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NFL WEEK 3 Wrap-up

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Game of the Week: NY Giants (1-2) def. Washington Redskins (2-1)

Location: FedEx Field, Landover, MD

Score: 24-17

 

Finally, the G-men got it together, for the time being.  After two abysmal losses and tons of turmoil to start the season, the Giants needed a win in a big way and they did just that.  The Giants took the lead early last Sunday on a Lawrence Tynes 34-yard field goal in the middle of the first quarter.  The Skins answered back with a 1-yard touchdown run by Clinton Portis to take a 7-3 lead.  The Skins went up 14-3 when Jason Campbell found TE Chris Cooley for an 8-yard touchdown catch.  The Skins added three more from a Shaun Suisham 47-yard field goal to make the score 17-3 to end the first half. 

 

Then a new Giant team came out.  RB Reuben Droughns had a 1-yard touchdown run in the middle of the third quarter to make the score 10-17.  Droughs was called on again as he had another 1-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 17-17.  With 5:40 left in the game, Eli Manning found Plaxico Burress for 33-yards and the touchdown to take the lead at 24-17 and the win.  Manning was 21 for 36 for 232 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 INTs. Campbell was 16 for 34 with 190 yards passing and 1 touchdown.  Clinton Portis had 14 carries for 60 yards and 1 touchdown.  Droughs had the most interesting stats.  He had 3 carries for 3 yards and 2 TDs.  The man that did the least amount of work, made the biggest scores, in a big win for the New York “Football” Giants.   

 

 

Green Bay Packers (3-0) def. San Diego Chargers (1-2)  

Location: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI

Score: 31-24

 

If Brett Farve is going out this year, he’s going to make sure he and the Packers end this year with their “guns a blazing”.  At the moment the Packers are undefeated and are playing good ball.  If only the same could be said about the Chargers.  Under their new head coach, Norv Turner, the Chargers are struggling.  In 3 games, the Chargers are averaging 17 points a game. A far cry from last season when they averaged 30 points a game.  Bet you Charger fans wish Marty Shottenheimer was still there.

 

Farve was 28 for 45 with 369 passing yards, and 3 TDs.  He tied Dan Marino for the record of Most Career Touchdowns with his 420th. on a 57-yard pass to WR Greg Jennings in the fourth quarter to make the score 24-21.  Rookie RB Brandon Jackson ran in a 1-yard touchdown to make the score 31-24 which sealed it for the Packers.  Philip Rivers was 27 for 36 with 3 TDs and 1 INT. LaDainian Tomlinson was held to 62-yards of rushing with no rushing TDs.  He did have a 21-yard catch that led to a Chargers touchdown and the led in third quarter, but it wasn’t enough for the win.

 

Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) def. Minnesota Vikings (1-2)

Location: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO

Score: 13-10

 

The bad news?  Larry Johnson is averaging 47-yards of rushing and no TDs in the first 3 games of this season.  I guess this is what you get when you sign players to a six year, $45 million dollar contract in the off-season.  Maybe he shouldn’t have missed training camp this summer.  The good news, the Chiefs finally played to win the game.  The Vikes had the lead for most of the game up until the fourth quarter when Damon Huard found WR Dwayne Bowe for a 16-yard touchdown with 9:29 left on the clock to make the score 13-10.  Kelly Holcomb got the start today at QB for the injured Tavaris Jackson. Holcomb was 14 for 28 with 165 passing yards and no touchdowns. 

 

The Chiefs’ Damon Huard went 20 for 29 with 206 passing yards and 1 touchdown.  Dwayne Bowe had 5 catches for 71 yards and 1 touchdown while Tony Gonzalez had 7 catches for 96 yards.   Rookie RB Adrian Peterson had 1 touchdown, with 25 carries for 102 yards.

 

New England Patriots (3-0) def. Buffalo Bills (0-3)  

Location: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA

Score: 38-7

 

There are certain things you are taught throughout your life.  Don’t stick a fork in the toaster, don’t pull on Superman’s cape, and don’t make the New England Patriots angry.  You wouldn’t like them when they’re angry.  Forget about spygate and Belicheat, the fact of the matter is that the Pats are just that damn good.  The Pats were down 7-3 to the Buffalo Bills until the second quarter when Tom Brady found TE Ben Watson  for an 8-yard TD to make the score 10-7.  After that, it just got ugly.  Before the end of the first half with a 1:20 left on the clock, Brady found Randy Moss for a 3-yard TD pass that made the score 17-7.  With 6:26 left to play in the third quarter, Brady found WR Jabar Gaffney for a 4-yard TD that made the game 24-7.  With 1st and 4 on the Bills 4-yard line, Pats’ RB Sammy Morris ran one in to make the score 31-7.  The dagger to heart came when Brady hit Moss again for 45 yards and the score. 

