NFL 1979: Big Pauly’s Week 3 Notes

So another week of the 1979 NFL season has come and gone.

How about those Cowboys?  Last year’s NFC champs are having some serious problems getting their 1979 campaign going, going 0-3 including losses to San Francisco and St. Louis, hardly world beaters in the ’78 season.

The season is continue to produce some wild shootouts.  How can this be happening?  Warmer weather conditions?  Teams playing without a great deal of injured players?  The week saw 2 games with both teams scoring 30 points in a game, another two games with both teams scoring 20 points or more in the same game.  But there is a sign that the offenses are slowing down: there were three shutouts this week.  Washington defeated the NY Giants 37-0, Denver destroyed Atlanta 41-0, and the Steelers beat St. Louis 17-0.

Baltimore is so far the biggest surprise by far in 1979 with wins over Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and Cleveland.  Some computer rankings in some of the Las Vegas betting magazines have the Colts projected higher than the Super Bowl champs, the Steelers!  The Colts went 5-11 in 1978, so we’ll have to see how well they do as the season progresses.

The same computer rankings almost to the circuit have Oakland as the worst team at 0-3.  Even with their 27-24 loss to the Seahawks at the gun didn’t change the projections of a team that went 9-7 in 1978 for the now departed John Madden.  Earlier in the year, the Raiders lost to two quality teams, 44-3 at Los Angeles, and 38-16 at San Diego.  They complete a four game road trip against Kansas City this week, and then they get 8 of the remaining 12 contests at the Oakland Coliseum.

The team to watch this week?  The Los Angeles Rams.  They lost star QB Pat Haden in their 49-34 in their shootout win over San Francisco, and the word out of the Los Angeles media is that Haden will be out around six weeks.  They go to Tampa Stadium for a game with the Buccaneers, who themselves are off to a slow 1-2 start.  Look for the tenacious Tampa Bay D to feast on young Vince Ferragamo.

So long until next week.