Updated:Sep 27, 2021 10:45 pm
NFL Week 3 was one thrilling play after another. Two plays go directly into the history books, while 4 games were decided by a last-second field, with 1 going into overtime. Some of the stories that developed in Week 1 and Week 2 are finally beginning to make sense, while other headlines like the Chiefs make us question everything we thought we knew. Injuries to key players continue to pile up, with Christian McCaffrey headlining the bunch.
Close games were hard to come by as the balance has begun to shift. Savy veterans proved they are back as the Bills, Chargers, Rams, and Packers all had statement wins. Backup running backs dominated their action. And for at least two moments we witnessed the remarkable Here is your NFL Week 3 action.
Week 3 Reactions on J-MiL4Real Podcast
Baltimore Ravens at Detroit LionsEmbed from Getty Images
This game wasn’t supposed to be close. The Ravens were going to go into Detroit, show the Lions’ who’s boss, and leave with an uneventful win. Something began to feel different right from the start, however, as the barely recognizable names on the Lions D both swarmed and restricted the Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense. A 0-0 first quarter gave Detroit the confidence boost they needed.
This feeling would not even last until halftime, however, as the Ravens’ offense began to click in the 2nd. A field goal off of a short field and a score from Jackson to Devin Duvernay opened the door for Baltimore to seize the original narrative. Heck, if it weren’t for a few dropped passes from Brown, this score could have been much worse.
The Ravens came out In the second half and laid even further claim to the win by adding a field goal to their lead. But then, the Lions bit back and shattered their first kneecap. A 7 minute, 11 play, 75-yard drive was satisfied when Deandre Swift punched it in from two yards out of the endzone. Despite a quarter-plus of dominance, the Ravens found their lead cut to less than a touchdown and extra point.
And they had something to say about it. Baltimore drove the field right into the red zone, preparing to cement their lead. But then, Detroits’ bend but don’t defense kicked in again. Efficient pass rush and strong team tackling by Romeo Okwara and company forced the Ravens to settle for a field goal.
Baltimore did not want to send the momentum back to Detroit after that stand and immediately hit them with a negative play at the start of their next drive. This would be short-lived, however,` as a huge pass-interference penalty gave Lions a short field to work with.
The Lions took advantage of this opportunity. Detroit ground 7 and a half minutes off the clock over the course of 12 plays, traveling 47 yards to secure a Jamal Williams touchdown run, cutting the lead to two points. The Lions were not going to go away quietly.
This became even more apparent on the next series as Amani Oruwariye intercepted Lamar. Detroit was now the one in the driver’s seat. And they drove it nearly to perfection. Taking 4 minutes and 21 seconds off of the clock, the Lions moved 62 yards over 9 plays and then kicked what should have been the game-winning field goal, The only thing they didn’t execute perfectly was they gave Jackson a little over a minute to make a comeback.
But the Lions were ready. Sacks from Okwara and Chris Harris soon found the Ravens in a 4th and 19 scenario, and then the game got wacky. A monster, 36-yard play from Jackson to Sammy Watkins both overcame the deficit and put them on the cusp of Justin Tucker’s field goal range. A spike and incomplete pass later and it looked like the Ravens would have to attempt a 66-yard field goal.
Here’s where the game gets murky, however, being that the attempt should never have been a 66-yarder. On the Ravens’ final incomplete pass of the game, they CLEARLY should have been called for a delay of game. This would have made the field goal attempt impossible and would have resulted in a Hail Mary or a wacky lateral play determining the game. This penalty was never called, however, so I guess the point is moot.
This angle of @JTuck9's record-breaking kick is incredible. #RavensFlock pic.twitter.com/H1udG62DFi— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
Therefore, Justin Tucker lined up for a would-be 66-yard, NFL-record, game-winning field goal as time expires. The kick was up, had the accuracy, and barely had the distance, as it bounced off of the bottom upright and spun its way through. Tucker hits the history books yet again!
