NFL 2015 Week 3 Recap

NFL 2015 Week 3 Recap

Washington Redskins at New York Giants was the Thursday night game. Pope Francis quickly fled DC for NYC after firing a Papal assistant for erroneously telling the Pontiff that the game was in Washington. The Pope landed in JFK & is was transported to the Meadowlands in time for kickoff.

Everyone knew Pope Francis would finish mass by 8pm. He knows Thursday Night Football kicks off a bit after 8:30pm. Football: Our other religion.

While Pope Francis pleaded for peace, some conflicts can only be solved through violence. As soon as Thursday Night Football kicked off, the Giants and Redskins were ready to hit each other.

Football Encyclical: When you block a punt, you have a moral obligation to deck the punter. Rashad Jennings got threw with the block for a safety and an early 2-0 Giants lead. Father Tom Coughlin was so pleased that he almost smiled.

Football Encyclical: Avoid traffic around the Pope. Do not throw into traffic near a Prince. Kirk Cousins threw it right to Prince Amukamura for a red zone interception. Taking over at the Washington 14, Williams got in from one yard out to make it 9-0 Giants. The Giants got the ball back and moved to the red zone but incompletions by Eli Manning hand the Giants settling for a 34 yard Josh Brown field goal and a 12-0 lead.

In the second quarter the Redskins finally got on the board with a 44 yard field goal to trail 12-3. The Giants moved the ball with ease back into the red zone. However, a perfectly thrown pass on 3rd and 7 to a wide open receiver in the middle of the field was dropped inside the Washington 10. The Giants settled for another field goal to lead 15-3. With 2 minutes left in the half the Redskins again reached the red zone. Facing an unimpeded blitz, Cousins under threw a wide open receiver. The Redskins again settled for a 37 yard Dustin Hopkins field goal to trail 15-6.

The Giants got the ball to start the third quarter and held it for 7 1/2 minutes. After converting a 4th and 1, a 3rd down pass was dropped. Josh Brown hit his third field goal from 48. The Giants led 18-6 but still had not put the game away.

A promising Redskins drive ended when a ball was batted and hung in the air forever, allowing for an interception. The Giants soon faced 3rd and 9 from midfield. Manning threw incomplete, but illegal contact on the defense kept the drive going. For the third straight week, the Giants took a double digit lead into the fourth quarter. This time they needed to finish a game. This time early in the fourth quarter they went for the kill shot and got it as Manning went deep to Odell Beckham Jr. for a 30 yard touchdown and a 25-6 Giants lead.

The Redskins moved to a critical 4th and 1 at the Giants 7 with 9 1/2 minutes left in regulation. Jones got the carry and went around the end for what seemed like a sure touchdown. At the very least, he had the first down. Yet Jones got hit and fumbled the ball. The Redskins thought they had a touchdown, but instead it was a touchback.

The Redskins got it back at their own 26, their best starting field position of the night. Cousins was quickly dropped for an 11 yard loss. Not only was it the first sack of the game, but the first sack for the Giants all season. Twice the Redskins faced fourth and long from their own side of the field and twice they just barely converted. After having a fumble overturned and ruled an incomplete pass, the Redskins finally cracked the end zone with 3:40 to play. The 2 point conversion succeeded as the Redskins were within 25-14. Adding fuel to the fire was that the receiver may have been down short of the goal but the refs did not review the score.

The onside kick bounced off a Giants player but somehow ended up straight in the arms of another member of Big Blue. The Giants soon faced 3rd and 10 from the Washington 41 with 3 1/2 minutes left and the Redskins out of timeouts. Rather than play it safe and kill more clock, Tom Coughlin decided to go for it all. Manning went deep to Reuben Randle, who outleaped a defender, juggled the ball, and hauled it in for the clinching touchdown.

Nevertheless, the 2015 Giants do not seem to make anything easy. The ensuing kickoff was returned 100 yards for a Redskins touchdown. With 3:08 left the Redskins were again within 11. Another well done onside kick again saw the Redskins not get to it in time as it went out of bounds. Again on 3rd and long at the 2 minute warning the Giants threw the ball rather than take 45 seconds off the clock. Manning threw incomplete.

In the game that would never end, Cousins threw incomplete on 4th and 4 from the Washington 26. yet defensive pass interference kept Washington alive with 49 seconds left. 49 was also the number of passes Cousins had thrown with 4 seconds left. From the Giants 40, rather than try another Hail Mary, Jay Gruden called a running play that gained 25 yards. The Redskins went out with a whimper as both teams are 1-2 in the very winnable NFC Least. 32-21 Giants

Atlanta Falcons at Dallas Cowboys — The Cowboys struck only one minute into the game as Randle broke free for a 37 yard touchdown run for a 7-0 Cowboys lead. With Tony Romo and Dez Bryant out injured, Brandon Weeden got the job done early by handing the ball off to Randle. He got in from one yard out as Dallas built a quick 14-0 lead. Matt Ryan came back and led the Falcons 80 yards, as a 3 yard touchdown run by Freeman got the Falcons within 14-7.

