Week 3 of the 2021 NFL Season is in the books. In a battle of undefeated teams, the New England Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-12 at home. The Pats were led by quarterback Tom Brady, who threw for 4 touchdowns and was named MVP of the game.
The 2021 nfl season start date is the first week of the 2021 NFL Season. This article will recap the Week 3 games and give an overview of what to expect for the rest of the season.
Week 3 of the NFL Season in 2021 | The Importance of Good Kickers
Here’s a breakdown of all the Week 3 NFL matchups (Thursday-Monday). Rookie quarterbacks are performing as expected, with booming kicks helping to avoid humiliating losses.
Carolina Panthers (3-0) vs. Houston Texans (1-2) on Thursday (24-9 CAR)
Unless you were betting on the game, you most likely missed this match-up that only a mother could enjoy. The Texans’ inability to run the ball, which resulted in 42 total yards on the ground, was blamed by head coach David Culley, but to be honest, 3rd string quarterback Davis Mills’ 168 yards on 19/28 passing, on his way to being sacked four times by the Carolina defense, wasn’t much to write home about. Brandin Cooks, the wideout, had a nice game, collecting nine receptions for 112 yards, but Houston has major issues. (Don’t expect the usual “we have a” reference; that’ll be left to the cable hackers.)
The New York Jets are looking foolish because, once again, Sam Darnold had a great day under center (admittedly, the O-Line in Raleigh is MUCH better than at MetLife), throwing for 304 yards and two touchdowns on his own. Christian McCaffery’s play after his girlfriend made the news earlier in the week, being knocked out of the game early in the second quarter, was a larger story in rushing. Chubba Hubbard, one of the greatest names in football, took up the running duties for the remainder of the game. However, if the Panthers are to have a chance at a wild-card spot in the NFC, they will need the greatest running back in the league to stay healthy.
Arizona Cardinals (3-0) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) on Sunday (31-19 ARI)
Trevor Lawrence will win his first game or throw a game in which he does not make a horrible interception sometime soon; sadly, today was not that day.
Lawrence threw a back footer into the half that was intercepted by Byron Murphy, who returned it 29 yards to put the game out of reach for good in the third quarter. It wasn’t all terrible for the first overall selection, who threw 22/34 passes for 219 yards, a touchdown, and an extra interception. Lawrence, on the other hand, has thrown seven interceptions in three weeks (some justified, some puzzling); this is fast approaching Ryan Leaf territory. Lawrence is a far better guy than the one who spent seven months at the Crossroads Correctional Facility in Shelby, Montana.
Kyler Murray is a player that plays in the NBA. Under Kliff Kingsbury’s system, putting up huge yardage totals, throwing another 316 (what) with one interception, and allowing James Conner and the defense do all the scoring. Murray did score a touchdown on the ground to start the game, but he didn’t get one via the air. Next week’s game against the Rams in Los Angeles will be a litmus test to determine whether the Cards can be taken seriously.
Atlanta Falcons (1-2) vs. New York Giants (0-3) on Sunday (17-14 ATL)
They lost a squeaker on a significant day, commemorating a franchise great, in typical G-Men manner. A Younghoe Koo 40-yard field goal on the last play of the game to propel the Falcons to a 17-14 victory disrupted Eli Manning’s retirement ceremony, which saw his No. 10 jersey retired to the Ring of Honor at MetLife Stadium (winning outright, yet not even close to going over the 48-point total).
Matt Ryan, who looked as if he wanted a decent offensive line or to be moved out of a bad circumstance like Stafford, threw for two touchdowns and 243 yards, with Cordarrelle Patterson being the main benefactor (82 passing yards to go along with 20 on the ground).
Just before halftime, Saquon Barkley, one of the few reasons to cheer for Big Blue right now, racked up 93 total yards and one of the touchdowns.
Baltimore Ravens (2-1) vs. Detroit Lions (0-3) on Sunday (19-17 BAL)
Justin Tucker is a living legend, kicking a game-winning 66-yard field goal on the last play to lift the Ravens over the Lions, who looked very competitive on their own ground.
On fourth-and-19, Lamar Jackson connected with Sammy Watkins on a 36-yard throw to set up the game-winning touchdown. Tucker, who previously defeated the Lions in 2014 with a last-second 61-yard touchdown pass, wanted to outdo himself by 5 yards. What a lifetime achievement.
Jackson threw for 287 yards and rushed for 58, including a 31-yard touchdown, but with a passing percentage of just over 50%, you have to question how much longer this collegiate offense can be successful.
