NFL Week 3 Grades: Eagles get a B+ for wild win over Giants, Raiders get a fat 'F'
Here are the Week 3 grades for every team that played on Sunday
Elliott nailed a 61-yard field goal as time expired to give Eagles a wild 27-24 win over the Giants in Philadelphia.
It was a big kick for several reasons. For one, it came one week after Elliott struggled in his debut. In the Eagles' 27-20 loss to the Chiefs in Week 2, the rookie kicker missed a 30-yard field goal that probably made the team at least a little bit uneasy about their kicking situation.
It was also a big kick because it saved the Eagles the embarrassment of blowing a 14-0 fourth quarter lead. Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes over a six-minute span in the game's final quarter that gave the Giants a 21-14 lead.
After watching the Giants battle back, Carson Wentz responded by putting together his best three drives of the game. Although Wentz wasn't great (21 of 31 for 176 yards), he was clutch in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles scored the last three times they touched the ball over the game's final seven minutes. During that span, Wentz went 6 of 8 for 67 yards, a total that includes a 19-yard completion with just seven seconds left that set up Elliott's game-winning kick.
Basically, at a time when the Eagles could've melted down, everyone came up clutch. Not only did Elliott hit the 61-yarder, but he also hit a 46-yard field goal with 51 seconds left that tied the game at 24.
The biggest surprise of this game for Philly might have been an Eagles ground game that came out of nowhere. Philadelphia racked up 193 yards on the ground, marking only the second time in Wentz's career that he's gotten 175 or more yards of ground support in a game.
Except for one ugly span in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were clicking on all cylinders against the Giants, which is why we're giving them a B+. For the Giants' grade, keep reading.
Baltimore at Jacksonville
The Ravens showed up in a different country and apparently forgot how to play football. This was an F performance from everyone on the team, from Joe Flacco to the entire defense to even the Ravens' special teams, which is usually the one unit that Baltimore can count on. Flacco was so bad (8 of 18 for 28 yards) that Ryan Mallett, who only played one quarter, actually threw for more yards (36) than the Ravens starting quarterback. Flacco had no answer for a Jaguars defense that throttled Baltimore's offensive line. The loss to the Jaguars tied the Ravens' franchise record for largest margin of defeat. That record goes back to 1997 when the Ravens lost a road game to the Steelers 37-0.
It looks like we finally found out how good the Jaguars can be if Blake Bortles actually plays well, and the answer is, they're basically unbeatable. Bortles played arguably the best game of his career as he threw for 244 yards and four touchdowns, with three of those going to tight end Marcedes Lewis. The four TD passes marked just the fourth time in Bortles' career that he's thrown four or more TD passes in a game. The most shocking part of their win is that the Jaguars put up 44 points, marking only the second time since 2008 that the Jags have scored 42 or more in a game.
Atlanta 30-26 over Detroit
This only reason this isn't an 'A' is because Matt Ryan brought his 'C' game to Detroit. The Falcons' quarterback was off his game as he threw two interceptions, including a pick-six. The good news for the Falcons is that they were still able to beat a good Lions team despite the fact that Ryan seemed confused about which team he was supposed to be throwing passes to. The Falcons were able to overcome Ryan's mistakes thanks in large part to a defense that shut down Detroit's run game (71 yards) and limited the Lions to just 3 of 13 on third-down conversions.
After handing out so many heartbreaking fourth-quarter losses over the past two seasons, the Lionsto be on the losing end, and their loss might have been the worst final second loss ever.
A big reason the Lions were able to stay in this game is because of two picks by Darius Slay and a pick-six by Glover Quin. Although the Lions' defense came up with several big plays, they also gave up several big plays on the way to getting gashed for 428 yards by the Falcons' offense.
Indianapolis 31-28 over Cleveland
If the Browns can figure out how to get DeShone Kizer to stop throwing interceptions, they might actually be able to win a game this year. For the second straight week, Kizer threw three picks, and for the second straight week, those picks doomed the Browns. The one upside for the Browns is that their offense finally produced in the red zone. Cleveland scored four touchdowns on five trips to the red zone in Indy (80 percent). That's an impressive number for a team that was only turning 50 percent of their red zone possessions into touchdowns through the first two weeks. On the downside, the Browns have now lost 15 straight road games, which is so bad, it's almost impressive.
