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IFL WEEK 3 RECAP
Tennessee 33 Jacksonville 7 97 5-15
The score was flattering. The Titans race out to a 30-0 halftime lead and never looked back. Lead by a defensive touchdown and another on a return it was basically a day off for the men in blue.
Ryan: 12 of 19 for 116, 2tds
Martin: 7 carries 80 yards, 1td
Roberts: 6PRs 178 yards, 1 td
Johnson: 25 carries 94 yards (garbage time)
Miami 34 Buffalo 10 59 10-20
The Miami Dolphins come to Buffalo looking to go 3 and 0 and have little problem doing that as they dominate the Bills 34-10 as they took the gas off the pedal in the second half to coast to victory. Jared Goff threw 3 TD's in a 14-19 showing and a 147.4 rating with Edelman and Cooks each catching five passes with Edelman catching 2 TD passes. For the Bills Adam Humphries caught ten balls and Vander Esch returned a fumble 51 yards for a TD. Miami will host Arizona next week while the Bills will visit the Colts.
Philadelphia 34 Arizona 28 95 Calm
Mahomes to Earth, I have landed! And land he did, hard lessons learned. Like all young quarterbacks, Mahomes needs to learn not to force the ball to tightly covered receivers. Arizona was defeated by the Eagles in a classic brawl Sunday afternoon. Too often Mahomes' tried to throw the laser perfect pass to well covered receivers and paid the price for it with two Eagle interceptions. One of the interceptions would be returned for an Eagle touchdown and ultimately was the difference in the game.
Nevertheless it was a game which kept Zona fans in the stadium until the last play. Time and time again, the Eagles would score and widen the gap only to watch Mahomes and Barkley answer to keep the pressure on. While the Eagles would roll up 388 yards on the day, the Cardinals would put up 437 yards in a losing effort. If only the Cardinals had a defense!
The Eagles played hard nosed football and were patient enough to run the ball for large rewards. Winston was brilliant on the day finishing with a 109 QB rating. However, perhaps the biggest negative for Arizona was playing without star left tackle Terron Armstead. Mahomes would be under pressure all game absorbing 5 sacks. In the end, the negative plays and interceptions were just too much to overcome as the Eagles prevailed 34 to 28. Arizona travels to Miami next week where Mahomes will attempt to again soar like an Eagle, no pun intended to Philadelphia!
New Orleans 24 Los Angeles (N) 31 82 Calm
Rams and Saints renewed their division rivalry for the 2019 season in Los Angeles. Both teams were involved in nail-biters the previous week, which begged the question how would these teams respond. The Saints endured a heart breaking loss to Green Bay, while the Rams escaped Minnesota with a close win. Saints fans' eyes were on the body language of Saints Kicker Brandon McManus, who missed two critical kicks in the Green Bay game. After today's game it's clear McManus is still working out the kinks.
The Rams got out to a fast starting posting 14 points at the midway point of the second quarter. The Rams again had the ball, looked to make it a three score game. But the Rams were relatively deep in their own end. A Questionable deep ball play call back fired on the Rams as Luck tried to check it down and it was intercepted by Saints safety Curtis Riley. Riley ran it in for a score. This play charged up the Saints and the game became a dog-fight. The Rams answered with a field goal, 17-7 Rams. One of the key plays of the game happened on the ensuing Saints drive. Saints QB Joe Flacco and Coach Rice ran a perfect 2 minute drill, moving the ball into field goal range. McManus nervously took the field to attempt the 43 yarder. It was not to be, he shanked it. That would be demoralizing for most teams, but the Saints hung in.
2nd half, the Saints moved the ball nearly the length of the field, but settle for a field goal. This time McManus was true, 17-10 Rams. The game turned into a see-saw affair, the Rams answered, Rams QB Andrew Luck led a quick drive that ended with a 6 yard pass to Trey Burton for a TD, 24-10 Rams. Flacco, with an answer of his own, hit Cole Beasley with an 18 yard strike, 24-17 Rams. The Rams stumbled on their next possession. Saints got the ball back. Momentum seemed to be shifting. Saints with the ball on their 25 yard line on 2nd down, when the game deciding play happened. Flacco ran play action and looked deep, but Rams DE Trey Flowers stripped Flacco. The ball was picked up by Rams DT Denico Autry who ran it in for a defensive touchdown, 31-17 Rams. The Saints eventually added another touchdown with 1:43 left in the game. They failed to recover the onside kick which essentially ended the game.
