CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 25: Darius Butler #27 of the Carolina Panthers gets up from the wet turf during their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Bank of America Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
From the Panthers-Jaguars game in the rain to the Lions and Bills winning in the final minutes, here are the five reasons that NFL Week 3 was awesome.
If you thought Week 2's last-minute comebacks and crazy story lines were going to be the highlight of the first quarter of the 2011 NFL season, you were wrong. Yes, Tony Romo, the Bills and close games made Week 2 awesome and hard to beat, but Week 3's games somehow managed to top it. If things keep going this way, our heads will all explode by Week 10.
Here's the top-five things that made the third week of the 2011 NFL season awesome.
|Jaguars and Panthers Play Football in a Pool|
In the first matchup between two of the top three quarterbacks selected in the 2011 NFL draft, Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, the Jaguars and the Panthers played the majority of their game in a torrential downpour. Seriously, if you were watching on TV there were times when you could barely make out what was going on. Even when it stopped raining, the field was completely covered in water. It looked like something out of a dramatic football movie.
Everybody likes watching games in the rain or the snow. It just makes things more of a mess which makes them more exciting. Even though it was a low scoring game, it didn't lack excitement. Cam Newton got his first win of his career and we got to see first hand what a mix of football and water polo would look like.
|Darren McFadden Goes Crazy|
If you're a fantasy football enthusiast and you selected Arian Foster or Chris Johnson with the second or third pick in your draft, leaving raiders running back Darren McFadden for the lucky guy who was selecting fifth or sixth, you're probably kicking yourself right now. McFadden has been awesome and Week 3 was no exception.
The Jets tough defense made the trip from the east coast to the west coast to battle the Raiders and their running game and even though they certainly planned on stopping McFadden from doing what he did to the Broncos and, to a lesser extent, the Bills, they couldn't even come close to slowing him down. McFadden ran for 171 yards on 19 carries for two touchdowns. That's an average of nine yards per carry. As long as McFadden continues to run this way, the Raiders will be a tough team to beat.
|No-Name Receivers Make Names for Themselves|
Joe Flacco and Eli Manning made new friends this weekend. Flacco and 2011 second-round pick Torrey Smith got acquainted for the first time during the Ravens 37-7 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. Smith caught five passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns. His first catch of his career was a touchdown. That's awesome.
Manning and Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz solidified their relationship during their 29-16 win over their division rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, on Sunday. Cruz, a second-year player, caught his first two passes last week in a game against the Rams for 17 yards but this Sunday against the Eagles he caught three passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Cruz and Smith sent fantasy owners needed depth at wide receiver straight to their computers on Sunday in hopes that they both keep it up.
|Comeback Victories And Close Games|
The Bills, the Lions, the Browns, the Saints, the Lions, the Panthers, the Titans and the Buccaneers all won their games and all took the lead with a fourth quarter touchdown or field goal. On top of that, there were 12 games that were decided by a touchdown or less.
There's nothing better than edge-of-your-seat football and the games in Week 3 were incredible when it came to close games.
|Bills And Lions|
Who would have thought? As we move on to the last game of the first quarter of the 2011 NFL season, the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions are two of the league's three undefeated teams. The other team is non other than the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers.
It isn't like the Bills and Lions haven't played anybody either. The Lions have beat a solid Buccaneers team as well as the Vikings and Chiefs and the Bills, who have had the tougher schedule, have defeated the Chiefs and very good Raiders and Patriots teams.