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The Good, Bad and Ugly: Week #3
NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — It was another wild week in the NFL and college football. Last year’s Super Bowl participants continue to stumble while the Saints, Giants, Ravens and even the Broncos remain undefeated.
In the college ranks, Virginia Tech lays the wood to Miami, South Florida stuns Florida State and Bowie State shocks Shaw at home. Let’s take a look at some of the games and players in our weekly Good, Bad and Ugly column.
Ravens: Baltimore continues to put up big numbers offensively while their defense remains stingy as evident in their easy 34-3 home victory against the pathetic Browns. Joe Flacco had another 300 yard game, Willis McGahee rushed for two touchdowns and their defense forced five turnovers. The Ravens haven’t really played a tough opponent outside of an injury-riddled Chargers team last week. Let’s see what they do when the schedule gets tougher as the season goes on.
Giants: New York got back to running the football in a big way in their 24-0 victory at Tampa Bay. Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for over 100 yards big Brandon Jacobs nearly had 100 as well (92) and the defense held the Bucs to only five first downs and 86 yards of total offense. I know the Bucs are not a good football team but a shutout in the NFL is awfully impressive.
Packers: Green Bay finally put together a complete game in their 36-17 win over the hopeless Rams. Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns and Ryan Grant ran for nearly 100 yards in the game. The Packers finally looked comfortable in their new 3-4 defense force three turnovers but they still need to improve their run defense after allowing 117 yards on 27 carries to Steven Jackson.
Eagles: Philly had their way as expected beating the Chiefs 34-14. Kevin Kolb threw for over three hundred yards and two touchdowns and the Eagles defense shut down the K.C. offense holding them to only 196 yards in the game . The best thing about the win for the Eagles is they got a chance to rest Donovan McNabb this week and another week because they have a bye.
Lions: Well Detroit fans, you don’t have to wait all season to get a victory thanks to Washington. Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes, Kevin Smith rushed for over 100 yards but it was the defense that came up big against the Skins. The Lions defense forced a turnover, held D.C to only 65 yards rushing and more importantly, held Washington to only 2 of 10 on third down conversions. Congratulations to new head coach Jim Schwartz and Stafford for their first NFL win.
Jets: New York continues to play well in beating the Titans 24-17. Even when Jets rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez throws a late interception in the game that could have proved costly, the defense stepped up and got a big interception and a huge sack against Kerry Collins and the Tennessee offense. The Jets are a good football team and are legitimate contenders for the AFC East division. Congratulations goes out to Sanchez who becomes the first rookie quarterback to start his career 3-0 since 1970. How about that Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan fans.
Patriots: New England finally got more balance in their 26-10 win against the Atlanta. Tom Brady still threw the ball 42 times for 277 yards and a touchdown but they finally got something going on the ground with Fred Taylor (105 yards, 21 carries). Brady still doesn’t look comfortable but if they can get a running game going like they did against the Falcons, he will not only be comfortable but the Pats could be in the position to win a lot of games this season.
Jaguars: Jacksonville finally showed some life on offense in their 31-24 victory at Houston. David Garrard had a serviceable game (18 of 30, 214 yards) and Maurice Jones-Drew was spectacular (119 yards, three touchdowns) including a 61 yard run for to pay dirt. Even though the Jags got their first win, Jack Del Rio remains on the hot seat until this team improves their play.
Bengals: Cincinnati has some swagger and confidence back after their 23-20 comeback win against the defending champion Steelers. Like the Bears, the Bengals withstood Pittsburgh’s first punch. They punched back several times by controlling the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense. If Cedric Benson can run the ball the way he did against Pittsburgh and the defense can make the big plays they did, the Bengals could be a surprise team in the AFC.
Vikings: Plain and simple, Minnesota was very lucky because they were outplayed in their last second 27-24 win against the 49ers. They along with the Broncos remain the weakest 3-0 teams in the NFL right now.
Broncos: Denver has used luck and an easy schedule to get to 3-0 this season. The Raiders shot themselves in the foot all game and the Broncos took advantage of it in their 23-3 victory at Oakland. To Denver’s credit, their defense has shown signs of playing like an NFL defense as they forced three turnovers and held the Raiders to 3 of 10 on third down. The Broncos may be a little better defensively then I expected, but they certainly aren’t a legitimate 3-0 team.
Saints: New Orleans looked very mortal offensively in their 27-7 victory at Buffalo. Drew Brees let down his “fantasy football geeks” this week with a sub-par effort in the game (16 of 29, 172 yards, 0 TDs). In fact the Saints won the game on the legs of Pierre Thomas (126 yards, two touchdowns) and Reggie Bush (64 yards, 13 carries). This is a dangerous Saints team when you consider Buffalo shut down their passing game and their running attack led them to victory.
Chargers: San Diego played Miami, so a win was predictable. Enough said.
Bears: Chicago proved their victory over Pittsburgh last week was no fluke as they traveled to the West coast and beat the Seahawks 25-19 (who were without their starting QB Matt Hasselbeck. Jay Cutler threw for a modest 247 yards, but he also converted several third down passes and limited his mistakes. So far, he’s done a decent job in managing football games and outside of the opener, has played smart football. Watch out, Minnesota because the Bears look like they are a legitimate contender in the NFC North.
Colts: Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in football period! The future Hall of Famer went 24 of 35 for 379 yards and four touchdown in Indy’s easy 31-10 victory at Arizona. What makes him so great is the fact he is putting up big numbers and leading his team to victory despite a consistent running game. The Colts are the quietest 3-0 team in the league and could be on their way to another AFC South crown and another 12 or more victories this season.
