Another great afternoon of NFL games.
Some were thrilling down to the last play, some were just blowouts, and maybe biggest of all, the Detroit Lions have won a football game.
Lions 19, Redskins 14
In one of the more interesting games of the year, the Detroit Lions ended one of the most well-noted losing streaks in NFL history by beating Washington at home.
The two keys to this one had to be the sound play of rookie Matt Stafford, who was a respectable 21/36 for 241 yards and a TD, and the ability of the Lions’ D to stop the ‘Skins running game, holding Washington to just 65 yards on the ground.
For the Lions, this is a victory that the players are very relieved and thankful to have.
However, for the Redskins, they drop to 1-2 and the calls for Jim Zorn’s head have grown a lot louder.
Packers 36, Rams 17
Aaron Rodgers got the job done against a soft Rams defense, guiding his team into the endzone on three occassions, as the Packers bounced back from last week and the Rams lost more than just the game.
Rodgers was only 13/23 but threw for 269 yards and two TDs and also added a rushing TD.
Rams QB Marc Bulger was sacked by Aaron Kampman and had to leave the game with a shoulder injury. Former Raven first-round pick Kyle Boller replaced him and was 17/36 for 164 yards, two TDs, and a pick.
Vikings 27, 49ers 24
Brett Favre made his first big impression on Minnesota fans by finding Greg Lewis on a 32-yard TD pass with 2 seconds left to lift the Vikes to a 27-24 victory over San Francisco, who lost Frank Gore after only one carry with a sprained ankle.
Favre was 24/46 for 301 yards and 2 TDs, but was matched almost the whole game by surprising Shaun Hill, who was 15/25 for 195 yards and two TD passes to Vernon Davis.
At the end of the day though, Favre came through for Minnesota in a big way for the first time this season and the Vikings are now 3-0.
Patriots 26, Falcons 10
The Patriots recovered nicley from last week’s loss to the Jets by handling the Atlanta Falcons.
The Pats offense looked the way we thought it might, racking up 445 yards of offense, while New England’s defense limited the Falcons to just 257 yards and kept Matt Ryan & Co. out of the endzone, except for a short run by Michael Turner, who was otherwise ineffective again, with only 56 yards.
Jets 24, Titans 17
In a back-and-forth battle, it was Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets moving to an unlikely 3-0 with a close win over the now 0-3 Tennessee Titans.
Turnovers were the key to this one, as the Jets were able to force three turnovers, including a crucial fourth quarter Kerry Collins pick by LB David Harris.
Sanchez was a big factor in this one, scoring three TDs, one of which was a rushing TD, to guide the Jets who opened the game up 14-0, then fell behind 17-14 in the third quarter, and then rallied to win it.
Eagles 34, Chiefs 14
Kevin Kolb put last week’s game behind him, throwing 24/34 for 326 yards and two TDs, as the Eagles made it look easy against the winless Chiefs.
The Philly defense also stepped up in this one, holding KC to just 196 yards on offense, including only 90 yards passing by Matt Cassel.
The silver lining for Cassel was that he was also 14/18 with two TDs.
Giants 24, Buccaneers 0
New York left absolutely no doubt in this one, shutting out the struggling Bucs.
This was complete domination from start to finish with Eli Manning throwing for two TDs, Brandon Jacobs running for one TD, and holding Tampa’s anemic offense without a first down until late in the third quarter.
The G-Men also held the ball for over 43 minutes in the blowout.
Ravens 34, Browns 3
Joe Flacco threw for 342 yards, Willis McGahee ran for two TDs, and the Ravens defense had four interceptions as the Ravens embarrassed the team they used to be in the Cleveland Browns.
Other than Baltimore’s dominance, the most interesting storyline might have been Brady Quinn getting pulled from the game for Derek Anderson, who was 11/19 with three picks in the second half.
No wonder the Browns had a QB controversy. They both can’t win or even throw a TD pass. The Browns have now gone two games since scoring a touchdown, and have only scored 9 points in the last two games.
Jaguars 31, Texans 24
Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 119 yards and three TDs and the Jaguars grabbed their first win of the season in Houston.
You can’t blame Matt Schaub for this loss, who threw for 300 yards and three TDs in a losing effort for the Texans, who are off to a disappointing 1-2 start.
This one was basically as even as it could be, with the Jaguars outgaining the Texans 398-397.
Bears 25, Seahawks 19
Jay Cutler found a streaking Devin Hester for a 36-yard game winning TD pass as the Bears escaped Qwest Field with the win.
Cutler was 21/27 for 247 yards and three TDs, but also had two turnovers that nearly cost Chicago the game.
Seneca Wallace played well in his first start of the year, going 26/44 for 261 yards, one TD, and one pick.
Saints 27, Bills 7
In a game where Drew Brees didn’t throw for a TD pass, it was Pierre Thomas and the Saints’ much maligned defense that guided New Orleans to another easy win in Buffalo.
Thomas ran for 126 yards and two TDs in his first game back from injury, and the Bills' lone points came on a fake FG pass by punter Brian Moorman.
Trent Edwards threw for 156 yards and a pick and, even more notably, failed to find Terrell Owens once in the game.
Bengals 23, Steelers 20
Carson Palmer found Andre Caldwell for his first career TD reception with 14 seconds left in the game to rally Cincinnati to a big win over the Steelers at home.
After falling behind 13-0 early in the game, the Bengals seemed to just wake up on both sides of the ball, executing exactly the way they needed to to snag the victory, their first in three years over Pittsburgh.
Cedric Benson totaled 84 yards and scored one TD.
Most importantly, Cincy managed to not turnover the ball in the game against a Pittsburgh defense that looks like it is missing its leader Troy Polamalu quite a bit right now.
Broncos 23, Raiders 3
Denver continued its unlikely start with a convincing victory in the Black Hole over Oakland. Kyle Orton threw for 157 yards and a TD pass to Brandon Marshall, and Correll Buckhalter and Knowshon Moreno combined for 198 yards and a score on the ground.
JaMarcus Russell looked pretty bad once again, going 12/21 for 61 yards and two INTs as the Raiders’ offense was held to 137 yards of offense. Denver joins six other teams at 3-0 to start the season.
Chargers 23, Dolphins 13
San Diego’s defense was more than up to the task, shutting down Miami and its Wildcat offense in Qualcomm Stadium.
This one was ugly, with neither team scoring a touchdown until Philip Rivers ran for a 5-yard TD in the third quarter to give the Chargers a 10-6 lead which they would never relenquish.
Eric Weddle put the exclamation point on the win with a pick six off backup QB Chad Henne, who was pressed into action after Chad Pennington left the game with a shoulder injury that made ‘Phins fans hold their collective breath.
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