Wednesday Morning QB (NFL Week 3)

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The Rust Belt is a term that many people have heard in the U.S. and it refers to the North Eastern part of the U.S. who rely on the manufacturing industry. This term also refers to the teams in the NFL that lie in this belt. The term has become a true expression of the teams in the area that include the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and Detroit Lions. The name rings true to the performances of these teams in the past years as all three have been at the bottom of the NFL for years including the Detroit Lions breaking the record for most losses in 2008 going 0-16. This year these Rust Belt teams are beginning to give their fans something to cheer about for once as they are looking to be strong contenders to make the playoffs. The Detroit Lions have been one of the best built teams to be under the radar since their terrible 2008 season. With the no-win season the Lions gained the first pick in the draft and selected Matthew Stafford. The next year the Lions selected Ndamukong Suh with their first pick in the 2009 draft. Both of these picks have become the cornerstones of the Lions team as Stafford has been one of the best QBs in the league since coming into the NFL but has not been able to play a full season. Meanwhile Suh was dominant last year and earned the defensive rookie of the year last year. This year the Lions have used the Stafford to Calvin Johnson on offence and their devastating defensive line to come out to a 3-0 start. The Lions are the best team that nobody is talking about and are looking to be a force in the NFC North. While the Lions are getting little to no publicity the team that is taking most of it is the Buffalo Bills who have been in the basement for years but have not been bad enough to get top draft picks. This has forced the Bills to remain bad but they have been surprising everyone. Starting 2-0 this year the Bills went against Tom Brady and the Patriots who many had pegged as the Super Bowl Champions after 2 weeks. The Bills were expected to lose but behind Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Bills defence, who got 4 interceptions, they refused to give up. The Bills beat the Patriots to remain undefeated and remain at the top of the AFC East division. The Bills have surprised everyone but there are still many doubters that say the Bills are not for real. I say that I am a Billeiver if you can get by the Patriots you have a chance to beat almost anyone in the NFL. The Bills will not go undefeated but they are looking very good to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Meanwhile there is still one team in the Rust Belt that is not up to the Bills or the Lions level yet but have shown some signs of improvement since returning to the NFL. The Cleveland Browns came into the NFL in 1999 after a four-year hiatus and have struggled through their expansion period. The Browns are now 2-1 after squeaking out a win against the Miami Dolphins. The Browns may not be a playoff team this year but if they can continue performing better every year the Browns will be able to enter the talk with the Bills. The Rust Belt has been just that, rusty, for years but they are turning around and giving the fans something to cheer about in some tough times.

The NFL has had a number of big stories since beginning including the surprise 3-0 teams but there are also some big teams that are not doing so great. This is essentially due to something that happens every year in the NFL. Injuries are a part of the game and can completely change a team. It can also be overcome like last year when the Green Bay Packers suffered 14 injuries but still managed to win the Super Bowl. This year two teams are suffering some big injuries that have had a big affect on their team. The Dallas Cowboys are one of these teams as they have suffered some key injuries. They lost Felix Jones and Miles Austin to injuries but their biggest injury was to Tony Romo who broke a rib and punctured a lung in week 2. Romo came back in week 3 to lead his Cowboys against their long time rival the Washington Redskins. Romo played through the pain but could not manage to get his team going. The Cowboys did not get any TDs on the night due to the lack of experience of his team and a number of mistakes made by the team. Romo has gained a lot of respect for his ability to play through the pain but the big question is whether he is hurting his team by playing hurt instead of healing? Meanwhile the “Dream Team” is also suffering as the Philadelphia Eagles are beginning to see the importance of their QB Michael Vick. Vick suffered a concussion against the Falcons in week 2 but came back to play the Giants in week three. While playing the Eagles got out to a lead but after taking a hit Vick left the game with what has been revealed as a contusion on his hand, it is more likely a fracture. Without Vick in the lineup the Eagles lost the lead and the game to the Giants. Without Vick the Eagles seem to be a lesser team and the question going forward is whether Vick can stay healthy long enough for the Eagles to make the run they want to? With these injuries both the Cowboys and the Eagles have questions to answer with some key injuries to their team. They may be in big trouble but both teams have the Green Bay Packers as motivation to overcoming these injuries. These questions will be answered as the NFL season is just beginning and there are plenty of games to go for every team to find out if they have what it takes.