In the second quarter Darren McFadden ran for a 2 yard touchdown to make it 21-7 Cowboys. The Cowboys got it back but Weeden was quickly intercepted, setting up the Falcons at the Dallas 23. On 3rd and goal from the 2, Freeman got in to get the Falcons within 21-14. The Cowboys came right back with 80 yards of their own and again it was Randle getting the last yard to make it 28-14 Cowboys just before the half.

Yet after a touchback the Falcons still had 40 seconds to work with. Matty Ice led the Falcons to 2nd and 1 at the Dallas 14 with 11 seconds left. Ryan threw incomplete, and with 5 seconds left on third down, Dan Quinn opted for the field goal. Matt Bryant hit the 32 yarder as the Falcons trailed 28-17 at the break.

In the third quarter Ryan went to Julio Jones for a 45 yard touchdown as the successful 2 point conversion capped the 87 yard drive and got the Falcons within 28-25. In the fourth quarter the Falcons moved 89 yards in 11 plays in 7 minutes. Freeman got in from the 7 as 18 straight unanswered points had the Falcons up 32-28.

Atlanta got it back at their own 38 and Ryan moved them 62 yards in 11 plays in 6 minutes. A 2 yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Jones on 3rd and goal meant 25 unanswered Atlanta points and an 11 point Falcons lead with only 3 minutes left to play. The Falcons at 3-0 are still a question mark but the Cowboys losing their first game know that without their playmakers they are in deep trouble. 39-28 Falcons

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans — With the 0-2 colts drowning in controversy, a loss could lead to the team imploding. Frank Gore got in from the one to make it 7-0 Colts. In the second quarter Marcus Mariota was intercepted by Lowery, who returned the pick 69 yards the other way for a 14-0 Colts lead.

Mariota is only in his third NFL game, and he remains very poised. After his mistake he settled down, leading the Titans to a 38 yard Ryan Succop field goal to get on the board. Mariota then led a 13 play, 83 yard, 6 minute drive that ended with a 7 yard touchdown pass to Wright as the Titans only trailed 14-10 at halftime.

In the third quarter the Titans got the ball after a punt at their own 34 and Mariota moved the Titans easily. Andrews ran around the end for an 8 yard touchdown as the Titans led 17-14. After a touchback, Luck’s struggles continued as he was quickly intercepted. Patrick Cox returned the pick 27 yards to the Indy 3. One play later Mariota hit Green-Beckham for the 24-14 Titans lead.

Midway through the third quarter Luck was intercepted again by Zac Brown, who returned it 45 yards to the Indy 13. On 4th and 1 from the 4, Ken Whisenhunt decided to go for it, and Fowler gained 3 down to the one. Yet after an incompletion, 2 runs each lost a yard. Succop hit the 21 yarder as the Titans led 27-14 but did not close the door.

With 13 minutes left in regulation the Titans were on the move again, facing 3rd and 9 at the Indy 34. Mariota then made a rookie mistake. He took a sack, moving the Titans out of field goal range. A great punt punned the Colts back to their own 2 yard line.

Luck methodically moved the Colts, but midway through the third quarter, a sack of Luck meant 3rd and 20 at the Titans 35. Luck went deep to Dorsett for a touchdown as the Colts snapped 27 unanswered points to get within 27-21. Two plays later Mariota was quickly intercepted and Lowery returned in 26 yards to the Titans 11. One play later Luck hit Donte Moncrief for the touchdown as the Colts led 28-27 with 6 minutes left in regulation.

Tennessee went 3 and out and the Colts took over at their own 31. From midfield, Gore broke off a 25 yard run with 10 more tacked on for a penalty. On 3rd and 1 from the 6 with 3 minutes left, Gore got in to put the Titans up 35–27.

Now it was the Titans trying to deal with 21 unanswered points in this game of wild swings. Aided by a critical roughing the passer penalty and other defensive penalties, Fowler ran it in from one yard out to get the Titans within 2 points. The tying 2 point conversion try saw Mariota throw incomplete, but yet another defensive penalty gave the Titans another shot. From the one, Fowler got the carry. This time he got nothing as the Colts saved their season from the brink with a tough comeback win. 35-33 Colts


Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns — The Browns surprised the NFL by sending Johnny Manziel back to the bench in favor of Josh McCown, who passed the concussion tests. Meanwhile, Derek Carr came out throwing. Despite having no success running on the opening drive, Carr passed the Raiders to a first and goal. Unfortunately a couple runs were followed by an incomplete pass as the Raiders settled for a 23 yard Sebastian Janikowski field goal.

