In a week that saw some surprise teams keep rolling, good offenses play poorly, as well as some widespread sorrow around the league, here is my take on the good, the bad, and the ugly.
If you told me at the beginning of the season that the Eagles would blow out the Steelers in route to a 3-0 record, especially with rookie Carson Wentz at the helm, I would have called you crazy. The first 2 wins against the Bears and the Browns were expected but the Eagles really put themselves in the conversation as a top team with the Sunday Night blowout of the Steelers, holding the high-powered offense to 3 points.
The Vikings also improved to 3-0 on the year and in the process have beaten the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers along the way. No one in the league has been more impressive this year. The offense has been very impressive especially after losing Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson to injury, but the defense is the heart and soul of that team and if they keep playing like they have been, they will be very tough to beat.
The Cardinals, the Panthers, and the Jets all have something in common: a lot of weapons on offense. The other thing they have in common is that they did not show up in week 3. Carson Palmer threw 4 interceptions and suffered a loss to the Bills, while Cam Newton threw 3 interceptions and just didn’t look like himself all game. Minnesota hit Cam a ton and it looked like he kept thinking about that the entire game as he rushed a few throws and didn’t run the ball with the volume he did in the first two weeks. The Panthers, who lost 1 game all of last season, now have 2 losses in the first 3 weeks.
The worst of the bunch was Ryan Fitzpatrick however, who threw for 188 yards and 6 interceptions. Yes, 6 interceptions, 3 of which were in the end zone. Eric Decker who had either 80 yards or a touchdown in each of his previous 17 games, was held to 1 catch for 31 yards and Matt Forte only rushed for 65 yards. The road doesn’t get any easier for the Jets as they face the Seahawks in week 4.
This is the part of the article that I wish I didn’t have to write. Although it doesn’t relate to fantasy football, it would be a shame if we didn’t mention the passing of a sports legend as well as the tragic death of a rising star in the MLB.
Arnold Palmer, at the age of 87 passed away on Sunday. Nicknamed “The King,” Arnold was the biggest reason that golf is what it is today. Palmer was always willing to sign every autograph and shake every hand. He won 7 Major Championships but he will be remembered for being a great person just as much as he will for being a great player.
That same day, earlier in the morning, Jose Fernandez, starting pitcher and 24-year old phenom for the Miami Marlins, also passed away in a tragic boat accident. Fernandez was a passionate player who always had a smile on his face. Since his first year in the league, he had established himself as one of the best pitchers in the game and looked like he was headed for a stellar career. Off the field, he was just as good as a person. A native of Cuba, he tried to defect 4 different times, failing in each of the first 3. During one of the trips his mother fell off the boat and Jose jumped in and saved her from drowning. He always engaged with young fans before games spending time with them taking pictures and signing autographs. Maybe the most tear-jerking moment of Monday’s tribute game to Fernandez was when teammate Dee Gordon hit his first home run of the year on the third pitch of the game. As he came around to touch home, he pointed to the sky and immediately broke down in tears. Fernandez’s number 16 was worn by all of the Marlins’ players and his number will be the first to be retired by the Marlins’ organization.