It's rare that a week of NFL games produces surprise results and performances like those in week three of the 2016 season. Literally from the beginning of this week of football, fans were treated to a week of games where at times you had no idea what to expect.
The New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons put division rivalry aside to come together for a display of unity Monday night, joining hands in a prayer circle on the field following the national anthem, a moving way for players to join the growing protests around the NFL against injustice in America.
Also happening in week 3, the New England Patriots dominated the Houston Texans 27-0 with a rookie third-string quarterback (Jacoby Brissett) making his first career start against a defense that looked like one of the best in the NFL through the first two weeks. The Patriots' defense and LaGarrette Blount also turned in big performances to complete a total team domination that is all the more impressive since it was done without their best offensive and defensive players as well.
When the Minnesota Vikings' defense shut down Aaron Rodgers, it was a surprise. But it was an even bigger surprise when the Vikings' D produced an even better encore, intercepting Cam Newton three times and sacking him eight times in a 22-10 upset over the Carolina Panthers.
The 2016 Buffalo Bills season had little hope for anything entering this past Sunday with injuries up and down the roster, an 0-2 start and already being on their second offensive coordinator of the season. Then they played the Arizona Cardinals.
The Bills controlled the game in every phase, outplaying the Cardinals from the very beginning and maybe gave their season some life with a much-needed 33-18 win.
What was the game of the week entering week three turned into just another game as the Philadelphia Eagles and rookie quarterback Carson Wentz demolished the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-3. A 21-point third quarter by the Eagles is what turned this game into a blowout.
The Denver Broncos' success through the first two games of this season has been primarily thanks to tremendous defensive play. However, this past Sunday it was Trevor Siemian who paved the way to a Broncos victory.
In the week's biggest surprise performance, Siemian, a second-year quarterback making his third career start, threw for 312 yards and four touchdowns while looking like a seasoned veteran in the Broncos' 29-17 road win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
Next week in the NFL looks to be more about big matchups with the Bills and Patriots going at it, the Oakland Raiders (2-1) traveling to Baltimore (3-0), the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars playing in England, Cam Newton traveling to Atlanta and the Vikings on Monday Night Football.