The Cincinnati Bengals fell to 0-3 this week, but at least they didn’t lose any ground in the AFC North, as the rest of the division lost their games.
John Harbaugh isn’t hoping to return to London anytime soon after his team got embarrassed. The Steelers were involved in one of the more shocking upsets of this weekend. Hue Jackson says to ask the team executives about winning now.
Baltimore Ravens (2-1) lost to Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1), 44-7
Harbaugh doesn’t plan to return to London anytime soon
It seemed like the Ravens were coasting. Their defense had forced 10 turnovers through the first two weeks of the season, and they were meeting Blake Bortles and the Jaguars in London. It seemed like it’d be an easy win for the team, but that is why they play the game.
Bortles had arguably his best performance as a quarterback Sunday morning. He threw four touchdowns and zero interceptions. Mercedes Lewis caught three of those touchdowns. The Jaguars run game produced 166 yards and a touchdown as well.
The Jaguars defense also snuffed out any offensive flame the Ravens may have had coming into the game. The run game struggled, and most of the teams rushing yards came after the game was too far gone. Joe Flacco only threw for 28 yards.
The Ravens have little to take away from this game so it is no surprise Harbaugh doesn’t want to have the task of returning anytime soon according to ESPN.
"To be honest with you -- and maybe I'll get into trouble for saying this -- don't plan on going over there anytime soon to play again," Harbaugh said Monday, a day after Baltimore's 44-7 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the franchise's first overseas game. "So, somebody else can have that job."
Wallace promises Ravens won’t produce another ‘dud’ when they face the Steelers
The Ravens loss to the Jaguars was bad. Really really bad, but one former Steeler promises the Bengals won’t repeat that performance next Sunday.
Mike Wallace has as much at stake as any Raven on this team. Sunday he will face the team that drafted him, and let him walk when he became to expensive. Obviously, Wallace doesn’t want to let the Steelers come into Baltimore and shut the Ravens down like that.
Fortunately, the Steelers’ defense doesn’t come close to what the Jaguars are working with. The Ravens also have history on their side as ESPN notes.
Recent history suggests Wallace and the Ravens will back up those words. Baltimore lost by 20 or more points nine previous times under coach John Harbaugh, and the Ravens are 7-2 in games that followed those routes.
This is a huge game for both teams as the division lead is on the line.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) lost to Chicago Bears (1-2), 23-17
How did the Steelers lose to the Bears?
I don’t know how many people saw this coming, but if you did congratulations. The rest of us are still scratching our heads.
On a week where the unusual became routine with one shocking finish after another. This outcome seemed to be the weirdest. The undefeated Steelers came into the Bears stadium and just took one giant misstep, which is hard to pull off when the Bears screwed up a blocked field goal return by fumbling it away at the one-yard line for a touchback.
The Steelers just couldn’t seem to put points on the board when they needed to. It wasn’t like the Bears had a huge advantage in time of possession either. Chicago had the ball three more minutes than Pittsburgh. The Bears also only ran three more plays than the Steelers.
The Bears running backs just out played the entire Steelers’ offense. Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen combined for 216 rushing yards, 50 receiving yards and two touchdowns including the touchdown that ended the game in overtime.
The Steelers offense meanwhile had an average day. Ben Roethlisberger threw one touchdown and Le’Veon Bell rushed for only 61 yards and a touchdown. Antonio Brown balled out with 10 catches 110 yards and a touchdown.
We were wondering going into the game for legitimate the Steelers were considering their competition, and this game doesn’t help their cause.
The Steelers’ protest doesn’t go as planned
I know people are going to be mad in the comments without even reading this. I’m not here to talk about either side of this, but the Steelers made this big news with the way this was executed.
The plan according to the Star Tribune went like this:
The Steelers met as a team on Saturday night to discuss how to handle the anthem following president Donald Trump's tweets suggesting players who don't stand for it should be fired.
Coach Mike Tomlin told his players whatever they decided, they needed to do it as a team. When the group couldn't reach a consensus, they opted to remove themselves from the situation by staying off the field until after the anthem was played.
What ensued was some bad timing by the Steelers’ left tackle Alejandro Villanueva. He wanted to get a look at the flag before the anthem, and when he went to return to his teammates in the tunnel the anthem started.
The pictures made it appear Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who did three tours in Afghanistan, was making a statement against his team. This caused him to become one of the perceived heros in people’s war against protests during the anthem.
Many of the Steelers’ came out in support of Villanueva, but some others were a little annoyed at how it all went down. All in all his team just wished they could’ve been united.
"That's completely wrong, and every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself, I feel embarrassed to a degree because unintentionally I left my teammates behind," Villanueva said.
Cleveland Browns (0-3) lost to the Indianapolis Colts (1-2), 31-28
Jackson points to team executives for struggles
It is no secret to most people that the Browns aren’t a competitive team right now. They have a ton of young talent, but that doesn’t win you a lot of football games. Still the Browns entered their first winnable game Sunday against the Colts who were also looking for their first win. Cleveland ended up looking like the young team that they are.
Sunday’s loss was riddled with miscues all over the field, and it led to outrage from the fan base who just endured a 1-15 season in 2016. To that outrage Jackson had a place he’d like to direct it, according to Cleveland.com.
Asked if the Browns can win now, he said, "I think this team can. I think we've got to do some things better and work a little bit harder in making sure that we do some of the detailed things right.
"That question that you just asked, that's something that you've got to talk to (Browns Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown) about, and the executive team.''
It is true the Browns haven’t tried to hide the fact they are trying to get as many high draft picks as possible, and part of that involves losing. The team let countless vets walk the first two offseasons, and they also released Joe Haden and decided not to bring back Terrelle Pryor this year. Instead, they brought in Kenny Britt who has been nothing but a disappointment.
Really it comes down to the Browns gave their fan base really undeserved high expectations Week 1 when they were competitive with the Steelers. Since then they have looked like the young team who will flash their talent, but overall they are still trying to learn the NFL and gel together. You live with the bumps from a young squad.
Browns loss has widespread blame
It seemed through the entire game, the blame was being placed on DeShone Kizer, and that isn’t fair to the quarterback. The Browns got off to a rough start as the Colts ran away early.
The defense had plenty of miscues that led to easy scores for the Colts. The Colts seemed to be attacking Jabrill Peppers in open space forcing him to take the correct angles and catch players like T.Y. Hilton. The defense did hold the Colts to three points in the second half though. They left the door open for a Browns comeback, and they almost got there.
The final score ended up being really close, and that is disappointing with the number of mistakes the Browns offense made. They had four offensive pass interference penalties called against them. The Browns also had plenty of drops on the day. There was one point Britt even tipped a pass up behind him right into a defender’s hands.
People will look and see Kizer had three interceptions, but why is this rookie throwing the ball 42 times? The Browns were only down two touchdowns at halftime. Instead, their running backs only ran the ball 14 times, ad they were super productive rushing for 67 yards and a touchdown. That is on play calling.
People will blame Kizer, but this is a young team. You expect games like this. Before you write of Kizer though, consider the fact that Duke Johnson Jr. is his best receiver.