Andrew Luck 246 yards 3 Touchdowns 1 Int
TY Hilton 7 Catches 108 yards
James Conner 149 All purpose yards
Joe Flacco 266 yards 2 Touchdowns 1 Int
Next week the Saints look to get revenge on their week 1 opponent, Carolina, in the bayou, while the Rams will head to the thin air of Denver.
Pittsburgh 14 Tampa Bay 27 78 0-10
The Steelers travel to Tampa Bay seeking their first win of the year versus the 2 - 0 Bucs. This one was all Buccaneers as they lead 24 - 0 at halftime and 27 - 0 into the fourth quarter. Two late Pittsburgh touchdowns make the score somewhat respectable at the end. Tampa adds a third win with a 27 - 14 final.
Next week Pittsburgh tries again at Jacksonville while Tampa Bay goes on the road for the first time to visit Chicago.
Detroit 21 Chicago 26 83 0-10 Rain
Detroit (1-1) visited Chicago (0-2) in a divisional matchup, the Bears favored by 1. After an exchange of punts, the Bears stopped the Lions on 4th and one from the Chicago 38. Chicago scored first on a Mariota 3 yard scramble, but Detroit followed with a drive of its own to tie the game, Darnold a 14 yard pass to Watkins. 7-7 after 1.
Chicago added a field goal in the 2nd quarter, but the Lions answered again going 75 yards in 3 plays. Fournette ran it in from 19 yards out. The Bears put together a 13 play drive of their own, but Mariota throws an interception in the end zone and the half ends Detroit 14 Chicago 10.
The 3rd period belonged to the Bears – two field goals followed by a Mariota 18 yard TD pass to Cook. Detroit 14 Chicago 23 after 3.
After another late field goal by the Bears in the 4th, the Lions drove quickly down the field to make it a one score game, Darnold 45 yards to Watkins. After forcing a 3 and out, Detroit had the ball with 1:19 left but no timeouts. The comeback failed to materialize.
Darnold 16/31, 244, 2 TD; Mariota 23/36, 336, TD, INT
Oakland 30 Los Angeles (A) 13 97 Calm Rain
Raiders pull out a 30-13 win that was much closer than it looked. The Raiders' defense forces and recovers two fumbles in the second half that flipped the field and led to two scores that fueled the 17-point victory.
Carolina 27 San Francisco 17 66 5-15
After the Panthers opened with a 74 yard drive that ended with a FG by Lambo, The 49ers dominated for the rest the first half. Mitch Trubiskey passed to Tyler Boyd 12 yards and later plunged in from 1 yard out. The next 4 possessions for the Panthers ended in 45 yards total and at half time the score was SF 14, Carolina 3.
Different teams came out in the second half. Carolina TOTALLY dominated with sustained BACK TO BACK drives 91, 74, and 84 yards. Finishing the drives were Russell Wilson passes of 5 yards to Amendola and 11 yards to Evans. Drake had a 28 yard run for a score. Meanwhile, 49ers only had possession only 3 times in the entire half initially resulting in a FG but then stoned cold.
Carolina rolled up over 360 yards in the 2nd half. Russell Wilson, ice cold in the 1st half finished with 15-28, 189 yards, 2 TDs and no INTs. Henry rushed to 101 yards but Carolina team total running was 223 yards for a 7.0 average.
49ers Mitch Trubiskey who did not have a bad day was 20-33 for 190 yards, 1 TD passing and 1 TD running with no interceptions. But if your defense can't get you the ball, you can't be all that effective.
Rarely does one play make a difference in the games outcome, but there was this one play. Sean coached a great game including when the score was tied 17-17 went for a 4th an 2 on his own 23! That play was blown dead as it resulted in a 5 yard Panther penalty. Not deterred, Sean went for it again on 4th and 7! Wilson then hit Drake for 11 yards and the drive continued for 8 minutes and 84 yards resulting in the game winning TD. Had the 4th down failed, Carolina does not score a TD and SF
gets at least a FG.
Green Bay 33 Minnesota 27 68
Same old, same old -- except this time with a lesson learned.
Trailing Minnesota by 20-7 with 8 seconds left in the 1st half, Green Bay, instead of kicking the safe field goal, gambled and went for a touchdown on their last play of the half from 18 yards out -- and got it! Ben Roethisberger to Josh Gordon, 18 yard pass, against a 3-1 pass defense -- a gutsy call, typical of Green Bay's swashbuckling coach John "Snake" Conners, who cut the halftime deficit was only one score, 20-14.
Just one play, but it summed up why Green Bay wins.
Why Minnesota keeps coming up short was shown by a play with two minutes in the game.
In the 2nd half, Green Bay mounted 4 long drives. One was a 95-yard drive that ended in a 4-yard TD run by Phillip Lindsay that put the Packers up 21-20. The drive looked to be stalled several times with third and longs, but time and again the Packers got the first down, passing, largely against a 3-1 pass defense by the Vikings that failed.
