PIVOT WEEK — Week three, the reaction overdoses still are being made about the 32 NFL franchises. And have a week left before they traditionally start taking merit. But some bold prediction can start to be foreseen. For example, only about twelve percent of teams that start 0-2 make the playoffs and only five in NFL history have after going 0-3. (2) There is some momentum being built in the team’s season long reputations, creating the need to discuss what point are the teams looking at through consensus take-always or beliefs. Each game will be explained and their collective pivot point will be given that I’ve accosciated with them. With the pivot lies the over-reaction.
New England Patriots 27, Houston Texans 0
Just looking at the box score it would be easy to say that the Houston defense got embarrassed by a third string quarterback in Jacoby Brissett. But that’s why paper needs human influence; a.k.a. words. The Texans d wasn’t so much up against the Patriots overwhelming offense in the week three opener as much as they were up against their own sidelines lack luster offense. Brissett and the Patriots were dealt short fields to work with that benefits a pound-ground team like the Pats. By the fourth quarter the all-white color rush jerseys that the Texans defense were sporting looked more like an eleven part shredded surrender flag after having to try and prevent the aftermath’s of Brock Osweiler’s consistent three-and-out drives all night and two fumbles on kickoff returns. Bellichick and Brissett looked dynamic but something needs to be said that the Texans defense at least kept Houston in the game for three quarters which should at least keep a sight of optimism for the Houston-loyalist. The pivot point from here is a storyline for both of the TNF game’s contestants. For the Patriots the storyline pivot is; “How much do the Patriots really need Brady before he comes back in week five?” For the Texans the turn will be; “Why did we believe so much in what we saw of Osweiler at Denver?” Osweiler threw for 196 yards, going 24/41 passing with an interception.
Buffalo Bills 33, Arizona Cardinals 18
Pivots. Buffalo; “Don’t us the Rex Ryan chair fire extinguisher yet, but don’t throw away the box of matches either. KEEP THAT SEAT HOT!” Rexy may not have pulled his seat from the burner but he reduced heat to medium following the early Sunday win. Arizona; “Are we still all that good?” Arizona has lost twice now, to the Pats and Bills. Their only win came in a 40-7 blowout… of Tampa Bay. The pivot reflects off the schedule as the Cardinals once again have a losing record, Sunday’s damning loss to a reeling Buffalo might cause confidence issues.
Minnesota Vikings 22, Carolina Panthers 10
The Vikings 2016 theme stayed true for another week; AP and D. Unfortunately, the AP factor of their theme is no more due to a week two injury. So, the D stepped up in his absence, yielding Cam Newton and the Panthers to just ten points in a statement road win! The Vikes defense held three shutout quarters allowing even the Sam Bradford led offense enough time to comeback with 20 points to help construct the twelve point win. The Pivots. Minnesota; “How long can our defense hold water without a truly efficient offensive unit?” Carolina; “Home doesn’t feel like home when the tenants are unrest. Do the added distractions of Charlotte continue to effect us in our own stadium and is our struggle enough to turn a tide of peace in Charlotte?” (6)
Denver Broncos 29, Cincinnati Bengals 17
To the Bengals credit, though it’s been three weeks into the season the 2016 season they have had three very tough weeks to deal with, resulting in their 1-2 record. They have faced a fired up Jets team in week one to start the season that they squeaked by. Had a dogfight with AFC North rival Pittsburgh in week two and had to recharge and play host to another relentless defense in the Broncos. The Pivots from this AFC showdown resides to shake em’ off themes. Denver; “Got em’! Let’s just stay below radar and keep winning games.” Cincy; “We’re fine, we just need to get to the lighter side of our schedule… oh hey look, Miami! “
Green Bay Packers 34, Detroit Lions 27
Aaron Rodgers should just change his name to Frankie for how often he needs to tell cheese heads to R-E-L-A-X! (7) Rodgers only threw for 204 yards in the Green Bay 34-27 but they included four touchdown passes that proved essential in the Pack’s win over the NFC North foes. The pivots for these two teams require a step back and a broader perspective. Green Bay; “Stop crying wolf, the sheep’s fence lot more sturdy than we think.” Detroit; “The problem’s not Matt Stafford (385 yards and 3 touchdowns). So… what is the problem (Defense)?”
