New England vs. Tampa Bay
Kickers. That is all.
But seriously, it was good to see Doug Martin get back on the field after his suspension. Martin looked fresh and effective against the Patriot defense and performed well. The Patriots looked a bit sloppy in comparison to their normal steady performances. The Bucs had opportunities to win this game even with all the missed field goals but couldn't string together the necessary performance. Jameis Winston is playing a 1 step forward 1 step back game. I keep waiting for him to breakout but he never quite crosses the threshold. I think the Chiefs are the team to beat in the AFC but the Patriots, despite their struggles are still a close second.
San Francisco vs. Indianapolis
It’s a real indictment of Indianapolis’ defense that this game even went to OT. The Colts were up 23-9 in the 4th quarter and the Colts allowed Brian Hoyer to march down the field twice and score. The 49ers were outplayed by the Colts in just about every facet of the game up until that point. It gives me a lot of confidence for the Skins’ chances against them this week. The Colts should be excited about Marlon Mack’s breakout game. I liked Mack as a mid-round option for the Skins during draft season and though he got off to a really slow start the explosive plays he pulled off in this one should get the Colt fanbase excited about a Mack/Gore pairing. With the exception of a near-disastrous interception in OT Jacoby Brissett has filled in decently these past few weeks. With Luck set to come back soon maybe they will win more than 3 games.
New York (Jets) vs. Cleveland
Myles Garrett has arrived. It’s a good thing for Cleveland and they’ll need him if they want to win a game this season. I want to focus in on Hue Jackson and the Deshone Kizer benching though. First, I want to say if you think Kevin Hogan is a better QB at this point that's fair however Jackson screwed this situation up. Why are you drafting a QB high (middle of the second round) starting him, putting him in a bad situation with NO receivers (save for Coleman when he was healthy and Njoku recently), an unreliable running game only to pull him after 4.5 games? What’s worse is that this was a decision made mid-game when the Browns were down just 3 points! It reeks of selfishness and desperation on the part of Jackson in my opinion who I’m sure is on the hot seat to win a game. Hue got shook facing the prospect of going 0-5 and made the move toward Hogan. Keep in mind Kizer was 8/17 with 1 TD when he got pulled. Guess what Hue, you’re 0-5 anyway. This situation is not going to end well because it didn’t start well and I fear that Jackson through his rash decision making will have hurt the development of Kizer and Hogan this year.
Arizona vs. Philadelphia
I’m afraid to say the Eagles are good. With a win this week for the Skins I firmly believe that we can start to say the NFCE will be a battle between the Eagles and the Skins. I have to admit that Carson Wentz fits the Eagle scheme perfectly and he is great at improvisational plays. The defense is great as well. I hope the Skins keep contain on Wentz while still bringing pressure in the next matchup in addition to attacking their your corners. Arizona is terrible. Carson Palmer is at the end of his career and its a bit sad to see their season shape out the way it is. Maybe Adrian Peterson can offer them some balance on offense.
Jacksonville vs. Pittsburgh
I still think Big Ben has something left in the tank. 5 interceptions warrants concern but the Steelers troubles are due to something bigger that’s causing them not to gel. Players are making great individual plays but the cohesiveness on the team is lacking. The play of the game for me though is when Ryan Shazier bullied that Jacksonville receiver and ripped the ball out of his hands before he was down. Speaking of Jacksonville their defense appears legit and is a huge part of why they are off to such a good start considering their past performances. Oh yeah and Leonard Fournette’s performance doesn’t hurt either, that kid was dominant. Both the AFC North and AFC South are up for grabs right now.
New York (Giants) vs. Los Angeles (Chargers)
What a terrible game. Great if you like shootouts and injuries. I love that the Giants are in the basement but I never want a rival to go down like that due to injuries. Now their whole team seems to be in disarray and from the outside looking in it seems Ben McAdoo has lost the locker room. We’ll see how they play in their next game but it doesn’t look good. The Chargers are another bad team but their future on the ground is bright with Melvin Gordon. I think this is the end of the road for Rivers though. I may have mentioned it week 1 or two but I wouldn't be surprised if the Chargers looked to the draft for a new QB or possibly pursue Drew Brees when/if his run in NO comes to an end.
