It was a rather low-scoring week in the National Football League, but multiple young players made the most of their opportunities, with break out performances. Meanwhile, the injury bug continues to bite teams across the NFL. Before week four begins with the Dolphins traveling to face the Bengals in Cincinnati, let's take one last look at week three.
Top Games from week 3:
Indianapolis Colts vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs went into Indianapolis heavily favored against the then 0-1-1 Colts who were coming off an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Jaguars. Yet, this game was back-and-forth from start to finish. The Colts struck first as Matt Ryan found rookie Jelani Woods for a one-yard touchdown. After a few punts and a turnover on downs from the Colts, neither team was able to get their feet underneath them. Until the Chiefs scored in just four plays, but after a missed PAT, Kansas City still trailed 7-6. One drive later, the Colts added on a field goal, extending the lead to 10-6. Just two drives later, the Chiefs were set up and Indy’s twenty-one-yard line after recovering a Matt Ryan fumble. In just five plays, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire scored a one-yard touchdown, followed by a successful two-point conversion, giving Kansas City the lead with 1:46 left in the half. Both teams traded field goals in the third quarter, giving Mahomes and the Chiefs a 17-13 lead entering the final period. Neither team could put much together offensively in the fourth quarter. Both offenses turned the ball over on downs and the Chiefs missed a field goal in the fourth quarter. After the missed field goal, Ryan and the Colts had a go-ahead opportunity with 8:14 remaining in the game. The 2016 NFL MVP led a sixteen-play drive, completing eight of ten total passes for fifty-five yards and a twelve-yard touchdown pass to Jelani Woods. The Colts were now in the lead 20-17 with under thirty seconds remaining. Just three plays later, Rodney McLeod sealed the game, intercepting Patrick Mahomes with just two seconds left. Matt Ryan then kneeled the game out, giving Indianapolis their first win of the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Green Bay Packers
Whenever Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers meet, it’s a must-watch matchup. Two of the greatest Quarterbacks to ever play the game met once again in Tampa, in what could’ve been their last ever face-off. Although the head-to-head matchup of Brady vs. Rodgers was highly anticipated, many of the other stars were missing. The Buccaneers were without Wide Receivers: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones; as well as Defensive Tackle Aikem Hicks. Meanwhile, the Packers were without receiver Sammy Watkins. But these two inconsistent offenses started hot. Tampa was able to drive down on the opening drive and take a 3-0 lead after a forty-five-yard field goal from Ryan Succop. To which Rodgers and the Packers responded by marching down the field and taking a 7-3 lead after Rodgers found rookie Romeo Doubs for a five-yard touchdown. Green Bay was able to force a punt on Tampa’s ensuing drive, giving the offense the ball back. Rodgers took the troops down the field once again, connecting with Allen Lazard from six yards out to take a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter. However, neither offense could find much of a rhythm after that. The Buccaneers were only able to add on a field goal in the third quarter, while Green Bay ended the quarter scoreless. Yet, the fourth quarter ended in typical Brady-Rodgers fashion. Trailing 14-6, Brady and the Bucs had 2:50 in the fourth to go tie the game. Brady connected with new off-season acquisition Russell Gage several times on the drive, including a one-yard touchdown with just fourteen seconds left. Setting up Tampa with a game-tying situation contingent upon the two-point attempt. The Bucs were unable to get the snap off in time, resulting in a delay of game penalty, moving the offense back to the seven-yard line. Tampa was unable to convert on the two-point attempt, resulting in a 14-12 defeat at the hands of Rodgers in the Packers.
Jalen Hurts QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Hurts is off to a red-hot start so far, dominating every opponent the Eagles have faced. Hurts is the first player since at least 1950 to pass for at least nine hundred yards and rush for one-hundred yards through three games (NFL Research). Hurts is continuing to build his case for MVP, dominating Washington in week three. The Commanders were able to contain Hurts in the running game but were no match for his arm. Hurts threw for three-hundred and forty yards and added three touchdowns as well in Sunday’s win, boosting the Eagles to 3-0, making them one of two undefeated teams in the NFL.
Khalil Herbert RB, Chicago Bears
Chicago’s starting running back David Montgomery left the game in the first quarter after just three carries and did not return; which opened the door for Khalil Herbert. Herbert made the most of it, to say the least. Herbert took over Montgomery’s role as the bell-cow for the Bears’ offense and totaled one-hundred and fifty-seven yards on the ground along with the only two touchdowns Chicago was able to score. Herbert did major damage on just twenty carries, averaging just under eight yards per rush (7.9).
Mack Hollins WR, Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders were without receiver Hunter Renfrow due to a concussion, requiring someone to step up alongside top options DaVante Adams and Darren Waller. Although the Raiders suffered another defeat in a close game versus the Titans, Mack Hollins had a career day. Hollins hauled in eight receptions for a career-high one-hundred and fifty-eight yards and a touchdown. In a game without their number two wide receiver, the UNC product quickly became Derek Carr’s go-to guy after DaVante Adams. Hollins led the team not only in yards and receptions but targets as well with eleven total.
DeVonta Smith WR, Philadelphia Eagles
The former Heisman winner and college teammate of his now NFL QB torched the Commanders Sunday as their secondary had no answers for him. Smith recorded a new career-high with one-hundred and sixty-nine yards receiving on eight total catches. Smith set the Eagles up for a goal-to-go situation just before the half on an incredible catch over two Washington defenders. Smith also made one trip to the endzone, on another miraculous catch over the top of Cornerback Kendall Fuller. The Eagles' offense has been in an unstoppable rhythm to begin the season, and Smith has greatly shifted into his role as Philadelphia’s number two option.