Three weeks after being traded to the Colts, Jacboy Brissett is starting to look like he has a nice handle on the offense. The Colts' new quarterback almost single-handedly willed the team to victory in this game. Not only did he score two rushing touchdowns, but he also threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton. Speaking of Hilton, the Colts receiver racked 153 receiving yards, which is the sixth-highest total in his six-year career.
Buffalo 26-16 over Denver
After watching Trevor Siemian go off last week against the Cowboys, someone in Denver apparently thought it would be a good idea to let him throw 40 passes in Buffalo. Siemian has definitely been better this year, but asking him to carry the offense might still be too much. The Broncos quarterback, who went 24 of 40 for 259 yards, threw two interceptions in the second half, one of which came deep in Bills territory. The Broncos are now 1-5 in Siemian's career when he attempts 40 or more passes in a game.
After watching Dan Carpenter struggle through the 2016 season, Bills fans are probably pretty thrilled with the way their new kicker, Steven Hauschka, performed against the Broncos. Hauschka went 4 for 4 on field goals, which includes conversions from 49, 53 and 55 yards. That's a dramatic improvement from Carpenter, who went 5 of 11 on fields from 40 yards or longer last season. Hauschka wasn't the only player for the Bills who was nearly perfect in this game. Tyrod Taylor, who finished 20 of 26 for 213 yards with two touchdowns, led two clutch touchdown drives in the game, and they both game when the Bills were trailing by three points.
New England 36-33 over Houston
Although there's no such thing as moral victories, walking into Gillette Stadium with a rookie quarterback and almost pulling off a win is about as close as you can get. Despite the fact that he was going up against a coach (Bill Belichick) who's Deshaun Watson played like a seasoned veteran against the Patriots. The Texans rookie threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns, and would've helped Houston pull off the upset if not for a miraculous comeback by Tom Brady.in his career,
Tom Brady must have eaten some extra avocado ice cream this week because not even getting beat up by the Texans defense could slow down his 40-year-old body. Despite the fact that he got sacked five times, Brady (25 of 35 for 378 yards) was still able to rebound to throw five touchdowns passes, including a game-winning 25-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks with . Brady's latest comeback basically caused the Texans' Twitter account to give up.
This marked the sixth time that Brady has thrown five or more touchdown passes in a game, and not surprisingly, the Pats are 6-0 in those games.
N.Y. Jets 20-6 over Miami
The Dolphins are probably going to be spending the next few days trying to figure out how they only mustered 30 yards rushing against a Jets team that went into Sunday's game with the worst rushing defense in the NFL through two weeks. Jay Ajayi was held to 16 yards on 11 carries against a Jets team that had been giving up 185 yards per game this season. Miami's ground game might not have even been the ugliest part of the game for them either, as they also seemed to fall flat on their face any time they faced a third down. The Dolphins only converted 1 of 12 third downs in the game.
For a team that some people thought might go 0-16, the Jets looked absolutely dominant against the Dolphins. Josh McCown channeled his inner-Joe Montana and completed 18 of 23 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown. McCown wasn't the story of the game for New York though -- that honor belongs to a Jets defense that limited the Dolphins to just 225 total yards. It marked just the third time since 2013 that the Jets have held a team to 225 yards or less.
New Orleans 34-13 over Carolina
It looks like we finally found out what happens when Drew Brees actually gets some defensive help in a game. The Saints defense limited the Panthers to just 288 yards on Sunday, which is big news because the Saints almost always win when Brees and the offense get some defensive help. Since 2013, the Saints are 14-4 in games where the Saints limits their opponent to under 300 yards of offense. Not only did the Saints D pick off Cam Newton three times, but they also sacked him four times. Brees (22 of 29, 220 yards, three touchdowns) also got some serious help from a ground game that averaged 5.5 yards per carry.
