Twists of Fate: Week 3 Phenomena That Would Blow Our Hair Back.
Ahhh yes, Week 3 in the NFL! This is a special time of year where the sample size of teams is small, but hopes are hotter than the haircut you see above. Let’s take a look at some matchups that will make week 3 the greatest week of the season[if gte vml 1]><v:shapetype id="_x0000_t75" coordsize="21600,21600" o:spt="75" o:preferrelative="t" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" filled="f" stroked="f"> <v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f> <v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f> <v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f> </v:formulas> <v:path o:extrusionok="f" gradientshapeok="t" o:connecttype="rect"></v:path> <o:lock v:ext="edit" aspectratio="t"></o:lock> </v:shapetype><v:shape id="Picture_x0020_1" o:spid="_x0000_s1026" type="#_x0000_t75" alt="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/sCpxqs6qC9uluHMD3gGEvM21rPO5NI17p8JxcHb0bwATEMkBUS-9dEQpdPzXgWgcgSsZI2XGM3Mno9cuu2k1bPlZDJUOP_81G7t1Uzsa5treXhudQ5azfKdPIoOK8IPX_HTIw-Ra" style='position:absolute;left:0;text-align:left;margin-left:0;margin-top:9.75pt; width:468pt;height:375pt;z-index:251658240;visibility:visible; mso-wrap-style:square;mso-wrap-distance-left:9pt;mso-wrap-distance-top:0; mso-wrap-distance-right:9pt;mso-wrap-distance-bottom:0; mso-position-horizontal:absolute;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text; mso-position-vertical:absolute;mso-position-vertical-relative:text'> <v:imagedata src="file:///C:/Users/NEWUSE~1/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/01/clip_image001.png" o:title="sCpxqs6qC9uluHMD3gGEvM21rPO5NI17p8JxcHb0bwATEMkBUS-9dEQpdPzXgWgcgSsZI2XGM3Mno9cuu2k1bPlZDJUOP_81G7t1Uzsa5treXhudQ5azfKdPIoOK8IPX_HTIw-Ra"></v:imagedata> <w:wrap type="through"></w:wrap> </v:shape><![endif][if !vml][endif].
After 2 weeks of NFL football, 7 of the 32 teams are undefeated. 8 teams still have not found a win, and 4 teams have ties on their record. The past two weeks of football have shown us all that tackling a quarterback is a bad strategy for defenses, Aaron Rogers only needs one leg to be an elite quarterback, the bills had a player retire at halftime, and John Gruden QB camp worked on Derek Carr, but the rest of his head coaching strategy didn’t work out as the Raiders lost for the second straight week.
That is not all for the action pack week 2 of the NFL. Week 2 has provided the nation with two superstar yarns. Ryan Fitzpatrick, a quarterback from Harvard, has found a way to encapsulate the attention of the NFL. In only 2 games, Fitzpatrick has hurled a football for over 800 yards and tossed up 8 touchdowns like it just another day in the backyard. His career of bouncing around the league is a common one, but what is rare is that at age 35, on his 7th NFL team, Fitzpatrick has found his own captivating story. There will be at least one documentary about his fascinating career, as he continues to dazzle and impress. He serves as a reminder to never lose faith in one's dreams. It may be cheesy, but these types of stories are why I love the NFL.
Important brake check: Fitzpatrick has played big games in the past. For example, back in 2014 Fitzmagic, throw for a Texans franchise-record six touchdowns and 358 yards with no interceptions. The issue is that Fitzpatrick, throughout his career, has not figured out how to play this well for a sustained period of time. I know that is not new information, but simply keep this in mind when your betting on the money line. Patrick Lavon Mahomes II, that’s right the rookie! After merely 2 games, this guy has the NFL media gorging out if his hands. He can do no wrong, he is prematurely compared as the second coming of Brett Favre. Let us all just take a moment to really enjoy this story. The NFL season is notoriously long and brutal. This type of play coming from Mahomes is not going to last all season, that is even more reason to praise this story. He is the most entertaining two-legged player to watch so far this season (Rogers only has one leg), he has a big arm (understatement), and he is not afraid to sling the ball all over the field. After two games, PLMII has 582 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and his QBR is in the heavens at 143.3. Just… wow.
