NFL week 17 spotlight

NFL Week 3 - Expect the Unexpected

NFL Week 3 is just a Monday Night Football match away from being officially classified as history. That gives us just enough time to get updated on what just happened.

NFL Week 3

Titans 7 Jaguars 20

The TNF jaunt showed us a few things. Wake up the Jaguars defense at your own risk. Even when they win the Jags are a mess. Titans go as Mariota goes. Mariota just isn't ready. He has his own version of the Jameis Winston disease in that he can't seem to shake the consistent mistakes. Until he does the Titans will be on the wrong end of more of these contest.

Lions 27 Eagles 24

The Philadelphia Eagles are two games out of first in the NFC East with their second consecutive loss. The Lions are one game back of the Packers in the NFC North with their second consecutive win. Two teams. Two different directions. The Lions got a 100 yd kickoff return from Jamal Agnew. Stafford was 18*23 for 201 yards and a TD. The Eagles Carson Wentz wasn't chopped liver going 19/26 for 259 yards and 2 TD's but the Birds injury woes were too much to overcome as the replacement guys had major issues hanging onto the ball. Good news is Wentz had a nice bounceback performance after raising a lot of eyebrows in Atlanta.

Jets 14 Patriots 30

The primary difference between the New York Jets and the Dolphins is the Jets didn't cough up multiple pick-sixes to the New England Patriots. The results, however, were eerily similar. The Pats scored every quarter and dominated in every phase of the game. To be expected when the opposing QB is Luke Falk and the force is definitely not with him going 12/22 for 98 yards and a pick. Le'Veon Bell was held to 35 yards on 18 carries and why not with zero chance of getting the ball downfield through the air. On the flip, Tom Brady went 28/42 306 yards and 2 TD's Rex Burkhead was the primary RB this week with 11 carries. Sony Michel got 9. Josh Gordon is fitting in quite nicely going 6/11 for 83 yards. Any team that can't put pressure on Brady AND score some points is going to lose. Jet's could not and did.

Raiders 14 Vikings 34

I gave Cousins a hard time in the preview. Against the Raiders he did exactly what he is supposed to do going 15/21 174 yards and 1 TD. The Vikes running game was olid as Dalvin Cook tabbed 110 yards and a TD on 16 carries. Rookie Mattison added 58 more yards and a TD of his own. The Minnesota D was solid, as expected. The Oakland Raiders are coached by Jon Gruden and have a TB personality as a GM.

Ravens 28 Chiefs 33

Patrick Mahomes went 27/37 for 274 yards and 3 TD's. The Ravens' Lamar Jackson went 22/43 for 267 yards. PLEASE tell me you saw this game?!?! It was electric. Heck, Lamar even through a flea-flicker that worked! The Chiefs had too much. The Raven's are right behind them. These two will be banging at each other for years.

Falcons 24 Colts 27

The Colts were in a pickle missing their star defensive linebacker Darius Leonard. Jacoby Brissett and the offense delivered and Indianapolis held on versus a Falcons team who found it's groove in the second half but ultimately were doomed by their own errors. Brissett went 28/37 for 310 yards and 2 TD's. Both T.Y. Hilton and Marlon Mack were game-time decisions and both played and played well. Warriors both. Colts keep finding ways to win. Falcons keep finding ways to lose. Do the math.

Broncos 16 Packers 27

Joe Flacco - 20/29 213 yards and 1 pick. Broncos GM John Elways can do one thing very, very well. He locates and signs sub-par QB's with abandon. The Peyton Manning signing was obviously an outlier. If not for RB Philip Lindsay the Broncos' offense would be a joke. On the other hand, Aaron Rodgers finally has a defense. Much like Brady having one this seems somehow unfair. The Pack is on a roll. I don't see it slowing down anytime soon.

Dolphins 6 Cowboys 31

I will delve into this in detail later. However, the Dallas Cowboys did NOT win. The Dolphins gave the game away. When your head coach refuses to challenge obvious touchdowns that are called incomplete the truth is there for all to see. Rather than let the GM tank for the team by hamstringing the coach the 'Phins are actually doing it on the field. The league should take action. They won't.

Regardless, the 'Boys won and they look good. But the defense again showed it has issues with shutting a team out as they consistently let the Dolphins offense move the ball up and down the field. A 31-6 win looks good on paper. In reality, it was an ugly win.

Josh Rosen is an NFL QB. 18/39 yards, 200 yards, and NO interceptions. Dak is going to get paid. 19/32 246 yards, 2 TD's and 1 pick that was off his receiver's hands.

BOTH RB's for big D went over 100 yards. Their newly extended stud Ezekiel Elliott had 125 yards on 19 carries and his rookie teammate got 103 yards on 13 carries and a TD. The one-two punch should scare any team prepping to play the Cowboys.

