Week 3 was a crazy, crazy week. Thanks Trump! I kidd. Blake Bortles, Case Keenum, and Eli Manning all threw for at least three touchdowns, with Bortles throwing four! The Jets dominated. It gets crazier, though. Eight of the games on Sunday had the road teams as favorites. The Jaguars, Colts, Bears, Jets, Bills, and Redskins all took care of business at home. Bow wow wow yipee yo yipee ya! Home dogs! The Lions should have won and the Chargers…well, just scroll down to the recap of that game and all will become clear.
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Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars (London game)
The Ravens were favored by 3, even though this would be their first game across The Pond. The Jags have gone through the experience four times. We all make a big deal about West Coast teams travelling east to play an early game, so…..Anyways, Blake Bortles went 20/31 for 244 yards and threw four touchdowns. It makes sense because the whole game was garbage time. Tight end Marcedes Lewis caught three of the TDs while Allen Hurns caught the fourth. On the ground, Leonard Fournette rushed 17 times for 59 yards and scored a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 21 yards. If you were perusing the box score and noticed that Corey Grant rushed six times for 75 yards, don’t get gassed. Most of the yardage came on a fake punt when the Jags were up by 30 points. The Jags D is….
The unit ended up with two sacks, one fumble recovery, and two interceptions. Ryan Mallett was the best quarterback for the Ravens with a 6/9 36 yards one touchdown day line. Joe Flacco was 8/18 28 yards with two interceptions. I just puked and laughed at the same time. The leading rusher for the Ravens was Alex Collins with nine carries for 82 yards. Buck Allen rushed eight times for 15 yards and caught five passes for 13 yards, while Terrance West carried six times for 26 yards.
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers
If I were a Cam Newton owner, I’d be extremely worried. He was already not rushing the ball as much as he used to, but now he can’t throw. He was never the most accurate passer but he struggled to push the ball down the field and connect on the easiest of throws. It looks like he’s having difficulty returning from the shoulder surgery he had back in March. The matchup against the Saints was akin to shooting fish in a barrel. Cam basically had a shotgun, unloaded multiple rounds at point blank range, and missed every fish. His final line was 17/26 167 yards with three interceptions. Kelvin Benjamin exited the game early with, what looks to be, a multi-week injury. Devin Funchess will be the number one wide receiver but second in the pecking order for targets. Christian McCaffrey caught nine passes for 101 yards and rushed four times for 16 yards.
The Saints usually struggle on the road, but Drew Brees was hyper-efficient going 22/29 for 220 yards and three touchdowns. It helped that they were gifted short fields after Cam turnovers. Michael Thomas caught seven passes for 87 yards and a touchdown. Ted Ginn Jr. fulfilled the revenge narrative and caught two passes for 44 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Coleman caught the third Brees touchdown for his only catch of the day. Mark Ingram paced the running game with 14 carries for 56 yards. Alvin Kamara only received two carries but rushed for 37 yards and a touchdown. If you care, and I don’t know why you would, Adrian Peterson carried nine times for 33 yards. It always baffles me why Sean Payton hates Ingram so much.
Oh what a difference a healthy Odell Beckham Jr. makes. He caught nine passes for 79 yards and two touchdowns. Sterling Shepard caught seven passes for 133 yards and a long 77 yard touchdown. Even the corpse of Brandon Marshall contributed with eight catches for 66 yards. Eli’s final line for the day was 35/47 366 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. On the ground, Paul Perkins rushed nine times for 22 yards, while Orleans Darkwa rushed seven times for 22 yards. Perkins looks like doo-doo and Darkwa did bust one for 20 yards. It’s not an enticing situation for running backs, but a healthy OBJ does open up the box. I’d pick up Darkwa.
