The third week of the 2014 NFL season officially came to a close on Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, when the Chicago Bears outlasted the New York Jets 27-19, to claim a share of the NFC North division lead. It was a game which was as entertaining as it was imperfect. In the end, the New York Jets’ woefully bad play in the Red zone (6 times in; just 1 TD), doomed them yet again.
Week 3 injuries – As was the case in Week 2, NFL injuries continued to pile up in Week 3. Here is a partial list of injuries which took place on Sunday, Sept. 21 – Pittsburgh Steelers* lost three defensive starters; CB Ike Taylor (broken forearm), LB Jarvis Jones (broken wrist), and LB Ryan Schazier (MCL injury) – Schazier will miss at least the next game, while Taylor and Jones will each miss at least 6 – 8 weeks. Carolina Panthers lost FB Mike Tolbert (hairline fracture in left leg) for 4-6 weeks. Washington Redskins lost CB DeAngelo Hall (torn achilles) for the season. Minnesota Vikings lost TE Kyle Rudolph (sports hernia surgery) for 6 weeks, and QB Matt Cassel (broken foot) out indefinitely. Philadelphia Eagles lost C Jason Kelce (sports hernia surgery) for 8 weeks. San Diego Chargers lost RB Danny Woodhead (broken leg) for the season, and DB Mantei Te’o (foot fracture) for 4-6 weeks. Baltimore Ravens lost TE Dennis Pitta (dislocated hip) for the season. Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews is dealing with a groin injury which may or may not lead to him missing a few games. Detroit Lions LB Stephen Tulloch (torn ACL) out for season.
*In the wake of the Steelers defense being decimated by injury, recently retired former Steelers LB James Harrison is expected to come out of retirement, join the team this week, and play in Week 4 game vs Tampa Bay.
Ten keen observations:
1) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should never allow a QB named ‘Josh’ to start for their team, ever.
2) If Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount can stay “right”, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be a force to be reckoned with, this season. 265 combined yards rushing, against a defense the caliber of Carolina, is no fluke.
3) Having watched Aaron Rodgers for his entire career, it is cause for concern, to see the way he is missing wide open receivers. Blame the offensive line if you like, but something is going wrong within the psyche of this great QB.
4) Peyton Manning proved once again that he is NOT a big game QB. John Fox even tried conservative play-calling, so that Manning wouldn’t punch himself out in the 1st half. End result was just a more entertaining loss in their Super Bowl rematch against the Seahawks.
5) Having suffered thru the curse of Adam Vinatieri (haven’t won a Super Bowl since he left), the Patriots now appear to be suffering the curse of Logan Mankins. The starting guard was abruptly traded for TE Tim Wright, before the season began. Wright has caught four passes this season, and the Pats offense is sputtering despite the 2-1 record. I would curse you too, if you sent me to Tampa Bay.
6) The NFL has to do something about the ticky tack penalty calls against defensive backs. They have made it impossible to cover a receiver. Is there any wonder there is such a lack of “shutdown corners” anymore ? Fantasy football junkies may love it, but it is ruining the sport.
7) Despite retired former Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb’s reluctance to give a boost of confidence to current Eaggles QB Nick Foles, Foles is proving that he is indeed a franchise QB. During his playing days, McNabb’s relationship with Eagles fans was always rather tenuous. Maybe that’s how he likes it.
8) The New Orleans Saints finally won a game, but they still have a lot of work to do. A 20-9 win over a depleted Minnesota Vikings team with a rookie QB, does not necessarily mean that things are turning around.
9) Brian Hoyer is doing a great job of making sure Johnny Manziel does not see any playing time this season – most of us thought Manziel would be starting, after the bye week, but such is not the case.
10) Detroit Lions LB Stephen Tulloch tore his ACL during a celebratory dance after sacking Aaron Rodgers. That’s not really a keen observation, but it is worth mentioning.