The Raiders have no running game, as Latavius Murray’s first 7 carries went for a total of one yard. Meanwhile, a 3rd and 3 pass by Carr was just dropped. In the second quarter Jack Del Rio went to the bag of tricks after a touchback. Yet rather than a long gain, offensive pass interference followed by a false start backed the inept Raiders back to their own 5 yard line.

Luckily for the Raiders, the Browns were equally inept. A running into the kicker penalty had the Raiders at midfield. Despite penalties galore on both sides, Carr found Amari Cooper in the seam for a 40 yard gain down to the Cleveland 15. On 3rd and 3 from the 8, this time a run up the middle got the first down. Carr fired to Andre Holmes for a 3 yard touchdown and a 10-0 Raiders lead with 6:45 left in the half. The 11 play, 80 yard, 5 1/2 minute drive gave the Oakland defense some needed rest.

With the Browns facing 3rd and 14 at their own 16, McCown found Barnidge for a 40 yard gain. On 3rd and 10 from the Oakland 44, McCown again fired complete to Barnidge for a 15 yard gain. After a run lost 6 yards, McCown fired complete again for another first down at the Oakland 18. Another run had the Raiders in full retreat and the ball at the one. Jack Del Rio could have challenged that the runner fumbled the ball for a touchback but decided not to at the 2 minute warning.

On 3rd and goal from the one the Browns ran into a Silver and Black brick wall. On 4th and goal Mike Pettine decided to go for it. Macon fumbled the snap out of the shotgun but a false start negated the play anyway and moved the Browns back to the 6. The Raiders had again dodged a bullet in holding the Browns to a 24 yard field goal.

The defense bent but did not break. now it was up to the offense to get to the half without giving away points. These are not the same Raiders. From the Oakland 30, Murray ripped off a 20 yard run to midfield. Carr found last week’s hero Seth Roberts for a 36 yard gain. On 3rd and 9 from the 13, Carr threw a fade to the corner of the end zone and Roberts came down with it. With only 18 seconds left in the half, the Raiders had a 17-3 lead.

In the third quarter the Browns went 3 and out as this time the Raiders did not give up a 3rd and long conversion on defense. Yet standout rookie receiver Cooper had a mental meltdown on special teams. After fumbling the punt at the 15, Cooper tried to make something happen. He ended up losing 7 yards back to the Oakland 8.

From the 13, Murray broke off a 54 yard run to the Cleveland 33. Give Jack Del Rio credit for sticking with the run despite miserable early results. On 3rd and 1 from the 24, Murray gained 4. The Raiders settled for a 35 yard Seabass field goal, but they led 20-3 with 9 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. Now this young team had to see if it could finish a game.

Cleveland kept drinking and dunking but the Raiders defense could not get off the field. On 3rd and 2 from their own 28, McCown found Brad Hardline for 10 yards. Jack Del Rio challenged the catch and lost. On 3rd and 2 from the Cleveland 46, McCown threw incomplete. Yet Pettine decided to go for it on 4th and 2 and hit Barnidge for 6. On 3rd and 8 from the Oakland 46, McCown found Barnidge for 9. On 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 28, McCown rolled out and found Barnidge again, this time for the touchdown. With 4 minutes left in the third quarter the Raiders only led 20-10. The defense did not close the door. Now it was up to the offense to not go into a shell.

On 2nd and 7 from the Oakland 23, a short pass to Marcel Reece turned into a 55 yard gain when Reece bounced off two tacklers and churned forward. he stumbled and lost balance, preventing a touchdown on the play. On 3rd and 1 from the 13, Murray gained 5. The Raiders began the fourth quarter with 1st and goal at the 8. Murray ran it in from 6 yards out to make it 27-10 Raiders.

The Browns soon faced 3rd and 17 at their own 13 but again McCown came up big with a 41 yard completion to Hardline. After a pair of incompletions the Browns faced 3rd and 10 at the Oakland 19. This time Khalil Mack forced a fumble. Needing 3 scores, Pettine opted for the field goal on 4th and 14 as Coons hit from 41 to get the Browns within 27-13 with 11 minutes left in regulation.

Carr came out throwing after a touchback, hitting Cooper for a 17 yard gain. Yet on 3rd and 11 from the Oakland 36, a short completion to Cooper resulted in a fumble. With 9 minutes left the Browns had the ball on the Oakland 44. Again, the Raiders had not closed out a game.

The Raiders wilted on defense and McCown found Benjamin for a 4 yard touchdown. A 17 point lead for the Silver and Black was now only 7 points. They were in full meltdown mode. On offense, the Raiders quickly killed their own drive with an offensive holding penalty. On 4th and 7 from their own 23, they had to punt with 4 minutes left. Now the Browns had a chance to tie the game. Maybe these were the same old Raiders who have not been to the playoffs since 2002.

