The Saints came into the week as one of the three favorites to win the NFC. The Eagles and Rams were the two others.
But that was before Saints quarterback Drew Brees was knocked out of Sunday’s game against the Rams with a right (throwing) thumb injury late in the first quarter.
Teddy Bridgewater came in and could not get New Orleans into the end zone on any of his nine drives as the Saints lost, 27-9.
Brees did not have a prognosis following the game.
“There is only so much you can do here as far as a doctor seeing it on the sideline,” he said. “Hoping it is not too significant.”
The Saints next three are at Seattle and home games with Dallas and Tampa Bay. Missing even two games could affect the balance of power in the NFC. Eagles fans have to hope Brees is OK for the Cowboys.
The Lions beat the Chargers in a game that had more mistakes than a kindergarten school play.
Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions, Matt Prater missed two kicks yet Detroit was still were able to hold off L.A., 13-10. The Lions blew an 18-point, fourth-quarter lead in their Week 1 tie with Arizona.
“There’s a lot of bad football in September,” Detroit coach Matt Patricia said. Gee, this team has a lot of Matts.
Westgate SportsBook opened the Eagles as 7.5-point favorites for next Sunday’s 1 p.m. game. The rest of Week 3′s lines are below.
*Antonio Brown had three catches on the Patriots opening drive and later scored a touchdown in his first game with the Patriots. He finished with four catches on eight targets for 56 yards, but it’s hard to evaluate his performance since it came against the Dolphins, the NFL’s only JV team.
*Patrick Mahomes threw for 443 yards and four touchdowns, all in the second quarter, in the win at Oakland. It likely was the last time an NFL game will be played on the partial dirt of a shared stadium. The Raiders next game in Oakland is Nov. 3 when the baseball season will be over.
*Breaking: A Bears kicker won a game. After so much heartache the last few seasons, Eddy Piniero banged home a 53-yarder at the buzzer in Chicago’s wild win at Denver. The Broncos had taken the lead with 31 seconds left after converting a two-point conversion rather than kick a game-tying extra point.
*The Dolphins have been outscored 102-10 and are the first team to lose their first two home games by 40+ points. They threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and were 2-for-15 on third down.
*The Steelers are 0-2 and Ben Roethlisberger hurt his throwing elbow. They head to San Fran next week and are staring at an 0-3 start.
*The pass interference replay rule is creating mayhem, especially when teams committing fouls are rewarded when opposing coaches elect to challenge. The Eagles, for instance, benefited when Rasul Douglas appeared to interfere with Julio Jones in the first quarter. No penalty was called, and when Atlanta’s challenge was denied, the Falcons lost a timeout and were left with one challenge for the rest of the game.
Adam Vinatieri had another rough day and, after the Colts won despite his missed kicks, hinted that he might announce his retirement on Monday.
Vinatieri, 46, is the oldest player in the league and the NFL’s all-time leading scorer. He missed two extra points on Sunday. Last week, he missed two field goals and a PAT.
*Jaguars star cornerback Jalen Ramsey got into a shouting match with head coach Doug Marrone during Sunday’s loss to Houston.
*After just 14 touches in Week 1, the Cowboys fed Ezekiel Elliott 23 carries and two more by pass. It’s just two weeks, but Dallas is the best team in the NFC East.
*Houston’s Deshaun Watson was sack four times, the eighth consecutive game he’s taken at least four. It ties an obscure and dubious record also held by Jeff George and Blake Bortles.
*Denver left tackle Garett Bolles was whistled for four holding penalties. Playing against Khalil Mack will do that.
*The Saints misfortune didn’t end with Brees’ injury. The defense forced a fumble by Rams quarterback Jared Goff, which lineman Cameron Jordan scooped up and ran for a touchdown. Unfortunately for New Orleans, the refs called it an incomplete pass. Replay allowed officials to correctly award the Saints the ball, but because whistles blew for the incomplete pass, they had to wipe away Jordan’s touchdown. It wasn’t as bad as the pass interference that wasn’t called in the NFC Championship Game loss to L.A., but it wiped out the only touchdown the Saints scored.
“The ref literally admitted to me that the guy held me on one play and he didn’t throw the flag. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that, when after a play I look over to the ref, and he says, ‘Yes, I saw him hold you. But I didn’t throw the flag.’ So I’ll probably get fined for this, and that’s fine. I don’t know what to do with that.”
-- Houston defensive end J.J. Watt
“It’s never fun to be embarrassed, especially two weeks in a row at home.”
-- Dolphins quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who threw three of Miami’s four interceptions
“When you have time and you ain’t getting no pressure, I can’t cover nobody for 10 seconds. Who can cover somebody for 10 seconds? Go look at the first five seconds of the route. He’s not open. If you scramble and there is no pressure getting there, what do you want me to do? I can’t cover from side to side. Like, come on, bro."
-- Cornerback Janoris Jenkins after the Giants lost to Buffalo
Cleveland is playing at the New York Jets, who will be using Trevor Siemian at quarterback for Sam Darnold (mononucleosis). The Browns are 6-point favorites.