Football Outsiders
Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Here's the thread for open discussion of all Week 3 NFL's games, starting on Thursday night with (ugh) the Rams at the 49ers, then going all day Sunday, and ending with Dallas at Arizona on Monday Night Football.


152 comments, Last at 26 Sep 2017, 11:33am

15 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Agree. For instance, I think Bengals color rush uniforms are way better than their regular unis. The 49ers could be better, but aren't terrible. The Cowboys and Packers also look good. Other ones, on the other hand, almost look like they were intentionally designed to cause grand mal seizures. (Lookin at you, Seahawks).

5 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

This Rams-49ers game is better than anticipated. Would like more defense and less penalties, but it's still reasonably entertaining.

6 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

That 2nd and Goal play with 3 minutes left was holding by the defender up until the end, at which point it became a MUGGING. No clue how that didn't get called.

9 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

That offensive PI against the niners on the final drive was bullshit.

Even though neither team matters to me, that was a pretty entertaining game.

As a Broncos fan, I'm happy to see baby Shanahan's offense looking adequate, but I'm sad seeing Wade Phillip's defense look rather weak. Either way, exciting game.

10 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

PPR league...WR spot... i can only choose one of the following receivers and i can't make up my mind: eric decker, jaron brown, devin funchess, or brandon lafell...

i would be grateful for any insight/advice anyone can offer... i am a subscriber to the FO weekly fantasy projections and it seems the preference is for jaron brown but i don't think he had a particularly good game against indy and the targets he earned were more of a result of the way indy D was committed to covering Fitz..

like i said, im torn lol...

14 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Very entertaining game. This is the first time this year I've seen Jared Goff live. I think Cian Fahey put it best on his Twitter account when he was asked about his performance in 2017 thus far: [paraphrasing] "I'm still not that excited about the guy, but he looks like an actual NFL player now".

Kind of makes wonder what proportion of highly drafted busts in years past became busts because of how poorly they were coached in their first few years.

20 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Probably a lot of them, because teams that draft high generally don't have even league-average coaching (whether HC, coordinator, or position coaching).

There aren't that many better-than-average coaches out there because we're drawing from the right tail of the football-coaching-ability spectrum (even the likes of, say, Jim Tomsula are almost certainly well within the top 1% (75 million people) of humans in football coaching skill), so the outliers like Belichick really bring the average up. Maybe there's eight or nine above average head coaches in the league and a few who aren't in an NFL job (including ones in college or broadcasting or who wore out their welcome in a job). An above average coach probably only becomes available a few times per decade, so the odds are that any team that replaces their head coach is getting someone who's below average.

(Similar reasoning can be applied to probably any playing position, though there the presence of the cap makes it a little less crazy to swap out below average players... but if you're looking for a reason Jay Cutler keeps getting signed...)

29 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I think 8 or 9 above average may be a bit harsh, but I agree probably 50% or less of teams have what can be considered a good coach. It may be that if you have coach who isn't a net negative, you're doing pretty good.

18 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

The offense is tolerable. The line play is so bad that when you watch it, it watches you back.

It might be worse than 2016 Vikings line, and those guys were starting talented local high schoolers by the end of the season.

17 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Best Thursday night game ever? It's up there.
Hard for 49ers to win when they were missing so much on D but they hung in there.

19 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I'd put those three above it.

21 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

The simple fact we're capable of talking about TNF as genuinely entertaining considering the teams involved likely bumps it to the top for me; those games actually involved at least one decent team, and did anyone really think the Rams and 49ers were capable of doing anything other than being awful? I mean, that was clearly the most fun game of the year so far, and between the Rams' apparent swing between competence and incredibly stupid mistakes (seriously, Tavon Austin Tavon Austined as hard as he has ever Tavon Austined before) and the 49ers somehow holding on even with Brian Hoyer missing all sorts of balls . . . that was just a great game. The fact it was so completely unexpected is what makes it utterly great to me.

23 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

It was like a Fast and Furious movie. Nobody thinks those movies are actually good, but damn, they can be entertaining simply from the sheer spectacle. Vin Diesel is an awful actor, but in those movies he gives a functional performance. Just like how Brian Hoyer can at times quarterback a functional offense.

26 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Diesel was decent in Saving Private Ryan; I liked him a lot in Pitch Black, so I would argue he has movies where he's better than functional. Would argue that Diesel is better at acting than Hoyer is at quarterbacking.

28 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I had forgotten about Saving Private Ryan, he was pretty decent, albeit in a limited sample size (his character died like 45 minutes into the movie). I've never seen Pitch Black. He was horrendous in the XXX movies (I literally couldn't finish watching either one because he was so bad).

So maybe Diesel in Saving Private Ryan was Brian Hoyer in the first 11 games of Cleveland 2014. I'm not that impressed with the rest of their careers (again conceding that I'm probably being unfair since I haven't seen Pitch Black).

