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NFL Week 3 in review: Winners, losers and more roughing-the-passer madness

Plus, a look at next week's point spread. The Eagles are laying three at Tennessee.

It wasn't pretty, but Marcus Mariota and the Titans improved to 2-1 with a surprising win at Jacksonville.
It wasn't pretty, but Marcus Mariota and the Titans improved to 2-1 with a surprising win at Jacksonville.Read morePhelan M. Ebenhack / AP

What happened in the NFL this week?

Headlines, observations and choice words from Sunday's games:

Eagles next

The Eagles won ugly this week and might have to again next week at Tennessee.

Franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota came off the bench to lead the Titans in a field goal-fest over host Jacksonville, 9-6.


Mariota had an elbow injury and finger numbness, which was enough for Titans coach Mike Vrabel to start Blaine Gabbert. When Gabbert went out with a concussion, Vrabel called on the former No. 2 overall pick.

>> READ MORE: How the Eagles grinded out a 17-play, 11-minute game-winning drive | Jeff McLane

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"He was fantastic," Vrabel said. "He cares about this team immensely. He wants what's best for this team. You saw him come in there, get us some first downs and give us a spark."

He wasn't fantastic, but he was adequate.

Mariota went 12 for 18 for 100 yards passing and added 51 yards on the ground.

He presumably will make his first career start against the Eagles on Sunday in Tennessee.

"Now we have another good team coming to our house next Sunday," Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo told the team's website, "and we have to be ready."

>> READ MORE: Things to do in Nashville before and after the Eagles game

In the division

• The Redskins handled the Packers

• The Giants are in the win column

• Dallas listless in Seattle

Big winners

• Sean McDermott. The Bills coach and La Salle High product got a huge win a week after one of his players literally walked out on the team in the middle of a game.

• Odell Beckham. Had nine catches for 109 yards and was part of a Giants win for the first time in 660 days. New York was 0-2 this year and 0-5 when Beckham sustained a season-ending ankle injury in 2017.

• Drew Brees. Broke Brett Favre's career record for completions and won a crucial divisional road game with a one-yard touchdown in overtime. Brees had two rushing touchdowns – the first when he slipped through two Falcons defenders – for just the second time in his career. He also had three touchdown passes and directed a 15-play drive in overtime to keep the ball away from Matt Ryan, who had five touchdown passes.

>> ANALYSIS: Eagles exude confidence on both sides of the ball in character win over Colts | David Murphy

Big losers

• Jimmy Garoppolo. Might have torn his ACL late in the 49ers loss to the Chiefs. Jimmy GQ is now Jimmy GetWell. Garoppolo is getting $42.6 million of his $137 million contract in 2018.

• Clay Matthews. Poor guy got flagged for another one of those garbage roughing the passer calls for landing on Washington quarterback Alex Smith. Unlike last week, this didn't cost the Packers the game.

• Anyone who took the Vikings in survivor pools. Minnesota again proved that any NFL team can stink on any given Sunday.

>> READ MORE: Hallelujah! Carson Wentz returns | Marcus Hayes

Decision of the day

Cardinals coach Steve Wilks yanked Sam Bradford after Bradford committed his third second-half turnover. But that is nowhere near the headline.

Wilks called on rookie Josh Rosen to make his NFL debut with the Cardinals trailing by two and less than four minutes left. His first drive ended in an interception. His second with a sack as time ran out. The Cardinals are 0-3 and host Seattle next week.

>> READ MORE: The Eagles' defense needed a big play, and Derek Barnett delivered once again | Mike Sielski

Bad beat of the day

The Bears were laying 6 points and up two with time winding down. Only a pick-6 would get the cover.

Wouldn't you know that safety Eddie Jackson stepped into a Josh Rosen pass and brought it back for a touchdown and a 22-14 Bears lead with 14 seconds left.

Except …

Superstar linebacker Khalil Mack was called for offsides and the touchdown was wiped out. The Cardinals ran two more plays and the game ended 16-14.

