Week three of the 2018 NFL season got off to a flier on Thursday Night Football, with Browns fans opening up fridges of Bud Light across Cleveland thanks to a Baker Mayfield-led victory over the New York Jets.
The Browns’ win was their first in 635 days, an astonishing fact when you consider Barack Obama was still the U.S President, La La Land was in the cinemas and George Michael was still alive. In the end, all it took was a Careless Whisper into Baker Mayfield’s helmet from Hue Jackson, and Cleveland were champions again. (Sort of)
With that red hot talking point put to bed, its time to examine some of the other narratives and storylines that await us in the remainder of week three.
- Belichick looks to bury Patricia’s first season
Matt Patricia’s first head coaching gig has started as poorly as one could imagine. Week one saw the Lions embarrassed in MetLife Stadium by the New York Jets and rookie QB Sam Darnold, before Patricia fell to the 49ers in Detroit, at the hands of another former Patriot, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Of the 173 teams that have started 0-3 since 1980, five have managed to make to the playoffs from that deficit. If Patricia wants to avoid these odds, he’s gonna have to figure out a way to beat his mentor, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots. Belichick has stated that “nobody knows us better than Matt”, and it should prove interesting watching how Patricia sets up against quarterback Tom Brady and ex-fellow Pats coordinator Josh McDaniels. Expect some warm greetings at full time, regardless of the scoreline. (Ooh, and we might see some Josh Gordon in a Patriots uniform too)
2. First of the modern Los Angeles’ derby games
Two Los Angeles teams will square off on Sunday in the NFL for the first time since 1994, a game that saw the L.A Rams lose by a field goal to then Los Angeles Raiders. It’s a different opponent for the Rams on Sunday, with the Chargers looking to end their perfect start to the 2018 season, and build on their own week two victory over the Buffalo Bills.
The Rams brushed aside the Raiders and Cardinals with ease to reach 2-0, but face their toughest challenge yet against an offense that has looked dangerous in early weeks. Can Philip Rivers unlock this unforgiving Rams D, or will Sean McVay and co. claim victory #3, and round one of the new L.A derby?
3. Cowboys look to hand Pete Carroll first 0-3 start in Seattle
The Seattle Seahawks have never lost three straight games to begin a season in the Pete Carroll era, but must beat Dallas at home Sunday to avoid an said unwanted record. These two teams always provide a spectacle whenever they meet up, none more memorable than the last time they met in Seattle, when the Cowboys emerged on top thanks in part to this piece of artistry from Tony Romo and Terrance Williams
YouTube: NFL 2014 Cowboys at Seahawks Romo to Williams
Romo isn’t around to conjure up more magic against the Hawks, a task instead left to Dak Prescott, who has come under scrutiny early this year. Sending the Seahawks to their first 0-3 start since 2002 would be a pretty good way to get Dak back on track in 2018, but Russell Wilson and his army of 12s will make this no easy task.