Welcome to this week’s edition of the “3M Report” – a weekly look back at the mayhem, magic, and mishaps from around the NFL, focusing on situations and players that caught my eye or made me scratch my head in either awe or disbelief. Let’s take a look at week number seven of the NFL season.
On Thursday Night Football, we had division rivals Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. How bad is Colin Kaepernick? He reminds me of right-handed Tim Tebow. Someone on the coaching staff, please remind him that even though there are guys dressed in the same uniform, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can be targeted. On one throw, he drilled a trainer in his grill. Marshawn Lynch looked great out there. He picked up yards by bouncing and grooving his “beast mode” body on his way running for 127-yards and a touchdown. Don’t sleep on Carlos Hyde either, this guy is the real thing.
The NFL kicked off Sunday with the second game in London. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills met up at Wembley Stadium. Not much occurred in the first quarter, but in the second, the Jags put up 27 points in less than seven minutes. Jacksonville should give props to E.J. Manuel. He gave up a fumble for a touchdown, and then a pick-six, then follow that up with another interception. Jacksonville capitalized on this as well. T.J. Yeldon took it 28 yards for a scoring run. I’m very impressed with Yeldon. The rookie running back shows strong running mixed in with an elusiveness to make the first tackler miss. Gus Bradley must have been lost on this, as he had the ball go to Toby Gerhart four times at the goal line, with no success.
Todd Gurley is amazing. This guy tore the knee off his leg but continues to run over the competition. The last three weeks, he has punished the opposing defense for 433 yards on 68 carries and scored the first two touchdowns of his NFL career on Sunday. There was one play that he took to the left sideline, and leaped frogged a defensive back. Gurley was without his knee brace for the first time this season. He also caught four passes for 35-yards.
[inlinead]As much as Gurley is the guy for St. Louis it’s a full blown RBBBC in Cleveland. Duke Johnson is the main PPR back, as he caught seven passes for 73 yards. Isaiah Crowell and Robert Turbin took turns driving the ball down the field. Turbin will be the short yardage and goal line back, leaving Crowell without a home.
Can’t take away what head coach Dan Campbell has done with this Miami Dolphins team. They have gone from a lost, disorganized team under Joe Philbin. Campbell is only the fifth interim coach of 26 in the NFL since 2000 to win his first two games, according to STATS. All players have increased production and Miami has gone from doormat to playoff contenders. The Texans gave a new meaning to “Houston we have a problem” as they got drubbed 44-26. In the midst of all this Arian Foster went down with a torn Achilles tendon on a non-contact injury. I pray for a healthy comeback.
Talking comebacks, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the Washington Redskins in a stranglehold. They had a 24-7 halftime lead, and Kirk Cousins was in charge of making the turnaround? Well, he did just that. Cousins finished 33 for 40 for 317 yards, the trifecta of scores and zero interceptions. He also ran for an 8-yard touchdown in the second quarter for the first points. Doug Martin continues to impress as he ran for 136 yards, and there was a Mike Evans sighting as he caught eight balls for 164 yards and a touchdown. The Washington Redskins running game has become a cancel fest with both Alfred Morris and Matt Jones taking advantages of situations, but hurting each other stats in the meantime. It’s possible Matt Jones could take the starting role after the Skins’ bye week.
What is going on in Atlanta? They have a 6-1 record but outside Devonta Freeman, who rushed for 116 yards, their offense has been ugly. Matt Ryan put in another ho-hum performance throwing for just one touchdown and having two picks. Zach Mettenberger fared nearly the same in results. The Titans running game is not like the Atalanta Falcons. I don’t even think they have a legitimate RBBC. Antonio Andrews appears to be the one the Titans want to use, but he only got five more carries that Dexter McCluster. The veteran running back is their leading rusher, and Kendall Wright is the leading receiver. It should come to no surprise they put up only seven points on the Falcons. In the last three games, the Titans have scored a total of 30 points.
