Football Team

Winners and Losers from Week 3: Tucker leads way on historic day

Football Team

Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season might have been the most exciting one yet. The 1 p.m. slate of games featured multiple game-winning kicks, two historic moments and a few shocking upsets.

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't seen the same level of success through three games in 2021. Ben Roethlisberger has regressed dramatically and it looks like the Steelers might need to start thinking about making a quarterback change before it gets too late. 

The Buffalo Bills routed the Washington Football Team thanks to a strong performance from Josh Allen, and the Las Vegas Raiders improved to 3-0 for the first time in 19 years. 

Here are all of the winners and losers from Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season:

Winner: Justin Tucker and his hall of fame leg

It's a tale as old as time. The Ravens needed a last-second drive from Lamar Jackson and Justin Tucker kicked the game-winning field goal as time expired to get the W.

This time, however, there was a twist. Jackson pulled off his usual late-game theatrics, completing a 36-yard pass on fourth-and-19 to put the Ravens in field goal range. Then, Tucker came onto the field for a 66-yard attempt.

The previous NFL record was 64 yards, set by Matt Prater. Of course, even Tucker's kick wasn't perfect. He hit it straight and it bounced off the crossbar before going through the uprights to give Baltimore a 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

This came after Tucker missed his first NFL field goal in an indoor stadium earlier in the game.

 

It was an unforgettable moment and one rarely seen in a regular-season game. But, with the game-winner, Tucker continued to strengthen his case as one of the greatest kickers in NFL history.

Winner: Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders

Derek Carr has been playing out of this world to start the 2021 season. He might have started Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins with a pick-six but Carr, like he's done all season, came through in the clutch.

After leading Las Vegas to a field goal drive in overtime, the Dolphins answered back with a field goal of their own to tie the game with only minutes left. Carr threw a 34-yard pass to Bryan Edwards set up the game-winning field goal and give the Raiders their first 3-0 start since 2002. 

Carr threw for 386 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but his ability to calmly lead comeback drives shouldn't be overlooked. With the Chiefs struggling to start the season, the AFC West appears to be up for grabs, and the Raiders and Chargers look ready to take full advantage.

Winner: Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen and the Bills offense played up to their potential on Sunday afternoon against Washington. After struggling in Weeks 1 and 2, the 2021 offense looked much like the 2020 offense which had Allen in MVP conversations and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll as a hot head coaching candidate in the offseason.

Allen and star wideout Stefon Diggs still haven't been able to rekindle the connection they had last season, but Allen didn't even need Diggs to shine on Sunday.

The Bills QB found new addition Emmanuel Sanders for two touchdowns and Cole Beasley produced in the slot. Allen completed 74.4 percent of his passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown.

If Allen can continue the torrid pace he put up against Washington, Buffalo will be a very fun team to watch as the season continues.

Loser: New York Jets

The Jets have a strong case for being the NFL's worst team. So far this season, they've been outscored 46-3 in the first half of their first three games. New York was clearly overmatched in an ugly 26-0 loss to the Denver Broncos.

The Jets offensive line hasn't been able to protect their rookie QB Zach Wilson and it's hurt his confidence.

Without a running game, solid protection or any help from his receivers, Wilson has thrown a plethora of questionable interceptions while under duress.

It's hard to find any positives from the last three games and with Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans coming to MetLife next week, it might not get any better any time soon.

Loser: Kansas City Chiefs flashy offense

The Kansas City Chiefs fell out of first place in the AFC West for the first time since 2016 last week after blowing a lead and failing to capitalize on the final drive of the game against the Ravens.

Turnovers continued to plague Kansas City against the Los Angeles Chargers. 

Patrick Mahomes attempted a no-look pass to Marcus Kemp which led to a highlight-reel interception by Asante Samuel Jr. Clyde Edwards-Helaire's fumbling problems continue to be an issue and Mahomes hasn't looked like himself.

 

The 2019 MVP threw another costly interception late that led to a game-winning drive by Justin Herbert and the Chargers.

Kansas City has only won one game by more than a score since last November as it appears all their close calls have caught up to them in the 2021 season.

Loser: Rookie QBs

Zach Wilson wasn't the only rookie QB to struggle in Week 3. In fact, all of the rookie QBs who started this week had ugly performances, going a combined 0-5.

Davis Mills struggled in his first NFL start for the Houston Texans Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers. The rookie from Stanford threw for 168 yards and a TD in a 24-9 loss.

Justin Fields also started his first game in the NFL and only threw for 68 yards with no touchdowns in the Bears' 26-6 loss to the Cleveland Browns

Mac Jones threw three interceptions in the New England Patriots' loss to the Saints and Trevor Lawrence threw two interceptions in a loss to the Arizona Cardinals. 

Of course, there are going to be growing pains with rookie QBs but the first couple of games this season have been pretty alarming.