N.F.L. last week the lineup took out a fair number of major players with injuries, while some surprising teams – the Chicago Bears, Las Vegas Raiders and Arizona Cardinals – scored 2-0 records that bit some punters. Obviously, week 3 is about when the game starts to stabilize and the coaches who haven’t had the luxury of a preseason settle into the routine. Or not.
Either way, the contenders should start taking shape this week before Monday night’s match between Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs and Lamar Jackson’s Baltimore Ravens show everyone where the league bar stands.
The accounts lose the most dangerous advantage in the N.F.L.
What is the most dangerous advantage in football? 28-3.
The Falcons famously plummeted after racking up that score against New England in Super Bowl LI, and the Buffalo Bills are flirting with a similar slump at home against the Rams, with a 28-3 lead in the third quarter that morphed into a 32-28 deficit with 4 minutes, 30 seconds left to play.
The Bills defense looked absolutely gassy, quickly giving up huge amounts of yardage in the running game and is now being dismantled by Jared Goff, who is repeatedly looking for Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp for huge gains.
The momentum seemed to shift to a controversial interception, and the Rams’ go-ahead for the touchdown was established by a strip-sack from Aaron Donald. Now Josh Allen must try to lead his team to victory to avoid one of the most shocking defeats in recent memory.
Pats stabilizes the ship in the second half against the Raiders.
The Patriots appear to have made wise range adjustments and confidently imposed their will on the Raiders in the third quarter, leading 23-10 on a 5-yard spin, diving touchdown managed by Rex Burkhead and a 32-yard field goal. by Nick Folk.
Both scores were set by brilliant shots by running back Sony Michel, one for 38 yards and the second for 48 yards. Michel has 112 yards out of seven carries. The Patriots focused on their attack on the run for the last two quarters, although Cam Newton (seven yards out of five carries) mostly distributed the ball and focused on throwing short passes behind and to outside receivers.
The Rams are somehow making a game of this. With 14 unanswered points, they reduced Buffalo’s lead to 28-17 at the end of the third quarter, showing no signs of giving up on the road.
After a Stefon Diggs touchdown at 28-3, the Rams immediately went to 75 yards out of eight plays, scoring on a goal line brought by Jared Goff.
On Buffalo’s subsequent possession, Los Angeles was able to force a rare Josh Allen mistake, or at least an officer mistake.
Trying to keep a play alive while under heavy pressure, Allen threw a deep and wild pass to close Tyler Kroft, who clearly knocked a defender back before catching the ball in the air. As Kroft fell to the ground, security John Johnson III walked over and hugged the ball, with the players crashing to the lawn together.
The on-court call was pass interference – which was denied – and an interception for Johnson, but Mike Pereira, Fox’s rules analyst and former vice president of refereeing at NF.L, said he believes the call was incorrect. Pereira said Kroft clearly took the ball and shared possession with Johnson as he hit the ground, which should have been awarded a hold (which would later be overturned by the penalty).
Regardless, the Rams’ offense got the ball back and needed just three plays to go 59 yards, with Goff hitting Robert Woods for a 25-yard touchdown.
The Bills are circling around the Rams, literally and figuratively.
Already at 21-3 for the start of the second half, Buffalo’s defense forced Los Angeles to turn the ball down. The Bills then ran 52 yards out of seven plays, scoring a shocking enough touchdown when Stefon Diggs simply circled Jalen Ramsey. The All-Pro cornerback looked helpless when Josh Allen hit Diggs for a 4-yard touchdown.
The touchdown and the extra-point lead Buffalo to 28-3.
Derek Carr’s driving speed keeps Patriots in sight.
Two scores in the last minute of the first half resulted in what had been an odd game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots mixed a variety of running plays and short, precise passes on a 12-game 86-yard drive that got them ahead, 13-3, with 42 seconds left in the second quarter. A 7-yard pass from Newton to N’Keal Harry moved the Patriots to the Las Vegas 11-yard line, and in the next game, Newton threw a swing pass to running back Rex Burkhead.
Burkhead evaded several Raiders with a powerful upward move, then dove into a trio of defenders on the goal line for a touchdown.
Taking over his own 39-yard line with 34 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Las Vegas benefited from a 28-yard pass interference penalty and a 26-yard pass from Carr to Hunter Renfrow which was initially flagged as a touchdown. . A review of the replay showed that Renfrow’s knee was on the ground just before the goal line. On the next game, Carr closely shot Foster Moreau into the corner of the end zone for a touchdown that cut the Patriots’ lead to 13-10 with six seconds left.
It’s a shooting in Pittsburgh, with the Houston Texans showing some signs of life against the Pittsburgh Steelers. At the interval the Texans are in the lead, 21-17.
