5 Things That Impressed Me About Week 3
1. Devin Hester
Before last night, the Chicago Bears return ace hadn't brought one back to the house in over a year. But a key second half punt return for a touchdown sparked the Bears upset of their rivals from Green Bay 20-17. What amazed me is that Hester could have had two punt returns for touchdown last night if not for Packer punter Tom Masthay stopping him in the first half when Masthay was the only man left to beat. In the process, Hester moved to number two all time in return touchdowns and the Monster of the Midway are the only undefeated team left in the NFC.
2. Leon Washington
While where on the subject of return men, Seattle's man returned kickoffs of 101 and 99 yards for touchdown to tie a league record. The Seahawks themselves are in first place and at least for now Pete Carroll return to the NFL has been a success.
3. The Kansas City Chiefs
In one of my columns a year ago, I advised KC fans to be patient with the product Scott Pioli put on the field. As a Patriots fan, I always trusted Pioli's gut when he was here since I felt he had a keen eye for talent. While the going was tough at first with the Pats, Pioli eventually built a core nucleus of young talent and sound veteran leadership that paid huge dividends. While it's too early to tell if the Chiefs will follow the exact same blueprint of success, the seeds have been sown behind the brilliant play of young rookies Dexter McCluster, Tony Moeaki, Eric Berry, and Javier Arenas. The Chiefs are now 3-0 for the first time in seven years, and should give their faithful a lot to look forward to in the future.
4. Charlie Batch
The wily veteran made his first start in three years count, leading the Steelers offense to 387 total yards in a 38-13 drubbing of the Buccaneers. Batch was aided in part by the big day of Wide Receiver Mike Wallace who caught two touchdown passes in his own right.
5. Michael Vick
I am impressed with Vick once again for his ability to lead an offense once again and the maturity he's shown since his return to the NFL. in throwing for three and running for one, Vick accounted for all four Eagle scores in a 28-3 win over the Jaguars. Peter King also reported that he asked how Kevin Kolb was holding up shortly after the game. If this pattern of strong on field leadership and a positive attitude continues, then there's a good chance Vick will be the comeback player of the year.
5 Things that Depressed Me About Week 3
1. The Packers penchant for penalties.
When you commit 18 penalties, chances are you'll end up paying for it. That's exactly what happened to the Packer last night. There were two penalties that I felt were particularly costly. The false start by Mark Tauscher near the Packer end zone that helped set up Hester's touchdown return and the pass interference call on Morgan Burnett that nullified a Nick Collins interception and set up the game-winning field goal by Robbie Gould. You can't afford to make mental mistakes and expect to win ballgames.
2. The Giants offense offense self-destructing.
I find it hard to believe that the Giants gained 471 yards of offense yet only scored ten points. It was mainly because the Giants turned the ball over twice inside the Titans ten-yard line and the five personal foul penalties the team committed throughout the game. Tom Coughlin should not be the one to take the blame for the loss, it's the fault of the players mostly.
3. Jason Allen
The Dolphin cornerback lost an interception due to a successful Rex Ryan challenge, and then got burned by Braylon Edwards on the touchdown that put the Jets ahead for good. Hence, it was probably a night Allen would like to forget.
4. Garret Hartley
Garret could probably use the help of his long lost uncle Dr. Bob Hartley to get inside his head and figure out how he missed a 29-yard field goal that should have won the game for the Saints. In the span of seven months Hartley has gone from postseason hero to potentially out of a job. Here's hoping he can right the ship and not become a basket case like his therapy buddy Mr. Carlin.
The Bills quarterback has gone from a solidified starter to looking for work after a solid performance from his backup Ryan Fitzpatrick against a porous Patriot defense in defeat. Now it appears that he has to get used to holding a clipboard again
1. As a one-time fan of The Office, I'm saddened to see that it has become a silly farce of office politics instead of a smart and witty ensemble of sly humor.
2. If only Jonathan Pappelbon had covered his eight blown saves. :(
3. There's a fascinating article in this week's Sports Illustrated about the tendency of scouts to proclaim underdeveloped basketball players as the next big thing. If you think that people are too competitive in this world, it's a must read.
4. I'm not a politician, but I tend to think that a longer school year will just make kids less likely to meet high standards of achievement because they're already burnt out by June. So what if we are behind other countries, we can't be the best at everything.
5. If you're reading this in southern California, stay cool and keep hydrated. This extremely warm weather will soon pass.