After not receiving a carry in last week’s game, LeGarrette Blount carried 12 times for 67 yards with a touchdown. It was an impressive performace against a very stout Giants defensive line. He ran hard and broke multiple tackles. Wendell Smallwood also carried 12 times for 71 yards while Corey Clement carried six times for 22 yards and a touchdown. Darren Sproles left the game early in the game due to a wrist injury. Carson Wentz went 21/31 176 yards with a touchdown. Cornerback Janoris Jenkins did end up playing after being questionable. As a result, Alshon Jeffrey was only able to muster four catches for 56 yards. It was once again the Zach Ertz show, as he caught eight passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. He’s received eight, 10, and 10 targets the past three games. He should continue to get peppered with targets all year. Do we have a new Legatron? Rookie Jake Elliot hit the game winner. A 61 yarder!!!
Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
J….E….T….S….Jets, Jets, Jets!!!! Holy moly. A 20-6 win for the Jets. The crazy thing is that the score is not indicative of the level of dominance the Jets administered. If it wasn’t for a last-second throw and catch from Jay Cutler to DeVante Parker, the Jets would’ve pitched a shutout. The Jets were Cesar Millan while the Dolphins were the biatch. Josh McCown went 18/23 249 yards with a touchdown. Robby Anderson caught the lone touchdown on a 69-yard bomb. He ended the day with three catches and 95 yards. Last week’s DFS hero, Jermaine Kearse, was held to three catches for 42 yards. A player to keep an eye on is Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the athletic tight end who returned from a two-game suspension. He ended up catching five passes for 31 yards. Bilal Powell led the rushing attack with 15 carries for 37 yards and a touchdown. Matt Forte carried eight times for 25 yards.
For the Dolphins, Cutler ended 26/44 for 220 yards and that garbage touchdown. Parker ended up catching eight passes for 76 yards and a touchdown. Jarvis Landry received 11 targets and caught six passes for 48 yards. Kenny Stills also received 10 targets and caught four for 51 yards. Jay Ajayi, the chalkiest of chalk at running back, rushed 11 times for 16 yards and caught two passes for nine yards.
No wonder they layed an egg in New York. How can a team have that for a fight song?
Houston Texans @ New England Patriots
The Patriots escaped with a 36-33 win after Tom Brady connected with Brandin Cooks for a touchdown with 23 seconds left in the game. The offense was impressive. Brady went 25/35 for 378 yards and five touchdowns. The aforementioned Cooks hauled in five passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski caught eight for 89 yards with one Gronk SMASH! Chris Hogan caught four passes for 69 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Gillislee led the rushing attack with 12 carries for 31 yards. The problems lie with the Patriots defense. While the unit intercepted Deshaun Watson twice and sacked him two times, they allowed the rookie to finish the day 22/33 for 301 yards with two touchdowns and the two interceptions. He also rushed eight times for 41 yards and had the Texans in line for the win before the Brady heroics. DeAndre Hopkins was the leading receiver with seven catches for 76 yards on eight targets. Lamar Miller led the rushing attack with 14 carries for 56 yards. Until further notice, I think we have to stream all offenses against the Patriots.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Minnesota Vikings
A little home cooking and another week of preparation for Case Keenum did wonders for the Vikings in Week 3. Keenum was fantastic going 25/33 for 369 yards and three touchdowns. Can you Stefon Diggs It went HAM with eight catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. Dalvin Cook carried 27 times for 97 yards with a touchdown and caught five passes for 72 yards. Combine schmonbine. On defense, they sacked Jameis Winston twice and picked him off three times. Winston did end the day going 28/40 for 328 yards and two touchdowns, but most of that was done when the game was decided. DeSean Jackson caught a long 32-yard touchdown and ended the day with 4/84. Mike Evans caught seven for 67 yards. Xavier Rhodes is really good at playing cornerback. The run game was nonexistent as Jacquizz Rodgers carried five times for 15 yards.
