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The Week That Was: 2018 Week 3
By Garth Pearce
Special to gzl-football.com


Game: A divisional match-up against two strong contenders is never an easy game, but the Packers started this one strong with a 17 point lead in the first half. The second half was a draw at 10 points a piece and ended up looking as a strong win to the Packers, 34-17. The hard work and spoils goes to the running game for the cheese heads as Doug Martin added 176 yards for 2 touchdowns, including an 83 yarder. Backup Mike James didn't want to be outdone and had a 71 yard dash for a score of his own. 3 turnovers and an injury to starting QB Collin Klein which saw him sit out quite a few snaps didn't help the Bears' cause either.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


Game: After a humiliating loss to the Eagles to open the year and falling again in week 2 to the Giants, not much support was left for the Bills in this match up, however they bounced back to finally post some offensive figures to be proud of (and their first double digit scoring game of the year) with a 31-26 victory. Time of possession was a big factor in this game as the Cowboys were choked of opportunities to play their game, even though they were clean with the ball. 138 yards from Riddick Owen and a 65 yard score paved the way for a day of big averages per carry for the Bills' running game, topped off by 3 touchdowns by Andrew Luck.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


Game: Many punters were backing the powerhouse Buccs to win this one, but that meant many were underestimating the rejuvenated Giants under the dual Super Bowl GM John Stanley. With the Giants at home I gave them a fair chance and they did in fact do a good job of limiting their opponent's scoring. Colin Kaepernick outgunned Josh Freeman (no mean feat) to setup the 24-10 victory. The 120 extra yards of offense to the Giants was the telling factor that got them the 3 extra scoring opportunities

Teams: LE Nick Perry is out for the next 3 weeks with a sprained elbow and the Giants will be hard pressed to fill his shoes (6 TKL, 1 TFL, 3 SCK) over the coming weeks.


Game: With only 1 win from 4 games between these two teams this was an evenly poised game from the outset and ended up the same way. The Chargers opened up with a 10-to-0 first quarter but couldn't keep the momentum going. Consistent scoring in the following quarters by the Browns (a TD per quarter) was enough for them to squeeze out a 21-19 victory. The clock management by the Browns helped achieve this result (8 extra minutes of possession), limiting the ability of the Chargers to make plays. Both QB's had highly accurate days passing (Mallet @ 68.75% and Gabbert @ 65.38%). Rookie LE Collin Kilpatrick (SD) blew away his previous 2 games performances by posting 5 TKL, 2 TFL and 2 SCK for the day (previous stats were 2 TKL, 1 FF, 1 FR (for a TD) from 2 games). I'd expect to hear more about this kid as he seems to know how to make plays.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


Game: Whilst the Eagles broke their losing hoodoo they still haven't found their groove, falling to an equally un-impressive Dolphins outfit 14-17. Essentially this loss comes on the back of a missed Terrell Blake field goal as the Eagles had more yards and less turnovers for the day. FS Dean Rowe picked off Russell Wilson twice whilst pint sized receiver Ace Sander (5'7") caught 2 touchdown passes. On the other side of the ball, rookie WR Ulysses Moore caught two scores of his own, including a 93 yarder.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


Game: When the betting goes down each week you are assured of the Titans getting some good money for a victory and they were favourites going into this game too. It turned out to be a bit of a fizzer as both teams gave average performances from the starters to keep it interesting, however a UFA signing of this year for the Titans in HB Mike Gillislee provided the need spark for the Titans with 2 touchdown runs to give his team the 24-13 win.

Teams: Atlanta's Nolan Victorino will miss the rest of the season with a broken shoulder, opening the door for veteran Brent Brackett to return to starting duties.


Game: Both of these teams are a bit up and down this year, not quite cementing their level across the league. Baltimore has been known to fire out some big games, but despite a 4 touchdown effort by Joe Flacco versus a 2 interception day by Jonathan Higgins, it was the running game of the Jets on the back of #2 half back Elias Vaughn (125 yards, 8.93ypc, 72 long) and a 67 yard fumble return by Clarence Mitchell that propelled the Jets to an unlikely 34-28 win. Jonathan Baldwin did his best for the Ravens, catching 3 touchdowns with his 193 yards but it wasn't enough.

Teams: A sore day for the Jets as Marcus Lattimore was put out of the game with hip bursitis, but at least he'll be ok for next week, plus D.J. Hayden tore a pectoral muscle and will miss another 4 weeks.


Game: Seems the Jags are having their way with the NFC South this year after their second straight win over the division to the tune of 30 points to 17. Can they make it a tri-fecta next week in New Orleans? Neither offense looked spectacular in this game with both QB's getting a QB rating in the 69's (although Mike Glennon stepped in for 2 passes for an injured Tyler Bray and went 2-for-2, 32 yards and a score). Amos Houston sacked Matt Barkley 3 times for the day to be the best of the defenders and keep the pressure on.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


Game: Brother Bowl 2015 version 1 at Mile High was another classic divisional battle, wit another desperate struggle by both teams to maintain a healthy divisional record. Things didn't start out pretty for both teams until the Broncos managed two second quarter touchdowns before being limited to two field goals for the entire second half and the Raiders were able to add enough last quarter heroics and be victorious 27-20. Time of possession was strongly in the Raiders favour as running and passing were hard to make an impression on, although RG3 did find it in his arsenal to scamper for a 63 yard rushing score (longest whilst with the Raiders). Broncos #2 back Chris Polk managed his own unexpected run with a 47 yard dash to get better figures than Keith Payne.

Teams: Signing of TE Jordan Reed to the Raiders to replace the injure Aaron Hernandez. RE Carlos Dunlap suffered an abdominal strain during the win and wil miss 4 weeks, giving consideration for the Raiders whether they'll start veteran Jarod Allen or youngster Dennis Ricks.


Game: With the scoring that the Redskins had managed over the first 2 weeks and the struggles of the Patriots over the last few seasons it would be safe to say that no-one saw this result coming. A 37-7 spanking by the Patriots is a rare thing and Matt Spencer may have finally found a QB he can work with in Matt Ryan. Ryan threw for 395 yards and 4 touchdowns, hitting up former Raider depth player Kenny Stills 11 times for 3 of those touchdowns and 206 yards! The Pats had their way with the hapless Skins this week with total domination of possession and an air attack to be proud of. As another reporter has noted, Kelvin Benjamin did manage a 71 yard reception, but didn't get into the end zone with!

Teams: Redskins cut CB Kareem Jackson to make room for the signing of WR Dwayne Bowe to fill in for the injured Josh Pietarila who broke his tailbone in week 2. Adding to the injury list in Washington are QB Ricky Stanzi (Sprained elbow, 4 weeks) and SS Chester Truman (Broken thumb, 1 week). The Redskins were on an offensive roll until this game and with only the likes of Trent Edwards as backup to Stanzi it could be a rough couple of weeks in DC.
The Patriots didn't fair any better as they'll be missing rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin for 3 weeks with a pulled groin and FS Ha Ha Clinton-Dix for 6 weeks with a broken jaw.


Game: New Saints GM Jeff Downey is at a loss as to how to get his offense to work and it showed in this weeks loss to the Rams. The normally potent Rams outfit was nearly as un-impressive in their 17-9 success, especially considering that Sam Bradford completed 68.42% of his passes with 1 touchdown and LaVonte Bell ran for 169 yards @ 8.05ypc and a score of his own. Ultimately it was the Saints' inability to even get 200 yards of total offense for the day that led to their demise, especially with Dontay Moch getting behind the line of scrimmage on 3 occasions stopping the run.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


Game: Another bitter divisional game and another tight finish. The Seahawks aren't on the same page as their Super Bowl year and the Cardinals have had a high turnover of personnel, so you can forgive this scrappy outing whilst both teams look for their identities in 2018. Cameron Newton was on song in this 21-19 win, passing for 276 yards @ 68.18% and 2 touchdowns. The Seahawks defensive line did a good job at getting backfield pressure with 4 TFL and 3 SCK between 3 of them. Keeping Ponder on the back foot hampered his known ability to make big plays out of nowhere and with no run support the Cardinals couldn't find the winning edge.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


Game: It's a hard task to stop the reigning champs and this second match-up between these divisional rivals in 3 weeks was no exception. I pity the Bengals for having this loaded on them to start the year, but even without Big Ben in the game they just didn't have enough answers to stop this freight train. The 31-21 score line doesn't reflect that the Bengals looked after the ball much better, but it does show that the Steelers used a lot of the clock pounding the rock with Derrick Johnstone. Ryan Mallet collected the spoils with 3 touchdown passes, but he also coughed it up twice.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week


Game: The Chiefs first win of the year gives them a full slate at 1-1-1 and was fuelled by an impressive performance by E.J. Manuel. He completed 65.22% of his passes for 255 yards and 3 touchdowns, making good use of all his receiving options. Colt MCoy wasn't up to the same standard (mainly in completion percentage) whilst David Wilson managed to get passed the line of scrimmage on all but 1 of his runs, he couldn't capitalise with decent yardage beyond that. The Vikings defense got some penetration but still couldn't stop Manuel from inflicting the damage.

Teams: No lingering injuries from this game or transactions involving these teams during the week





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