It was a weird week in the NFL. The Vikings got blown out by the Bills, yes. But the week started with the Browns getting their first win in almost two years. The Jaguars, fresh off a win over the Patriots, lost to the Titans, despite the fact that Marcus Mariota was nowhere near 100 percent and didn’t even start the game. The Patriots lost to the Lions and looked awful. Then on Monday night, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for over 400 yards...in a loss.
Oh, and the Browns have a better record than the Patriots.
So maybe the Vikings just got caught in a storm of Week 3 NFL-weirdness. That’s a better explanation for the game on Sunday than anything else I’ve seen, to be honest. Anyways, let’s look around the league.
In the North...
Matt Patricia got his first win as Lions head coach with the aforementioned victory over the Patriots. Again, people are trying to crank up the panic meter in Foxborough, but the Patriots have started seasons like this before and still won the Super Bowl. I’m not sure what to make of this win for the Lions, though. They started the season with a horrible loss and another pretty bad one, so this is obviously encouraging progress. It remains to be seen if they’ll be able to compete in this division.
The Bears were absolutely gifted a game by Sam Bradford and the Cardinals, who blew a 14-point lead at home. Don’t look now, but Chicago actually leads the NFC North at 2-1, with the Vikings and Packers a half game back at 1-1-1. They have some issues to iron out, and I’m still iffy on Mitch Trubisky. But they’re at the top for now.
Hey, at least the Packers lost! All anyone wants to talk about from this game is the roughing the passer penalty on Clay Matthews, who’s now been flagged for that in every game this season, including a huge one against the Vikings last week. But the Packers look like they’re in trouble, especially considering the state of Aaron Rodgers’ knee. They take on the Bills next week, which will be interesting.
NFC contender watch
For at least this week, this section is gonna have to start with the Rams. They looked dominant once again, this time in an impressive win over the Chargers in the battle for LA. They’ve looked invincible over three weeks, but I don’t think they’ve faced off against a real defense yet. So Thursday will be a huge, huge game.
Carson Wentz returned and looked pretty good, getting the Eagles to 2-1. Drew Brees was spectacular for the Saints, who also moved to 2-1 with an overtime victory over the Falcons. At this point I’m not ready to call anyone else a contender, but hey, prove me wrong, Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Ex-Vikings quarterback report
This is gonna have to be renamed the Case Keenum report unless Teddy Bridgewater gets into a game. As I indicated last week, Sam Bradford was on thin ice going into Week 3. And he fell right through, turning the ball over three times. He was pulled in favor of rookie Josh Rosen in the fourth quarter (sidenote: why would you put your rookie quarterback in for the first time when he’s losing late in the fourth quarter?) who then threw an interception to seal Arizona’s fate. Coach Steve Wilks named Rosen the starter going forward. Bradford is still making $20 million this year, though.
Meanwhile, Case Keenum suffered his first loss as Denver’s starter. And it was a rough one — he threw for 192 yards and an interception while finishing with a QB rating of 29.3. It led to a 27-14 loss to the Ravens, which left both teams at 2-1. Keenum hasn’t been great statistically, but he’s done enough to help his team win so far this season. Next up will be a Monday night game against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
That’s it for WYM. See you next week.