Drama rules in Week 3's early games
The NFL usually is entertaining. There are some days when it is absolute must-see TV.
Such was the case early in Week 3, as every game was tight heading into the fourth quarter and five of the nine games went down to the wire -- some in eye-popping fashion.
So what went down to start Week 3's Sunday slate? A look back at the craziness ...
Say this about the Robert Griffin III-led Redskins: They're exciting to watch. Washington trailed 24-7 in the second quarter against Cincinnati, came back to tie the game at 24, then nearly rallied again after the Bengals went up 38-24.
Washington marched all the way to the Bengals' 19 in the closing seconds, down 38-31, before falling short. But things may have been different if not for a near-miss on an onside kick attempt. After scoring to get within seven with 3:35 left, the Redskins tried to get the ball back ... and appeared to. A Redskins' player, though, touched the onside kick about 9 3/4 yards past the line of scrimmage, just shy of the required 10. The resulting penalty gave the ball to Cincinnati.
But one play later, the Jaguars were back on top, thanks to an 80-yard Blaine Gabbert-to-Cecil Shorts touchdown pass that came as the result of some brutal coverage deep in Indianapolis' secondary. With the Colts up 17-16 and Jacksonville needing a good 40 yards to get into long field goal range, Indianapolis somehow let Shorts catch a pass and split the seam to outrace everyone to the end zone.
The Colts had one last chance to pull out the win, but three Luck passes from the Jacksonville 26 fell incomplete in the closing seconds.
Early on, it looked like the big highlight from the Detroit-Tennessee game would be the Titans' reenactment of the famed "Music City Miracle." The Titans pulled the trick off on a punt return this time, with Darius Reynaud lateraling across the field to Tommie Campbell, who raced 65 yards to pay dirt.
But after that, this game had a 105-yard kick return touchdown, an eye-popping TD grab from Nate Washington, a recovered onside kick and a converted Hail Mary. And that was all before overtime.
[si_launchNFLPopup video='26307ea005254563874d2a04c5e25052']Reynaud was responsible for the 105-yard return TD[/si_launchNFLPopup], part of the 46 points the two teams combined for in the fourth quarter. That score pulled Tennessee even at 27-27. The Titans then took the lead with 3:11 left as [si_launchNFLPopup video='b5433be7513c4803b94e2301c7f97617']Washington leaped over Lions CB Jacob Lacey[/si_launchNFLPopup], caught a ball on Lacey's back, then landed and raced to the end zone for an amazing touchdown. On Detroit's next possession, [si_launchNFLPopup video='19688d4443b94188a20cf1495acd4b5c']Alterraun Verner ripped the ball out of Brandon Pettigrew's hands[/si_launchNFLPopup] and ran 72 yards for another score.
Then things got really crazy. Lions backup QB Shaun Hill, in for an injured Matthew Stafford, threw a TD pass with 18 seconds left, Detroit recovered an onside kick and Hill completed a Hail Mary to Titus Young with no time left to send the game to OT.
Tennessee kicked an OT field goal, then held as the [si_launchNFLPopup video='db1948487f14453399609fb9bb1d67a2']Lions fumbled a snap on 4th-and-inches deep in Titans territory[/si_launchNFLPopup].
The Saints held a 24-6 third quarter lead at home against an 0-2 Kansas City team Sunday. Just to prove that this year's Saints are not the dominant force you remember, they blew that edge and lost in overtime, 27-24.
The second of three OT games early Sunday, this one actually got past the oft-confusing early overtime rules -- neither team scored on its opening possession -- and into true sudden death. Kansas City was still able to take advantage of getting the ball first in the extra period, moving to midfield and pinning New Orleans on its own 3 with a punt.
After a Saints three-and-out, Kansas City moved from its 47 to the New Orleans 16 before [si_launchNFLPopup video='dccf486e2a7e44b19b7ec450804fa3ea']kicking a game-winning field goal[/si_launchNFLPopup], following a defensive stop.
As if we needed a cherry on top of Sunday's early insanity, the Jets-Dolphins game, which also went to overtime, ended like this: New York drove to the Miami 16 needing just a field goal to win. Nick Folk's 33-yard attempt (moments after Miami's Dan Carpenter had pulled a 48-yarder for the win) was blocked.
Except ... [si_launchNFLPopup video='9e431e0fdfa148db95e462fb6d812626']Miami called timeout just a split-second before the snap[/si_launchNFLPopup]. As Rex Ryan laughed at his good fortune, Folk lined up and booted his next chance through for a 23-20 victory. The Jets took the lead in an ugly seesaw game, 20-17, with 3:01 left, only to watch rookie QB Ryan Tannehill drive Miami for the tying field goal at the 16-second mark.