Probably one of the weirdest games on Sunday was the Colts against the Saints. New Orleans lost their chance at all challenges in the first quarter after head coach Sean Payton called for the instant replay and was wrong on both accounts. They then decided to add to the weirdness and connected on a first down play off a fake field goal, that they turned into seven points. Andrew Luck, on the next drive, threw an interception, and the Saints later scored a touchdown. Griff Whalen then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, which New Orleans scored another touchdown making it 20-0. Two of those scores were on runs by Khiry Robinson. The Saints were also the first to score in the third quarter with a Mark Ingram 1-yard run. Luck fired back. Throwing two scores to T.Y. Hilton from 46 and 87 yards. Luck then threw a touchdown in the fourth quarter to Donte Moncrief from eight yards, but that’s as closest the Colts would get losing 27-21. It appears that Ryan Grigson and Jim Irsay had some choice words for each other, and one would speculate how much more room slack does Chuck Pagano have in his hangman’s noose.
The Oakland Raiders simply came out firing on the San Diego Chargers and didn’t slow down until the second half. They were up 37-6 by the time the third quarter ended. Derek Carr threw for three touchdowns, including an Amari Cooper touchdown from 52-yards out. If Cooper is not the Rookie of the Year this season, then they should rename the trophy “Failed Attempt Start Over.” ESPN stated that “The Oakland wideout now has 64 fantasy points through his first six games. Only 10 rookie receivers since 1960 have produced at a more efficient clip through their first six games than Cooper.” The Raiders remain a .500 team, and it appears they have their best team since the Gruden days.
It appears the Chiefs decided that they are going to go with Charcandrick West as their primary ball carrier. He toted the rock 22 times for 110 yards and one touchdown while catching two passes for 19 yards. Both Knile Davis and De’Anthony Thomas received just one carry. Martavis Bryant scored again, and Antonio Brown had his best game in several weeks catching six passes for 124 yards. All Steelers are hoping that Ben Roethlisberger can return this week, and get back to normal life of production. Le’Veon Bell didn’t get into the end zone but had 121 yards on just 17 carries.
Tom Brady wasn’t as sharp as he usually is, and after three quarters it showed. The Jets were ahead by one point 17-16. The fourth quarter came around, and so did Brady. He completed 14 of 17 passes and put the Patriots in the winner’s circle to keep their undefeated record alive. Rob Gronkowski looked like himself catching 11 of 16 targets for 108 yards and a touchdown. The ‘Bearded-One” Ryan Fitzpatrick did his normal thing, 295 yards passing, and two touchdowns without throwing an interception. It appears with the injury to Julian Edelman, the man in New England will be Danny Amendola, as he caught eight passes for 86-yards and a touchdown.
Rivalry time in New Jersey as the Giants and Cowboys battled it out. New York Giants came out ahead 27-20 and are now in first place as the Eagles lost to Carolina. Darren McFadden looked like he was back at Arkansas as he rushed for 152 yards on 29 carries and scored a touchdown, while catching two passes for 10 yards. All the talk about Christine Michael went out the window, as he went from starting to having an expanded role, to running five times for 18-yards. Matt Cassel did his normal 220+ yards passing with three interceptions and one touchdown.
Eli Manning only threw for 170 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. With not much going on with the running game, as both Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams have been unsuccessful, they turned to Orleans Darkwa. This 2nd year RB from Tulane received his first carries for the season and was impressive. He had eight carries for 48 yards and a touchdown. He is a big dude with some speed, and definitely should at least be on your radar for the waiver wire.
Is it just me, or are you also surprised that the Carolina Panthers are undefeated? The Panthers are a team that has relied on players such as Ted Ginn, Jerricho Cotchery, and Devin Funchess as their wideouts. It’s a good thing the Panthers are strong on defense because this team would be in big trouble.
The Eagles passing game took a dump again with Sam Bradford and his 205 passing yards, no touchdowns, and one interception. The running game didn’t look much better. Outside of the 63-yard touchdown run by Ryan Mathews nothing transpired. Cam Newton also struggled with his 197 yards and three interceptions. The standout had to be Jonathan Stewart, who rushed 24 times for 125 yards.