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NFL Week 3 In Review

What a week! Every week some talking head claims that the past week was the best one of the season, but I find it hard to imagine a better week in 2008 than the one we saw in Week 3.

Games of the Week

  • Miami 38, New England 13: Once again the game of the week involved the Patriots. But unlike every other regular season game we’ve seen for the past year and a half or so, this one had a different ending. Ronnie Brown responded to his promotion to starter by doing something no Dolphins player had ever done by running for 4 touchdowns. If that were not enough, he added a passing TD on top of it. The AFC is suddenly very wide open.
  • Tampa Bay 27, Chicago 24: This game epitomized a running theme for the day. The Bears led by 10 with 6:38 left to play and managed to find a way to lose to Brian Griese and his 750 pass attempts. I’m sure the game plan was to put the ball in Griese’s hand, but no one could have expected the performance that he put together. Of course, the Bears had this game in hand in OT as well until an unnecessary roughness call on Charles Tillman after a third down stop kept the Bucs alive and allowed them to drive the length of the field for the win.
  • NY Giants 26, Cincinnati 23 (OT): Another theme that arose this weekend; last second wins by teams that seemed to have no business winning the game. The Giants were just a bit off all day on both sides of the ball. Though in their defense they were probably surprised by the Bengals game plan on Sunday; play like they cared about winning. No coach could have been prepared for that scenario. But the good teams pull out wins like this, and the Giants remain undefeated.
  • Buffalo 24, Oakland 23: Speaking of a game that a team had no business winning, Buffalo pulled a rabbit out of its hat with this one. The Bills had theee turnovers, multiple penalties, dropped passes, and terrible special teams, and managed to score 17 points in the final eight minutes to steal a victory, and most likely end Lane Kiffin’s coaching stint in Oakland.
  • Jacksonville 23, Indianapolis 21: In a combination of the last second victory that was common place this week as well as a changing of the guard in the AFC, the Colts managed to lose this game after taking the lead with only one minute remaining. The Jaguars always play the Colts tough, but this loss has to be disheartening to the Colts and their fans. With the Patriots seemingly reeling, the Browns in real trouble, and the Chargers hurting, the door was left wide open for the Colts. Losses like this are pushing that door closed slightly week after week.
  • Denver 34, New Orleans 32: Denver seems to be a good bet to provide fireworks and dramatic endings every week. That’s bound to happen when you’ve got a top notch offense and a bottom feeding defense. This game was a reversal on the theme that we did see in week three, as the Saints missed the game winning field goal with 2 minutes remaining. At some point a team is going to realize having a reliable kicker is an important key to winning in this league. Martin Gramatica has not been that since he was in Tampa. Of course if you were to ask him he’d tell you he only missed it by "that much."



Other Thoughts

  • The New England Patriots are not in first place for the first time since week 4 of 2005. Wow!
  • Teams still looking for their first win of the season that are not surprising at all: Cincinnati, Kansas City, Detroit and St. Louis.
  • Teams still looking for their first win of the season that were expected to be playoff teams: Cleveland, San Diego, Houston.
  • At approximately 5:15 PM Eastern Time on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008 the St. Louis Rams made their first trip to the red zone of the 2008 season
  • Is Missouri the NFL’s worst state for "professional" football? Two teams, zero wins, and no hope.

Monday Night Football

This will be the game that gets the San Diego Chargers into the win column. They may be banged up, but they’re at home and they need this one. Of course I don’t think there’s any way that I can tune into this game. For two weeks we have heard nothing but a Favre love fest from Tony Kornheiser, and Favre was not involved in either game. Now with Brett on the field and Tony calling the game I fear what may happen in the booth. It may involve a hefty FCC fine and millions of mentally scarred NFL viewers. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.