 

Standings

American Football Conference

AFC East:

1. Buffalo Bills (1.00)

2. New England Patriots (.667)

3. New York Jets (.667)

4. Miami Dolphins (.000)

AFC North:

1. Baltimore Ravens (.667)

2. Cleveland Browns (.667)

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (.667)

4. Cincinnati Bengals (.333)

AFC South:

1. Houston Texans (.667)

2. Tennessee Titans (.667)

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (.333)

4. Indianapolis Colts (.000)

AFC West:

1. Oakland Raiders (.667)

2. San Diego Chargers (.667)

3. Denver Broncos (.333)

4. Kansas City Chiefs (.000)

 

National Football Conference

NFC East:

1. Dallas Cowboys (.667)

2. Washington Redskins (.667)

3. New York Giants (.667)

4. Philadelphia Eagles (.333)

NFC North:

1. Green Bay Packers (1.00)

2. Detroit Lions (1.00)

3. Chicago Bears (.333)

4. Minnesota Vikings (.000)

NFC South:

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.667)

2. New Orleans Saints (.667)

3. Atlanta Falcons (.333)

4. Carolina Panthers (.333)

NFC West:

1. San Francisco 49ers (.667)

2. Seattle Seahawks (.333)

3. Arizona Cardinals (.333)

4. St. Louis Rams (.000)

 

POW Awards

 

American Football Conference

Darren McFadden, RB (AFC Offensive POW)

19 rsh

171 yds

9.0 avg

2 TD

 

Ray Lewis, LB (AFC Defensive POW)

10 tkl

1.0 sck

0 INT

1 FF

 

Rian Lindell, K (AFC Special Teams POW)

2/2 FG

42 lng

4/4 XP

10 pts

 

National Football Conference

Eli Manning, QB (NFC Offensive POW)

69.6 cmp%

254 yds

4 TD

0 INT

145.7 rtg

 

Ronde Barber, CB (NFC Defensive POW)

4 tkl

3 PDef

1 INT

0 FF

 

Dan Bailey, K (NFC Special Teams POW)

6/6 FG

41 lng

0/0 XP

18 pts

 

Key scores:

Buffalo Bills 34 – 31 New England Patriots

– The Bills overcame their biggest obstacle for the season and began the discussion over whether the bills are actually for real with their 3-0 start

 

Detroit Lions 26 – 23 Minnesota Vikings

– The Lions finally won in Minnesota taking advantage of a struggling Vikings team to start their season 3-0 with their bandwagon filling up.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers 23 – 20 Indianapolis Colts

– The Steelers barely escaped with their win against the Manningless Indianapolis Colts as Roethlisberger struggled for the second time this year

 

Dallas Cowboys 18 – 16 Washington Redskins

– The Cowboys could not score a TD with injured Tony Romo and the injury riddled Cowboys pulling off the win thanks to their kicker who kicked 6 field goals on the day.

 

Key Week 4 Matchups:

Minnesota Vikings vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Oct. 2nd; 1:00 pm)

– The Chiefs have been one of the biggest disappointments this year while the Vikings are struggling with new QB Donovan McNabb but this matchup will see who can get their first win

 

Miami Dolphins vs. San Diego Chargers (Oct. 2nd; 4:15 pm)

– The Dolphins are 0-3 and are going against a good team in the Chargers but the biggest story will be the potential end to the Tony Sparano era in Miami if they can’t pull out a win

 

New York Jets vs. Baltimore Ravens (Oct. 2nd; 8:20 pm)

– The Ravens have made a living out of defence and their former defensive coach has taken the attitude to the Jets so don’t expect much scoring in this Sunday nighter

 

Indianapolis Colts vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Oct. 3rd; 8:30 pm)

– The Colts almost pulled out their first win and will look to get by a tough Bucs team with their reported new QB Dan Orlovsky as they look for a replacement for Manning

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