It was time for blunders galore in the NFL; icing the kicker backfires; surprise unbeatens; a cool coach and the hot player of the week.
By Jim Buzinski
How I saw Week 3 of the NFL:
There was a lot of stupidity going around Sunday, from both coaches and players.
There was a boatload of idiocy in Seattle, where the Seahawks beat the Chargers, 27-20. San Diego committed 83 yards in penalties, lost three fumbles and had two interceptions. On consecutive drives near the end of the game, driving for the tying touchdown, the Chargers got key delay of game penalties when Phillip Rivers couldn't hear what play to call from Coach Norv Turner. That's not acceptable since teams do two-minute drills all the time and it cost San Diego.
The Seahawks helped the Chargers out with some terrible clock management at the end of the first half. They had the ball at the Chargers' 2 with 21 seconds left and no timeouts. The smart move is to run a play, then spike the ball if short and kick a field goal. But the Seahawks spiked the ball first, then had QB Matt Hasselbeck try and run it in. I'm faster than Hasselbeck. He got stuffed and the clock ran out before they could try a field goal. Luckily for Seattle, Leon Washington ran back two kickoffs for touchdowns in the second half. In addition, Turner was coaching the other team, so a screw-up was bound to happen.
|Hot player of the week: Blair White|
We also saw two Super Bowl quarterbacks throw totally dumb interceptions. In New York, Eli Manning of the Giants forgot he was right-handed, when he tried to shot put the ball with his left hand into the Titans' end zone. The ball was picked off, typical of the kind of day it was for the Giants, who lost 29-10 despite outgaining the Titans by 200 yards. New York committed six personal fouls in the game.
In New Orleans, the Saints lost to the Falcons in overtime, 27-24. Drew Brees was his usually efficient self, going 30 for 38, but he channeled his inner Eli Manning on one play, where he tried to underhand a pass; the result was an easy Falcons interception.
Shanks: Garrett Hartley and Sebastian Janikowski each cost their teams wins with bad field goal kicking. Hartley, a hero in the Saints' Super Bowl run last year, missed a 29-yarder in overtime, his fourth miss this season. Word is that the Saints are already bringing in other kickers to challenge him.
In Arizona, Janikowski missed a 32-yarder as time expired, costing the Raiders in a 24-23 loss to the Cardinals. Prior to the miss, Janikowski had made 19 in a row from between 30 and 39 yards. He missed two others and the Cardinals (2-1) lucked out.
Back on track: The Cowboys (27-13 winners at the Texans) and the Vikings (24-10 winners over the Lions) got their first wins. This means the fire Wade Phillips cries will stop for two weeks (Dallas has a bye coming up), as will calls for Brett Favre to hang it up in Minnesota. The Cowboys still look like the better of the two teams. Dallas beat an unbeaten Texans' team while the Vikings were shaky against the winless Lions.
Unbeatens: You could have made a lot of money in Vegas if you bet that the only 3-0 teams would be Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Chicago). The Steelers are playing without Ben Roethlisberger the first four games, while the Chiefs won four games all last season. The Bears have not started this well since their Super Bowl year of 2006. Amazingly, the Chiefs have a two-game lead in the AFC West. After a bye this week, the Chiefs' next two games are at the Colts (2-1) and Texans (2-1), so we'll see if they are legit or not. The Steelers are legit and a real Super Bowl threat the way their defense is playing.
Hot player of the week: With Peyton Manning at QB, the Colts seem to be able to plug anybody into a receiver slot and succeed. With Pierre Garcon and Anthony Gonzalez out, the Colts called up undrafted rookie Blair White from the practice squad. In his first NFL action, White had three catches and a touchdown. That's not the reason White made this writeup, though. He's also a hottie - 6-2 and 205 pounds. Thanks to Jim Allen for first spotting him. With Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, Garcon and Collie on the team, White becomes Manning's latest hot boy toy. (Thanks to a reader for this uber-hot shot of a shirtless White).
Serves him right: I hate the BS play where the coach literally waits until the second before the ball is snapped on a field goal to call timeout. The ball is snapped and whatever happens doesn't count because of the time out; it's a really cheap ploy that the NFL somehow still allows.
In New Orleans, Sean Peyton called a T.O. right before Falcons' kicker Matt Bryant attempted a kick in overtime. The kick was blocked, but it didn't count, so Bryant got another try. He made Peyton pay when he nailed a game-winner from 46 yards out. Cue Nelson Muntz.
Off the mat: In Week 1, the Jets tied a franchise-low with six first downs in an ugly loss to the Ravens. Fast forward two weeks, and the Jets have won consecutive division games against the Patriots and Dolphins. In those games, Mark Sanchez has six touchdowns and no interceptions.
I like the Jets, especially coach Rex Ryan. He is loud and brash, but I don't sense he's a dickhead. And I loved him dumping Gatorade on Jason Taylor, a new Jet who had spent nearly all his career as a Dolphin, after the Jets' tough 31-23 at Miami on Sunday night. That kind of act is why the Jets are becoming a preferred destination for free agents.
Quick hits: The Patriots (2-1) look solid on offense, but they will need to score 30-plus points each week given how shaky their defense is. On Sunday, they allowed the Bills 374 total yards, more than the Bills gained in their two previous games combined. There are no defensive leaders on the Pats and even a coach like Bill Belichick can't make something out of nothing. ... Peyton Manning's stats after three weeks: 1,013 yards passing, 69% completions, nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. Hard to believe the league's best QB is actually getting better. ...
Best TV moment I saw was a great shot of a Colts and a Broncos lineman whose helmets had gotten stuck to each other. They had to carefully take them off in order to separate them. ... I don't think Michael Vick will be giving up his job as Eagles' QB any time soon. ... Biggest team flop has to be the 49ers. A hot preseason playoff pick (including by me), the 49ers are 0-3 after being blown out in Kansas City. The Niners play in the garbage NFC West, so they still have a chance, but they first need to win a game.