Monday, September 24, 2012

NFL - Week Three Review

What a week!
The NFL's third weekend proved to be a real roller coaster ride with numerous games going down to the wire, including three overtime decisions.
The New York Jets might consider themselves to be more lucky than good following their 23-20 OT victory in Miami.
The Dolphins out thought themselves and it burned them as Jets' kicker Nick Folk had a second chance at a game winning field goal after his first attempt was blocked, but didn't count as such because the Dolphins called a timeout just prior to the snap. Folk made good on the retry from 33 yards out and the Jets won the game. However, it was a costly one for the Jets as All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis was lost for the season with a knee injury.
The Detroit Lions also were thinking too much about strategy and they also were burned as the Tennessee Titans outlasted them 44-41 in overtime.
The Titans kicked a field goal for the lead in the OT session, but the Lions drove down inside the ten-yard line and were just short of a first down. That's when on fourth and inches, they appeared to go for it rather than kick the easy field goal to keep the game going.
Head Coach Jim Schwartz explained the gaffe after the game that his team wasn't supposed to actually snap the ball, but try to draw the Titans offside. The Lions were stuffed when reserve quarterback Shaun Hill bobbled the snap and fell on the ball, short of the first down.
Prior to the OT, the Lions stormed back from 14 points behind by scoring two touchdowns in 18 seconds to tie the game, 41-41. They scored on a three-yard pass from Hill to Calvin Johnson, then recovered the onside kickoff and a "Hail Mary" pass from Hill to Titus Young worked at the end of regulation.
Tennessee QB Jake Locker threw for 378 yards and two touchdowns and the Titans returned a punt and kickoff for touchdowns as well.
KC running back Jamaal Charles
The third overtime game of the day saw the Kansas City Chiefs erase an 18-point deficit in New Orleans to shock Drew Brees and the winless Saints, 27-24.
The Saints QB had three TD passes in the loss, but the Chiefs rode the running of Jamaal Charles, the Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week, who had 233 yards on the ground, including a 91-yard touchdown run.
Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop made six field goals, including the game winner in OT from 31 yards to earn the Chiefs their first win of the season.
The big surprise of the day was the Minnesota Vikings winning at home against the San Francisco 49ers, 24-13 behind two TD passes from Christian Ponder and a defense that forced three turnovers and sacked 49ers' QB Alex Smith three times.
The Cincinnati Bengals knocked off the Washington Redskins, 38-31 as their defense sacked Washington QB Robert Griffin III six times and QB Andy Dalton had three touchdown passes to lead the way.
The Atlanta Falcons smoked the San Diego Chargers, 27-3 behind a stellar defensive effort that limited the Chargers to just 280 yards of total offense and no touchdowns.
Falcons' DB Thomas DeCoud had two INT and a fumble recovery in win.
Atlanta defensive back Thomas DeCoud, the Heftyinfo NFL co-Player of the Week, had two interceptions and a fumble recovery, to keep the Falcons in charge in the road win.
Falcons' QB Matt Ryan shredded the Chargers' defense for three touchdown passes and 275 yards and running back Michael Turner scored a touchdown against his former team to help improve Atlanta to 3-0 for the season.
Jacksonville got a miracle play when Cecil Shorts took a pass and raced 80 yards to paydirt  to secure a 22-17 win over the host Indianapolis Colts. The Jaguars surrendered the lead in the last minute of play when Indy kicker Adam Vinatieri nailed a 37-yard field goal to put the Colts ahead by one point. Jags' RB Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 177 yards and also had a 59-yard scoring run in the win.
The Chicago Bears defense dominated the St. Louis Rams, sacking QB Sam Bradford six times and also getting two interceptions, including a 45-yard touchdown return off a pick by Major Wright to pace the 23-6 win.
Buffalo beat the Cleveland Browns, 24-14 as QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for three touchdowns and the Bills' defense came up with three turnovers to keep the host Browns winless for the season.
The Houston Texans remained unbeaten with a road win against the Denver Broncos, 31-25 with QB Matt Schaub passing for 290 yards and four touchdowns. Broncos' QB Peyton Manning had 330 yards passing and two TD passes in the loss.
The Arizona Cardinals also ran their record to 3-0 with a 27-6 win against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles. Cards' QB Kevin Kolb burned his former team with a pair of touchdown passes and James Sanders ran a fumble back 93 yards for a score as well. Arizona's defense sacked Eagles' QB Michael Vick five times.
Oakland stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-31 as Raiders' kicker Sebastian Janikowski drilled a game winning 43-yard field goal as time expired for the win.
The host Raiders overcame a ten-point fourth quarter deficit behind QB Carson Palmer, who led the two drives in the final minutes while throwing for a pair of touchdowns. Running back Darren McFadden went for 113 yards on the ground and had a 64-yard scoring run. Steelers' QB Ben Roethlisberger had four TD passes and 384 yards in the loss.
The New York Giants smashed the host Carolina Panthers in the Thursday Night Football game, 36-7 behind a pair of scoring runs and 113 rushing yards from Andre Brown. Giants' QB Eli Manning passed for 288 yards and a touchdown as well.
The Sunday Night Football game concluded the wild weekend with a 31-30 thriller won by the host Baltimore Ravens against the New England Patriots in a game filled with penalties and drawing the ire of Pats' Head Coach Bill Belichick, who made contact with a game official when the game ended.
The Ravens twice overcame deficits (13-0 and 30-21) as QB Joe Flacco threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns, including two to wide receiver Torrey Smith (pictured left), who had six catches for 127 yards as well while dedicating the game to his younger brother, who was killed the night before in a motorcycle accident.
Ravens' RB Ray Rice ran for 101 yards and scored a touchdown to help the win. New England QB Tom Brady threw for 335 yards and a score in the loss, which left the Patriots (1-2) with a losing record for the first time since the first week of the 2003 season.
Controversy abounded over the replacement referees during the Monday Football game as the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers, 14-12 on a controversial ruling that allowed Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate a touchdown on a "Hail Mary" pass from QB Russell Wilson on the final play of the game.
Two officials right on top of the play in the end zone ruled differently on the play which appeared to be an interception by Packers' defensive back M.D. Jennings. After a review, the touchdown call was allowed to stand and the Packers were stunned with the loss.
Packers' QB Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked eight times in the game, said the call "was just awful."

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