A LOT of big happenings in the league this weekend. We had some rookies breaking out, a Super Bowl contender getting dominated, more controversial roughing the passer calls, and a continued display of parity across the league.
Lets take a look at some of the big storylines following week 3
The Browns are no longer THAT team. After going the entire 2017 season without a win, the Browns were 0-1-1 going into a Thursday night matchup with the New York Jets.
Going into halftime down 14-3, the Browns appeared to be in for another dismal loss, with starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor only completing 4 of his 14 passes for 19 yards.
Taylor was knocked out of the game with a concussion late in the 2nd quarter, and was replaced by 1st overall pick Baker Mayfield. Mayfield was incredible in the 2nd half, going 17/23 for 201 yards and leading 4 scoring drives to lead the Browns back for the win. The city of Cleveland erupted, as Bud Light had promised the city free Bud Light for the first Browns win this season. The Baker Mayfield era is here, and it got off to an electric start.
Bills Rout the Vikings
Just what everyone expected right? The largest upset in over 30 years occurred Sunday, with the Bills covering their 17 point spread and then some. The Bills didn’t just win, they thoroughly dominated the Vikes 27-6.
Coming into the weekend, the Bills were in contention for the worst team in the NFL, losing their first two games by a combined 55 points. Against Minnesota, the Bills forced 3 turnovers, allowed just 14 yards rushing, and were bolstered by rookie quarterback Josh Allen’s 3 touchdown day (1 passing, 2 rushing).
Roughing The Passer Penalties Ruining the NFL?
Packers’ edge rusher Clay Matthews was very vocal about the issue of the overuse of roughing calls following Green Bay’s loss to the Redskins. Matthews was called for his 3rd roughing the passer call in as many weeks, and went off on the NFL in the locker room, saying the NFL is going “soft”.
Dolphins’ edge rusher William Hayes tore his ACL Sunday amidst a sack on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr. The Dolphins are claiming Hayes suffered the injury while trying to avoid getting a roughing call of his own. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase,
He was trying not to put his body weight on the quarterback. His foot got caught in the ground
Steelers Shopping Bell
The Pittsburgh Steelers have reportedly made running back Le’Veon Bell available through trade. It’s definitely hard to assign a trade value for a running back who is yet to play this season, and cannot be negotiated with until after the season due to his franchise tag tender. Regardless, teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Jets have publicly made their interest in Bell known, and there are definitely a few other teams around the league who could use a back as talented as Bell.
Jimmy GQ Done For Season
After leading the 49ers to a 5-0 finish to the 2017 season, hopes were high in the Bay Area for a resurrection to their storied 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo had not been as efficient as he had been last season, but all the signs were there that San Francisco had found their long term answer at quarterback following the drop off of Colin Kaepernick and suffering through the likes of Blaine Gabbert, Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard the past 2 seasons.
Sunday afternoon, Garoppolo tore his ACL while bracing for a hit on the sideline from Chiefs defensive back Steven Nelson. Garoppolo was carted to the locker room after sideline evaluations, and the 9ers are reportedly rolling with Beathard to start the remainder of the season.
Student Takes Down The Master (Patriots Time To Panic?)
The Lions defeated the Patriots Sunday night 26-10, and we’re at that point in the season where everyone starts to freak out about the Patriots. Following back to back losses, talking heads everywhere are already starting the “Are the Patriots done?” conversations around the country.
While this loss was definitely personal for Bill Belichick, losing to former Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia, I take more away from the Lions win than the Patriots loss. The Patriots do this every year early on, they feel things out on defense, Brady takes some time to adjust to his new targets, and they win something like 10 of their last 12 in the regular season and carry that momentum into the Playoffs. Don’t buy in to the schtick. The Patriots will be fine.
There’s our recap of week 3. Thursday we’ll have some more news breakdowns, impact injury updates, our weekly hot seat watch, and our first MVP outlook for the season.