Fast forward to the end of the game: Minnesota, leading 27-24 with 2:19 to go in the game, had a 4th and 4 on GB's 43 yard line. Too long for a FG. Green Bay would have gone for it. But Minnesota, instead of going for it, and probably getting the first down and running out the clock for the win, played conservative and punted. The Vikes got only a net 21 yards out of the punt. Those 21 yards made it a little more difficult for Green Bay to get a game-winning touchdown. But it did not stop them from tying the game with 27 seconds left on a 44-yard field goal by Robbie Gould.
Moral: When you have a chance to win the game, go for it. Especially when your quarterback leads the league in passing rating and your running back was the NFL's leading rusher.
Going to overtime, 27-27.
You would think DKS would have a coin toss. But no, no coin toss, Green Bay was just given the ball. And, of course, they scored a touchdown to win the game, 33-27, without the Vikings even touching the ball.
Analyzing the game afterwards, the Minnesota coach discovered that the Vikings' vaunted 3-1 defense had been deployed 8 times, mostly in 3rd and long situations, and the Packers had completed 7 passes against it, averaging over 20 yards. That "defense" cost Minnesota the game.
Taking a closer look at the 3-1 defense, the coach also discovered that, while that defense had been effective last year, it figured to be a disaster this year: it featured the three worst pass defenders on the Viking roster. You'd think a coach would know that, but no, not this "coach".
The Vikes are 1-2, but easily could be 3-0 if the coach knew what he was doing. It would only take about one play per game to go differently for the Vikings to be undefeated. That is the "twist" of the lesson we learned this time. We FIRED the defensive coordinator -- no more 3-1 defense, dummy!!
Stat-wise, Drew Brees threw for 332 yards and 4 TDs for a 126.3 passing rating, and Roethlisberger had 412 yards, completing 33 of 50 passes, for 3 TDs and a 111.4 passing rating. For the Packers, Gordon had 141 yards and 2 TDs receiving, and Emmanuel Sanders had 128 yards, while JuJu Smith-Schuster had 120 yards and 3 TDs and Antonio Brown had 113 yards and 1 TD for the Vikings.
The Packers go to 3-0 and play at Detroit next week. The Vikes go to Cincinnati., another one of the IFL's best teams. Would the easier part of our schedule please show up soon?
Houston 21 Atlanta 24 68
It was all the Falcons could do to win this one. Pete coached an excellent game and it took a 50 yard breakaway TD run by Raheem Mostert, a kickoff return for a TD by Jakeem Grant and a couple of big defensive stops at the end for the Falcons to win.
The Mostert TD gave the Falcons a 7-0 lead but the Texans countered with 2 TD passes by Kirk Cousins to Calvin Ridley and Chris Godwin to give the Texans the momentum and lead 14-7 going into halftime.
The Falcons Jakeem Grant opened the second half with the kick return for a TD to tie up the game 14-7. After trading punts, the Texans dominated the clock for the balance of the 3rd quarter. They went on a 17 play 93 yards drive ending in a Joe Mixon 1 yard TD run after controlling the ball for 10:19.
On the next drive, the Falcons' Tevin Coleman rushed 3 times for 38 yards leading to a 16 yard TD pass from Phillip Rivers to Nelson Agholor to tie the game at 21-21 with 12:08 left in the 4th.
The Texans went for it on 4th and 3 on their next drive but the Falcons doubled the intended target, Curtis Godwin, to force the turnover on downs.
Tied up at 21-21 with 9:23 left in the 4th, the Falcons drove the ball down to the Falcons 8 yard line before the drive stalled to force a Kai Forbath 26 yard chip shot FG to give the Falcons a 24-21 lead with 4:19 remaining in the game.
The Falcons pass rush blew up the next Texans drive with 2 big sacks for a total loss of 16 yards to force the Texans to punt on 4th and 20 from the Falcons 48 yard line.
The Texans used their 3 timeouts and the 2 minute warning to get the ball back with 1:03 left. The Falcons D came up big again with a Demonte Kazee interception, before the Texans could really threaten, with 0:33 left.
The Falcons kneel and run out the clock on a 24-21 home win to go to 2-1 while the Texans fall to 0-3.
New York (N) 23 Washington 19 64 0-10
The Redskins would host the hated Giants this week and the crowd was downright hostile…. As the Giants players entered the stadium to chants of “CHEATERS” The Redskins looked to rebound from a failed upset bid in Miami and take advantage of the offseason chaos of a NY team that is on its 3rd coach in approximately 3 months. In the first half the Skins D would give the fans what they wanted to see.. a dominating performance that saw the G-Men throw up a goose egg while Prescott was efficient leading the Redskins to a 9-0 1st half lead.
To start the second half the Redskins put together a promising drive when Prescott was forced from the field for a few plays and they were forced to put. The Giants ace return man Cannon would breath life into the team taking the punt 66 yards and giving the G-men great filed position. Breida would punch it to make it a 9-7 game. Washington would respond with a grueling 16 play drive that would result in a FG. Unfortunately on that drive the Redskins would lose their star rb Aaron Jones to a knee injury. The following drive the Defense would do their part when Eric Reid would pick 6 Wentz and put the skins up 19-7. The spark would be provided by the IFL leper Matt Breida. Breida spent his offseason rumored in trade talks with just about every team in the IFL until finally finding a home with the 3rd owner of the Giants. Breida would provide the quick answer with 2 30+ yard carries with the second going for 6 and punt the Giants within striking distance. With the earlier loss of Aaaron Jones the Redskins defense got stuck in neutral and would have to rely on their defense to win the game. However as strong as they had played all game they would fail when it mattered most.. on a 3rd and 10 from the 11 yard line with just under 2 minutes left Wentz would hit Golladay with a strike to give them a 20-19 lead. The kickoff would be fumbled by rookie Mike Hughes and the Giants would tack on another 3 points to make it a 23-19 lead. Prescott would do his best to mount a game winning drive but would run out of time…. For the second week in a row the Redskins upset falls short…
Washington will head to Philly for a week 1 rematch While the Giants will host the Cowboys.
New England 31 Dallas 7 70
Dallas fans smelled an upset during the first quarter after the Cowboys took the opening drive into Patriots territory before stall only to miss a 45-yard field goal. Our sprits remain optimistic when New England took over and we sacked Tannehill and then scored following a New England's punt.
The momentum and mood changed after that as Kevin led his team to a FG and then a score to take a 10-7 lead headed into the locker room. Cam Newton's throws in the second half were all over the place and the Cowboys' sub-par running backs couldn't even run the ball against a 2-4 defense.
When the dust settled, New England remained undefeated with a 31-7 road win.
Lamar Jackson, who shared QB duties for the Pats with Tannehill, was named game MVP. Jackson, who had been scouted as run-first QB, completed 9 of 10 passes for 152 yards and two scores. He also scored with his legs in the contest. McCaffrey had a couple of long gains: 46 yards on an electrifying run and a 44-yard reception on a pass as his elusiveness was on display after the catch.
Cincinnati 34 Baltimore 14 75 0-10
Since Baltimore joined the league in 2011, the Ravens have beaten the Bengals just once...in game 15 of Baltimore's failed attempt to make the 2019 playoffs. That's 1-15, but on a one game 1 win streak. Unfortunately (for the Ravens), things returned to "normal" and Cincinnati pretty much did whatever they wanted. The game, however, did it's best to keep things close, but in the end, even the Ravens and DKS couldn't beat Aaron Rodgers and the Bengals. Cincy prevailed 34-14.
The game started poorly for the Ravens...a holding penalty on the first play...3 yard run by Le'Veon Bell and two incomplete passes before punting. Feeling generous, Baltimore gave the Bengals a 5 yard head start with an encroachment penalty on the first Bengals' play. Rodgers took it from there completing passes of 15, 13, 13 and 18 yards - that last one was a TD to Devin Funchess. Cincinnati 7-0.
Baltimore got a first down on a Mayfield-to-Thielen connection on the first play of their second possession, but another yellow hankie set them back 5 yards before they could get another play off. Three plays later they were punting...again.
Rodgers again marched the Bengals downfield, this time completing passes of 8, 5, 17, 11, 15 and 10 before the drive stalled and Fairbairn booted a 30-yard FG. Cincinnati 10-0.
Mayfield connected with Adam Thielen for 11 and 9.9 yards, but the Ravens couldn't gain 12 inches in 2 plays and punted...again.
After a 17-yard completion to start the Bengals next drive, the DKS game engine intervened and decided this was a good time for Earl Thomas to step in front of a Rodgers pass for his first INT of the season. Three plays later, Mayfield hit DeAndre Carter in the endzone for a 16-yard TD. Cincinnati 10-7.
Rodgers went back to work, connecting for 23, 3, 16, 13 and 15...that last one was a TD to Everett, coming immediately after Baltimore lost an 85% challenge on a would-be INT. Cincinnati 17-7.
