Think of it as Cliff's Notes for NFL Week 3. The NFL Week 3 Preview Cheat Sheet is QUICK, insightful take on games of interest that will be on the boob tube this week 3 Sunday. Each game has one or two compelling storylines. Here are the ones for NFL Week 3. Enjoy!
Bengals at Bills
Is the Bills offense for real? Josh Allen and company looked pretty darn solid 3 out of 4 quarters last week against the Giants and there is the rub. It was against a poor defense. They get more of the same here versus the Bengals and if this Bills team has actually made strides from last season, they should repeat last weeks results here. Josh Brown, Cole Beasley, Frank Gore, and rookie RB Devin Singletary need to reprise their productive roles. Consistency is king in the NFL. Can the Bills make it two in a row?
Lions at Eagles
The Lions are coming off a gift win from the Chargers last week and man, they must be living right because they get a Philadelphia Eagles team this week that was eyeing their janitor staff to have enough practice bodies last week after leaving a trail of wounded in Atlanta. EVERYONE will be pointing at and talking about the injuries the Eagles are fighting through. I get that. The real story is QB Carson Wentz who has looked like an All-Pro at times but has also has more than one bout of Eli-Manning-ides (ed note: swelling of the stupid play gene) and that is NOT what Philly cracked open the vault for. The birds would have easily won last week if Wentz had not given the game away even with the injuries. QB play, on both sides of the ball really is the story here. This Wentz kid, is he starting to feel the pressure after signing that huge contract?
Jets at Patriots
The New York Jets need to (again) measure how much they have/have not improved and what better measuring stick than the best-coached team in football? In reality the Jets have improved, however, the chances of that showing up in the final score are somewhere between zero and the chance of me being the next president. You get the picture. What will be fun here is to see what kind of offense the New England Patriots are planning on using on ANY given weekend. They are built (per the norm) to be versatile. That IS their style. They can go wide, fast and deep, ground and pound or flip back to a full house backfield (yes, they have the best FB in football). If you really enjoy the nuance of the sport dial-in. It's always an education.
Van for President 2020! #facepalm
Raiders at Vikings
The whack operating methods of the Raiders head coach Jon Gruden versus the guaranteed albatross of the Vikings QB Kirk Cousins. X's and O's are great, but NFL drama is also on display as the car wreck that is the Raiders faces off against the giant anchor of a contract that seems to weigh heavily on the mind of the Vikings QB.
Cousins is NOT as bad as his performance would indicate. He was able to excel in Washington. Any issues with that not happening are on the coaching staff/scheme. The man can play. Unlike a last season, he has a running game. Non of it seems to help as the predictions of his play not matching his contract are coming true. I hope he can shake it off and find his groove. But confidence is the elite QB's biggest tool. Word is, Cousin's is in short supply.
Gruden, on the other hand, has tons of confidence and a track record of success to back it up. However, he also has a track record of being a coach who can NOT build a team and will literally destroy a talent base if given the keys to the GM's office. Just ask the Buccaneers how it worked out when they got impatient with Tony Dungy, watched Gruden win it all his first year and then decimate the team in short order under his baleful glare.
A short term coach on a long term deal. What could possibly go wrong?
Ravens at Chiefs
The "are they for real" game is here. The Raven's are flying in the face of the NFL unwritten rule book by using a running QB at the helm. Then they break it again by having him toss the rock downfield like the Mad Bomber reborn! On the flip side, the Chiefs seem to lose a speed player every season only to replace, reload and fire at will as the pinball machine offense they employ has very few regular-season challenges it can't overcome.
"Are they for real?" Apply it to both teams. Watch. Enjoy. Will be one HELL of a game.
Falcons at Colts
QB play. The Dirty Birds were nowhere near as bad as they played the first week, especially at QB and they showed it last week against the Eagles. The Colts never blinked when Luck retired. But Jacoby Brissett is not Andrew Luck and both teams have questions that need answers at their most important position. Two tough defenses. Two talented teams. QB play will dictate the outcome here.
Dolphins at Cowboys
ROFL - I was just kidding. There is no compelling storyline here. A team on the verge of a Super Bowl run is facing a team who is tanking in EPIC fashion. If you are a Dolphins' fan hopefully the meds will kick in before the end of the first quarter. If you're a Cowboys fan, hell, it's BBQ time!
One story may emerge. The 'Boys traded for Dolphins/Rams DE Robert Quinn in the offseason. They also cut their former 1st round DE Taco Charlton in only his 3rd year this week and the 'Phins claimed him off the waiver wire. Will he get to play versus his former team? Probably not with very limited practice opportunity. But if he does it will be fun. Taco has talent. He lacks the focus to be consistent. Playing the team that just cut you can give you that focus.
Giants at Buccaneers
New York Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones needs to prove he can do it in a regular-season after shining in the preseason test. Buccaneers QB Winston needs to prove he can do it two weeks in a row. Winston finally excelled in all phases under new Bucs head coach Bruce Arians system. This was as hoped. But he has yet to do it two times in a row and in the NFL that is kind of important. On the other side of the field, the G-Men are about to find out if Eli Manning was the problem or if the front office/GM/Coach triumvirate have led the fan base down the primrose path.
This will be one fun game to watch!
Steelers at 49ers
AGAIN with the QB drama here! Can Jimmy G do it two weeks in a row? Last week, after months of horrible practices and preseason SNAFU's Jimmy Garappolo, was a surgeon. 17 of 25 for 296 yards, 3 TD's and 1 INT. His best all-around game as a 49er. Just like Winston he has to show he can stack these performances. Steelers are in rarefied air. They don't really know what it's like trying to win without out Big Ben (or AB or Bell or ... ) and so now it's the Mason Rudolph show for Steelers Nation.
Saints at Seahawks
Seahawks are looking stout across the boards. Saints need to find out if Teddy Bridgwater can shake off the rust and figure out what tweaks Sean Peyton can give the offense to tailor it to Teddy's skill set. Watching a master (Sean Peyton) at work is always a privilege. I can't wait to see what he does against one of the better teams in the league. Chess Match .. NFL Style!
Texans at Chargers
The Texan's need to prove O'Brien is the right coach, that the offensive line can protect their QB and if ANY referee in the NFL is willing to call holding on the linemen trying to block JJ Watt? After researching and watching the amount of egregious holds that are not called on the former MVP I am forced to wonder if the league just decided they did NOT want dominant defensive players and points were more important to their product. Heck, last week a referee even told Watt "yes, I saw it and did not call it" while on the field!
The Los Angeles Chargers are a wreck. They have the talent but injuries at key positions are hitting home and coupled with the hold out of RB Melvin Gordon the one thing this team can not afford are mistakes. Like the double-digit area of mistakes they produced last week gift wrapping the win for the Lions. Eliminate the mistakes and you increase the W total. Charger math is way simple this week.
Rams at Browns
The game of the week? Let's check. Compelling, elite QB's? Check. 2 deep RB corps on both sides with just a sprinkle of controversy? Check. Electric WR groups? Double-check, no discount needed Mr. Rodgers! Smashmouth defenses with trash-talking defenders? You came to the right place.
All the boxes are checked. Sure, on paper it is a former celler-dweller vs a Super Bowl team but that is yesterday's news. Today the Browns are talented, dangerous and fear no one. The Rams are "just" finding their groove as the new talent base they have on both sides of the ball gets comfortable with each other.
Some of the biggest names in the game square off Sunday night and do NOT miss this if you have a choice. Big plays will happen and the 4th quarter will be epic.
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