The only thing saving the Raiders was that the Browns are the same old Browns who also have not been to the playoffs since 2002. The Browns fumbled the punt and the Raiders recovered at the Cleveland 43. One first down meant field goal range and a chance to finally put the game away. Then came two very curious decisions, one of them maddeningly awful.

On 3rd and 5 from the Cleveland 38 with 2 1/2 minutes to play, another run would have either taken the clock to the 2 minute warning or forced Cleveland to burn another timeout. Instead Del Rio called a pass play. It is one thing to trust your quarterback who clearly deserves it. It is another to just make the wrong call. Carr threw incomplete.

On 4th and 5, Seabass was brought in for a 56 yard field goal. Yes this was high risk, but Seabass has been doing this for 15 years. Then Del Rio changed his mind. One play after getting overly aggressive, this time he decided to play it safe and punt. One play after going for the win, he decided to play not to lose. Del Rio appeared bailed out when Marquette King nailed a perfect punt that was downed at the Cleveland one yard line. Petting challenged that it was a touchback and lost. With 2:26 to play, the Browns were 99 yards away. Yet with 2 timeouts and the 2 minute warning, that was plenty of time for McCown against the collapsing Oakland defense.

At the 2 minute warning the Browns had 3rd and 5 at their own 17. mcCown found Hardline for 19 yards. Macon continued picking the Raiders apart as the Browns faced 2nd and 8 from the Oakland 29 with 49 seconds left. This time McCown was sacked for a 6 yard loss as the Browns took their last timeout. Macon had killed the Raiders on 3rd down, and again he went deep for what could have been the tying score. 

Not this time. Old Man Charles Woodson has been doing this for 18 years. He intercepted the ball at the 12 and did a spectacular job of getting his feet down inbounds. It took far longer than necessary, but the Raiders snapped their streak of 11 straight road losses. They are now 2-1.

McCown finished 28 of 49 for 341 yards while Carr was 20 of 32 for 314 yards. both quarterbacks had 2 touchdown passes but the difference was Carr was not intercepted while McCown had his one interception when it mattered most. Latavius Murray shook off a horrendous start to finish with 139 yards on 26 carries. Amari Cooper had 8 catches for 134 yards.

The Raiders have to improve in terms of penalties. They were flagged 12 times for 85 yards. It was an ugly win, but the Raiders have not been anything for quite some time. If ever there was a day to summon up the ghost of Al Davis, this was it. Just win baby. 27-20 Raiders

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens — Red Rifle Andy Dalton quickly led Cincinnati on a 10 play, 67 yard, 5 1 /2 minute drive. Dalton got the final 7 yards himself for the 7-0 Bengals lead. In the second quarter Joe Flacco was intercepted by Adam Pacman Jones, setting up the Bengals at the Baltimore 30. Dalton threw a 16 yard touchdown to make it 14-0 Bengals.

In the third quarter the Ravens got to within 14-7 when Joe Flacco hit Steve Smith for a 50 yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter Flacco led a 12 play, 62 yard, 6 minute drive. Yet on 3rd and goal from the 2, Flacco threw incomplete. Only 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, John Harbaugh decided against going for the tie game. Justin Tucker hit the 21 yarder as the Ravens trailed 14-10.

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Bengals faced 3rd and 6 at their own 44. Dalton was sacked and fumbled, and Moseley picked it up and raced 41 yards for a Ravens touchdown. Just like that, the Ravens had the 17-14 lead.

Give Dalton the character award. One play after a touchback, Dalton shrugged off his mistake and fired to AJ Green for an 80 yard touchdown. Just like that, the Bengals were back on top 21-17.

Flake has character himself, and he quickly moved the Ravens 79 yards. A 16 yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith had the Ravens up 24-21 with 4 minutes left. Now it was up to the defense.

This is not the Ravens defense Americans have been accustomed to. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are retired. Terrell Suggs is out for the year injured. Dalton hit Bernard for 23, Sanu for 19 and Green for the 7 yard touchdown as the Bengals retook the lead again by 4 with 2:10 to play.

The Ravens after a pair of Flacco incompletions soon faced 4th and 3 at their own 27. Flake hit Smith for 4, but an offensive face mask penalty instead meant 4th and 17. After an incompletion, the Bengals took over at the Baltimore 13 with 1:35 left. With 6 seconds left and the Bengals facing 4th and 5 at the 8, Marvin Lewis decided not to risk a field goal block. A play that did not use the full 6 seconds would still give the Ravens an improbable try at a win. Bernard got the carry and used up exactly 6 seconds as well as getting the 5 yards. The Bengals really are 3-0 and the Ravens really are 0-3 and in deep trouble. 28-24 Bengals

Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots — The biggest paper mismatch of the day had Tom Brady throwing a 43 yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski for a 7-0 Patriots lead.  The Patriots got it back and moved down the field again. This time they settled for a 46 yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal to lead 10-0.

