We all should have known that a week that kicked off with a Browns win was going to deviate from the norm. Just about anything can happen on a Sunday in this league.
Within half an hour of the early games kicking off, rookie QB Josh Allen and his Buffalo Bills were up by 17 points (yes, 17!) against the defending NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings. In a comedy of errors for Minnesota, Kirk Cousins began the game by getting strip-sacked deep in Viking territory on the team’s first two possessions.
Allen threw a touchdown pass to Jason Croom (who?) and Stefon Diggs only had 17 yards. The Bills came into Minnesota as 17-point underdogs and left with a 27-6 win. The only way it could have been crazier is if Vontae Davis showed up at halftime, cleats on and everything.
Meanwhile, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, the Chiefs managed to score seven on all five of their first-half drives against San Francisco. Andy Reid and his offense chugged up and down the field, big play after big play. Patrick Mahomes II looks like the real deal, and fans could see the fear in the Niners’ secondary every time he broke the pocket. Even though Kansas City’s coverage unit is among the worst in the league, it still looks poised to take control in a weak AFC.
Speaking of a weak AFC, fans again got to see mad Tom Brady on Sunday night in a loss against Detroit (coached by former New England defensive coordinator Matt Patricia). The Patriots putting up one stinker in September is not unprecedented, but two? Maybe it was because Patricia had their playbook committed to memory, but the Pats just seem off.
Brady needs receiving help in the worst way; first-round pick RB Sony Michel keeps dropping passes, and defenses are triple-teaming Rob Gronkowski. But this team will look very different in December, as by then, Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman will likely be playing and fully integrated into the offense.
Even in the midst of all the pandemonium, I suppose there is one thing we can count on: Saints-Falcons hitting the over (in a dome, of course). The two teams registered more than 900 total yards combined, zero turnovers, 10 touchdowns and 80 points. Falcons rookie receiver Calvin Ridley had himself a day, catching seven balls for 146 yards and three touchdowns.
This game went as expected, but New Orleans should be very concerned about its defense, even though the Saints were able to squeak out this win. The defense was primarily why they won the division last year, and if it can’t perform, they won’t make it very far in the playoffs.
After Week 3, only three undefeated teams remain: the LA Rams, the Chiefs and… the Dolphins? Miami has built a two-game lead in the AFC East, but its first real test of the season comes in Foxborough next Sunday. This is not a game that Miami is expected to win, but hey, I said that about the Bills, too.
Dev Navani writes for Bear Bytes, the Daily Californian’s sports blog. Contact him at [email protected].