2010 NFL Week Three Recap: Five Things We Learned This Week
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We're in Week 3, things are clearing up and this NFL season is starting to take shape, so let's have a look at the five things we've learned this week.
5. Anquan Boldin Will Be Joe Flacco's Favorite Target:
Boldin has had two 100-plus receiving yards games in the last three weeks, but in the one game where he only caught five passes (Week 2), Flacco had four interceptions in his worst day as a pro on the way to a Baltimore loss.
Flacco found Boldin more often on Sunday and—with him—his groove. Flacco threw eight times to Anquan Boldin for 142 yards and three touchdowns in their win against the Browns. Joe Flacco will need Boldin more as the season starts rolling, especially since Mark Clayton is gone and T.J. Houshmandzadeh hasn't performed since arriving in Baltimore.
Expect Boldin to have another 1,000 receiving yards year and even possibly 1,500-plus.
4. Oakland's Special Teams Are Costing Them Wins
The Raiders faced-off against the Arizona Cardinals, who are consider one of the weakest teams in the NFL and lost 24-23, dropping them to a 1-2 record. Oakland fans can't complain about their offense or defense, but their special teams need some changes.
Kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed three field-goals and they allowed a kick-return for a touchdown, if Janikowski had even made one of those three missed FG's or stopped the kick-return, they would have won the game.
Even though Houston lost to their rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, they still seem like the one of the best teams in the NFL. That game was just a setback and they're probably going to learn from it and get better.
The Colts won again this week, improving to 2-1, and Peyton Manning is still going strong.
The Colts have only lost against the Texans and their next match-up will, with most certainty, prove who's the best team in the AFC.
2. Mike Martz Was The Right Choice For The Bears:
Following another year without a playoff appearance, the Bears decided to hire an eccentric coach in Mike Martz as their offensive coordinator. He was supposed to spark an offense that has lacked a good passing game. Jay Cutler had 26 interceptions last year and it seemed that number would only increase, but Martz's offense has flourished in Chicago.
Cutler has 870 yards (5th best in the league), six touchdowns and just two interceptions with a 109.7 QB rating. I don't know a WR in the Bears camp that isn't happy; they're all getting the ball and have a chance to make a big play.
Greg Olsen had heard talks that TE's didn't receive the ball in Martz's offense, but he now knows that isn't true having found the end-zone twice already. The Bears are the only undefeated team in the NFC and they have won all the divisional games that they've played.
1. The Kansas City Chiefs Have the Potential To Go Deep Into the Playoffs:
This ain't last season's Chiefs. This group of players is more mature, stronger and smarter.
Matt Cassell has proven he is the same player than the one he was in New England. Jamal Charles has become faster, and he ran for 97 yards last week. Veteran Thomas Jones ran for 95 and their young WR's are showing maturity.
Their offense is very solid and their defense isn't far behind.
Young players like Jovan Belcher and Brandon Flowers have helped them on the defensive side of the ball. Belcher, in his second season, has become the starting inside-linebacker for the Chiefs and has 21 tackles already, while Flowers—entering his third season as a pro—has two interceptions each in his last two games.
Right now almost nobody is talking about the Chiefs, but wait until November. They are going to be turning heads, especially after this week's convincing win over San Francisco.
Stay tune for next week's column. Follow me on twitter @pedrogonzalez94 or send me an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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