5 Lessons I Learned During Week 3
1. Jamal Charles is the running back we saw two years ago. After rushing for 233 yards and receiving another 55, it is safe to say that Jamal Charles is back from his devastating ACL tear from a year ago. With the Chiefs down 24-6 to the New Orleans Saints and on the verge of dropping to 0-3, Charles rushed for a 91 yard TD and told his teammates to put the game on his shoulders. He showed that burst of speed that he had prior to his injury that many around the game thought he would never regain. In the effort, Charles also has a career high 39 touches, showing he is ready to be a feature back. Against New Orleans, Charles became the second player in NFL history to put up 225 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards in the same game, the first being the all-time great Jim Brown. Kudos to the comeback player of the year!
2. The Atlanta Falcons are clearly deserving to be mentioned in the NFL elite. In a battle of 2-0 teams, the Atlanta Falcons went into San Diego and smacked the Chargers around like they owed them money. Matt Ryan is finally starting to earn the nick name Matty Ice. He is currently leading the league in passing rating as he is utilizing his many tools on offense. Roddy White and Julio Jones are in a short conversation of best 1-2 WR combinations in the game. The Falcons are a team that has fallen short in the postseason time and again in the past few years but with other contenders struggling early (Saints, Packers, Lions, Panthers, Cowboys), the Falcons look poised to amend many years of disappointment.
3. Torrey Smith is as courageous of a player as we have seen in a while. In the Ravens 31-30 Week 3 win over the Patriots on Sunday night, Torrey Smith put up 127 yards on 6 catches with 2 TDs. Considering the WR lost his younger brother Tevin less than 24 hours prior, he showed an amazing amount of strength and character to even step onto the field to honor his brother. After the game, Torrey said “It was tough. I didn’t know until 4 o’clock if I was going to play. I only had like an hour of sleep. Emotionally, I didn’t know how I was going to hold up.” On a day in which Smith suffered an incredible loss to his immediate family, he mustered the strength to lift his football family past a rival in a huge victory. Smith provided his teammates with strength and courage and they rallied around him. Even if you are not a Raven fan, or football fan at all, this was the easiest player to root for in any sport on any given night in quite a long time.
4. Injuries can absolutely derail a season. Personally speaking, my New York Jets lost their best player for the year due to a non-contact knee injury. Plugging Kyle Wilson in for Darelle Revis is going to be devastating and most likely end the what little hope the Jets had for a successful season. Though Revis might have suffered the worse injury of the week, many other games were affected by injuries. Matthew Stafford left the Lions game with a leg injury, a game in which they fell to the lowly Tennessee Titans and Stafford’s backup Shaun Hill gave the game away with an OT botched play. Reggie Bush also went down with a knee injury which appears minor, though was bad enough to take him out of action in Miami’s Week 3 loss to the Jets. Other key players like Willis McGahee, Beanie Wells, CJ Spiller, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Dexter McCluster all left their games in Week 3 with injuries, which leads us to the realization that on any given play, any teams season can be lost due to the violent nature of the game. How would the Patriots look without Tom Brady, or the Packers with no Aaron Rodgers? Probably very similar to the Jets without Darrelle Revis.
5. The replacement refs need to go. This week was by far the worse on record. Everyone is still talking about the MNF debacle in which the referees gave the Seahawks a win over Green Bay on a last second interception. Other than that debacle, we had the Patriots losing on a possible missed FG, the Cowboy’s Kevin Ogletree stepping on a referees hat which was thrown 20 yards onto the field of play, replacement referees having no idea what a pass interference calls looks like but calling them damn near every play and the San Francisco 49ers were granted extra challenges in their loss to the Vikes. There were many more examples or referee incompetence all around the league that were just as bad as those mentioned above. It’s making the pace of games almost unwatchable and the NFL is becoming a punch line, as players have taken to twitter to trash the product the league has put onto the field. If the Packers game doesn’t end this lockout, I have no idea what will!