Week three is almost in the books and the upsets are starting to roll in. A good week from a fantasy perspective as many offenses had excellent days. Of course, there were a few offenses that did not perform well (if even at all) and with four teams on the bye, I hope that your fantasy teams had enough depth to make up for those players not playing. Not to mention all the injuries that are piling up. Three weeks worth of games won’t get you the championship in your league so don’t give up. Hopefully you have more players mentioned here than your opponent this week. On to the games…
at Minnesota 27, Chicago 22
Divisional battles are always tough, and given this young season’s success of both these teams, this one was going to be hard fought to the end. Chicago was able to draw first blood, banging home a couple of field goals, then Daunte Culpepper (360 pass yards, 2 TD, rushing TD) and Randy “No” Moss (7 catches for 119 yards, 2 TD) went to work, giving the Vikings a lead they would not relinquish. The fourth quarter featured scoring from both sides, and when Thomas Jones (181 total yards, TD) ran in from the one about midway thru the frame, the Bears were suddenly within 5. The Viking offense went right back to work, Moss again hitting paydirt to extend the lead, but the Bears were not done. Chicago was able to punch it in, though it may have been costly. Officials ruled that Rex Grossman (248 pass yards, rushing TD) got into the endzone but he was injured on the play. That was the last of the scoring and the Vikings had their win. Ontario Smith (198 total yards) also did well for the winners.
at NY Giants 27, Cleveland 10
A battle of two teams looking to find themselves, it was the home Giants that put together a strong performance for the win. Tiki Barber (154 total yards, TD) and Kurt Warner (286 pass yards, rushing TD) helped the Giants take an early lead and the defense took over from there. No Browns get a mention here so let’s just move on.
New Orleans 28, at St.Louis 25 (overtime)
This one was advertised as an offensive shootout and for the most part it did not disappoint. Of course, the offense star of the game ended up being Saints kicker John Carney (5 FG), but that’s ok as there are plenty of guys to talk about in this game. The Rams got on the board first, Marc Bulger (358 pass yards, rushing TD) tossing the TD pass to open up the scoring. The Saints would march right back, after exchanging field goals, Aaron Stecker (106 rush yards, TD) ripped off a 42 yard TD scoring run. Marshall Faulk (90 total yards, TD) gave the Rams the lead early in the fourth quarter, scoring from 3 yards out. T Saints would respond, Joe Horn (7 catches for 91 yards, TD) from Aaron Brooks (316 pass yards, TD) from 9 yards out. The two point conversion (?) failed so the lead was 5. Bulger would get into the end zone himself with less than a minute to play, Rams up by three. Again, the Saints would come back, Carney clicking from 38 yards out to send the game into overtime. New Orleans got the ball first and never gave it up, Carney closing out his great day from 31 yards out.
at Atlanta 6, Arizona 3
Atlanta D (4 turnovers, 6 sacks) gets a mention here, nothing more to see.
Baltimore 23, at Cincinnati 9
Jamal Lewis “and Clark” (186 rush yards, TD) found his A game as he continued his excellence against the Bengals, rushing for over 100 yards in all seven games he’s played against Cincinnati. The Ravens D was strong and they end up with the win. No Bengals get into the ink this week.
Philadelphia 30, at Detroit 13
A battle of the unbeatens (?), it was Philly that continue to perform like one of the top teams in the league. Donovan McNabb (356 pass yards, 2 TD, rushing TD) rushed one and threw one in the first quarter and the Eagles never were threatened in this one. Roy Williams (9 catches for 135 yards, 2 TD) had another strong game for the Lions, but it was not nearly enough to keep Detroit from their first loss of the season.
Jacksonville 15, at Tennessee 12
Another of the undefeateds was in action, we’re of course talking about the Jaguars, who look like they take pride in winning ugly. Another week, another win, another week where none of their players get mentioned in my weekly wrapup. I’m sure they don’t mind. This was a game Tennessee thought they had, Chris Brown (101 rush yards, TD) doing very well for the home team that hadn’t lost at home to Jacksonville. Late in the game, McNair left with an injury and with the Titans up by five, Jacksonville made their move. They drove the field, and when the Titans were called for pass interference in the end zone, Jacksonville scored easily from the two yard line and steal the win.
Houston 24, at Kansas City 21
Houston, Kansas City has a problem. Looking to get into the win column, Kansas City hoped their luck would change at home, but Houston had other ideas. Though none of the Texans played well enough individually to get a mention here, collectively it was good enough for the win. Things started off well for the Chiefs, Trent “It Ain’t Easy Being” Green (224 pass yards, TD) was able to find Tony Gonzalez (8 catches for 106 yards, TD) in the end zone for the early lead. The Texans would battle back, getting a couple kicks to draw within one at the half. Kansas City opened up the half scoring again, but Houston would always have an answer. The Texans tied the score with about five minutes to play, then their defense was able to hold KC to a punt. From their own 27 with just over 2 minutes to play, Carr led the Texans on a drive that would end up with Kris Brown connecting from 49 yards out for the Houston win.
at Denver 23, San Diego 13
Just when it looked like San Diego had the momentum that would take them to victory, Denver took it back, along with the win. The Chargers had pulled out all the stops in this one, breaking out the old “pass to the quarterback play”, but it would not be enough on this day. Jake Plummer (294 pass yards, 2 TD) had led the Broncos to a slim three point lead in the third quarter when the Broncos boldly went for it on fourth down instead of kicking a FG. Plummer found Lelie from 33 yards out on the play and the game was essentially over. No Chargers to mention here.
at Seatte 34, San Francisco nil
The Seahawks annihilate the Niners, Shaun Alexander (3 TD) and Matt Hasselbeck (254 pass yards, 2 TD) get a mention here. Moving on.
at Indianapolis 45, Green Bay 31
Peyton Manning (393 pass yards, 5 TD) tossed five touchdowns in the first half alone, but when the guy on the other side is Brett Favre (358 pass yards, 4 TD) you had a feeling it might not be enough. While Reggie Wayne (11 catches for 184 yards, TD) and Brandon Stokley (8 catches for 110 yards, 2 TD) were doing it for the Colts, it was Player of the Week Javon “Johnny” Walker (11 catches for 198 yards, 3 TD) that was a one man gang for the Packers. Walker scored in the third quarter to bring the Pack to within 11 points. Green Bay would close to a touchdown in the fourth, but that’s when one of the teams finally played some D. Colt defender Nick Harper stripped Walker of a pass and the Colts were able to tack on an insurance score for the margin of victory.
at Oakland 30, Tampa Bay 20
Hard to believe that these two teams were battling for the Super Bowl not too long ago. Passing on the pre-game story lines, we’ll stick, to the game here…and in this one, Rich Gannon was hurt in the first quarter but Kerry Collins filled in admirably in leading the Raiders to the win. Oakland was building a bit of a lead, when Phillip Buchannon stepped in front of a pass by Brad Johnson (309 pass yards, 2 TD) and 32 yards later he was in the endzone, the Raiders were up by 17 and all that was left to be decided was would the game go over. No Buc stops here for a mention.
Pittsburgh 13, at Miami 3
With the start time to the game pushed back to allow the hurricane to pass, these two teams played the first half in a torrential downpour where offenses had trouble doing anything. In the fourth quarter, Hines Ward (9 catches for 96 yards, TD) scored the game’s only TD and that was enough to clinch the win.