Week 3 got started with the Chiefs heading to Philadelphia. Not only was this Andy Reid's return to Philadelphia since he was fired last season, but the Eagles also honored quarterback Donovan McNabb. McNabb was drafted by the Eagles with the 2nd pick overall in the 1999 NFL Draft. And in typical Eagle fandom, he was booed. In their defense, they were expecting the Eagles to draft the Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams out of Texas.
Instead both Reid and McNabb were hailed as heroes by the Eagle faithful. Maybe it is the fans looking back about how good it really was. The franchise didn't win a Super Bowl during that time, but it was one of the most successful periods in the franchise's long history. But the night was spoiled by the Chiefs as they won to get to their first 3-0 start in 3 years and currently have a 2-0 record vs. the NFC East. Remember that high powered Eagle offense? It has now sputtered.
Sunday's games featured its share of close games and blowouts. First the blowouts.
The Panthers got their first win of the season with a 38-0 win over the Giants. New York is 0-3. Not exactly the way to start a season. These things have a way of snowballing. How soon before Tom Coughlin starts hearing from the New York media that he is coaching for his job?
And the sad thing: the Jets are 2-1 despite setting a franchise record in penalties with 20 in their win over Buffalo.
Houston laid an egg against the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens. This is a team that is expected to compete for the Super Bowl? While they came back against the Chargers and won in overtime over the Titans at home, the Texans went to Baltimore and got blown out. The game turned into a rout when Tandon Doss returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown before halftime. I still think Houston will win the division, but I am starting to have my doubts about this team being a deep playoff team. Their upcoming games: Seattle, at San Francisco in prime time, Rams, and at Kansas City before their bye week in Week 8.
Speaking of the AFC South, the Colts defeated the 49ers in San Francisco. The 49ers appear to still be in shock after their Week 2 loss in Seattle. In Week 1 the 49ers scored 34 points and had 494 yards in their win over the Packers. Since then the 49ers have scored a total 10 points and gained 544 yards. Meanwhile the Colts debut Trent Richardson in their backfield. Richardson rushed for 35 yards and a one-yard touchdown in the first quarter but Ahmad Bradshaw carried the ball 19 times for 95 yards and touchdown. Eventually Richardson will become the feature back in the Colts' backfield.
Green Bay was involved in one of the two entertaining games of the early Sunday slate. The Bengals are proving that they might be for real in the AFC North with their 34-30 win over the Packers. Cincinnati jumped out to a 14-0 lead and then Green Bay responded with a 30 point barrage. Both teams had their share of turnovers with 4 each, but the Bengals capitalized on a Packers fumble on 4th down in this clip here that resulted in the winning score.
Meanwhile reports of the Browns demise since trading running back Trent Richardson MIGHT have been greatly exaggerated. Quarterback Brian Hoyer getting the start over Brandon Wedon threw for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns. Cleveland relied on a some special teams trickeration getting a touchdown off a fake field goal.
Seven teams are currently undefeated: Bears, Broncos, Saints, Dolphins, Patriots, Seahawks, and Chiefs. Who will be the last team to remain unbeaten? It is safe to assume that there will at least be one unbeaten left as the Saints and Dolphins play each other on Monday Night. It could come down to the Bears and Broncos as the final two unbeatens. Chicago has proven to be one of the most complete teams as displayed in their win over the Steelers on Sunday night and the Broncos easily destroyed the Raiders on Monday night.
Right now there are six teams that do not have wins: Buccaneers, Redskins, Jaguars, Vikings, Steelers, and Giants. There will be one fewer team from this list. Either the Steelers or Vikings will return from London with a win.
Each of these teams could be on this list for a while. The Giants can't block anyone. The Redskins are expecting too much out of Robert Griffin III. Tampa announced they are benching quarterback Josh Freeman for rookie Mike Clennon. The Vikings may have Adrian Peterson but it is not enough to be competitive in the quarterback heavy NFC North. And the Jaguars... well, they're the Jaguars. We might have our third team since the 1970 merger to go an entire season winless (Buccaneers 1976, Lions 2008).
