Cumbleton’s Conclusions – Week 3

Wentz Wows the World

In a game that most people picked them to win, the Pittsburgh Steelers went down, big time, to Carson Wentz and the Eagles. NFL fans heard all week long how the Steelers would look to confuse the rookie QB. The Steelers failed to confuse, phase, or on most occasions even touch him. Wentz finished the day 23 of 31 for 301 yards and 2TDs and wasn’t sacked once. He has a ridiculously impressive passer rating of 103.8 over his first three starts.

Make no mistake about it, the real story in this game was how well the Eagles defence played. Pro Bowl defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, top rated edge rusher Brandon Graham and the majority of the Eagles front seven pushed the pocket all afternoon. The Eagles completely shut down a Steelers offence that has six passing touchdowns in the first two games. Cox had two sacks and Graham recovered a fumble.

Lost in the excitement of the game was the quiet emergence of another weapon for the Eagles. Wendell Smallwood, another Eagles rookie, saw his first significant game time and definitely took advantage. Smallwood quietly rushed his way to 79 yards on 17 carries. He also picked up his first touchdown. With Ryan Matthews carrying an injury, he could see more work when the Eagles return from the bye week.

For the Steelers nothing seemed to work. DeAngelo Willams had only 8 carries for 21 yards. Big Ben was pressured all day and wasn’t helped by his receivers dropping passes (Markus Wheaton dropped three alone). It wasn’t a complete waste for the offence though. Antonio Brown picked up an impressive 140 yards.

Dolphins vs Browns

After a surprising first quarter last week the Browns put together a game that nearly saw them upset the Miami Dolphins. Terrelle Pryor had more uses than a Swiss Army knife on Sunday as he lined up at quarterback, receiver and safety! He ended the game with an excellent 165 yards off 12 touches and another 35 yards passing.

Cody Parkey showed why the Eagles cut him as he missed field goals from 41 and 42 and finally a potential game winner from 46 yards. Cleveland’s kicking woes undermined what was otherwise an impressive performance and a definite step in the right direction.

Ravens vs Jaguars

This was a game that could quite easily have been a loss for the Ravens as they failed to score touchdowns, consistently settling for John Tucker field goals. This one was back and forth with a few big plays but never quite lit the fuse paper the way a classic does.

The Ravens appear to be just mediocre this year, despite being 3-0. They’ve played some great football at times and the defence has plenty of playmakers. However, despite having three interceptions and 4 sacks the Ravens defence often looked outmatched.

It was only poor decisions by one of last year’s breakout players, Blake Bortles, that ended several of the Jaguars drives. Gus Bradley comes to Wembley next week hoping not to be the third coach to be fired directly after a Wembley game, largely thanks to the play of his QB.

Bengals vs Broncos

The Broncos are impressive! Trevor Simian seemed to find his feet in this one, tossing 4 touchdown passes. Not only that but receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas both hit the 100-yard mark. One thing is clear about the Broncos. If you stop the passing game CJ Anderson will destroy you, key on the running game and they do this!

The Bengals do have more weapons than AJ Green after all. Jeremy Hill showed up in a big way with 97 yards and two touchdowns which enabled the Bengals to become less one dimensional, until they fell behind. Andy Dalton didn’t impress as he was intercepted once with no TDs.

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