30 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Pitch Black is an OK movie, if you don't pay close attention, ceratianly better than the following bombastic/over-blown Chronicles of Ridick movies. Vin Deisel's performance is non-awful. Pitch Black would probably make a good video game.

41 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I actually think Vin Deisel is a pretty decent actor, and The Rock is downright good. It's just that for the action movie hero roles he plays, (1) script is really a tertiary priority, (2) trying to add depth to a story/character often detracts from the popcorn movie experience, and (3) while he's limited in what he can do, but he's quite good within those limitations.

#3 is actually not meant to be derogatory, because it's true of 99.99% of all professional actors.

42 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

"while he's limited in what he can do, but he's quite good within those limitations.
#3 is actually not meant to be derogatory, because it's true of 99.99% of all professional actors."

So perhaps I was being uncharitable when I called Vin Diesel the Brian Hoyer of actors. Maybe he's more like the Alex Smith of actors.

24 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I decided to look up the best bad games in pfr.

How about some of these?

Those last two both had converted Hails Mary. The 2012 game featured 28 points in the last 3:11, including 14 points for Detroit in the last 18 seconds. And they still lost.

27 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

You also forgot to mention that in the 2012 game, it was a converted hail mary that happened after a converted onside kick.

And as a fellow Lions fan, I can't believe you forgot about this game:

34 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

That was a little before my time. I first became aware of the NFL around 1987.

So I missed out on this:

but not this:

36 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I wouldn't include the 2010 game. It was sloppily plaid, in addition to being low-scoring (you can forgive one of those, but not both). I was in the stadium with my Bills fan cousin, and we both left the game feeling depressed about our respective teams (more than usual, anyway).

I only starting watching the NFL regularly in week 9 of 1989, because this game was so entertaining:
The Lions recovered the onside kick after scoring a touchdown to cut the Oiler's lead to 4. They were driving for the winning touchdown until Chris Dishman made an amazing play for an interception (can't find the video on You Tube, but he went full extension and flipped over to grab a pass that deflected off the chest of the receiver.

But there are certain past Lions losses that my Dad never stops talking about. The 1980 one really hurt. The Lions lost a tiebreaker for the division title to a mediocre Vikings teams (the players from the Bud Grant glory years were aging out of the league), so losing to a bad Bears team at home kept them out of the playoffs. It was #2 on his list of most hearbreaking Lions losses in the 1980's, behind Eddie Murray hooking a game-winning field goal against the 49ers in the 1983 divisional playoffs.

43 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

My first traumatic Lion memory was the 1970 63 yard game winning FG by Tom Dempsey. I was sure the game was won as the longest prior FG was 55 yards, my childish mind thought this attempt was just a joke. Oh man the scar tissue is so thick, and I am so old.

44 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Lol, well the Lions currently have the current long FG record holder, so maybe they can get revenge against the Saints at some point in the next few seasons.

Do you remember anything else about that 1970 team? Other people tell me that this team was actually closer than the '91 team at winning the Super Bowl (maybe a lucky bounce or two against Dallas in the playoffs), because they they were a legit good team, and there was no '91 Redskins in the way.

46 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

The offense was pretty good. Charlie Sanders was excellent, Farr at RB was good, the two headed LandryMunson QB was limited (but Landry sure could run), I don't really remember any WR's and thought at the time that offensive line was 1 position. The defense had some great players Lem Barney, Dick Lebeau, Alex Karras, & Mike Lucci. The 5-0 loss to Dallas was also a bitter pill, I do remember them getting manhandled by the Dallas D. If they could have won that game they would have been favorites in the conference champs and the Colts that year were not great. So probably the closest Lions team to making the super bowl. The two best teams that year were probably the Vikings and Lions and neither made it the the super bowl.

47 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

larry walton pretty good wide rciever . at least that year. other was earl mccullouch. mccullouch had some injury issues that year but started the playoff game.

it was karras's last season and he was way past his prime. paul naumoff was a good linebacker.

32 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I like the Luke Kuechly soup commercial. It made me laugh (the soup part is a distraction though). Oh, and the game was way better than usual.

50 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

This is Maryland vs UCF start of the first half.
"they need to re-establish the run."
10 mins later
"they need to abandon the running game to save time"
These commentators are just- nothing.
The ensuing TD play is an empty backfield pass.
These commentators are dumb or chose to be idiots.

51 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Time for another season of FO slack gameday chat! For people who are already in, just go to For anyone that wants to join a star-studded cast of their favorite FO posters for gameday chat, just email me at and you will receive an invite

52 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I don't recognize this Jaguars quarterback. When did the Aliens kidnap Blaine Gabbert and replace him with a robot? That robot is pretending to be a competent NFL quarterback.

