NFL 2008–Week 3 Recap

Live from the Las Vegas Hilton Sportsbar, Week 3 of the NFL Season is now recapped.

Forget the hyperbole. Let’s get down to brass tacks.

Oakland Raiders @ Buffalo Bills–For more on the game of the day, just go to

While the Raiders will not be going 0-16, last week’s win prevents the team from firing Lame Kiffin and hiring a disciplinarian of a coach. Perhaps it does not. After today, he must be fired immediately.

The Raiders started out by driving to the Buffalo 10, and settling for a field goal. Trent Edwards got leveled on Buffalo’s first drive, and the Bills punted. Lame Kiffin for some reason likes to run on 3rd and 10, and it rarely works. Despite starting a possession at the Buffalo 45, and JaMarcus Russell completing a pass to Ronald Curry at the 18, the Raiders settled for a 35 yard Seabass field goal and a 6-0 lead.

In total control of the game but not scoring touchdowns, Russell fumbled at his own 28. Marshawn Lynch ran it in several plays later and the Bills led 7-6. Edwards then fumbled at his own 41, but again the Raiders managed only a 3rd field goal by Sebastian Janikowski and a 9-7 lead at the 2 minute warning. The ensuing kickoff was returned to the Oakland 44, but Buffalo missed a field goal to end the half.

Deangelo Hall intercepted Edwards at the Buffalo 18, setting up a one yard quarterback sneak by Russell and a 16-7 lead. The Raiders then collapsed. Despite punts by Shane Lechler that pinned the Bills at their own 1 and their own 3, Buffalo moved 97 yards cutting the gap to 16-14. To make matters worse, a personal foul after the touchdown led to Gibril Wilson being ejected. 8 minutes remained.

On 3rd and 10 from their own 16, Russell, who had thrown only one pass the entire 2nd half, fired a quick slant pass to Johnny Lee Higgins, who raced 84 yards for a touchdown. The Raiders led 23-14 with 6:23 remaining. A personal foul against Buffalo after the touchdown gave the Raiders what seemed like a break, but the defense had no energy left. Even when the offense finally did something, it did it o quickly that the defense could not rest.

Edwards threw a touchdown pass with 4 minutes left for a 23-21 game. Even though the Bills had no time outs, Kiffin tried to throw on 3rd down the one time he should have called a run. The incomplete pass stopped the clock with 2:30 remaining. The Bills were at their own 34. At the 2 minute warning, Buffalo was at the Oakland 35.

For some bizarre reason, Kiffin did not use the Oakland time outs. He allowed the clock to run down, where a Buffalo field goal on the final play won it. Perhaps he felt that the time outs could be used in the locker room. He is a terrible coach, and did his best to help Oakland lose. 24-23 Bill

Kansas City Chiefs @ Atlanta Falcons–This game was a blowout with Michael Turner as the star. A pair of short touchdown runs in addition to an 80 yard pass from Matt Ryan to White had Atlanta up 24-0. Kansas City quarterback Tyler Thigpen at that point was 1 for 10 for -1 yards.

Running by Larry Johnson had the Chiefs to within 24-14 only 4 1/2 minutes into the 3rd quarter, but the Chiefs could not stop Turner. Turner’s 3rd touchdown sealed it, and an interception for a touchdown added the final points. 38-14 Falcons

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Chicago Bears–This game was a classic. The defenses were fighting during pregame warmups. Brian Griese was intercepted 3 times, the first one at his own 15 by Lance Briggs. Kyle Orton was sacked, only letting the Bears get a field goal. Another Robbie Giuld field goal put Chicago up 6-0, before Griese found Ike Hilliard for a 5 yard touchdown pass and a 7-6 Buccaneers lead.

Griese fumbled at his own 38, and CHarles Tillman recovered. Griese then had what looked like a touchdown pass get bobbled and intercepted in the end zone. Orton was then intercepted by Gaines Adams, who returned it 45 yards for a score and a 14-6 Buccaneers lead. It was 14-9 at the half.

After Griese was intercepted by Nathan Vasher, Orton found Matt Forte for a touchdown. The 2 point conversion had Chicago up 17-14. With 11 minutes left, Gould missed a 49 yard field goal. When Orton threw a touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd, Chicago was up 24-14 with 6:38 left.

Griese then turned into the second coming of Darryl Lamonica. He threw like a madman. With 3:11 left, Tampa Bay added a field to pull within 24-17. The Bucs decided not to try the onsides kick. Relying on the defense proved wise.

