Week 3 in the National Football League was one for the ages.
Nine out of the 16 games, including three overtime games, were decided by one touchdown or less. The replacement referee saga continued this week as well, prompting the NFL to strike a deal with the referees so they can return for Week 4.
The now infamous “toucherception,” as many fans are calling it, has caused quite a stir among fans following the officiating debacle on the final play of the Packers-Seahawks game on Monday night. The referees missed a blatant pass interference call and then awarded a game-winning touchdown to Seahawks’ Golden Tate, who did not even catch the ball, as time expired.Giants 36, Panthers 7
While the Giants quickly ran away with this game, Andre Brown showed he is quickly becoming a rising star. Brown carried the ball 20 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Despite playing the game without Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks, who were both sidelined with injuries, Eli Manning completed 27 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown.
Giants wide receiver Ramses Barden caught a career-high nine passes for 138 yards. The Giants’ defense intercepted Cam Newton three times and sacked him twice, leading to the Giants’ victory.
Jets 23, Dolphins 20
In what was an ugly game to say the least, the Jets pulled off what was most likely a win they didn’t deserve. The Dolphins’ defense held the Jets’ offense to only 88 rushing yards while intercepting Mark Sanchez twice and sacking him six times. The Jets can thank Dolphins kicker Dan Carpenter for the win. Carpenter missed two field goals, including one in overtime that would have won the game for Miami. Jets kicker Nick Folk responded by nailing a 33-yard field goal with 6:04 left in overtime to give New York the win.
However, the Jets suffered a major blow when star cornerback Darrelle Revis left the game with a knee injury. The Jets revealed the injury to be a torn ACL that will sideline Revis for the remainder of this season.
Cardinals 27, Eagles 6
Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb shined against his former team this past Sunday, completing 17 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald dominated the Eagles’ secondary, catching nine passes for 114 yards and a touchdown. While the Eagles outgained Arizona in total yards, the Eagles’ offense could not effectively move the ball on Arizona’s surprisingly dominating defense.
Michael Vick completed 17 of his 37 pass attempts while star running back LeSean McCoy was held to 13 carries. With the win, Arizona improved to 3-0 for the first time since 1974.
Ravens 31, Patriots 30
As Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith returned to Baltimore to play the game just hours after learning his younger brother died in a motorcycle accident, he turned in a performance for the ages. Smith, who was clearly emotional over the loss of his brother, caught six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns from quarterback Joe Flacco, who completed 28 passes for 382 yards. Trailing 30-28 as time dwindled down, rookie Justin Tucker kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to give Baltimore the 31-30 win.
A side story in this game, and many games this past week, was the poor officiating that took place. Replacement referees called a combined 24 penalties in this game on both teams for 218 yards. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, livid as the game ended, grabbed an official by the arm and screamed at him.
Titans 44, Lions 41
The Titans gave up 14 points to Detroit in the final 16 seconds of the fourth quarter, including a completed Hail Mary pass as time expired to send the game to overtime. But Tennessee persevered, as Rob Bironas kicked a 26-yard field goal with 10:26 left in overtime to give the Titans a 44-41 win.
Chiefs 27, Saints 24
The bounty scandal continues to mar the Saints, as they fell to the Chiefs in overtime last Sunday. The Chiefs scored 21 unanswered points following a Drew Brees touchdown pass that gave the Saints a 24-6 lead. Ryan Succop kicked a 31-yard field goal with 6:27 left in overtime to give the Chiefs the 27-24 victory.