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NFL Monday Memo: Week 3

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Michael Boley #59

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25: Michael Boley #59 of the New York Giants and Greg Jones #53 along with the rest of the defense hold back a rush by the Philadelphia Eagles during the game at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Photo Credit: Getty/Rob Carr

Our best and worst from NFL Week 3:

Offensive player of the week: Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Bills. Another huge game for Fitzpatrick, who has the Bills believing at 3-0 after leading a huge comeback win over the Patriots with 369 yards and two TDs. Fitzpatrick helps the Bills end a 15-game losing streak to New England.

Defensive player of the week: Michael Boley, LB, Giants. Had a huge stop on third-and-goal from the 1 and then stopped LeSean McCoy on fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter. Giants scored go-ahead TD on next possession to end a six-game losing streak to the Iggles.

Special teams player of the week: Steve Weatherford, P, Giants. Nothing special about a 41-yard average on four punts. But it was huge, nevertheless, because DeSean Jackson had just one return for 13 yards. That’s the same DeSean Jackson that crushed the Giants’ season last December with a 65-yard punt return as time expired. It was the eventual undoing of Matt Dodge.

Comeback of the week: Lions QB Matthew Stafford rallied the Lions from a 20-0 halftime deficit to beat the Vikings in OT in Minnesota, 26-23. Lions even with the Packers at 3-0 atop the NFC North.

Rising star: Torrey Smith, WR, Ravens. The Ravens' rookie receiver had three TDs in the first quarter against the Rams. That is sick! 

Falling star: Donovan McNabb, QB, Vikings. Not a good sign when your coach needs to remind reporters that McNabb isn’t going to be benched just yet. But it can only be a matter of time before the Vikings turn to first-round QB Christian Ponder.

Game of the week: Saints 40, Texans 33. Drew Brees passes for 370 yards and three TDs and leads the Saints back from two fourth-quarter deficits to hold off a vastly improved Texans team.

Game of the weak: 49ers 13, Bengals 8. Game was tied 3-3 going into the fourth quarter. Enough said. Bengals fans quickly losing interest in their team. A crowd of only 43,363 showed up for the home opener. That’s more than 20,000 less than capacity.

Streak busters: The Bucs beat the Falcons to end a five-game losing streak. QB Josh Freeman celebrates with a bird dance mocking the Falcons.

Coach on the hot seat: Steve Spagnuolo, Rams. After a 7-9 season in which Sam Bradford offered hope for the future, the Rams are now 0-3 and losing by progressively larger scores. Yesterday was a 37-7 spanking by the Ravens at home.

Coach not on the hot seat … at least not yet. Tony Sparano, Dolphins. He’s 0-3 and faces road games at San Diego and the Jets. Looks like 0-5 – and a pink slip – may not be far behind, but Sparano appears safe for now.

What Super Bowl hangover? The Packers are 3-0 and looking every bit as good as last year’s Super Bowl team. Aaron Rodgers has his way with the Bears, winning for the sixth time in his last eight starts against Chicago. Brett Favre had lost five of his last six before giving way to Rodgers.

Giant of the week: Eli Manning, QB. Quietly had one of the best games of his career with four TD passes and no INTs.

Jet of the week: LaDainian Tomlinson, RB. Led the Jets with 116 receiving yards and a TD, but all for naught in a 34-24 loss.



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