Tampa got the ball back at their own 21 with 1:49 left. Griese kept firing, and reached the Bears 20 with 24 seconds left. With 7 seconds left, from the 1, Griese passed to Jeremy Stevens to tie the game 24-24.

In overtime, The Bucs had 3rd and 10 at their own 18. They did not convert, but after the play, a personal foul by Tillman kept the drive alive. Griese then found Antonio Bryant several plays later for 38 yards down to the Chicago 5. A 20 yard Matt Bryant field goal with 4:21 left in overtime capped the miracle Tampa comeback. Griese passed for 407 yards on about 67 passes, with only about 15 runs. Balanced offense indeed. 27-24 Buccaneers, OT

Carolina Panthers @ Minnesota Vikings–Carolina kicked a field goal only 2 minutes into the game, and short touchdown run had the Panthers up 10-0 in the 2nd quarter. The last 2 minutes of the half were a disaster for Carolina. A field goal with 1:46 left in the half made it 10-3. Jake Delhomme was then belted by Antoine Winfield, causing a fumble that was returned 19 yards for the tying touchdown. It was 10-10 at the half.

Gus Frerotte, playing instead of the benched Tavaris Jackson, threw a 34 yard otuchdown pass in the 3rd quarter that was the difference. This time the Vikings defense held on, and penalties killed the Panthers. With 9 minutes left, a field goal iced the game. 20-10 Vikings

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots–This was the shocker of the day. Even with Matt Cassel filling in for Tom Brady, the blame lies with the New England Defense. Ronnie Brown ran for 4 touchdowns, and threw a halfback option pass for a 5th touchdown. One of the touchdowns came off of a direct snap to Brown. Brown’s last touchdown was a 58 yard burst. The game was expected to be a blowout, but the Patriots were expected to roll. Instead they got rocked and rolled at home. There will be no undefeated season for the Patriots this year. Bill Parcells has his 1st win as the Dolphins President. 38-13 Dolphins

Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Giants–This was a seesaw game that was exciting to the finish. The Bengals led 3-0 after the first quarter. Brandon Jacobs leapt over the top from a yard out to have the Giants up 7-3. A Chris Perry touchdown had the Bengals back on top 10-7.

The game then turned into a battle of field goals as Cincinnati could not reach the end zone from 1st and goal. A pair of kicks had the Bengals up 13-10 at the half. The Giants nailed a pair of field goals of their own to go up 16-13 with 11 minutes left in the game. Then the offenses cranked it up.

Carson Palmer through a 25 yard touchdown pass to TJ Houshmanzadeh for a 20-16 Bengals lead with 4:39 remaining. Eli Manning came right back, and his touchdown pass to Boss with 1:50 left had the Giants back in the lead at 23-20.

The Bengals would not quit, and Palmer had the Bengals inside the Giants 10 yard line. With 4 seconds left, the Bengals had run out of chances to reach the end zone. The tying field goal had the teams in overtime.

Manning threw a deep ball in overtime to Amani Toomer that set up the Giants at the 5 yard line. John Carney nailed 22 yarder with 8:39 remaining in overtime for the win. 26-23 Giants, OT

Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans–After a Texans field goal, Lendale White crashed in from a yard out to put the Titans up 7-3. Kerry Collins reacted well after throwing an interception on the first play for the Titans. A Collins touchdown pass after a second Texans field goal had the Titans up 14-6. The Texans did manage one touchdown, but fumbled the conversion attempt. 14-12 was as close as they got before Jeff Fisher’s defense took over.

A Collins Bomb set up a 2 yard touchdown run by White to put the Titans up 21-12 and put the game out of reach. The Titans added a field goal, and the defense made a tremendous goal line stand in the 4th quarter to snuff out any Texans hopes. A late touchdown only added to the score. Tennessee is 3-0. 31-12 Titans

Arizona Cardinals @ Washington Redskins–A Clinton Portis run from 3 yards out had the Redskins up 7-0. After an Arizona penalty nullified the tying touchdown, a Washington field goal had them up 10-0. A Kurt Warner 5 yard touchdown pass made it a 10-7 game, and a 26 yard field goal deadlocked the game at 10-10 in the 3rd quarter.

