Week 3 in the NFL is almost to a close and here we are now left to examine, analyze and provide hardcore scrutiny of which teams got it right and which teams are clearly headed to a losing season. Of course every NFL week has it’s surprises some of the shock and awe type — others just plain awful. Welcome to NFL Monday Morning Quarterback.
NFL week 3 had several games that were blow outs– that’s not terribly surprising but what really is are the teams that were on the receiving end of those losses. The most shocking being the San Francisco getting totally shutdown at home versus the Indianapolis Colts. Colin Kaepernick only completed 13 passes for 150 yards and only ran for 20. The Colts defense completely blew up the “pistol offense” and brought the boom down on them. Andrew Luck’s stats weren’t very impressive either BUT he made all the key plays on 3rd down when they needed to be made. The Colts were CLEARLY the more physical team as they ran the ball at will on the 49ers. The 49ers only mustered 7 points this game and lost back to back games for the first time under Coach Harbaugh.
San Francisco looks like they aren’t nearly as strong as everyone once believed and they are now 1-2… with their starting Quarterback Colin Kaepernick this season, meanwhile Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0. Frank Gore was noted to be angry with the head coach because he feels like the team isn’t running the football enough and focusing on what they do well. Gore only had 4 carries in the 2nd half of the contest.
I told people before that everyone fell in love with the Colin Kaepernick hype and it would be interesting to see how team game plan for him after having some footage of him in games where he struggles to look at and break down. Also seeing how he would do in a FULL SEASON as a starter and not just some guy who is GIVEN the job in week 10 or 11 of a team that is already winning and rolling along.
The Houston Texans another team generally thought to be a legitimate Superbowl contender this season was on the receiving end of an extreme lost this week to the last year’s Champion The Baltimore Ravens. The Texans offense was held to 9 points in the first half and shut out completely in the 2nd half. A. Foster was kept to only 54 yards on 12 carries and Matt Schaub only threw for 194 yards and 0 TD’s. Houston has a tendencies to lose key games were they can make a strong statement– actually the get romped in said games– just like last season when Andre Johnson said the game against the Patriots was the biggest game in the team’s history and they were DESTROYED 41-28 in the playoffs. Houston needs to get focused if they think they are going to make a run this season. Schaub never plays “terrible” but he isn’t spectacular when he really needs to be.
Baltimore looked impressive this game and the offense and special teams came to life putting up 30 points. It was a total team win for the Ravens Flacco wasn’t too amazing this game but Future Hall Of Famer Ray Lewis was on the sideline as he was inducted in the Baltimore Ring Of Honor at half-time and perhaps he gave an inspired pep talk that got the team going for this win. Ed Reed was on the losing sideline with his Texan team mates.
The New York Giants have to be the most disappointing team thus far this season. They fell to 0-3 after being ANNIHILATED by the Carolina Panthers. The offense was out of synch as Eli completed a meager 12 passes for 119 yards. The Giants took their worst loss in 40 years as they went down 38-0. Manning was sacked 6 times in the first half alone. Cam Newton on the other hand looked sharp throwing for 3 Td’s and running for a TD. The Panthers defense stymied the Giant offense in every way possible shutting them out for the first time in three seasons.
I think Eli and the team will begin to figure it out and fix their problems. By losing early they have changed the expectations for the season, which means later in the year when they are winning in the playoffs the media will say “who ever thunk it after that 0-3 start” The Giants have 2 unlikely Superbowl wins so I would never count this team out until it is all said and done all the way.
The New England Patriots are 3-0 again for the first time in several seasons. They took the Tampa Bay Bucs apart and kept them to a pop warner 3 points for the entire game. Tom Brady and he rookie wide receivers had a good offensive rhythm all game long as he threw for 225 yards and 2 Td’s. In Tampa Bay Josh Freeman has the lowest completion percentage in the NFL and the heat just got turned up even more on his job. Freeman may only have two weeks left in his starting career for the Bucs if the team losses the next two the season will be regarded as “lost” and Coach Schiano is sure to begin the Glennon era with him at the helm for the team.
The Tampa Bay Bucs should have run the football way more than they did especially early in the game when they were more physical than the Patriots. Josh Freeman has struggled all season and they could have helped him out a lot by running Doug Martin for 30-40 carries this game. Freeman would have had open receivers because of the play action opportunities. Tampa Bay had better right the ship very soon or it will be another long season for them.
Drew Brees and the Saints have gotten back to form advancing to 3-0 after they ran all over the Arizona Cardinals. What’s really impressive about the team this year in the fact that the DEFENSE has actually showed up all three games this season. The last time New Orleans started 3 and 0 they beat the Colts in the Superbowl and won it all. Brees looked good as usual throwing 3 Td’s and completing 29 passes. He connected with Jimmy Graham 9 times for 134 yards and 2 Td’s. New Orleans is quietly looking like a top team in the NFC so far.
The Cardinals had better figure something out soon or they will be struggling all season. The addition of Carson Palmer at QB was suppose to lift the offense up so they could open up the passing game.
And now for some games that were actually close but the winner of the game was still not what was expected. We will start with the Green Bay Packers get bested by the Cincinnati Bengals. Aaron Rodgers and the Pack were down 14-0 early and then by half time they were up 30- 14. They had the great passing highlights and it looked like they were about to runaway with the game in the 2nd half. The defense forced 4 turnovers on consecutive drives against the Bengals and some how after 30 unanswered points the Bengals came back and won the game 34- 30.
With a game that had some many turnovers it is only fitting that a fumble by the Packers Franklin lead to the decisive score that determined the game. The Bengals have caught fire early this season and look sure to win the AFC North. The Packers go into their bye week with the loss.
The Cleveland Browns were to believed to have given up on this season with the trade of running back Trent Richardson to the Colts and the rumors that that will be attempting to trade QB Brandon Wheeden as well. But some how some way– the Browns came through as a team and won. Brian Hoyer got the start for the Brown and threw for 3 touchdowns and 321 yards. The defense held last years League MVP Adrian Peterson to only 88 yards on 25 carries. The Browns defied ALL CONVENTIONAL LOGIC and some how stayed in the game to win it in the end. Hoyer connected with Jordan Cameron for third TD of the game to take the lead and the game. Hats off to Cleveland for still playing competitive football after everyone in the football world wrote them off.
The Tennessee Titans won a hard fought battle against the San Diego Chargers. With 15 seconds left in the game Jake Locker hit rookie Justin Hunter with a 34 yard TD strike to win the game! The Titans defense is tougher than people realize and they are going to be a good team this year. For the Chargers it’s another heart breaking loss because in reality they are only a few plays away from being undefeated this year. But as they say in football Any Given Sunday any team can be beaten.
The Miami Dolphins pulled off an unlikely win over the Atlanta Falcons who have been underachieving thus far this year. And this team was suppose to be ready to “take the next step” which I think will be tough for them because the Saints look to be back in business as usual mode and the Falcon will always be 2nd behind them.
As this season advances I will be giving you a NFL Monday Morning Quarterback review of all the most relevant NFL topics along with my 2 cents which may actually be worth 37 dollars and 41 cents (Dos Equis reference) of what’s going on in the league.
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