By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — There’s nothing quite like the first few weeks of an NFL season. You just don’t actually know much of anything about anyone. And so, the results of a whirlwind Week 3 Sunday can always be a bit puzzling.
That was certainly the case this year, headlined of course by the biggest upset the NFL has seen in 23 years.
We’ll start there for this Week 3 roundup.
Bills Blow Out Vikings
Through two weeks of the season, the Bills looked to be either the very worst or the second-worst team in the entire NFL. The fact that they were 17-point underdogs in Minnesota against the Vikings showed just how much that was the case.
Yet the Bills somehow managed to not only earn their first win of the year — they managed to trounce the Vikings.
The Bills opened up a 27-0 lead before halftime, and held on to win comfortably, 27-6. It was the biggest upset in the NFL since 1995.
Rookie Josh Allen was good enough as a passer (15-for-22, 196 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT) but was also effective as a runner (10 carries, 39 yards, 2 TDs). Kirk Cousins was 40-for-55, the second-highest attempt total of his career.
As you might imagine, the Bills’ social media team felt the need to spike the football after the win.
Obviously, anybody who actually picked the Bills heading into this game would’ve been considered a bit loony. But you can’t fault the Bills for that one.
Jimmy G. Appears To Be Done
Jimmy Garoppolo had the 49ers believing in a comeback at home on Sunday. And then it was over.
Garoppolo ran up the left sideline, and instead of stepping out of bounds, he planted his left foot and tried to cut back for more yardage. The quarterback got hit and stayed down, and replays showed it was his left leg that gave out prior to the contact.
The 49ers believe it’s a torn ACL for Garoppolo, which would end his 2018 season. The team will confirm the news on Monday with an MRI.
Garoppolo had been in the middle of his best game of the young season, but his 49ers lost 38-27 to the Chiefs.
It’s obviously only Week 3, so MVP chatter is meaningless, but at this point in the season, there is no doubt whatsoever that second-year sensation Patrick Mahomes is the league’s most valuable player.
Garoppolo’s counterpart in that game in the Bay Area, Mahomes continued his absurd start to the season with a tidy 24-for-38, 314-yard, 3-TD, 0-INT performance to help improve the Chiefs to a 3-0 record.
The 23-year-old Mahomes has now thrown 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions this season.
Clay Matthews Is Still Not Allowed To Hit QBs
The Packers lost to the Redskins — by a rather large margin, too — and Clay Matthews is still banned from hitting quarterbacks.
The Packers linebacker obviously made quite a few headlines last week for his hit on Kirk Cousins — one which negated what would have been a game-ending interception for Green Bay and instead helped lead to a tie. The NFL defended that decision (curiously, though), and the league immediately defended the roughing the passer call which was thrown for Matthews’ hit on Alex Smith on Sunday:
Landing on the quarterback is obviously a point of emphasis this year, but Matthews clearly tried to release Smith once the tackle was secured here. It is a violation by the letter of the law, but it’s also difficult to imagine athletes playing the sport at full speed being able to magically place the quarterback down on the turf. This rule seems to be a bit of a problem. Just look at how sad Matthews is in the photo above. He’s not even mad anymore. Just sad.
“Unfortunately this league’s going in a direction I think a lot of people don’t like. I think they’re getting soft,” Matthews said after the loss. “The only thing hard about this league is the fines they levy down on guys like me who play the game hard.”
The Jaguars Didn’t Follow Up Their Week 2 Super Bowl Very Well
The Jaguars were fired up after the Patriots. Understandably so. But they apparently didn’t practice all week after their big win.
The Jaguars mustered just six points against the Titans, as Tennessee won 9-6 in Jacksonville.
A week after Blake Bortles looked like Dan Marino vs. the Patriots, he threw for 155 yards with no touchdowns or picks.
The Titans gained 233 yards; the Jaguars gained 232. It wasn’t exactly a barn burner. And it wasn’t what Doug Marrone’s team was hoping for after picking up a huge AFC win in Week 2.
The Dolphins Are 3-0
The best team in the NFL? According to wins and losses, you couldn’t have that conversation without including the Miami Dolphins.
On a day where the running game was almost literally nonexistent (Frank Gore and Kenyan Drake ran 11 total times for 15 total yards), the Dolphins got three touchdowns from Ryan Tannehill while the defense picked off Derek Carr twice.
Miami is now 3-0 … though the three teams they’ve beaten are a combined 3-6. Nevertheless, next weekend’s trip to Foxboro ought to have some more intrigue than your standard Dolphins-Patriots game.
Drew Brees and the Saints earned their first win of the year, this one of the overtime variety over the Falcons. Brees thew for three touchdowns and rushed for the winner in OT, and he also passed Brett Favre to set the all-time record for most career completions. … Carson Wentz had an uneventful return (25-for-37, 255 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) as the Eagles held off the Colts, 20-16. Wentz did take five sacks in his first game since tearing his ACL last year. … Christian McCaffrey rushed for 184 yards on 28 carries as the Panthers beat the Bengals, 31-21. It was Cincinnati’s first loss of the year. … The Giants beat the Texans in a battle of 0-2 teams in Houston. … The Ravens improved to 2-1 with a 27-14 victory over the Broncos, in a game that people won’t remember years from now. … The Cowboys dropped to 1-2 with a 24-13 loss in Seattle. Dak Prescott threw two interceptions and took five sacks. … The Bears eked out a 16-14 win in Arizona, with rookie Josh Rosen replacing Sam Bradford at QB late. … The Rams own Los Angeles, with a 35-23 win over the Chargers.