The Baltimore Ravens eeked out a victory they didn’t deserve over the Detroit Lions, 19-17
Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City ChiefsEmbed from Getty Images
Going into this game both the Chargers and the Chiefs realized the importance of a win in this spot, or at least they should have. Forget the Raiders and Broncos for a moment, both LA and KC should have realized the importance of each other when it comes to the landscape of the AFC West. The Chargers came out and played like they knew this, the Chiefs didn’t.
The Chargers D came ready to play. Interception, Fumble, Fumble were the ways that the Chiefs’ opening drives ended. Rookie Asante Samuel Jr recorded his second interception of the season on KC’s first drive. Meanwhile, Trevaughn Campbell forced both fumbles with Michael Davis recovering them. Drue Tranquill, Kyzir White, and Joey Bosa also continued their devastation: applying pressure on Mahomes all afternoon.
Before we knew it, the Chargers heading into the half having limited the Chiefs to a measly 3 points. During this stretch, the LA’s offense was also active, as Justin Herbert connected with both Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler for touchdowns. It would have been nice if they could have tacked on some more points, but early inefficiency led to squandering some of their good field position. After all, we knew KC couldn’t be held down forever.
The Chiefs made certain to reset the tone in the second half. They got the ball to start it and drove down the field over the course of the next almost 6 minutes, scoring on a Patrick Mahomes pass to Fortson. The comeback was brewing.
A quick 3 and out from the Bolts led to another long scoring drive from the Chiefs. This time they went 10 plays over 4 minutes and capped it off with a Mahomes TD to Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The Chiefs finally had their first lead and were set to cruise from here. On a side note, CEH finally showed off what he was capable of this season, scoring that TD and rushing for 100 yards on the ground.
The Chargers refused to go down without a fight, however. It’s true, the Cheifs reset the pace, but the Bolts knew that they could also score. 11 plays and 5 minutes later the Chargers proved just that. They drove 75 yards and satisfied the drive with a 28-yard touchdown from Herbert to Williams, retaking the lead.
Kansas City noted the response of their foe and answered the call yet again. This time they took 7 minutes off of the over 12 plays, finishing the drive off with an 8-yard TD pass to Mecole Hardman. The lead was theirs yet again.
It was now the Chargers’ turn. This one would be a little bit different though. The Bolts did travel 75 yards over 4 and a half minutes, but they were not able to punch it into the end zone. An illegal shift and a strong defensive effort from Reed, Danna, and the Chiefs’ D, limited them to just a field goal on this drive. The score was tied, and the ball was headed back to Mahomes and company with just a little over 2 minutes left. This is not the way they wanted the game to go down.
But then, the Chargers’ D reminded everyone of what they did in the first half. Three plays into the drive, Bosa applied some great pressure to Mahomes causing him to overthrow an open Travis Kelce on third down. The thing that was even more amazing about this play was that Alohi Gilman was able to make a highlight-reel, diving interception on the play.
Chargers ball with 1:42 to go… #BoltUp— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
📺: #LACvsKC on CBS
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/uVRXU26tId
The Chargers took over at mid-field and the goal was simple. They had a minute and a half to get into field goal range, take the clock down to 1 second, and kick the field goal. Everyone knows that’s the way this game was supposed to end. Everyone except coach Brandon Staley, Herbert, and Mike Williams. Touchdown! Missed an extra point… Mahomes gets the ball back down by 6 with 30 seconds left. How could the Chargers have screwed this up worse?
Well, for one, they could have let this age-old narrative play out completely. Instead, Bosa, Campbell, and the rest of the Chargers’ D finished off what they started. While pressuring Mahomes, they forced 3 incomplete passes to run out the clock, ending the game.
The Los Angeles Chargers hold off the Kansas City Chiefs 30-24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Los Anglese RamsEmbed from Getty Images
In some ways this game was much closer than the final score indicated, in others, it wasn’t even that close. The importance of featuring this game was not about its competitiveness, but rather, the quality of play and big-picture importance. This matchup could very well have been for the 1st seed overall in the NFC playoffs as a Super Bowl favorite defeated the defending Super Bowl champions.