It's not easy to do, but Cam Newton made the struggling Saints defense look like the 1985 Bears. Since undergoing shoulder surgery in March, Newton hasn't looked the same, and he seems to be looking worse every week. Going up against a Saints defense that was ranked dead last in the NFL against the pass going into the game, Newton threw three interceptions and finished 16 of 27 for 167 yards. Those interceptions led directly to 14 points for the Saints. In news that probably isn't that shocking to you, the Panthers are now 1-9 when Newton throws three or more picks in a game.
Philadelphia 27-24 over N.Y. Giants
It looks like all the Giants' offense needed to get back on track was a healthy Odell Beckham. After going eight straight games without hitting the 20-point mark, the Giants finally hit it against the Eagles, thanks in large part to from a healthy Odell Beckham. Not only did Beckham catch nine passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns, but his mere presence opened things up for Sterling Shepard, who caught seven passes for 133 yards and one touchdown. Now, the next step to improving the Giants offense is to get Eli Manning to stop throwing interceptions.
After getting exactly zero carries in Week 2, the biggest surprise on the Eagles' offense this week might have been the emergence of LeGarrette Blount. The veteran running back was a pivotal part of the Eagles' offense against the Giants carrying the ball 12 times for 67 yards. Wendell Smallwood was also unstoppable for the Eagles, carrying the ball 12 times for 71 yards. Overall, the Eagles averaged an impressive 4.9 yards per carry in the game.
The Eagles' 193-yard rushing total marked just the second time since 2015 that they've rushed for 190 or more yards. Since 2007, the Eagles are 18-3 when they rush for 190 or more yards, and that sounds like a stat that Blount will probably make sure to tell Doug Pederson about this week.
Chicago 23-17 (OT) over Pittsburgh
The Steelers going on the road and playing down to their competition in an inexplicable loss has basically become an annual tradition in the NFL. The Steelers only put up 282 yards of offense against the Bears, which is basically Pittsburgh's M.O. at this point. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, the Steelers have only been held under 300 yards a total of five times, and all five of those games came on the road. Ben Roethlisberger went 12 of 25 for 135 yards when throwing to receivers not named Antonio Brown. The ugliest part for the Steelers wasn't even their offense though, it was their defense getting gashed for 220 yards rushing, marking only the third time since 2008 that Steelers have given up 220 or more rushing yards in a game.
The Bears' strategy of giving the ball to Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen as often as possible paid off big time in this game as the Steelers had no answer for either running back. The two backs combined to average a ridiculous 6.2 yards per carry against Pittsburgh. Howard (23 carries, 138 yards, two TD) and Cohen (12 carries, 78 yards) really came through in the clutch: The two backs accounted for all 74 yards on Chicago's game-winning touchdown drive in overtime.
The happiest person on the field after this win was probably Chicago's Marcus Cooper, who had a touchdown on a blocked field goal called back after he .
He gets a 'D' for that, while everyone else in Chicago gets an 'A.'
Minnesota 34-17 over Tampa Bay
If the Buccaneers made one bad decision against Minnesota, it was giving up on the their run game so early. Despite the fact that they only trailed by 11 or fewer points for the first 29 minutes of the game, the Bucs decided to ditch the run, which is something they almost never do. As a team, Tampa only tallied nine carries in the game, which tied the franchise record for fewest carries in a game (coincidentally, that record also game against Minnesota in 1987). If you give up on the ground game, that means asking Jameis Winston to carry the offense, which hasn't exactly been his specialty. Since his rookie year, the Bucs have gone 0-6 in games where Winston throws 40 or more passes. He threw 40 passes on Sunday (28 of 40, 328 yards, two TDs, three INTs).
It's too bad that Case Keenum doesn't get to play against the Buccaneers every week, because if that were the case, he would probably win league MVP every year. Since the beginning of the 2015 season, Keenum is 3-0 against the Bucs and 4-8 against everyone else. That win total includes an impressive showing on Sunday where he threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns. Overall, the Vikings totaled 494 yards of offense in the game, which is the they've put up since September 2014. Stefon Diggs (eight catches, 173 yards, two TDs) will probably be completely OK if the Vikings decide to ride Keenum for another week or two.
