It’s that time of the week again, time for the MikesPickz NFL recap. This week saw all 16 teams play, with BYE weeks starting next week. Here’s the recap:
This week we will start off with all the team’s that are still undefeated after the first three weeks. There are not many this season, and there will likely not be any teams coming close to the magical 16-0 season.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are surprisingly 3-0 without Ben Roethlisberger this season. On Sunday, Charlie Batch got the start and the struggling Steelers’ offense went to work against the then 2-0 Bucs. The Steelers (who were also the MikesPickz Best Bet), scorched the Bucs’ defense for 38 points and the terrific Steelers’ defense shut down the Bucs, holding them to only 13 points. The Steelers will play their last game without Big Ben next week against the division rival Ravens.
Probably even more surprising is the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0. On Sunday, the Chiefs gave the 49ers a beating – 31-10. The Chiefs are being lead by a crop of young talent. Rookie Dexter McCluster looks like he will be a stud for years. Matt Cassel had his first quality start of the season – it doesn’t hurt when your rookie tight end, Tony Moeaki, makes touchdown catches like this:
The 49ers are really struggling. Their offense hasn’t played well outside of 2 quarters against the Saints and the defense is been giving up some big plays- probably because they seem to always be on the field. They fired Offensive Coordinator Jimmy Raye today, but it might be deeper than that.
The last undefeated team, and only one in the NFC, was the winner of the Monday Night game. The Chicago Bears edged out the Green Bay Packers, 20-17 in a thrilling game. The Packers must be disgusted with themselves after this one, they were flagged for 18 penalties including several costly ones that set-up the game winning field goal.
On the other end of the spectrum are the five 0-3 teams in the NFL.
The Buffalo Bills looked much better offensively against the New England Patriots and the result was a much closer game than many expected. The Bills still lost, 38 – 30, but there is hope that they won’t finish the season 0-16.
The Carolina Panthers’ started rookie Jimmy Clausen for the first time, and the result was another 20-7 loss, this time to the Cincinnati Bengals. Clausen didn’t play particularly well. He was 16 for 33 for 188 yards with no TDs, 1 INT and 2 lost fumbles. The rookie had 6 yards passing with a 0.0 passer rating in the first half. The Panthers stale offense covered up the not-so-pretty game that the Bengals played. The Panthers have not looked good at all this season, and they may be the new favorite to go 0-16.
The Cleveland Browns lost to the division rival Baltimore Ravens, 24-17. There is some hope for the Browns. They were able to keep the game close, despite a tremendous performance by Joe Flacco and the running game finally started to click behind Peyton Hillis’ career high 144 yards rushing. It was the first time since 2005 that the Ravens have allowed a 100 yard rusher in a game.
The Detroit Lions are not surprisingly 0-3. The Lions lost to the Vikings, 24-10. It was the worst offensive game of the season for the Lions and they could not contain Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 160 yards. The Lions have now lost 22 consecutive road games. The game also brought more bad news to the Lions, not only is Matthew Stafford out with an injury, but Javid Best [the sensational rookie running-back] left the game in the 3rd quarter with a toe injury.
The last 0-3 team is the aforementioned San Francisco 49ers, and I don’t need to reiterate how disappointing their season has been so far. It doesn’t get any easier for the 49ers, they travel to Atlanta next week and then host the Eagles on Sunday Night Football in week 5.
The Best of the Rest
The best of the remaining games was clearly the Saints – Falcons game. The Falcons won this game in overtime, 27-24. Garret Hartley missed a 29 yard game winning field goal in overtime, which set-up the Falcons game winning drive. You have to see how bad Hartley hooked that kick:
It is unacceptable to miss a kick like that with the game on the line, but maybe the Saints’ fans will forgive him since he kicked the game winning field goal in the NFC Championship game against the Vikings in overtime last season? I doubt it, it was his fourth missed kick this season.
Speaking of missed kicks, Sebastian Janikowski of the Oakland Raiders, missed not one, not two, but three kicks against the Arizona Cardinals causing the Raiders to lose, 24-23. He missed a 41-yarder and a 58-yarder earlier in the game, but the last one was a 32-yarder as the game ended. It’s safe to say he is in the Al Davis doghouse after that game, and he probably isn’t feeling to good about himself. It is his only job to kick the ball through the uprights.
Michael Vick added another page to his tremendous 2010 season by leading the Eagles to a 28-3 trouncing of the Jaguars. Vick passed for 291 yards and 3 TDs, while rushing for 30 yards and a score. Vick will remain the starter for the Eagles after this game.
The Miami Dolphins hosted the New York Jets and it was a very entertaining Sunday Night Game. The Jets edged the Dolphins, 31-23. The Dolphins failed to score from inside the 10 yard line on four plays to end the game. Surprisingly, the Dolphins didn’t call a fade to Brandon Marshall at the end of the game. Marshall had his way with the Jets secondary catching 10 passes for 166 yards and a TD, but it doesn’t matter as the Dolphins lost the game.
Other NFL actions saw the Titans crush the Giants, 29-10. The Cowboys rebounded to beat the surging Texans, 27-13. The Rams’ Sam Bradford got his first career win against the Redskins, 30-16. The Colts beat the Broncos, 27-13. The Seahawks, behind two kick return touchdowns from Leon Washington, beat the Chargers 27-20.
Seriously, the Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears are 3-0 while the San Francisco 49ers are 0-3.
[Photo Credit: REUTERS/Sean Gardner via DayLife.com]