Baltimore Ravens 19, Jacksonville Jaguars 17
Almost as expected as ever in this match-up of two teams that just don’t consistently make regular season highlights. The Ravens just got by to claim another win, while Jacksonville just got beat and claimed another loss. The Ravens always seem to find ways to boringly win, while the Jags just keep finding ways to NOT win. The Pivots will be how the two teams move forward this season. Baltimore; “As long as we’re lamely winning under the radar, we’re good.” Jacksonville; “Let’s just be the Jags and give the people what they expect… Bottom dwellers.”
Miami Dolphins 30, Cleveland Browns 24
From an isolated entertainment stand-point two evenly matched teams is a great thing! So, if you were in South Florida for the game between Miami and the Browns you at least we’re entertained, but they were two evenly matched BAD NFL teams. Which was settled in a Dolphins win due to Jarvis Landry going off at receiver and capped with an OT touchdown run by Jay Ajayi sealing it. However in the broader perspective the two teams shared the same pivot spot and went opposite ways. Miami; “Hey, at least we aren’t as bad as the Browns.” Cleveland; “Yeah… We’re as bad as the Browns.”
Washington Redskins 29, New York Giants 27
Why is it that the NFC East can never give us a straight forward season. Just when you think the Redskins are going to be dead to the world they step up on defense and force late turnovers of Eli Manning, denying his 36th career game winning drive, and grabbing a divisional win to pivot back skyward. The Giants are walking a little less tall after dropping to 1-2 and will have identity issues looming in their rear-view from here. Washington; “Trust in Norman, not in Cousins.” New York Giants; “I guess those narrow wins say more about are overall success than we thought.
Oakland Raiders 17, Tennessee Titans 10
When you make QBs look average, you’ve had a good day in the NFL. And the Raiders defense needed that Sunday to change the gathered narrative of the Oakland score preservers. Oakland held Marcus Mariota to 215 yards passing and forced two interceptions, finally coming through on their preseason hype. The Titans will start questioning if they took the right path behind a smash mouth approach following Sunday’s one touchdown day. Tennessee: “ Isn’t getting a lead essential to grinding down clock behind a run game? Maybe we should have thought of that.” Oakland; “There’s the D. Now we can get to work.”
Seattle Seahawks 37, San Francisco 49ers 18
With the score at 31-3 you have to wonder why Russell Wilson was even playing, but he was and he was injured as Murphy’s Law worked against Washington’s Hawks. San Francisco’s gold is finally starting to look fake and bend after their season opening win as they fall to the expected below .500. Seattle; “Won a battle, jeopardized the war.” San Francisco; “Ha, yeah. We were just playing. Let’s just hope the baseball Giants make the post-season and keep people’s attention off of us.”
Indianapolis Colts 26, San Diego Chargers 22
If you needed any more proof that the Colts are a bad team, research their week three contest with the Chargers. Sure, the Colts won but it took a cough up by the Charger’s Hunter Henry to ultimately enable the Indy win with a San Diego final drive fumble. The Colts have more holes than a Whack-A-Mole board in their roster caused by injury. They need a lot of help they won’t get during the season, making it impossible to think positive about this year’s chances. San Diego: “Phil, keep feeding your octo-foundation of kids, sorry that’s all we can do to compensate you.” (3) Indianapolis; “Grigson (GM) or Pagano (HC)… Both… Again?… Neither? Let’s just take what we can get out of this season. Will ACTUALLY settle this in winter this year.”
