Boy did they need it. The Dallas Cowboys, seemingly weaponless, eked out a victory against the equally unimpressive Washington Redskins in a Monday Night contest with less than intriguing pantomime. Tony Romo played with a broken rib, and it seemed that way. Rex Grossman played with less enthusiasm, leading his team to a measly 16 points in a contest that seemed to confirm that neither team has much hope of vaulting to the championship. Regardless of the meager score, the Cowboys earned a much needed a ‘W’ and moved to 2-1, deserving or not. In the scheme of NFL scoring, wins and losses are essentially all that matters.
The shortcomings of ‘America’s Team’ pale in comparison to the uncomfortable decline of the Indianapolis Colts, who seem more impotent without their stalwart Peyton Manning with each progressing week. Their defense looked slightly better, but they are still just a shadow of last year’s team, as they limped towards a loss against Pittsburgh, resulting in a 0-3 record. Interim quarterback Kerry Collins passed for only 93 yards before going down injured, resulting in third string youngster Curtis Painter, who had a previous career-total of 143 yards to his name, joining the battle. Painter looked decent in the pocket, spending most of the time handing off the ball to his backs, cautious of trying to begin a passing game with so little time spent with his receivers. Reggie Wayne became the 24th receiver in NFL history to reach 800 receptions, but as the game wore on he looked obviously despondent on the sidelines. Painter was sacked and fumbled the ball with five minutes left in the game and the Steelers ran it in for the winning touchdown. It was hardly his fault, by any stretch.
The Texans and Saints fought out a dramatic, high-scoring war in New Orleans, where seemingly neither defense could hold back their counterparts. Houston entered the red zone over and over, but couldn’t convert good field position into touchdowns and had to settle for field goals, a pattern that came back to bite them. They gave up a large lead which should have been larger, and fell to the Saints in their first season defeat. Coach Kubiak and his Toros need to learn how to make the most of their sterling offensive efforts if they have hopes of the playoffs. Last year’s Superbowl contenders New Orleans need to get their defensive act together as well if they want a repeat appearance at the top level.
The surprise of the week was in Buffalo. The Bills beat the stampeding New England Patriots by three points after being down 21-0. The Lions came back from the same score in their clash with the Vikings, sending Minnesota to 0-3 and bringing themselves to a good-looking 3-0. In Buffalo, Tom Brady threw four interceptions. Last year, he threw four interceptions in the entire season. Not many people expected the golden boy to give up that kind of statistic.
Week 3 produced a string of low-scoring games. Some ‘purists’ prefer defensive showdowns with resulting low scores. The 49ers and Bears played out for a total of 21 points, the Dolphins and Browns 33, Arizona and Seattle 23, the Falcons and Buccaneers 29. In a season where all the drama lay behind the scenes with the lockout negotiations, the fans roaring for the season to come back, entertainment is a must. Low-scoring, amateur-looking contests are not what the people want, and coaches had better get on their players to do what they’re paid for and play some football. Let’s hope next week is better.
Born in Scotland and educated in Texas, Daniel Jamieson has been professionally writing since 2005, most recently for ‘US Daily Review’ and ‘Health and Fitness Magazine’. Daniel has contributed to a number of published medical articles and online information sites, such as aeha.org and ehow.com. One of US Daily Review’s Senior Editors, Daniel adds fresh viewpoints on everything from education to sports. He graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing.