- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner23 hrs ago
How do you know when it's going bad for a team? When the opponent screws up — badly, in fact — and still makes a massive play against you.
That was the case for the San Francisco 49ers, whose second-half woes reached epidemic status, on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
At a crucial point in Sunday's 23-14 Cardinals victory, the 49ers lined up for a 45-yard field-goal attempt that shouldn't have been that long in the first place. Two avoidable penalties (and in the case of Anquan Boldin's 15-yard headbutt, a really dumb one) knocked the Niners back from the 6-yard line to the 28.
But no matter: Phil Dawson is a pro's pro and should make that kick, right? Oof.
The Cardinals' block team lined up and there was one problem ... or two. They had only nine (NINE!) guys on the field to do so.
Check it out here:Sun, Sep 21San Francisco14 - 23ArizonaGame Recap
Jim Harbaugh might want to work on his halftime speeches and adjustments before he faces the 3-0 Philadelphia Eagles next week.
In three second halves this season, the San Francisco 49ers have been outscored 52-3. That's a big reason why they are 1-2 and a total mess right now.
In Sunday's 23-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers gave up a 14-6 lead, committed six penalties for 86 yards and had a field goal blocked after halftime.
Colin Kaepernick, who completed his first nine passes and accounted for all 80 yards on the team's opening scoring drive, took a crucial sack late and missed two open receivers on the 49ers' final two drives when it was a one-score game. On defense, the 49ers' secondary appeared to have several communication errors and left rookie Jimmie Ward singled on the Cardinals' top receivers without help.
That's a recipe for disaster.
Here are the must-see plays from all the action on Sunday in Week 3 in the NFL.
Fat guy interception!
The Oakland Raiders appeared on the verge of tying — or perhaps taking the lead — against the New England Patriots but had a touchdown run called back on a holding call. On the next play from the New England 12-yard line, Derek Carr's pass went off receiver Denarius Moore's hands (and off cornerback Logan Ryan's hands) into the big meathooks of Vince Wilfork to end the game.
Just call him Wilfork Island.
Andy Dalton is off to a solid start to the season, and his Cincinnati Bengals now are 3-0. But the quarterback on the roster — on a per-pass ratio, anyway — is actually wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. To be fair, Sanu has attempted only two passes this season, and he was a former college quarterback at Rutgers. But his solid throwback pass to Dalton (there was a brief fear of an interception) makes Sanu the NFL's leading passer, and it helped the Bengals thrash the Tennessee Titans.
Cow-bombSun, Sep 21Oakland9 - 16New EnglandGame Recap
Kirk Cousins threw a damaging fourth-quarter interception and later missed a wide-open Pierre Garcon on fourth down in the final two minutes of the Washington Redskins' defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
And yet is there any doubt that the Redskins' quarterbacking is in better hands right now than it was when Robert Griffin III was healthy?
Cousins had a whale of a game in the Redskins' 37-34 loss, throwing for 427 yards on 30-of-48 passing, with three touchdown passes to go with that one pick.
There should be little concern about the Redskins' offense going forward. Cousins has the goods to put points on the board, even if the Eagles' uneven defense might not be the stiffest test he'll face this season.
As for the Redskins' defense and special teams, all bets are off. The Eagles threw for 325 yards, and cornerback DeAngelo Hall told reporters after the game that he tore his Achilles tendon. The Redskins missed a 33-yard field goal, allowed a 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and tackled poorly on punt coverage.
Think this game meant anything to DeSean Jackson?
The excitable Jackson was a question mark to play in this game for the Washington Redskins, his new team, against the Philadelphia Eagles, his former team that dropped him like a bad habit in the offseason despite coming off a career high in receiving yards.
But he fought through a shoulder injury just to suit up, and Jackson managed to surpass the 100-yard mark before the end of the third quarter thanks to an 81-yard touchdown catch to burn Chip Kelly and the Eagles deep.
Naturally, Jackson was understated and restrained in his mild celebration thereafter.
Jackson finished with five catches for 117 yards.
- - - - - - -Sun, Sep 21Washington34 - 37PhiladelphiaGame Recap
On the final play of the third quarter, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn and safety Robert Blanton appeared to make a drive-ending sack on the New Orleans Saints' Drew Brees.
But Munnerlyn and Blanton added a WWE-esque finishing move with a tandem body-slam at the end, which earned Munnerlyn a 15-yard penalty — and got Brees all kinds of fired up.
Brees got in Blanton's face and the two had to be separated. The Superdome crowd was not too thrilled to see a nickel back hitting its golden boy.
I have NEVER seen Brees get that mad before
Crowd is going nuts
Brees' revenge? He led his team down the field for a touchdown pass on the drive and the Saints won 20-9. The Vikings apparently picked on the wrong guy.
- - - - - - -Sun, Sep 21Minnesota9 - 20New OrleansGame Recap
Being outscored by 78 points pointed out the obvious for the Jacksonville Jaguars: A change at quarterback was needed.
After losing 34-17 and 41-10 in Weeks 1 and 2, and facing a 30-0 halftime deficit in Week 3 against the Indianapolis Colts, the Jaguars finally made the decision to bench Chad Henne and make the move to first-round pick Blake Bortles.
Bortles gave Jaguars fans a brief reason to cheer upon entering the game to start the third quarter after Henne (4-of-7 passing, 33 yards) couldn't lead the team to a single first down in the first half.
Although Bortles missed on three of his first four passes, he did hit fellow rookie Allen Robinson for a 21-yard gain — the team's longest play of the game to that point — and help gain two first downs on his first possession under center before punting.
Of course, Bortles led the Jaguars on a solid drive in his next effort — and actually got them on the scoreboard.
Bortles gets huge hand. Stood tough in pocket on third down. #Jaguars get 41-yard FG from Scobee.
Hey, it's progress, right?Sun, Sep 21Indianapolis44 - 17JacksonvilleGame Recap
Minnesota Vikings fans could use any silver lining they can get at this point.
No one should cheer an injury, but Vikings supporters starving for optimism probably won't be too upset with the news that quarterback Matt Cassel was carted off Sunday against the New Orleans Saints with a toe injury.
In at quarterback: first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater, who made his NFL debut.
Bridgewater quickly endeared himself to Vikings fans in the preseason, many of whom wished the rookie had won the starting gig over Cassel.
It was a tall order for Bridgewater, who made a few splash plays in leading a field-goal drive for the Vikings, to take over against the New Orleans Saints. He acquitted himself fairly well, completing 12-of-20 passes for 150 yards and rushing six times for 27 yards in a turnover-free effort, even though he was unable to complete the comeback in a 20-9 Saints victory.
After the game, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer revealed Cassel suffered a fractured foot, is likely out several weeks and that Bridgewater will be the starter going forward.
Most Detroit Lions play ever?
Linebacker Stephen Tulloch, who actually is a darned good player, decided that he needed to celebrate teammate Ziggy Ansah's tackle on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.
After a 2-yard gain.
A good play. Not a great one.
The problem? Tulloch came down awkardly on his knee and left the game, which ended in a 19-7 victory.
Now comes word Monday that Tulloch, one of the Lions' most consistent linebackers, is out for the season with a torn ACL. Double ouch.
It brings to mind the famous Bill Gramatica celebration fail when the former Arizona Cardinals kicker came down the wrong way after making a field goal and tore ligaments in his knee. Ouch.
But at least Gramatica's play earned his team points ... and was, you know, his own play.
- - - - - - -Sun, Sep 21Green Bay7 - 19DetroitGame Recap