Sunday’s matchup pits the Chicago Bears (1-2) against the Cleveland Browns (2-1). (26-6 CLE)
Bears fans, be cautious what you wish for. Justin Fields was welcomed to the program by resident helmet enthusiast Myles Garret and his franchise-record 4.5 sacks in his first career start. Fields threw for 68 yards and completed 6 of his 20 passes while the rest of the Browns piled on 4.5 more sacks for a total of 9 sacks. To make matters worse, Fields will almost certainly miss Week 4 after suffering a Hand Injury in the defeat.
Baker Mayfield didn’t have an easy day at home. He was also sacked five times, but he did enough to lead the Browns to victory in the NFL’s toughest division.
Sunday’s matchup pits the Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) against the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2). (24-10 CIN)
Don’t look now, but the Bengals are atop the AFC North standings. Burrows throwing for three touchdowns comes with an asterisk since the Steelers were without their greatest player, T.J. Watt, but you play the cards you’re given. Joe Burrows had one of his most effective games of his short career, completing 14-18 for 178 yards and two touchdowns, two of which he connected with rookie wideout Ja’Marr Chase. The Bengals’ tremendously explosive day was capped off with Joe Mixon’s 90-yard run.
Big Ben’s clock seems to have struck midnight. Playing behind one of his worst offensive lines, the 39-year-old was sacked four times, threw two interceptions, and had to fire an absurd 58 passes just to stay in the game. The Steel Curtain seems to have rusted.
Sunday’s matchup pits the Indianapolis Colts (0-3) against the Tennessee Titans (2-1). (25-16 TEN)
For this week’s last-second heroics, Derrick Henry didn’t need to wear the cape. Ryan Tannehill handled a majority of the hard work, but he still had a huge day with 113 running yards. For the former Dolphin, rushing for 56 yards and tossing three touchdown passes to three different receivers was remarkable enough.
So far, Carson Wentz has looked lifeless for the Colts. Getting sacked twice and limping about in the pocket like a broken-ass Peyton Manning. Maybe the two of them would be better off swapping professions; I’m sure Wentz is a lovely person, and Manning could still throw it as good as Carson is.
Sunday’s matchup pits the Los Angeles Chargers (2-1) against the Kansas City Chiefs (1-2). (30-24 LAC)
You know, if this Chiefs team could just keep the ball, they could really accomplish something special. Patrick Mahomes’ two fumbles and two interceptions allowed Justin “Fantasy Stat Stuffer” Herbert to connect with Mike Williams with 32 seconds left to lift the Chargers to an upset win.
When compared side by side, Herbert had 281 yards throwing and four touchdowns, making Mahomes seem human (260/3 TD/2 INT). Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a productive day on the ground, running for 100 yards on 17 attempts, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Chiefs out of the AFC West cellar.
Sunday: The Washington Redskins (1-2) take on the Buffalo Bills (2-1). (43-21 BUF)
In fairness, Taylor Heinicke didn’t do a bad job of keeping Washington in the game (212/2/2), but Josh Allen was the star. I hope you have some popcorn on hand.
Hopefully, Allen kept track of his early-season detractors so he knows who to give this week’s game video to; it was a clinic. 32/43 throwing for 358 yards and four touchdowns, almost doubling his previous two weeks’ output. Unless something unexpected happens, the Bills will continue to lead the AFC East Division for a long time.
New Orleans Saints (2-1) at New England Patriots (1-2) on Sunday (28-13 NO)
Bill, this isn’t exactly how you want to start next week’s most anticipated regular-season game in a long time. And it was yet another terrible day for a club celebrating a franchise legend, as the Patriots recognized Julian Edelman, a three-time Superbowl champion, during halftime.
Mac Jones threw three interceptions, two of which ended in Saints touchdowns. P.J. Williams returned the first interception of the day 46 yards the opposite way, setting up an easy 7-yard throw from Jameis Winston, who bounced back from one of his worst performances of his career last week.
Malcolm Jenkins returned the second interception 34 yards for a 21-3 advantage that the Saints would not surrender.
Sunday’s matchup pits the Miami Dolphins (1-2) against the Las Vegas Raiders (3-0). (31-28 OT LV)
I think the Reliant Stadium vaccination passport scheme is paying off. The Dolphins needed two touchdowns in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter to force OT or win. Then, in overtime, it was only a matter of dueling field goals to create one of the most thrilling games of the season.
Elandon Roberts returned a Derek Carr throw 15 yards to set the tone early in the game. The Raiders reclaimed the lead in the fourth quarter after trailing or tied the Dolphins earlier in the game, despite the Dolphins’ use of their third-string quarterback (who had a hell of a game himself). Carr threw for 386 yards and two touchdowns in addition to the pick 6, while Peyton Barber rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown of his own.
