Yeah, I wasn't paying attention at the start of football season and forgot all about my plan to be updating scores throughout the season. But I am. Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays are football days. I'm a huge Gators fan (the team who just won three national titles, beat Ole Miss Saturday, and is number three in the rankings, just so you know), and also a huge Jaguars fan. I alternately bleed orange and blue; or black and teal. I started my writing career in sports journalism, covering football, hockey, baseball, golf, the Super Bowl... I loved all of it.
So, with that all that said, here are some snapshots from the games yesterday. Tonight I'll update with the score for the Monday Night game, and sorry for the brain fart making me two weeks late. :(
This brings the Cowboys to 3-0, one of the few undefeated teams left in the league, and the first time they've been 3-0 since 1999. The Bears had a tough night all around, with former Florida quarterback (I am sad to say) Rex Grossman not seeing much improvement in his play. He threw three interceptions and was sacked twice, but the rest of the team wasn't much help with fumbles and dropped passes left and right. The Bears drop to 1-2.
The Giants defense ended up winning the game for them with an incredible last-second stand, surprising for a defense which has been one of the worst in the league the first two weeks. But with only :58 to go and the Redskins on the 1-yard-line with 1st and goal, the game hung in the balance of the defense creating a near-impossible goal line stand. But they hung in there, and the Giants celebrated an incredible win. This game also set an attendance record at FedEx Field with a crowd of over 90,000. This game brings the Giants to 1-2, and the Redskins to 2-1.
The Panthers lost their starting quarterback, and Joey Harrington played well, but Atlanta handed them a win with penalties, bringing them to 2-1. Pro Bowler DeAngelo Hall gave up 67 yards in three penalties, letting the Panthers edge out a win. Hall also got into it with his own coach and had to be dragged off by his teammates! Offensively, Atlanta executed well enough, but they're obviously feeling the loss of Michael Vick. Harrington is showing that he's determined to show what he's got though, throwing for 361 yards and two touchdowns. Penalties killed the Falcons in this game, handing them their worst start since 1999 and sinking them to 0-3.
The Jaguars showed why we had the number two runningback duo in the league last season in Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew when they ran all over the Broncos yesterday. They started off the game with the longest drive in team history, with 18 plays, 80 yards, and just shy of 12 minutes leading to a touchdown. It set the tone for the day, and the Broncos just couldn't keep up with the Jaguars' surprising offense. I say surprising because we've always staked our reputation on having one of the toughest defenses in the league, but Sunday, that wasn't the case. The defense took a backseat to the offense, and the Jaguars and the Broncos both walked away 2-1.
The Seahawks needed a win today, and they managed scrape one by to take them 2-1. The Bengals, like the Falcons, pretty much handed them the win when the Bengals defense couldn't stand up. The Bengals offense landed 412 yards of offense -- almost twice what the Seahawks netted -- but they just couldn't pull off the win. Rookie Josh Wilson had an amazing 72-yard kickoff return to the Cincinnati 24 in the fourth, setting up a pass from Hasselbeck to Engram for an 18-yard touchdown. The Bengals fall to 1-2.
Broncos coach Mike Shanahan tricked the Raiders into a win last week, and Raiders coach Lane Kiffin decided to try it, calling a time out right before Browns kicker Phil Dawson lined up to score a game-winning goal. It paid off, with a block from Tommy Kelly, giving the Raiders the win and giving them a record of 1-2. Kiffin is the youngest coach in the NFL at 32, and this was his first win. The Browns also had an incredible 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, but the offense overall was lacking, and they went home 1-2.
Brett Favre is one of the most humble quarterbacks you'll find, but this weekend his win was almost overshadowed by his new record. Favre threw his 420th career touchdown, bringing him even with Dan Marino. Last week, he got his 149th win as a starter, passing John Elway and tying with center Mike Tingelhoff. The Chargers, meanwhile, are probably regretting firing Marty Schottenheimer right about now, as even last season's MVP LaDainian Tomlinson couldn't and an outstanding game by Philip Rivers couldn't save them. The Packers left the game undefeated, while the Chargers are at 1-2.
After Matt Leinart left the game, Kurt Warner rallied the Cardinals from a 17-point deficit, but it was too late. Matt Stover kicked a field goal as the game ended, giving the Ravens a narrow lead to bring them to 2-1. McNair played well while he did play, but his injury began to catch up to him, so Kyle Boller came in. The fourth quarter was a battle of the backups, giving an exciting game to fans. The Cardinals are getting better every year, despite their loss, and may still become a contender, and no longer be an easy pushover team. The Cardinals' record is now 1-2.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers rode the leftovers of Tony Dungy's superior coaching to a Super Bowl win, and since then have been almost dismal. They're seemingly reinventing themselves, however, and their defense is showing that this team may begin to have what it takes. The Rams, meanwhile, have been sacked by injuries and obviously struggled all day offensively. St. Louis remains winless, while Tampa Bay leaves at 2-1.
The Steelers remain undefeated, even without tough-as-nails head coach Bill Cowher. When I heard he was leaving, I wondered how the Steelers would fare, because Cowher had become synonymous with the team. However, new coach Mike Tomlin is proving that he has the potential to be just as good. For three weeks now, the Steelers have been practically error-free. They allowed no big plays, but the 49ers also let dozens of opportunities slip away, giving the Steelers an easy win, and giving the 49ers a record of 2-1.
When I saw the score for this game, my jaw dropped. Literally. Donovan McNabb silenced any doubts critics may have had, and Brian Westbrook had a total of over 200 yards before leaving the game in the third quarter with injured ribs. Jon Kitna threw for a franchise-record 446 yards, but it wasn't enough for Philadelphia's powerhouse offense, defense, and special teams. The Eagles outplayed the Lions on every single front. The Eagles are now 1-2, and the Lions are 2-1.
Chad Pennington showed he was over his injury by throwing for two touchdowns, and celebrating wildly in the end zone after the third as the Jets brought their record to 1-2. Coach Cam Cameron has reason to be nervous, as he is off to the worst start for a first-year Miami coach since George Wilson dropped his opening five games in 1966. Even as the Dolphins tried to mount a comeback, the Jets stayed calm and held on for the win. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are still winless.
I look at this game as a preview of what is to come when the Bills play the Jaguars here in Jacksonville in November (wink, wink). In all seriousness though, the Patriots showed that they can rise above scandal and play flawlessly to remain undefeated. It didn't help the Bills any that they, too, were sacked by injuries, missing three defensive starters. They then QB Losman in the first quarter, and in the second, Paul Posluszny broke his left forearm. The Bills have yet to win a game this season.
Larry Johnson has yet to shake off the rust from the offseason, so the Chiefs had to take to the air, especially since the Vikings seemed to know that the Chiefs wanted to ram the ball down their throats. Minnesota coach Brad Childress described the game as a tale of two halves. Kelly Holcomb started for the Vikings, as many suspected he would, and rookie Adrian Peterson had a productive day with about 150 yards total. The Chiefs still edged out a victory though, bringing both teams to 1-2.
I expected the Colts to trounce the Texans in this game, but obviously I was wrong. The Texans, although they did lose, showed that they are a force to be reckoned with, and are capable of defeating teams other than the Jaguars. They lost three offensive starters, though, and Cedric Killings was sent to the hospital with a neck injury. Joseph Addai, meanwhile, ran for two touchdowns and kicker Adam Vinatieri gave the Colts three field goals to edge out a win over the Texans. And of course, Peyton Manning was the sole reason for the Colts success as always (please sense the sarcasm). The Texans are 2-1, and the Colts remain undefeated.
Coming Tonight: Tennessee Titans at New Orlean Saints.