Around The League: Week #3 Recap
What a week Week 3 turned out to be! Teams are separating themselves within their divisions, some surprise risers are appearing and some shocking fallers are struggling through. We saw records broken this week and we saw the best rookie QB class in the last decade struggle mightily across the board. Let’s dive in and highlight what happened in Week 3.
Let’s start with the record. Justin Tucker wins the game for Baltimore off a 66 yard field goal that hits the crossbar and bounces through to be good, breaking Matt Prater’s record of 64 yards in 2013, a record he broke that had stood for 43 years when Tom Dempsey hit a 63 yarder in 1970. 66 yards is just insane. Have to wonder how long this one will stand. I don’t see anyone with the leg to beat it in the foreseeable future. Well done Justin Tucker and congratulations.
As it seems, Prater sensed his record was in danger as the Cardinals lined him up for a 68 yarder in the closing moments of the first half against Jacksonville, but little did they know, that decision would, in fact, lead to another record, or at least the tying of a record, but for the Jags as Prater’s attempt falls a couple yards short, Jamal Agnew fielded the missed kick and ended up returning it 109 yards for a “Kick-6” TD tying the longest score in NFL history held by Nathan Vasher, Cordarrelle Patterson and Antonio Cromartie, Vasher being the first to score a 109 yard NFL TD in 2005.
The surprise that I have to talk about are the Saints. The Saints were all but written off this year due to the salary cap and the Saints essentially having to gut the entire roster to make up the nearly $70M they were over heading into 2021. Brees retiring to help the team, the QB questions looming before the season, everything pointed to turmoil in New Orleans but never count out Sean Peyton and staff. The Saints now sit at 2-1 and look to keep rolling as they enter a back and forth section of their schedule with easy games against the Eagles and Jets, and tough games against the Bills and the Cowboys. I see the Saints treading water and after the next 4 being 4-3, but having to head over to Tampa Bay the following week should see the Saints at .500 in Week 8.
The surprise on the other end of the spectrum is the Chiefs who currently sit at 1-2. They are one game ahead of my Jets.. If that helps put things into perspective. The Chiefs have allowed 31.6 ppg in the first 3 weeks. Be that the defense or anyone else, having to make up 31 points every week is a tough task to put on any offense. Even an offense with Mahomes, Hill and Kelce. I expect they will turn things around, but with how tough the competition is in the AFC, sooner would be preferable to later as the #1 seed begins to step further and further out of reach for the Chiefs.
Speaking of rough starts, how ‘bout this 2021 rookie QB class?! The first 2 draft picks are both 0-3 in Lawrence and Wilson. Fields comes in and falls flat. Looked completely lost against the Browns. Mac Jones found out how the other side feels and realized that the NFL isn’t a rendition of the Madden game franchise. Him and Lawrence both threw pick sixes this week. Zach Wilson added to his turnover totals with another couple interceptions. Maybe this year will show the NFL, and more importantly the fan bases around the league, that San Francisco is doing it right by letting Trey Lance sit and learn behind Jimmy G. Maybe the organizations will stop drafting
kids and expecting peak Joe Montana level play out of the gate, but I doubt it. NFL team owners and fans are like spoiled children and their first round pick is their shiny new toy that they have to play with now and when they notice the first flaw, they get irritated and toss the toy aside. I hope all these rookie QB’s muscle through a tough rookie year and do well, but if I am being honest, Lance is now my QB1 moving forward into 2022 and beyond. His ability and the Niners’ patience will sow incredible rewards down the road so stay patient 49er fans.
As we head into week 4, we recognize some NFL truths that are simply infallible. Things like, if an NFL referee can ruin a game, they absolutely will. An NFL analyst will flip flop and hope no one notices.. (Stephen A. I’m looking at you) And if you give Aaron Rodgers 37 seconds to run a drive in the 4th quarter, you better be up by at least 9 or you are going to lose. I am very excited to see what we get to experience next in this 2021 season, as I am sure all of you are as well. Rep your teams, stay loyal even when the Jets make it impossible, and I will see you all again next week!