NFL Week 3 Recap — The Eagles Rule Pennsylvania & Other Things We Learned
Just five NFL teams remain unbeaten after the third Sunday of the 2016 regular season. Here’s what we learned this week:
The Eagles Are The Kings of Pennsylvania
Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 301 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and the Philadelphia Eagles routed the Pittsburgh Steelers, 34-3, on Sunday. Philadelphia (3-0) remained unbeaten after three games for just the third time in the last 20 seasons (2004 and 2014).
The impressive Eagles defense sacked Ben Roethlisberger four times as Pittsburgh (2-1) lost in Philly for the ninth consecutive time over the past 51 years (1965). Philadelphia has given up a league-low 27 points through three games. They’ll remain the undisputed Kings of the Keystone State for the rest of 2016.
Now, can they live up to the certain hype that their home city’s sports talk radio hosts are sure to spew through the upcoming bye week? (No. No team can.)
The Broncos Still Look Super
Trevor Siemian threw for 312 yards and four touchdown passes, and the defending Super Bowl-champion Denver Broncos rallied past the Cincinnati Bengals, 29-17, on Sunday. Denver (3-0) has looked just as unbeatable to start the 2016 season as they did in their march to the title in January, even if their new quarterback is still unrecognizable to the rest of the league. Receiver Demaryius Thomas had six catches for 100 yards and a score.
As has so often been the case in big games, Cincinnati (1-2) self-destructed with a muffed punt by Adam Jones at the end of the first quarter that led to a Broncos touchdown; two near-interceptions of Siemian were botched, and Dalton’s late pick all but ended the game. Until Cincy can finish a game like this, they’ll remain after-thoughts in the AFC title picture.
It’s Good To Wear Purple; Blue, Not So Much
Is this a Prince tribute? The two NFL teams who wear purple — the Baltimore Ravens and Minnesota Vikings — are both undefeated after three games. The New York Giants are not.
Justin Tucker kicked a 54-yard field goal with 1:02 to play, and the Baltimore Ravens beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 19-17, on Sunday. Tucker kicked four field goals as — SPOILER ALERT — Baltimore (3-0) won with defense, rather than a dynamic offense. Down 17-16 in the fourth quarter, the Ravens rallied for the win and are 3-0 for first time since 2009. Zach Orr's interception in the final minute secured the victory.
Jacksonville (0-3) is winless after three games for the third time in the last four years. Head coach Gus Bradley, whose career record is 12-39, can’t be thinking abut long-term plans in Florida. ‘Franchise’ quarterback Blake Bortles threw two costly interceptions that ended drives in Baltimore territory. Jags fans don’t miss Blaine Gabbert, but they probably wouldn’t mind losing Bortles and Bradley soon.
After falling behind 10-0 in the first quarter, the purple-clad Minnesota Vikings rallied to thump the Carolina Panthers, 22-10, in Charlotte on Sunday. It was the first home loss for Carolina (1-2) since Nov. of 2014.
Without running back Adrian Peterson, Minnesota (3-0) is winning with defense. The Vikings sacked Cam Newton eight times, forced three turnovers and didn’t allow a point after the first quarter.
Dustin Hopkins kicked his fifth field goal of the game late in the fourth quarter, and the Washington Redskins edged the New York Giants, 29-27, on Sunday. Washington (1-2) avoided a winless start while spoiling the unbeaten run of New York (2-1). The Giants now head to Minnesota and Green Bay, tough road contests that could see them return to the Meadowlands under. 500.
Terrelle Pryor Can Do Everything For The Browns (But Win)
Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor caught, ran and passed the ball, but he couldn’t keep the Cleveland Browns from losing to the Miami Dolphins, 30-24, in overtime on Sunday. Jay Ajayi scored on an 11-yard run with 8:26 left in overtime to give Miami (1-2) the win.
The versatile Pryor caught eight passes for 144 yards and carried four times for 21 yards and a touchdown for Cleveland (0-3). He was 3-for-5 passing for 35 yards, while seeing his first action under center in an NFL game since 2013. Pryor was a quarterback at Ohio State and was drafted at the position by Oakland in 2011, going 3-7 in his 10 starts for the Raiders.
Browns’ rookie Cody Kessler, who started at quarterback with both Robert Griffin III and Josh McCown injured, threw for 244 yards.
Cleveland had a chance to win the game late but newly signed kicker Cody Parkey missed a 46-yard field goal as time expired in regulation. Parkey missed three field goal attempts in the game.
Russell Wilson Hurt His Knee; Ryan Fitzpatrick Hurt His Team
Quarterback Russell Wilson left Sunday's game with a left knee injury in the second half, but the Seattle Seahawks still mauled the San Francisco 49ers, 37-18. Backup quarterback Trevone Boykin finished the game for Seattle (2-1), but the focus for the rest of the game and afterward was on Wilson. It’s been termed a sprained MCL, but the MRI will be the final determinant.
San Francisco (1-2) was routed for the second consecutive week. The Niners have given up 83 points since shutting out the Rams in Week 1.
The Chiefs forced eight turnovers, including six interceptions by Jets’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Kansas City crushed New York, 24-3, on Sunday.
Marcus Peters had two of the interceptions for the Chiefs. Linebacker Derrick Johnson had a 55-yard return of a Fitzpatrick pick for a score that cemented the win for Kansas City (2-1).
Any offense the Jets did get rolling was quickly snuffed out by a turnover. New York (1-2) is likely to do even less against the Seahawks next Sunday.
Thursday, September 22
New England 27, Houston 0
Sunday, September 25
Buffalo 33, Arizona 18
Oakland 17, Tennessee 10
Green Bay 34, Detroit 27
Indianapolis 26, San Diego 22
Los Angeles 37, Tampa Bay 32
Dallas, 31, Chicago 17