Hey everyone, Tyler here, welcome to my weekly NFL column.
I am going to be using this space to keep all of you guys up to date with what you may have missed in the NFL, the biggest takeaways and stats, and then preview the upcoming week and what I think you need to be watching next.
Thanks for reading, now let’s get into this week’s column.
What a week of football this has been. There were so many exciting games and insane endings. We had overtime, multiple walk-off field goals – including an all-time NFL record, there was a 109-yard FG return TD and a couple of the Super Bowl favourites both lost!
As you can probably tell already there’s a lot to go through here, so let’s not delay.
What happened This Week in the NFL?
Las Vegas Raiders
No changes here from Week 2, the two last teams standing share the top spot in the AFC West. However, it should be noted that the Broncos have won three games where their opponents have a combined record of 0-9 (Giants, Jaguars, Jets), three of the worst teams in the league. The Raiders on the other hand have faced the Ravens on Primetime, the Steelers on a short week, and then outlasted a tough fight from Miami. They’ve gone to overtime twice, too. In Week 4, the Broncos face their toughest challenge against the Ravens and the Raiders have another hard matchup with the Chargers.
Los Angeles Rams
The NFC lost one of their previously undefeated teams when two of them met in the epic matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the LA Rams. The Rams came out on top and are one of the two undefeated teams from the NFC West [the Western divisions really starting strong!]. The second and final team who lost their undefeated status is another NFC West franchise, the Niners. Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers stole that 3-0 status right out of San Francisco with a walk-off field goal after an impressive final drive. The final undefeated team is the Carolina Panthers, who had a couple of easier matchups but also toppled the Saints in Week 2.
In Week 4, Carolina visit the Cowboys. The other game is going to be a really big one. For the second week in a row, the undefeated Rams stand in the way of another undefeated NFC team, this time their division rival Cardinals. That game will be must-watch.
Standout Individual Performers
Justin Tucker, Baltimore Ravens
4 of 5 field goals, including walk-off 66-yard NFL record game-winner.
I’m not messing around and putting the GOAT any lower down than the top spot. Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens, as if there was any doubt before Sunday, proved himself to be the most reliable, accurate and utterly ridiculous kicker in the history of the sport. Tucker had put field goals of 39, 50 and 32 between the uprights already, when his number was called again. The Ravens managed to convert on 4th and 19, to put themselves in the position to take one last shot at the game, down by 1 point. That last shot, however, would require Tucker to kick an NFL record 66-yard kick. 5 yards further than his career high. In the most dramatic way physically possible, Tucker actually doinked it off the crossbar and through, for the walk-off game-winning field goal.
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills
74% pass completion rate, 358 passing yards, 5 total TD’s.
There were some fantastic performances from QB’s across the league this week, but I think the best one was that of Josh Allen. He threw with efficiency and purpose, and fantastic accuracy. After two pretty un-spectacular weeks, he returned to 2020 form. His 74.4% completion rate on 43 attempts was impressive, and the yardage attached was no different. He put up 358 yards and threw 4 touchdowns, while rushing one more in. He accounted for 30 of the Bills 43 points and dominated in a big win.
Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams
71% pass completion rate, 343 passing yards, 4 TD’s against Tampa Bay’s defense.
While Josh Allen put up the most impressive performance, I have to say, the most impressive game from a QB took place in LA, for my money. Matthew Stafford put up near enough the same numbers to JA, but against one of the best defenses in the NFL. The previously undefeated Bucs have a dominant front seven and a good secondary, but the Rams high-powered offense was unphased. Stafford’s 343 passing yards and 4 TD’s helped guide them and as of right now they look like the best team in football.
Peyton Barber, Las Vegas Raiders
111 yards on 23 carries and a TD in Josh Jacobs’ absence.
The Las Vegas Raiders started their season playing good football and winning against two very tough football teams. Their running game took a big hit when Josh Jacobs got hurt, but Peyton Barber was elevated to a major role, alongside receiving-specialist Kenyan Drake. In Week 3, the Miami Dolphins came to visit, and Peyton Barber played a pretty damn important role in holding them off. The game was closer than the Raiders would have liked, but thanks in part to Barber being able to fill Jacobs’ shoes, they were still able to win and stay undefeated.
Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
14 receptions and 102 yards receiving.