In the second quarter the Jaguars tried to keep the Patriots offense off the field. A 17 play drive consumed almost 8 1/2 minutes but moved only 58 yards as the Jaguars settled for a 40 yard field goal to trail 10-3. The Patriots came back with  14 play, 78 yard, 6 minute drive that could not get past the Jacksonville 2. Gostkowski hit the 20 yarder to make it 13-3 Patriots.

At the 2 minute warning the Jaguars had 1st and 10 at the New England 45. Blake Bortles went deep and was intercepted by McCourty, who returned it 27 yards to the Patriots 43. Brady rapidly moved the Patriots down the field. With 22 seconds left from the one, Brady fired to Danny Amendola for Brady’s 400th career touchdown pass and a 20-3 Patriots lead.

In the third quarter Gostkowski hit from 46 to make it 23-3 Patriots. Things then got uglier. On 1st and 20 form their own 23, Brady went deep and drew a 52 yard defensive pass interference penalty. On the next play Brady went deep and had an interception returned 82 yards. Yet that was waived off by another defensive pass interference call that instead put the ball on the Jacksonville one. LaGuerrette Blount ran it in to make it 30-3 Patriots.

Bortles finally threw a 59 yard touchdown pass but this game was over as Brady found Martin for a 13 yard touchdown to make it 37-10 Patriots. Late in the third quarter facing 4th and 8 from their own 22, Gus Bradley decided to try a fake punt that gained only 2 yards. On the first play of the fourth quarter Blount got in from one yard out to make it 44-10 Patriots.

Blount repeated his one yard score later on as Brady led a mind-numbing 17 play drive that consumed nearly 10 minutes off the clock while only moving 58 yards. That was enough to make it 51-10. Jacksonville got a garbage touchdown, but the 3-0 Patriots are determined to be the only Super Bowl champion to still be out for revenge. Brady finished 33 of 42 for 358 yards and 2 touchdowns without an interception. 51-17 Patriots

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers — The 0-2 Saints seemed finished with the news that Drew Brees was injured at least for this week and maybe longer. Yet it was backup Luke McCown who led the saints to a 30 yard Zack Hocker field goal and a 3-0 Saints lead. The Panthers moved to a 2nd and 8 at the Saints 37 when Cam Newton threw incomplete twice. Riverboat Ron Rivera decided not to gamble on the 55 yard field goal, punting instead.

The Saints took over at their own 6, but it was McCown who led the Saints on a staggering 16 play, 94 yard drive that consumed over 9 minutes off the clock. Mark Ingram got in from 5 yards out to make it 10-0 Saints. The Panthers got to within 10-7 when Newton hit Cam Olsen from 11 yards out.

With 2:06 left in the half the Panthers took over at their own 19. Newton quickly went deep to Olsen for a 52 yard gain. on 4th and 1 from the 20, Newton got the yard. Yet with 14 seconds left in the half on 1st and goal from the 2, Newton threw incomplete twice. With 4 seconds left, Rivera took no chances on 3rd down. Gano hit the 20 yard field goal to tie the game 10-10.

In the third quarter the Saints reclaimed the 16-10 lead when Murphy returned a punt 74 yards for a score. The extra point try failed. The Panthers retook the lead after moving 83 yards and having Newton again hit Olsen for an 11 yard touchdown to make it 17-16 Panthers. Gano tacked on a 47 yard field goal to make it 20-16 Panthers.

In the fourth quarter Newton moved Carolina 88 yards and ran for final 13 yards himself to give the Panthers some breathing room up 27-16. McCown brought the Panthers back, and Robinson got in from 2 yards out. The 2 point try failed but the Saints were within 5 with a full 5 minutes left in regulation.

Carolina went 3 and out and the Saints got it back at their 29 with 3:50 to play. McCown moved them down the field. With 1:17 to play the Saints faced 3rd and 6 at the Carolina 23. McCown went for it all and was intercepted in the end zone.

Carolina survived to become a very shaky 3-0 while the Saints showed a ton of heart but fell to 0-3. McCown played very well, going 31 of 38 for 310 yards. He did not have a touchdown pass and threw his one interception at the end. Newton also played well, going 20 of 31 for 315 yards and 2 touchdown passes as well as one touchdown run. Newton was not intercepted. This may be the official end of the Saints mini-dynasty. 27-22 Panthers

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets — The suddenly inept Philly offense needed a Papal miracle against the suddenly revitalized Gang Green Jets defense. DeMarco Murray was out, yet it was Parkey with a 30 yard field goal who got the Eagles on the board first.

