Welcome to another installment of my weekly NFL Column. My goal is to watch everything so that you don’t have to. I will present to you the best games to watch back; the craziest moments; the best individual performances and the season-long stat leaders and records. I will also be previewing the upcoming gameweek, too.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, check in each week.
Not everybody in the UK has the ability to watch almost 20 hours of live NFL every week, but I’ll make sure you don’t miss anything you’d wish you didn’t. Without further delay…
This is what happened This Week in the NFL.
Game of the Week
If you can only watch one full game in its entirety, watch this one:
Los Angeles Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings
It’s always nice to predict the game of the week correctly. This one was a locked-and-loaded shootout from the second it landed on the schedule. Both have high-flying offenses, but neither had been able to hold on defensively to secure the win.
Los Angeles Chargers 28 – 24 Minnesota Vikings
Both offenses played really well in this one. Justin Herbert had an incredible performance, throwing dart after dart all game long. The Vikings kept on blitzing and the ex-Oregon signal-caller just kept throwing behind it. This was genuinely the best performance I’ve ever seen against the blitz. (You can read more about that in the Standout Individual Performances section.)
Herbert put up a whopping 400 yards with 3 TD’s and 0 interceptions while carving up the hyper-aggressive Vikings defense. The majority of his yards went to an absolutely dominant Keenan Allen, who also threw a touchdown, by the way!
The Minnesota offense also had a day, with Justin Jefferson doing Justin Jefferson things and Kirk Cousins throwing 367 passing yards and 3 TD’s of his own.
After a back-and-forth throughout the entire game, it was evident that it would all come down to who could stay composed. In a game like this, the last team who scores will win. As the final moments of the game approached, the Chargers led by 4 points, 28-24, as Cousins led the Vikings down the field. They made it into the redzone and the game was on the line. Which team would stay composed?
Minnesota came out with an awkwardly half-rushed and yet somehow taking too-long pre-snap, and they called a pass on the goalline. T.J. Hockenson had a chance to win the game, but, when he bobbled the attempted catch, it fell into the arms of a defender instead, condemning them to an 0-3 start.
Yet another week where the offense put up points and yards but couldn’t get it done. It’s great fun to watch, at least.
Other games to watch back
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks
Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins
Upset of the Week
Denver Broncos 20 – 70 Miami Dolphins
The Broncos are struggling this year, and Miami are playing well, but good lord. This was an absolute decimation. The Dolphins walked onto their field this Sunday (without Jaylen Waddle, by the way) and dropped a 70-bomb on Sean Payton’s Broncos. They took out their starters early in the 4th quarter and still kept scoring.
Mike McDaniel actually had the opportunity to set a new NFL record of 73 points, but he chose to kneel out the game at 70.
What a performance.
Winners and Losers
San Francisco 49ers (3-0)
Cleveland Browns (2-1)
Detroit Lions (2-1)
Green Bay Packers (2-1)
Miami Dolphins (3-0)
Los Angeles Chargers (1-2)
New England Patriots (1-2)
Buffalo Bills (2-1)
Houston Texans (1-2)
Indianapolis Colts (2-1)
Seattle Seahawks (2-1)
Kansas City Chiefs (2-1)
Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
Philadelphia Eagles (3-0)
Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)
New York Giants (1-2)
Tennessee Titans (1-2)
Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
New Orleans Saints (2-1)
Denver Broncos (0-3)
Minnesota Vikings (0-3)
New York Jets (1-2)
Washington Commanders (2-1)
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2)
Baltimore Ravens (2-1)
Carolina Panthers (0-3)
Chicago Bears (0-3)
Dallas Cowboys (2-1)
Las Vegas Raiders (1-2)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1)
Los Angeles Rams (1-2)
Standout Individual Performers
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
7 receptions for 69 receiving yards and a TD… And Taylor Swift.
To quote Bill Belichick, “Travis Kelce has made a lot of big catches in his career. This would be the biggest.”
Devon Achane, RB, Miami Dolphins
18 carries for 203 rushing yards and 2 TD’s and 4 receptions for 30 yards and 2 receiving TD’s.
You may have guessed this already… We’re going to be talking about a lot of Dolphins today. Their running backs both went ballistic, including Devon Achane – which we now know is pronounced ‘A-Chan’, not ‘chen’. The rookie went from a Week 1 inactive, and just 2 touches in Week 2 to going absolutely nuclear this week.