Kansas City Chiefs 24, New York Jets 3
*As a GM to a QB* 1 Interception… Shame on you. Interception 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6… Shame on me’s! How bad must the Jets QB situation be if they don’t even have the back-up power to pull Ryan Fitzpatrick following his hexo-pic performance Sunday? As for the Chiefs there is still cause for concern in their three touchdown win over the weekend. To have six interceptions on defense and to only win by a three score margin? The Chiefs need more points from the offensive side if they want people to stop thinking of them as a non-threat for the AFC crown. The pivots taken by both of these teams are hinging on the offense after this dozer of a game Sunday that invoked as many zzzzzz’s from fans as INTs from the KC D. New York; “One year contract for Fitzy? Alright, livable.” Kansas City; “The D was so good it even covered up our mediocre O this week.”
Los Angeles Rams 37, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32
Jeff Fisher is above 50-50 after week three of the 2016 season, let’s just over react for the hell of it and assume he’ll do better than that mark this year. It’s hard to take away anything from either team in this week three match-up. Do we try and validate the Bucs by saying the Rams are better than we thought? Do we credit LA for beating a Tampa team that a lot of people thought would be a vastly improved franchise less than a month ago? Do both teams suck and it was simply a matter of someone had to win or are both teams good and it was just a matter of somebody had to win, or are both teams pretty good and it was was just a matter of somebody had to lose? The pivots prove the real difference here with how the teams will walk from the enLIGHTENing Sunday contest away mentally. Tampa Bay; “Damn, we can’t even beat the Rams at home?” Los Angeles; “Damn. We just beat the Buccaneers on the road!”
Philadelphia Eagles 34, Pittsburgh Steelers 3
This was a perfect storm type product of media belief from both teams that helped concoct the upset of week three and probably of the first quarter overall of the season. The Steelers just managed a huge win over their rivals the Bengals in week two, while the Eagles flew in under the scrutiny that they hadn’t played anyone all season. The Eagles had a major score to settle with doubters and what better way to do that then to deliver a sound upset to a team who probably came in believing like the rest of us; that the Eagles were destined for a loss. Instead, we leave week three with an undefeated Philadelphia team that’s starting to flaunt their feathers more proudly while the Steelers walk away knowing they took a week off and now have a dent in their metal to show for it. The pivots — Philadelphia; “Finally being taken seriously, but let’s not act like we know.” Pittsburgh: “Alright, we abandoned a week and it showed. three weeks till the Patriots file into the Burg, let’s having matching overall records when they leave. (5-1)
Dallas Cowboys 31, Chicago Bears 17
Sunday Night Football needs to stop looking at the names on the front of jerseys when they schedule games and consider the names on the back a little more. Luck fully at least D-town held up their end of the load, while the Brian Hoyer led Bears just looked like a flat team that is just looking to cash NFL pay checks. Sunday Night’s showcase featured a first half where Chi-town scored three points to the Cowboys 24 and had those looking to work in the morning hitting the off button on their tvs early. Chicago: “Go Cubs Go!” Dallas; “Well… At least we can handle QBs like Hoyer.”
Atlanta Falcons 45, New Orleans Saints 32
Pivot week’s finale ended in the Big Easy where the Saints hosted NFC South foe the Falcons and played a pretty good host as well. It was a night MNF looked back on how football helped the city of New Orleans find it’s identity again after the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina. All the honoring was done away from football as the Saints defense allowed the dirty birds to take the gridiron at will, especially through the ground game! Devonta Freeman racked up 152 yards and set up Tevin Coleman with three very vulture-esque (4) short yardage touchdowns. The Saints defensive problems lingering from a year ago went unsolved into 2016 and the Saints are destined to face more issues on that side of the ball as the city of New Orleans is destined to eventually face the fact that they’re a town below sea level in a hurricane heavy location. Luckily for the “Aints” they have a future to correct it, it just won’t be till January. Atlanta; “Freeman or Coleman?… Screw it, we’re winning! Stick with both.” New Orleans; “Maybe we should rebuild. Go after J. Peppers… Jabril Peppers… Next spring… In the draft. Unlike our city, this 2016-7 ship ‘Aints’ worth restoring.” (5)