Here are my Sunday NFL re-caps, random thoughts, & opinions for week 3:
NY Giants 24
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
- A dominating day for the Giants in this one. The defense was lights-out even without Kenny Philips. The goal line stand late in the 4th quarter is impressive. I'd like to see Brandon Jacobs run the ball better. He just doesn't seem like the dominant runner he was last year. Free agent rookie RB Gatrell Johnson looked good in limited action. For the Bucs, it's time to go with Josh Freeman or Josh Johnson at QB. You're 0-3, coach Morris. It's time for a change.
San Diego 23 FINAL
- Ronnie Brown had 56 yards rushing at half-time. Can anyone out there explain to me why they stopped using him in the second half? Anyone at all? Even with Chad Henne in the game, the coach did not call any deep pass plays. I just don't get what they're doing down there in Miami. The wildcat is cute, but at some point, you have to try to throw the ball down the field. Philip Rivers had a good day, but must do better in the red zone. This should have been a blowout.
NY Jets 24 FINAL
- The Titans stubborly stick with Kerry Collins at QB, and continue to pay for it. 15 of 37 for 170 yards isn't going to get it done. Running team or not, I think it's time to give Vince Young another chance. As for the Jets, their defense continues to come up big. Mark Sanchez wasn't spectacular but took care of the football and got the job done when the running game failed. This Jets team is for real.
Kansas City 14
Philadelphia 34 FINAL
- Matt Cassel completed almost 80% of his passes, but passed for only 90 yards. Blame that on the play-calling; not the QB. Larry Johnson rushed for 38 yards on 19 carries. Accept it, Kansas City. Johnson is not a featured back anymore. Poor coaching and play-calling continue to plague the Chiefs. As for the Eagles, Kevin Kolb had a second straight week with well over 300 yards passing. They are set at QB when McNabb decides to pack it in and call it a career.
New England 26 FINAL
- The Patriots were more balanced on offense than we've seen this year, but still don't look like the same team that the "experts" built them up to be before the season began. Credit Randy Moss and Fred Taylor for coming up big when it mattered. As for the Falcons, Michael Turner stunned the fantasy football world with yet another subpar performance. He managed just 56 yards rushing in this one. The Falcons tried to force the ball to Gonzalez and White a bit much in this one. Their game plan on offense was predictable and Bellichik had this game plan well scouted. Tony Gonzalez was held to just one catch.
Baltimore 34 FINAL
- Eric Mangini may have the shortest tenure at head coach in NFL history at this rate. He benches Brady Quinn after standing behind the guy to the media. Derek Anderson - who never should have been in this so-called QB competition to begin with - comes off the bench and throws 3 interceptions against a Ravens defense that gave up almost 500 yards passing last week to Philip Rivers. Does ANYONE really believe Derek Anderson is a better option than Brady Quinn? Why? Someone explain it to me. Aside from Anderson's size, I guess I'm just missing what the appeal is. Perhaps it's time for Mangini to take the blame upon himself for the team's dismal, putrid performances, instead of blaming his QB? As for the Ravens, they continue to roll. Flacco was outstanding, and Willis McGahee finally got his ground game going. On the other hand, how difficult is that against a Browns defense that can't stop anyone? I'd still like to see the Ravens score like this against stiffer competition.
Green Bay 36
St. Louis 17 FINAL
- The Packers got back on track in this one. Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Grant has solid games. Still, the defense, which I thought would be much better this season, gave up over 300 yards to a Rams team that has only managed 7 points in it's first two games. They must do better than that against the Vikings next week. Looks like it's back to the drawing board for Dom Capers. Credit Kyle Boller for coming off the bench and playing better than Marc Bulger has the entire season. Clearly, it's time for the Rams to make future QB plans. Marc Bulger is NOT the answer. Stephen Jackson had a solid day; leading the team in rushing & receiving, perhaps giving Rams fans something to look forward to next week.