The game was action-packed and thrilling for a while. Defenses dominated the 1st quarter as they both shut out the opponent’s high-powered offenses. Pressure from Suh, Vea, Donald, and Floyd very much dictated an opening period that fans of defense #IDPawareness enjoyed.
The 2nd quarter then brought the complete opposite. Whether by long drive or quick strike the teams began to trade scores. Matthew Stafford started off the scoring with a touchdown to Tyler Higbee. Then, Chris Godwin ran around the edge for the Bucs. Cooper Kupp, who has been absolutely brilliant through 3 weeks, was next to score, on his first of 2 TDs from Stafford.
D-JAX. 75 YARDS. #RamsHouse— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
📺: #TBvsLAR on FOX
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/NbBt6XygOI
This score took it down to less than a minute before the half. Time for some magic from Brady. 5 quick plays, spanning 48 yards did not get them into the end zone but did set up a field goal attempt to cut the lead. However, it turned out to be no good. The Rams entered the half up by a touchdown and getting the ball to start the second half.
After halftime, the exchange picked up where the two teams stopped. The Rams went up by two scores, the Bucs answered the call. The, LA ran it up again. During this stretch, Stafford tacked on another 2 TDs: the second to Kupp and Desean Jackson. Brady also ran in a touchdown.
Up to this point, many believed we still had a game. The Bucs would answer back yet again, keeping the pressure to perform perfectly on the Rams. Little did we know, the LA D was ready to make a statement. A huge sack from Kenny Young and an amazing stuff from Donald led to a Tampa punt. The Rams went on to go up by 3 scores on the next series and never relinquished their advantage.
On a fun side note, Aaron Donald got his first career sack versus Tom Brady. In the loss, Brady still managed to throw for 445 yards, despite no passing touchdowns.
The Los Angeles Rams beat up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 34-24
Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas RaidersEmbed from Getty Images
This game had everything! Big comebacks in both directions, one of them being in the 4th quarter. Overtime. Clutch, big plays, and even a Safety.
The scoring began on the Raiders’ second drive of the afternoon. They traveled 64 yards over a little over 4 minutes and were about to go in for the score. Then, Elandon Roberts intercepted a Derek Carr pass and returned it the length of the field for a touchdown.
On their next series, the Raiders were feeling the pressure to answer back, so they went for it on 4th and 1, in their own territory. A big stop by Sieler and the Dolphins D gave the Fins a great field position on which they capitalized. Four plays later and Malcolm Brown ran it in for a TD. The Dolphins led 14-0.
The next Vegas series also stalled, this time at midfield. Miami had the momentum and was about to get the ball back. This time, the Dolphins would need to do it from their own 1-yard line. This is thanks to a brilliant punt by Cole, great coverage from the Raiders special teams, and a thug play from Jones.
Quick tangent from me. I thoroughly and absolutely enjoy it when justice is truly served in an NFL game. In my opinion, Jones could have been ejected for what he did, instead, his team was only moved from their own 2 yard-line to their own 1. Hardly seems like the punishment fit the crime. But on the very next play, Casey Heyward came in and blew up Waddle in the end zone, scoring a Safety for Vegas. This score was the start of the Raiders’ comeback. Karma bit back hard and probably cost the Dolphins the game as a result of a moronic play from Jones. End rant.
The Raiders capitalized on the drive after the Safety with a field goal and tacked on an Alec Ingold TD pass from Carr the series after. A missed field goal from Miami sent them into halftime with a 2 point lead.
Las Vegas came out in the third quarter and blitzed the Dolphins. Peyton Barber began to run wild, collecting one of the 2 Raider TDs. Carr threw his 2nd score to Hunter Renfrow for the other. Maxx Crosby and the defense established themselves as a force and everything was going the Raiders’ way.
Then, the fourth quarter began. Sanders hit a field goal to trim the Raider lead back to one score and the defenses took over the game. A pair of 3 and outs from the Raiders and a turnover on downs from the Dolphins took us to 3 and a half minutes left with Vegas holding onto an 8 point lead. Miami took over the football.
