It was a busy Sunday in the NFL, and the Pittsburgh Steelers made headlines in the worst possible way. Here’s what we learned from yesterday’s games.
Big Ben out six weeks
The major news of course came in the form of Ben Roethlisberger‘s knee injury, which thankfully is not as devastating as it originally looked. In case you missed it, Roethlisberger was taken out of the game against the Rams after taking a shot to the knee by St. Louis safety Mark Barron. Last night we found out that he has a sprained MCL and will miss four to six weeks:
As discouraging as that is based on the way Roethlisberger reacted it could have been a whole lot worse. Pittsburgh went on to win ugly, 12-6 over the Rams.
New AFC North power
With Roethlisberger out and the Ravens falling to 0-3, the Cincinnati Bengals are now in a commanding position to take a strong lead in the division race.
A.J. Green put Baltimore down for the count by breaking a number of tackles en route to a late 80-yard backbreaker touchdown. He scorched the Ravens for 227 total receiving yards and two scores. It’s the first 0-3 start in franchise history for the Ravens.
The revenge of the 0-2 teams
Several powerful NFL teams came into Week 3 with an 0-2 record needing to get a win and three of them responded. The Indianapolis Colts won a shootout on the road in Tennessee 35-33, powered by a huge ground game by Frank Gore, who rushed for six yards per carry and two touchdowns.
Also, the Philadelphia Eagles blasted the New York Jets early and held on to earn their first win of the year, 24-17. Darren Sproles helped their cause by returning a punt for 89 yards and six points.
Finally, the Seattle Seahawks dominated a Jay Cutler-less Chicago Bears squad, to nobody’s surprise. The Bears’ offense punted on all ten of their possessions and were shut out 26-0 by a resurgent defense that looked much more like itself with Kam Chancellor in the lineup.
Kaepernick’s long day
The goat of the day was unquestionably San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was picked off four times by the Arizona Cardinals defense and threw zero touchdowns. His final passer rating was an anemic 16.7 and the Niners lost by 40 points.
After the game, Tyrann Mathieu told reporters that San Francisco’s offense was so simple that they had an easy time anticipating the calls. Ouch.
So much for all that work with Kurt Warner. Look for the Niners to draft a quarterback early in 2016.
Tom on Top
And last but not least, the New England Patriots appear to be the team-to-beat in the AFC once again. Yesterday Tom Brady and the champs blew away the Jacksonville Jaguars 51-17. The Pats offense has been able to move the chains at will all year long so far.
New England is averaging 34 points and 434 yards a game, both of which rank second in the NFL. Their +47 point differential is far and away the best mark in the conference. Brady appears to be on a mission and somebody will need to step up and challenge them soon or another 2011-type season may be in the cards.