When Najee Harris was drafted to Pittsburgh, it was pretty evident that he’d be getting plenty of volume. The Steelers do appreciate having an RB can do everything, but the rookie’s performance yesterday was something different. They ran the ball with the ‘bama halfback 14 times for just 40 yards, but his receiving volume was massive. He saw 19 targets, and turned those targets into 14 receptions for 102 yards. This big day in the receiving game was unfortunately not enough to secure a win, but Harris’ individual efforts were impressive.
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
7 receptions for 122 yards and 2 TD’s.
The best wide receiver performance is an easy choice for me. The Chargers’ Mike Williams had an absolutely incredible day, punctuating a huge win. They toppled the Kansas City Chiefs in a 30-24 win, with Justin Herbert leaning on Williams largely. The big-bodied athletic wideout hauled in 122 of the total 281 yards that Justin Herbert threw. He also caught two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 30 seconds to go. A big day, including a big, clutch moment.
Davante Adams, Green Bay Packers
12 receptions, 132 yards, 1 TD.
There are very few things less surprising than seeing Davante Adams atop the receiving yards list on any given week. Watching him do it over and over again never gets old, though. In Week 3, he took on the San Francisco 49ers, as the Packers continue to right themselves after a rough start. Aaron Rodgers is looking more like his normal self and found his favourite target 12 times on 18 targets. Adams recorded 132 receiving yards and a touchdown.
He also deserves a huge amount of credit for getting back out on the field for the final game-winning drive after taking a devastating hit. He went from being assumed out of the game to making both of the receptions on the final drive, which moved Green Bay into field goal range and essentially won them the game.
Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns
We’ve seen some big individual performances on defense this year, and Week 3 was no different. Myles Garrett had an incredible day, praying on rookie QB Justin Fields. He made 6 solo tackles and 4.5 sacks in the biggest individual game of his career. The Bears offense was absolutely putrid, and Garrett’s dominance was largely responsible for just how impossible they found it to move the ball.
Byron Murphy, Arizona Cardinals
4 combined tackles, 2 Interceptions including a Pick 6.
Trevor Lawrence was described as a generational prospect, but through his first three games in the NFL he has been mightily disappointing. The latest benefactor of his struggles was Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy who managed to record two interceptions, and returned one of them for a TD. He also recorded 3 solo tackles, as the Cardinals locked in their 3-0 start to the season.
Games to watch back
Week 3 Best Games
Chargers @ Chiefs
Packers @ Niners
Buccaneers @ Rams
Just a quick shoutout to myself for this – these are the exact three games I put forward as my best games to watch in last week’s column!
Stat Leaders Through Week 3
Passing Yards – Derek Carr, 1,203
Passing TD’s – Tom Brady, 10
Rushing Yards – Derrick Henry, 353
Rushing TD’s – Chris Carson, Nick Chubb, Sam Darnold, Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry, Kyler Murray, 3
Receiving Yards – Cooper Kupp, 367
Receiving TD’s – Cooper Kupp, 5
Total TD’s – Aaron Jones, Cooper Kupp, 5
Tackles (combined) – Bobby Wagner, 44
Sacks – Myles Garrett, 5.5
Interceptions – Logan Wilson, 3
Week 4 Preview – What to watch
Week 4 Best Games
Seahawks @ 49ers – 9:05PM
Cardinals @ Rams – 9:05PM
Buccaneers @ Patriots – SNF
Raiders @ Chargers – MNF
The Seahawks @ Niners game presents a great divisional rival game between two strong teams. The Cardinals and Rams will very likely be the last game between two undefeated teams this season. The Buccaneers head to Foxborough in Tom Brady’s return game. Oh, and by the way. Brady is only 67 yards shy of Drew Brees’ all-time passing yardage record. So, watch Sunday Night Football and witness the moment that Tom Brady becomes the all-time passing leader against his old team.
Then, finally, the Raiders head to the Chargers on MNF for a huge AFC West clash, with the 3-0 Raiders trying to stay undefeated against a team who just toppled the Chiefs on the road.
Week 4 promises to be just at least almost as crazy as this week.
Week 4 – Who to watch
Tom Brady in New England, breaking the all-time passing record, Bucs @ Patriots, SNF
Kansas City need to bounce back in Philadelphia, Chiefs @ Eagles, 6PM
Carolina trying to stay undefeated, Panthers @ Cowboys, 6PM
The battle of undefeated teams, Cardinals @ Rams, 9:05PM
Denver trying to stay undefeated, Ravens @ Broncos, 9:25PM
Las Vegas trying to stay undefeated, Raiders @ Chargers, MNF
And that’s everything.
That is my wrap up of Week 3 and a quick preview of Week 4. Enjoy the games this week and we’ll catch up again next week!