Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden (Arkansas) is the man. Just ask New York Jets corner back Darrelle Revis. “He just crushed us today,” said Revis following the Raiders 34-24 victory on Sunday.
McFadden rushed for 171 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns. One of those touchdown runs went for 70 yards on a play that was supposed to be a pass. “I just felt like it was in my best interest to go ahead and run,” McFadden said.
“He’s able to get from point A to point B faster than anyone I’ve seen,” quarterback Jason Campbell (Auburn) said. “He can get in a hole and shift out and make two guys miss and get down the sidelines.”
With 393 rushing yards in his first three games, McFadden leads the NFL. ”He’s the best back in football, bar none,” said Raiders coach Hue Jackson.
On the defensive side of the ball for Oakland, Jarvis Moss (Florida) had a big day for the Raiders, notes Jerry McDonald of the San Jose Mercury News. The defensive end had two sacks, a tackle for a loss, and three quarterback hits.
Pending the outcome of tonight’s Washington-Dallas game, there will only be three or four undefeated teams left standing heading into week 4. One of those teams is the Detroit Lions led by quarterback Matthew Stafford (Georgia). On Sunday, Stafford led the Lions back from a 20-0 halftime deficit as Detroit rallied to beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-23 in overtime.
Although this is Stafford’s third year in the league, thanks to an assortment of knee and shoulder injuries, the Lions QB completed his 16th career start on Sunday, completing his “rookie” year. Detroit News columnist Mike O’Hara breaks down Stafford’s stats and says the former Bulldog compares favorably to another SEC legend – Peyton Manning.
“Stafford is proving he’s the real thing. He is a quarterback, not just playing the role.”
Sunday afternoon in Minnesota, Stafford completed 32 of 46 passes for 378 yards and two TDs. Stafford is currently fifth in the NFL in passing yards, only behind Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, Drew Brees and leader Tom Brady.
Speaking of Cam Newton (Auburn), the number one overall pick in this year’s NFL draft had his worst statistical game but got something that had eluded him in his first two starts – a victory. The Carolina Panthers beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 16-10.
After back-to-back 400+ yard efforts in his first two games, Newton completed 18 of 34 passes for just 158 yards yesterday. But he did engineer his first fourth-quarter game-winning touchdown drive in a game that featured “monsoon-like” weather conditions.
“No matter what the conditions were — dry, slick, wet — it doesn’t matter as a quarterback in this league,” Newton said. “There’s an old saying: ’Don’t tell me about the pain, just bring me the baby.’”
Another positive for the rookie yesterday – no interceptions and no sacks.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (Ole Miss) was also a winner Sunday – torching the Philadelphia Eagles for four touchdown passes with no interceptions in the Giants 29-16 victory.
Sean Hartnett says it’s time to recognize Manning for what he is – a top 10 NFL quarterback.
“No longer should he be the whipping boy of New York back pages, radio hosts and fans when things go wrong”
A few other SEC-related notes from Sunday:
- Mike Wallace (Ole Miss) caught 5 passes for 144 yards including an 81-yard touchdown pass in the Steelers 23-20 victory over Indianapolis.
- Julio Jones (Alabama) had an impressive showing in a losing cause. The Atlanta Falcons rookie caught 6 passes for 115 yards against Tampa Bay. The Bucs won the game 16-13.
- Sidney Rice (South Carolina) had 8 catches for 109 yards as Seattle won for the first time this year. The Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals 13-10 in Rice’s season debut. He had been sidelined with a shoulder injury.
- Mark Ingram (Alabama) scored the go-ahead touchdown in the Saints victory over the Texans. It was his first touchdown of his young NFL career. New Orleans defeated Houston 40-33.
- The Broncos lost to the Titans 17-14 on Sunday fueling speculation in Denver that it’s time for Tim Tebow (Florida). But coach John Fox is still backing Kyle Orton. “Right now, in our opinion, Kyle gives us the best chance to win.”
And finally, Colts owner Jim Irsay made news this morning when he told a group of Super Bowl donors that Peyton Manning (Tennessee) was out for the season. Irsay later clarified those comments saying there’s an “outside chance” Manning returns in December.