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Takeaways from Week 3 NFL games

September 25,2017 02:20

While reaction to President Trump's statements about NFL players dominated conversation around the league Sunday, there was some rather compelling football being played on the field. Here are takeaways from each game: Washington Redskins 27 ...and more »

Lindsay H. Jones, USA TODAY Sports Published 6:49 p.m. ET Sept. 24, 2017 | Updated 12:02 a.m. ET Sept. 25, 2017

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Breaking down the top finishes and best moments from around Week 3 in the NFL. USA TODAY Sports

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While reaction to President Trump's statements about NFL players dominated conversation around the league Sunday, there was some rather compelling football being played on the field. Here are takeaways from each game:
Washington Redskins 27, Oakland Raiders 10: The Silver and Black's offense was more black and blue, as Derek Carr couldn't get anything started under the constant threat of pressure and generated just 128 total yards. Washington's aerial attack, meanwhile, finally clicked for Kirk Cousins this year. Even with Jordan Reed out, the Redskins had no trouble slicing up the Raiders. Chris Thompson (six catches, 150 yards, TD) is one to keep an eye on.
Green Bay Packers 27, Cincinnati Bengals 24: The good news is the Bengals finally found their offense and reached the end zone for the first time this season. (Who would have thought throwing to A.J. Green would work?). The bad news? Aaron Rodgers is still among the NFL’s most clutch passers. He led a game-tying touchdown at the end of the fourth quarter and, in classic Rodgers style, took advantage of a free play in overtime to hit a 72-yard pass to set up the game-winning field goal from Mason Crosby.
Tennessee Titans 33, Seattle Seahawks 27: It’s time to sound the annual alarm after another slow start for the Seahawks, who allowed the Titans to rush for 195 yards. Seattle QB Russell Wilson had his best statistical performance this year (4 TD throws, 373 passing yards) but got little support from his own run game.
Kansas City Chiefs 24, Los Angeles Chargers 10: The 3-0 Chiefs own the NFL’s most exciting offense, thanks to the duo rookie running back Kareem Hunt (172 rushing yards, TD) and Tyreek Hill (77 receiving yards, TD). But Kansas City is the best team in the AFC because of a defense that intercepted Philip Rivers three times Sunday.
Jacksonville Jaguars 44, Baltimore Ravens 7: The Jags continue to be one of the most confusing teams in the NFL after this lopsided win at London's Wembley Stadium. While they clearly have the talent on defense, as two more sacks and three forced turnovers against Baltimore illustrate, Jacksonville's fortunes are heavily linked to quarterback Blake Bortles. But he must string performances like this together.
Chicago Bears 23, Pittsburgh Steelers 17: Bears quarterback Mike Glennon was hardly impressive (101 passing yards), but the Bears had a huge day on the ground. The duo of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen rushed for 216 yards, including Howard’s 19-yard game-winning touchdown in overtime.
Buffalo Bills 26, Denver Broncos 16: Buffalo's defense picked off Trevor Siemian twice while sending Denver to its first loss of the year. A late unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on linebacker Von Miller against Bills QB Tyrod Taylor (2 TD passes) will draw plenty of questions to the league office, but the Broncos should have no excuses for their overall performance.
New England Patriots 36, Houston Texans 33: Surely there are no moral victories in the NFL, but the Texans have to be pleased with rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson, who nearly orchestrated a massive upset with 301 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots escaped thanks to Tom Brady's 25-yard touchdown throw to Brandin Cooks with 23 seconds remaining, but New England's issues were not obscured by this sloppy performance.
Philadelphia Eagles 27, New York Giants 24: Jake Elliott nailed a 61-yard field goal as the clock expired to help Philadelphia improve to 2-0 in the NFC East while dropping the Giants to 0-3 overall. After ugly offensive performances in Weeks 1 and 2, Eli Manning and Co. finally looked like they were getting on track during a fourth-quarter rally that ultimately fell short.
Atlanta Falcons 30, Detroit Lions 26: Officials overturned what appeared to be a game-winning touchdown by Detroit's Golden Tate and let the final 8 seconds of the clock expire as part of a mandated run-off. They got the play call right, but it still has to feel like a complete gut punch for a Lions team that was inches away from a 3-0 start.
New Orleans Saints 34, Carolina Panthers 13: The Saints' maligned defense largely contained Cam Newton and the Panthers, while New Orleans QB Drew Brees posted three touchdowns through the air. 
New York Jets 20, Miami Dolphins 6: There’s one winless team in New York, and it’s not the Jets. Jay Cutler threw his first interception of the season in what was a terrible offensive performance for the Dolphins, who managed just 225 total yards.
Indianapolis Colts 31, Cleveland Browns 28: Colts QB Andrew Luck is apparently close to practicing again. In the meantime, Indianapolis finally got a win thanks to Jacoby Brissett, who threw for one score and ran for two more — enough padding to withstand a late Cleveland rally.
Minnesota Vikings 34, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17: The most stunning offensive performance of the day came from Case Keenum, the Vikings’ backup quarterback, who threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns. It should make Minnesota feel better moving forward while starter Sam Bradford’s knee continues to heal.
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Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones
PHOTOS: Week 3 NFL action

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