The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Three

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1. Denver Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley committed suicide on Monday. One of McKinley’s friends discovered the body on Monday afternoon after running an errand with McKinley’s son. Authorities indicated that McKinley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Denver coach Josh McDaniels expressed great sadness at McKinley’s passing, adding that no one within the Broncos organization was aware of McKinley’s depression. Denver will observe a moment of silence before their game on Sunday in honor of McKinley. He was 23.

The Bears and the Packers are both undefeated and will square off on Monday Night.

2. Braylon Edwards, wide receiver for the New York Jets, was arrested today for driving while intoxicated. New York police stopped Edwards due to the fact that his SUV’s windows were too tinted to see through, and they detected a strong scent of alcohol coming from the car. Police administered a breath test, and found that Edwards had a blood alcohol content of .16, twice the legal limit. This crime may be a violation of Edwards probation that stemmed from a misdemeanor aggravated assault charge in Cleveland after he punched a friend of LeBron James. Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said that Edwards will be active for Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, though he indicated that whether or not he plays will be up to Jets coach Rex Ryan.

3. A pair of quarterback controversies captured the imagination of the league this week. First and foremost, Eagles coach Andy Reid announced that Michael Vick would start in place of Kevin Kolb. Kolb was named the starter coming out of preseason, but a concussion suffered in the Eagles’ first game of the season gave Vick an opportunity to take the field, and he shined in relief. As recently as yesterday, Reid had indicated that Kolb would return to the starting job as soon as he fully recovered from his concussion, but today he did an about-face, saying that “[w]hen someone is playing at the level Michael Vick is playing, you have to give him an opportunity.” Additionally, Jimmy Clausen will make his first NFL start this Sunday in place of the flagging Matt Moore. The former Nortre Dame quarterback will start for the Carolina Panthers in the hopes of digging them out of an 0-2 hole.

Undefeated Teams

Chicago Bears
Green Bay Packers
Houston Texans
Kansas City Chiefs
Miami Dolphins
New Orleans Saints
Pittsburgh Steelers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

For those of you keeping track, that’s eight undefeated teams still standing after the first two weeks of the season. In 2009 there were nine at this point in the season and in 2008 there were ten.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns
Carolina Panthers
Dallas Cowboys
Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings
San Francisco 49ers
St. Louis Rams

Just to keep things even, we also have eight winless teams after the first two weeks of the season. It was also even in 2009 when there were nine winless teams in week three.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Atlanta at New Orleans, 1 P.M. EST on FOX – The defending Superbowl champs have pulled out two hard fought wins in the first two weeks of the season. With the game tied and a minute and a half left in the game, Drew Brees led the Saints down the field and gave Garrett Hartley the opportunity to kick the game-winning field goal. Both the 49ers and the Vikings gave New Orleans a big fight, but each time, the champs responded and got the win. This week, the Saints will face their first division opponent, without running back Reggie Bush, and attempt to establish themselves in the NFC South this season. The Falcons, meanwhile, have played a pair of impressive games of their own. Despite a close, heartbreaking loss to the Steelers in week one, the Falcons absolutely thrashed the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 41-7. Matt Ryan threw for 225 yards, three touchdowns, and completed 66% of his passes. Now, Ryan and the rampaging Atlanta offense will take aim at the Saints and attempt to unseat their division rivals to prove themselves the class of the NFC South.

2. NY Jets at Miami, 8:20 P.M. EST on NBC – The New York Jets narrowly avoided going winless through the first two weeks of the season by coming from behind to beat the New England Patriots in one of the most exciting games of the weekend. While Mark Sanchez looked sluggish and disoriented last weekend, he came alive in week two, playing efficient football and making the tough throws when necessary. Though there’s no way to know how much the issue with Braylon Edwards will serve as a distraction, the Jets appear to have found their legs (and that includes L.T.) and will seek to notch another win in the AFC East. The Dolphins, meanwhile, have quietly amassed a 2-0 record to start the season, with a solid win over the Buffalo Bills and a close, grind-it-out win against the Vikings. The Miami defense managed to hold Adrian Peterson out of the endzone when Minnesota was on the one-yard line with the game was on the line. The Fins are currently on top and the AFC East, and a win over the division rival Jets would cement their position there.

3. Green Bay at Chicago, Monday, 8:30 P.M. EST on ESPN – This matchup can boast not only a division rivalry, but a pair of undefeated teams squaring off in the national spotlight. The Packers were early favorites to contend in the NFC and have lived up to the billing. Aaron Rodgers has firmly stepped into the big shoes left by Brett Favre and led the Pack to a strong win over the Eagles and a thirty-four point shellacking of the Bills. Green Bay appears to be firing on all cylinders and will look to make it three wins in a row to start the season. The Bears, meanwhile, have had a narrower margin of victory, but their record is exactly the same as Green Bay’s and the cherry on top would be beating the Packers to claim sole possession of first place in the NFC North. With a controversial win over Detroit and a big victory on the road against Dallas, Chicago is a force to be reckoned with and will look to show their mettle against a division rival.

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