Houston opened his season with two brutal games, easily losing to Kansas City and then Baltimore. A street game against a team as good as Pittsburgh seemed to bring even more pain, but so far Deshaun Watson has found room to work against the formidable Steelers defense and refused to wither, even when the Steelers scored on consecutive drives to pass briefly. ahead towards the end of the second quarter.
Watson completed 14 of 18 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns, and David Johnson ran into a third, giving Houston more points in the first half than the team had in one of their losses in the first two weeks.
Though the Pittsburgh defense has struggled so far, its offensive has largely stayed in step with Watson. Ben Roethlisberger has 128 yards of passing and two touchdowns, including a beautiful 28 yards from JuJu Smith-Schuster. And the Steelers already have 79 yards on the ground against a Houston defense that is noticeably vulnerable if Pittsburgh decides to grind things up in the second half.
Pittsburgh will have the ball to start the second half.
Josh Allen is having fun one day.
The third-year breakout quarterback is putting on a show in Orchard Park, New York, and has the Bills leading the Rams, 21-3, at halftime.
By mixing deep passes with bruises, Allen made life miserable defending the Rams. He completed 10 of the 14 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns as he ran into another score. And he rarely looked better than he did at the end of the second quarter when he dropped an oddly accurate 29-yard pass into Cole Beasley’s hands in traffic, displaying newfound accuracy on long passes that no longer feels like a blip.
Two plays later, Allen lifted a float on the hands of a defensive lineman and tight end Tyler Kroft, who hit a 3-yard touchdown.
Buffalo’s defense, meanwhile, seems to have largely figured things out after a rather erratic start to the season. The Rams have been able to put some yardage, particularly on the ground – and so far they are winning on ball possession time – but the Bills have limited them to just field goals thanks to some timely sacks and an interception.
Tannehill’s first choice comes at the wrong time.
Ryan Tannehill took an inopportune moment to launch his first interception of the season, and the Tennessee Titans are behind the Minnesota Vikings, 14-6, midway through the second quarter.
The Titans were leading 6-0 until the end of the first quarter thanks to a couple of baskets, but things changed quickly.
The Vikings went 76 yards out of seven plays, scoring on a 39-yard touchdown from Dalvin Cook.
Trying to respond, Tennessee went 42 yards at the Minnesota 29-yard line, but then Tannehill made an incredibly rare mistake, throwing himself deep into the end zone only to have the pass intercepted by security Harrison Smith.
Given the return of the ball and some momentum, the Minnesota offense was immediately back to work, going 88 yards out of 10 plays, scoring on a 16-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen.
For Tannehill, the costly interception was only his seventh in 13 departures to Tennessee. He made 28 touchdown passes in that half.
Derek Carr fumble leads to the Patriots field goal.
A sacking of Las Vegas quarterback Derek Carr by Patriots defense Chase Winovich caused a fumble recovered by New England’s Lawrence Guy at the Raiders 40-yard line. New England turned to J.J. Taylor for three consecutive runs that earned 15 yards. Rex Burkhead then went out to center for 17 yards.
Taylor picked up another five yards to advance to the Las Vegas 5-yard line where the drive stopped after two failed attempts by Cam Newton to pass. Folk’s 23-yard field goal gave New England a 6-3 lead with 7:56 from halftime.
Cam Newton recovers from the Raiders interception.
After a lethargic and sloppy first quarter, the New England Patriots bounced back early in the second to tie the visiting Las Vegas Raiders, 3-3, over a 33-yard field goal from Nick Folk. A 15-yard pass by Cam Newton, who had an insignificant first quarter, wide receiver Julian Edelman and a 15-yard facemask penalty in Las Vegas set the New England score.
On the Patriots’ previous possession, a bad decision by Newton led to an interception that moved the Las Vegas Raiders deep into Patriots territory. Shuffling on a third and an 8, Newton appeared to run around his right end, then suddenly threw a pass in the direction of tight end Devin Asiasi. Raider safety Johnathan Abram got ahead of Asiasi for pick and returned her to the New England 14-yard line.
With the turnover, the Raiders took the 3-0 on Daniel Carlson’s 29-yard field goal with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.
Newton completed five of the 11 passes for 35 yards. With an opening two-yard run, he overtook Randall Cunningham for career running yards from a quarterback. Cunningham had been second of all time at 4,928.
Buffalo’s fourth attempt is the charm.
Invoices are nothing but persistent. In a series of fairly wild plays, Buffalo drew more touchdowns, but ultimately scored on Josh Allen’s 1-yard pass to close Lee Smith.