The drive that proceeded was a methodical 13-play, 61-yard drive that left 2 seconds on the clock. Big plays from Jacoby Brissett to Mike Gesicki and Devante Packer helped the Fins down the field. However, no play was bigger than a 26-yard PI call on S Trevon Mullen. This gave the Fins 1st and goal at the 1.
The Raiders’ defense clamped down and turned that into a 4th and goal at the 2, but couldn’t keep Brissett out on the final play. The 2PC was completed from Brissett to Fuller and the game was headed to overtime.
In the overtime, both teams drove the field on their opening drives and put a field goal on the board. The Raiders received the ball heading into sudden death.
Over the shoulder beauty. #RaiderNation— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
📺: #MIAvsLV on CBS
📱: NFL app pic.twitter.com/78A1jvWPm6
A huge pass from Carr to Jones and a few big runs from Barber put the Raiders down to the Miami 11. At this point, they took the clock down to its final second, called a timeout, and kicked the game-winning field goal.
The Las Vegas Raiders fought hard for a 31-28 overtime victory over the Miami Dolphins.
NFL Week 3 SNF: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ersEmbed from Getty Images
The Packers came out ready to play and looked like they were going to blow out the 49ers as they took a quick 10-0 lead. The Pack controlled the clock as their D shut down the Niner offense completely until shortly before halftime. They held onto the football for just under 20 minutes and limited their offense to just 74 yards by the time there was a minute left in the half.
San Fran needed something big to happen in order to go into halftime not completely defeat. They got that miracle play with a minute left before the half, as Green Bay kicked off after taking a 17-0 lead. Trenton Cannon took the kickoff and returned it 68 yards, setting the Niners up with a short field. The following 8 plays weren’t pretty, but they resulted in a Trey Lance touchdown run right before halftime.
The Packer first-half touchdowns were an Aaron Rodgers to Devante Adams hookup and another TD run for Aaron Jones. Rodgers to Adams was unstoppable all night, as the two connected 12 times for 132 yards and that score.
Halftime was now over and the 49ers were set to receive the ball, this drive would determine what type of game this would be. Fortunately for football fans watching the game, San Fran put the first half behind them and implemented 49er football. They went on a 13-play, 83-yard drive, grinding 7 minutes and 18 seconds off of the clock. They satisfied the drive with a touchdown three from Jimmy G to Brandon Aiyuk.
The Packers wanted nothing to do with the recent event that transpired. After the two teams traded 3 and outs, they decided to re-establish themselves. Six minutes and 62 yards later, Rodgers threw his second TD, this one to Valdes-Scantling.
San Francisco saw that they were placed in yet another now-or-never moment and answered the call. Over the next 5 and a half minutes, they drove 44 yards, finishing off the drive with a Trey Sermon TD run. They re-seized the momentum for their D which forced the Pack to a quick 3 and out.
Things were going the Niners’ way as they just needed to sustain another drive to claim their first lead, but Green Bay had other thoughts. An errant snap from San Fran led to a quick fumble recovery for Devondre Campbell, setting the Pack up with amazing field position. Fortunately, the 49ers’ D limited the damage and held Green Bay to a field goal.
With 2 minutes and 40 seconds left in the game, down by 6, the Niners had a final chance to steal the victory. And that they did! Sort of… San Francisco went on an 8-play, 75-yard scoring drive with Jimmy G hooking up with the full-back Kyle Juszczyk for a 28-27 lead. The problem was that they left 37 seconds on the clock for Rodgers to work his magic.
Rodgers not done yet. #GoPackGo— NFL (@NFL) September 27, 2021
📺: #GBvsSF on NBC
📱: https://t.co/KgHDqDkg0d pic.twitter.com/zl8KXCTham
And that he did. A couple of huge strikes to Adams and quick spikes from Rodgers put the Packers into Mason Crosby’s field goal range. One kick of 51 yards later and the Packers retake the lead and secure the win.