Cleveland Browns @ Indianapolis Colts
The Browns were favored by a point in this one. The Colts said, “Naw. Not today. Not in our house.” Jacoby Brissett passed for 259 yards and a touchdown on 17/24 attempts. He also rushed five times for 14 yards for two touchdowns with multiple mashings of the circle button. TY Hilton went ballistic for seven catches for 153 yards that included a long 61 yard scamper for a touchdown. Jack Doyle caught two passes for 16 yards. On the ground, Frank Gore led the way with 25 attempts for 57 yards and a touchdown. Nothing like playing the Browns defense to cure offensive ills for a week. It sounds like Andrew Luck could return by Week 6, so there may be some light at the end of the tunnel.
DeShone Kizer was turrable to start the game, but he did bring the team back to make the final score 28-31. Kizer was 22/47 for 242 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions through the air. On the ground, he rushed seven times for 44 yards and a touchdown. Duke Johnson was the leading receiver with six catches for 81 yards. He also chipped in a rushing touchdown. Kenny Britt and David Njoku both caught touchdowns.
Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions
The Lions should have won this game, but Golden Tate was ruled down, just shy of the goal line, at the end of the game. Someone made a phone call and I’m not talking about Buffalo Wild Wings. The Falcons are lucky to escape with a win, as Matt Ryan did not have the best of games: 24/35 for 294 yards with two touchdowns, but three interceptions. Mohammed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel were the touchdown recipients, while Julio Jones led the team in targets with 12 and hauled in seven for 91 yards. Darius Slay primarily shadowed Julio and did a very nice job against him. Devonta Freeman carried 21 times for 106 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 32 yards. Tevin Coleman carried six times for 46 yards and chipped in three receptions for 43 yards. I think it’s safe to drop Austin Hooper, as he’s received two targets in all three games so far. He does have the chance to explode from time to time, but his floor is super low.
The Lions scored 26 points, but 7 were from a pick-six on defense. Matthew Stafford threw the ball 45 times but only mustered 264 yards and a touchdown. Golden Tate was the leading receiver with seven receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. Ameer Abdullah led the team in rushing with 14 carries for 47 yards. The three catches were a nice little bonus. Is Eric Ebron ever going to be a thing? He was targeted seven times but only hauled in two for nine measly yards. In Week 1, he also caught two passes for nine yards. In Week 2, he caught five passes for 42 yards and a touchdown. It just happens to be that the Giants have been and still are one of the worst teams at defending the tight end position. Fire up Cameron Brate next week!
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Chicago Bears
The Steelers stayed in the locker room for the National Anthem. Maybe they should have stayed in there all game. We all know about the huge home/road splits that Ben Roethlisberger has. It’s a thing people. 22/39 235 yards and a touchdown. Downtown Antonio Brown is matchup proof and Big Ben proof, as he hauled in 10 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. Le’Veon Bell carried 15 times for 61 yards and a touchdown. He also caught six passes for 37 yards. Yo Martavis! We need more from you. Granted, Ben barely missed him on a deep shot the first play of the game. With that said, two receptions on eight targets is no bueno. The problem in this game was the defense. Stephon Tuitt and T.J. Watt, two key pieces on defense, were out, but there were massive running lanes for Jordan Howard. As a result, he carried 23 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns. He also chipped in five receptions for 26 yards. Really impressive performance from Howard, especially since he’s obviously bothered by a shoulder injury. NFL teams seriously have the hookup for the good drugs I tell ya. Tarik Cohen carried 12 times for 78 yards and caught four passes for 24 yards. He did break a 70-yarder that would have won the game, but the refs ruled that he stepped out of bounds. Cohen is a Tyreke Hill/Darren Sproles hybrid. He’s so shifty that he rarely takes a direct hit. He is also very thick for his diminuative stature. I hope he stays healthy all year because he’s a game changer.
