It was another night of high drama and frantic-paced NFL action that left us all breathless by the end of Sunday.
Week Three served up plenty of headlines and talking points and here are six big storylines that caught my eye.
Mahomes is better than ever
The reigning NFL Most Valuable Player is already the clear favourite to win the award once again in 2019. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was sensational in his team’s 33-28 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Mahomes is an electrifying talent who can land a pass anywhere on the field, making the most of a dangerous group of fleet-footed receivers. But he is seeing the field better than ever before, his timing is impeccable and he has grown to become the undisputed leader of the Chiefs in just his 20th NFL game.
I’ve not seen a quarterback sensation enter the league like this since Dan Marino in the 1983 and 1984 seasons. Mahomes is, hands down, the No 1 player in the NFL today and there will be Super Bowls in his future.
A legend is born
I got a bit over-excited in the Sky Sports studios on Sunday night and uttered those very words “A legend is born” as Daniel Jones ran in a seven-yard touchdown to give the New York Giants a late lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Little did I know that moments later, the Bucs would be in position to win the game with a last-second Matt Gay 34-yard field goal. But Tampa’s kicker pushed it wide right and the Giants had a huge 32-31 win with Jones at the helm. Talk about answering the call in your first NFL start since replacing a two-time Super Bowl-winning fan favourite in Eli Manning.
Daniel Jones gives Giants hope
Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones showed Giants fan why they should be excited for the future with his winning debut in Tampa Bay.
Jones was down 28-10 on the road and without the injured Saquon Barkley at running back. But he kept plugging away and actually produced a very clean display as he threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns and ran in a pair of scores. A legend has not been born after just one game, but this was a very nice start.
Saints deliver a satisfying win
There must be nothing more satisfying for a head coach than to deliver a big team win against the odds. The New Orleans Saints were without Hall-of-Fame-bound quarterback Drew Brees on Sunday night as they travelled to the far-flung corners of Seattle to take on an undefeated Seahawks team. And everyone showed up for the Saints as they scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in a 33-27 victory.
Teddy Bridgewater was perfectly fine subbing for Brees at quarterback (he went 19 of 27 for 177 yards and two touchdowns) but it is going to take more performances like this to survive this period without their star passer, who has thumb ligament damage and is out for six weeks.
Saints head coach Sean Payton must have been delighted with how his whole roster answered the bell. On the other sideline, let’s spare a thought for Seattle’s 68-year-old head coach Pete Carroll, who was hit by an errant football during pre-game warmups and required stitches to a nose injury. Let’s not chalk this one up as a day to remember for Carroll or his team.
Downtrodden teams rising up
In recent years, it has not been much fun to be a fan of the Buffalo Bills, the San Francisco 49ers or especially the Detroit Lions. Yet somehow, some way, all three of those clubs are undefeated this year. Buffalo’s defense has been a key to their 3-0 start and I’m fascinated to see how that outfit fares next week against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
The 49ers committed five turnovers against Pittsburgh but the defense kept digging in and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo came up big at the end to deliver the 24-20 win with a late touchdown strike to Dante Pettis.
Perhaps most impressive, though, is a Detroit team that improved to 2-0-1 with a solid 27-24 road win over a banged-up Philadelphia Eagles squad. The Lions have gone more than 10,000 days since their last playoff victory but this current team appears to be buying into the tough ways of former Patriots assistant Matt Patricia.
The Lions also rely on strong defense to keep them in games but also have the weapons to produce big plays in quarterback Matthew Stafford, running back Kerryon Johnson and receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones.
Colts in good hands
I may be missing Andrew Luck when it comes to Sunday evenings and the Indianapolis Colts. But his team appears to be in perfectly safe hands with Jacoby Brissett at the helm.
For the third straight game to start this season, Luck’s former backup shone, especially at the business end of the game. Brissett was not too shabby at the beginning, either, as he completed his first 16 passes. In guiding the Colts to a 27-24 win, Brissett threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns and showed he is in total command of this Indianapolis attack.
With two wins and one loss on the year, the Colts are reminding us that they have put a good team together and were not just reliant on Luck. They have also shown that they can be a playoff contender this season with Brissett at the controls.
The end for Antonio Brown?
Antonio Brown has taken a torch to what could have been a Hall of Fame career. The superstar wide receiver is in total meltdown and his release from the New England Patriots on Friday night – after reports emerged of him sending threatening text messages to a potential witness in his sexual assault and rape cases – came as no surprise.
Sadly, what also came as no surprise was the Sunday night Twitter volley from Brown in which he went after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, former NFL tight end and television pundit Shannon Sharpe and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Brown was already damaged goods having been released or traded by three teams in the past few months, but he has burned all his bridges now.