For the most part, teams in Week 3 played a mix of starters and bench players. One team in particular had a major issue in their game. That issue could change their entire season. Let’s get to it!
Preseason Week 3 Recap
Atlanta Falcons 6 at Miami Dolphins 17
The Falcons Aldrick Robinson caught 3 passes for 70 yards. He’s looking more and more like the third receiver that could help Matt Ryan and the Falcons’ offense find success this season. No running backs looked good in this game. Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman had 5 carries for 8 yards. Miami’s Jay Ajayi carried the ball 7 times for 11 yards. Arian Foster did better when carrying the football 5 times for 10 yards.
Dallas Cowboys 17 at Seattle Seahawks 27
The Cowboys season may have changed dramatically in this game. QB Tony Romo broke something in his back. Romo is out for at least half of the season. That may not be an issue because Dak Prescott looked great in this game. Prescott went 17 out of 23 for 116 yards. He threw a TD pass. But, Prescott is a rookie. We won’t know how Romo’s injury really affects the Cowboys until the regular season starts.
Seattle’s Russell Wilson is already in mid-season form. He completed 16 of 21 for 116 yards. He threw 2 touchdown passes. Seattle’s Christine Michael rushed 7 times for 58 yards. He’s probably going to be the main man in Seattle once the season starts.
New England Patriots 19 at Carolina Panthers 17
The Patriots started Tom Brady. He didn’t disappoint. Brady only completed 3 out of 9. Not great, but look what Brady did with the 3 completions? 76 yards and a TD. His QB rating was over 102. Carolina starter Cam Newton wasn’t sharp at all. Newton passed for only 100 yards when completing 13 out of 29. He threw 2 interceptions. Both teams got their rushing attacks going. Jonathan Stewart rushed for 23 yards from 3 carries. The Patriots’ LeGarrette Blount had 26 yards from 5 carries.
Buffalo Bills 16 at Washington Redskins 21
Washington WR Desean Jackson and QB Kirk Cousins both played well. Cousins threw a pick but he ended up getting into rhythm. Jackson caught 4 passes for 56 yards. Buffalo’s Jonathan Williams, who didn’t have the best NFL Combine earlier this year was terrific when rushing for 42 yards on 11 carries. He scored a TD. He’ll be on the bench in Week 4 due to a rib injury.
Cleveland Browns 13 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30
That huge sigh of relief that you heard came from Tampa, Florida, as Jameis Winston finally stepped it up. Coming off of a terrible 3 for 10 game, Winston was marvelous against the Cleveland Browns in Week 3. He passed for 259 yards and threw 2 TDs. Bucs’ WR Mike Evans caught 5 passes for 115 yards. He scored a TD. The Buccaneers’ offense looked great!
Cleveland WR Josh Gordon showed that he’s still one of the best pass catchers in the NFL. I truly hope that Gordon can get his personal life together, that he walks the straight and narrow. Gordon caught 2 passes for 87 yards. He scored a TD.
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 at New Orleans Saints 14
The Saints’ offense looked terrible. QB Garrett Grayson completed 14 out of 23 for 128 yards. He threw a TD. Too bad he also threw 2 picks. WR Willie Snead was a bright spot for the Saints. He delivered with 58 yards from 4 catches. He scored a TD.
Pittsburgh feels a lot safer with Landry Jones backing up Ben Roethlisberger after his performance versus the Saints. Jones completed 19 out of 22 for 206 yards. He threw a TD pass. WR Antonio Brown had 4 catches for 87 yards. He also scored a touchdown.
Green Bay Packers 21 at San Francisco 49’ers 10
San Francisco coach Chip Kelly gave 6th Round Pick QB Jeff Driskell some work. Driskell wasn’t terrible. He completed 4 out of 8 for 43 yards. He was San Francisco’s top QB in this game. Colin Kaepernick, whose days appear numbered in SF, completed only 2 out of 6 passes. He looked terrible. It’s only a matter of time before Kelly and the 49’ers’ front office decides that Kaepernick is too much of a distraction.
Both Green Bay quarterbacks, starter Aaron Rodgers and back-up Joe Callahan, looked fantastic in this matchup. The real star on Green Bay’s offense was RB Eddie Lacey who rushed for 45 yards from 7 carries.
