NFL Nutshell: Week 3

26 09 2011

New England 31, Buffalo 34

The Patriots jumped out to a fast 21-0 lead, but the Bills fought their way back and won on a field goal as time expired. Tom Brady had an interesting day throwing 4 touchdown passes, but also throwing 4 interceptions (matching his interception total for the 2010 season). New England had won 15 straight against Buffalo dating back to 2003 and 20 of the past 21. The Bills are now the only undefeated AFC team and look to continue their success after a decade of mediocrity.

Detroit 26, Minnesota 23 (OT)

In a divisional match-up between two 2-0 teams, the Vikings went into halftime with a 20-0 lead. However, the Lions came out firing in the second half, pushed the game into overtime, and won on a Jason Hanson field goal. Second-year quarterback Matthew Stafford had a great second half and ended the day with 378 yards, 2 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Hopefully no injuries will derail his and the Lions great start. This was this first time since 1997 that they have won at Minnesota, and Detroit is now 3-0 for the first time since 1980.

NY Giants 29, Philadelphia 16

Eli Manning had a really good day throwing for 4 touchdowns, and the Giants sent the much-heralded Eagles to a 1-2 start. After this game, the Eagles are now giving up 131.3 rushing yards per game, which is 30th in the league. The big news, though, is that the already banged-up Vick broke his hand and had to leave the game. The NFC East rivalries have always been pretty intense, and this year is proving to be no different.

Houston 33, New Orleans 40

In a game not exactly dominated by defense, the Saints were able to get the best of the Texans who were trying to go 3-0 for the first time ever. Drew Brees threw 3 second-half touchdowns, and Mark Ingram ran for his first career NFL touchdown. Matt Schaub threw for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Ben Tate continued to efficiently fill in some big shoes at the running back position. Nonetheless, the Texans had to settle for field goals four times after getting into the red zone, and the lack of touchdowns ultimately doomed their chances.

Monday Night Football:

Washington vs. Dallas – 7:30 P.M. CT

This NFC East rivalry will only be heightened by its placement on Monday Night Football. The biggest question about the game is in regard to Tony Romo and how he will perform with his fractured rib and punctured lung. I believe it won’t be an overwhelming factor based on his play once he came back in the 49ers game; he knows how to push through an injury. Even though there is a lot of press about DeAngelo Hall’s proclamation to attack the injuries of Romo and Felix Jones, I don’t take much from this statement. Attacking opponents’ weaknesses is something many athletes are taught, and the Cowboys will be prepared. Aside from this, I think the 143 yards and 3 touchdowns that Miles Austin gathered in last week’s win was huge for the ‘Boys and is going to be difficult to match this week without Austin in the game because of a hamstring injury. But if Dez Bryant, who has been reported to be active today, does indeed play, he will need to establish his footing early and play like he did in the first half of the season opener. There are still a couple of things that need to be noted. Dallas’s running game needs to be established, and that starts with Felix Jones. Being 30th in the league in team rushing is simply not good enough to be truly competitive. Also, this young offensive line is going to have their hardest task to date, since it is especially necessary to protect the injured Romo today. They’ve had two full games to work together, so now it’s time for them to show whether their youth is a pro or con. The Redskins (2-0) have been throwing and running the ball quite well. Rex Grossman and Tim Hightower have both been surpassing expectations so far. Brian Orakpo has also taken a leadership role with the defense and has been pushing them along. However, the Redskins have not been 3-0 since 2005, and I have a hard time seeing that 3-0 happening this year. Being in JerryWorld for the first time this season, I think this is a game where the Dallas defense will show off what it’s made of. Rob Ryan has created a D that is giving up only 59.5 rushing yards per game, which is second in the league. He is going to unleash many different schemes, using league-leading sacker Demarcus Ware to his advantage to catch Grossman off guard in the pocket, and it will be too much for the Redskins to handle. Pick: Dallas.




One response

26 09 2011

Even though Houston played pretty well offensively against the Saints, the fact that they couldn’t finish drives kind of scares me because this team has a history of under-achieving. The CBS broadcasters were saying that they Texans still were “learning how to win” and should look at the game from a positive perspective. The nucleus of this team has been together too long and is way too good for that. They need to win these types of games.

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