Bengals 17 Bills 21

The Bills keep minimizing their mistakes and finding ways to win. The Bengals? They do the other thing. Andy Dalton had a very bad first half and finished the game going 20/36 for 249 yards, 1 TD and 2 picks. The Bills Josh Allen went 23/36 for 243 yards and 1 TD/INT. He spreads the ball around quite a bit but former Cowboys WR Cole Beasley is becoming his security blanket with 10 targets, more than 2x any other receiver. The Bills are quietly crafting a solid season. We will see what happens when the schedule toughens up.

Giants 32 Buccaneers 31

Eli Manning is benched. Daniel Jones is the starter. The King is dead. Long live the King. Saquon Barkly likely has the dreaded "high-ankle-sprain" and the New York Giants don't care. They have found their next QB. 23/36 for 336 yards, 2 TD's and ZERO picks. The Bucs Jameis Winston reverted to form having a big day (380 yards) but was inconsistent and threw another pick. The Giants defense woke up in the second half and that was the difference in the game. Jones protected the football, made big plays when he had to and the defense got nasty in the second half. The formula is written down. Next week we find out if this is a fluke or something to watch.

Panthers 38 Cardinals 20

Kyler Murray went 30/43 for 173 yards, 2 TD's and 2 picks. What can you say? The kid is talented and fun to watch. He is the real deal. No idea of the Cards can surround him with enough talent not to ruin him. The Panthers skill players are electric. RB Christian McCaffrey or WR Curtis Samuel can leave you in a cloud of dust. TE Greg Olsen is the savvy vet. The Defense can shut down the running game and puts pressure on the QB. But their elite QB Cam Newton is a wreck physically and there is real concern he could be on the Andrew Luck path. No worries! QB Kyle Allen went 19/26 for 4 TD's and ZERO picks. I hope Cam can recover his physical ability to throw the ball. I don't think he will. I believe the Kyle Allen era is right around the corner and just may be here now.

Steelers 20 49ers 24

The 49ers let the Steelers hang around in this game. It was not as close as the score indicates. Pittsburgh isn't that good right now. Mason Rudolph was 14/27 for 174 yards, 2 TD's and 1 INT. Pedestrian stats. RB James Conner was 13 carries for 43 yards and no touches with the next best guy being the QB. The 49er running game, however, was solid with two backs posting 79 and 68-yard efforts while Jimmy Garoppolo went 23/32 for 277 yards and 2 INT's.

The Steeler D was tough as nails in the first half tabbing two picks and dictating the pace. The second half was a different story as the Niners found enough groove to put points up and give their team the W. Two ships passing in the night. Two teams, different directions. NFL parity is real.

Saints 33 Seahawks 27

The New Orleans Saints are going to play tough no matter who is at QB. When that QB is Teddy Bridgwater and he and HC Sean Peyton have a week to game plan expect a 19/27 177 yard, 2 TD zero pick one W performance. Alvin Kamar looked hungry against the tough Seahawks defense tabbing 69 yards on the ground. He also got 92 though the air and yes, there is a reason he went so high in many fantasy drafts.

The 'Hawks Russell Wilson was magnificent going 32/50 for 406 yards, 2 TD's and zero picks. The Saints ability to shut down the 'Hawks rushing game was the difference.

Do not stick a fork in the Drew Breeless Saints. They are NOT done.

Texans 27 Chargers 20

Exactly like the Chiefs, Ravens game, PLEASE tell me you saw this contest?!?! Philip Rivers went 31/46 for 318 yards, 2 TD's and no picks. He also converted a 4th and 14 AND a 4th and 2 in the 4th quarter. The man is incredible and he deserves better as drops on perfectly thrown balls, interceptions and untimely penalties doomed the Chargers.

This is NOT to take anything away from Watson and the Texans who were magnificent. Watson went  25/35 for 351 yards and 3 TD's and zero picks. His first half was ok. His second half was un-freaking-believable.

Watching these two QB's was a privilege. Both teams are fatally flawed. The Texans have zero ground game need more talent. The Chargers need Melvin Gordon back in the fold but more importantly, they need to find a way to eliminate their own mistakes. The Boltz have shot themselves in the foot two weeks in a row now.

Rams 20 Browns 13

The game of the day. The LA Rams won the game. The Browns are the team on the upswing. The Rams did everything right except score points. The Browns 5 replacement defense backs shut down the LA passing attack for most of the game. They did "just enough" to win. Goff went 24/38 for 269 yards and 2 TD's BUT he also gave up two picks. Neither Todd Gurley nor Rober Woods were effective as the Browns run D was tight.

Baker Mayfield went 18/36 for 195 yards, 1 TD and 1 pick. Nick Chubb went 23 carries for 96 yards. Mayfield spread the ball around quite nicely and any play the Browns O was able to perform in rhythm went quite nicely. However, if the first read was covered the plays often broke down.

Rams DT Aaron Donald seems to be finding his stride at just the right time. Rookie safety Taylor Rapp had some big plays and seems to be a perfect fit.

Bottom line the Rams seemed to play scared, cautious, tentatively. The Browns, on the other hand, were all swagging and taking shots. The Rams were the better team, but not by much. Sean McVay needs to figure out more about this coaching gig.

Another Left Coast Sports Post

on Twitter: Steven Van Over

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