 

Moss became the first NFL player to have 100-yards receiving in his first 3 games with a new team.  He had 5 catches for 115 yards and 2 TDs.  This was also Tom Brady’s 16th career 300-yard passing game.  Brady was 23 for 29 with 311 yards and 4 TDs.  Bills starting QB, J.P. Losman, was injured in the first series of the game with a sprained left knee he was replaced with rookie QB Trent Edwards from Stanford University.  Edwards finished the game 10 for 20 with 97 passing yards and 1 interception.  Bills’ rookie running back Marshawn Lynch had 20 carries for 74 yards and 1 touchdown.

 

 

NY Jets (1-2) def. Miami Dolphins (0-3) 

Location: Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ

Score: 31-28

 

C-H-A-D, Chad, Chad, Chad.  One week you hate him, the next week you love him. Whatever the case may be, Chad Pennington came out this week and quieted his critics. In what I feel is one of the most underrated rivalries in sports, the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets hosted the Phins in one of many games that came down to the wire.  The Jets took the lead towards the end of the first quarter with a 3-yard TD pass from Pennington to Laveranues Coles with 1:06 on the clock to make the score 7-0.  The Phins answered back with a 1-yard TD run by Ronnie Brown to tie the game at 7-7 in the second quarter.  But on the ensuing kickoff, Leon Washington ran a 98-yard kick return for a TD to give the Jets the lead 14-7.  The Phins got within one with a Jay Feely 39-yard FG to make the score 13-14 until Chad found TE Chris Baker for a 4-yard TD to make the game 21-13.  The score was 31-13 when Brown ran 2-yards for a touchdown and on the 2-point conversion; the Phins got their “Boise State” on and ran a “Statue of Liberty” play with Brown running it in to get the Phins within 10 points with the score 21-31.  With a 1:23 left on the clock, Trent Green hit Ronnie Brown with a short pass to the right for 22-yards for a TD to make the score 28-31.  On a second on-side kick, the Jets recovered the ball on the Phins 44-yard line and knelt down on the next three plays to run out the clock for the win. 

 

C-H-A-D, Chad, Chad, Chad was 15 for 22 with 124 passing yards and 2 TDs.  Trent Green was 23 for 36 with 318 passing yards.  He had 1 TD and 1 INT.  Ronnie Brown and Thomas Jones each ran for over 100-yards.  Brown had 23 carries for 112-yards and 2 TDs.  Brown also had 6 catches for 99-yards and 1 touchdown.  Jones had 25 carries for 110 yards and no touchdowns in the win.

 

 

Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) def. Detroit Lions (2-1)

Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Score: 56-21

 

If the Pats vs. Bills were ugly, then Eagles vs. Lions were just repugnant. With all of hype surrounding Donovan McNabb and the comments he made on HBO’s Real Sports, one would think that would have been a distraction for a team who is clearly having issues.  Think again.  McNabb was a man on a mission last Sunday connecting on 21 of 26 passes for 381 yards and 4 TDs.  Now if that’s not doing “a little extra”, I don’t know what is.  Eagles’ RB Brian Westbrook had 14 carries for 110 yards for 2TDs and 5 catches for 111 yards and 1 touchdown.  He had a total of 221 yards and that was only in the first half before he left the game with an injured knee. 

 

WR Kevin Curtis, who the Eagles acquired in free agency during the off-season, had a career day.  Curtis had 11 catches for 221 yards and 3 TDs.  Despite the loss, the Lions’ Jon Kitna was 29 for 46 with 446 yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception while WR Roy Williams had 9 catches for 204 yards and 1 touchdown.  The Lions could not run the ball as the Eagles’ defense held them to 39-yards of rushing.  This is definitely a step in the right direction for the 1-2 Eagles. 

 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) def. San Francisco 49ers (2-1)

Location: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Score: 37-16

 

In 1 of 2 games that involved 2-0 teams, the Niners rolled into Pittsburgh as the underdogs and hoping to cause an upset win against rookie head coach Mike Tomlin and the Steelers.  That was not the case.  After a Joe Nedney 32-yard field goal that put the Niners on the board 3-0, the Steelers answered right back when return specialist Allen Rosum ran back a 98-yard kick return to make the score 7-6.  The Steelers were in lead for the majority of the game at that point.  The Niners kicked a pair of field goals and Alex Smith found WR Taylor Jacobs with a 21-yard touchdown strike to get within 14 points and make the score 16-30 in the fourth quarters.  It wasn’t enough for the Niners as Steelers’ RB Najeh Davenport ran in a 39-yard touchdown with 2:00 left in the fourth quarter to put it away and give the Steelers the win. 

