NFL Week 3 observations: A cruel twist for New York Giants fans

New York Giants vs. Cincinnati Bengals
New York Giants rookie quarterback Daniel Jones won his first NFL start Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
(Michael Hickey / Getty Images)

Click by click through Week 3 of the NFL season:

Hello, Daniel Jones. Goodbye, Saquon Barkley

What a cruel twist for the New York Giants.

Turns out, Jones is the first rookie with at least 300 yards passing, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns in a game since the NFL and AFL merged in 1970.

Barkley, who suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter of a 32-31 victory at Tampa Bay, watched the rest of the game on crutches and wearing a protective boot.

Another record for the Patriots

Yes, yes, New England plays in the wobbly AFC East, but this stat is astounding: The Patriots are the first team in the Super Bowl era that hasn’t allowed a rushing or passing touchdown through the first three weeks.


Minkah Fitzpatrick makes his presence known

Pittsburgh lost at San Francisco on Sunday, but just-acquired safety Fitzpatrick wasted no time endearing himself to Steelers fans. He had an interception and forced a fumble in his first 16 minutes.

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens in a battle of unbeatens while the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboy and Buffalo Bills also improved to 3-0 with wins Sunday.

Big men on campus

Squaring off on the sidelines Sunday night were two former high school quarterbacks who were players of the year in their respective states: the Rams’ Sean McVay (Georgia) and Cleveland’s Freddie Kitchens (Alabama).

It’s still hard to believe McVay won that award the same year Calvin Johnson was in the running for it.

Aaron Donald can be a bit problematic for opponents

Opponents of the Rams: “We’ve got 99 problems …”

That would be No. 99, Aaron Donald.

Cheap seats

Remember when the Redskins had a season-ticket waiting list a mile long? There were tickets to be had for Monday night’s home game against Chicago for $17.

Way to go, Dawgs

Here’s to the decision by the Browns to change the FirstEnergy Stadium seat colors of the famed Dawg Pound from orange to a configuration that matches the team’s helmet stripe. From one corner of the end zone to the other, the seating sections are orange, brown, white, brown, and orange. Looks cool.

Enjoy kickoffs while you can

It’s a safe bet that the kickoff, once the most exciting play in football, is on its last legs. The play is too dangerous, too conducive to bad collisions. Kickers are moved up so far now that returns are a rarity. It’s almost all touchbacks. Someday soon, drives will simply start on the 25 automatically.

Philip Rivers throws for miles and miles

Last week, the Chargers quarterback became the eighth player in NFL history with at least 55,000 yards passing. That’s roughly 31 miles, the distance between Anaheim and the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll with stitches on his nose
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll needed stitches on his nose after getting hit in the face with a football during pregame warmups Sunday in Seattle.
(Ted S. Warren / Associated Press)

Pete Carroll is one tough guy

The Seattle Seahawks coach looked especially rugged on the sideline Sunday. He’d been struck in the face with a football during warm-ups, which opened a wound on the bridge of his nose that had to be stitched up before the game.

“It would have been a really good story that I had head-butted Bobby [Wagner] in the pregame, getting fired up in the locker room, but I heard that they captured it on film,” Carroll told reporters after the game. “I got smacked in the nose with the football. The last play of warm-ups. I didn’t see it coming.”

Surely for Carroll and his team, getting their nose bloodied at home by the New Orleans Saints — minus Drew Brees, mind you — hurt worse.

Unexpected AFC East showdown looms

So on Sunday it’ll be the 3-0 Patriots at the Buffalo Bills, who are ... checks notes ... also 3-0.

The Bills are one of four teams that missed the playoffs last year and are currently undefeated. The others are San Francisco (3-0), Green Bay (3-0), and Detroit (2-0-1).

NFL bans pyrotechnics for now

It’s all fun and games until somebody’s field catches on fire. The NFL has banned all on-field pyrotechnics until it figures out exactly what went wrong in Tennessee in Week 2, when a machine sitting in the end zone near the tunnel burst into flames during a pregame ceremony. So no more fireballs when players run out for introductions.

Patrick Mahomes makes history

Through 20 career games, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback has put up the best numbers in NFL history in multiple categories: passing yards (6,576), passing touchdowns (60) and passer rating (115.3).

Thanks, but no thanks

Everybody is going to digital tickets these days. That means one less keepsake for fans who have collected the paper ones. Thoughtful of the Arizona Cardinals to include perforated commemorative ticket stubs in the middle of their game programs, assuming their fans have any interest in remembering Sunday’s home loss to Carolina.

Maybe the games are too long

The Miami Dolphins have been outscored in the second half of games, 68-0.

Lamar Jackson is perfect everywhere, with one exception

NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano points out that the Baltimore Ravens quarterback is 8-2 as a starter in the regular season, with both of those losses coming to the Chiefs in Kansas City.

Yes, but what was Jacoby Brissett doing during the Civil War?

The Indianapolis Colts quarterbackopened Sunday’s game against Atlanta by completing his first 16 passes. The Colts went on to win, 27-24. So far, there’s not much of a dropoff from Andrew Luck to Brissett, if any.

Hurry up, young man

Kids these days. They want everything right now. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott threw his 75th touchdown pass in 51 career games, surpassing Tony Romo, who had the Cowboys record (63 games). Meanwhile, according to Rams radio play-by-play announcer J.B. Long, Donald is the club’s fastest to reach 60 sacks (81 games) and the fastest defensive tackle to reach 60 in NFL history.

Something’s missing

This must be so frustrating for first-year Denver Coach Vic Fangio, who oversaw Chicago’s ferocious defense last season. Not only are the Broncos 0-3, but they also don’t have a sack. Their opponents have 11.