Strasser: NFL Week 3 Recap

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Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers helped lead his time to victory this week against the Saints. - Photo via Flickr user Mike Morbec

Week 3 has officially ended with the conclusion of the Kansas City Chiefs-Baltimore Ravens game on Monday Night Football.

This was the most hyped matchup of the entire week and for good reason. Coming into this game, the Ravens had won their last 14 regular season games. On the Chiefs’ side, they barely escaped Los Angeles with a win over the Chargers, and were looking surprisingly beatable.

Well, this game really cleared some things up about the Chiefs.

They’re clearly the best team in the league after their convincing 34-20 win over the Ravens. The first quarter was quiet and ended 7-3 Chiefs. Head Coach (HC) Andy Reid and quarterback (QB) Patrick Mahomes took over the second quarter and scored 21 easy points to lead at halftime 27-10.

The second half was mainly uneventful; the Ravens scored at the beginning of the fourth quarter to make it interesting, until Mahomes drove down the field and threw it to his offensive lineman (OL) Eric Fisher for the game-sealing touchdown.

The Ravens failed to score again for the rest of the game after that point. The Ravens only had a total of 228 yards from scrimmage and QB Lamar Jackson didn’t even eclipse 100 yards passing. This was a disappointing game for the Ravens to say the least.

Jackson is 21-1 in his last 22 regular season games against teams that aren’t the Chiefs. In his three games against the Chiefs, he’s 0-3 and that’s why he considers them “our kryptonite.”

Mahomes was brilliant as always, finishing the game with 385 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and one on the ground. The Chiefs improved to 3-0, as the Ravens dropped to 2-1.

Meanwhile in the NFC East, the Philadelphia Eagles were looking to get their first win of the year against a frisky Cincinnati Bengals and 2020 number one pick QB Joe Burrow.

The Bengals entered this game with the same record as the Eagles, but most people thought the Eagles would be able to take care of business at home. Fans were disappointed again even with the Eagles having the lead at halftime.

The second half was one big headache for the Eagles. They continued to rush Burrow and make him uncomfortable but couldn’t manage to score a touchdown until QB Carson Wentz took it himself to tie the game with 21 seconds left.

Overtime was worse for the Eagles as they got the ball three times and failed to score on all three possessions. With little time left on the clock, HC Doug Pederson elected to punt and play for the tie after the crucial fourth down penalty. Pederson has always been known for being aggressive, so it’s perplexing as to why he wouldn’t even take a shot downfield.

The game ended in a 23-23 tie, as the Eagles fell to 0-2-1. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be disappearing for the Eagles, but with all four NFC East teams losing on Sunday, they still sit one game behind Washington and Dallas for the division lead. 

Another notable game was the Green Bay Packers vs. the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football. After dropping their last primetime game to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Saints were looking to bounce back and prove they could win without wide receiver (WR) Michael Thomas.

Meanwhile QB Aaron Rodgers is looking like an MVP candidate, and the Packers seem like real Super Bowl contenders.

Without Thomas, the Saints have become a very conservative offense with 40-year-old QB Drew Brees at the helm. Running back (RB) Alvin Kamara had 13 receptions and was absolutely electric on every touch he got, finishing with 139 yards. But the Saints did still lose 37-30.

Brees’ decline is becoming very evident after two straight losses, and the inability to throw down the field is really starting to hurt the Saints. Rodgers looks as good as he’s ever looked, throwing for 283 yards and three touchdowns to seal the game for the Packers. The Packers stay perfect and moved to 3-0, as the Saints dropped to 1-2. 

Notable Headlines From Around The League:

  • QB Josh Allen and the Bills avoided a 28-3 collapse against the Los Angeles Rams and scored a late game winning touchdown after a questionable defensive penalty the play before. Allen shined again, throwing for 311 yards and four touchdowns. The Bills won 35-32 and improved to 3-0, as the Rams fell to 2-1.
  • The Atlanta Falcons managed to blow another lead in the fourth quarter to QB Nick Foles and the Chicago Bears. After falling down 26-10 Bears HC Matt Nagy decided to bench QB Mitch Trubisky and go with the veteran Foles, who helped them score 20 unanswered points to top the Falcons 30-26. Falcons become the only team in history to ever blow back-to-back 15 point fourth quarter leads.
  • Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson threw for another FIVE touchdowns against the Dallas Cowboys to bring his total to 14 through three games on the year. The Cowboys had an opportunity to tie the game late but failed, dropping this game 38-31. MVP favorite Wilson and the Seahawks improved to 3-0, as the Cowboys fell to 1-2.
  • Going into Week 4, there are still seven undefeated teams and eight teams haven’t won a game yet.

After an awesome weekend of NFL action, reality settled in for NFL teams and fans quickly on Tuesday morning. The Tennessee Titans had three players and five personnel test positive for COVID-19 and were forced to shut down all football activities this week.

The Minnesota Vikings will follow suit after playing Tennessee on Sunday, and the NFL will conduct the necessary testing to see if the teams can play their games this weekend. It will be interesting to see how the league handles their first real COVID outbreak, and hopefully they can move swiftly and efficiently, so we can finish this season with as few delays and cancellations as possible while keeping everyone safe.

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