54 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Don't think the Ravens are staying at #1 in dvoa after this one. Jags haven't played a normal game yet this year- the Houston game came after Harvey, and Jax was battered by Irma- I'm not sure if it was clear how bad it was for the city in the national press, and now the London game, which is really an advantage for them by this point. The defense is vicious, and it could be enough to be competitive. If Bortles plays as well as he has today, I can live with them missing out on one of the qbs in next year's draft (they really need two or three new starters on the oline, too- drives me crazy that they haven't bother to call Mangold, they've got the cap space and could really use a pro lineman), but other than the line and qb, they have relatively few weak spots (they're also another team that ought to do due diligence on Kaep as well, Coughlin would resist it, but Khan would be on board). Fournette also looks like a good pick, for this team (he gives Bortles a chance to get his head right, and Bortles's biggest issues are mental, not physical). Guess it'll be easier to get a bead on this team after their next game, they've been completely schizo so far

55 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

All these comments about how entertaining the Thursday night game reminds me that there was a Thursday night game and that I should get around to looking up the score.

56 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

At 9 minutes left in the third, including penalties, Baltimore is only 13 yards away from breaking even on the day offensively!

62 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Has there ever been an NFL game where a team finished with negative yardage? I'm actually rooting for it now. I don't follow baseball closely, but this is what rooting for a perfect game must feel like.

71 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

hey, i'm probably this site's only jags fan, i just think it's sending bad karma out in the universe (and, in this case, i'm a believer in barry sanders's "act like you've been there before", even if they haven't). the london games have been the team's high point the last few years (unless you count free-agency championships, where they're three-time defending division champs)

100 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

No, I'm saying don't use your fake punt when you're up 37-0. The other team wasn't playing the way they normally would at that point, so you don't even get the benefit of putting something on film. There's a time and a place for playing emotionally. That ain't it, even putting aside that you're inviting cheap shots from a disrespected opponent

72 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Wow, that Jags-Ravens score is an absolute shocker. I can't remember being more surprised on learning the result of a game I didn't watch or follow.

74 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

So the official in the Panthers game stands in front of Cam Newton not allowing him to begin the cadence until 2 seconds are left on the clock. Then they call delay of game on the Panthers. Seems reasonable.

85 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I understand that. What I don't understand, is when the Saints defense was clearly not subbing, they had the same 11 guys on the field waiting for the cadence to start, why the refs would stand up there until there were only 2 seconds left on the play clock. Were they really expecting the Saints to send subs onto the field with 3 seconds left on the clock?

If it is an automatic penalty to substitute on offense with less than 15 seconds on the play clock, then enforce that rule. As it is now, its a judgment call for the refs as to whether they are going to hold the game up or not to let subs onto the field. In this case, a very poor judgment.

76 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Rams look good, Jags crush Ravens, Texans leading Pats... is this the end of days?

Oh wait, Lions are still losing. We're good.

78 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Detroits defensive resurgence this year appears to be a product of opponents. Lions have yet to make the Falcons punt thus far

80 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Spero Dedes is confusing as hell to try and listen to. He'll be talking about something unrelated to the game in front of him, then in the middle of a goddamn word he'll switch to doing play by play. What the serious fuck?

Then Adam Archulata is clearly rooting for the Bills. Fuck them both.

81 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Colts, Vikings, and Saints all up by multiple scores? Texans leading the Pats? Jets edging the Dolphins? That's a whole lot of surprising scores in the early going.

87 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Wow - just phenomenally stupid play in Chicago.

Bears block FG attempt, guy running it back for TD...and he slows down b4 scoring.

Steelers, hustling, knock ball out at the 1. Bounces it into the end zone where Pittsburgh kicker illegally bats it out.

Refs first say half is over. John Fox asks for safety. But...
it's a loose ball, not a defender.

Refs finally figure out penalty should be applied at point where ball is lost. Bears get 1 untimed play at the 1/2 yard line.

And commit false start.

So they kick FG. Dumb play costs Bears 4 points.

150 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Although batting the ball out of the end zone was a bad decision. Once the ball was fumbled the Bears had no way of getting points except by penalty; if Chi had recovered it in the end zone it would've been first down Bears at the spot of the fumble --> end of the half.

151 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

The punter would be the one player, of course, who's been trained to bat the ball in the end zone, since conceding two points is better than seven. If Berry could run the length of the field, get to the ball, and have the presence of mind to realize that not only is it the end of the half, but it's an opponent's fumble, good for him, but I can't fault him for making the play he should ordinarily make.

94 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I can't get over some of these scores. Three line favorites are getting absolutely blown out right now (Panthers, Dolphins, and Bucs), with the Steelers also down by double digits.

97 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

DeShaun Watson has many flaws in his game, even allowing for the fact that he's a rookie making his second start, but by God, he can do some pretty exciting stuff too.

