With a just Monday Night Football game left, the National Football League’s third week of the 2013 season is almost in the books.
Miami is 3-0 for the first time since 2002, but that achievement didn’t come easily. The Dolphins were down 23-20 as quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the rest of Miami’s offense took the field at Sun Life Stadium with 4:46 left in the game; 13 plays, 75 yards and 3:08 later, the Falcons were the ones trailing.
“Before the drive started,” Tannehill said, “I just told the guys hey it doesn’t matter what happened before now. All that matters is what we do on this drive.’”
Tannehill threw for 69 yards on the game-winning march and for 236 for the game. He was 24 0f 35 overall for two touchdowns and an interception. Wide receiver Brian Hartline led all Dolphins receivers for yardage, ending up with 56 yards on four receptions.
“It was definitely a good step forward, to say the least,” Hartline said. “Expectations will continue to rise, and high expectations usually brings the best out of you, so we’re welcoming it.”
Earlier in the day, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the New England Patriots 23-3. The Bucs had an early lead, going up 3-0, but it was after an earlier missed opportunity. Kicker Rian Lindell missed a 38-yard attempt before hitting from 30 yards out.
Missed opportunities would be Tampa’s theme throughout the day. The second quarter saw the Bucs fail on two fourth-down attempts. Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman was intercepted with 11 seconds in the half, and the Patriots made a field goal as the half ended. Tampa would fail on two more fourth downs, ending the game with zero conversions in four attempts.
Freeman entered the game with the worst completion percentage of all starting NFL quarterbacks at 45.3%. He improved it slightly with a 19-for-41 day for 236 yards.
“We certainly had our opportunity,” Tampa head coach Greg Schiano said. “I think we had something like 14 plays in their territory in the very beginning of the game and came away with three points.”
“We’ve got to get better,” he said about his 0-3 team. “There’s no magic pill.”
At CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington, the Jacksonville Jaguars were facing the team favored to come out of the NFC and play in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seattle Seahawks.
The game was competitive for the first 15 minutes. The Jacksonville defense held quarterback Russell Wilson to only one touchdown and 38 yards passing early but then the Seahawks went ahead 31-0 by early in the third quarter. The game was so far out of reach that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll pulled Wilson near the end of the third quarter. Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson put two more touchdowns on the board, passing for one and running for the other.
Jacksonville scored its second and third touchdowns of the season, and kicker Josh Scobee added a 33-yard field goal to make the final score 45-17. Seattle improved to 3-0 and the Jags fell to 0-3.