Take Tuesday: The Patriots Keep Winning and There Is Nothing You Can Do to Stop Them (2016 NFL Week 3 Recap)
Arthur W Mueller
The Patriots won again on Thursday night, shutting down the Texans 27-0. This week, the starting quarterback for the Patriots was Jacoby Brissett, a rookie third round pick from NC State. Some people were surprised that the Patriots were still able to win with their third-string quarterback. I was not surprised. The Patriots special teams is always good, and they lived up to their reputation by forcing two turnovers that gave their offense the ball inside the Texans’ 25 yard line. Jacoby Brissett didn’t have to do much to turn that into 14 points. Another touchdown came on 41-yard rush by LeGarrette Blount. Jacoby Brissett didn’t have to do anything to win. The Patriots defense held the Texans scoreless. It’s hard to lose when the other team doesn’t score. Nobody should be surprised that the Patriots are still good without an accomplished starting quarterback. More than any other team, the Patriots are proficient in every facet of the game. Without Tom Brady, they can still run the ball, play defense, and excel at special teams. That combination is good enough to win most NFL football games.
Also, stop pretending that Jacoby Brissett isn’t a good quarterback. He is a rookie, but the Patriots drafted him in the third round. The Patriots wouldn’t have drafted him if he wasn’t a good quarterback. He scored a 27-yard rushing touchdown on Thursday night. He was drafted before Dak Prescott. Please stop trying to create this narrative about the Patriots as an underdog. A Patriots team quarterbacked by Jacoby Brissett is one of the best teams in the league.
Now, lets pivot to another AFC contender, the Denver Broncos. The Denver Broncos have a strikingly similar composition to the Brady-less Patriots. Trevor Siemian hadn’t thrown an NFL pass before this season, but the Broncos have put him in a position to succeed and develop as a quarterback. A complete Patriots team is probably better than the Broncos, but the Patriots aren’t complete right now and with Rob Gronkowski’s injury history, who knows if they will ever be complete this season. The Broncos-Patriots game this season will happen in Denver, so that should count for something. The Patriots have lost the AFC Championship in Denver after two of the past three seasons. They will probably have to win at least one game in Denver if they want to avenge Tom Brady with a Super Bowl championship.
The AFC clearly has the Patriots, the Broncos, and then other teams. The NFC is a little more muddled. The participants in last season’s NFC Championship game are both 1-2. From my perspective, the best teams in the NFC share the NFC North. The Vikings are built like the Broncos; an elite defense with just enough at the quarterback position. The Packers probably have the higher ceiling. If Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson can continue their comeback, the Packers could continue to improve as the season progresses. The Vikings already won the first meeting of the season between the two teams in Minnesota, but something tells me that they could be headed towards a climactic third battle in the playoffs. The question is can Aaron Rodgers figure out the Vikings defense?
Bryce Harper hurt his hand when he was showing off by stretching a double into a triple. The fact that he hurt himself while trying to slide suggests that he doesn’t have enough grit. Clearly, Bryce Harper is not a well-rounded player and he has a long way to go before he becomes a true MVP and signs with the Yankees.
It’s weird seeing so many NBA stars that I grew up watching retiring. Kevin Garnett is the latest player to announce his retirement. It also looks like Chris Bosh’s NBA career might be over for medical reasons. I’ll miss both Garnett and Bosh, and I’m glad that I got to witness them play. They played in a golden age of basketball, before Stephen Curry ruined basketball by making a bunch of threes. The 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be lit.
This week, the Browns lost rookie receiver Corey Coleman, a first round pick out of Baylor who broke his hand during practice. I’m starting to understand why the Cleveland Clinic is internationally renowned.
This weeks rating is 33 years old. DeAngelo Williams only touched the ball 12 times on Sunday and he only turned those touches into 44 yards. Those are the kind of numbers a really old running back would put up, but he still led the team in rushing, so I guess he only looked 32. Williams will take on a much more complimentary role when LeVeon Bell returns from suspension, so I might have to retire this weekly segment like a 33 year old running back.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw six interceptions on Sunday, went to Harvard. Fitzpatrick, who only completed 45% of his passes in the game against the Chiefs, attended Harvard from 2001 to 2005. Harvard, where Ryan Fitzpatrick, who made some dumb throws, attended, has a reputation for being where really smart people go to college. Harvard, the alma mater of Ryan Fitzpatrick, who only threw for 188 yards as his team lost 24-3, is in Cambridge Massachusetts
1. The NFL is concerned that ratings for prime time games are down. In related news, the Chicago Bears have played in prime time twice so far this season. 30% of all NFL games broadcast in prime time have featured a team that is currently 0-3 and that doesn’t include the horror show that was the Rams-49ers week one matchup. Could it be that terrible football teams don’t draw ratings?
2. The Baltimore Ravens are 3-0
3. The Baltimore Ravens barely beat the Bills, Browns, and Jaguars.
4. I’m glad that the Ryan brothers temporarily saved their jobs with a win over Arizona. What a fun locker room that must be.
5. Human garbage Greg Hardy has been arrested on drug charges, so even after they declined to re-sign him, Greg Hardy is still acting like a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
6. The Browns’ kicker missed three field goals in the team’s overtime loss to the Dolphins. His brand is strong.
7. Does a Thursday night game broadcast only on NFL network still count as a prime time game for Andy Dalton and the Bengals? Primetime Andy Dalton isn’t worth me figuring out what channel NFL Network is.
8. The Houston Rockets have announced that this season, James Harden will play point guard. Still no announcement on whether or not he will play defense.
9. Skip Bayless tweets begging people to tune into his show are really sad. Like, I get emotional seeing them.
10. LSU has a coaching vacancy. Jim Tomsula is available. I’m just saying, connect the dots.
11. So Tinder starts letting you link your Spotify to your profile and almost immediately R. Kelly announces a new album? Interesting.
The health of Bradford is frightening
But defense is just to my liking
They could be for real
When Peterson heals
Could this be the year for the Vikings?
** SPOILER ALERT**
Probably not, the Vikings are cursed
RIP Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez who was killed in a boating accident at the age of 24. He was one of the best young pitchers in baseball and a great ambassador for the game. It is a shame that he will never get to achieve his full potential, dealing out strikeouts and smiles. He will be missed by baseball fans everywhere.