It seems fitting for me to open up this edition of 'The Lo Down' with one of the most inspirational pre game speeches from the great film 'Any Given Sunday' as this week a number of teams had their Sunday!
I know that I have been know to use this phrase a lot however the NFL never ceases to amaze me after some of the results that went down this week.
Before I get started on the weeks action I would like to take a moment to thank one of the sports great contributors for everything he has achieved in his life for us the regular football fan. This week the sport lost another legend in Steve Sabol of NFL films. Throughout his great career he has brought the game closer than ever to our hearts and for that I owe my never ending thanks, RIP Steve Sabol 1942 – 2012.
Please take a few minutes to watch this small tribute to one man's dedication to the NFL and it's fans!
Okay so lets get back to the action from this week and the big upsets that have happened this week. I think there is no better place to start than the ever increasing crisis that is brewing over the New Orleans Saints.
This week the Saints faced a week opponent in the Kansas City Cheifs who had been destroyed by my Bills last Sunday! Before the game I would have given Kansas two hopes of beating New Orleans and one of them is a star on Hollywood Boulevard!
The game itself was definitely a game of two halves as they say, in the first half the Saints had most of the play taking a 10 – 6 lead into the locker room. In the third quarter they stretched that lead to 24 – 13 and going into the fourth quarter there only looked like one winner.
Que the meltdown as in the fourth quarter Kansas scored 11 unanswered points with Brees not completing a throw in the fourth quarter or overtime. The chiefs managed to sneak this one in overtime 27 – 24. If you add this onto the big win they had against Green Bay last season you would have to consider them as legit contenders if they weren’t so inconsistent!
The other big upset out the bunch I would like to talk about is Oakland Raiders. This week Oakland had to face the mighty steel curtain defence of Pittsburgh fresh from their win over the Jets last week. Granted Oakland were at home for this one but I still did not expect what was to occur!
From what I saw of this game it was a hard hitting slug fest with the Steelers in particular laying some heavy and at times border line illegal hits on the Oakland receivers. This was most evident on the hit on a defenceless Darius Heyword-Bey who was hospitalised after a viscious helmet to helmet shot from the Steelers safety Ryan Munday. The worst thing after the hit itself was the fact that there was no flag on the play for the hit and it is becoming clear that the replacement officials are now endangering the careers and lives of the players.
If this isn’t a wake up call for the commissioner I don’t know what is, we need the proper league officials in time for next weeks games, this is no longer a request but more of an order Mr Goodell!
My apologies as I digressed a little there, again this was a tale of the fourth quarter as heading into it the Steelers were up 31 – 21. I don't know how but it's almost as if the Raiders had been watching the Al Pacino speech above at half time that they had 13 unanswered points to take the game 34 – 31.
These were not the only upsets this week but we shall discuss the others on this weeks episode of Spitball, my weekly podcast.
Here are all the results from the week 3 action:
New York Giants 36 vs 7 Carolina
St Louis 6 vs 23 Chicago
Buffalo 24 vs 14 Cleveland
Tampa Bay 10 vs 16 Dallas
Jacksonville 22 vs 17 Indianapolis
New York Jets 23 vs 20 Miami (OT)
San Francisco 13 vs 24 Minnesota
Kansas City 27 vs 24 New Orleans (OT)
Detroit 41 vs 44 Tennessee (OT)
Cincinnati 38 vs 31 Washington
Philadelphia 6 vs 27 Arizona
Atlanta 27 vs 3 San Diego
Houston 31 vs 25 Denver
Pittsburgh 31 vs 34 Oakland
New England 30 vs 31 Baltimore
Green Bay vs Seattle
(OT) = Final score after overtime.
Now we have all the results in it is time for me to go through this weeks nominations for the offensive player of the week (a.k.a Megatron Award) and the defensive player of the week (a.k.a Ray Lewis Award).
Lets start as always with the Megatron award. First up this week one player deserving of a mention all be it for one catch but given it's importance in taking the game to overtime, my first mention is Titus Young of the Detroit Lions for his touchdown catch following the tipped hail mary to send the game into overtime.
Another player to mention this week is AJ Green who not only opened the game with a 73 yard reception from Mohamed Sanu on the half back option play but went on to have nine receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown.
Maurice Jones-Drew also finally had the monster game I have been waiting for as he is in my fantasy team with 28 carries for 177 yards and a touchdown, he also had 16 receiving yards on the day.
Now time for the moment you have been waiting for, the Megatron award winner this week strangely goes to a quarterback by the name of Christian Ponder. Now I know that his numbers don't exactly set the world on fire but this award isn't necessarily for the best stats of the week.
For me this week Ponder really seemed to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and he controlled the Vikings offence perfectly. His attitude and performance this week which included 198 passing yards for two touchdowns. For me it wasn’t his passing that caught my attention but his touchdown run that really summed up how much he wanted this win.
Congratulations to Christian Ponder you are the week 3 Megatron Award winner.
Now lets move onto the defence and I would like to start by mentioninig DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys. In their victory over Tampa Bay the Cowboys defence held the Bucs to 10 points and Ware was responsible for five combined tackles including two sacks and two forced fumbles.
Next up for a mention is not just one player but the whole Arizona defence for the way they destroyed Michael Vick this week. Every time he dropped back to pass it was like he was under ridiculous pressure and indeed the Cardinals sacked him five times and forcing him to fumble with a wicked blindside shot which led to a touchdown for James Sanders. In total there were five sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception.
This leads me nicely to the Ray Lewis award winner for this week which is the entire Seattle defence for holding the high powered Packers offence to just 12 points. Not only did they hold them to 12 points but they sacked Rodgers eight times. This for me is having a serious impact on the game and I congratulate them on being this weeks defensive impact winners!
On a final note I think we all saw how much controversy has been caused by the replacement officials in the Monday night game with not only the pass interference calls but the lack of them in the key moments as well.
The last thing I want to say about them no matter how much we all miss the NFL referees and how much of a serious concern I have over player safety as mentioned above, without these officials we would not have an NFL season to speak off at this point and ultimately that is what is important surely?
Remember if you have any feedback or just want to talk football please tweet me @AdriMallows or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and of course please check out this weeks podcast on Wednesday night for the quick fire round up of week 3 and EJ's award winners!