NFL week 3 sure was exciting with several games decided on the final play, good for fans and the NFL RedZone channel viewership!
Why would you slow down??— Chicago Bears (@BEARSNation) September 24, 2017
Michael Burton, Marcus Cooper, and Andrew DePaola of hosted Pittsburgh in Chicago. The Bears couldn’t throw the ball well, but were sure opportunistic, including a play that Marcus Cooper would soon like to forget. With the Bears already ahead 14-7, the Steelers attempted a field goal with time expiring in the first half but it was blocked and ricocheted straight into the hands of Cooper. With no one in front of him, he raced 70 yards to the .... 1 yard line? Yes Cooper slowed down before reaching the end zone and was stripped of the ball Leon Lett style. With a Steelers penalty on the play, the Bears were able to kick a field goal and go into halftime up 17-7, but it should have been more. Cooper (1 tackle, 2 pass breakups) was bailed out as the Bears were able to outlast Pittsburgh in overtime 23-17 or else he would have been in real trouble. DePaola had a nice game, as the Bears kicking units were strong other than one missed field goal. The Bears passing offense was non-existent but they were able to hold on with a strong running game that did include Burton blocking.
Mohamed Sanu and Steve Longa locked horns in yet another game decided on effectively the final play when a Lions touchdown on 4th down was ruled just short of the goal line on further review. It was a difficult 30-26 loss to stomach for the 2-1 Lions as the Falcons moved to 3-0. Sanu added four catches for 28 yards and a touchdown in the “escape” victory. Longa did not get any defensive snaps.
Jason McCourty and Kenny Britt traveled to Indy for a game the Browns looked in good shape against a Colts team just counting down hours until Andrew Luck returns. The Colts offense with recently acquired Jacoby Brissett held a huge 31-14 lead early in the 4th before the Browns mounted a furious comeback. Britt hauled in 3 catches for 54 yards including an 11 yard TD during the rally, but Cleveland would fall just short, 31-28. McCourty had 4 tackles and a pass defended as the Browns look like a legit football team that appears on the cusp of breaking through.
Devin McCourty and Duron Harmon played in one of the other classic games on this day. You can’t make this stuff up as the Patriots trailed by 5 with 23 seconds remaining when Tom Brady threw his 5th TD pass of the game. After a successful 2 point conversion, New England held a 36-33 lead. Houston still had a chance as McCourty made his 10th tackle of the contest on DeAndre Hopkins at the Houston 46 with 2 seconds remaining. The Texans lofted a Hail Mary as time expired, but Harmon (2 tackles) came down with the interception in the endzone to seal the victory.
Leonte Carroo and the Dolphins felt pretty good playing against what most experts considered the worst team in the NFL, the New York Jets. The Dolphins were embarrassed 20-6 in a game that was somehow not even that close as Miami avoided the shutout by scoring a touchdown on the game’s final play (then missed the extra point). Despite the Dolphins ineptitude, Carroo only played one snap on offense. Expect more moving forward.
Closing out the early games, Brandon Coleman’s Saints looked to get back on track against division rival Carolina. The Saints offense did what they do, which included another Coleman touchdown (pictured below). Brandon has finally showed the NFL what made him such a scoring machine on the banks. The Saints defense showed up finally, helping to secure a 34-13 decision on the road. Coleman is also mentioned in our Knights in the Pros flashback.
Logan Ryan and the Titans continued the momentum in the late games as yet another underdog won as they secured a 33-27 win over Seattle. Ryan was second on the team with 6 tackles and added 3 pass breakups, putting to rest any remaining questions as to his value as a free agent signing. Tennessee now sits at 2-1 atop the AFC South.
The Bengals Clark Harris and Tyler Kroft were not expected to put up much of a fight against perennial Super Bowl contender Green Bay. After firing their OC and missing their top tight end Tyler Eifert, Kroft stepped in and the offense came out as on fire as Andy Dalton’s hair. Cinci led 21-7 which included three Kroft catches for 28 yards. Harris and the kicking units had a strong game with a go ahead field goal as 3 minutes remained in the 4th but Green Bay answered on a 75 yard touchdown drive culminating in a Jordy Nelson TD with 17 ticks left. Then after a Bengals punt pinned the Pack at their own 11 yard line to start OT, Rodgers completed a 72 yard toss on first down to set up their game winning field goal. A tough loss, but Cincinnati showed life for the first time this year.
Practice squads: Andre Patton (Chargers), Carlton Agudosi (Cardinals)
Knights in the Pros flashback ... 1960.
On September 25, 1960 the New York Football Giants traveled to face the San Francisco 49ers and future Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle at old Kezar Stadium. I say “old” Kezar Stadium because even though the stadium exists today in the same spot as it did back in 1960 and in the movie Dirty Harry, it was actually rebuilt in 1989 with a smaller seating capacity. The Giants were looking to reach the NFL title game for the third straight season after falling short against the Baltimore Colts in back to back championship games.
The 49ers jumped out to an early 14-0 advantage in the first quarter, but the Giants battled back. The biggest play of the game came from a rookie 9th round draft pick out of Rutgers, Bob Simms. Simms hauled in a key 58 yard reception that would prove to be the only catch of his NFL career, but it spurred the Giants to a 21-19 road victory.
A native of Charleston, West Virginia, Bob Simms arrived at Rutgers in 1956. He led the team in receiving all three of his seasons (freshmen were not eligible at the time). After his brother Steve joined the squad in 1958, Bob set a Rutgers single season record with 9 receiving TDs that would stand for over 50 years until Brandon Coleman broke it in 2012. After being named an All-East selection in 1959, Big brother Bob would later be elected to the Rutgers football Hall of Fame.
Simms would remain a football Giant for two more seasons, participating in the 1961 playoffs after Tittle crossed the country to join the G-men. Bob had been a second round pick in the first AFL draft by the Houston Oilers as a linebacker, but elected to play in the NFL closer to his alma mater as an offensive end. This proved to be the right career choice because in the off-season he got into investment banking and had a more successful career in something other than sports.
Speaking of brothers, Happy Birthday to mine and former Jets quarterback Matt Simms, son of Phil and brother of Chris, who were born hours apart in the same room in 1988 in Ridgewood, NJ! No relation to Steve and Bob Simms I don’t believe.
Kezar was in fact home to the 49ers AND newly formed AFL Oakland Raiders before Candlestick Park opened for football use. Candlestick was built for the San Francisco Giants baseball team having relocated from New York’s Polo Grounds and served as one of the models of so many multi-purpose, football-baseball stadiums that were the norm until falling out of favor in the late 1990s.