 

Ben Roethlisberger was 13 for 20 with 160 yards and 1 touchdown.  Alex Smith was 17 for 35 with 209 yards passing, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.  Second year TE Vernon Davis, who made news last week with his meeting with head coach Mike Nolan concerning his involvement in the offense, had 4 catches for 56 yards.  Davis also suffered a sprained knee in last Sunday’s game.  The Niners defense could not stop Steelers’ Willie Parker.  Parker ran for 133 yards off of 24 carries and had no touchdowns. While his counterpart, Frank Gore was held to 39 yards of rushing off of 14 carries.

 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) def. St. Louis Rams (0-3)

Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

Score: 24-7

 

Stephen Jackson is alive.  After being virtually dead in the first 2 games of the season, Jackson’s presence was felt in last Sunday’s game against the Bucs.  The only thing about that is the Rams still lost.  They fell to 0-3 and the bottom of the NFC West.  Jackson ran for 115-yards on 30 carries with no touchdowns.  Despite all those rushing yards, the Bucs defense still did their job by holding the Rams to 109 total passing yards.  Sloppy play and poor execution week after week has turned “The Greatest Show on Turf” into crappy reruns. 

 

The Rams didn’t score a point until the fourth quarter when Jeff Wilkins kicked a 25-yard field goal with 11:36 left in the game.  By that time , the Bucs were up by 7 points with a 10-3 score.  After that field goal, the Buc’s Earnest Graham ran in 2 more touchdowns in the fourth quarter for the win. Graham also had 8 carries for 75 yards.  The Bucs defense was the star of the show forcing Rams’ QB Marc Bulger to throw 3 INTs.  Bulger was also 17 for 26 with 116 yards passing.  Jeff Garcia was 14 for 22 with 151 yards in passing.

 

 

Baltimore Ravens (2-1) def. Arizona Cardinals (1-2) 

 

Location: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD

Score: 26-23

 

There’s something about the Cards that just scares me.  I don’t know what it is, but they look like that type of team that can play the “spoiler” role for some team that needs one more win to make the play-offs later in the season.  The Ravens defense looked great as usual.  My question is how much longer will their offense hold up with a hurting Steve McNair?  McNair played most of the game until the groin injury that has plagued him since Week 1 kicked in and backup QB Kyle Boller stepped in. McNair was 20 for 27 with 198 yards and 1 touchdown.   Matt Leinart had a horrible start of the game.  He was 9 for 20 with 53 passing yards and had the Ravens’ defense all over him like a cheap suit.  That was enough for Cards head coach Ken Whisenhunt.  Leinart was pulled in the in the middle of the second quarter for veteran back-up QB Kurt Warner and he did not disappoint.  Warner was 15 for 20 with 258 yards passing and 2 TDs. 

 

Baltimore had the lead for most of the game until Neil Rackers a 41-yard field goal to tie the game with 1:58 left on the clock.  Kyle Boller got the ball back on the Ravens’ 20 yard line and drove the Ravens down the field to the Cards’ 28 yard line.  That drive helped set up Matt Stover to kick a game winning 46-yard field goal with 0:05 seconds left on the clock.  Willis McGahee led all rusher with 98 yards of off 21 carries.  Ravens WR Derrick Mason had 8 catches for 79 yards and 1 touchdown.  Anquan Boldin led all receivers with 14 catches for 181 yards and 2 TDs.

 

 

Indianapolis Colts (3-0) def. Houston Texans (2-1)

Location: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX

Score: 30-24

 

First let me say this, there is no “Texans’ bandwagon.”  What some people are taking as bandwagon hopping, is just amazement that the Texans are doing well in their first 2 games of the season.  No one can honestly say that they knew the Texans would have been undefeated coming into last Sunday’s game against the Colts.  Neither Ms. Cleo nor Dionne Warwick saw it coming.  So pipe down all of the bandwagon talk.  There are still 13 more games that need to played before anyone starts hopping on bandwagons.  Now that I got that out of the way, the Texans were the last team to beat the Colts last season before they went on their run to the Super Bowl.  Good luck charm for the Colts?  It’s a possibility. With the way the Colts’ defense has been playing lately, they might be lucky to make the play-offs.  This was a back and forth battle with the Texans holding a 3 point lead starting the second quarter. 

