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Posted: Sunday September 30, 2001 7:17 PM
Updated: Sunday October 14, 2001 5:33 PM's Jon A. Dolezar reviews the Week 3 games.
Week Three
   St. Louis 42 at St. Louis
   Miami 10 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 16 -- Times Rams QB Kurt Warner has thrown three or more touchdowns in his 31-game NFL career.
Player of the Game Warner: Returned to his MVP form of two years ago by completing 24 of 31 for 328 yards and four toucdowns against one of the league's best secondaries.'s Breakdown Miami never got its running game on track with Lamar Smith finishing with only 48 yards on 19 carries. And unlike last week, Jay Fiedler couldn't use his feet to get him out of trouble, as he fumbled twice and ran for only 9 yards on four carries. Torry Holt served as Warner's top target en route to his breakout game of the young season with four catches for 111 yards and a score.

   Minnesota 20 at Minneapolis
   Tampa Bay 16 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 36:15 -- Vikings' time of possession, helped out by an 18-play, 74 yard-drive that chewed up 10:33 in the second quarter.
Player of the Game Daunte Culpepper, QB, Minnesota: Completed 30-of-44 passes for 322 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and ran five times for 20 yards and the game-winning touchdown with 1:03 left in the game.'s Breakdown Derrick Brooks had a superhuman game for the Bucs, finishing with 20 total tackles and one interception. But the Bucs' vaunted "D" allowed 402 total yards and the Vikings converted 9-of-12 third-down plays. Minnesota still can't get Randy Moss sprung for a touchdown, despite his five catches for 86 yards.

   Green Bay 28 at Charlotte, N.C.
   Carolina 7 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 13 -- Points surrendered by the Packers' defense through three games, though their opponents have only a 1-7 combined record.
Player of the Game Brett Favre, QB, Green Bay: Bounced back from early struggles to finish with a 64 percent completion rate, 308 yards and three touchdowns.'s Breakdown The Packers' defensive domination continued against the Panthers, holding Carolina to 169 total yards and nine first downs. The teams combined for only 111 rushing yards, though the abysmal condition of the turf at Ericsson Stadium can shoulder part of the blame for that. Green Bay's pass rush continued to get solid pressure. Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila continued to emerge as a big surprise with two more sacks, giving him a league-leading six on the season.

   New England 44 at Foxboro, Mass.
   Indianapolis 13 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 5 -- Three-interception games for Peyton Manning, though three of the five were in the first four games of his rookie season.
Player of the Game Antowain Smith, RB, New England: Bills castoff outplayed the more-heralded Edgerrin James, finishing with 152 total yards and two touchdowns compared to 93 yards, no touchdowns and two fumbles for James.'s Breakdown Maybe Tom Brady will turn Drew Bledsoe into a Wally Pipp -like footnote in Patriots history. Not likely, but the second-year quarterback from Michigan led New England's offense to its first 40-point effort since Oct. 11, 1998. Brady completed 13 of 23 for 168 yards, but he didn't turn the ball over and was sacked only once.

   Kansas City 45 at Landover, Md.
   Washington 13 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 516 -- Total yards gained by the Redskins in three games, while they allowed 546 on Sunday alone to the Chiefs, and have given up 1,187 yards this season.
Player of the Game Priest Holmes, RB, Kansas City: Played the Marshall Faulk role in Dick Vermeil's offense to a tee, finished with 225 total yards and three touchdowns.'s Breakdown Just when you thought things couldn't get much worse in Washington. The Redskins now have lost their three games by a combined 96 points, allowing an absurd 112 points. Tony Banks completed only 41 percent of his passes in his first start for Washington, while Trent Green was 21-of-26 for 307 yards and three touchdowns. The Chiefs controlled the ball for 35:12 and outgained the Redskins 546-218.

   Pittsburgh 20 at Orchard Park, N.Y.
   Buffalo 3 Recaps
Game Summary
Key Stat 230 -- Points allowed by the Bills in their past eight regular-season games.
Player of the Game Jerome Bettis, RB, Pittsburgh: The Bus rolled to 114 yards on 22 carries, helping the Steelers control the ball for 33:10.'s Breakdown The Steelers returned to action in impressive fashion after a 21-day layoff. Pittsburgh knocked Rob Johnson out of the game in the fourth quarter with hip and ankle injuries after getting beat up all afternoon and taking four sacks. The Bills finished with just 172 total yards in losing for the seventh time in their past eight games.

   New York 21 at East Rutherford, N.J.
   New Orleans 13 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 5.5 -- Average yards per carry for the Giants, who rushed for 153 yards on 28 carries.
Players of the Game Michael Strahan, DE, New York: Won the battle of All-Pros against Saints offensive tackle Kyle Turley by finishing with three sacks, seven tackles and two forced fumbles.'s Breakdown Ron Dayne plowed to the best game of his career, running for 111 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries after taking over for the injured Tiki Barber. The Giants put the clamps on the Saints' running game, so New Orleans was forced to throw the ball an uncharacteristic 54 times.