San Francisco 24
Minnesota 27 FINAL
- I couldn't help but feel badly for the 49ers in this one. They should have won this game. The entire game was a battle; one of the best games on Sunday to watch. It came down to a fluke TD pass at the end that even Brett Favre himself admitted was lucky in his press conference. The question still remains - will Brett Favre still be playing like this in December? Or will his 40-year old body wear down like it did last season? Credit both teams here for a great defensive battle and a great overall game. The 49ers have nothing to be ashamed of.
Houston 24 FINAL
- I just don't get the Texans. Their defense is even worse than it was last year, which is astonishing considering they spent the entire offseason trying to improve it. They go on the road and beat the Titans; something they'd never done @ Tennessee; then lose at home to Jacksonville? Huh? Someone please explain the Texans to me. Anyone...........
Detroit 19 FINAL
- I had this pegged for an upset, and I was right. Congratulations to Matthew Stafford for his first NFL victory, and congrats to the Lions for their first win since 2007. Watching them, you can see the attitude changing for this team. You get the feeling that they're sick and tired of being the laughing stock of the NFL. I'll go out on a limb and say those days are done. There is talent there with Stafford, Kevin Smith, and Calvin Johnson. The defense is improving. This is a team that may win five or six games this season. As for the Redskins, they didn't play particularly badly on offense. Jason Campbell passed for 340 yards. The problem was they couldn't run the ball nor score enough points. The media insistsJim Zorn's job is safe. I'm not so sure.
Seattle 19 FINAL
- The Seahawks played better than I expected in this one, Credit Seneca Wallace and Julius Jones for stepping it up in Hasselbeck's absence. Jay Cutler completed over 75% of his passes in this one and stepped it up when the running game struggled. It turned out to be the difference in the game. Jay Cutler to Earl Bennett - ever think you'd have an NFL combination like this? Both are Vanderbilt alumni - something we may never see again.
New Orleans 27
Buffalo 7 FINAL
- The Bills defense held Drew Brees in check in this one; limiting Brees to just 172 yards. Credit Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush for stepping it up in the running game. It was the difference in this game. The Bills kept it competitive most of the game, but folded in the 4th quarter when it mattered. 17 of the Saints 27 points were scored in the 4th QTR. The Bills will never be considered a serious contender until the team learns to finish games.
Oakland 3 FINAL
- The Broncos didn't have to do much in this one. JaMarcus Russell was absolutely pathetic; managing just 61 yards passing. What happened to the improved QB we saw in week 1? Where is Darrius Heyward-Bey; the WR the Raiders drafted ahead of Michael Crabtree # 7 overall? How do you draft a WR THAT high in the draft and NOT utilize him? I don't get it. They looked almost as ugly as the Browns on Sunday. Yikes. As for the Broncos, they are back to their old formula - a solid running game and stingy defense. Can they keep it up when their schedule gets more difficult?
Cincinnati 23 FINAL
- It's official. The Steelers dominance in the AFC North is over. For a second straight game, they failed to put the game away in the 4th quarter. They were outscored 20-7 in the second half; which will happen late in games when you can't run the ball. Willie Parker managed almost 100 yards rushing, but averaged less than 4 yards per carry. Credit Carson Palmer for coming up big late in the game when it mattered; on a day when the Bengals defense stuggled a bit. On the plus side for Steeler fans, rookie WR Mike Wallace looks good, and may unseat Limas Sweed for the #3 WR slot if he hasn't already.
Cardinals 10 FINAL
- Peyton Manning was sensational in this one - 379 yards - 4TD's. The Cardinals defense had no answers for him. Manning threw 17 less passes than Kurt Warner did, and still outgained Warner by 47 yards. Dallas Clark is the best TE in the league right now. That's right; NOT Antonio Gates; NOT Tony Gonzalez; NOT Jason Witten. Dallas Clark is better than any of them right now. No linebacker in the league can cover this guy. As for the Cardinals, Warner hit his big numbers, but had to throw the ball 52 times. The play-calling and coaching for the Cardinals was questionable at best. Riddle me this - why did the Cardinals draft Chris "Beanie" Wells with their first round pick? Why did they waste the draft pick? The kid got TWO carries in this game. That's right - TWO. Why'd they bother drafting him?