Jason Campbell tossed a 10 yard touchdown pass to put the Redskins up 17-10. Warner immediately responded with a 62 yard bomb to Larry Fitzgerald to retie the game at 17-17. Yet Santana Moss was the difference, as his 17 yard touchdown broke the deadlock. 24-17 Redskins

New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos–For the second week in a row at home, Denver was involved in a shootout.

Jay Cutler had touchdown passes of 1 yard to Nate Jackson and 35 yards to Brandon Marshall to put Denver up 14-3. Nate Webster returned a fumble 34 yards to put Denver up 21-3. Yet the Saints fought back.

Pierre Thomas ran it in form 5 yards out, and Reggie Bush had a 23 yard touchdown to pull within 21-17. After a Denver field goal, just before the half, the Saints responded with a safety to pull within 24-19 at the half.

A 2 yard Michael Pittman run had Denver up 3119, but the Saints needed only 2 plays and 35 seconds to strike back, with Drew Brees hitting Reggie Bush for 6 yards and a 31-26 game. Denver added a field goal, but with 10 minutes remaining Thomas scored again for the Saints. The 15 play drive went 76 yards and ate up 7:20 off the clock. The 2 point conversion failed, as Denver clung to a 34-32 lead.

Denver took over and went straight down the field, but a fumble at the New Orleans 3yard line with 5 1/2 minutes remaining killed the drive. The Saints had a chance to win. Nevertheless, despite 421 yard passing, the Saints fell short, and Denver survived another thriller that came down to a 2 point conversion. Denver is 3-0. 34-32 Broncos

Detroit Lions @ San Francisco 49ers–The 49ers might not be that terrible. The Lions definitely are. J T O’Sullivan had touchdown passes to Isaac Bruce and Delanie Walker, and Frank Gore had a short touchdown run to have the 49ers up 21-3 at the break. An Allen Rossum one yard touchdown run with 9 1/2 minutes remaining had the 49ers up 28-6. The 49ers coasted. 31-13 49ers

St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks–The Seahawks could be awful. The Rams definitely are. Matt Hasselbeck had a 10 yard touchdown pass, and Julius Jones and T J Duckett each had a touchdown on the ground, Jones from 29 yards out an Duckett from the 4. Each team added a pair of field goals, as the Seahawks were coasting 27-6 at the half.

The Seahawks went on cruise control in the second half. After Marc Bulger led a 10 play, 80 yard drive in 6 minutes to cut the gap, Hasselbeck responded with a 15 ply, 86 yard drive that ate up 9 minutes. Seattle was comfortably in command at 34-13. The Walrus saw his team win their first. 37-13 Seahawks

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens–A defensive first half had a Phil Dawson kick break a 7-7 tie to put the Browns up 10-7. In the 3rd quarter the Ravens defense took over. A Chris McAllister interception of Derek Anderson set up the Ravens at the Browns 12. Joe Flacco fumbled at the 1, but the Ravens retained possession and scored on the next play for a 14-10 lead. Ed Reed then intercepted Anderson and returned it 32 yards for a score and a 21-10 Ravens lead. A punt return to midfield followed by a personal foul had the Ravens starting their next drive at the Cleveland 35. 2 plays later, the Ravens had reached the 8 on a Flacco pass to Todd Heap. A 1 yard touchdown run had the Ravens cruising at 28-10

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis Colts–Peyton Manning threw a 4 yard touchdown pass to Marvin Harrison to put the Colts up 7-0. After a Jaguars field goal, Manning thew another pass for a score. Unfortunately, Rashean Mathis plays for Jacksonville, and his 61 yard interception had the Jaguars up 10-7. With 1:28 left in the half, Joseph Addai plunged in from 3 yards out to put the Colts back up top 14-10 at the half.

In the 3rd quarter, the Jaguars went 71 yards in 7 plays over 4 minutes, with Maurice Jones-Drew giving the Jaguars the lead back at 17-14. When the Jaguars got the ball back, they led a staggering 18 play, 82 yard drive that took 12:18 off of the clock. The drive stalled at the 4, but a 21 yard Josh Scobee field goal had the Jaguars up 20-14 with 2:33 remaining.

Manning simply added to his legend. The field general led the team down the field, and Joseph Addai crashed over from a yard out with one minute remaining. 77 yards were covered in 11 plays and 90 seconds. The Colts survived another nailbiter, and the Jaguars suffered another heartbreaker.