Nothing like a good old fashioned ass kicking to get the Cowboys back to winning. The only foul-up was a fumbled punt return in the first quarter. The Cowboys offense gained 193 rushing yards, 175 were gained by running back DeMarco Murray. In his debut in 2011, Murray rushed set a franchise record for rushing yards with 253 and it was against the Rams. During this recent matchup against the Rams, Cowboys linebacker Demarcus Ware surpassed Harvey Martin as the franchise's all-time sack leader.
San Diego is having an up-and-down season. The Chargers could easily be 0-3, 2-1, or even 3-0. All of their games have been decided by 3 points. The Chargers opened the season with the Texans coming back from 21 down to win on a last-second field goal. The following week the Chargers headed east to beat the Eagles. And then last Sunday the Titans scored a late touchdown and the Chargers failed miserably at pulling off another Music City Miracle.
Week 4 is the start of teams going on the bye week. The Packers and Panthers have the week off, so if you have players on your fantasy team that are on those teams adjust your rosters accordingly.
NFL Week 4 starts with the 49ers opening their NFC West schedule in St. Louis. If you recall from last season the Rams were 4-1-1 in the NFC West and were 1-0-1 against the 49ers. Both teams are coming off blowout losses as mentioned earlier.
The NFL is playing two games in London this season. The first one involves the Vikings playing the Steelers. In terms of star power and franchise recognition, this is one of better matchups the NFL has sent overseas since Chargers-Saints from 2008. The Steelers are one of the more recognizable franchises in the NFL while the Vikings have Adrian Peterson. But both team haven't been living up to their franchises' profiles as both teams are currently winless.
Other early games features the Battle of Ohio between the Bengals and Browns. It might be watchable. If the Browns can repeat what they did in Minneapolis last Sunday, they might not be as bad as folks expect since they traded away Trent Richardson.
Here in the Metroplex we are getting the Cowboys at Chargers in the late Fox slot while most of the country will see the Broncos host the Eagles. Coach Kelly might have been the master of the hurry up offense while at Oregon, but Peyton Manning has perfected it in the NFL.
Sunday Night has the potential to be a quarterback duel as Tom Brady leads the Patriots into Atlanta to take on the Falcons and Matt Ryan.
Monday Night features the Saints taking on the Dolphins in the weekend's only game involving undefeated teams. If you recall, the Dolphins were one of the teams that were interested in Drew Brees when he was a free agent back in 2006. Miami was concerned about his shoulder injury that he suffered late in 2005 and took a pass on him. The Saints scooped him up and in February 2010 New Orleans was hoisting their first Lombardi Trophy in Miami.
For those concerned, Ms. Roberts took a drubbing going 7-9. I have faith that she will recover as her team will have a pick in the middle of the first round of the upcoming draft. As for me, I went 9-7. I have been losing one game each week and I intend for that to end now! Mr. Blake (with his picks via facebook at the link) once again posted double-digit wins and has won three consecutive weeks in a row. He has widened his lead to 7 games over me while Ms. Roberts trails me by 2 games.
A word of caution to Mr. Blake. I once had a seven-game lead at one point last season and then I lost it as Ms. Roberts took the title of best football prognosticator for 2012. It can be done.
Picks are in BOLD
Games airing in DFW are noted by (DFW) and are Central Time.
BYE WEEK: Packers, Panthers
THURSDAY NIGHT, 7:20 PM (CT) NFL NETWORK
49ers at Rams
Seahawks at Texans (DFW)
Bears at Lions
Giants at Chiefs
Cardinals at Buccaneers
Steelers vs. Vikings at London (DFW)
Ravens at Bills
Colts at Jaguars
Bengals at Browns
Cowboys at Chargers (DFW)
Eagles at Broncos
Redskins at Raiders
Jets at Titans
SUNDAY NIGHT, 7:30 PM (CT) NBC
Patriots at Falcons
MONDAY NIGHT, ESPN 7:30 PM (CT)
Dolphins at Saints