He said it

• "Unfortunately, this league is going in a direction that a lot of people don't like. I think they're getting soft. The only thing hard about this league is the fines they levy down on guys like me that play the game hard." – Packers linebacker Clay Matthews

• "I'm glad I don't play defense." – Redskins quarterback Alex Smith

• "Just NASCAR on grass." – Dolphins receiver Jakeem Grant, explaining the big plays Miami used to beat the Raiders

• "We have a lot of work to do here … we'll get this show on the road here pretty soon." – Raiders coach Jon Gruden

• "I told the guys in (the locker room): 'We're at the bottom. You've got to find a way to claw your way out of the bottom.' " – Texans defensive end J.J. Watt

• "We all feel for Jimmy. There's no doubt about it. We dealt with this with our running back, too. It's part of the NFL. We're not the first team this has happened to." – 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, referring to Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon

Did you notice?

• Detroit running back Kerryon Johnson became the first Lions running back since 2013 to run for at least 100 yards in a game. Johnson, a second-round rookie out of Auburn, had 101 on 16 carries in the Lions 26-10 win over the Patriots.

• The loss dropped the Pats to 1-2, which means the fightin' Belichick's have lost three of their last four dating back to Super Bowl 52.

• The Vikings were 16.5-point favorites and the Bills odds of winning were 10-1.

• The faded Pac-12 logo in the middle of the Coliseum field for the battle of Los Angeles.

• The initial call on a Brandin Cooks 17-yard touchdown was reversed when his knee was ruled down at the one. These things happen all the time, but Todd Gurley, as if his fantasy owners needed any more help, scored his fifth TD of the season on the next play.

• The NFL's leading rusher (Matt Breida) entering Week 3 had 184 yards. The leading rusher for the day was Carolina's Christian McCaffrey, who had 184 yards.

• The Cardinals inexplicably called a timeout at the end of the first half to set up … wait for it … a punt. The Bears ran just one play before time ran out, so Arizona got away with it.

• The Colts had backup Jacoby Brissett throw the game-ending long Hail Mary incompletion and not Andrew Luck, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury.

>> READ MORE: Red-zone defense, not Carson Wentz, was difference maker for Eagles

• Patrick Mahomes threw three more touchdowns, including a four-yarder than he actually threw from the 18-yard line after the pass-rush forced him into a wild scramble. Mahomes now has 13 TD passes through the first three games, the most in NFL history.

• Adam Vinatieri tied Morten Andersen's career record of 565 made field goals. Of course, Vinatieri's Hall of Fame resume includes 56 more field goals in the postseason. He is 7 for 10 in the Super Bowl, where his teams are 4-1.

• After Cleveland's win on Thursday, the Texans now own the longest active losing streak at nine. Houston lost at home to the Giants, which is not easy to do.

• Oakland is now 5-20 in its last 25 games in the Eastern time zone.

• Jordy Nelson had three catches for 139 yards in the first quarter and three grabs for 34 yards the rest of the game.

• Rookie Calvin Ridley caught three of Matt Ryan's five touchdown passes. Mohamed Sanu and Tevin Coleman had the others.

• Seattle's Earl Thomas, who skipped a practice during the week and has been the subject of trade rumors, had two interceptions. On the second, he took a bow toward the Cowboys sideline which drew a taunting penalty. The Cowboys reportedly are one of the teams interested in acquiring Thomas, though their biggest need is a wide receiver.

• Green Bay defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson was carted off with an ankle  injury. Wilkerson, from Temple, was in tears when he left the stadium by ambulance. He does not have a contract beyond 2018.

Into the Woods

On the same day Tiger won for the first time in five years, Robert Woods scored a pair of touchdowns and tied a career high with 10 catches for the Rams. Unfortunately, the Colts Al Woods and Dallas's Antwaun and Xavier Woods each lost on Sunday.

And finally …

This might be the best thing following the Bills stunning upset of Kirk Cousins and the Vikings:

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


Week 4 byes: Carolina, Washington


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