The football season is already into Week 3, and we have enough injuries and off-the-field issues to fill up two seasons. Then there are the officials, who decided to make up for a lack of penalties in Week 1 by penalizing teams for looking at them funny on the field.
But this is asinine analysis. If I were dealing with serious issues, you’d be reading something else. Let’s see what ridiculousness Week 3 has in store for us.
Thursday, September 18
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons
It looks like ticket-holding fans of the Buccaneers will finally be able to take a break, as the team finally has an away game. Tailgating is fun and all, but when your team starts off 0-2 after two home games, it’s safer to spend the next potential loss in the comfort of your own home on a Thursday night.
Luckily, playing a soft defense may be just what the Buccaneers need as they play the Atlanta Falcons and their army of running backs. Seriously, they’re using four of them. Maybe they should trade one to the Minnesota Vikings.
Number of players the Falcons stick at the running back position throughout the game: 5
Sunday, September 21
San Diego Chargers @ Buffalo Bills
Philip Rivers may not have called out Richard Sherman last week, but he didn’t have to. I’m guessing Rivers used his magic bolo tie powers to confuse Sherman in order to get off a few passes his way.
Now his San Diego Chargers take on E.J. Manuel and the busted Buffalo Bills, who have a measly… 2-0 record? First place in the AFC East? Sammy Watkins can catch? Playoff aspirations? Looks like Ralph Wilson stadium may not have a blackout this season.
Dallas Cowboys @ St. Louis Rams
The Dallas Cowboys finally see what they need to do in order to win. Well, what they need to not do, which is let Tony Romo do anything. Last week, most of Romo’s passes were laterally to DeMarco Murray, and it worked.
Unfortunately, defending the run is one of the only things the St. Louis Rams seem to be doing well this season. The good news is that second-string quarterback Shaun Hill may be back, which means that they are one more quarterback away from trading for Bengals receiver Mohamed Sanu to be their quarterback.
Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles
This may be the shortest season of hope ever for Redskins fans. Jay Gruden was going to make this offense hum! RG3 has a new toy to throw to with DeSean Jackson! Jordan Reed lives! Yeah, well, at least they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Now the Redskins start their divisional games with the Philadelphia Eagles, who have enough weapons to make sure that they don’t run LeSean McCoy into the ground before their bye week.
Houston Texans @ New York Giants
The Houston Texans already have as many wins as last season! No, seriously. Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t given away a game yet, and the defense just keeps on rolling over whoever they’re playing. This week the Texans traded in sacks for interceptions and fumble recoveries, and they didn’t even do it against their old quarterback Matt Schaub.
Meanwhile, Eli Manning has conceded to throw the ball to the closest players on-hand — tight end Larry Donnell and running back Rashad Jennings, — because he can at least see them waving their arms for the ball instead of shrugging and looking confused like his receivers.
Over/Under on turnovers by Eli Manning: 5
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints
For anyone who is now out of their knockout pools thanks to the Saints getting upset by the lowly Cleveland Browns offense (yeah, me), a moment of silence, please. It is not every day that an offense surprises us all and acts in a way we never thought possible. Especially with their recent history that contradicts the present in so many ways.
Sure, maybe I should be giving this moment of reflection to other, more serious matters in the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings, but there’s nothing funny about that.
Tennessee Titans @ Cincinnati Bengals
Jake Locker is still alive! Count them: two straight games without an injury. Just think what the Titans could accomplish if they had a running back worth starting! Defenses wouldn’t leave only a few tackle dummies at the line while they cover Justin Hunter and Kendall Wright.
The Bengals, on the other hand, did what any team that loses a #1 receiver like A.J. Green would do: have their #3 receiver Mohamed Sanu throw a bomb for a touchdown.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns
With a barren running game, the Baltimore Ravens are finally forced to do what helped them win a Super Bowl two years ago: have Joe Flacco throw the ball. It’s a wonder his nickname is Boring Joe. It looks like he can throw the ball from end zone to end zone with no effort. That’s not boring. That’s insanely talented.
The Cleveland Browns? Not as talented, but they already have a win and may get Josh Gordon back for Thanksgiving, which will give him plenty of time to do something that gets him really, really suspended.
