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- What Did We See in XFL Week 3 - March 7, 2023
Welcome mortals! The frightfully freaky spectacularly spooky NFL Week 3 is here at the MuM. While it may seem nothing more than a premature Halloween edition, it isn’t the eve of All-Hallows that sets the suspense for those in the football world, but the terror of the 0-2 record. The mark of the grim reaper for a franchise’s playoff hopes in a season. Teams that befall that unfortunate milestone are statistically cursed to be doomed to an early end of their year. Don’t believe in curses? Just ask Peyton Hillis about the Madden curse.
Hillis was put on the cover of Madden and shortly thereafter was never heard of again (in the NFL). Though is that a greater curse than watching Marcus Mariota try to play quarterback? Assuming it’s not, the Seahawks and Falcons are excluded from the list. But below are the teams who need to win games in order to have a Woody Harrelson’s chance in Zombieland to raise their hopes from the grave.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Jets
With Cincinnati losing despite having Joe Burrow at quarterback against the Cowboys last week, it’s hard to determine which fans felt more cursed: Dallas fans feeling the riptide of starting Cooper Rush, or the “Who Dey” nation who could have sworn that the defending AFC Champions were kidnapped by doppelgangers as the closing seconds ticked away for a consecutive loss.
What’s worse, the chilling prospect of doom creeps in further as teammates like Ja’Marr Chase are panicking, calling for changes in the offense. With the prospect of facing the Jets who snuck up and unleashed the jaws of defeat on the Cleveland Browns while they were monologuing about beating Baker Mayfield in Week 1, they are hoping that the defense can stop Joe Flacco who rises like a pharaoh from the sands to lead his tribe of Gang Green minions to victory.
If the Bengals can claw their way free, they’re still in a fight for the AFC North because all four teams lost in Week 2.
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Tennessee Titans
It would appear that Tennessee may have attempted to use voodoo magic to keep their success going. Instead, they have found themselves running dangerously close to a black hole that was thought to have been closed by the Cardinals and the Chargers. With the Raiders coming all the way from Las Vegas to exorcise their demons, the Titans can only hope that they can run away and escape unscathed…kind of like Kyler Murray did against Vegas in Week 2 on a two-point conversion.
However, should the Titans win with Derrick Henry swinging the hammer of their offense, they may be able to beat back the Raiders into postseason oblivion.
Because sometimes some there’s good games are on the schedule that don’t follow the week’s theme and are worthy of watch time.
Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady battle is always one that gets high billing, be it regular season or in the playoffs. That being said, this match up hasn’t been particularly kind to Rodgers. What’s more, both field generals are dealing with patchwork offensive lines and receiver corps that are incomplete in some form or fashion.
Give a Freddy Krueger’s claw’s edge to the Bucs as they have a number of talented veteran receivers on offense. It’s uncertain whether most of the Packers receivers are even old enough to get a Nightmare of Elm Street reference, while Brady was probably alive to see the first Exorcist movie. That being said, it’s a battle of whose backfield gets penetrated and which quarterback ends up most sore by the 4th quarter. Regardless of the outcome, expect this game as a possible preview of playoff games to come.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos
While it’s said that fans of this game will be “waiting all day for Sunday night”, coming out of this past week they were waiting all week to get a win after opening 2022 in disappointing fashion. This question here is which side will have the most nightmares come true.
Will it be Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos? Wilson not only likely suffers a recurring night terror, thinking about being chased by Nick Bosa, but also a new fear that his rookie head coach will steal a chance to win a game from his as he did in the season opener against his old squad. Not to mention almost losing to the Texans.
Will it be the 49ers who lost to the hapless Bears and remember what Wilson did to them in the past with 4th quarter heroics to win games in Seattle? That can only further haunt the mind of head coach Kyle Shanahan as he tries to create production with Jimmy Garappolo sneaking back into the picture to take back his precious (aka the starting QB spot).