In the second quarter Darren Sproles returned a punt 89 yards for a touchdown to make it 10-0 Eagles. Then Sam Bradford capped a 75 yard drive with a 23 yard touchdown pass to Ryan Mathews to make it 17-0. A Jets fumble had the Eagles at the Jets 36. On 3rd and goal from the one Sproles got in to make it 24-0 Eagles.

The Jets got it back at their own 21 with 2:06 left in the half. Ryan Fitzpatrick finally got the Jets offense moving. with 12 seconds left in the half from the Philly 16, Fitzpatrick hit Brandon Marshall for the touchdown as the Jets trailed 24-7 at intermission.

By the time the game was over, Ryan Fitzpatrick would have thrown 58 passes, completing 35 of them for 283 yards and 2 touchdowns, but also 3 costly interceptions. Sam Bradford was the epitome of a game manager, completing only 14 of 28 passes for 118 yards and one touchdown. However, Bradford was not intercepted. The Philly offense went into a shell in the second half while the Jets could not overcome their first half disaster.

After a scoreless third quarter, Fitzpatrick capped off a 16 play, 81 yard drive that took 8 minutes off the clock. Fitzpatrick hit Kerley for a 7 yard touchdown but the Jets still trailed 24-14 with 9 1/2 minutes left.

The Eagles fumbled the ball away to give the Jets the ball at the Philly 41. Yet Fitzpatrick was intercepted as the Jets wasted the chance. The Jets got it back and moved to the Philly 37, but Fitzpatrick was intercepted yet again with 3 1/2 minutes left.

The Eagles again did nothing on offense and a short punt gave the Jets the ball just past midfield. With 2 1/2 minutes left Nick Folk drilled a 53 yard field goal to get the Jets within 7. With the Jets out of timeouts, the eagles tried to give the game away with successive offensive penalties. With 1:14 to play the Eagles faced 3rd and 16 at their own 46. A give up run up the middle should have meant a punt with 30 seconds left. Instead illegal use of hands on the defense meant the Jets were done.

Maybe the Pope saved Chip Kelly from being burned in effigy for one more week. Either way, the Eagles are not 0-3. Meanwhile, the Jets had a golden chance to go 3-0 and calm the doubters. The Jets are improved, but not at the next level just yet. 24-17 Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans — Ryan Mallett hit Hopkins for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 Texans early. The Buccaneers got on the board in the second quarter when Brindza level a 58 yard field goal to get the Buccaneers within 7-3. An interception of Mallett had the Buccaneers at the Houston 26. After moving backward, James Winston hit Sims for a 32 yard touchdown to make it 9-7 Buccaneers with 4 minutes left in the half after a failed extra point.

In the third quarter Ryan Bullock hit a 34 yard field goal to make it 10-9 Buccaneers. An ugly game saw Brindza, who earlier drilled one from Mars, miss from up close. His 33 yard miss with 11 minutes left swung momentum. Houston moved 77 yards as Alfred Blue ran for a 20 yard touchdown. The extra point try failed but with 9 minutes left the Texans led 16-9.

The Buccaneers went 3 and out and the Texans got it back at their own 23 with 8 minutes left to play. On 3rd and 7, Mallett hit Nate Washington for 11. On 3rd and 10 just shy of midfield, Mallett threw incomplete but was bailed out by defensive pass interference. On 3rd and 1 from the Tampa 21, Prosch gained 16. At the 2 minute warning the Texans faced 3rd and goal at the 2. Prosch got one yard as the time ticked off. On 4th and goal at the one with 1:15 to play, Bullock hit the 19 yard field goal to lock up the win. 19-9 Texans

San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings — Early on this was an ugly game. Teddy Bridgewater was intercepted. Then Philip Rivers was sacked and fumbled, giving the Vikings the ball at the san Diego 13. Minnesota did nothing and settled for a 24 yard Blair Walsh field goal to lead 3-0. In the second quarter the Vikings moved 67 yards in 11 plays and 5 1/2 minutes. Adrian Peterson got the final deuce on the ground to make it 10-0 Vikings.

In the third quarter a shanked 20 yard punt had the Vikings starting at the San Diego 43. One play from scrimmage was enough for Peterson to get all the way to the end zone for a 17-7 Vikings advantage. The Vikings got it back and had a back-breaking 16 play, 86 yard drive that took almost 7 1/2 minutes. Zack Line got in from the one to make it 24-7 Vikings.

