NFL Week 3: Lessons Learned

Redskins and Giants continue to falter, Pats and Chiefs soaring

By Patrick Hickey Jr.
|  Sunday, Sep 22, 2013  |  Updated 11:57 PM EDT
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    This was a week for the defenses - six teams scored a touchdown or less. How good were those defenses exactly? The 49ers, Texans, Giants, Buccaneers, Rams and Cardinals were limited to just 33 combined points.

    Here's what else we learned in Week 3:

    Russell Wilson flying high: The second-year quarterback for the Seahawks destroyed the Jaguars with four touchdown passes in a 49-17 win.

    Redskins, Steelers and Giants are in trouble: Robert Griffin III wasn't terrible in the Skins' 27-20 loss to Detroit, but a fourth quarter fumble hurt them badly. Speaking of turnovers, five losses of possession cost the Steelers a chance at taking down the Bears this week in an ugly 40-23 Pittsburgh loss. Eli Manning, however, was an absolute mess, throwing for just 119 yards and an interception. The Giants offensive line offered no help either, allowing seven sacks.

    The Bears are back: Jay Cutler was solid on the road and drove the team down the field when they needed to score. 87 yards rushing from Matt Forte and timely defensive stops ensured Chicago stayed undefeated in a 40-23 win over the Steelers.

    Jets click against Bills: Gang Green's offense was solid. Geno Smith threw for a career high 331 yards, Bilal Powell ran for 149 yards and Santonio Holmes added 154 yards receiving in a 27-20 win over Buffalo. While the Jets' 20 penalties added up to 168 yards, eight sacks will solve that type of sloppy play every time.

    DeMarco Murray runs over Rams: On 26 carries, the Cowboys running back dismantled the Rams defense for 175 yards in a 31-7 win. Tony Romo added three TDs, while the Dallas defense limited St. Louis to just 35 yards on the ground.

    Renaissance in Kansas City?: Andy Reid and Alex Smith just needed a change of scenery. After Reid was fired by the Eagles and the 49ers picked Colin Kaepernick over Smith this offseason, both coach and QB have found their respective games in KC. Through three games, the Chiefs are undefeated and Smith has 669 yards passing with four TDs and no interceptions.

    Trouble in Green Bay? Aaron Rodgers' numbers are sick, 1,057 yards passing with eight TDs and three interceptions, so why is Green Bay 1-2? Stiff competition against San Francisco in Week 1 is one thing, but no one expected Green Bay to have problems with the Bengals this week.

    Jake Locker keeps Titans above water: Locker threw for 299 yards and a TD in a poised 20-17 win over the Chargers. While those numbers don't scream greatness, the fact that Locker hasn't thrown an interception this year proves he's been a surprise in Tennessee.

    Pats still undefeated: If the Pats have a theme this season, it would be "win ugly." New England began their season with squeaked out wins against the Bills and Jets, but even in a 23-3 rout of Tampa Bay this week, the offense was anything but sexy. New England's defense stepped up, though, and didn't give up a touchdown.

    Jimmy Graham is a monster: Graham had nine catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-7 romp of the Arizona Cardinals. In just three games this season, Graham has 23 catches and four TDs for a whopping 358 yards. In his 2010 rookie season, Graham only had 356 yards recieving, in 15 games.

    Ravens defense shuts down Texans: Without Ray Rice and an ineffective Joe Flacco, the Ravens defense came up big for the second week in a row and limited the high-powered Texans offense to just nine points.

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