Denver Broncos @ Buffalo Bills
Someone forgot to tell the Bills that they were tanking. They are now 2-1 and undefeated at home! This was definitely a trap game for the Broncos, though. Coming off an emotional win last week, having to travel east for a 1pm EST game, and having the Oakland Raiders on the docket next week. Trevor Siemian was 24/40 for 259 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. The beautiful thing about the Broncos passing game is we know exactly where the production is going: Demaryius Thomas (6/98) and Emmanuel Sanders (7/75). Sanders did get 15 targets to nine for DT. On the ground, C.J. Anderson carried eight times for 36 yards. He had a long of 32, so you do the math. Jamaal Charles carried nine times for 56 yards and scored the lone touchdown. He’s going to be a thorn in the side for Anderson owners all season long.
For the Bills, TyGod Taylor was 20/26 for 213 yards and two touchdowns against the vaunted Broncos defense. Some will point to the fact that he got lucky on one of them, as a pass richocheted into the hands of Andre Holmes in the end zone. That is fact, but he also threw a wide open pass to Mike Tolbert at the goal line that he flat out dropped. The universe always balances things out, except my checking account. Anyways, LeSean McCoy was bottled up on the ground (14 for 21 yards), but caught seven passes for 48 yards. His floor is super high in PPR leagues. Charles Clay caught six for 39 with a touchdown and is basically the number one receiver for TyGod. Fat Mike Tolbert did carry 11 times for 41 yards in this game, but I wouldn’t expect that to be a common occurrence. He will vulture some touchdowns over the course of the season, though.
Seattle Seahawks @ Tennessee Titans
Over the years, the Seahawks have slowly allowed Russell Wilson to pass more often. They rarely go no-huddle that often, though, which always baffled me because he excels in it. I get it. They want to run the ball and play to their defense, but man, the offensive line is such trash that it’s really beneficial to go no-huddle. That doesn’t mean to go Chip Kelly balls to the wall. They could still milk the clock, but just not allow the defense to substitute and keep them vanilla. Anyways, rant over. Russell Wilson was magnificent against the Titans, going 29/49 for 373 yards and four touchdowns. Doug Baldwin (10/105) caught one, Luke Wilson (3/53) caught one, Paul Richardson (2/30) caught one, and Chris Carson (2/18) caught one. Jimmy Graham did not get in on the fun, but he did catch seven for 72 yards. The run game was non-existent as Chris Carson led the way with 11 carries for 34 yards. Ok, the Titans have a terrible secondary, but they do get pressure and have a decent defensive line. #FreeWilson!!! For you Baldwin owners, he did leave the game with a groin injury, so keep an eye on that as the week progresses.
The Titans are going to be a force this season. They have an excellent offensive line and depth at every position. Marcus Mariota (20/32 225 yards 2 TDs) continues to play well. The one interesting nugget that I picked up over the past few weeks was that Mariota has struggled throwing to his right. Warren Sharp has advanced analytics that back it up. The Raiders exploited that in Week 1, as they rolled coverage to the left and forced him to throw right. From everything I read about Mariota, though, I do think that weakness gets corrected as the season goes on. Rishard Matthews caught six passes for 87 yards, which included a 55-yard touchdown. The rookie tight end, Jonnu Smith caught one pass for the other touchdown. He has now caught a touchdown in consecutive games. As long as Delanie Walker (4/31) is there, Smith will not get enough targets to be a reliable option. The run game was beastly, as DeMarco Murray carried 14 times for 115 yards, with a 75-yard touchdown. Derrick Henry carried 13 times for 54 yards. As long as Murray is healthy, all indications are that the backfield is his. Henry does remain one of the most valuable handcuffs, though, as DeMarco has some injury concerns and Henry would become a bonafide RB1 in this offense.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Green Bay Packers
The Bengals jumped out to a 21-7 lead, but couldn’t finish the deal and bungaled away a possible win. The new offense under Bill Lazor did look much better, although it was against the Packers defense. Andy Dalton was 21/27 for 212 yards and two touchdowns. As expected, A.J. Green was fed and hauled in 10 of 13 targets for 111 yards and a touchdown. The most meaningful change was the emergence of Joe Mixon in the backfield. He carried 18 times for 62 yards and caught three passes for 39 yards. He just oozes with talent. The agility, moves, and power were on full display. The genie has been released and there’s no returning him to the bottle.
