NFL Winners and Losers: Week 3

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No one is ever really safe in the NFL. Not even from the Buffalo Bills. Or the Detroit Lions. Or the Tennessee Titans. Or defenders tackling the quarterback. You get it.

From Baker Mayfield’s cinematic-like debut to the reign of the underdogs, to the teams that lost to those underdogs to the stiff arm Chris Conte will never live down to the roughing the passer calls that are beyond out of hand, it was another entertaining yet shocking week in Week of the NFL.

Let’s take a look at the Winners and Losers from Week 3 of the 2018 NFL season:


WINNERS


Baker Mayfield – Mayfield’s introduction to the NFL couldn’t have been scripted better. Coming off the bench in replacement of the injured Tyrod Taylor, Mayfield ignited a spark under the Browns that led them to a come-from-behind victory — their first win in 635 days. The future certainly looks bright.

Patrick Mahomes – Mahomes only had three touchdowns this week (sarcasm, folks). But he’s continuing to decimate defenses with his athleticism and command in this offense. And it’s fun to watch (unless your team is playing the Chiefs.) The only question is: How long does this last? Because history proves that it usually does.

Chiefs and Rams – The two teams that look like the clear-cut favorites to make it to the Super Bowl. The Rams are the most well-rounded team on offense and defense, while the Chiefs have perhaps the most explosive offense that, for now, can bail out its porous defense.

Underdogs – Any given week. You just have no idea what’s going to happen in the NFL. The Bills beat the Vikings. The Redskins beat the Packers. The Titans beat the Jaguars. The Lions beat the Patriots. Good lord, what is happening?! The Bears were the only heavily-favored team on upset alert that escaped with a victory.

Bears defense – Just when you think this Bears defense can’t be any more impressive, they put on a performance like they did against the Cardinals. Yes, they allowed two early, easy touchdowns. But after those 14 points, the defense shut them down entirely. They generated four takeaways on four straight possessions in the second half. The only thing missing was another defensive score. But hey, you can’t be greedy.

Josh Allen – Wow, I can’t believe Josh Allen made my winners list. Allen completed 15 of 22 passes for 196 yards and one passing touchdown. But it was more than just statistics that got him on this list. It was his tenacity and determination in leading the Bills — the Bills — to a dominating win over the Vikings.

Kerryon Johnson – Have the Lions found their running back of the future? Kerryon Johnson broke one of the NFL’s longest streaks — where the Lions hadn’t had a 100-yard rusher in over five years. Johnson rushed for 101 yards on 16 carries becoming the first Lions running back to rush for over 100 yards since Reggie Bush in 2013.

Miami Dolphins – Believe it, because it’s true. The Miami Dolphins are 3-0. The Dolphins came from behind to beat the hapless Raiders 28-20 and now are in first place in the AFC East. Who would’ve imagined that the Dolphins would be 3-0 and the Patriots 1-2?

Drew Brees – He’s still got it. In fact, he never lost it. Drew Brees set the NFL record for career completions, completed 39 of 49 passes for 396 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions and rushing for two scores. Not to mention he led the Saints to an overtime victory over division rivals Atlanta.

Adrian Peterson – Adrian Peterson continues to remind everyone that he still has the ability to deliver these kinds of performances. Peterson had 120 yards on 19 attempts (6.3 average) and two touchdowns in the Redskins win over the Packers.


LOSERS


New England Patriots – It’s rough to be a Patriots fan right now. Where the Miami Dolphins are 3-0 and the Patriots are staring down a 1-2 record after they recorded their second straight loss to the Detroit Lions. The Lions. Could this be the end of the Patriots reign? Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It’s Week 3.

NFL Tackling Rule – Forget the “what is a catch” question in the NFL. Now, it’s “what is a tackle?” Because the NFL has no clue what the perfect tackle is…even after Clay Matthews delivered another precise tackle that was flagged for roughing the passer. Get it together, NFL.

Houston Texans – The Texans were supposed to roll over the Giants, right? But on an afternoon where reality was tilted on its side, the Texans were taken down by a Giants offense that found life against a defense that was supposed to snuff it out. Deshaun Watson and the Texans are now staring down a 0-3 record.

Dallas Cowboys – Good for the Seattle Seahawks. For not only getting their first win of the season, but for also exposing the Cowboys offense for what it really is. Dallas has Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott. How’s that working out? There are some real holes in this team.

QB Comparisons – Stop comparing the developmental processes of all the young QBs in the league. Quarterback development isn’t linear, and eventually teams figure out QBs that jump out to hot starts.

Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings really pissed the bed didn’t they? Their defense was trounced by Josh Allen and the Bills. And Minnesota’s offense just sucked. On their first nine possessions, the Vikings earned four first downs and didn’t score until late in the second half to avoid a shutout. It was ugly all around.

Jimmy Garoppolo – Not only did the San Francisco suffer another loss — while failing to ignite this offense against a bad Chiefs defense — but quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was carted off with a torn ACL. Not just a terrible week. But looking like a lost season.

Jacksonville Jaguars – One week after finally beating the New England Patriots, the Jaguars dropped a game to, of all teams, the Tennessee Titans. Not just the Titans. But the Blaine Gabbert-led Titans. And they lost 9-6. Just ugly.

Case Keenum – All Case Keenum needs to be is average with this Broncos defense carrying them. He’s not a young QB. No excuses.

Chris Conte – Conte should just retire and save face now, because how else will he ever live down that stiff arm by Vance McDonald? All in all, not a good night for Conte, who also re-aggravated a knee injury that has him on IR.

Fitzmagic – So the Fitzmagic finally ran out. Or has it?

Who are your winners and losers for Week 3 of the NFL?

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