Early in the fourth quarter the Chargers faced 3rd and 10 at the Minnesota 14. Rivers was intercepted by Greenway, who went 91 yards the other way for the icing on the cake as the Vikings led 31-7. San Diego would get a garbage touchdown to close out the scoring. Teddy Bridgewater was only 13 of 24 for 121 yards, 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. Yet he had Adrian Peterson running for 126 yards on 20 carries for 2 touchdowns. Peterson is rested and ticked off. 31-14 Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers at St. Louis Rams — The Steelers began with a 13 play, 77 yard drive that consumed over half the opening quarter. Yet despite 2nd and goal at the 2, the Steelers lost a yard and settled for a 21 yard Josh Scobee field goal. In the second quarter Big Ben Roethlisberger led a 12 play, 92 yard drive that took 6 minutes. LeVeon Bell got the last yard as the Steelers led 9-0 after the failed 2 point try. Greg Zuerlein hit a 49 yard field goal as the Rams trailed 9-3 at halftime.

Roethlisberger finished 20 of 24 for 192 yards while Foles was 19 of 28 for 197 yards. Neither quarterback had a touchdown pass and both signal callers were intercepted once. The second half was a defensive slog.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Rams moved into the red zone in the fourth quarter. Yet from the Pittsburgh 9, a couple of killer false start penalties kept the Rams from the end zone and the lead. Zuerlein hit from 27 as the Rams were within 9-6 with 5 1/2 minutes to play.

The Rams got it back at their 17 with 3 minutes left with a chance to win or tie things. Instead, Foles was quickly intercepted. The defense held the Steelers to a 41 yard Scobee field goal. The Rams got it back at their own 21 with 1:51 left, still with a shot to win it. On 4th and 5 from the Rams 39, Foles fired to Kenny Britt for a 7 yard gain with 1:15 left. Yet on further review, the call was reversed incomplete and the Rams again went down to a tough defeat. Meanwhile, the Steelers are winning with pure grit. The road will be even tougher since Roethlisberger injured his knee in the game and will be out 4-6 weeks. Michael Vick is the backup. 12-6 Steelers

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals — The Arizona Cardinals really are this good. The San Francisco 49ers really are this bad. In the first quarter Colin Kaepernick completed touchdown passes to Bethel and Mathieu, who both play for the Arizona defense. Bethel returned his 21 yards to the house and Mathieu went 33 yards to pay dirt for a 14-0 Cardinals lead after the first quarter.

The Cardinals also have an offense, and Carson Palmer is still healthy. A pair of 81 yard drives in the second quarter resulted in touchdown runs of 6 and 1 yard by Johnson as the Cardinals led 28-0.

With the Cardinals dominating on offense and defense, the 49ers got a ray of hope on special teams with a 37 yard punt return to the Arizona 19. Kaepernick ran it in from 12 yards out to get the 49ers on the board with just over 2 minutes left in the half. From the San Francisco 44, Palmer went deep and was intercepted with one minute left in the half. Yet Kaepernick threw his third interception as the Cardinals got it back at the San Francisco 25 with 30 seconds left.

That was enough for Catanzaro to hit a 22 yard field goal. Palmer was 14 for 24 for 201 yards and one interception. Kaepernick was 5 of 9 for 33 yards and three interceptions. Neither quarterback threw a touchdown pass, but the Cardinals led 31-7, and it was only halftime.

On the first play of the third quarter, Kaepernick threw his fourth interception. Palmer threw a 4 yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald to make it 38-7 Cardinals. Even when the Cardinals punted, the 49ers were pinned at their own 1. Carlos Hyde was tackled for a safety. The Cardinals led 40-7. In the fourth quarter Palmer led a 13 play, 79 yard drive that consumed almost 8 minutes. Palmer hit Fitzgerald for an 8 yard touchdown as even Jim Tomsula begged the 49ers ownership to bring back Jim Harbaugh. 47-7 Cardinals

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins — After laying an egg at home against New England, Rex Ryan’s defense went on the road and smacked around a soft Miami team that paid Ndamokung Suh 100 million dollars to get tougher. Tyron Taylor easily moved the Bills on drives of 77 and 81 yards in the first quarter. Taylor hit Clay for a 25 yard touchdown and LsSean McCoy for a 10 yard score for a quick 14-0 Bills lead. In the second quarter Dan Carpenter tacked on a 26 yard field goal, the closest thing to Miami resistance.

With 1:53 left in the half and the Dolphins with 3rd and 10 at the Buffalo 47, Rex Ryan sent the house. It was a jailbreak, and Ray Lewis had to be smiling at home. Ryan Tannehill was intercepted by Brown, who raced 43 yards for a touchdown and a 24-0 lead. Less than one minute remained in the half, but that was enough time for Tannehill to be intercepted again. Carpenter hit a 51 yarder to end the half. Joe Philbin was allowed to finish coaching the game as the Bills dominated with a 27-0 lead.