The Packers struggled. I think we need to give the Bengals defense their due respect. They sacked Rodgers six times and hassled him countless others. Coming into the game, the Bengals were ninth in pass DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. With that said, it’s Aaron Freaking Rodgers, so of course he ended up throwing for 313 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Jordy Nelson (6/52) caught two touchdowns while Lance Kendricks (2/52) caught the other. It was Geronimo Allison that led the team in receiving, though, with six receptions for 122 yards. If Randall Cobb is unable to play because of his chest injury, Allison is definitely a viable option.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Los Angeles Chargers
The Chiefs took it to the Chargers, as they sacked Phillip Rivers (20/40 237 yards) two times and picked him off three times.
Travis Benjamin (5/105) and Keenan Allen (5/61) were the leading pass catchers. Just a really bad game by Rivers. Jay, you okay? The most concerning news for the Chargers is the health of Melvin Gordon (17 for 79 yards TD). He left the game due to a knee injury, returned later in the game, only to leave again. Branden Oliver is the back to pick up if Gordon can’t go. Back in 2014, Oliver went 26/101 with a touchdown and 19/114 with a touchdown in consecutive games when he filled in.
For the Chiefs, Kareem Hunt aka Rookie of the Year carried 17 times for 172 yards which includes a 69-yard touchdown run. Tyreek Hill caught five for 77 yards and a touchdown. Alex “Touchdown Jesus” Smith was 16/21 155 yards with two touchdowns. This is the blueprint that the Chiefs want to follow. Run the ball with Hunt, dink and dunk with Smith, sprinkle in a few shot plays for Tyreek, and play suffocating defense.
Oakland Raiders @ Washington Redskins
Washington dominated in almost every facet of the game. They did have some lapses on special teams, which frankly prohibited the bagel. Captain Kirk Cousins was almost perfect: 25/30 365 yards and three touchdowns. Jordan Reed was declared inactive prior to the game, making that an automatic insertion of Vernon Davis (6/58 TD) into lineups. The rookie Josh Doctson only caught one ball, but wow….what a play it was, as he leaped over David Amerson to haul in a 52-yard bomb. Chris Thompson was electric, catching six passes for 150 yards with a touchdown and carrying eight times for 38 yards. While Thompson will never be a bell cow and pound the ball between the tackles, he’s a vital weapon for the Redskins attack. He’s had two huge games in a row, but his current rate of production is unsustainable. Samaje Perine carried 19 times for 49 yards, but fumbled and looked to have injured his hand. Mack Brown took his place and carried six times for 27 yards. If Rob Kelley and Perine miss any time, Brown would be the pickup. Outside of the special teams blunders, the only other negative for the Redskins was the play of Terrelle Pryor. He doesn’t run crisp routes and doesn’t use his big body to shield defenders. Things should get better as the season develops, but it’s also possible that Cousins starts latching on to the other tits of the offense.
The Raiders. Dude, Where’s My Carr? The offensive line could not hold up and allowed four sacks in addition to the countless pressures. Carr ended the night 19/31 for 118 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Jared Cook was the leading receiver with four receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown. Both the Raiders and Redskins are terrible at defending the tight end position, so stream away. Amari Cooper caught one ball for six yards and had multiple drops. Michael Crabtree caught one for seven yards and had to leave the game early after getting crunched in the ribs. Marshawn Lynch only received six carries for 18 yards. First and goal at the four yard line and three straight passing plays are called with Crabtree on the sideline. Things get rough for the Raiders, as they have to go to Denver next week, then host the Ravens, Chargers, and then Chiefs.
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