Week 3 of the NFL season brought crazy finishes and a stunner that shook up the top of the rankings while other teams took care of business against lower competition to maintain their positions.
1. Los Angeles Rams 3-0
Previous Week: 4
The Rams proved that not only can they hang with the defending champions, they can beat them rather convincingly. They held a 14-7 lead at the half, and Sean McVay is now 38-0 when the Rams are up at halftime. Matthew Stafford threw for 4 TDs including a 75-yard bomb to DeSean Jackson. Stafford actually could have hit Jackson two other times for long touchdowns as the receiver was open but the throws were off target.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2-1
Previous Week: 1
The Bucs miscues finally caught up to them as they lost their first game since Week 12 of last season. Tom Brady threw for 432 yards and a touchdown on 41-55, but was sacked three times. Tampa Bay’s defense struggled to stop the Rams vertical passing attack. Finally, they committed seven penalties, bringing their total to 27 on the season which is the second most in the league. One positive however is this was the first game this season Tampa did not turn the ball over.
3. Baltimore Ravens 2-1
Previous Week: 2
The Ravens narrowly escaped an upset in Detroit thanks to Justin Tucker’s record setting 66-yard field goal as time expired. Baltimore’s offense struggled to sustain drives as they were 1-10 on third down despite averaging close to seven yards per play. Lamar Jackson was sacked four times and threw an interception. The Ravens QB has now been sacked eight times through three games, placing him in a six way tie for fifth most in football.
4. Los Angeles Chargers 2-1
Previous Week: Unranked
Justin Herbert staked his claim to be among the NFL’s best quarterbacks with a four touchdown performance on the road against a tough divisional opponent. Herbert is now fourth in the NFL in yards and tied for fifth in touchdowns through three games. The Chargers defense meanwhile forced four turnovers and held Patrick Mahomes to just 260 yards passing.
5. Cleveland Browns 2-1
Previous Week: 6
The Browns absolutely manhandled the Bears, limiting Chicago to just 47 total yards of offense and 1 net passing yard. Cleveland sacked Justin Fields nine times in his first NFL start, including 4.5 sacks from Myles Garrett. The Bears had just six first downs on 11 drives and were 1-11 on third down. The Cleveland offense rushed for 215 yards and a touchdown with both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt totaling over 80 yards.
6. Kansas City Chiefs 2-1
Previous Week: 3
The Chiefs suffered a stunning upset at home to the Chargers fueled by four K.C. turnovers and eight penalties. L.A. scored 21 points off of those turnovers, including the game winning touchdown with 36 seconds left in the game. Patrick Mahomes was picked off twice including the aforementioned turnover that led to the Chargers win. This was the first time the Chiefs have lost back-to-back games in September since 2015.
7. Buffalo Bills 2-1
Previous Week: 8
The Bills easily dispatched Washington, scoring almost at will on the way to a 41-21 final. Josh Allen threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns with Emmanuel Sanders hauling in two scores. Buffalo sprinted out to a 21-0 lead by early in the second quarter and never looked back. On defense, the Bills forced three turnovers including two Taylor Heinicke interceptions.
8. Arizona Cardinals 3-0
Previous Week: 10
The Cardinals continued their surprisingly hot start by taking care of the Jaguars on the road. Arizona forced four turnovers with Byron Murphy leading the way with two interceptions including a pick six. Offensively, the Cardinals were rather unimpressive despite rushing for three touchdowns. Kyler Murray scored on the ground but was intercepted in the air while James Connor scored twice but rushed for just 43 yards on 11 carries.
9. Seattle Seahawks
Previous Week: 5
The Seahawks blew another lead, this time surrendering 23 unanswered points after taking a 17-7 lead early in the second quarter. Their defense couldn’t stop the Vikings offense, surrendering a total of 453 yards. Kirk Cousins threw for three touchdowns and 323 yards on 30-38 passing. On the ground, Alexander Matthison gashed Seattle in the absence of Dalvin Cook to the tune of 112 yards on 26 carries.
10. Las Vegas Raiders
Previous Week: Honorable Mention
Daniel Carlson’s game winning field goal in overtime sent the Raiders to their best start since 2002. Derek Carr threw for 386 yards with two touchdowns and an interception on 26-43 passing and had a huge 34-yard completion that put the raiders on the precipice of field goal range in overtime. Carr now leads the NFL in passing yards with 1,203 through three games.