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NFL news and notes, Week 3

Power rankings

1. Saints

2. Packers

3. Texans

4. Steelers

5. Colts

6. Bears

Upset alert

Jets over Dolphins: This isn't exactly going out on a long limb considering the Jets are ever-so-slight underdogs. But Rex Ryan's bunch got its act together last week vs. the Patriots, and we're still not sold on Miami.

Milestone watch

Rams RB Steven Jackson has 6,863 yards rushing and needs 97 to pass Marshall Faulk for second in franchise history. Eric Dickerson is the team's all-time leader with 7,245 yards.

In his honor

The Broncos will hold a moment of silence today and wear a No. 11 decal on their helmets in honor of WR Kenny McKinley, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Monday.

He said it

"Just like it feels any time you get hit by a semi running through your stomach. I've never been hit like that before, so I can't tell you. I've had the wind knocked out of me; that was an entirely different experience. I'm actually glad he hit me where he did and not in the spleen or kidney because that might have ended my career."

Redskins S Reed Doughty after being hit last week by teammate LaRon Landry, the Redskins safety who was trying to hit Texans WR Andre Johnson and hit Doughty instead.

Last week's MVP

Our vote goes to Chris Snell. Never heard of him? He's the equipment manager for the Texans. Snell had to race to the locker room and back after K Neil Rackers tore the sole off his kicking shoe while warming up on the sidelines as the Texans were driving in overtime. Snell got back just in time for Rackers to kick a 35-yarder and give the Texans a 30-27 win against Washington. If Snell hadn't made it in time, Rackers said he would have kicked barefooted.

"We're going to keep (an extra shoe) on the field from now on," Rackers said. "Normally, to break in a shoe, I wear it in the hot tub and walk around in it for a bit. I've got Flintstones feet, so the leather needs to stretch out a little bit."

Losing streaks

The Lions have lost 21 straight road games since they won 16-7 in Chicago on Oct. 28, 2007. That is the fourth-longest road losing streak in league history but only the second longest in team history. Here are the three longest road losing streaks in NFL history:

Detroit Lions 24 (2001-03)

Houston Oilers 23 (1981-84)

Buffalo Bills 22 (1983-86)

Impressive stat

Raiders P Shane Lechler has had a punt of at least 50 yards in every game (34) since the start of the 2008 season.

0-2 means oh, no

The NFL season is only 2 weeks old, but there are few things more surprising than the 0-2 starts turned in by the Cowboys and Vikings, two teams with Super Bowl aspirations. Today, we look at how they got there, what it might mean and where the teams go from this point.

Minnesota Vikings Losing the opener at New Orleans was no surprise, but then came a disappointing loss at home to Miami. Most shocking, the Vikings are supposed to be an offensive machine, and they've produced only 19 points in two games. They haven't started a season 0-3 since they went 0-4 in 2002. They ended up going 6-10 that year. Good news is they get the Lions today. Detroit has lost 12 in a row in Minnesota, and Vikings QB Brett Favre is 25-9 against the Lions. They get a bye next week then return for a brutal stretch that includes road games against the Jets, Packers and Patriots. That makes today a must-win or the Vikings could be staring at something as unthinkable as a 1-7 record at the halfway point if they don't get their act together. Until Favre finds some consistency with his receivers, the Vikings are still going to struggle, particularly in the red zone. You knew Favre and the passing game would miss WR Sidney Rice (hip), but who knew that the passing game would completely fall apart without him?
Dallas Cowboys This team is all out of joint. The offense did little in a season-opening loss to Washington, then the defense was scorched in a loss last week to Chicago. They haven't started a season 0-3 since they went 0-4 in 2001. They ended up going 5-11 that year. Bad news is they get the Texans today. Houston leads the NFL in scoring (32 ppg) and total offense (440.5 ypg). They get a bye next week then return home for a winable game against the Titans. Then comes an Oct. 17 game in Minnesota. After that day and barring a tie, the Vikings or Cowboys are guaranteed to have at least three losses after five games. Turnovers. It's so simple. Everyone points to it as the key to any team's success. And that, in a word, is the problem in Dallas. The Cowboys have turned the ball over four times in two games and have yet to force a turnover.

NFL news and notes, Week 3 09/25/10 [Last modified: Monday, September 27, 2010 12:29pm]
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