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions
Do you have your ticket to the gun show? That’s pretty much what this game between the Green Bay Packers and Detriot Lions is, a gun show with Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford airing the ball out to Jordy Nelson and Calvin Johnson, against secondaries that would make Tony Romo look like… well, maybe make Ryan Fitzpatrick look like a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback.
The only thing missing is Aaron Rodgers’ belt dance move. I wonder if Olivia Munn had a chat with Rodgers about how putting on a belt is not a celebration. It is mandatory.
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars
So far, the Indianapolis Colts are the best 0-2 team in the league. It’s a tough spot to be in, but this is what happens when you have a cupcake schedule the year before: the next year is brutal.
Now the Colts are able to take a week off to get ready to play the Titans in Week 4. Sure, they have a game against the Jaguars, but Andrew Luck and Reggie Wayne can probably get away with playing a quarter before they go check out the swimming pools at Everbank Field.
Oakland Raiders @ New England Patriots
Congratulations are in order for the Oakland Raiders. This season was going so well with big money signings like Matt Schaub and Maurice Jones-Drew stuck on the sideline. How could it possibly get better? How about James Jones fumbling twice on one play? Sounds like a Raiders move to me. And it was so close to a touchdown!
Now the Raiders visit the New England Patriots, which is a great remedy to the quarterbacking woes of Tom Brady. I expect the score to be somewhere around 105-14. I know, 14 points is a lot, but that will be when the Patriots replace their team with people in the stands.
Over/Under on how many times a player can fumble on one play: 2
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
It seems that NFL officials were throwing more flags than Colin Kaepernick was completing passes last week. Against the Bears, who haven’t had a legitimate defense in 10 years. And yes, I know how to spell Urlacher.
Now the 49ers visit the Arizona Cardinals, who are supposed to have an even better defense, but some questionable quarterbacking with… Drew Stanton? He didn’t retire yet? Fine, he beat the New York Giants, but who hasn’t?
Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks
Oh, this game again? Didn’t we have enough of Peyton Manning being smacked down by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl? Didn’t Richard Sherman talk enough while he was on crutches? Are we really going to have to hear “Round 2” all week until the game? I guess so. Hopefully it’ll be more of a game than last time.
Even worse, this game is in Seattle. You think the 12th man was alive and well in MetLife Stadium? Manning is going to need a bullhorn to communicate with the rest of the offense. Maybe they should splurge and mic them all up.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Miami Dolphins
I guess last year was an anomaly, as the Kansas City Chiefs have taken a firm hold on the rank that they seem to cherish so much: dead last. This is what happens when your best running back and best receiver are the same player: defenses are going to figure it out. Now Jamaal Charles is hurt, which means that Andy Reid won’t be able to get Charles involved even if he tried.
The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, followed up a surprising win against the New England Patriots by losing to the Buffalo Bills. Usually that sentence reads with those teams switched around, but these are the Dolphins. Nothing usually makes sense.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Carolina Panthers
The Steelers really haven’t had much luck with scheduling. The Panthers are the third defense in a row that they have to face after dealing with the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens. Sure, they scored 30 points against the Browns, but the Ravens didn’t even allow a touchdown.
The Panthers locked down the Detroit Lions, with Stafford and Megatron and everything. Can the Steelers get negative points? This would be the game for it to happen.
Monday, September 22
Chicago Bears @ New York Jets
I think we can take back any jokes about Jay Cutler being fragile. He took a torpedo to the chest and continued to drive the Chicago Bears down the field for a touchdown, and kept doing it until they beat the 49ers. Sure, Cutler looked more like he feared for his life than focused on getting a first down when he ran, but at least he made the effort.
The hobbled Bears visit the New York Jets, who have already begun their trip through the NFC North. They jumped out to a big lead in Green Bay before remembering that they aren’t supposed to beat the Packers, and promptly giving the game away.
The lead the Jets will have before giving up the game: 21
Patrick Emmel is a sports humorist who once punted a soccer ball fifty yards to his teammate, who then scored the only goal for his college intramural soccer team’s season. Seriously, that kick was placed PERFECTLY. He is also still a believer that Colt McCoy is going to break out as an NFL quarterback. You can read more of his obnoxious commentary at This Jeer In Sports and heckle him on Twitter @Patrick_AE.