By Jarrod Argobright
Cold, Hard Football Facts Statistical Missile
Welcome to the first edition of Stat Attack, a look at some of the most intriguing stat lines each week of the NFL season.
Week 3 of the NFL preseason is behind us and while most teams were going through their dress rehearsal(s) for their opening acts of the2012 season, it was clear that several teams were in dire need of more auditions before going on stage.
Front and center was the battle between the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins, and it appeared that both No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck and No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III nearly aced their casting calls.
In Denver the elder Manning showed why the Mile High City might just be Peyton's new place.
And, in the Sunday night grand finale, the Jets continued to find points hard to come by, leaving Rex Ryan wondering if his team would ever be ready for Broadway.
So, without further ado, Stat Attack takes a look at teams who played to packed halls and those who received catcalls:
Carolina 17, New York Jets 12 - The Jets failed to reach the end zone for the third consecutive game, as Tim Tebow's pass with two seconds left in regulation sailed above the intended receiver's head.
Much of the blame this week can be placed on an inept wide receiving corps, including No. 1 wideout Santonio Holmes and second round pick Stephen Hill, who dropped several passes, a couple of which ended up killing New York drives deep inside Carolina territory. If this drought keeps up, Rex Ryan may rename his red zone offense 'Mission Impossible.'
San Francisco 29, Denver 24 - Petyon Manning reminded everyone that the sheriff still has plenty left in the tank, passing for 122 yards and 2 TDs on 12 attempts for a 10.2 YPA and a 148.6 passer rating.
Manning finally seems to be developing somewhat of a rapport with his wideouts, Eric Decker (who caught both of Manning's TD passes) and Demaryius Thomas, who also caught two passes for 25 yards.
Green Bay 27, Cincinnati 13 - After being humbled by the Cleveland Browns a week earlier in Green Bay, the Packers ran all over the Bengals. Literally.
At the end of the night, the Packers ripped off 184 yards on 40 carries, including 52 yards from all-pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis has enlisted the A-Team to help find his run defense, ranked 7th in the league in 2011 (3.94 YPA).
Baltimore 48, Jacksonville 17- Joe Flacco continued to prove that he has what it takes to be an elite NFL quarterback, completing 27 of 36 passes for 266 yards, 7.4 YPA, 2 TDs, 1 INT and a 102.3 rating. Through three preseason games Flacco has now completed 43 of 60 passes for 433 yards 2 TDs and 1 interception.
Tennessee 32, Arizona 27 - Second-year quarterback Jake Locker's two TD passes led a rising Titan squad over a Cardinals team looking for an identity.
More importantly for Locker than his TD passes or 134 yards passing was the fact that, unlike his counterpart Kevin Kolb, he didn't throw an interception. Mr. Munchak, Jake is ready for his close up.
Philadelphia 27, Cleveland 10 - Rookie quarterback Nick Foles proved that he will be more than able understudy should Michael Vick miss the season opener against these same Browns. He passed for 146 yards and two TDs. Foles got an assist from the Clowns, er, Browns, who fumbled three times in the first half, the second fumble leading to the Eagles' first touchdown.
Tampa Bay 30, New England 28 - There's a foul stench in Foxboro, Massachusetts, and it's the New England Patriots' offensive line. Struggling in the preseason opener because they were without Logan Mankins, the Pats' bread and butter were not much better in Tampa Bay. Buccaneer pressure got to quarterback Tom Brady on several occasions, sacking him twice and forcing him into throwing a pick-six on another occasion.
Atlanta 23, Miami 6 - The Tannehill era in Miami did not start with a bang, but more of a whimper. Completing just over 40 percent of his passes, Tannehill found that the NFL isn't quite like the Big 12. Fortunately for him, Matt Moore was even worse, completing just 4 of 12 passes for 49 yards.
Seattle 44, Kansas City 14 - The Seahawks improve to 3-0 in the preseason thanks to the inspired play of rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who threw two TDs and no interceptions.
Wilson's performance meant the 'Hawks no longer needed the services of Tavaris Jackson; however, with Matt Flynn out due to injury, it is still unclear who will be the Week 1 starter in Seattle.
San Diego 12, Minnesota 10 - Chargers win a low scoring affair against the Vikings despite resting several of their key offensive starters, including quarterback Philip Rivers and tight end Antonio Gates.
Their absence wouldn't be a problem as the Bolts' defense would sack Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder five times and force him into throwing an interception on another occasion.
Chicago 20, New York Giants 17 - Bears defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Giants behind solid performance of rejuvenated backup quarterback Jason Campbell.
Campbell would finish the evening completing 12 of 19 passes for 101 yards and one TD. It also marks the second straight game that Campbell hasn't thrown an interception. The Bears have found their understudy to Jay Cutler.
Washington 30, Indianapolis 17 - The award for best newcomer goes to Alfred Morris, Redskins rookie running back. While both Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III played nearly flawless games, it was Morris' 107 yards rushing and one rushing TD that would be the difference in the game. Head coach Mike Shanahan names Morris best supporting actor for at least one game.
Pittsburgh 38, Buffalo 7 - Breaking news: the Steelers lose first-round draft pick David DeCastro for the game, and possibly more time, due to injury. This just in: quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn't care. Big Ben finishes the game 17 of 24 for 169 yards and one TD, and the Steelers continue to prepare to take the AFC North crown from the Ravens this season.
Oakland 31, Detroit 20 - Raiders beat the Lions behind the arms and legs of backup quarterback Terrelle Pryor- a third round supplemental pick in 2011. Pryor finished the game passing for 137 yards and rushing for another 90 yards and accounting for three total TDs.
With Oakland's second string quarterback Matt Leinart missing the game due to injury--Thursday's contest versus Seattle will be an audition for the backup role.
Dallas 20, St. Louis 19- Tony Romo wins comeback player of this preseason thanks to the emergence of second year wide receiver Dwayne Harris.
Harris, filling in for the injured Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, caught three passes for 118 yards and a score. He will provide the 'Boys with a nice security blanket once the Austin and Bryant do return to the lineup.
New Orleans 34, Houston 27 - Drew Brees proves once again that the Saints offense can flourish without the presence of head coach Sean Payton. The Saints quarterback passes for 179 yards and two TDs as the New Orleans' offense gets in its final tuneup before their September 9th opener against Washington.