Monday, September 28, 2009
NFL Week Three Review
Following the excitement of the early scheduled games on Sunday, the NFL saw some great finishes to the later scheduled games as well.
The best finish of the day saw the Minnesota Vikings win on the arm of Brett Favre and the hands of wide receiver Greg Lewis, who made an outstanding grab of Favre's pass in the back of the end zone with two seconds remaining to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 27-24 in Minneapolis. Included in the Vikings win was a 101-yard kickoff return for touchdown by Vikes' rookie Percy Harvin.
Another exciting finish saw the Pittsburgh Steelers defense collapse late for the second consecutive week as the resurgent Cincinnati Bengals stormed back from a 13-point deficit to knock off the defending Super Bowl champions, 23-20 in Cincinnati.
Quarterback Carson Palmer threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell with 14 seconds left to win the game, Cincinnati's first home win over Pittsburgh since 2001.
The Chicago Bears rallied behind Jay Cutler, who threw two TD passes, including the game-winner to Devin Hester as the Bears overcame an early deficit to beat the Seattle Seahawks, 25-19 in Seattle.
The New York teams both continued to roll as the Giants rolled past Tampa Bay, 24-0 behind a great defensive effort that saw Tampa Bay gain just 86 yards in total offense. The Jets, behind rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez (rushing TD and one passing TD) stormed ahead 14-0 against Tennessee, fell behind by three points in the third quarter, then rallied to win the game 24-17 to run their record to 3-0 for the season.
The Baltimore Ravens dominated the Cleveland Browns, 34-3 behind quarterback Joe Flacco, who had 342 yards passing and running back Willis McGahee, who scored two touchdowns and has six in the first three games to lead the league... The Denver Broncos ran their early season record to 3-0 by beating the Oakland Raiders, 23-3 as their defense continued to dominate the opponents. Denver has allowed just 16 points through the first three games this season.
But it won't get easy for Denver, as they face a killer schedule over the next 12 weeks (check it out) so their early success is crucial as they battle San Diego in the AFC West.
Speaking of San Diego, the Chargers knocked off the Miami Dolphins (0-3) without LaDainian Tomlinson (ankle) and Shawne Merriman (groin), 23-13 as Philip Rivers scored a rushing touchdown and safety Eric Weddle returned an interception 31 yards for another score to lead the way.
The Dolphins lost quarterback Chad Pennington to a shoulder injury in the third quarter, and early reports are that Pennington may be out for the remainder of the season with the injury, which may require surgery.
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees came back to earth in Week Three as he did not throw a TD pass, but the Saints won anyway at Buffalo, 27-7 behind Pierre Thomas' two scoring runs and 126 yards rushing for the day... In the loss, the Bills' wide receiver Terrell Owens failed to catch a pass for the first time in 185 games... The Eagles and Packers both rolled to easy wins against two of the worst teams in the NFL. Green Bay beat St. Louis 36-17 as Aaron Rodgers threw two TD passes while Eagles' backup quarterback Kevin Kolb passed for 327 yards and two TDs, including a 64-yard strike to DeSean Jackson in a 34-14 pounding of the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Detroit Lions finally put it together and won a game as they held off the Washington Redskins, 19-14 at Ford Field in Detroit for their first win since December 23, 2007... and finally the Indianapolis Colts are 3-0 after dismantling the defending NFC champion Arizona Cardinals, 31-10 in the Sunday night game in the desert. Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes and the Colts defense forced two turnovers in the red zone to ensure the victory.