As Aaron Rodgers said in his post-game interview after the Sunday-nighter, how can you not be romantic about football? And after the day we had, we’re inclined to agree.
Los Angeles Chargers 30- Kansas City Chiefs 24
We live in a world where Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are in last place in the AFC West. For the first time since midway through the 2015 season Andy Reid’s team has a losing record, and it isn’t a fluke. The loss this week may have been by a single score but it was ugly by KC standards. Mahomes threw two uncharacteristic interceptions which when compounded by two more turnovers by his team was enough to spell disaster against a dialled-in Justin Herbert. Herby’s four touchdown tosses gave us a hint at what could be a very interesting QB duel for the division for a decade to come.
Arizona Cardinals 30- Jacksonville Jaguars 19
You know the saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day? Well the Jaguars are that clock and Jamal Agnew’s kick-six was a play so nice it counts for two. After Arizona elected to kick a field goal from 68 yards out (spoiler alert: they missed) the ball fell into the waiting arms of Agnew who proceeded to turn the play into the longest touchdown in league history. In typical Jaguars fashion however, the 109 yard TD was where the highlights ended as they fall to 0-3.
Cleveland Browns 26- Chicago Bears 6
All in favour of starting a humanitarian mission to rescue Justin Fields from the career-ending grip of Matt Nagy say I. Seriously, Baker Mayfield could have thrown three TDs to himself on Sunday and we would still be talking about the absolute ineptitude of the Bears staff to protect their rookie QB. Fields threw for 68 yards but was sacked for 67…meaning his net offensive contribution was the same as his jersey number…1. If the Bears front office are serious about Fields being the future, they’re going to seriously need to start looking for a new coach.
Buffalo Bills 43- Washington Football Team 21
Well that was ugly…
Tennessee Titans 25- Indianapolis Colts 16
All jokes aside, Carson Wentz should not have been on the field this game. Say what you will about being a pro and wanting to gut it out or the Colts needing a win, there is no justification for putting in a QB who has yet to go a season without injury in during a week 3 contest prior to which he was barely practicing. The effects of both ankle injuries were clear when watching Wentz in the pocket; he was stationary at best and was still hit 10 more times. With his form and the rest of the Colts’ growing pains, there was no vertical passing game to speak of and thus no real shot at Indy taking this one, at least not one higher than if they had started Jacob Eason. Take nothing away from the Titans, who put together a solid game, but some things are bigger than the final score and it would be hard to argue against player health being one of them.
New Orleans Saints 28- New England Patriots 13
After an impressive duo of games for his debut season, Mac Jones finally looked like a rookie, while Jameis Winston appeared every bit the vet. In what was a much needed bounce back game for the Saints new quarterback, he answered the call by making a typically stout defence look relatively ineffective. As for Jones, he’s going to need to channel his inner Brady ahead of the Patriots clash with their former Chosen One next week if there’s any hope at that scoreline remaining respectable.
Atlanta Falcons 17- New York Giants 14
The Giants had football royalty in the building and decided it would be a good day to play the role of court jester. On the day of Eli Manning’s retirement ceremony, playing the league’s most notorious chokers, you would have thought there would be no way to mess it up but from disastrous two-minute defence to a yo-yo of an offensive showing, New York there is no “gimme” too big to not disappoint.
Cincinnati Bengals 24- Pittsburgh Steelers 10
Who knew that when the steel curtain came crashing down it would crash directly onto Big Ben, who at the ripe age of 39 was asked to throw the ball 58 times to a group of Tik Tokers. On the winning side we had Joe Burrow who went 14 for 18 with three touchdowns in what was just rubbing salt in the wound for a demoralized Pittsburgh fanbase.
Baltimore Ravens 19- Detroit Lions 17
Shockingly, Dan Campbell’s knee-cap ending Lions are the most overly qualified 0-3 team in recent memory, save for a half against the 49ers. This week it was a miraculous NFL-record 66-yard field goal from Justin Tucker that left the Detroit faithful shaking their heads in disbelief.
Denver Broncos 26- New York Jets 0
This was not the Disney movie Zach Wilson signed on to star in…
Las Vegas Raiders 31- Miami Dolphins 28
The Raiders are 3-0 with two of those wins coming in OT…talk about pressure makes diamonds. Jacoby Brisset proved that he is more than capable of stepping in while Tua is on the shelf but the question remains as to whether or not the team can reel in enough catches when it counts to stay in contention until the face of the franchise returns.
Los Angeles Rams 34- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24
Is Matthew Stafford finally a Super Bowl contender? Well it might be too early to say so but if you can make the defending champs look as silly as he and the Rams did, you’ve earned your spot in all the too-early predictions. If you’re a fan of the game it truly is a breath of fresh air to see Stafford enjoying a full complement of receivers as well as the perk of a competent defence after the woeful time he suffered in Detroit.
Minnesota Vikings 30- Seattle Seahawks 17
It’s quite a sight to see what once was the Legion of Boom turn into the Legion of Gloom. Opposing quarterbacks used to tremble in fear at the thought of throwing at Seattle’s cornerbacks, but not any more. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings, in the words of D.J. Reed, “schemed their asses up” although if you ask head coach Pete Carroll his CBs were just “too soft.”
Green Bay Packers 30- San Francisco 49ers 28
Now THAT is what prime time football is all about. Two QBs who were thought to be cast aside by their teams combine for lead changes, highlight reel plays, and a walk off field goal. What more could you ask for to cap off the best day of the week?
Let us know your favourite moment from this week on Twitter @unbenched_ and let me know if I roasted your team a little too hard over at @caseyydobson_