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As another week in the NFL passes, only 3 teams stand tall without a loss, Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, and the Philadelphia Eagles. The New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts all finally got their first win. As the bottom-dwellers, such as the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers remain winless.
The Thursday night game ended up being one of the biggest first half blowouts in recent memory, the super-bowl rematch ended up being one of the most exciting games so far this year, the Bengals continued their domination with a 26 point win, and the NFC East rivals, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles battled out the most hard-fought game this year.
Blowout of the Week
Atlanta Falcons 56, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14
It’s hard to decide whether this game says more about the Falcons or Bucs? The scariest part about this game? It was 56-0 going into the fourth quarter.
The Falcons dominated the game from start to finish kicking the game off with a 21 point 1st quarter with two Matt Ryan TD’s and a pick six. In the second quarter with a 62 yd. punt return TD Devin Hester had his 20th return touchdown in his career, breaking Deion Sanders’ record.
Matt Ryan would go an unreal 21/24 with 286 yards and 3 touchdowns, a lot of credit has to go to wideout Julio Jones who had 9 catches for 161 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Falcons defense also deserves a lot of credit shutting down the Bucs besides two garbage time touchdowns and forcing 3 fumbles.
The Buccaneers looked to be coming into 2014 much improved with newly signed QB Josh McCown, new HC Lovie Smith and multiple defensive improvements. So far this has not been the case at all as they have started the season 0-3, a very tough hole to climb out of, and with the NFC South looking better then ever, it appears to be another lost season for the Bucs.
Why did anybody ever doubt the Atlanta Falcons? Okay, yeah, their defense isn’t the greatest and was pretty much the reason for a disgraceful season last year, but their offense is impossible to stop, especially with a healthy offensive line. It looks like the NFC South will really end up being a battle for first place with a heavy dose of strong offenses.
Upset of the Week
Pittsburgh Steelers 37, Carolina Panthers 19
This week there wasn’t quite a standout upset like the previous weeks. The Panthers and San Francisco 49er’s, were the only playoff teams of last year to lose this week. This one takes the cake just because of the beatdown the Steelers gave the Panthers.
A game that was looking to be an AFC North style field goal battle with the Steelers up 9-3, ended up with 44 total points scored in the second half. Antonio Brown and Big Ben caught fire in the second half connecting on two touchdown passes each from 7 yards out.
Alot of credit in the win has to go to the backfield of the Steelers, Le’veon Bell, and LeGarette Blount combined for an astonishing 265 yards on the ground on only 31 carries, an average of 8.5 yards per carry.
The Panthers would attempt to fight back with a 37 yard touchdown pass to Tight End Greg Olsen, but it was no match for the steelers who fought back with two touchdowns in a row, defensive, and on the ground.
It wasn’t a complete win, as Steeler Cornerback Ike Taylor suffered a broken arm, along with linebackers Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones suffering injuries.
It seems like the Steelers offense has some serious variation from week to week and you never know which team you’ll get, but if they can consistently put out a team like this they are definitely still a threat.
It seemed the Panthers had an off night with a lot of mistakes including a muffed punt resulting a touchdown, and they really struggled to get into a rhythm on the ground with only 42 rushing yards for the night. Maybe the Panthers are finally taking the drop of faith experts predicted they would take this year.
Comeback of the Week
Dallas Cowboys 34, St. Louis Rams 31
Halfway through the second quarter, things were looking very bleak for Romo and company. He had just thrown a pick-six to give them a deficit of 21-0.
America’s team came soaring back with an 8 play 80 yard drive capped off by a 1 yard touchdown run by Demarco Murray, the NFL’s leading rusher. Two Dan Bailey field goals and a 68 yard touchdown catch by Dez Bryant the Cowboys were only down 1.
The St. Louis Rams just couldn’t get back the offensive mojo they had in the first quarter and after a dropped pass by tight end Jared Cook, the tables had officially turned. Third String quarterback, Austin Davis would end up throwing two interceptions one of them being taken back for a touchdown.
After a last few minute attempted comeback by Austin Davis the game was all but over and in typical fashion the Cowboys stole another win to become 2-1 and only one game behind the division leading Eagles, a spot nobody really expected them to be in.
Game of the Week
Seattle Seahawks 26, Denver Broncos 20
A rematch of one of the worst blowouts in Super Bowl history, Peyton Manning vs. Legion of Boom. This one had a slightly different outcome, and slightly more entertaining.
After exchanging field goals in the first quarter the Seahawks tilted the see-saw with two touchdown passes from quarterback Russell Wilson to give them a 17-3 lead heading into the locker rooms.
A safety by the Broncos and a touchdown pass to (who else?) Julius Thomas had the Broncos right back into the game. However, a late field goal by Steven Hauschka made a comeback look near impossible, for anybody not named Peyton Manning.
He lead a drive of 6 plays, 80 yards, and no timeouts in only 41 seconds, ending with a 26 yd. touchdown pass to (someone else) fellow tight end Jacob Tamme, and a successfully executed two-point conversion brought them to overtime.
It’s a shame that Peyton never had a chance to get the ball in overtime, but credit Seattle not letting him driving the rock all the way down the field to end the game with a Marshawn Lynch touchdown run.