Monday, September 26, 2005

NFL Round-Up, Week Three

Big Games
Atlanta @ Buffalo Falcons 24/Bills 16 – Michael Vick threw two touchdown passes and ran for 64 yards on 9 carries while Falcons running backs Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett ran for 172 yards.

The Bills were supposed to have a question mark on the offensive side of the ball with the quarterback position, but the problem seems to be the run defense. Giving up yards on the ground the way Buffalo has will keep the Bills out of play-off contention.

New England @ Pittsburg Patriots 23/Steelers 20 – I thought we were seeing the return of the Steel Curtin defense? Tom Brady shredded the Steelers defense for 372 yards and the Patriot defense shut-down the Pittsburg running game in a game that lived up to its billing.

This was a big win for the Patriots but it was even bigger for the Indianapolis Colts who now, at 3-0, have the inside track to home field advantage in the play-offs.

Big Upset
Carolina @ MiamiDolphins 27/Panthers 24 – Rookie running back Ronnie Brown ran for 132 yards on 23 carries to become the first Dolphins rookie to run for over 100 yards in six years.
Carolina receiver Steve Smith caught 11 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns including a game tying 53 yard score in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 24.

It was Miami safety Lance Schulters who stole the show with a 37 yard interception return, with two minutes left, to set up Olindo Mare’s game winning 32 yard field goal with four seconds left.

“We’re not the worst team in the league like some people make us out to be,” Schulters said. “We believe in ourselves and our abilities, and we like to stick it to people who don’t believe in us.”

Worst Game

Cleveland @ IndianapolisColts 13/Browns 6 – I thought this would be the week where Peyton Manning would have his break-out game. Instead Edgerrin James ran for 108 yards on 27 carries and a touchdown and kicker Mike Vander Vanderjagt knocked in two field goals. I’m still waiting on that break-out game by Manning.

Seasons Over
Buffalo Linebacker Takeo Spikes – Out for the season with a ruptured Achilles.
New England Safety Rodney Harrison – Out for the season with a torn ACL.
New York Jets Quarterback Chad Pennington – Out for the season with a torn rotator cuff.

Looking Ahead to Week Four
Big Game
Denver @ Jacksonville – The Broncos are coming off a big Monday night win over their rival Kansas City Chiefs and the Jaguars don’t want to fall two games behind the Colts.

Prediction – Jaguars 17/Broncos 13

Possible Upset

New York Jets @ Baltimore – I’m not sure if you can call this an upset because the Jets will be playing their third string quarterback. Look for the Baltimore defense to take advantage of the situation. The Ravens will still struggle on offense but should muster enough to beat the Jets.

Prediction – Ravens 10/Jets 6

Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are off next week. They have already won half as many games as they did last season. Things definitely look like they are on the up and up.

Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburg.