Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season is complete. It was a tough one for the AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens are now the only team with a winning record at 2-1. Behind them the 1-2 Browns are joined by the 0-3 Steelers and 0-3 Bengals.
The Steelers are 0-3 having suffered a 24-20 defeat at the hands of the 49ers. Mike Tomlin’s seat must be starting to get more than a little hot. Tomlin simply hasn’t got the offense playing at a high level, a trait that’s continued from the end of the 2018 season.
The defence did its part, creating multiple turnovers. Trading a first round pick for Minkah Fitzpatrick is a move that makes a ton of sense. Fitzpatrick looks to be a good investment so far, collecting an interception and forcing a fumble in his first game in black and gold.
On offense the story has been different. The Steelers are without with Ben Roethlisberger and will be for the season. His replacement, second year player Mason Rudolph, didn’t exactly inspire in his first start. Despite the defence forcing three fumbles and two interceptions, the Steelers managed just six points off of those turnovers. The young signal caller completed only 14 of 27 passes for just 174 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Coupled with a banged up James Connor this limited the Steelers impact against a good 49ers team.
After their Week 2 win, Cleveland went down to the Los Angeles Rams 20-13. In the face of constant pressure, Baker Mayfield completes 18 of 36 passes for a touchdown and an interception. The offensive once again proved inept, especially the tackles. If Mayfield wasn’t getting rid of the ball quickly he was getting hurried by the Rams defensive line, led by Aaron Donald. It will be interesting to see how Baker responds in Week 4.
Conversely the Browns defence, missing several starters through illness, showed up against the Rams. Journeyman corner T.J. Carrie made this key interception as the Browns defence gave the team multiple chances to win.
TJ Carrie with the interception! AND it stands after review! #Browns
— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) September 23, 2019
If the Browns can protect Baker, they have the weapons to step up.
Patrick Mahomes and the Andy Reid-coached Chiefs have one of the NFL’s most impressive offenses…and yet the Ravens lost by just 5 points. In the 33-28 loss Baltimore’s defence struggled. Their depth at cornerback may be the biggest issue of the season as they picked up yet another injury at the position. Could the injuries prompt enquiries about Jalen Ramsey? In addition to the corner play, the defence misses the pressure provided by Smith and Suggs.
While the defence was disappointing, the offence really pushed the envelope. It’s hugely impressive to see how many plays Lamar Jackson is making with his arm. The progress from his rookie year is ridiculous. Sunday was no different. The second year phenom completed 22 of 43 passes for 267 yards. Not quite his perfect season opener and hough he didn’t pass a for a touchdown, he did run for one.
Even though receiver Marquise Brown made a few impressive plays but it was free agent signing, Mark Ingram, who nearly took control of the game with 103 rushing yards, 32 receiving yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. The veteran is fast becoming a fan favourite in Baltimore.
The Bengals lost to the Bills and are 0-3. Turnovers still haunt the Bengals. They added four on Sunday (two fumbles, two interceptions). So far this reads like the same old Bengals. Consider for a moment that they were close in two of their three matches.
Ultimately, the offensive misfires from Dalton held back the team. His completion percentage dropped to 55.6 and there were signs he was reverting to his form of last year. The Bengals need AJ Green back as soon as possible. Another couple of games like that and Dalton could be riding the bench.
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