Since necessity is the mother of alliteration, I have decided to try to make this triumphs-tragedies-trends thing… well… a trend. However, in the spirit of whimsy I will be adding another piece called Trail Mix, which is a quick random piece of information for you to munch on. Again, I’m looking mostly at individual performances from Week 3 that are anomalous either positively or negatively, as well as events that I think are likely to continue.
RAVENS 37, RAMS 7
TRIUMPH: Ravens rookie WR Torrey Smith caught his first three receptions of his career for 133 yards and 3 touchdowns, all in the first quarter of their game against the Rams. Keep in mind that one game does not a stud make.
TRAGEDY: Speaking of one game and studs, Steven Jackson had just 4 carries in the loss while Cadillac Williams had 18. However, keep in mind that the Ravens were leading 21-0 in the first quarter, and the team wanted to make sure Jackson left the game healthy since the game was out of hand.
TREND: Sam Bradford appears to be vulnerable to a sophomore slump as much as anyone, completing just 51 percent of his passes thus far this year and already has 3 fumbles, all of which have ended in opponents’ touchdowns.
TRAIL MIX: Joe Flacco had been taking some flak for his flaccid play last year, but while he has thrown for under 200 yards in 4 of his last 6 regular-season games, he has thrown for an average of 306 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT in his team’s two wins this year, by a combined score of 72-14.
RAIDERS 34, JETS 24
TRIUMPH: Shonn Greene caught 7 passes in this game. He already has at least half of the receptions and receiving yards that he had all of last year. However, LaDainian Tomlinson is still the pass-catching back on this team (as shown by his team-leading 116 receiving yards in this game).
TRAGEDY: The Jets outran their opponents by 50 yards per game last year. This year, they’re getting outrun by 50 yards per game. However, before this game that was only 15 yards per game. Don’t worry, Jets fans. As much as I would like you to.
TREND: Darren McFadden is an all-out monster, showing the burst and power that he did in his career in Arkansas. He leads the league in rushing and has four 100-yard games in his last 6.
TRAIL MIX: Two years ago in this matchup, Mark Sanchez got a lot of attention for eating a hot dog on the sideline. Perhaps if he had put a little more mustard on some of his throws, the Jets may have won this time.
SAINTS 40, TEXANS 33
TRIUMPH: James Casey, whose position is the famed H-back (a tight-end/running back hybrid of sorts), came out of nowhere to reel in 5 catches, 126 yards, and a touchdown. Maybe he sticks around, but there are a number of important mouths to feed before his.
TRAGEDY: The Texans defense had allowed just 10 points per game in their first two games, and then allowed 40. It was the Saints though.
TREND: The Saints ran the ball 22 times for 100 yards, and no more than 9 and 38 went to any one player. As far as fantasy is concerned, I’m not seeing much coming from back there. At least when Brees spreads it around through the air there’s 30 receptions to go around.
TRAIL MIX: 9 players from this game scored in the top 55 among fantasy scorers this week. No player in the 49ers-Bengals game made the top 60.
PACKERS 27, BEARS 17
TRIUMPH: Ryan Grant received more carries and ran for 87 more yards than James Starks in this game, which is a stark (see what I did there?) difference from what we’ve seen thus far this year and is likely to be more balanced in the future.
TRAGEDY: Matt Forte ran the ball 9 times for 2 yards. Jay Cutler ran 3 times for 11 yards and led the team.
TREND: The Packers have allowed the second-most passing yards in the league this year, which is certainly related to losing a couple key pieces to injury. This is not going to get too much better. Also, it’s interesting to point out that 2011 offensive juggernauts Buffalo, Green Bay, and New England are all in the bottom 10 in pass defense.
TRAIL MIX: Jermichael Finley scored 3 touchdowns in this game. Jon-Michael Frank is afraid of Dutch clowns with fame.