wembley, with Baltimore the only team in the NFL to have a shutout on their resume so far. Lockdown win for Baltimore? Far from it. The Jags pummelled the Ravens 44-7 to stand alone atop the AFC South in the shock of the week. In the process they took a franchise record 44 point lead. Meanwhile Joe Flacco threw for just 28 total yards and 2 INTs on 18 attempt. Not the warm up Baltimore wanted for ahead of the rivalry of the NFL in week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
HOW ‘BOUT DEM COWBOYS?!
Dallas rebounded from a horror show in Denver with a tough, gutsy win in Arizona. The Cardinals started hot, but will be asking how they lost this one after more than doubling the Cowboys first half yardage and tripling possession of the football, but going in tied 7-7 at the half. The game was won and lost by the O-Lines; Dallas have the best in the NFL, Arizona didn’t seem to have won. The second half belonged to Dallas however, Dez Bryant with an unbelievable play carried 5 Cardinal defenders into the endzone with him. Ezekiel Elliott rebounded well from Denver too, and grabbed a TD late in the game. Dallas with a big win move back joint top in a three way 2-1 tie in the NFC East, Arizona with a frustrating defeat fall to 1-2.
New England got their first winning record and home win of the season with a win over Houston in Foxboro. It was a lot tougher than expected however as Brady had to lead the Pats down the field in the 4th quarter for a 36-33 win. Brady, my fantasy pick of the week, threw for 378 yards, 5 TDs and 0 INTs. Pats are top of the AFC North at 2-1 and they’ll take some moving. Houston fall to 1-2, but a respectful defeat with a lot of positives.
You know something? I love Tennessee. The legion of Boom? Hahaha! What?! Seattle’s D stunk up the joint in the second half in Nashville. Mariota and Murray matched to pummel over 400 yards of offence against Seattle’s defence, who allowed a 75+ yards TD run for the first time in almost a decade. Seattle look poor and are fortunate to be 1-2 while the Titans have rebounded well from week one and sit pretty at 2-1.
Kansas City joined Atlanta as the only two teams still undefeated with a 24-10 win in LA against the Chargers. Rivers struggled with 3 INTs in the game as Smith and the Chiefs capitalized on every mistake. Kareem Hunt continues to have a record breaking start to his NFL career running for 172 yards including a 69 yard TD run. Chargers appear too good to be 0-3, but they are. Their season hangs in the balance.
Washington continued their hot start to the season with an impressive win late Sunday night over Oakland. Cousins impressed throwing for 365 yards and 3 TDS in the dominating 27-10 win. The Raiders were a far cry from their first two games as they fall to their first defeat 2-1.
Pittsburgh suffered a shock defeat in overtime at the hands of the Chicago Bears who picked up their first W of the year. The Steelers missed a chance on moving clear atop the AFC North with a 23-17 defeat. Despite a solid 235 yards and 1 TD for 0 INTs, big Ben was beat down as Chicago’s D impressed.
There were also first wins of the season for the Jets over Miami 20-6, and for the Saints in Carolina as Cam Newton suffered his first loss of the year 34-13. Buffalo picked up their second win handing a shock first loss to Denver 26-16, and Minnesota impressed in a 34-17 win whilst handing Tampa their first defeat. I don’t have to tell you Marvin Lewis and the Bengals lost at Green Bay, but it was surprisingly close. Packers won in overtime 27-24.
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