NFL

NFL Notes: Week 3

What looked like a “meh” week of football ended up being the opposite. Games we thought were locks were far from it, and we finally got to see Baker Mayfield. On top of that, there were SO MANY bad decisions made. The roughing the passer penalty still sucks.

Here’s a look at a weird week of storylines.

Personal Foul, Touching the Passer

This has become a recurring theme, but there’s still something new to add on to it every week. Clay Matthews was flagged again. That isn’t new. What is new is the increased injury risk to pass rushers making attempts to decrease injury risk to quarterbacks. That was a weird sentence.

Miami Dolphins defensive lineman William Hayes suffered a torn ACL while trying to avoid putting his body weight on Derek Carr. Hopefully the league sees this and realizes the new rules benefit nobody, and pose risks much greater than a 15 yard penalty.

The Bills beat the Vikings. Yes, really.

It wasn’t some lucky bounce last-second win either. Buffalo dominated the Vikings all day en route to a 27-6 victory. Minnesota didn’t score until late in the fourth quarter.  It was a pretty embarrassing performance.

Meanwhile, Josh Allen, who had been nothing short of abysmal threw for nearly 200 yards with a touchdown an no picks. He tacked on another two touchdowns on the ground, AND he hurdled a guy.

The Patriots lost to the Lions. Yes, really.

The newly acquired Josh Gordon was inactive on Sunday night.

Quick side note — Why was this the Sunday night game? I know it was Matt Patricia vs. Bill Belichick, but who thought this was the best game of Week 3?

Anyway, the Patriots might have wanted Gordon to suit up. Instead, they relied their run game, which was not great.

Perhaps more concerning was the predictability of the Patriot offense. Rookie running back Sony Michel played a season-high 23 offensive snaps, just under half of New England’s total. He touched the ball on 65 percent of those snaps, totaling 49 yards from scrimmage. The Lions might be bad, but the Patriots made it easy for them. This seems like poor game planning, but the Patriots don’t do that. Until now, I guess.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but it is not time to panic. Tom Brady is still their quarterback.

Houston, you have a problem

If you remember, I picked Bill O’brien to win Coach of the Year. I didn’t expect him to really do any of the work, though. I just though the Texans would be good and he’d win. Think of Jason Garrett in 2016. He didn’t do anything, but the turnaround earned him the award.

Bill O’brien might be doing too much. A team with as much talent as the Texans should not start 0-3. Blaine Gabbert and Eli Manning, handed them two of those losses, with the latter being a home game. Most of their problems can be traced to O’brien. It’s been a season of poor planning for crappy offenses and not letting Deshaun Watson play to his potential.

Raiders can’t hang

Soon after Jon Gruden said a good pass-rusher was hard to find (yikes), the Raiders blew their third second half lead in as many games. They have yet to score points in the fourth quarter. They came close on Sunday, with a chance to take a lead late in the game. Alas, they did not and Carr threw an interception in the red zone. A few plays later, Albert Wilson iced the game with a long touchdown reception.

You’re in, rookie

Going into Week 3, the only quarterbacks drafted in the first round not to see regular season action were Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen. Both of them played this week, but the situations were very different.

Mayfield came in mid-way through the second quarter on Thursday night when Tyrod Taylor left the game, and led the Browns to a comeback win over the Jets. It was pretty fun to watch.

The Cardinals were down two with four minutes left, and THAT’S when they decided to put Rosen in the game. I’m all for rookies gaining experience, but making his debut on a potential game winning drive seems like a poor choice. Rosen proceeded to throw an interception, and the Cardinals lost. It wasn’t that fun to watch.

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