Kansas City Chiefs 23 at Chicago Bears 7
Chiefs’ QB Alex Smith completed 20 of 30 for 180 yards. He didn’t throw a pick. He almost never does. All in all this was a workmanlike win for the Chiefs. The Chiefs’ D held the Bears to 59 rushing yards from 16 carries. They held Chicago to 164 passing yards. Based on the NFL Preseason so far, a lot of football fans aren’t paying enough attention to Kansas City’s chances of winning the AFC.
Detroit Lions 9 at Baltimore Ravens 30
The Ravens are undefeated during the NFL Preseason. They’ve also covered the spread in all 3 of their preseason games. Coach John Harbaugh is insistent on the team developing a winning attitude right away. So far, it’s worked. Cast-off players like QB Ryan Mallett and RB Terrance West have bought in to Harbaugh’s culture. Versus the Lions, West rushed for 43 yards from 7 carries. Mallett completed 10 out of 15 for 112 yards and a TD. The defense did give up over 100 rushing yards to the Lions. Let’s see if Harbaugh corrects that this week.
Philadelphia Eagles 33 at Indianapolis Colts 23
The Colts’ Andrew Luck looked fantastic when completing 13 out of 18 for 134 yards. But the Colts’ rushing attack produced only 39 yards from 18 carries. That’s not going to cut it in the NFL. Philadelphia’s offense was on fire in this game. The Eagles rushed for 130 yards from 24 carries. Eagles’ quarterbacks passed for 258 yards.
New York Giants 21 at New York Jets 20
The New York Giants’ offense hasn’t been impressive this season. It wasn’t all that impressive in this game, either. NYG rushed for a paltry 39 yards from 20 carries. NYG quarterbacks passed for 124 total yards. The Jets’ quarterbacks were more in sync. They passed for 234 yards. Neither team looked great.
Tennessee Titans 27 at Oakland Raiders 14
Both teams got their rushing attacks going. The Titans might have 2 rushing stars this season in rookie Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray. Murray carried the football 8 times. He rushed for 40 yards. He scored a TD. Henry carried the ball 12 times. He rushed for 49 yards. He also scored a TD. As a team, the Raiders rushed for 157 yards from 26 carries. If Oakland and Tennessee are as effective on the ground during the regular season, the AFC could see some surprises.
Los Angeles Rams 9 at Denver Broncos 17
Los Angeles’s rushing attack continues to impress. The Rams rushed for 150 yards from 26 carries in this game. QB Case Keenum, going 8 for 12, looked much better than rookie Jared Goff, who went 4 for 12. Denver allowed Trevor Siemian to throw the ball 17 times. He completed 10 of his passes for 122 yards. He threw 1 TD and 1 interception. It looks like the Broncos are going to rely quite a bit on the rush this season. C.J. Anderson, Ronnie Hillman and rookie Devontae Booker all should see carries in 2016.
San Diego Chargers 10 at Minnesota Vikings 23
Teddy Bridgewater was terrific when he completed 12 out of 16 for 161 yards and a TD. The Vikings should be a run first team. What it means is that if Bridgewater can be Troy Aikman the Vikings will have a shot at the Super Bowl this season. Adrian Peterson is better than Emmitt Smith.
Arizona Cardinals 24 at Houston Texans 34
The Cardinals lost their third straight NFL Preseason game in Week 3. It’s not that big of a deal. Arizona should still be one of the best teams in the league this season. Even in this loss, the offense played well. The Cards rushed for 165 yards on 36 carries. Their quarterbacks, mainly Matt Barkley, passed for 272 yards.
The Texans scored a lot of points. NFL fans shouldn’t be fooled. Houston’s offense still has a long way to go. The Texans only rushed for 48 yards from 23 carries. QB Brock Osweiler did look good when completing 11 out of 13 for 126 yards.
Cincinnati Bengals 21 at Jacksonville Jaguars 26
The Jaguars continue to impress. Blake Bortles completed 10 out of 16 for 52 yards. The Jags rushed for 116 yards from 28 carries. We know how good Cincinnati is going to be. Based on 3 NFL Preseason games so far, the Jaguars won’t be far behind.