Football can be a beautiful sport to watch.
Quarterbacks throwing with perfect precision. Receivers carving up the turf on a flawless route. Coaches dialing up the perfect play call in a clutch moment, convincing us at home that there's a genius hiding under that visor.
But other times, football is more like what we witnessed in Week 3.
Offenses disappeared. A matchup between two of the best quarterbacks in the game’s history -- Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady -- was hard to watch. Carson Wentz turned back into a pumpkin. And a couple of meme-worthy moments paid homage to blunders of the past.
Whether you like it or not, it’s time declare winners and losers from the third week of NFL football:
Winner: Mike McDaniel (again)
For many years, the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills were the laughingstock of the AFC.
But this time around, Sunday’s divisional bout was the most anticipated matchup of the weekend.
It wasn’t quite the offensive explosion that was expected, but the Dolphins gritted out a 21-19 victory to remain undefeated and hand the Bills, who basically were given the Lombardi Trophy after cruising through Week 1 and Week 2, their first loss.
Former 49ers offensive coordinator McDaniel has yet to lose a game at the helm. To start his head coaching career, McDaniel defeated legendary coach Bill Belichick, led a wild 21-point fourth-quarter comeback against the Baltimore Ravens and held MVP candidate Josh Allen in check.
He’s the first Dolphins coach to start 3-0 since Hall of Famer Jimmy Johnson in 1996.
Loser: Anything in Ken Dorsey’s way
Whenever the television broadcast pivots to a shot of the coordinators calling plays in the booth, it usually results in a series of unfortunate double chins and an awkward glance or two.
But occasionally, it produces a bit of meme magic.
Trailing Miami by two points with 18 seconds left in the game and no timeouts remaining, the Bills were at midfield and needed another 15 yards to get into comfortable field-goal range.
Allen found Bills receiver Isaiah McKenzie open, but he failed to get out of bounds and time expired before Buffalo could stop the clock.
Dorsey, Buffalo’s offensive coordinator, was so upset he treated his headset and tablets like Bills Mafia treats $20 folding tables from Target.
Loser: Taylor Swift
All reports earlier in the week indicated Swift was set to headline the Super Bowl LVII halftime show for the first time. But on Sunday, the NFL officially announced Rihanna would be taking the stage at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.
As it turns out, Swift reportedly turned down the offer, so we unfortunately won’t get any new Swift songs titled “Dear Roger” in protest of the NFL commissioner dumping her after two days.
That’s a shame.
But what’s not a shame? Rihanna performing at halftime. It’s about time.
Winner: Lamar Jackson
Only four NFL players outrushed Jackson in Week 3. And none of those four players also threw for 218 yards and four touchdowns.
Jackson torched the New England Patriots for 107 rushing yards and one score on 11 attempts in the Baltimore Ravens’ 37-26 win at Gillette Stadium.
Jackson, who recently declined a contract extension worth $250 million, is betting on himself. And he’s winning big.
Pay the man his money.
Loser: Urban Meyer
The Meyer era in Jacksonville already was considered a disaster. But looking back now, it’s even more laughable.
One year removed from Meyer’s toxic presence, the Jaguars have a winning record. Jacksonville spanked the Los Angeles Chargers 38-10 on Sunday, as former No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence outdueled Justin Herbert.
Lawrence threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns (tying a career high) on 28-of-39 passing. He’s notched his top two single-game passer ratings over the last two weeks – 121.5 in a 24-0 win over the Indianapolis Colts last week and 115.5 on Sunday.
Doug Pederson now has the same amount of wins (2) as the Jaguars’ coach in three contests as Meyer had in 13 games before getting canned.
That has to be a big kick to Meyer's ego.
Winner: Mark Sanchez
We’ve all heard of the butt fumble.
But the butt punt? Now that’s a new one.
Leading the Bills by four points with 1:37 remaining, the Dolphins attempted to punt out of their own end zone. They had no other option.
Miami punter Thomas Morstead received the snap, took one step and boomed a kick … right into a teammate's backside. The ball went out of bounds for a safety.
Sanchez, who infamously fumbled the football after running straight into a teammate’s rear in 2012, chimed in on Twitter.
Winner: Dan Orlovsky
Misery loves company.
Orlovsky, an outstanding NFL analyst, is known more for a boneheaded safety than any other play in his seven-year career as a backup quarterback.
In that play, Orlovsky was running away from Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen in his own end zone and took 11 steps out of bounds before realizing he had gifted the Vikings two points on a safety.
In the 49ers’ 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday night, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did the same thing.
Garoppolo’s blunder wasn’t quite as egregious as Orlovsky’s infamous safety, but it still looks the same in the box score.
Orlovsky didn’t hide his enjoyment in welcoming Garoppolo to the Sideline Steppers Club.
Winner: Trey Lance
The NFL pundits saying the 49ers are better off with Jimmy Garoppolo under center were awfully quiet Sunday night.
Garoppolo was ineffective against Denver, throwing for 211 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 18-of-29 passing.
The 49ers converted one third down the entire night. Twelve of the 49ers’ 14 possessions ended without points and instead resulted in seven punts, three turnovers, one wasted opportunity before halftime and and one embarrassing safety.
And, no, Garoppolo was not playing through a monsoon like Lance endured in Week 1 against the Chicago Bears.
Get well soon, Trey.
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