In this game, both kickers recorded a 50-yard field goal. Daniel Carlson in the second quarter and a little more pressure on Jason Sanders in overtime to go along with his 46-yard field goal that put the Dolphins in position to force OT.
With two seconds left, Dolphins quarterback Jacoby Brisset ran in the game-tying touchdown, forcing OT and capping off a solid passing day. This is an excellent game.
Lyndon from Geeks + Gamers went through the overtime drama in great depth on the blog.
New York Jets (0-3) vs. Denver Broncos (3-0) on Sunday (26-0 DEN)
Is there a way to get Joe Namath’s phone number?
Zack Wilson has little chance of displaying his cannon of an arm behind an offensive line that couldn’t even protect an elderly lady crossing the street, much alone fending off one of the NFL’s most dangerous front seven. Wilson was sacked five times, threw two interceptions, and barely made it through the cozy confines of Mile High Stadium. What more can be said about the NFL’s least talented rosters? Jets, Jets, Jets, Jets, Jets, Jets, Jets, Jets
Seattle Seahawks (1-2) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-2) on Sunday (30-17 MIN)
The Purple People Eaters were not going to have their hearts crushed again, so they came out to play. Kirk Cousins passed for 323 yards on 30/38 passing with three touchdowns, Alexander Mattison rushed for 112 yards on the ground, while Justin Jefferson accounted for 118 of Cousins’ yards and one of the Vikings’ touchdowns.
The Seahawks didn’t score a single point after Carson’s 30-yard run at the 11:12 mark of the second quarter, despite being tied at halftime due to Russell Wilson, D.J. Metcalf, and Chris Carson shouldering the burden.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) vs. Los Angeles Rams (3-0) on Sunday (34-24 LAR)
What a difference a quarterback improvement can make. The Los Angeles Rams never trailed in the game, and Matt Stafford threw for four touchdowns, with DeSean Jackson (remember him?) being on the right side three times for 120 of Stafford’s yards, including a 75-yard bomb to clinch the game at 14:02 in the third quarter.
Tom Brady wasn’t the reason the Buccaneers lost today; he was the game’s top passing (432 yards) as well as the game’s leading rusher (14 hard-fought yards, with a TD trot of his own). Outside of Mike Evans, TB12 was sacked three times, and no one wanted to play for the offense. Everyone has their sights set on next week’s matchup in Foxboro, and they’ve completely forgotten about the club they could face in the NFC Championship game after everything is said and done.
Check out Lyndon’s much more in-depth analysis on the site!
Green Bay Packers (2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (2-1) on Sunday (30-28 GB)
Aaron Rodgers had an efficient day under center, going 23/33 for 261 yards and two touchdowns, but when the game was on the line with only 2 seconds left on the clock, Mason Crosby’s right foot nailed a 51-yard field goal to seal the victory in a back-and-forth affair; one hell of a way to cap off a crazy day in the NFL.
Aaron Jones had a strong day on the ground for the Packers, gaining 82 yards on 19 runs and scoring the Cheeseheads’ second touchdown of the day, putting them up 17-0 until the Niners’ offense roared back to grab the lead with 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
For the 49ers fans, Jimmy Garoppolo had a good day. 257 yards and two touchdowns, 92 of which went to tight end George Kittle, the comfort blanket who has come to life.
The Packers will play the struggling Steelers next week, while San Francisco will host Seattle in a key NFC West matchup.
Monday’s matchup pits the Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) against the Dallas Cowboys (2-1). (41-21 DAL)
Dak Prescott returned to AT&T Stadium for the first time since suffering a terrible ankle injury that sidelined him for the most of the 2020 season and defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, who seemed to be out of shape for this game.
Ezekiel Elliott had a season-high 95 yards rushing and scored the game’s opening touchdown (tacking on a second in the second quarter).
Aside from a strip fumble in the end zone by Fletcher Cox only two plays after Jalen Hurts’ first of two interceptions of the night, Dak had a very strong game in his comeback, going 21/26 for 238 yards and three touchdowns.
Hurts led the Eagles to victory on 25/39 passing with 326 passing yards (plus another 35 on the ground on 9 runs) and two touchdowns despite the two expensive interceptions, the second of which was picked off by Trevon Diggs and returned 59 yards to the house. So, if you think about it, Hurts had three touchdowns and almost 400 yards in his game…
Last-second field goals and rookies being led like lambs to slaughter by far more seasoned opponents made for an incredible week. Next week will feature some fantastic match-ups; let’s hope they live up to the anticipation!
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