NFL Weekly Whip Around: Lessons Learned in Week Three

Bryan HollisterAnalyst ISeptember 30, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 27: Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings pump-fakes a pass as he looks for a receiver against the San Francisco 49ers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 27, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 27-24. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Yes, I see the picture; I picked it.

I'll eat crow in a minute, just hold your horses.

Well, sports fans, here we are three weeks into the NFL season, and lo and behold, there was more to learn.

We learned, for example, that Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is the real deal, and that if he keeps it up, he has a long fruitful career ahead in the NFL.

We learned that the football gods do NOT hate the Detroit Lions, seeing as they were allowed to prevail over the Washington Redskins to end a 19-game losing streak.

We learned that, much to the chagrin of his detractors—including yours truly—and to the utmost delight of his supporters, Brett Favre is still...well, Brett Favre.

Carolina should have figured out by now that whatever magic Jake Delhomme was able to muster last year to get the Panthers to the playoffs is long gone, as is his ability to be effective as a starting quarterback.

Maybe, after a few years of languishing in backup roles, he can have a renaissance season a la Kurt Warner in a few years, but the important thing is to get him out from under center now

Speaking of renaissance men, we learned that Kurt Warner is no Brett Favre, even if he DOES have the likes of Larry Fitzgerald to throw to.

It should have come to our attention by now that the Super Bowl Slump might just be a real phenomenon; with both the Steelers and the Cardinals at 1-2, it's hard to argue against it.

Since we mentioned Pittsburgh, we are learning that Tyrone Carter is a decent backup safety, but that's as far as his talent goes.

And Hines Ward is a mean little bugger who will just as soon hit you as look at you. Let's channel all that energy into playmaking, shall we??

Not new this week, but continuing to be confirmed, is the fact that there are no longer such things as lucky bounces; in fact, it's beginning to look like defensive backs are setting themselves up to be in position just in case a ball gets tipped.

And they are getting tipped a lot.

We—and when I say we, in this case I mean San Fransisco—have learned that giving Brett Favre time to throw a bomb at the end of the game is a bad idea, because Brett Favre does not play by the regular rules; he has a special "Brett Favre law of averages" that says if you are down by four in the last minute of the game and you heave a ball downfield as you are being knocked to the ground, the odds are 80/20 that your guy will catch it and score.

As opposed to every other normal quarterback in the league, who would have better luck teaching a mule to type than to expect to complete a pass in that scenario.

Except maybe Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger, all of whom seem to have some sort of special access pass to the Brett Favre Law.

And if you throw in a tipped ball and a "lucky bounce", you can add Mark Sanchez to that list.

But I digress.

Even though the Texans lost to the Jaguars, we learned that Matt Schaub might actually be a better quarterback than people give him credit for. After a slow start in week one, he has reeled off two straight 300-yard passing efforts, has seven touchdowns to his two interceptions, and at his current clip, is one game away from eclipsing 1000 yards passing.

By comparison, the Golden Child of Minnesota has 566 yards passing—no interceptions (but trust me, they are coming), and only five touchdowns.

I'd say the comparison is fair, even if Houston is 1-2.

With yet another quarterback going down to injury, we should be learning that there is considerable logic, no matter how much we dislike it, behind rules meant to protect the passer.

Terrell Owens learned that he isn't as crucial to the Bills' offense as he might like to think; he had no receptions in last weeks game, ending his streak of 187 straight games with at least one reception. You'd think that a guy who was a critical member of the offense would see the ball at least once.

Then again, the Bills lost, so maybe he IS that important, and they need to utilize him so they can get some W's.

We discovered, quite painfully, that glow in the dark lime green is a HORRIBLE color for an NFL team.

Seriously, Seattle, what where you guys thinking?

While we are on that game, we learned that Devin Hester is one bad mamajama, but he shouldn't dance in public...ever.

Finally, it should be obvious by now, but a couple of teams still have yet to learn that the ball must be caught and controlled on kickoffs and punts. Calling for a fair catch is fine, but you must catch the ball.

And once you catch it, hold on to the blasted thing!

Once again, football fans, I don't have access to every market, so if I missed your favorite lesson of the week, please feel free to leave it in the comments for all to learn from. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Until next week, enjoy!