Week 3 Recap: 30 Things to Ponder About the Weekend That Was
After some interesting weekend results, including shocking losses by San Francisco and Pittsburgh, it’s time to break the mold. Here are my 30 thoughts on this weekend’s action (or inaction)… and some stats to back them up.
The Referee Catastrophes (to put it lightly)
- The Green Bay Packers got absolutely ROBBED last night of a win. This league has lost ALL integrity after the game ending play. Dan Schulman put the play best: “Other than Tate pushing Shields to the ground and Jennings making the interception, the refs really nailed it.”
- Thank you, replacement refs, for affirming my suspicion that this is the new WWE.
- The Pats at Ravens game had 24 penalties. 14 of them on Baltimore. While it didn’t decide the game, it sure made a lot of people mad. On the other hand, there were 24 penalties last night too, and it sure did change the game.
- Ray Lewis, Lardarius Webb, Brandon Spikes and Bill Belichick were all potentially facing fines for comments (and actions) towards the refereeing that took place on Sunday. Belichick was almost a guarantee after grabbing a line official by the arm as he tried to exit the field after the game had ended (Probably for fear of being tarred and feathered). After last night, so many people have made comments about the refs, where will the fines stop if they start?
- It’s not just that the refs have made bad calls, but they’ve lost credibility on calls they make (even a routine holding call is being scrutinized by fans, media, and the like).
- The main issue between the league and the regular officials is a $3m/year pension divide. The longer this goes on, the less of a choice it seems the league will have to meet this demand.
- The Tennessee Titans got a free 12 yards in their overtime drive after a catch was ruled complete, and a 15-yard penalty was also called (the play started on the Titans 44 yard line). They ended up reviewing and overturning the catch. Instead of measuring the 15-yard penalty from the Titans 44, they measured it from the Lions 44, adding 12 yards to the penalty. Seriously? This is absolutely dumbfounding and inexcusable.
- I hate that this has become the focal point of the game we love, but this sort of tragic officiating is just impossible not to focus on.
- Ed Hochuli is doing pushups right now and has been since Monday Night’s call…
Teams in Trouble
10. The Detroit Lions have allowed 14 touchdown passes in their last five contests… with only one interception. They are also the only team this year without an interception.
11. New Orleans is giving up a league leading 1,432 total yards through three games (including 645 rushing yards) and a
whopping 34.0 PPG.
12. Tennessee, despite scoring 22.3 PPG, only has 117 rushing yards. Chris Johnson has been the bane of fantasy owners everywhere, an absolute no show.
13. Philadelphia has an unbelievable 12 turnovers through 3 games, four more than the next worst team. Michael Vick personally accounts for 7 of those turnovers.
14. The Patriots gave up 503 yards last night. Doesn’t look like they’ve improved much from last year…
15. The Jets lost the best cornerback in the league to a torn ACL in an overtime win against the Dolphins. While they got the W, they’ll never fill that void.
16. Pittsburgh, known for having a marvelous defense, is giving up 25 points per game. They gave up 34 to an Oakland team that had scored a combined 27 points against the Dolphins and Chargers in their first two weeks.
Teams on the Rise
17. Even with a seriously weakened secondary, the New York Giants are tied for second in interceptions (6). Only one behind Atlanta.
18. Arizona is tied for first in forced fumbles (5).
19. Atlanta has the most takeaways (11) with a league leading seven interceptions. To compliment this defensive prowess, the offense has taken care of the ball with only one interception and no fumbles.
20. Arizona has the 29th ranked passing attack, and 27th ranked rushing game. How are they 3-0?! I’m not sold… yet.
21. Seattle had two sacks coming in to Sunday’s game with the Packers. They sacked Rodgers 8 times in the first half last night.
22. 27 Teams have one or two wins. Only two teams are without a win (New Orleans and Cleveland), and only three teams are undefeated (Houston, Arizona, and Atlanta).
23. Out of the top 10 players in receiving touchdowns, 7 are tight ends.
24. Percy Harvin (WR, Minnesota Vikings) now leads the league in receptions, racking up 9 for 89 yards on Sunday’s win against the 49ers.
25. Despite popular belief, Eli Manning does not drive a Toyota.
26. Matt Ryan (QB, Atlanta Falcons) leads the league in QB Rating (114.0), TDs (8), and completion percentage (72.0). He has to be the leading MVP candidate at this point.
27. Christian Ponder (QB, Minnesota Vikings) has thrown a league leading 0 interceptions, while also completing 70.1% of his passes. He may not be winning the Vikings games, but he sure isn’t losing them.
28. Torrey Smith (WR, Baltimore Ravens), who lost his brother, Tevin Jones, early Sunday morning in a motorcycle accident, decided to play on Sunday night. He delivered with 6 receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns. The performance reminded me of Brett Favre’s MNF gem after the passing of his father. Inspiring stuff.
29. State Farm is really pushing these discount double-check commercials. Seriously, there is one every commercial break… at least make a new one.
30. Chris Clemons (DE, Seattle Seahawks), an undrafted 9th year player, sacked Rodgers 4 times last night in the first half.
It’s unfortunate that the officiating has marred everything about this weekend’s games, because there were exciting finishes. The fact is that things are not likely to change for Week 4, as the refs and the league broke off talks on reaching a deal in New York City. This was before last night’s meltdown, so hopefully Goodell gets down on his knees and kisses the ground Hochuli and Co. walk on. I’m not holding my breath though…