Three punts ensued and the Bengals ended up with the ball barely on their side of the 50 with just over a minute on the clock before half-time. A 9-yard gain put the ball on the Raven 43 with :39 ticks left. Again, the DKS game engine decided to keep things close. Rodgers completed a short, 3-yard check-down to Alshon Jeffrey, but in trying to gain a couple extra yards, the ball popped out and into the arms to S Eric Murray, who ran it 60 yards into the endzone for a Raven score. Cincinnati 17-14 at the half.
Baltimore's D held for a 3-and-out on Cincy's first possession, but Mayfield gave the ball back, throwing it to LB Trevathan. Rodgers made quick work of the opportunity, his second completion was a 18-yard TD to Eifert. Cincinnati 24-14.
Baltimore punted on their next possession and Cincinnati chewed up all the time in the 3rd Q. Fairbairn's 41-yard FG opened the final quarter. Cincinnati 27-14.
Down two scores in the 4th, Mayfield started slinging it like spaghetti in an Italian restaurant and the Bengal defense was eatin' it up. Three INTs later, the Bengals capped the scoring with a 1-yard Jones plunge. Don't think the Bengals were running up the score. What were they supposed to do after Mayfield gave it to them on the 1?
So, things return to normal and the Bengals blitz the Ravens 34-14.
Rodgers finished with 401 yards on 35 completions in 49 attempts. Three of the completions were TDs, all to different receivers.
Mayfield completed more passes to the Bengals than Rodgers threw TDs. =)
Cincinnati (2-1) hosts Minnesota (1-1) next week, while the Ravens (1-2) travel to Music City to take on Tennessee (1-1).
Indianapolis 25 New York (A) 32 76 0-10
After playing their first two games on the road, the Jets hosted the Colts in their home opener this past Friday night.
Things didn’t start well for the Jets...their first drive was a 3 and out. Then the Colts scored on their first possession...3-0 Colts. The two teams then each had a 3 and out before New York finally got their offense going. They went 84 yards in 10 plays with Watson going 7-7, and hitting Riddick for a 13 yard TD.
Another Colt 3 and out, and the Jets took 7 plays to get a FG to go up 10-3. On the next possession the Colts coughed it up, and a play later Watson hit Woods with a short slant that he turned into a 39 yard TD, 17-3.
The Colts hit a 39 yard FG cut it to 17-6.
Indianapolis scored twice in the 3rd quarter, and cut the lead to 17-15. With 17 seconds to go in the 3rd Watson hit Olawale with a 5 yard pass to go up 24-15.
The Colts then scored 10 straight points to take a 25-24 lead with 5:54 to go. Watson then drove the Jets 75 yards in 9 plays taking 3:32 off the clock, and finished the drive with a 5 yard TD run. The Jets went for two, and converted making it 32-25
Indianapolis had the ball with 2:22 to go, but no timeouts. They ran 6 plays, but only gained 19 yards, turning it over on downs. Jets win 32-25.
Watson was 19-21 for 252 yards and 3 TDs. He also ran for a TD.
Mack ran 17 times for 74 yards.
Thomas had 7 receptions for 109.
For the Colts:
Keenum was 20-35 for 266 yards.
Crowell was 17-109
Tate had 8 receptions for 139.
Next week the Jets host the Pats, and the Colts host the Bills.
Denver 23 Kansas City 20 81 0-5
The Broncos rush for 242 yards and for the 2nd week in a row KC loses in OT by identical scores.
Breida(NYG) 16-135 2 TD
Crowell(Ind) 17-109 2 TD
Mixon(Hou) 20-107 1 TD
Hunt,K(Den) 23-102 1 TD
Smith-Schu(Min) 9-120 3 TD
Brown,A(Min) 10-113 1 TD
Moore,D(Oak) 11-108 3 TD
Kirk(Ari) 6-100 3 TD
Humphries(Buf) 10- 82
Brown,J(Phi) 4- 75 3 TD – IFL Offensive Player of the Week
Roethlisbe(GB) 50-33-412 3 TD
Rodgers,A(Cin) 49-35-401 3 TD 1 Int
Stafford(Oak) 48-35-372 3 TD
Mahomes(Ari) 47-27-349 4 TD 2 Int
Mariota(Chi) 36-23-336 1 TD 1 Int
Brees(Min) 42-30-332 4 TD
Williams,L(NYG) 3 Sk 3 Tk – IFL Defensive Player of the Week
Rosas(Chi) 4-4 FG
Hauschka(Ind) 4-4 FG
Roberts,A(Ten) 6-178 Punt Ret 1 TD – IFL Special Team Player of the Week
IFL WEEK 3 STANDINGS
IFL WEEK 3 LEAGUE LEADERS