Did you guys see how week 3 in the NFL just ended? I’m still speechless. At this point is is just comical. I am not going to go on a big rant here about how awful these replacement refs are. I think every fan of the NFL will agree that they have to go. But, I will say this much, I do not think they are going anywhere too soon. I think we will see the replacement refs in at least week 4. You don’t have to be a Packers fan or a Patriots fan to complain that your team got robbed this weekend. I’m sure every fan of every team can make a case of a call where their team got screwed this weekend. The only way to truly beat the replacement refs is to blow your opponent out. This way the refs cannot make the costly mistake they made tonight against the Packers. The Atlanta Falcons, the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals got that memo this weekend, all producing blowout wins.
Here are some other quick thoughts I have from this wild weekend in the NFL, starting with the New York teams…
Giants @ Panthers – This game wasn’t even close so there is not too much to get into, but as I raved about Eli Manning last week, I’ll rave this week. The man simply put can make subs look like stars. That’s what happened in this game. The Giants defense played better then they have in any game all season. Cam Newton simply looked lost. The Giants are a much more dangerous team then most people give them credit for.
Jets @ Dolphins – This game may have been the ugliest game of the week. Both teams deserved to lose this game. Mark Sanchez remains a mystery for the Jets. He looked pretty much awful the entire game until late in the fourth quarter when he led a touchdown drive completing 4 of 6 passes on the drive. Then again in overtime when he drove them downfield for the game winning field goal. At the end of the day Sanchez threw for 306 yards and touchdown, but he also had two picks and only completed 46.6% of his passes. That kind of production will not work against then next two opponents, the 49ers and the Texans.
The bigger news for the Jets in this game was that super-star cornerback Darrell Revis tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. This is awful news for the Jets. He is to the Jets defense, what Peyton Manning was to the Colts offense last season. Don’t believe me, here is a stat I dug up. In the last two seasons the Jets have 23 interceptions when Revis on the field. When Revis is off the field they have ZERO interceptions.
The Jets are in serious trouble, someone needs to step up. Who will it be? I’m calling out quarterback Mark Sanchez. He needs to put this team in a position to win the game, not in a situation where the defense can lose it. The Jets are the only team with a Darrell Revis, and though he has been a factor in making the Jets a good team, it’s the other teams starting quarterbacks, Eli, Peyton, Brees, Brady, Rodgers etc that make their teams great. I’m not saying Mark Sanchez has to play like these guys because that’s asking for a lot, but the one thing these quarterback don’t do is make many mistakes. If Sanchez makes mistakes it puts the Jets defense on the field, and they are still looking for their identity without Revis. The next 14 weeks can be very difficult for Jets fans.
Bills @ Browns – The big story here was the Bills lost rising star running back C.J. Spiller to a shoulder injury. He already had a receiving touchdown before leaving with an injury. Good news for the Bills though was 3rd string running back Tashard Choice might have played the best game of his career coming in off the bench and rushing for 91 yards. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller may return in week 4. On the Cleveland side of things, they’re just a bad team. Weeden completed 62% of his passes, but threw two interceptions and running back Trent Richardson couldn’t move the chains. Give Cleveland credit for hanging close, but close doesn’t get you W’s in this league.
Philadelphia @ Arizona – Before I give a bunch of credit to this Arizona team (and I will they deserve it) I want to start by expressing my doubt in this Philadelphia team. It appears that no one on the offensive line wants to block for Michael Vick. It won’t be long before he suffers another injury. This team got man handled by the Cardinals and that worries me, because the Eagles barely beat the Browns in week one. They were saved by Vick on the final drive. Then in week two Vick saves the Eagles again on the final drive against the Ravens. (The replacement refs helped them too) Then this week the Eagles were pronounced dead after the coin flip. Not only is Vick getting hit a lot, he also can’t hold on to the football, leading the league in turnovers. They were an 8-8 team last season, and they don’t look much better this season. They will need to play much better against the Giants next Sunday night.
As far as the Cardinals go, their defense is legit. They are fierce, hard hitting and they are not afraid of their opponents. They are the cinderella story of the NFL at 3-0 beating Seattle, New England and Philadelphia. Not a bad way to start your season.
Kansas City @ New Orleans – Jamal Charles went off this week slicing up the Saints defense for 233 rushing yards and 55 receiving yards. Memo to the Saints…the NFL said you cannot put bounties on the opponents. They never said you couldn’t touch them at all. That is how the Saints D looks this season. The Saints who never lose at home have now lost home games this season to the 1-2 Washington Redskins and the 1-2 Kansas City Chiefs. Two teams you probably don’t expect to be talking about at the end of the season. I think the NFL should send Sean Payton his coach of the year trophy right now because I cannot imagine this happening if he was at the helm.
The NFL is a very unpredictable game as proven in week 3 with the 49ers losing on the road to the Vikings, the Steelers losing on the road to the Raiders after Roethlisberger plays an almost perfect game completing 73% of his passes for 384 yards and 4 touchdown passes. Steelers fans have to be very concerned about their aging defense.
Another interesting game of note is the Detroit Lions losing to the Tennessee Titans after playing almost no defense. The Lions are now 1-2 and somehow got into overtime in this game. For those of you who didn’t see the game, the Lions trailed 41-27 with 18 seconds remaining. You would think with the Titans scoring so many points that running back Chris Johnson had a monster game on the ground….he didn’t. Only rushing for 24 yards on 14 carries. It’s amazing what money can do to a player.
There it is the highlights for week 3, though the one thing everyone will talk about is the way tonights game ended in Seattle. We were all witnesses and Roger Goodell knows that, which may be the reason we DON’T see a ref change this week.