Five Things We Learned in Week 3 of the NFL Season

September 28, 2009

The defending champs are in trouble, the Saints are more than a passing game, and New York may do something no city has ever done before. The third week of Sunday football may be behind us, but five interesting developments from it may have a serious effect on the rest of the season.

5. Brett Favre Obviously Has Some Sort of Deal with the Devil

Let’s ignore the fact that he’s gone through a retirement rollercoaster that Mick Jagger would call embarrassing. And try to overlook that he’s currently playing for the division rival of a franchise he helped rebuild for nearly two decades. Hell, forget that he’s a couple years and one more hip injury away from the senior discount at any Denny’s in the greater Minnesota area. Simply look at the game winning touchdown pass he threw yesterday and realize that despite his age, questionable character, or affection for the Moons Over My Hammy special – Brett Favre will always come out on top. He’s like the popular cheerleader that makes everyone’s life a living hell in high school. You can spend your whole life convincing yourself that one day being a deceitful person will catch up to her, or just accept that evil often prevails and good people rarely end up on top (who says sports don't teach children valuable life lessons?). And if that doesn’t work, just turn on Sportscenter and see the Vikings-Niners highlights, where Brett Favre - the NFL's walking contradiction to Karma - is being called a local hero.

4. A Subway Super Bowl is a Real Possibility

After letting Boston sports fans plan a victory parade or six over the past decade, the championship pendulum has begun swinging back to the Big Apple, thanks to a dominant year by the Yankees and both New York football franchises starting the 2009 campaign with impressive, undefeated starts. With a win over the Tennessee Titans this week, the Jets defense has emerged as the league’s best, giving up only 11 points per game - while rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez has looked solid in the Trent Dilfer – just be good enough to let the defense take over - style offense. And on the NFC side of things, Eli Manning, despite losing his favorite nightlight at quarterback camp this summer,  has helped steer the Giants’ ship back towards the Super Bowl with the help of a youthful receiving core and a front seven that rivals the 1985 Chicago Bears. If both teams continue to play the way they have, come January, Miami may be overrun by more obnoxious New York sports fans than they’ll know what do with.

3. The Saints are More Than The Drew Brees Show

After throwing nine touchdowns in his first two games, the majority of well-coifed analysts throughout the sporting world began proclaiming that the New Orleans Saints would only go as far as the strong right arm of Drew Brees would take them. However, after this weeks’ 27-7 win over the Buffalo Bills, in which Brees only passed for 156 yards with no touchdowns, the Saints' rushing attack notched over 220 yards on the ground and accounted for every offensive score the Saints put on the board. Clearly Brees is still the team’s most valuable player, but Saints fans can take comfort knowing that an off game for the veteran QB just means that it’s the running game's turn to step up.

2. The Steelers are in Trouble

Three weeks into the 2009 season, and the defending conference champs haven’t led a game after four quarters yet. They’ve given up late leads in two straight contests and haven’t had one good offensive performance this season. Granted, anyone in Steel Town will be quick to snap that defense wins championships and their best player is shelved with Madden-related injuries, but right now Pittsburgh is heading into a week four match-up against a talented San Diego Chargers team and looking to avoid a 1-3 start.

1. If it’s possible, JaMarcus Russell May Be Worse Than We Thought

In yesterday’s 23-3 loss to the Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell had his best game of the season, throwing for 61 whole yards and only getting picked off twice in the team’s third straight loss. This banner performance catapulted his quarterback rating to 39.8, making him an early candidate for the coveted NFL’s least improved player award. (Somewhere Jeff George is waiting for a phone call).

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