122 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

What do other people think of O'Brian kicking a field goal on 4th & a foot from the Pat's 18 with 2:28 left to go up by 2? I get the whole forcing the Pat's to score a touchdown issue, but with the way the Texans were running the ball in the 4th quarter I really have to think I'd rather give it a shot than give the ball back to Brady with all that time left in a do-or-die situation to score a touchdown. Hindsight notwithstanding, how big a spread in quality does there have to be Pat's O to D before opposing coaches just decide to try to win the game on offense.

129 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

It's much easier to drive for a FG in < 2 minutes than to drive the length of the field for a TD. On the two previous drives, the Pats had gone 3-and-out. FG definitely seems like a good decision.

I was far more confused by the Pats punting from the Texans 38. That's "only" a 55-yd FG. Gostkowski has made those in the past. And the punt only netted 18 yds of field position.

104 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Wow couple of crazy endings. Lions were luck to even be in the game with the Falcons, but their luck ran out. Reversing that TD was the right call

105 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

That was a crazy slate of early afternoon games. Falcons and Pats both barely, barely escape, but still a ton of huge upsets.

107 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Unbelievable finish in NYG-Phi. Alshon Jeffrey catches a ball and just ducks out of bounds with 1 second left, setting up a kick from 61 yards that is just barely good, kissing against the right upright.

108 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Gotta love that blatant Cooks push-off that wasn’t called on the last drive there right after the weak one that was called on Houston. Just another Sunday in Foxboro I suppose.

109 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

officiating was extremely poor all-around the league today (unsportsmanlike conduct call on Von Miller because he didnt help Tyrod Taylor up??)...hope the move to full-time officials fixes some of it, because it's still really bad

112 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Packers and NFL dodge a bullet when a fumble by Adams is overturned on replay after the ref let the play continue. Rodgers is the one who eventually tackled the Bengal who had the ball. Imagine the noise if Rodgers had been injured.

114 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Richard Sherman just got penalized 3 times in one play. First, he commits pass interference which leads to a interception. Then, he holds on the return. Finally he completely loses it, even though the original call seemed legitimate

116 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Story out of New England is that the D is still very bad.

Detroit didn't deserve to be in the game against Atlanta, then their luck ran out.

125 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

That may have been the laziest pass I'd ever seen Rodgers toss. Stared down Nelson from the snap, and made it easy for the corner.

126 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Geez, and now the Packers are getting whacked by the Bengals (although it's still early). What is it with this day and underdogs running riot? Anyway, if GB ends up losing this then the only thing keeping them from an 0-3 start will be some bad reffing in Week 1.

128 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

I will trade missing the playoffs if it means finally shedding Dom Capers. If that’s seriously what it will take to drive him out of town, then so be it.

130 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Romo is missing on a few of his presnap predictions this afternoon but I hope CBS doesn't discourage him from continuing to try to do it. I think it still gives a nice window into what what the QB is looking at and how they make decisions.

133 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

he rambles a ton and sometimes is fairly incoherent, but I'll take the entertainment of Romo failing to guess the next play over a cadaverous Simms any day of the week. I think the best part of his commentary is that Romo will actually call out bad plays, calls, and players when it's obvious or even not so obvious. The standard announcers seem to sugarcoat things or refuse to make any judgments whatsoever about an event and it can get quite annoying

147 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Gruden is the absolute worst of the sugarcoating thing. He's never met a player who didn't deserve a heap of praise. "THIS GUY, you talk about a FOOTBALL PLAYER!" In fairness to Gruden, I think that's what ESPN wants, and they're at least as much to blame for it as Gruden is.

Collinsworth is the other announcer besides Romo who isn't afraid to call somebody out. He notices some pretty subtle things during the course of the play, and never holds back if somebody messed up.

146 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

He does talk too much (and he was transparently rooting for Rodgers and the Pack), but I still thought he added a lot to the broadcast. I like his excitement. He'll probably learn to pick his spots more but I hope they don't try to tame him too much.

134 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

it will be interesting to see how the sports media picks up on David Decastro's comments, if they notice at all

The standard is the standard!

141 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Because the Redskins are involved, that's a dead certainty. The strong belief in these parts (DC area) is that he'll be joining Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. If not there, than somewhere else. And for a lot of money.

Redskins didn't want to lock him up for the long term when it would have been relatively cheap to do so. Instead they've paid him Franchise Tag money (which is a lot of cash) for two years. And he'll walk.

138 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

OK, in a span of about 100 seconds, we've seen the Raiders completely stink at covering receivers, pass blocking, and punt team execution. It's like late stage Al all over again.

140 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Cam Newton looks like he is three months away from playing shape. This would be a great time to bring Kaep in.....

142 Re: Week 3 Open Game Discussion

Surprised at the Raiders' complete inability to convert a third down. This performance is a huge leap forward for the Skins defense.