Let’s try and play some catch-up for anyone who missed the morning slate of NFL action. Overall it was a wild morning. There were four upsets, 3 OT games and 3 games that took over 4 hours to play out.
Sam Bradford looked worse than he has all season going just 18/35 for 152 yards and 2 interceptions. Jay Cutler didn’t look much better completing just 17/31 for 183 yards and 1 interception. It was a bit strange in the current NFL but there were 29 points scored and no passing touchdowns and just two touchdowns total, both by the bears. This was an ugly ugly football game.
The Browns continued their rough season and are now off to an 0-3 start and look to be out of the division race almost immediately (not that that is a big surprise). On the flip side, The Bills looked the best they have so far this season and Ryan Fitzpatrick looked like the guy that signed a massive contract extension last season throwing for 208 yards and 3 TDs with no interceptions. Mario Williams also had his best game as a Bill notching 1.5 sacks and 4 total tackles.
This was yet another ugly game as the neither team had over 300 offensive yards (The Bucs had just over 150 yards). This game featured almost as many turnovers(5) as it did scoring plays (6). Both QBs combined for just over 50% completion percentage and no individual player had more than 53 rushing yards.
Jacksonville Jaguars(1-2) 22 – Indianapolis Football Club(1-2) 17
Andrew Luck played well throwing for 313 yards and 2 scores, but it wasnt enough to compensate for the Indy defense which was shredded by Maurice Jones Drew to the tune of 177 yards and a touchdown on just 28 carries. The Colts also finished -3 in turnover differential. The AFC south now has 3 teams at (1-2) for the season.
Yet another ugly game as the Jets and Dolphins offenses both wallowed in ineptitude. The teams combined for 4 turnovers and 2 missed field goals. The only thing of note from this game was the multitude of injuries. The Dolphins lost Reggie Bush about half way through the game and the Jets lost both Stephen Hill and Darrell Revis. Early reports about the Revis Injury indicate that the Jets fear he has torn his ACL. That would be terrible news for Revis as it comes at possibly the worse time in his career it could have come at. He has been fighting for a new contract and is just entering his prime. This would take at least a season and a half off of the best years of his career and depending on the severity and the success of the surgery could alter his career permanently. As a fan of football and good defense, this is very sad news.
This was the biggest upset of the morning. The 49ers looked like the best team in football, the Vikings looked at least a year away from serious contention. This just goes to show that nothing is ever easy in the NFL, but all it really means is that the 49ers won’t go undefeated this year. Christian Ponder has shown massive improvement in his second year, today he threw for over 200 yards and 2 scores on 21/35 passing.
The Saints continue to look completely lost without Sean Peyton as they drop to 0-3. They join the Cleveland Browns as the only 0-3 team in the NFL, The Raiders could join them this afternoon with a loss to the Steelers (They trail 17-14 at halftime). The big stat here was Jamaal Charles who carried for an astounding 233 yards on 33 carries, he also tacked on 6 receptions for 55 yards. Charles singlehandedly took down the Saints here.
This will go down as the strangest game of the day barring any afternoon strangeness. To start with, the Titans offense, which was inept in its first two games, suddenly exploded for 44 points. To add to the strangeness, their “best” offensive player, Chris Johnson, was held to just 24 yards on 14 carries. Im not sure it qualifies as strangeness, but Matt Stafford left the game early with a hamstring injury. The final, and strangest, strangeness was that in overtime, trailing 41-44, the Lions elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 on the Titans 7 yard line instead of kicking the tying field goal and taking the overtime to sudden death. This decision will be scrutinized all week as it violated the cardinal sin of football. You always extend the game when you have a choice. In the Lions defense (or at least Jim Schwartz defense) Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said after the game that the plan was to try and draw the Titans offsides and then call a timeout if unsuccesful. a miscommunication led to the inadvertent snap and subsequent loss.
Robert Griffen III bounced back from a bad first half to make this game interesting in the second half, but the Redskins rally attempt fell short and the Bengals walked away with the victory. both quarterbacks played well and scored a combined 5 touchdowns. In the end, A.J. Green and his 183 yards carried the Bengals to an insurmountable 14 point half-time lead and eventually a win.