Cordarrelle Patterson RB, Atlanta Falcons
Patterson joined the Falcons last season and was used heavily in both the passing and running game, yet Patterson has seen more focus on the rushing offense early on in 2022. After a down week where the Falcons faced a large deficit, the run game had to be abandoned; leaving much to desire for Patterson. However, Patterson rebounded against Seattle in a big way. Patterson carried the ball seventeen times for one-hundred and forty-one yards; accounting for all but just thirty-eight of Atlanta’s total rushing yards. Patterson was also able to get into the endzone for the second time this year on a seventeen-yard scoring run in the second quarter. With fellow running back Damien Williams on Injured-reserve and inactive for at least one more game; Patterson looks as if he’ll be the workhorse back for Atlanta for the time being.
Dalvin Cook RB, Minnesota Vikings
Cook departed from Sunday’s win against Detroit late in the third quarter with a shoulder injury and did not return to the game. Cook suffered a dislocated shoulder, but is considered day-to-day and has said himself that he expects to play against New Orleans in week four. Cook has a history of issues with his shoulder as he missed some time last year with a similar injury, as well as some games from his college career.
Mac Jones QB, New England Patriots
New England’s second-year QB exited the Patriots’ loss to the Ravens late in the game, with what is now being diagnosed as a “severe ankle sprain.” The current belief is that Jones will likely miss a few games, but New England hopes that Jones will not have to have surgery on the injured ankle. It seems very unlikely that Jones will play in the week four matchup against Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay, yet there is no official word as of now. If Jones is unable to suit up, New England would likely go with Brian Hoyer at Quarterback. Update: NFL Network has reported that Jones has told his teammates that he could play Sunday against the Packers. Jones has yet to be declared “out” for Sunday, but the likelihood that he plays is still unknown.
David Montgomery RB, Chicago Bears
Montgomery left Sunday’s game against the Texans after just three carries in the first quarter and did not return. Chicago Bears Head Coach, Matt Eberflus, said that Montgomery is currently “day-to-day.” There is no official word yet as to if Montgomery will be active for week four, but a day-to-day designation is a positive sign.
Tua Tagovailoa QB, Miami Dolphins
Tagovailoa came up unsteady after hitting his head hard against the grass late in the second quarter in Sunday’s close win over Buffalo. Tua appeared to be concussed, yet coach Mike McDaniel confirmed he successfully went through the NFL’s concussion protocol before returning to the game. However, the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has still decided to initiate an investigation into how his injury was handled. Though the main headlines were around Tua and a possible head injury, it is Tua’s back that may keep him out of Thursday’s game versus the Bengals. Update: Tagovailoa is expected to play Thursday night against the Bengals.
Rashawn Slater OT, Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers have continued to be hindered by many of their key pieces suffering injuries; the latest being 2021 first-round pick and pro-bowl tackle, Rashawn Slater. Slater suffered a tear to his left biceps tendon in Sunday’s blowout loss to the Jaguars, which will end his 2022-2023 campaign. The Northwestern product is already one of the league’s best tackles in just year two of his career, making this a huge loss for the Chargers.
D’Andre Swift RB, Detroit Lions
Swift has been banged up since the beginning of the season, dealing with an ankle injury and now leaving Sunday’s game against Minnesota with a shoulder sprain. Swift is currently considered week-to-week, but the Lions have thought about potentially resting him until after their bye week, which is week six of the season. Nothing of such seriousness has been confirmed yet, but when asked about the possibility, Head Coach Dan Campbell said “it’s on our mind.”
Joe Mixon RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor had said that Mixon was trying to work through a “sore ankle” late in Sunday’s win over the Jets, explaining why Mixon was on the sideline for the final portion of the game. However, Taylor also said that Mixon would be able to play in Thursday’s game against the Dolphins. Mixon was also a limited participant in Monday’s practice. With a quick turnaround for Cincinnati, the Bengals will have to watch Mixon closely. But as of right now it sounds like Mixon will be just fine.
Jaire Alexander CB, Green Bay Packers
Green Bay’s young star corner went down with a groin injury on the opening drive of the game against the Bucs and did not return. However, there’s lots of optimism around Alexander’s injury as the current belief is that he avoided a serious injury. Alexander’s status for week four against New England is currently unknown, the Packers will see how well he can practice before declaring if he’ll be able to suit up for Sunday’s matchup.
A.J. Green WR, Arizona Cardinals
Arizona’s seven-time pro-bowl receiver went down with a knee injury in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Rams and did not return to the game. The Cardinals later announced that Green is dealing with a bone bruise on his left knee, but there is currently no timetable for Green’s return. This is another tough hit for the Cardinals receivers as they’re without DeAndre Hopkins for a few more games from his suspension before the season and are without multiple other receivers.
Joey Bosa DE, Los Angeles Chargers
Bosa went down early in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Jaguars with a groin injury, and unfortunately for the injury-stricken Chargers, Bosa will miss some time. Bosa’s groin injury is considered to be “significant” and the star Defensive End is considered week-to-week. Update: The Chargers placed Bosa on the Injured Reserve Wednesday, which will keep him out for a few games.
Trent Williams OT, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco’s nine-time Pro-Bowl tackle went down early into Sunday night’s game with an ankle injury and did not return. Unfortunately for the 49ers, Williams is slated to miss extended time with a high ankle sprain. Coach Kyle Shanahan said that the swelling on Williams’ sprained ankle was “pretty bad,” and that Williams will miss anywhere from 4-6 weeks.