The Green Bay Packers comeback on the San Francisco 49ers, 30-38
NFL Week 3 MNF: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas CowboysEmbed from Getty Images
Dak is back in Dallas for the first time since his brutal injury, and Texas Stadium was rocking. And the Cowboys had no problems responding to the energy. They put together a thrilling victory right from the first drive, all the way to the final kneel. The Boys made sure the Eagles were not in the game for long, as Dak put up a highlight reel worthy of a primetime return.
.@Dak had himself a night!— NFL (@NFL) September 28, 2021
💪 238 Yards
🙌 3 TDs pic.twitter.com/OeUQYhRmxz
It began with some nice running from Ezekiel Elliot and a huge pass from Dak to CeeDee Lamb. The drive was capped off with a Zeke TD and the Cowboys were well on their way. Elliot had himself a strong outing, piling up 116 all-purpose yards and scoring 2 touchdowns. His counterpart, Tony Pollard, provided a good “number 2 punch” as he collected 65 yards and kept Zeke fresh.
Dak to Dalton Schultz was the best pairing of the night, as the two of them hooked up 6 times for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns. Prescott himself completed 21 of 26 passes for 238 yards and 3 touchdowns. His final TD was thrown to Cedrick Wilson who was filling in for the injured Gallop. Dak showed true pose the whole night, effortlessly leading Dallas to victory.
As great as the Cowboy’s offense was, their defense was equally spectacular. Dallas really blew this game wide open when Trevon Diggs returned an interception from a touchdown halfway through the third quarter. This put Dallas up 27-7, making most of the rest of the game garbage time. Anthony Brown also had a key interception for the Boys to end the Eagles’ first drive of the game.
Trevon Diggs PICK-6! #DallasCowboys— NFL (@NFL) September 28, 2021
📺: #PHIvsDAL on ESPN
📱: https://t.co/sXVKWk2eYl pic.twitter.com/TShinhyUTC
Outside of two long Eagles drives that took far too much time and came well after the game was decided, the Cowboys held Philly to just 177 yards on the game. Opportunistic turnovers and negative plays ended most of the Eagles’ offense. Hurts and the rushing attack that showed off earlier this season were held completely in check by strong team defense and great individual effort from Jaylon Smith. Osa Odighizuwa and Micah Parsons were in the Philly backfield all night, harassing Hurts, and collecting 2 sacks and tackles for loss.
The Dallas Cowboys bombarded the Philadelphia Eagles, 41-21
In Other Action
Tennessee Titans 25, Indianapolis Colts 16Embed from Getty Images
Derrick Henry ran for 113 yards to increase his league-leading total to 343, tossing around Leonard and the Colts defense all day. After a pair of early interceptions, Ryan Tannehill finally got back on track, throwing for 3 touchdown passes. The Titans never relinquished the lead, controlling the clock, and dictating the pace of the game throughout.
Atlanta Falcons 17, New York Giants 14Embed from Getty Images
In this battle of bottom dwellers, both offenses struggled to really get anything going. Both Foye Oluokun and Deion Jones were all over the field, limiting the Giants’ offense and combining for 27 tackles, 2 of them for a loss. Dante Fowler Jr added a sack and a turnover.
In defeat, Saquon Barkley returned a little more to form, scoring his first TD and compiling 94 yards of total offense.
Younghoe Koo hit the game-winning field goal as time expired.
Cincinnati Bengals 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 10Embed from Getty Images
Logan Wilson intercepted 2 passes, setting up two Bengal scores. The Cincy D harassed Big Ben and the offense all day, recording 4 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble.
On the offense, Joe Burrow connected with Ja’Marr Chase for 2 touchdowns and Tyler Boyd for another. Joe Mixon ran for 90 yards on the ground. Burrow’s efficiency was much better this week as the Bengals’ offense only turned the ball over once.