Tennessee 33-27 over Seattle
Just when you think the Seahawks' offensive line can't play any worse than they did the week before, they go out and somehow actually manage to do it. It's borderline amazing that Russell Wilson is able to do anything considering the fact that he spends most of the game under complete duress. When the Seahawks have their running game going, that usually helps take some pressure off of Wilson, but that definitely wasn't the case in Tennessee. The Seahawks rushed for just 69 yards in the game. They're now just 6-14-1 under Pete Carroll when they rush for 70 yards or less. With no line and no rushing attack, Wilson (29 of 49, 373 yards, four TDs) was forced to throw 49 passes, which was a career high.
There aren't many teams in the NFL who can run the ball effectively against the Seahawks, but the Titans managed to do it on Sunday. Tennessee's 195 rushing yards marked the highest rushing total put up on the Seahawks since November 2013. Marcus Mariota was able to take some serious pressure off the Titans' run game by completing 20 of 32 for 225 yards and two touchdowns. Basically, the Titans beat the Seahawks at their own offensive game.
Green Bay 27-24 (OT) over Cincinnati
Although the Bengals didn't win this week, they did finally score a touchdown, which is a giant step forward for a team that didn't get into the end zone through the first two weeks of the season. Andy Dalton put up some impressive numbers in this game (21 of 27 for 212 yards, two TDs), but that's not why the Bengals kept this one close. The Bengals kept this close because their underrated defense dominated the Packers. Not only did the Bengals sack Aaron Rodgers six times -- with rookie Carl Lawson picking up 2.5 of those -- but they also forced him to throw just the second pick-six of his career. The big problem for the Bengals is that their offense disappeared in the second half and overtime, with only one of their six drives after halftime going for more than 17 yards.
Aaron Rodgers was able to exorcise two demons with one win. As crazy as it might sound, before Sunday, Rodgers had never beaten the Bengals in his career, and he had never won a game in overtime. Well, he can now check both those boxes off his career bucket list. Rodgers wasn't great, but he was great when he had to be, which is what great quarterbacks do sometimes. The Packers quarterback really showed off his greatness when heinto a window that was about three inches wide.
Geronimo Allison was also pretty great for the Packers, catching six passes for 122 yards.
Kansas City 24-10 over L.A. Chargers
We're now three weeks into the NFL season, and it's pretty clear that no one has figured out how to slow down Kareem Hunt. After his performance against the Chargers, it might be time to give him the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, and then actually name it after him. The Chiefs' electric rookie carried the ball 17 times for 172 yards and a touchdown. With Hunt on the team, the Chiefs were pretty much able to coast to victory after jumping out to a 14-0 lead during the first 10 minutes of the game.
After a stellar 14-year career, Philip Rivers has been slowly falling apart over the past 12 months. Including Sunday's loss, Rivers has thrown three or more interceptions in a game a total of nine times in his career, which isn't horrible. The ugly part is that four of those games have come in the past 12 months. When Rivers has a meltdown like he did against the Chiefs, the Chargers really have no chance of winning. They're now 1-8 in games where he throws three or more picks.
Rivers' three picks led to 17 points by the Chiefs and overshadowed an impressive five-sack day by the Chargers defense.
Washington 27-10 over Oakland
If you want to know what it looks like when a team suffers a complete meltdown on national television, all you had to do was watch the Raiders on Sunday night. Derek Carr had one of the worst games of his career (19 of 31, 118 yards, one TD, two INTs) as the Raiders only put up 128 yards of total offense, the team's second lowest total since 2010. The Raiders' ground game got suffocated by a Redskins defense that limited Oakland to just 32 yards on 13 carries (2.5 yards per carry). The Raiders were also miserable on third down, converting exactly zero of 11 attempts. Jack Del Rio is probably going to want to burn the film to this game and pretend it never happened.
Right now might be a good time for Kirk Cousins to ask for a contract that pays him more money than Derek Carr. The Redskins quarterback thoroughly outplayed Carr on Sunday night, going 25 of 30 for 365 yards and three touchdowns. Almost half of Cousins' passing yards went to his new secret weapon, Chris Thompson, who caught six passes for 150 yards. Of course, the biggest surprise of the game might have been the fact that the Redskins defense only gave up 128 yards, the team's best defensive showing since October 1992.
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