The fact that the accounts were moving forward was a sign that the team’s attack is really maturing. Devin Singletary had done most of the work to get his team from their own 43-yard line to the Rams’ 1, both running and catching the ball with ease as the Rams focused on Buffalo’s wide catchers. On the goal line, however, things got complicated.
First, Allen pitched Stefon Diggs for a 1-yard touchdown pass that was disallowed after a review showed the ball had hit the ground. Then Allen threw it back to Diggs, with an apparent touchdown canceled by penalties. A direct snap to Singletary went nowhere, but Buffalo didn’t give up, aiming for 4th and goal. This time Allen was able to deliver a touchdown that mattered.
As much as that offensive tenacity was for the Bills, it was just as important for the team to see his defense come with a huge stop. On the trip before Buffalo’s touchdown, the Rams had made it all the way to the Bills 24-yard line and were on the verge of scoring. A couple of sacks pushed back Los Angeles, and then Samuel Sloman was unable to connect in a 53-yard field goal attempt.
On the road after the Buffalo touchdown? The Bills got an interception. It looks like it could be a long day for Los Angeles.
Calvin Ridley is great for the Falcons
Knowing that their defense made things easy for opponents, the Atlanta offense came out of the gate with a bang. In their first scrimmage play, Matt Ryan threw the ball deep into the right side of the court, with Calvin Ridley throwing it at the Chicago 20-yard line and then stumbling to 1 for a 63-yard gain.
After Todd Gurley failed to score on a goal on the goal line, Ryan found Hayden Hurst in close contact for a touchdown and a 6-0 opening lead.
Atlanta will need a huge day from Ridley as Julio Jones is out with a hamstring injury and the team’s already porous defense will be without cornerback A.J. Terrell, tested positive for coronavirus.
Chicago responded with a field goal, moving up 6-3 towards the end of the first quarter.
How real is this hot start?
In two games, the Los Angeles Rams (2-0) appear to have exorcised last year’s demons and the Buffalo Bills (2-0) look like a team on the brink of greatness. But how real is one of the two beginnings? We might get an idea when confronting in Orchard Park, NY. It might have been game of the week if it weren’t for Monday night’s game between Kansas City and Baltimore.
So far, the Rams have scored a week 1 win over Dallas and then won a laugh against Philadelphia in week 2. Between health and defensive depth, none of these teams can truly compare to the Bills, who also come into this game with a red-hot appearance in attack.
Is the Buffalo offense, with the addition of the Stefon Diggs wide receiver, really that good? Will Bills’ defense be able to return to last season’s dominance? How much of the Rams’ success over the past two weeks has been due to lack of competition? Can cornerback Jalen Ramsey cancel Diggs, forcing Josh Allen to beat Los Angeles with John Brown and Cole Beasley?
This game can offer some clarity as to which of these teams we need to take seriously in the future.
The fury for sound.
N.F.L. the team limited themselves to playing audio in the stadium – crowd noise, music, pre-recorded chants – at 70 decibels during matches, the level of moderate conversation hum. Team-controlled production took a while mistakes so far, as some played noise after a game was declared dead or hit the “cheers” button when the home team had actually lost.
This has been tweaked this week, as N.F.L. told teams with fewer than 2,500 fans in attendance that they could turn the volume up to 80 decibels, and to teams with 2,500 or more fans in their stadiums that they weren’t obligated to reproduce fake noise at all.
This could be good news for Carson Wentz. On at least two different players during the Eagles’ second week defeat to the Rams, TV viewers heard whistles for the Philadelphia attack at home, a bit of a local custom that might not have been welcome. The team will continue to play with no fans present today against 0-2 Cincinnati Bengals.
This week, an exception could create a huge increase. According to the NFL network, music inside the stadium and audio messages (“It’s the third down!”, train whistles) that were previously limited to 75 decibels now have no volume limits and should only be turned off when playback drops to 20 seconds.
The Minnesota Vikings have said the team will do it blow up the Gjallarhorn to the third down today, which should help a defense that so far this season has enabled a 50% conversion success rate in the red zone.
Ahead Adams could try to play tonight.
Packers’ bout has been incredible for two weeks, scoring a total of 85 points, but a Sunday night match against New Orleans will be much more difficult without the wide receiver Front Adams, who is in doubt for a hamstring injury. .
There have been a few media reports that Adams will try to prove to the team that he can go full speed ahead of game time, which may allow him to play, but if he is limited or inactive, it will drastically change Green Bay’s approach, with a strong emphasis on running back Aaron Jones.
Helping level the playing field for the Packers is that the Saints don’t have wide catcher Michael Thomas, who is hoping to be recovering from a sprained ankle for week 4.