The third week of the 2018 NFL season is in the books, full of both exciting games and controversy. There were many upsets this week, including the Buffalo Bills thrashing the Minnesota Vikings 27-6, and the Tennessee Titans gutting out the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 9-6. What is clear is that the NFL needs to ease up on its "roughing the passer" rules.
There were many penalties called on defenders who made clean hits on quarterbacks, leading to unnecessary extensions of offensive drives. The NFL is going too far to try to protect quarterbacks and they need to clear up what is and is not "roughing the passer." With that said, let's dig into some of the most notable games of the week.
New York Jets 17, Cleveland Browns 21
In Cleveland's first victory since December 24, 2016, the Browns were spearheaded by a rookie quarterback and 2018 first overall pick Baker Mayfield, after starting QB Tyrod Taylor became injured. The Jets blew a 14-point lead as Mayfield introduced himself to the NFL realm with a memorable performance to lead his team to victory. On the other hand, Sam Darnold made a few rookie mistakes that held the Jets back and contributed to their loss.
New Orleans Saints 43, Atlanta Falcons 37 OT
An instant classic in one of the fiercest rivalries in all of football, this was a pure offensive shootout, with both defenses struggling immensely to contain the opposing offense. A game that featured nine lead changes went to overtime and ended after New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees dove over the goal line with the ball for a game-winning touchdown. Brees also broke the all-time NFL record for pass completions, surpassing Brett Favre's 6,300.
Indianapolis Colts 16, Philadelphia Eagles 20
Carson Wentz returned to the field for the first time since Week 14 of 2017 and gifted the Eagles with a hard-fought victory at home. This was a defensive struggle that came down to the wire. A last-second Indianapolis Hail Mary fell incomplete, sealing the win for Philadelphia. The Colts must not be 100% confident in Andrew Luck at the moment, as it was backup Jacoby Brissett who threw the pass.
New England Patriots 10, Detroit Lions 26
Detroit made a statement with a dominating Sunday night win over New England at home. The Patriots' defensive woes continued to haunt them as Matthew Stafford picked them apart. They also gave up over 100 yards rushing, marking this the first game since 2013 where the Lions have had a 100-yard rusher. Bearing this honor for Detroit was rookie running back Kerryon Johnson. Tom Brady could not save New England, as the 41-year-old struggled as well.
Pittsburgh Steelers 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27
On Monday Night Football, the Steelers upset the high-flying Buccaneers, inching them out at the last second after nearly squandering a 20-point lead. Tampa Bay QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three interceptions along with his three touchdowns, while Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger threw three TDs of his own to boost the Steelers to victory.