Another wacky week in the NFL, filled with comebacks, blowouts, big plays and small ones – or, in the Jets’ case, very small ones. A look back at the good, the bad and everything in between:
(Hey, refs, good to have you guys back) ...
Karma, Part I: Less than a week after being awarded a controversial win over the Packers on a botched call on the final play, the Seahawks came crashing back to earth with a road loss to St. Louis. No magic from rookie QB Russell Wilson this time, just three interceptions.
Karma, Part II: The Packers rallied from last week’s controversy and gutted one out in a 28-27 nail-biter over winless and desperate New Orleans in Green Bay. The Packers won it after Saints kicker Garrett Hartley missed a 48-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.
He’s No. 1: Or at least he says he is. Ravens QB Joe Flacco stands by his statement that he’s the best quarterback in the NFL, and he’s certainly making a case for himself so far. He added 356 more passing yards, a touchdown pass and a rushing TD in the Ravens’ 23-16 Thursday night win over the Browns.
Comeback of the week, Part I: The Cardinals rallied with a touchdown pass from Kevin Kolb to Andre Roberts with 22 second left in regulation, and then won it on Jay Feely’s 46-yard field goal 6:31 into OT to keep Arizona (4-0) unbeaten. Guess Kolb can keep that starting job for a while
Comeback of the Week, Part II: Falcons, 30, Panthers 28. Matt Ryan led a dramatic game-winning field goal drive, getting the Falcons in position for Matt Bryant’s game-winner after being pinned at his own 1-yard line after a Carolina punt. The Panthers’ ill-fated decision not to go for it on 4th and 1 came back to haunt them.
Offensive player of the week: Brian Hartline, WR, Dolphins. The unheralded wideout set a Dolphins’ franchise record with 253 receiving yards on 12 catches. The kid was en fuego.
Defensive player of the week: San Francisco 49ers. Might as well give the collective unit the award for an absolutely smothering performance on the road against the Jets. Just an old-fashioned butt-kicking from start to finish.
Special teams player of the week, Part I: Greg Zuerlein, K, Rams. He converted all four field goal attempts (58, 48, 60, 24 yards) in the Rams’ 19-13 win over Seattle. Zuerlein is the first kicker in NFL history to convert a 60-yard field goal and a 50-yard field goal in the same game.
Second-half breakout: Patriots 52, Bills 28. Down 21-7 in the third quarter, Tom Brady’s offense finally woke up and pounded the Bills with 31 fourth-quarter points. The Pats thus avoided their first three-game losing streak in 10 years.
Wade's World: In the Texans’ 38-14 win over the Titans, defensive backs Danieal Manning and Kareem Jackson returned interceptions for touchdowns. More good stuff from Wade Phillips' defense. Next up: the Jets on Monday night.
Silver lining: The Titans were crushed by the Texans, but at least running back Chris Johnson got untracked. He ran 25 times for 141 yards, more than tripling his output the first three weeks.
Streak of the week, Part I: The Lions have lost three in a row; they hadn’t lost more than two in a row last year during their playoff run.
Streak of the week, Part II: After being thumped by the Ravens in the opener, the Bengals have won three straight and sit atop the AFC North alongside their divisional rivals.
Turnover city: The Chiefs committed six of them, including five in the first half against AFC West rival San Diego. Matt Cassel had three picks in the first half alone, as San Diego built an insurmountable 27-6 lead.
Surprise team: The Vikings, who went 3-13 last year, have already matched their victory total with a 20-13 win over Detroit.
Abject failure: The Bills have now lost 17 of their last 18 against the Patriots.
Peyton’s OK again this week: Amazing how much better you can look when you play the Raiders. Peyton Manning threw for 338 yards and three TDs in Denver’s 37-6 romp at Mile High.
Giant of the week: David Wilson, RB/KR. The rookie out of Virginia Tech was electrifying on kickoff returns, totaling 217 yards on six returns in a 19-17 loss to the Eagles.
Jet of the week: A 34-0 loss at home? Sorry, no standouts in this one.