Cleveland Browns 26, Chicago Bears 6Embed from Getty Images
Myles Garrett had 4.5 of the Browns’ 9 sacks as they embarrassed Justin Fields in his rookie debut. After the yardage total of the sacks was subtracted from the passing yards, the Bears had a net of 1 passing yard. Cleveland also added 8 tackles for loss, en route to limiting the Bears offense to 47 total yards.
The Browns’ rushing attack was as strong as ever, tallying 215 yards. Kareem Hunt piled up 155 yards in total offense. OBJ had 5 receptions fo 77 yards in his return.
New Orleans Saints 28, New England Patriots 13Embed from Getty Images
The Saints’ defense gave Mac Jones his first 3 interceptions of his career, including a pick 6 by Malcolm Jenkins to lead off the second half and give the Saints the lead for good. Lattimore and Williams recorded the other interceptions. The Saints’ D also recorded 2 sacks, 6 tackles for loss, and limited the Pats to 300 yards.
The Pats D was also impressive, limiting the Saints to under 260 total yards. Jameis Winston had yet another strange yet tragic passing yards total, throwing for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns, including an incredibly ill-advised one to Callaway. The Saints remain an anomaly.
Arizona Cardinals 31, Jacksonville Jaguars 19Embed from Getty Images
The Jaguars had a record-setting highlight on an incredibly surreal play, as Jamal Agnew return a 68-yard missed field 109-yards for a touchdown right before halftime. This gave the Jaguars their first lead of the season.
Someone check on Gus Johnson 🗣 pic.twitter.com/fQu8BSi7pB— NFL (@NFL) September 26, 2021
The rest was all Cardinals. Kyler Murray completed 28 of 34 passes for 316 yards despite not throwing a score. Murray did rush for a TD and James Conner punched in two of his own on the ground.
Byron Murphy Jr intercepted 2 passes, returning one for the touchdown which put the game out of reach. All total, the Card’s D generated 4 turnovers, 2 sacks, and 5 tackles for loss.
Buffalo Bills 43, Washington Football Team 21Embed from Getty Images
This was the Josh Allen show. His efficiency was much improved as he completed 32 of 43 passes for 358 yards and 4 passing touchdowns. He added 9 yards and a score on the ground, as he and the Bills offense took it to this “elite” Washington D from the start.
It was Emmanuel Sanders coming out party as a member of the Bills, hauling in 2 of Allen’s touchdowns. Cole Beasley led all targets with 11 receptions for 98 yards.
In defeat, Antonio Gibson had a brilliant 74-yard catch-and-run.
Denver Broncos 26, New York Jets 0Embed from Getty Images
The Broncos’ defense limited the Jets to just 162 yards of total offense. Alexander Johnson led the charge, recording 2 sacks and 2 tackles for loss. All total, the Broncos’ D piled up 5 sacks and 6 tackles for loss, in addition to interceptions from Simmons and Sterns.
On the offense, Melvin Gordon had 82 total yards and a score, and Javonte Williams had 62 total yards and a score, as the RB tandem continues to excel. Bridgewater was efficient yet again completing 19 of 25 passes for 235 yards.
Minnesota Vikings 30, Seattle Seahawks 17Embed from Getty Images
Alexander Mattison ran wild, totaling 171 yards of offense. Meanwhile, Justin Jefferson added 9 receptions for 118 and a score to lead the Vikings receivers. Kirk Cousins had yet another strong outing, completing 30 fo 38 for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns, as the Vikings offense could not be slowed down all game.
They controlled the clock for 36 minutes, as Seattle got beat bad in time-of-possession for a second straight week. The Viking D clamped down hard in the second half, only allowing 81 yards of offense to the Hawks. They also recorded 2 sacks and 3 tackles for loss.
Week 3 Highlights
Every touchdown from every game
Every touchdown from NFL RedZone in Week 3! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/oVHBWuMpQO— NFL (@NFL) September 27, 2021
Best Rookie Plays of Week 3
The best rookie plays of Week 3! (by @bose) pic.twitter.com/TUDufS8I1h— NFL (@NFL) September 28, 2021
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