By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com – @anthonyVslater
Brandon Weeden (OSU) – Cleveland Browns
Result: 24-14 loss to Buffalo
Stats: 27/43 passing for 237 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions
Thoughts: Wasn’t as bad as his first game, wasn’t as good as his second. After a slow start, Weeden kickstarted the offense with a pair of impressive touchdown drives, capping the second with a 22-yard touchdown strike to Travis Benjamin. But two late interceptions, in desperation time, sealed the Browns third consecutive loss. The rookie’s developing a certain comfort level and showing positive signs, but team deficiencies and a few questionable decisions have doomed him.
Quote: “If you take away the last throw, I think it was a solid day. You know really, I mean I threw the ball where it needed to go all day. I felt extremely comfortable in the pocket. I felt my reads were really good. I felt like I threw the ball accurately. I felt like I had a good day.” – Weeden to reporters following the loss.
Up Next: It doesn’t get easier for Weeden. Actually, it gets much harder. The Browns travel to Baltimore, on a short week, to face the Ravens vaunted defense for a primetime Thursday night game on NFL Network. Welcome to the NFL. Ray Lewis will now eat your soul.
Sam Bradford (OU) – St. Louis Rams
Result: 23-6 loss to Chicago
Stats: 18/35 passing for 152 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions
Thoughts: Brutal game for Bradford, his worst in a long time. And from the start, facing a physical and swarming Chicago defense, he never had much of a chance. The former OU star was sacked six times, pressured all game and threw a crucial fourth quarter pick-six to seal the loss. St. Louis is struggling, now 1-2, with two big division games coming up.
Quote: “We definitely didn’t play well today. Give them credit, they played us tough. But I think there are a lot of things when we look at the film that are going to fall on us. Things that we were in control of and just didn’t handle. It was a tough game, a lot for us to learn from and move on as a group.” -Bradford to reporters following the game.
Link: Here’s the AP recap.
DeMarco Murray (OU) – Dallas Cowboys
Result: 16-10 win over Tampa Bay
Stats: 38 rushing yards, 17 receiving yards and one touchdowns
Thoughts: The sledding was tough against Gerald McCoy (another former Sooner star) and the Tampa Bay interior, but Murray found a way to maximize his effectiveness, scoring the Cowboys only touchdown in the home opener. Three games into his second season, Murray’s solidified his starting spot.
Quote: “It definitely wasn’t one of our best games,” said Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray. “We had too many mistakes. We got a little sloppy. We’ve got to play better and all get on the same page … but we got the win.”
Link: Mike Baldwin’s gamer off the Cowboy win.
Adrian Peterson (OU) – Minnesota Vikings
Result: 24-13 win over San Francisco
Stats: 86 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards
Thoughts: Peterson played a starring role in the upset of the weekend, with his rebuilt Vikings stunning the previously undefeated San Francisco 49ers, a team many experts had labeled the NFL’s best. And in the win, Peterson continued to show that last season’s ACL injury hasn’t changed his status as one of the league’s elite backs, going for more individual rushing yards than SF had given up to the previous two teams it played.
Quote: “”He’s one of these men who … have superhuman powers of recovery. And tip of the hat to him. And you know how hard he must have worked and trained to get back to the level he’s at. But this is a great challenge for our team.” – 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, before the game, on Adrian Peterson.
Link: Earlier in the week, the Sacramento Bee did a nice story on the 49ers respect for Peterson.
Dez Bryant (OSU) – Dallas Cowboys
Result: 16-10 win over Tampa Bay
Stats: 6 catches for 62 yards
Thoughts: Overall, it’s been an underwhelming start to what was supposed to be Bryant’s breakout season. If he stayed out of trouble (which he has), the production was expected to skyrocket. But through three games, he’s yet to record a touchdown or 100-yard outing. Despite that, he’s still making a big impact on a 2-1 team, snatching important first downs and providing an explosive 44-yard punt return in Sunday’s win.
Quote: ““I felt something big needed to happen,” Bryant said. “The other 10 guys did their part. I felt I should have scored. But it’s all good. We got the W.” – Bryant on his late punt return, which was finally stopped at the 6-yard-line.
Justin Blackmon (OSU) – Jacksonville Jaguars
Result: 22-17 win over Indianapolis
Stats: 1 catch for 7 yards
Thoughts: In the past two games, Blackmon’s been nearly invisible on the stat sheet (with Sunday’s first quarter catch his only tangible production). But that’s not from a lack of playing time for the rookie. He’s one of the Jags starting receivers, out there nearly every play, and constantly running crossing patterns and out routes. But quarterback Blaine Gabbert has been brutal, a combined 17/40 for 208 yards in the past two games, and his chemistry with Blackmon has been worse. He’s targeted the former OSU star nine times and connected only once.
Quote: “He’s a young player still. He’s still seeing the speed of the game. There is a difference in speed from preseason to regular season. Whether its starters on starters in the preseason, it’s still different when you get to the regular season because now everything is counting. It’s really important. I think just the speed of the game will help him as he goes, and gets more repetitions. I think he’ll improve and get the ball more.” – Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey, last week, talking about why Blackmon’s preseason production hasn’t immediately translated.
-Former OSU linebacker Orie Lemon recovered a fumble in his NFL debut for Dallas on Sunday.
-Former OSU kicker Dan Bailey went 3/3 for the Cowboys, scoring nine of Dallas’ 16 points.
-Former OU wideout Ryan Broyles was on the field plenty for Detroit, but is still yet to make his first NFL catch.
-Former OSUers Jacob Lacey and Brandon Pettigrew had rough days for the Lions. Lacey was burned on a long Tennessee touchdown and Pettigrew was stripped for a huge fourth quarter fumble return.
-Former OU lineman Gerald McCoy had four tackles and two sacks for Tampa Bay, dominating the interior and coming as close as you can to legally eating Tony Romo.