What We Learned After 3 NFL Weeks

By: Michael Aaron Chase Jr.



Albeit not a quarter of the way through the 2017-2018 NFL season this past week of NFL football was tremendously interesting. From shocking blowouts and surprising breakout performances, to more NFL rules controversy. The NFL did not disappoint this past weekend with a little bit of everything we love about NFL football. This by no means is a time to overreact to anything that occurred, but it is a time to analyze trends and performances to put into perspective what we witnessed.

Beginning with the surprising blowouts that took place across the league starting with the International game in London. This game took place between the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars and it was not close after the opening kickoff. The final was 44-7 with Jacksonville being victorious. The Jaguars defense dominated from start to finish holding Quarterback Joe Flacco well under 100 yards passing, forcing 3 turnovers, and allowing 1 first down through two and a half quarters. On offense much criticized Quarterback Blake Bortles threw 4 touchdowns, three of which went to his Tight end Marcedes Lewis. They even ran a successful fake punt that went for 50 yards. So it was a near perfect game for the Jaguars especially against the NFL‘s best defense going into week 3. Week 3 also saw the Titans and Redskins both deemed home underdogs blowout two of the league’s top teams in the Seahawks and Raiders. For the Titans they scored 33 points against Seattle’s feared defense including rushing for well over 150 yards. As well as overcoming the 4 touchdown passes from Russell Wilson, giving Marcus Mariota and the Titans an early season signature win. The Redskins quieted all the haters this past week with a historic performance against the vaunted Oakland Raiders. The Redskins defense allowed 128 total yards to the explosive Raiders, their best defensive total since 1991. Sacking Quarterback Derek Carr 4 times and forcing 3 turnovers, as well as, Kirk Cousins throwing for 336 yards and 3 TD’s and running back Chris Thompson accumulating 170 yards of offense by himself. Overall these blowouts were surprising this past weekend, but only further intrigue on who are contenders and what will become of the NFL season.

There were many breakout performances this past Week 3 as well from many players and teams. Beginning with the Chicago Bears first win of the year over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The biggest result other than getting the overtime win 23-17, by the Bears was the performance of their young backfield duo. The combination of second year running back Jordan Howard and rookie Tarik Cohen accumulated 216 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns accounting for two thirds of their team’s offense. Another key performance was the Buffalo Bills improving to 2-1 with an impressive win over the Denver Broncos. With much maligned quarterback Tyrod Taylor going 20/26 for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns. Truly a step in the right direction for Taylor reestablishing himself as the answer at quarterback for Buffalo. Other notable performances included Jacoby Brissett combining for 3 touchdowns in a win over the Cleveland Browns in the Colts first victory. As well as Quarterback Case Keenum getting the Vikings to 2-1 on the season with a 369 yard and 3 TD performance in place of injured QB Sam Bradford. Even Rookie Deshawn Watson passed for 301 yards and put up 33 points in New England versus the mighty Patriots. Overall these performances highlighted a great day of football and further show the amount of parody in the league.

Finally the lone bit of game controversy from this past weekend was in the Atlanta versus Detroit game. Atlanta jumped out to an early 13 point lead only to see Detroit storm back with the help of 3 interceptions of Matt Ryan. But unfortunately the game ended in great controversy with the Lions seemingly scoring a touchdown to win the game 32-30. The play was reviewed and found that Golden Tate’s knee hit down before the ball broke the plane after his reception making the touchdown not count. That though was not the controversy, but it was the 10 second run off that did not allow Detroit the opportunity to run another play. The debate seems to be was it fair that because the referees had to review their original call that the 10 second run off should have applied. Because if called correct the first time Detroit would have had at least 10 seconds to get to the line and run another play. But rules stipulate the run off applies regardless, but whether or not it is fair I guess is for individuals to determine. Overall though this game provided the peak of an exciting and intriguing week of football.

Overall from top teams being handled by underdogs, surprising breakout stars emerging, or just another reason to question the NFL rules Week 3 did not disappoint. From the Steelers continuing to struggle offensively, to the Redskins, Titans, and Vikings persevering tough match ups at home to pick-up signature wins. To even the Colts maybe finding their short term solution to the Quarterback position. Many story lines are beginning to form as the NFL season is in its early stages. Which should only make for yet another excitement filled NFL regular season and even better playoffs.