The third week of the NFL season is nearly in the books with only Monday Night Football to go. We'll look back at this week and remember it as the day the Cardinals went 3-0 for the first time in nearly 40 years, the amount of star power on the injury report this week and, of course, all the replacement referee screw-ups.
Three unbeaten teams remain, including the Cardinals
The Cardinals -- yes, the Cardinals -- are one of three unbeaten teams remaining after three games. This is the first time since 1974 they've been 3-0. The win on Sunday was as impressive as you'll find, shutting down the previously 2-0 Eagles, 27-6.
(Photo via Jennifer Stewart-US PRESSWIRE)
The Houston Texans, who look like the best team in the NFL right now, also sit at 3-0 after beating the Broncos. This is a significant game because it was the first true test for the Texans this season. And they passed with flying colors.
The Atlanta Falcons, who also have a strong argument in the NFL's best team discussion, sit unbeaten as well. They might have the most impressive start of them all beating the Chiefs, Broncos and Chargers to open the season. The Chargers looked like the best team in the AFC West -- and the Falcons dominated them, 27-3.
Debate over NFL's most disappointing team is over
The debate over the NFL's most disappointing team is over. It's the New Orleans Saints and there is no longer a debate. The Saints dropped to 0-3 after blowing an 18-point to lead to the previously winless Chiefs -- at home. Turnovers and a horrible defense -- and I mean horrible -- are the main culprits in this one.
The Saints and Browns are your winless teams. Only the Saints surprises me of those two.
Injuries to star players are piling up
If there was one theme of Week 3, it was injuries. Star players from were dropping like flies out there. Read the detailed analysis of the key players in our injury report wrap-up.
Bills running back C.J. Spiller was playing like an MVP candidate in the first two weeks of the season, averaging over 10 yards per carry, a ridiculously high number. On Sunday, the Bills saw the bad news -- Spiller hurt his shoulder. It's not season-ending or anything like that, but head coach Chan Gailey confirmed that Spiller would miss at least Week 4, and perhaps another week. Here's a look at what happened.
Medical personnel came out and immobilized him before carting him off. He was transported to the hospital where he remained, according to the Raiders.
@thedhb85 is in stable condition and is staying in the hospital overnight for observation.— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) September 24, 2012
Darrelle Revis' injury is what could be the most devastating to any one team. Revis went down on a non-contact play, which is always scary because those seem to often be serious. Reports say they fear this could be an ACL injury, which would be worst case scenario. Revis allows New York's defense to do so many different things that losing him would mean big tweaks to its defensive scheme.
We save Dexter McCluster's injury for last because it's the grossest one. McCluster caught a pass in the flat in the second half but lost his balance and as he went to the ground, his elbow ... Ugh.
Reggie Bush, who is off to a good start with the Dolphins this year, banged up his knee. The early reactions are that it's not serious, which is a big relief to the Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill is playing well to start his NFL career and part of that reason is all the production he's getting from Bush.
Matthew Stafford's leg injury doesn't look serious but he wasn't able to finish the game. The Lions are saying he has a pulled muscle, something he dealt with in practice last week. A pulled muscle would rule out any worst-case-scenarios, like a season-ending injury. A Monday MRI will determine more.
If you didn't read any of that, watch this:
The best opening play of the week
Mohamed Sanu is a receiver but he did some quarterbackin' here.
There will be change atop our weekly power rankings. The 49ers, our No. 1 team last week, surprised with a double digit loss to the Vikings. This game will be remembered more as Christian Ponder's breakout game, likely the best of his NFL career to date. His line: 21-of-35 for 198 yards passing, 33 yards rushing and three total touchdowns.
And this run, this was awesome:
Against arguably the NFL's best run defense makes it even sweeter. This is another great play by Ponder.
Replacement refs are the story once again
No matter how hard we try, we can't avoid talking about the replacement refs. Believe me, I've tried. I can't stand talking about the zebras but this week was especially bad. We'll have a complete run down of the replacement ref screw-ups but if there's one moment that can sum up the officiating it's this one:
That's Cowboys receiver Kevin Ogletree slipping on a replacement ref's hat. I almost wish he was injured on the play because we need a massive screw-up for the NFL to end the lockout. Luckily, though, he wasn't.
Oh, and Bill Belichick? Get out your checkbook.
Torrey Smith's emotional game pushes Ravens over Patriots
It's hard to even imagine the emotions going through Torrey Smith's head as he lined up to play on Sunday Night Football. The Ravens receiver lost his brother in a motorcycle accident earlier in the day but decided to play in the game anyway.
Not only did he play, he was a standout catching six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns, an incredible effort in what was likely the worst day of his life.
I can't even imagine. I don't even want to imagine.
Three OT games in Week 3
The early games on Sunday were awesome because three of them lasted almost an hour longer than they should've by going into overtime. The Chiefs-Saints, Lions-Titans and Jets-Dolphins all went into overtime.
Instead of reading about those games, watch this video recap: