Sunday Sprint Week 3

Week 3 in the NFL did not disappoint when it came to high scoring games. Some were close, others were less so (we’re looking at you New York teams), and history was made. Let’s break it down…

San Francisco 49ers 36- New York Giants 9

It looked like a golden opportunity for the Giants to secure their first win: they were taking on what was essentially the 49ers B team. But leave it to the Giants to forget to show up to a game at their home field. To be fair, they were missing Saquon Barkley, but to be fairer, San Francisco was missing Jimmy G, Nick Bosa, and Raheem Mostert (to name a few). Nick Mullens looked like a tried and true starter, throwing for 343 yards, although whether that was a testament to his skill or the incompetence of New York’s defence remains to be seen. 

Cleveland Browns 34- Washington Football Team 20

First thing’s first, history was made Sunday in Cleveland when Callie Brownson, Jennifer King, and Sarah Thomas all took the field (keep your eyes peeled for an Unbenched story on these barrier breaking women!). When it came to the game, the Browns rallied for their second win, and it was anything but pretty. The fact that the biggest highlight from the game was OBJ having to play safety to prevent a Washington defender from picking off a Mayfield pass should tell you all you need to know about the current state of the Browns’ offence. 

Cincinnati Bengals 23- Philadelphia Eagles 23

Someone was slated to get their first win as the two of the league’s winless teams took on each other in the latest edition of Sunday Snoozefest. But perfectly on script with how the Eagles’ season, the Bengals’ history, is going we got our first tied game of the year. For the third straight week, Wentz failed to throw more touchdowns than picks, forcing the question of how much longer Philly will try to fly with their current QB situation. 

New England Patriots 36- Las Vegas Raiders 20

With each passing game Patriots fans start to breathe a little easier as their team looks more and more likely to remain in playoff contention, something that Brady’s departure, the free agent exodus, and the COVID opt-outs looked to have seriously jeopardized. While last week’s loss to Seattle was frustrating, the team bounced back as only a Belichick run group could en route to a convincing win over Gruden’s Raiders. Burkhead bloomed for three TDs as the Pats’ dominant run game was too much for Vegas to stuff. 

Chicago Bears 30- Atlanta Falcons 26

Christmas came early for Chicago as Saint Nick came in to save the day and give the Falcons their third lump of coal. It looked as if Atlanta finally got themselves a lead they couldn’t blow, especially not to a team quarterbacked by Mitch Trubisky’s inadequacy, but if you’ve watched the NFL at all over the last couple years, you knew this was too good to be true. Just as he did with the Eagles, Foles came in off the bench, and when the team needed it most, he played like the $8 million man he is. 

Buffalo Bills 35- LA Rams 32

The Bills look more and more like the Patriots every week, from coasting to wins to benefitting from some questionable calls that hand them victories they had no business earning. Josh Allen had another super human performance, with 311 yards and four TDs, though it looked like it would all be for not as his team blew a 25 point lead. But a late PI call gave the Bills a last minute attempt to secure the win. With 15 seconds left, Allen dumped a three yard pass to Tyler Kroft to move the Bills to 3-0. 

Pittsburgh Steelers 28- Houston Texans 21

Deshaun Watson had his way the Steelers’ defence in the first half, moving the Texans up and down the field like a hot knife through butter. Fans were left wondering why the Pittsburgh defence abandoned their habit of simply attacking opposing QBs in favour of trying to pin Watson in the pocket. Yes, they wanted to eliminate his legs, but the strategy simply gave his arm time to shine. Steelers’ coaching staff clearly noticed the same thing as the Balck and Gold reverted back to old ways in the second half, limiting Houston to a mere 51 yards and two first downs through the final two quarters. 

Tennessee Titans 31- Minnesota Vikings 30

If you know any Titans fans, you may want to check in on them as their team certainly hasn’t made this 3-0 record easy to watch. This game should have been a lock from kickoff, given the direction in which these teams have been trending. But the Titans’ slow start allowed the Vikings to build momentum, and a lead, heading into halftime. It came down to a stomach-churning mad dash at the end, culminating in a game winning kick from Gostkowski. 

Carolina Panthers 21-LA  Chargers 16

The Chargers were poised to pull off the last second trick play to rob the Panthers of their first win. Keenan Allen caught Justin Herbert’s pass, just 15 yards from the Carolina end zone, before smoothly lateraling the ball to Austin Ekeler for what would have been the winning TD. Uncharacteristically, the ball slipped between Ekeler’s hands and the win fell into Matt Rhule’s team’s lap. 

Indianapolis Colts 36- New York Jets 7 

The New York Jets are a bad football team. Also, Phillip Rivers got his 400th touchdown pass. Next!

Seattle Seahawks 38- Dallas Cowboys 31

DK Metcalf was the most relieved man in the room after the Seahawks secured the win Sunday afternoon. The second-year wide out caught a Russel Wilson bomb and had a clear path to the end zone, except for the Cowboys defender who hustled back to catch up with him. Metcalf got a little cocky and casually held the ball as he trotted towards a touchdown, only to have it knocked out of his hand on the one yard line. His team, thankfully for him, but in a complete performance to make the missed TD irrelevant, but that was a little too close for comfort.

Detroit Lions 26- Arizona Cardinals 23

For the first time in 11 months, the Detroit Lions won a football game. It wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. Matthew Stafford looked every bit the grizzled vet as he calmly led his team down the field in the final minutes, putting his kicker in a position to win the game. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28- Denver Broncos 10

Brady looked far more comfortable in the Mile High in his new Bucs threads than he ever did in a Patriots uniform. There’s too much wrong with the Denver squad to count this as a massive win for the Buccaneers, but fans can be encouraged by the growing chemistry the new offence is demonstrating. 

Green Bay Packers 37- New Orleans Saints 30 

Sunday night featured two gunslingers, whose primes seemed to be never ending, that is until one looked vintage and the other just looked old. Aaron Rodgers has taken the season by storm after many wondered where his head, and his arm, would be heading into this season. Drew Brees, on the other hand, had another poor showing, not so much on the stats line, but more in the way that he doesn’t look like the Drew Brees we have become accustomed to. He certainly misses Michael Thomas, but even at that, some of his misses are simply misses that someone of his caliber is not accustomed to making. 

That’s it for this week’s sprint through Sunday’s action! Don’t forget to come back every week for highlights, lowlights, and sarcasm surrounding the best day of the week.

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