He carried the ball 18 times, rushing for 203 yards and scoring 2 TD’s. On top of that, he pulled in all four of his targets for an extra 30 receiving yards and two more scores. 233 yards and 4 TD’s… That’s some breakout game for the 21-year-old.
Raheem Mostert, RB, Miami Dolphins
13 carries for 82 yards and 3 rushing TD’s and 7 receptions for 60 yards and 1 receiving TD.
Four touchdowns for a running back, that’s crazy! How about 4 TD’s each?
Yes, Raheem Mostert also scored four times, too. He rushed for 82 yards on 13 carries, including 3 rushing scores and he also caught 7 receptions for 60 more yards and another TD. It is absolutely unheard of to see two running backs both put up numbers this insane in the same game. Miami just couldn’t stop scoring, this week. What a duo.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins
88.4% completion rate, 309 passing yards and 4 TD’s, for a 155.8 QB rating.
Oh, you assumed they were just running the ball the whole time? Nope. On top of the 350 rushing yards Miami put up, Tua Tagovailoa also tacked on another 300 through the air. He completed 23 of his 26 passing attempts. His 309 passing yards were also accompanied by 4 passing TD’s of his own. This was good for a near-perfect 155.8 Quarterback Rating. Tua means business this year, ladies and gentlemen.
Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins
9 receptions on 11 targets for 157 receiving yards and a TD.
One more Dolphin… In Jaylen Waddle’s absence, you might worry that the defense would have so much focus on Tyreek Hill that he might get slowed down. That was not the case, though. Cheetah did what he does and there wasn’t much the Broncos could do about it. He saw 11 of Tua’s targets, catching 9 of them for 157 receiving yards and a TD.
Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
18 receptions on 20 targets for 215 receiving yards, plus a 49 yard passing TD!
Finally, someone who doesn’t play for Miami!
This week, the Chargers finally broke free from their winless start, narrowly defeating the Vikings in a hard-fought matchup. If anyone deserves recognition for their role in the win, it is undoubtedly Keenan Allen. The veteran wideout was a huge 20 targets and caught 18 of them for an impressive 215 receiving yards. That’s an impressive line, on it’s own. But, the cherry on top, he also threw a 49-yard passing TD on a trick play to Mike Williams.
Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
85.1% completion rate, 405 passing yards and 3 TD’s, for a 123.8 QB rating.
The Los Angeles Chargers were struggling and while I think it’s clear that #13’s efforts were huge in their first win of the year, his QB had a big day for himself, too. Justin Herbert made history this week. With 405 passing yards and 3 TD’s, Herbert really put an Ekeler-less Chargers team on his back. The LA QB had a historic performance, the first ever to complete 40 passes, throw for 400 yards, 3 TD’s and throw 0 interceptions in a game.
My favourite stat from this weekend came from NextGenStats… Justin Herbert threw 32 of his 40 completions (on 38 attempts) while being blitzed, and threw for 307 yards and 3 TD’s. 300+ yards against the blitz is unheard of. Absolutely incredible performance.
Terrel Bernard, LB, Buffalo Bills
5 solo tackles and 2 assists, including 2.0 sacks a fumble recovery and an interception!
Now that is a linebacker stat line! Bills backer Terrel Bernard had himself a day this week. During a comfortable victory over the Washington Commanders, their defense smothered them, giving up just 3 points. Bernard was the star of the show, making 5 solo tackles and 2 assists, while also making numerous huge plays. He recovered a fumble, recorded 2.0 sacks and an interception! What a day.
Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns
4 solo tackles and 1 assist including 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
Last week I pondered whether Micah Parsons is the best player in the NFL, right now. It might be time to consider Myles Garrett in that conversation. The Cleveland edge rusher was doing crossovers pre-snap last week, so his confidence is clearly at an all-time high. This week, he recorded another 3.5 sack, dominant performance. At one point, the Titans literally had two tight ends following Garrett up and down the formation to try and stop him.
Kyle Hamilton, S, Baltimore Ravens
7 solo tackles and 2 assists including 3.0 sacks and 1 forced fumble.
3.5 sacks from a defensive end is very impressive, but a hat-trick when you’re lining up at safety is nuts. Ravens safety Kyle Hamilton had himself an absolute day. He made 7 solo tackles as well as 2 assists. He spent as much time in the backfield as he did on his side of the line of scrimmage, recording three sacks. This was the first multi-sack game of his career, and he had three!
Davante Adams, WR, Las Vegas Raiders
13 receptions on 20 targets for 172 receiving yards and 2 TD’s.
