Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NFL Week 3 Awards: Eli Manning Bests Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles

There's never a dull moment in the NFL.

Week 3 featured some huge upsets. A few big streaks ended, there were final second and overtime wins and there were even two safeties scored.

With so much going on it was tough to tell who really shined through (and who blew it).

With that in mind here are the awards for the best and worst from Week 3 in the NFL.

MVP of the Week

Darren McFadden, RB, Oakland Raiders

After the game McFadden talked about coach Hue Jackson’s philosophy of being a bully on the field, and McFadden showed that he is fully buying into that as he dominated one of the best run defenses in the league on Sunday.

McFadden became only the third player to rush for 100-plus yards against the Jets since Rex Ryan took over as head coach in 2009, as he rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders ten-point victory over the Jets. He outran the Jets offense himself, as their entire team only ran for 100 yards total.

Honorable Mentions: Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore Ravens; Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants; Dan Bailey, K,Dallas Cowboys

Bust of the Week

Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles

All the talk during the week was about whether Vick would play or not because of a concussion. Well maybe he shouldn’t have.

Only 176 yards passing. Zero touchdowns to one interception. Three fumbles, although they were all recovered by the Eagles. An early exit from the game because of a hand injury. And the team lost.

Could anything have gone worse for Vick? Is he starting to break down under immense pressure of being the $100 million man?

(Dis)Honorable Mentions: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots; Willis McGahee, RB, Denver Broncos;New York Jets defense

Surprise of the Week

Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants

Manning had two touchdowns and two interceptions coming into the game. He had been very inconsistent at quarterback, missing his passes, getting sacked and turning the ball over. Talk had started whether the Giants would be better off getting the No.1 draft pick and taking Andrew Luck.

Going against the Philadelphia Eagles and their much-hyped secondary, not much was expected from Manning.

Then he went and had a phenomenal game: 70-percent completion percentage, 254 yards, four touchdowns, 145.7 quarterback rating, and ZERO turnovers of any kind.

Who knew he had it in him?

Will this upcoming week start a new, successful trend for Manning? Or was this just a one-week fluke?Either way he was a big surprise in Week 3.

Honorable Mentions: two safeties scored (one by the Bengals, the other by the Panthers); Detroit Lions 20-point comeback; Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs

Disappointment of the Week

New England Patriots

The loss to the undefeated Bills in Buffalo isn’t the bad part. Or even that the Pats had won 15 consecutive games against the Bills; every streak eventually comes to an end.

It’s everything about how they lost that is disappointing, well, at least for the team and all its fans.

New England gave up a 21-0 lead to start the game. They blew a 24-17 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Tom Brady threw four interceptions. The defense didn’t create a single sack.

Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski had great games and deserved a win for their efforts. But the Patriots went back to their old ways, failing in the fourth quarter of games.

It’s not time to hit the panic button yet, but this was not a good day for the Patriots at all.

(Dis)Honorable Mentions: Miami Dolphins; Philadelphia Eagles; Atlanta Falcons

Rookie of the Week

Torrey Smith, WR, Baltimore Ravens

His first three receptions of his career? All touchdowns.

Smith, filling in for the injured Lee Evans, had three touchdowns all in the first quarter, putting the Ravens up 21-0, dictating the pace of the game. It was all Ravens on the scoreboard and they were going to do it by gaining a lot of yards on offense.

Smith finished the game with five receptions for 152 yards and three touchdowns.

The Rams secondary will never forget watching Smith run past all of them.

Honorable Mentions: Dan Bailey, K, Dallas Cowboys; Kendall Hunter, RB, San Francisco 49ers; Julio Jones,WR, Atlanta Falcons

Tough Luck

Kenny Britt, WR, Tennessee Titans

The Rutgers-alumnus was having the best start to his career. He had 17 receptions, 289 yards and three touchdowns.

He was clearly emerging as a true No.1 wide receiver for the Titans, a position they’ve been lacking at the past couple of years and although many thought Britt had great potential, he hadn’t lived up to it until this season. New quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has gone as far to say that Britt is the best player on the Titans roster.

Then he tore his ACL and MCL. And now he’s out for the season.

Not only will he miss a season of development, but it seriously hurts the chances of the Titans to surprise a lot of people and win the AFC South. Currently they’re tied for first with a 2-1 record, but with Chris Johnson struggling and a lack of wide receivers stepping up that offense could seriously stall.

Honorable Mentions: Minnesota Vikings; Wes Welker, WR, New England Patriots; Rob Gronkowski, TE,New England Patriots

Photo Credits.
Eli Manning: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

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