Familiar faces meet in Denver
Well, that didn’t take long. Vic Fangio, the 61-year-old first-year head coach of the Broncos, plays host to a Bears team he helped resurrect with a league-high 36 takeaways a year ago. Today, he and his former team are 0-1. Chuck Pagano, Fangio’s replacement as Bears defensive coordinator, picked up where Fangio left off. But Chicago’s offense converted just three of 15 third downs while scoring three points in a 10-3 loss to the Packers. Meanwhile, Denver’s defense was unFangio-like in allowing the Raiders to convert 10 of 14 third downs.
Showdown in Los angeles
Another offensive clash between gurus named Sean. Last year, Sean Payton and Drew Brees ended the Rams’ undefeated start at 8-0 while winning their seventh of 10 consecutive games. Sean McVay’s Rams scored 35 points and lost by 10. Both teams enter the game in Los Angeles at 1-0. The Rams put up 30 against the host Panthers while the host Saints beat the Texans with a vintage Brees comeback that ended with Will Lutz’s 58-yard field goal.
How will Patricia’s Lions react?
Detroit blew a 24-6 fourth-quarter lead in a 27-27 tie while favored at Arizona. Now, Matt Patricia’s Lions are underdogs at home against the Chargers. Patricia was 3-5 at home last year but beware. His Lions worked a 26-10 number on the Patriots last year.
100 NFL SEASONS A LOOK BACK at 1921
Oct. 23, 1921: Historians have said the Packers were on a trial basis with the upstart professional football league when they were scheduled to play their first American Professional Football Association game against the Minneapolis Marines on this date.
The APFA, which was renamed the NFL in 1922, began in 1920. The Marines, who had been around since 1905, joined the APFA in 1921 along with the Packers. While they already had played league games, the Packers had been playing nonleague games, including a 7-0 win over the Beloit Fairies the week before.
Some believe the Packers needed to beat the Marines to stay in the APFA. And that’s what they did when Curly Lambeau kicked the game-winning extra point in a come-from-behind 7-6 win.
The Marines folded in 1924 and were reborn as the Red Jackets in 1929. The Packers played these teams eight times, going 8-0 while outscoring them 124-18.
UPSET OF THE WEEK
Boy oh boy. It’s come to this. Riding a 5-12 run under the Pat Shurmur regime, the Giants (0-1) are a two-point underdog to a Bills team (1-0) that turned the ball over four times in the first half and trailed the host Jets 16-0 before rallying last week. Pick: Giants 19, Bills 16. Last week: Panthers 27, Rams 24. Result: Rams 30, Panthers 27. Record: 0-1.