Tannehill did throw a third quarter touchdown pass but Taylor responded on the first play of the fourth quarter. A 38 yard touchdown toss to Hogan capped an 80 yard drive and made it 34-8 Bills. After Miami got in the end zone again, Williams broke off a 41 yard touchdown run for Buffalo to complete the scoring. Taylor finished 21 of 29 for 277 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions as Buffalo got to 2-1 and sent Miami further downhill. 41-14 Bills

Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks — The Legion of Boom got a major lift with the return of Kam Chancellor from his holdout. Even at 0-2, the Seahawks were expected to easily dispatch an awful 0-2 Bears team that had Jimmy clausen in for the injured Jay Cutler. Yet the Seahawks struggled on offense for most of the entire first half.

The only thing preventing a scoreless tie in this hideous game was a 64 yard punt return by Richard Sherman to the Chicago 19 in the first quarter. Seattle only got a 31 yard Steve Hauschka field goal out of it for a 3-0 lead. Seattle finally mounted a drive during the 2 minute drill, reaching 1st and goal at the 3 with 13 seconds left. Russell Wilson kept his throws quick, but all 3 passes fell incomplete. Hauschka hit again from 21 as the Seahawks took a 6-0 lead into the locker rooms in this horribly played game.

A close game was broken open when Lockett returned the second half kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown and a 13-0 Seahawks lead. Since defense and special teams did all the work, Seattle even mustered some offense in the third quarter as a 30 yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Jimmy Graham made it 20-0 Seahawks. The Seahawks closed the scoring the way they opened it, with Steve Hauschka tacking on two more field goals. The Bears are 0-3 but looks even worse, while Seattle won the way championship teams are expected to win against bad teams. 26-0 Seahawks

Denver Broncos at Detroit Lions was the Sunday night game. Both of these teams are far different than they were last year. The Broncos went from all Peyton Manning to a run oriented offense and a much more physical defense. Detroit has simply gotten worse. After a scoreless first quarter, Manning led a 12 play, 80 yard, 6 1/2 minute drive. Hillman got in from one yard out to make it 7-0 Broncos. The Lions came back with an 80 yard drive of their own, and Jahvid Bell got in from the one. Yet former Broncos kicker Matt Prater now kicks for the Lions, and his extra point was blocked as Detroit trailed 7-6.

Denver went 80 yards late in the half as Manning threw a 45 yard touchdown to Denarius Thomas to make it 14-6 Broncos at halftime. In the third quarter a Denver fumble set up the Lions at the Denver 29. Matthew Stafford hit Abdullah for a 16 yard touchdown. the 2 point conversion try failed as the Lions still trailed 14-12.

With 10 1/2 minutes left in regulation the Lions had the ball at the Denver 44. Matthew Stafford was sacked and fumbled, giving Denver the ball just past midfield. Brad McManus missed a 53 yard field goal try, but an illegal formation penalty on the defense gave McManus another try from 48. He was good, as the Broncos led by 5 midway through the fourth quarter.

After a touchback, the Lions moved to a critical 3rd and 12 at the Denver 48 with 3:44 to play. Stafford threw a high ball and Bruton made a leaping interception. From just past midfield, Manning went deep and it looked like he was also intercepted. Somehow Emanuel Sanders ripped the ball out of the defender’s hands for a 34 yard gain down to the 15. On 3rd and 6 Manning fired to the end zone and Owen Daniels caught the touchdown pass to put the game away with 2 1/2 minutes left. The Broncos are 3-0 and winning the hard way while the Lions just cannot seem to win at all. 24-12 Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers was the Monday night game. Aaron Rodgers is a man on a mission, and he and the Packers dominated this game from the start. A pair of long drives and Rodgers hitting Montgomery for an 8 yard touchdown and Randall Cobb for a 3 yard touchdown as the Packers led 14-0 after the first quarter.

Jamal Charles did score a 9 yard touchdown in the second quarter to get the Chiefs within 14-7, but after that the Packers onslaught continued. Mason crosby hit a 44 yard field goal and Rodgers hit James Jones for a 27 yard touchdown to have the Packers cruising 24-7 at halftime.

Midway through the third quarter an interception of Alex Smith had the Packers starting at the Chiefs 4. One play later, Rodgers hit Cobb for the 31-7 Packers lead. After the Chiefs scored another touchdown, Rodgers refused to be slowed down by a sometimes driving rain. A 52 yard completion to jones led to another 4 yard touchdown to Cobb early in the fourth quarter to make it 38-14 Packers. The Chiefs would get a couple of garbage touchdowns but the outcome was never in doubt.

Aaron Rodgers threw five touchdown passes without an interception. He has ten touchdown passes on the year without an interception. Alex Smith, Steve Bono and Elvis Grbac may be the same person. West Coast Offense game manager Smith waits until the fourth quarter to throw passes longer than four yards, except on third down and four when he throws two-yard passes. Walrus Lite Andy Reid either needs to trust his quarterback or settle for more dinking, dunking and death to the season.


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