Cowboys: Dallas got their second win largely because of the two quarterbacks competing in the game — Tony Romo and Jake Delhomme. Jake threw two more interceptions while Tony and the result was a lackluster 21-7 win for the Cowboys. If the Cowboys wise up, they will use the formula in this game (run the ball and limit Romo’s passes) to a winning season. But we know Jerry Jones, Wade Phillips and Romo are too proud, stupid and cocky to do so.
Titans: Tennessee has put themselves into a hole that they may not be able to get out of after their 24-17 loss at the Meadowlands. Kerry Collins looked uncomfortable in the pocket and struggled in the game (15 of 37, 170 yards, two interceptions). The defense continues to give up too many big plays at inopportune times and although they remain one of the best at stopping the run, they just don’t get enough pressure on the opposing quarterbacks which exposes their suspect secondary. They need to get those things fixed fast because they are in danger of falling dangerously behind the division-leading Colts.
49ers: Not much to say about San Francisco’s last minute 27-24 loss to the Vikings other than they need to finish games especially on the road.
Falcons: Atlanta looked out of character in their 26-10 loss to the Patriots. Matt Ryan looked averaged in throwing for only 199 yards and Michael Turner was held to only 56 yards on 15 carries. The biggest weakness right now is the Falcons defense who gave up nearly 200 yards on the ground. If they wanna get back to the playoffs, they better sure up the defense especially on the ground.
Texans: This was a typical game for Houston Lots of points, but too many mistakes on offense and defense in their 31-24 loss to the Jaguars. Matt Schaub threw for 300 yards but threw three big interceptions that proved costly in the game. The defense got 0 sacks against David Garrard, who was the most sacked and hit quarterback in the league last season.
I’ve said it before and I continue to say that Gary Kubiak needs to go for the Texans to finally make the playoffs.
Seahawks: No Matt Hasselbeck and no pressure on the quarterback are the two biggest reasons why Seattle lost at home to the Bears. Seneca Wallace performed admirably (26 of 44, 261, TD) and Julius Jones rushed for 98 yards but they lacked big plays on offense and had an average at best effort defensively. The Seahawks may improve on a 4-12 season from last year, but not by much.
Steelers: No consistency on offense and no big plays on defense are the reasons why Pittsburgh lost to the Bengals. After establishing the run and getting out to a 13-0 start, the Steelers sputtered on offense and couldn’t get any real pressure on Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer. Pittsburgh has quit playing in their last two games which has led to two straight losses. It’s gut check time for the Champs as they find themselves in third place in the AFC North behind the Ravens and Bengals.
Raiders: No offense and too many turnovers and penalties are a recipe for an embarrassing 23-3 home loss to the hated Broncos. JaMarcus Russell was 12 of 21 for 61 yards and a interception, Darren McFadden rushed for only 45 yards and the offense managed only 9 first downs. You are not going to win a lot of football games with that kind of play especially when you’re Oakland who has managed to master the art of losing.
Panthers: Jake Delhomme has two touchdowns and seven interceptions in three ugly losses for Carolina. It will only get worst now that head coach John Fox said this week “Jake is our guy”. It’s gonna be a long season, Panther fans.
Browns: Your quarterbacks go 17 of 27 yards for 126 yards and 4 turnovers in the game. Let’s face it, Cleveland just stinks!
Redskins: Once again, a pathetic job by Washington offensively.
If you can’t score more than 14 points and beat the Lions, you are not a good football team. Jim Zorn needs to go fast!
Rams: They just stink! Period!
Buccaneers: Tampa Bay is battling the Browns and Rams for the worst team in the league right now.
Chiefs: Two words — Todd Haley.
Bills: Again, two words — Dick Jauron.
Dolphins: Miami just doesn’t have enough fire power on offense to make the kind of mistakes they’ve made in their opening three losses. I knew it would not be a playoff season for the surprise team from last season.
Cardinals: Arizona isn’t going to sneak up on anyone this year as evident in their beat down at home against the Colts. They struggle to stop the run on defense and teams have figured out how to get pressure on Kurt Warner. If the Cardinals aren’t careful, they could find themselves watching the playoffs on TV this season.
Top 15 teams in the NFL :
Top 25 Division 1 College football teams:
7. Virginia Tech
9. Ohio State
12. Penn State
13. Oklahoma State
14. Georgia Tech
18. Boise State
19. Ole’ Miss
25. South Florida
Top 10 HBCU FCS College football teams:
1. South Carolina State
3. Prairie View A&M
4. Grambling State
5. Alabama A & M
8. Alabama State
9. Norfolk State
10. NC A&T
Top 10 HBCU Division II College football teams:
1. Albany State
3. Elizabeth City State
6. Fayetteville State
7. Virginia Union
8. Bowie State
9. Fort Valley State
DIVISION FCS HBCU PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
LB Brandon Roundtree, Hampton: Roundtree was one of the leaders of the Pirates defense that accounted for six sacks and forced four turnovers in a 24-14 victory over the N.C. A&T Aggies. He recorded six total tackles, four solo, with 2.5 for a loss of nine yards. He also notched 1.5 sacks for a loss of seven yards. Roundtree was also responsible for the first Pirates defensive touchdown of the season with a five-yard interception return. He finished the game with two interceptions for 19 yards.
DIVISION II HBCU PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
RB Rodney Webb, Bowie State: Webb rushed for a game and career-high 174 yards and scored two touchdowns helping propel the BSU Bulldogs past the Shaw Bears, 31-24 in double OT.
Well that’s it for this week. Enjoy the games and we will talk next week!