Except that the game was not over. David Garrard took over at the 20, and with help from a defensive pass interference penalty, reached the Indianapolis 34. With 8 seconds remaining, Josh Scobee nailed a 51 yard field goal for the shocking upset. 23-21 Jaguars

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Philadelphia Eagles–The battle of Pennsylvania was about defense. Donovan McNabb threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Correll Bcukhalter in the 2nd quarter for the only touchdown of the half. Entering the 4th quarter, The Eagles led 10-6 at the break, and the second half was all defense. A safety with 8 minutes remaining put the Eagles up 12-6. A 31 yard field goal by David Akers with 2:26 remaining put the game on ice. 15-6 Eagles

Dallas Cowboys @ Green Bay Packers was the Sunday Night game. This was supposed to be the NFC Title Game last year, until New York stunned them both. Nevertheless, a pair of 2-0 teams slugged it out, but instead of Troy Aikman vs Brett Favre we have Tony Romo vs Aaron Rodgers. Based on recent performances, that might not be much of a downgrade.

On more than one occasion, I have stated that Green Bay was not as good as their record last year. They overachieved. Dallas was every bit as good as their record, and handily won their regular season matchup last year. The game this year played into that analysis.

Ryan Grant fumbled 20 seconds into the game, giving Dallas the ball at the Green Bay 21. The Cowboys kicked a field goal in a game of many field goals. Green Bay tacked on a couple of field goals to take a 6-3 lead. The only touchdown of the first half was a 60 yard run by Felix Jones, as Dallas took a 13-6 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, Green Bay kept the game close but had to settle for a 3rd field goal and a 13-9 game. Dallas then responded by going deep. Tony Romo found Austin for a 63 yard gain down to the Green Bay 3, setting up a short touchdown run and a 20-9 lead. With 9 minutes remaining, Romo and Austin hooked up again for a 52 yard touchdown to ice the game. Green Bay did score a garbage touchdown late in the game, but it was the Cowboys making a clear statement at 3-0. They are the class of the NFC. 27-16 Cowboys

New York Jets @ the San Diego Chargers was the Monday Night game. The Chargers can scream about Ed Hochuli all they like, but Hochuli has a much better track record of success than Norvelous Norv Turner.

Yet Norv could not be blamed for the fact that on San Diego’s first offensive series, Philip Rivers completed a 25 yard touchdown pass to David Barrett. Barrett plays defense for the Jets.

To the credit of Rivers, he bounced back quickly. A 6 minute drive stalled in the red zone, but a Nate Kaeding 36 yard field goal had San Diego within 7-3. The Jets fumbled on their next series, allowing the Chargers to start at the New York 16. Rivers tossed a 2 yarder to Mike Tolbert to put the Chargers up 10-7.

Antonio Cromartie was the one that recovered the fumble, but a touchdown saving tackle prevented him from scoring. Then he dropped what would have been an interception for a touchdown. The 3rd time was the charm. A pass by Favre early in the 2nd quarter was perfectly defended. Cromartie bobbled it, and stole it from the receiver, racing 52 yards to the house for a 17-7 San Diego lead.

The momentum immediately shifted back when Leon Washington returned the ensuing kickoff to the 5 yard line. 2 plays later Favre hit Lavuerneus Coles for the touchdown. The Jets then tried an onsides kick that did not work, allowing the Chargers to take over at the New York 44. Rivers then found Chris Chambers for a 27 yard touchdown and a 24-14 San Diego lead less than 4 minutes into the 2nd quarter.

Favre was intercepted again on the next drive, allowing San Diego to start at the New York 42. 10 plays and 6 minutes later, Rivers hit Antonio Gates as the Chargers went up 31-14. Leon Washington again broke free, returning the kickoff to midfield. A sack of Favre forced the Jets to punt, ending the half.

The Chargers took the second half kickoff, and barreled down the field again. After 4 1/2 minutes, Ladanian Tomlinson crashed through for a 2 yard touchdown run. The game was officially a blowout at 38-14. The Jets led a furious rally but fell far short. 48-29 Chargers


2 Responses to “NFL 2008–Week 3 Recap”

  1. timbudd says:

    Buffalo Bills going to run away with the AFC east, but still being young and inexperienced will get knowked out in the second round … Raiders wasted a pick on that QB, the option guys never do well in the NFL.

  2. From a Lions Fan perspective all I can say about week 3 is that Ford was finally forced to fire Matt Millen. At least week 4 is a bye for us…….

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