Third time’s the charm!
Welcome to our NFL Week Three ramblings. Let’s jump right into a few of the bigger stories from Sunday and Monday.
Packers are FOR REAL – I told you all in week one that all the pre-season/off-season chatter about Green Bay was a bunch of garbage. The Aaron Rodgers age factor, the NFL Draft results, the cuts, offensive scheme, etc. Everything was scrutinized, and in the end, what has it all meant? Nothing. Just the usual crap that pundits and critics need to talk about when there are no games to actually break down. Instead, it is a chosen topic at hand and a deep dive…without any actual results. Well, now we have the results. The Packers are 3-0 and have looked pretty darn good. This week was the New Orleans Saints going down. While the final score of 37-30 seems close, it wasn’t. After a couple of minor hiccups, A-Rodg rolls on. Next week is a Monday nighter against the Atlanta Falcons (more on them in a second). After is a bye week, where they will surely be sitting at 4-0 with a big time game versus the Tampa Bay Bucs looming near (more on THEM in a bit). CBS Sports columnist Will Brinson wrote a column on Monday apologizing to Aaron Rodgers for doubting him in the off season. Any others willing to offer up an “I’m sorry.” right now?
Atlanta Falcons collapse again – Yikes. It wasn’t almost a joke I texted to my buddy, a Bears fan. Would the Falcons really blow another big lead late? I know it has only happened a couple times, but that Super Bowl loss a few years ago the New England Patriots set the precedent. That memory isn’t going away folks. On Sunday, the Chicago Bears made a QB change, fought back into the game and miraculously beat Atlanta. On the road. In Atlanta. Unreal, 0-3 for Atlanta. Atlanta, Atlanta, Atlanta! I keep saying it because that has to be how local radio sounded like Monday morning. What to do? You can’t boot the QB (Matt Ryan) like the Bears did when a change was needed. You can’t look for a trade or many free agents. Not much available right now. Unfortunately, this feels like a Doc Rivers/LA Clippers situation (NBA). If this nonsense continues, Dan Quinn may be out as their head coach. Always sucks to say because it is the easy way out. Sometimes though, the easiest solution is also the best solution.
Bucs are in 1st place – Hey, look at that NFC South! Remember all the noise from Week One and Tom Brady? I said to calm down, take a step back and look at the variables involved. You can find that column under my tab on ProSportsExtra.com if you want a refresher. It is the problem with over reactions right out of the gate. Tom Brady has his team sitting on top of the NFC South three weeks into the season with a showdown against the Chargers coming on Sunday. Interesting battle there as both teams were in the running for Brady. I do still have my concerns for Gronk though. Whether it was sarcasm or just a silly joke, him saying he unretired to be a blocking tight end is trouble. Get some touchdowns this weekend. Brady knows him better than anybody. Draw up a few goal line players specifically for him. Make the dude smile again, and we will see the patented SPIKE once again.
These teams are done – By week three or four, you can start to separate the pretenders from the contenders. We will get a bigger playoff picture by week right or so. Until then though, this is where the league starts to break off into the winners and the losers. Pretty simple. All sports are the same way and if you didn’t blink, we are nearly 25% of the way into the season already. Time flies by when you’re having fun, correct? Anyways, I am not big on BOLD predictions. However, the following teams are officially done for the 2020-2021 season. You can write this down and take it to the bank. From the NFC: Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, New York Giants and MAYBE the Philadelphia Eagles. I hesitate to name them though, as they always have some magic left in the tank. From the AFC: Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, and MAYBE the Browns and Jaguars. I ironically cheer on Cleveland, so that would be hilarious if they had a run. Also, Jacksonville is in a fairly hit or miss division. Anything can happen there. If you are a fan of any of the above teams, sorry. There is always next year.
Titans need to quarantine – In my column two weeks ago, I praised the NBA Bubble and how well it was working out. In the same breath, I chastised the MLB for how it is a total free for all, and there were predictably a few issues dealing with the pandemic. Health issues were bound to pop up. Of course, with that same free for all mentality, the NFL is now getting hit. As I was finishing the column, it was announced that the Tennessee Titans have had eight positive tests for CVID-19. Three players and five staff members. Since the Titans just played the Vikings on Sunday, they will also have to take the next few days off and figure out future plans. I assume more testing, more quarantining and a whole bunch of more caution. Will both teams play on Sunday versus different, new opponents? Will this week off help or hurt their chances with a 3-0 record? A lot of questions for not only the Titans but the entire league. As I mentioned, this news just broke, so I am sure a lot of interesting details will leak out soon. Best health wishes to all involved.
QUICK TAKES: Tough loss for the Rams. My surprise team of the year battled hard all game but ultimately fell short. That is fine, 2-1 is a good spot. In that division though, you can’t lose too many games. The Chicago Bears are sitting at 3-0. Talk about a surprise team! Good move on switching quarterbacks. If you are SOMEHOW undefeated thus far, do NOT squander that opportunity by being stubborn. Just roll with the change and keep the momentum going. Those Kansas City Chiefs are still in the NFL. Don’t forget about them. Another big win in prime time over the talented Baltimore Ravens last night. Russell Wilson was a pre-season favorite to be MVP. So far, so good. The Seattle Seahawks are my pre-season Super Bowl favorites for crying out loud. Cowboys are 1-2, uh oh! I guess last week’s miracle win was just a fluke. Not living up to the hype right now. Ladies and gentlemen, the Detroit Lions won a game. No 0-16 repeat this year. Dang. What a pitiful NFC East, huh? Oh well, Washington sits on top of that dumpster fire. I wrote about their chances in week one, out to prove a lot of folks wrong after another controversial off-season.
That will do it for this week. Enjoy NFL Week Four!
Written by Justin Watry