NFL Week 3 Winners and Losers

By John Albinson

Winners

The Eagles: After firing head coach Chip Kelly, who failed to lead his team to the playoffs for a second consecutive season last year, the Philadelphia Eagles entered this year as a team firmly entrenched in “rebuilding” mode.  With many preseason predictions projecting them to win less than six games, the Eagles have started off the season with a perfect 3-0 and sit alone at the top of the NFC East.  Last year’s number two overall pick, Carson Wentz, has played phenomenally in his first three career starts, with a touchdown/interception stat line of 5:0 and an average passer rating of 104.5.  In week three, the Eagles absolutely dismantled the Pittsburgh Steelers, beating them 34-3 in what was easily Wentz’s best game of the season so far.  There’s still a lot of football left to be played this year, but the fact that the Eagles are not terrible is probably enough to make Eagles fans a little less depressed than they could be.

The Vikings: In what can easily be labeled as a prime example of “The Ewing Theory,” the 2016 Vikings are not playing like a team that lost both their starting QB (Teddy Bridgewater) and their franchise player (Adrian Peterson).  The Ewing Theory was popularized by sportswriter and Holy Cross alumnus Bill Simmons and goes like this: a star athlete receives a ton of attention, but his team never wins; once said star athlete leaves the team (whether by injury, trade, retirement, etc.), the former team gets immediately written off, yet starts to play better without him. Essentially, the Vikings might be the first example of the miraculous Double Ewing Theory: losing two star players, and playing like nothing had ever happened.  Minnesota is starting Sam Bradford at QB, and is still winning. Sam Bradford! They upset Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at home in week two, and throttled Cam Newton and the Panthers in week three, limiting them to just 10 points. Nothing is determined after three weeks, but the Vikes look as legitimate as any other 3-0 team out there.

The Bills: The Buffalo Bills beat the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals are usually pretty good at football, and the Bills are usually pretty bad.

Losers

Ryan Fitzpatrick: After holding out from the New York Jets for months this past offseason, until being signed to a one-year $12 million deal, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick had arguably the worst game of his career this past Sunday as the Jets fell 24-3 to the Kansas City Chiefs. As a Jets fan myself, watching the fourth quarter of this game was a lot like watching the last half hour of “Titanic”: it was predictable and upsetting. Fitzpatrick had a career-high six interceptions in the game, with three of them coming in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. The Jets now stand at 1-2, and play their next three games against Seattle, Pittsburgh, and Arizona. Life is tough.

Josh Norman: Another player who demanded to be paid like a stud, Norman left the Carolina Panthers via free agency this offseason and signed a five year, $75 million deal with Washington, making him the highest paid cornerback in history. After getting torched by Antonio Brown in week one, Norman let up 102 yards to Dallas’ Dez Bryant in week two and 121 yards to the Giants’ Odell Beckham, Jr. this past week. Although Washington ultimately beat the Giants by a slim two points, the fact remains that Norman has not been playing nearly as well as he’s getting paid to. For a guy who has literally said he’s the best cornerback in the league, he’s playing like the kind of guy who would publicly say he’s the best cornerback in the league.

Cleveland Browns: They are the Cleveland Browns and they are currently 0-3 and they are the Cleveland Browns.

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