   Atlanta 34 at Tempe, Ariz.
   Arizona 14 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 37:40 -- Time of possession for the Falcons.
Player of the Game Maurice Smith, RB, Atlanta: Replaced the injured Jamal Anderson and rushed for 80 yards on 21 carries, and also caught two passes for 108 yards, including a 79-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.'s Breakdown The Falcons moved to 2-1, but Anderson's injury could send the team's season into a downward spiral. Chris Chandler shredded the Cards for 286 yards and three touchdowns, but Smith isn't likely to keep up his Anderson impersonation for the entire season. Atlanta's defense chipped in with four sacks and picked off three Jake Plummer passes.

   San Diego 28 at San Diego
   Cincinnati 14 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 33-14 -- Doug Flutie's record (.702 winning percentage) as a starter, good for the second-best winning percentage among active QBs behind Kurt Warner (.800).
Player of the Game LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego: Rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries, and now has 310 yards and five touchdowns in his first three games.'s Breakdown As usual, the numbers didn't look impressive for the Chargers, but the final result on the scoreboard sure did. Flutie continues to impress as a leader, and Tomlinson looks like he is going to run away with the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. San Diego held Corey Dillon to 46 yards rushing and picked off Jon Kitna three times. The Chargers' victory sets up an equally improbably game next week in Cleveland between the 3-0 Chargers and the 2-1 Browns.

   Oakland 38 at Oakland
   Seattle 14 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 7 -- Sacks by the Raiders, who had only two sacks in their first two games.
Player of the Game Charles Woodson, CB, Oakland: Finished with eight total tackles and two sacks helping the Raiders' defense hold the three Seahawks quarterback to a combined 53 percent completion rate.'s Breakdown Only an ugly 9-6 win in Cleveland in Week 1 stands between the Seahawks and an 0-3 record. As it is, Seattle took 160 minutes and two seconds to score its first offensive touchdown of the season. Matt Hasselbeck is now 43 of 86 for 407 yards and three interceptions in his three starts for Seattle, and was replaced by Trent Dilfer and later Brock Huard.

   Baltimore 20 at Denver
   Denver 13 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 40 -- Games since the Ravens last allowed a 100-yard rusher after holding Mike Anderson to 34 yards on 12 carries.
Player of the Game Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore: Finished with eight total tackles and one sack, helping hold the Broncos to 61 yards rushing.'s Breakdown The Broncos never found an offensive rhythm against the vaunted Ravens defense. Brian Griese was sacked five times and threw two interceptions in his worst game since the end of the 1999 season. Travis Taylor was the top offensive threat for Baltimore with four catches for 90 yards and the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.

   Cleveland 23 at Philadelphia
   Jacksonville 14 Recap
Stats Matchup
Key Stat 23 -- Combined sacks (nine), penalties (nine), interceptions (three) and lost fumbles (two).
Player of the Game Jamir Miller, LB, Cleveland: Finished with four tackles and two sacks.'s Breakdown The Browns kept the ball for 35:40 by executing their West Coast offense efficiently. Tim Couch completed 24-of-34 passes for 249 yards and one interception. Cleveland knocked Mark Brunell out of the game early and then picked on his replacement, Jonathan Quinn. James Jackson was limited to only 18 yards rushing, but Jamel White picked up the slack churning out 64 yards on 23 carries.

   Philadelphia 40 at Philadelphia
   Dallas 6 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 43.2 -- Combined completion percentage for Cowboys quarterbacks Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright and Clint Stoerner.
Player of the Game Donovan McNabb, QB, Philadelphia: Completed 14 of 28 passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns.'s Breakdown Wright did his best Carter impersonation by completing just 7-of-23 for 33 yards and one interception before giving way to Stoerner. Correll Buckhalter filled in well with the absent Duce Staley with 99 yards on 20 carries. Chad Lewis caught four passes for 43 yards and two touchdowns.

   San Francisco 19 at East Rutherford, N.J.
   New York 17 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 233 -- Total yards rushing by the 49ers. San Francisco averaged 5.4 yards per carry.
Player of the Game Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow, RBs, San Francisco: Combined for 178 yards rushing. Hearst gained 95 yards on 20 carries; Barlow 83 yards on just nine attempts.'s Breakdown The 49ers were a far cry from their West Coast offense predecessors, averaging just .3 yards more through the air (5.7, 126 total) than on the ground. Former XFL kicker Jose Cortez made four field goals to remain perfect in nine attempts.

Related information
Stories's Week 2 NFL Recap Grid
Statitudes: Week 3 Preview -- By the Numbers
NFL Week at a Glance: Sept. 30-Oct. 1's NFL Preview Grid: Week 3
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