Now that Week 3 is in the books, we survey the league to see who stood out among the rest. Here are the players who thrived in the spotlight and those who faded:
The Good- The standouts, primetime performers and fantasy football heroes
– Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck: What is the NFL’s greatest elixir for a team searching for its first win? The Jacksonville Jaguars. Luck feasted on the Jaguars’ secondary to the tune of 370 yards and four touchdowns en route to a 44-17 beatdown. He also spread the ball around, completing just under 80 percent of his passes to nine different receivers.
– Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles: Foles showed guts in the Eagles’ 37-34 victory the Washington Redskins, their bitter NFC East rivals. Despite being knocked around and the absence of a run game, Foles threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns. In the process, the Eagles became the first team to start the season 3-0 after trailing by at least 10 in all three games. Whatever training regimen Chip Kelly has established with the team is paying off, as they seem to get stronger as the game progresses.
– Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones: Jones was a force during the Falcons’ 56-14 demolition over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night (We’ll get to the overmatched Bucs below). Jones showed why he is considered among the elite receivers in the league. He finished the game with 161 yards and two scores on nine receptions, including an incredible over-the-shoulder catch into the endzone. Keep doing your thing, Julio.
The Bad- The letdowns, no-shows and fantasy football duds
– Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers, who has owned the Detroit Lions in the past, didn’t have the same juice this time around against the boys from the Motor City. He was only able to lead Green Bay to seven points. In fact, the Lions defense actually outscored the Packers 9-7 on a fumble return for a touchdown and a safety. Outside of a second-half surge against the New York Jets last week, Rodgers hasn’t provided the explosive plays that we are used to from him. He’ll have to shake it off to get Packers out of the 1-2 hole they have dug themselves.
– Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy: I never thought I’d see Shady down here in the “bad” section, but he wasn’t his usual self against Washington. Whether you want to credit Washington’s run defense or blame the Eagles’ offensive line, the fact is McCoy was bottled up for 22 yards on 19 carries. He was unable to shale loose all game, which is hard to believe for the shiftiest runner the league has seen since Barry Sanders.
– Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Normally, these lists are reserved for individual players, but the entire Tampa Bay team earned this spot. On Thursday night, the Buccaneers actually trailed the Falcons 35-0 before recording a first down (yes, you read that correctly). They went on to find themselves down 56-0 before adding on a pair of meaningless touchdowns to trim the margin of defeat. It was the type of game that resembled a matchup between a SEC powerhouse and a FCS upstart. Tampa Bay, you’re better than that, at least I hope so.
Well, there you have our list. There were some other big time performances/letdowns that we didn’t mention. What caught your eye in Week 3?
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