At some point this year, the magic in both these stories will fade away, and new hot strikes and rising stars will take their place in the national headlines. Mahomes will hit the rookie wall, and at 35 who knows how long Fitzpatrick’s body will hold up. As football fans, we should take a toast to both players as they have both done what no NFL ‘expert’ could have predicted. Cheers to the both of you!
...Any Browns fans know where I could get a good bargain on Bud Light?
Now is the time to look at week 3 and look at matchups that could set make the internet combust.
Phenomena #1: Confidential - Spotting of Chiefs Defense 49ers (1-1) at Chiefs (2-0): Opening line: Chiefs, -5.5 points
You know what would stranger than Bigfoot walking on the field in search of beef jerky, or an alien spaceship landing on the middle of the field? What would be the most shocking phenomena that will happen this week is the Chiefs defense clamps an offense down to less than 400 passing yards. I’m a believer in that for week 3. The Chiefs defense will not stay this poor all season. As of right now, the Chiefs defense is rank 29th in points allowed (32.5), dead last in yards allowed (508), the bottom of the league in passing yards allowed (430), and 6th in the league in rushing yards allowed (78), but that rank is somewhat distorted because why grind it out and run the ball when you can throw the ball to wide open receivers.
The 49ers have had a disappointing open to their season, especially on offense. Jimmy G had a cruel reality check when his team played the murders row defense in Minnesota. He has yet to have a grand performance this season, and he has played one of the leagues bottom defenses at home against the Detroit Lions. In that game, the 49ers only managed to convert 3 of the 11 3rd down conversions. Even more, disappointing from that game, the 49ers only went 2 -5 in the red zone.
Last season Jimmy G had a fresh look with Kyle Shanahan, but that was last season. The NFL is an extremely fast-learning league and the same old game plan will not work, as we have seen so far this season. Some of the shortcomings of this offense is linked to the lack of weapons around Jimmy. Their number one receiver is Pierre Garcon, and while he is respectable, it is still a troubling for an offense with him as a number one receiver.
In addition, this game futures two quarterbacks that could be comparable to the Manning v. Brady rivalry. It creates the question as to which one of these quarterbacks will be the face of the NFL in the next 5 years, or which one will date the most porn stars over the next 2 years?
The Chiefs offense is red hot, and with PLMII being the hottest QB in the league equipped with weapons such as Hunt, Kelce, Hill, and Watkins with an Andy Reid scheme it gives the impression that this firework show will continue. Mostly, because they will be playing a 49ers defense that simply is not showing any signs of being good.
PLMII first home game of the year will be one to remember. He has taken the league over the past 2 weeks and has not even played a home game, let that sink in for a moment. The 49ers offense will be playing a division II defense on Sunday, but they do not have the weapons needed to outscore the rocket-solar-nuclear-fuel chiefs’ offense.
Phenomena #2: Rare Sighting of The Real Andrew Luck. I Swear. Colts (1-1) at Eagles (1-1): Over the past few years, if a person who was drunk in the woods of northern Canada, told me they saw Bigfoot, I would honestly put more trust in what that person over anything a Colts rep would have blabbed about in regard to the health status of Andrew Luck. Honestly, the entire handling of the Luck injury really shows the fiasco that is the Colts. Just as Peyton Manning had to cover up a lot of mistakes the team leadership did, that burden has been placed squarely on the torn-up shoulders of Ander Luck. Now the man, myth, folklore, has returned to the field, and he is coming back to regain his throne as one of the top QBs in the NFL.
It was not that long ago when Andrew Luck was a rookie and was taking over a 2-14 team as a rookie. He was the highest regarded incoming rookie in the past 20 years. A great deal of pressure and extraordinary expectations was placed on him at the time.