The Raiders are mediocre, right now, and I can’t deny it. The defense is actively bad, the offense isn’t able to carry the load, and the head coach is terrible. However, the one single source of joy is watching #17 go to work. Davante Adams is a true superstar. Jimmy G struggled, but was still able to connect with his All-Pro WR 13 times for 172 receiving yards. He scored twice, including one impressive TD where he was able to essentially box out the defender and make a contested catch for the score. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to do enough for the Raiders to win, but that wasn’t for the lack of trying.
Rashan Gary, DE, Green Bay Packers
3 solo tackles. 3.0 sacks.
This is a stat line that you don’t see often. Packers edge rusher Rashan Gary had a great day during their comeback victory, despite making just three tackles. His 3 tackles were all for sacks! After the first hat-trick of his 4-year career, Gary was awarded a game ball. Well deserved.
Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
7 receptions on 13 targets for 149 receiving yards and a TD.
Of all the players in the NFL who just feel like they shouldn’t be on an 0-3 football team, Justin Jefferson is top of the list. The young superstar receiver has been consistently performing brilliantly, but to no avail. In Week 1, he had 150 receiving yards. In Week 2, he had 159. This week he caught 7 receptions and had 149 yards. That’s three weeks in a row delivering 150 yards of offense. This time out he also added a touchdown, and the Vikings still managed to lose, in dramatic last-minute fashion.
Adam Thielen, WR, Carolina Panthers
11 receptions on 14 targets for 145 receiving yards and a TD.
Speaking of Minnesota and disappointment… Let’s talk about Adam Thielen. The ex-Viking saw a slight uptick in volume last week after a very quiet debut for Carolina. However, it was this week, when Andy Dalton came in to replace rookie Bryce Young, that the veteran got his chances. Thielen saw 14 targets and turned them into 11 receptions for 145 yards and a TD. He will just have to hope that Young learns from his backup and he stays involved when the youngster returns.
Tank Dell, WR, Houston Texans
5 receptions on 7 targets for 145 receiving yards and a TD.
Speaking of youngsters, the connection between C.J. Stroud and Tank Dell is growing stronger. As Stroud continues to find his feet and grow more and more comfortable, his WR2 has started to step up. After 3 years in Houston at college, it’s unsurprising that Dell has gotten comfortable quickly. In his third game, he balled out! Seeing 7 targets, he caught 5 of them for 145 receiving yards, including a 68-yard touchdown.
Andrew Buck, Special Teams, Houston Texans
85-yard punt return!
Yeah, this was fun.
How could I not show some love to the full back who muffed a punt, then recovered it, and then proceeded to return it a whopping 85 yards for one of the most unusual punt returns you’ll ever see. Andrew Buck had the moment of the weekend. Sensational stuff.
Stat Leaders Through Week 3
Passing Yards – Kirk Cousins MIN, 1075
Passing TD’s – Kirk Cousins MIN, 9
Rushing Yards – Christian McCaffrey SF, 353
Rushing TD’s – Raheem Mostert MIA, 6
Receiving Yards – Justin Jefferson MIN, 458
Receiving TD’s – Tyreek Hill MIA, 4
Total TD’s – Raheem Mostert MIA, 7
Tackles (combined) – Zaire Franklin IND, 45
Sacks – T.J. Watt PIT, 6.0
Interceptions – Jessie Bates III ATL and Jordan Whitehead NYJ, 3
Week 4 Preview – What to watch
Week 4 Best Games
Dolphins @ Bills, 6pm
Lions @ Packers, TNF
Ravens @ Browns, 6pm
Tyler’s Bold Week 4 Prediction
Jameis Winston will throw for 275+ yards and 2+ TD’s against his old team.
Week 4 Storylines
The return of the London series! NFL games from 2:30pm to 4am! Falcons @ Jaguars, 2:30pm
The storyline every week for the rest of the season following Taylor Swift’s NFL journey… (I’m only half-joking.)
The primetime battle of the NFC North! Who will come out on top? Lions @ Packers, TNF
One of the best matchups you’ll see all season… Dolphins @ Bills, 6pm
Two struggling teams… Who will win their first game? Broncos @ Bears, 6pm
Divisional Rivals meeting in a battle of 2-1 teams. Ravens @ Browns, 6pm
Can Cincinnati continue to build momentum on the road? Bengals @ Titans, 6pm
The return of Alvin Kamara! Buccaneers @ Saints, 6pm
An AFC West showdown between two very different 1-2 teams. Raiders @ Chargers, 9:25pm