NFP Week 3 Sunday replay
Let’s take a look back at the Week 3 Sunday schedule in the NFL. Ten topics that you should be talking about on Monday.
1. The 3-0 Bills: Buffalo can score some points and they showed us something about Brady and the Patriots. Force some turnovers, create field position and you can pick on this New England defense. Shaky play from the Patriots in the secondary and a defensive front that can’t get to the QB. Bill Belichick has some corrections to make—and Fitzpatrick’s Bills are sitting along in first place in the AFC East. First win vs. the Pats since 2003.
Vick leaves with another injury and the Eagles are now a 1-2 football team.
2. Vick, Eagles fall to 1-2: Michael Vick’s (now bruised) right hand isn't good news in Philly. That’s two injuries in consecutive weeks for the No.1 QB—and his durability should be discussed. But we should also take a closer look at the back seven of this Eagles’ defense. Linebackers that don’t match up in the passing game (or get off blocks) and poor play from the safety position in the loss to the Giants. No question that Philly has real talent outside the numbers when we talk about the corners, but this defense has some holes. And right now Philly is looking up at the rest of the NFC East.
3. Finley and the Champs: The way I see it, the Packers as the best team in football right now. They showed us pressure on defense vs. the Bears, ran the ball with production and when it comes to the TE position, have a matchup weapon. Didn’t matter if the Bears played Cover 1 (man-free) or their Tampa 2 scheme, because Finley can align in multiple positions on the field. And when the ball crosses the 20-yard line, you can expect QB Aaron Rodgers to target him. Find me a safety that will win (on a consistent basis) vs. the Green Bay TE.
4. Texans aren’t there—yet: The Texans showed me something on defense by forcing turnovers in Wade Phillips’ scheme and challenging the route concepts in the Saints' playbook. But you can’t give up 23 fourth quarter points and expect to win in the NFL. Going into the final quarter with the lead, top tier defenses will get off the field on third downs and close out the game. Good talent in Houston and a defense that will get better. But they still have some improvements to make on that side of the football.
5. Watch out for Oakland: I like what I am seeing from the Raiders with Hue Jackson as head coach. They are a very physical football team up front, can run the ball consistently (Darren McFadden: 19-171-2 TDs) and they hit on defense. Plus, when Jason Campbell can protect the ball in the pocket and limit turnovers, this Raiders’ team can control the tempo of the game. This is the style of football I love to watch. Pushed around the Jets a little bit in a 34-24 win.
6. Lions’ bandwagon: Why not? Matthew Stafford and the Lions came back from down 20 points—on the road. They are explosive, can feed the ball to WR Calvin Johnson and look like a legit player in the NFC North after three games with that defensive front. I’m not saying this team is headed for the playoffs yet, and they do have some corrections to make, but you can’t ignore them anymore at 3-0.
Forte was held to 2-yards on 9 carries in the Bears 27-17 loss at home to the Packers.
7. Problems in Chicago: This Bears Tampa 2 defense will keep Love Smith’s team in games because they take away the big play and force turnovers. But what can we say about Mike Martz’s offense? Generated 13- total yards rushing (with 11 coming from QB Jay Cutler). This puts the QB in multiple third and long situations, and when you are playing the Packers, that isn’t going to sell. There is a lot of work to be done by Martz if the Bears want to get back into the NFC North discussion.
8. NFC West: I don’t know what to make of this division. Seattle beats the Cards at home, the Niners sneak past the Bengals and the Rams play a poor brand of football vs. the Ravens. The most concerning team from my perspective? St. Louis. They are struggling to execute on offense under Josh McDaniels. And that isn't good for Sam Bradford.
9. Questions on Atlanta: Anyone else having a hard time figuring out the Falcons on offense? At Tampa today, they couldn’t generate any production in the run game and we saw QB Matt Ryan throw the ball 47 times in the 16-13 loss to the Bucs. From my perspective, this is a an offense that can create vertical opportunities down the field using the play action game, boot action, etc. But that only comes when RB Michael Turner is the focal point of the game plan. Too much talent on offense for them not to find the end zone more.
10. The Colts’ DEs: Give the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger credit here for putting together the 2-minute drive to move to 2-1 on the season, but you can’t deny the talent, speed and pass rush ability of the Colts’ Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. That’s why Indy looked like a playoff team on defense and could sit back in Cover 2 in passing situations. Pittsburgh had no answer to the Colts' edge pressure and I haven’t seen Roethlisberger look that uncomfortable in the pocket for a while.
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