 

The Colts slowly started to take over the game and by the end of the third quarter; the Colts were up 27-10.  The Texans would not give as RB Samkon Gado ran in a 1 yard touchdown to make the game 27-17.  Adam Vinateri’s 35-yard field goal gave the Colts a 30-17 led with 10:44 left to play in the third quarter.  The Texans answered back with a 1-yard touchdown from Matt Schuab to FB Vonta Leach to make the score 30-24 with 2:53 left to play in the fourth quarter.  The Texans got the ball back with 0:19 seconds left on the clock, but there would be no comeback for Houston in this game as Schuab was sacked at the Texans’ 20 yard line by Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis as time ran out.  Peyton Manning was 20 for 29 with 273 yards passing and 1 touchdown.  Schaub was 27 for 36 with 236 passing yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception.  Joseph Addai had 22 carries for 72 yards and 2 TDs for the day.

 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1) def. Denver Broncos (2-1)

Location: Invesco Field, Denver, Colorado

Score: 23-14

 

38 minutes and 14 seconds compared to 21 minutes and 18 seconds.  That was the amount of time the Jags possessed the ball compared to the amount of time the Broncos possessed the ball.  That’s a difference of 17 minutes and 24 seconds.  Good possession plus a good defense that held the Broncos to a total of 47 rushing yards did the trick.  Broncos’ RB Travis Henry was held to 35 rushing yards on 35 carries.  He did score 1 touchdown.  Jay Cutler was 16 for 23 with 222 passing yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. The Jags’ David Garrard was 14 for 20 with 154 yards and 1 touchdown.  The Jags held the lead for the entire game with good ball control and smart play making.  It wasn’t most exciting game, but a win is a win. 

 

Oakland Raiders (1-2) def. Cleveland Browns (1-2)

Location: McAfee Coliseum, Oakland, CA

Score: 26-24

 

If you can’t beat them, join themAnd that was exactly what the Raiders’ rookie head coach, Lane Kiffin, did last Sunday. The Raiders had the led for the entire game, but the Browns made sure that they weren’t going to make it easy for the Raiders.  Browns’ QB Derek Anderson ran in a 1-yard to make the score 24-26 with 3:37 left on the clock in the fourth quarter.  With 1:04 left in the game the Browns got the ball back a drove down to the Raiders’ 22-yard line to set up a Phil Dawson 40-yard, game winning field goal. The kick went up and it was good.  Then it was déjà vu all over again as Coach Kiffin called a time-out right when the two teams lined up at the line of scrimmage. The referee called of the kick and made the two teams redo the kick.  Of course, Dawson‘s kick was blocked on the second try and the Raiders won the game.  Where did we see this similar situation before? 

 

Veteran QB Dante Culpepper replaced Josh McCown after he was injured in the third quarter.  Culpepper finished the day 8 for 14 with 118 passing yards.  McCown was 6 for 12 with 108 passing yards and 1 touchdown. Anderson completed 18 of 37 passes for 248 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception while WR Braylon Edwards had 4 catches for 83 yards and 1 touchdown for the Browns. Raiders’ RB LaMont Jordan rushed for 121 yards of off 29 carries and had 1 touchdown in the win. 

 

 

Seattle Seahawks (2-1) def. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)

Location: Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Score: 24-21

 

The Bengals must like the word penalized. Numerous players on the team have been penalized for their off-field behavior, and in last Sunday’s game, the team was penalized for their on-field behavior.  The Bengals had 10 penalties for 72 yards.  That’s just unacceptable.  The funny thing is that the Bengals went back and forth with the Seahawks in the game like it was a heavy weight battle.  The lead changed six times before Matt Hassellbeck hit Nate Burleson with a 22-yard pass for a touchdown.  Besides the penalties, the Bengals looked like the “Bungles” in rushing. The Bengals were held to 84 yards of rushing. 

 

The top rusher for the Bengals was RB Kenny Watson who ran for 60 yards off of 9 carries and had 1 touchdown.  What the Bengals lacked on the ground, the got in the air as Carson Palmer was 27 for 43 with 342 yards of passing.  He had 1touchdown and 2 INTs.  T.J. Houshmandzadeh had 12 catches for 141 yards and 1 touchdown while Ocho-Cinco had 9 catches for 138 yards and no touchdowns for the Bengals.  Hassellbeck was 24 for 37 with 248 passing yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs.  Both Nate Burleson and Deion Branch had 6 catches and 1 touchdown.  Burleson caught for 76 yards while Branch caught for 77 yards.      

 

Carolina Panthers (2-1) def. Atlanta Falcons (0-3)

Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA

Score: 27-20

 

Murphy’s Law states, “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.”  And even when the Falcons get a good day out of their starting QB, Joey Harrington, they still can’t catch a break.  Harrington was 31 for 44 with 361 yards of passing and 2 TDs. Third year veteran, WR Roddy White, had 7 catches for 127 yards and 1 touchdown.  While the Falcons were able to throw the ball, they could not run the ball.  For the third game in a row, the Falcons were held to under 100-yards of rushing.  They had a total of 91 rushing yards last Sunday.  Falcons’ RB Warrick Dunn had 11 carries for 55 yards.  If you can’t run the ball, you can’t win games. 

 

The Panthers had no problem running the ball with DeShaun Foster carrying the ball 20 times for 122 yards and had 1 touchdown.  Panthers’ QB, Jake Delhomme, threw for 109 yards and was 10 for 18 in completions with 2 TDs, before he left the game in the third quarter with an injured elbow.  Back up QB, David Carr, finished the game with 56 passing yards on 3 of 4 completions.  

 

 

Dallas Cowboys (3-0) def. Chicago Bears (1-2)

Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois

Score: 34-10

 

Enough is enough already.  Rex Grossman has got to have the most wins for the world’s worst starting QB.  If he didn’t have the defense he has in Chicago, he would probably be packing bags right now at the nearest Food Lion.  Football fans get nauseous every time he touches the ball. Head coach Lovie Smith said that Rex was his guy.  Well you need to rethink that one brother. You know you have a problem when every time your starting QB touches the ball, the fans in the stadium start chanting the name of the Cubs star pitcher Carlos ZambranoU.T.B: Under The Bus. 

 

Grossman was 15 for 32 with 195 yards of passing and 3 INTs.  Terrible.  Remember I said, “If you can’t run the ball, you can’t win games” in the Panthers-Falcons recap, well that was exactly what the Cowboys did to the Bears.  The whole purpose of running the ball is not just for yardage, but it helps to tire the defense.  The Cowboys had a total of 439 total rushing yards. Marion Barber had 15 carries for 102 yards and 1 touchdown.  Head coach Wade Philips must have read the tidbits from last week’s recapTony Romo was 22 for 29 with 329 passing yards., 2 TDs and 1 INT.

 

Terrell Owens had 8 catches for 145 yards and TE Jason Witten had 6 catches for 90 yards and 1 touchdown.  Cedric Benson had 16 carries with 46 yards and 1 touchdown.  The game was tied at 10-10 until the middle of the third quarter when Romo hit Barber with a 10-yard touchdown pass to the right to make the score 17-10.  The Cowboys made the score 20-10 with a Nick Folk 44-yard field goal.  On the next play, Grossman threw an interception to Cowboy’s CB Anthony Henry that killed any hope of a Bears’ comeback.  The Cowboys scored another field goal and a touchdown to seal the win. 

 

 

Tennessee Titans (2-1) def. New Orleans Saints (0-3)

Location: Superdome, New Orleans, LA

Score: 31-14

 

Monday night was the first time Vince Young and Reggie Bush played against each other since the 2006 Rose Bowl for the National Championship.  Young and the Texas Longhorns beat Bush and the USC Trojans that year.  Could he do it again with their respective pro teams?  You need a “V” and a “Y” to spell victory and the Titans look like the spelling bee champs because they have their “V” and “Y” in Vince Young.  Young was 14 for 22 with 164 passing yards, 2 TDs and 1 interception. You also need an “R” and a “B” to spell Reggie Bush, as well as Really Bad, which is the way the Saints are playing right now.  Drew Brees was 29 for 45 with 225 passing yards, no touchdowns, 1 fumble, and 4 INTs.  That’s a total of five turnovers.  3 of 4 INTs Brees’ threw were caught by Titans’ LB Keith Bulluck

 

Bush had 7 carries for 15 yards and no touchdowns and Titans held the Saints to 98 yards of rushing with 5 turnovers.  That stench you smell is not from the bottom of your shoe, it’s the play making abilities of the Saints.   Bush’s USC teammate, LenDale White, ran for 50 yards off of 17 carries and had 1 touchdown for the Titans while his current teammate, WR Brandon Jones, had 4 catches for 73 yards and 1 touchdown.  If the Saints keep playing like this for the remainder of the season, that “R “ and “B” may have to stand for Re-Build.

 

Check back on Friday for my Week 4 picks

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