Week Three NFL Recap
In a memorable third week of NFL football, the Cleveland Browns got their first win in 19 games; the Detroit Lions upset a football powerhouse; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz made his return, and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees did what future Hall of Famers do.
The Browns stunned the New York Jets with a 21-17 victory in Thursday night primetime after falling just short of wins the past two weeks. It took only two and a half games for 2018 first-round pick Baker Mayfield to take his first NFL snap. Mayfield came in for Tyrod Taylor late in the second quarter due to injury and played out the rest of the game. He finished his debut, going 17/23 in completions and totaling 201 yards passing with a 94.9 quarterback rating.
Mayfield’s performance won the Browns their first game in 635 days. Breaking the drought has already earned the former Oklahoma Sooner the starting job next week against the Oakland Raiders. Only time will tell if Mayfield can continue to turn the Browns around, but things are looking promising for the organization.
“Now obviously once Baker got into the game at quarterback you just saw a different rhythm, which was good, good to see,” said Browns head coach Hue Jackson. Jackson, along with the city of Cleveland, ended their Thursday night happy that they might’ve finally found their long-awaited savior at quarterback.
The Lions pulled off their own primetime victory Sunday night against the New England Patriots 26-10. Determination was high for Detroit as it was their head coach Matt Patricia’s first game against his former team.
The Lions defense nearly shutout quarterback Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots offense for the entire first half, giving up only a field goal right before halftime. Corner back Darius Slay came in clutch with an interception in the fourth quarter to stop a comeback attempt.
On the Lions offense, quarterback Matthew Stafford continued to shake off his disastrous week one performance by passing for 262 yards with two touchdowns and only one interception. Like Mayfield a few nights before, rookie running back Kerryon Johnson broke a drought of his own by totaling 101 yards rushing, becoming the first Lions player to rush for 100 yards or more since Reggie Bush in 2013.
Despite the losing record, Lions fans should be happy with finally getting a running game that can beat the best.
Coming off of a Super Bowl loss in February, New England’s season is starting to take a nasty turn, and it now looks to climb out of its losing record next week against the 3-0 Miami Dolphins. If the Patriots don’t pull through next Sunday, the long-running dynasty may be in trouble as the team falls farther down the AFC East.
The Eagles just barely escaped their own divisional plummet with a 20-16 win against the Indianapolis Colts in quarterback Carson Wentz’s first game back after an ACL tear last season. While 255 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception isn’t the best we saw from passers this week, it was enough to edge Indianapolis. Wentz also proved his injury didn’t slow him down by showing mobility in the pocket and avoiding pressure.
Philly scraped by with a touchdown in the fourth to pull away with a win. The game wasn’t pretty, but the defending champions can keep their hopes of a repeat alive knowing their stud quarterback is good to go for the rest of the season.
In a game that will stay in the hearts of Saints fans for a long time, New Orleans finished a shootout with the Atlanta Falcons Sunday in a 43-37 overtime win. Along with leading the Saints to a 2-1 record, quarterback Drew Brees also made history, breaking the career pass completion record of 6,300 previously held by Brett Favre. The 39-year-old NOLA hero also brought the game into overtime with an impressive 7-yard rushing touchdown late in the fourth and dove into the end zone later on to ice the game.
Five total touchdowns and his name now at the top of the record book shows that Brees still has a lot left in him at the tail end of his time in the league. It seems he is eager for one more ring before finishing his Canton-worthy career. He and the Saints must now look to hold their winning record as they travel to MetLife Stadium next Sunday to play the New York Giants.
Francesco de Falco is a freshman majoring in journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.