Buffalo vs. Cincinnati
The NFL is pretty tough to evaluate right now. Last week the Bills look legit (I think they still are) and this week the Bengals defeat them after a terrible start. A.J. Green continues to prove he’s a top 3 receiver in the league. He burnt the rookie Tre’Davious White all game long and pretty much carried the Bengal offense on his back. The Bills defense played great all things considered. They picked off Andy Dalton twice but their offense did not carry them to the finish line. Tyrod Taylor simply did not have a good game he struggled to find his main receiving options and their 3rd down efficiency wasn't great. The rushing effort was basic as well. I expect the Bills to bounce back and deliver a more balanced performance in their next outing.
Seattle vs. Los Angeles (Rams)
After questioning the Seattle defense last week they apparently still have “it”. They kept the Rams offensive weapons largely in check all day long and Russell Wilson was able to get Jimmy Graham involved (finally) to get the win. The Rams did have an opportunity to win the game in the 4th quarter and frankly, I’m shocked Kupp dropped that TD in the end zone. That's a catch he makes 9/10 times and he just couldn't come down with it (it happens see?). I’ll tell you one thing though, Sean McVay is letting Jared Goff sling the ball. Goff had 47 attempts this game and when you have that many attempts and are still going through a critical phase of your development it's going to likely produce a couple interceptions like it did for Goff.
Carolina vs. Detroit
Cam Newton is on a hot streak. Newton played his best game of the season thus far and picked apart the Lion defense. Newton made use of nearly all his weapons this game and the Panther offense is better for having diversified itself. The Lions effort was too little too late. Matt Stafford tried to lead a comeback but the Lion defense did not do enough to give him one last chance. I still think the Lions are a legit contender for the NFC North but their defense is going to have to tighten some things up. The Lions also need to develop a consistent run game on the ground to help Stafford out a bit.
Tennessee vs. Miami
I didn't really enjoy watching this game it was a bit boring but I will say the Dolphins defense stepped up and helped win the game with the constant pressure they put on Matt Cassel. I know the Miami team is generally bad but this game showed the Titans have little hope without Mariota under center. The Titans have an ugly product without him.
Baltimore vs. Oakland
Similar to the above the Raiders have no chance without Derek Carr. The Raiders also have other issues but E.J. Manuel under center isn’t going to cut it (though he did make a great through to Michael Crabtree for a touchdown). The Ravens took advantage of a struggling Oakland team. Joe Flacco looked more consistent though his stat line was meh. What really carried the Ravens was their running game. Buck Allen and Alex Collins combined for over 120 yards and the Raven defense kept Marshawn Lynch and the other Raider receivers in check. I’m ready to say the Raiders won't be winning the AFC West this year.
Green Bay vs. Dallas
Thank God for Aaron Rodgers and his clutch factor always being on 100.
Chiefs vs. Texans
Another game with major injuries. Its tough to see Watt and Mercilus go down in this one and the Texans will surely struggle as a result. Their success was operating a balanced offense with rookie Deshaun Watson but their defense is what solidified wins for them. Now that the defense is banged up I see a tough road ahead for the rookie who undoubtedly will be put in more situations to try and get the team a win from behind. I still think he is very good - he made some incredible throws. There is no question that the Chiefs are the best team in football. They are too well balanced when one segment of the team drops off other comes in and picks up the slack.
Minnesota vs. Chicago
The Mitchell Trubisky era starts off with an L. I know Bears fans were saying anyone but Glennon a week ago but I think they should temper their expectations of the rookie. We have to remember that Trubisky is a pretty inexperienced QB to begin with and his struggles will be major. I thought this was pretty good performance out of him up against a good defense. He still has a lot to learn and I hope fans are up for the experience of watching him develop.
I love when a punter throws a touchdown!
The Vikings struggled as well and had to pull Sam Bradford who was obviously ailing. Their biggest offensive asset suffered for it as Stefon Diggs was a nonfactor. They could have easily blown this if not for the key interception from Harrison Smith.