NFL@L.A.: 2011 Week 3 Wrap-ups

Wrap-up: Raiders 34, Jets 24

September, 25, 2011
A look at a tremendous victory for the Raiders.

What it means: This was a monumental win for the Oakland organization. The Raiders accomplished much Sunday. First, they learned to finish a game. The Raiders gave up 35 points in the second half at Buffalo last week. Yet, this week, against a strong Jets’ team, the Raiders came back from a 17-7 deficit and took over the game. They had an impressive drive late in the game to seal the win. In the end, the Raiders, who were 2-8 outside the AFC West last year, showed they can beat a quality AFC opponent. If the Raiders are in the playoff conversation in December, this game will be looked upon as a catalyst.

Tomorrow’s talker: That was a very good defense Oakland just torched. The Raiders’ offense is playing great. It has scored 69 points in the past two games. Head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Al Saunders are doing a terrific job. It doesn’t hurt to have Darren McFadden. He had 170 yards on 19 carries, McFadden is a legitimate threat to win the NFL rushing title this season.

Trending: Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who tied the NFL record with a 63-yard field goal in Week 1, is getting better with age. In 13th NFL season, Janikowski is bombs away. He nailed field goals of 54 and 49 yards. To have that type of a consistent weapon is going to help this offense.

What’s next: The Raiders host New England, fresh off a frustrating loss at Buffalo. What are the odds of Tom Brady throwing four more interceptions next week?

Wrap-up: Ravens 37, Rams 7

September, 25, 2011
Thoughts on the St. Louis Rams' Week 3 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens in the Edward Jones Dome:

What it means: The Rams are 0-3 and falling far short of reasonable expectations, even when taking into account significant injury issues. They are 0-2 at home and already two games behind in the NFC West race. Their late-season schedule is packed with division games, so there's no sense in writing off the Rams at this early stage. But there have been too few signs the Rams are close to getting things going. They are floundering. This was a big step backward for a team already heading in the wrong direction to open the season.

What I liked: Steven Jackson was active for the first time since suffering a quadriceps strain early in the season opener. Rookie first-round pick Robert Quinn had two quarterback hits, as did Chris Long. Long now has three sacks in three games. Sam Bradford found Brandon Gibson for a 34-yard scoring reception.

What I didn't like: The Rams looked like a lost cause on both sides of the ball. This was the third consecutive game a Rams' opponent has returned a Bradford fumble for a touchdown. The Rams' 32nd-ranked run defense continued giving up far too many yards, including runs of 53 and 28 yards. Their pass defense was worse, making Ravens rookie Torrey Smith look more like retired Rams legend Torry Holt. Smith's three first-quarter scoring receptions from Joe Flacco covered 74, 41 and 18 yards, blowing open the game. Smith had never caught a pass in the regular season before Sunday. He caught four passes for 20 yards during the preseason. Sure, the Rams have injury-related issues in their secondary. The occasional breakdown is going to happen. This performance was inexcusable.

Playing from behind: The Rams' offense has yet to take a snap this season while the team led its opponent on the scoreboard.

Disappearing Danario: Rams receiver Danario Alexander made big plays downfield against the New York Giants on Monday night. The Rams targeted him frequently in this game, with disappointing results.

What's next: The Rams face the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome in Week 3.



Philip Rivers
570 379 4286 31
B. Oliver 160 582 3.6 3
R. Mathews 74 330 4.5 3
M. Floyd 52 856 16.5 6
A. Gates 69 821 11.9 12