Sports

From OBJ’s return to Justin Tucker’s historic kick: What you might have missed in Week 3

Week 3 was a tough one for the “kickers don’t belong in the Pro Football Hall of Fame” crowd. It was also a tough one for supporters of the Detroit Lions. Both of the aforementioned parties’ misfortunes came at the hands, er — leg of Baltimore Ravens legend Justin Tucker, who made an NFL record 66-yard field goal.

The third week of the regular season also brought Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their first loss of the season when they faced Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams in a star-studded affair at SoFi Stadium. But even the cast of “Ted Lasso,” LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dr. Dre showing out in the City of Angels wasn’t enough to overshadow the theatrics of the Jacksonville Jaguars mascot … or when Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins bailed on his footwear mid-game.

Before we turn our attention to an NFC East showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN), here’s what you might have missed around the league during a busy Sunday:


The most interesting mascot in the world …

The Jaguars, who are off to a 0-3 start, haven’t exactly had a lot to cheer about lately. Head coach Urban Meyer has been vocal about the entire team’s need for improvement. Meanwhile, rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence was quick to cast blame on himself after Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals which saw the No. 1 overall draft pick throw a pick-six. But there’s one member of the Jags organization who has already achieved GOAT status: Their mascot, Jaxson de Ville.

Jacksonville’s faithful friend could have easily mailed it in, but instead? Jaxson took to the sky to entertain the forlorn fans of the Florida team.

It’s called dedication. Look it up.


One kicker to rule them all …

Mason Crosby — who nailed a 51-yard field goal to win it for the Green Bay Packers as time expired against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night — might have a problem with this statement, but considering Justin Tucker’s game-winning kick was 66 yards, Tucker gets the title.

After Tucker came through in the clutch (again), his teammate, Calais Campbell, turned to Twitter fingers to express his appreciation for Baltimore’s finest.

When we say “clutch,” we mean it. Tucker improved to 16-for-16 in his NFL career on field goals in the final minute of regulation. So Lions fans shouldn’t feel too bad about the fact Tucker also drilled a 61-yard field goal to win the Ravens’ last game at Ford Field eight years ago.

… On second thought, they’re allowed to feel bad.

At the risk of seeming incredibly insensitive, this bit of history also feels pertinent:

Now that you have that additional context, back to Tucker. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there have been only seven go-ahead field goals of 60-plus yards in the final minute in NFL history, and Tucker is the only kicker with multiple ones. Both of his have come at Ford Field.

Lions fans, it’s not your fault.


Shoes are for the birds …

While Tucker was putting the game on his foot in Detroit, Kirk Cousins couldn’t be bothered with footwear in Minnesota.

After the Vikings QB’s shoe fell off and he struggled to put it back on before the play, Cousins simply tossed it out of the way.

While the following play didn’t pan out exactly the way one-shoed Cousins had hoped (the pass got batted), he threw for three touchdown passes before halftime and guided the Vikings to their first win of the season — and their first win over the Seahawks in 12 years.


Guess who’s back (back again) …

Cleveland Browns fans understandably rejoiced as Odell Beckham Jr. made his long-awaited return after a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 25, 2020.

At least one distinguished fan, Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum, was particularly hyped to see No. 13 back on the field.

Beckham’s first catch on Sunday went for 13 yards. Coincidence? We think not (probably, yes).

Beckham warmed up before the game wearing a “Juice Landry” T-shirt honoring his close friend and teammate Jarvis Landry, who will be out at least three games after being placed on injured reserve last week. Considering the Browns earned a decisive 26-6 victory, Beckham might want to consider wearing Juice merchandise during warm-ups more often as we’re not yet willing to rule out a direct correlation.


When stars align …

Only in LA. No offense to the LA Memorial Coliseum, but it didn’t bring the energy like SoFi Stadium.

Not only was the Los Angeles Rams’ new place rocking, but it was packed with celebrities. Could the star-studded fan turnout have something to do with Tom Brady and the reigning Super Bowl champs coming to town to face Matthew Stafford & Co.? Sure, that seems likely, but we’ll give the Rams’ upgraded digs some props too.

While we can’t say whether or not Kate Hudson and Halsey were actually in the building, Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) was confirmed:

LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dr. Dre? Yep, they were there too.

The Rams, who advanced to 3-0 for the third time in head coach Sean McVay’s five seasons, weren’t the only ones feeding off the crowd energy.

McVay was feeling it as his team headed to the locker room with a 14-7 lead at half time.

Once we saw the stat about how “the Rams are 39-0 when leading at half time under McVay,” we understood.


There’s no place like home …

It was a big day for former superstars returning to the places that cemented their legacies.

Eli Manning received a hero’s reception as the New York Giants’ retired the two-time Super Bowl MVP’s No. 10 jersey and added his name to the Ring of Honor at MetLife Stadium.

He was walked to the stage by his offensive line. Manning, who retired after the 2019 season, finished his short speech by quoting the last Giants owner Wellington Mara who frequently said: “Once a Giant, always a Giant.”

In New England, Julian Edelman was honored in a halftime tribute. The receiver and Super Bowl 53 MVP, who announced his retirement in April after 11 seasons, kicked off the ceremony with his trademark run out of the tunnel and sprint from end zone to end zone.

Edelman held his daughter as he vowed Foxborough would always hold a special place for his family.

Meanwhile, in Detroit, things didn’t go exactly according to planned as fans’ persistent booing of Lions owner Sheila Ford Hamp made it tough to hear the tribute for Calvin Johnson, who set aside his hard feelings for the Lions long enough to receive his ring of excellence from the Pro Football Hall of Fame at halftime.

It feels worth noting none of the stars’ respective former teams won on their big days. A distinction that undoubtedly made fans even more nostalgic for their beloved players’ glory days.


Back to the Browns …

All eyes might have been on OBJ before kickoff, but the postgame presser was all about Baker Mayfield and his carefully-placed Kanye West album references.

Mayfield resumed his 2020 ritual of sneaking pop culture references in after a win. Sunday’s theme was, apparently, Kanye West album titles. The QB worked in “Late Registration,” “The College Dropout,” “Graduation” and “The Life of Pablo.”

Previously, Baker told Keyshawn Johnson, “There’s a thing going on in the QB room that I have to slide in a certain quote or there’s a fine.”

Maybe next week will be Drake albums.


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