As a rookie, he started every game for the colts and broke the record for most passing yards for a rookie (4,183), all while taking this team to the playoffs.
Why bring all of this up? Recency bias has taken us all over, I am as guilty as anyone else. If you asked someone who will be the better QB in 3 years, a lot of people would pick Carson Wentz over Andrew Luck. Wentz is a great pro, but I still believe in Andrew Luck. This week I expect Andrew Luck will have a monster game and remind the world that he is one of the best in the world.
Luck is still shaking some of the rust off, but by golly gee, this will be a fun game to watch as Carson Wentz tires to get his groove back from his first major injury.
The passing defense of the Eagles is also suspect as they let a 35-year-old backup QB set up and torched them for 402 yards. The sample size is so small this could mean one of two things. One, the Eagles have a weak secondary, which looks the case thus far. Or they have trouble against QB’s with big bushy beards. The ladder here explains why Matt Ryan had so much trouble against this team in week 1. Yes of course, this must be the reason! In which case Andrew Luck will have a great game on Sunday, and if the defense can take care of their end, the Colts might actually pull out a victory in Philadelphia.
No matter what happens on the football field, the most important thing with Andrew Luck’s return to the spotlight is every Monday, we can count that Bill Simmons will have to do a great impression on his podcast of Andrew Luck.
Phenomena #3: Abducted by Aliens: Fitzpatrick. Here Today: Primetime FitzMAGIC!
Steelers (0-1-1) at Buccaneers (2-0): Tampa Bay was an underdog in both of their upset wins, but that did not matter. Before the season started they lost their starting QB to a 3-game suspension over a groping incident, still did not affect the team. Now Fitzpatrick is playing in a high-pressure prime time game, the type of high-pressure game that a franchise quarterback should be present for. The Buccaneers are playing against a team that has nothing but negative storylines surrounding them. Hmmmm…. maybe Winston would be a perfect fit in Pittsburg.
The Buccaneers have been the nice surprising story of the exceedingly early NFL season. The smiles, positive energy, and pure joy that is surrounding this team are very infectious for all when watching them play. The veteran Deshawn Jackson has reanimated his career and has become a relevant receiver once again. He may not be as fast as he once was, or as arrogant, Jackson is still very lethal and with 10 years of NFL experience with him, he and Mike Evans could be the best one-two punch the Buccs have had in a very long time.
Running the ball has not been an effective strategy, because when you throw the ball as well as they have they might as well place their running back out as another receiver. Playing at home on Monday night creates a wired energy, Monday Night games are always a little different from the other regular season games. Really, anything is possible. The Buccs do have one thing that is in their favor, and that is that they are playing the shambles of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bad mojo? Negative energy? Coach Tomlin losing control of the team? More Antonio Brown rumors? Big Ben Washed? Are offensive linemen banding together against Bell? You name the storyline and, in some form or another it is attached to the Steelers. If the Buccs are the happy, high chemistry team, like a group of old college friend’s that love playing together, then the Steelers are in the polar opposite spot. The team's energy is all negative right now. It’s like passing a burning semi-truck on the side of the highway, your human intents tell you something might not be right with that picture. This team looks like it could implode at any moment.
The defense of the Buccs has to be one of the most underprivileged in the NFL, so the Steelers will be able to put up points in this game. Big Ben has put out considerable numbers, but his signs of age and NFL battle wounds are showing their ugly heads. One play to the next Big Ben is a highly volatile, from throw to throw he can look amazing one play and washed the very next.
If the Steelers lose this game, prepare for more of these negative storylines to leak out, and Mike Tomlin to be placed squarely on the hot seat. A team with so much turmoil, playing a team that is rolling and playing at home on Monday night might be too large of a task for the crumbling Steelers to overcome. But stranger things have happened on Monday Night Football.
If Ryan Fitzpatrick plays like he has been the past two weeks, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the starting QB for the Buccs for the rest of the year. I am jumping on the phenomenal FitzMagic train and picking them to win.