Top 10 “Must See” NFL Games: Week 3
Every week, we will be taking a look at the ten most exciting match-ups the NFL has to offer, and providing you with picks, predictions, and possible outcomes. We will break down rivalries, compare stats, and let you know who we believe will emerge victorious.
But don’t stand on the sidelines! Leave us your predictions and comments, and let’s see who’s pig-skin knowledge is superior!
1. Patriots at Ravens
While both teams are coming off losses in Week 2, they are singing two completely different tunes. Baltimore fell to the Philadelphia Eagles in a close game, 24-23. Baltimore’s defense forced four turnovers in that loss, reminding the entire league how formidable they are. That should leave the struggling left guard Logan Mankins, and the rest of the Patriot offensive line, shaking in their cleats. Especially when facing Albert McClellan, Haloti Ngata, and the recently voted best Baltimore defender, rookie Courtney Upshaw.
If that isn’t convincing, just remember that the New England Patriots fell to the Arizona Cardinals last week. Tom Brady averaged a pathetic 6.9 yards per toss, assisting in his 79.6 passer rating. Add a hungry defense and a home-town crowd? Don’t plan on Brady and company leaving with a “W”.
New England Patriots: 21
Baltimore Ravens: 24
2. Packers at Seahawks
With the 12th man supremely pumped thanks to a Week 2 win, at home, against the Dallas Cowboys; this game may not be as cut-and-dry as some would assume. Seattle is boasting the 6th best overall defense in the NFL, with the 2nd best rushing defense and the 13th best passing defense. They have also turned up the dial on offense, thanks to Marshawn Lynch. Last week, Beastmode carried the ball 26 times for 122 yards and a touchdown. This should leave the Packer rushing defense a tad squeamish, as they are currently ranked 27th in the league and allowing 5.1 yards per carry.
Of course, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ high octane offense cannot be negated. Especially if Greg Jennings returns after suffering a groin injury in Week 1. It is unclear as to whether or not he will return this coming Monday, as Jennings also had considerable trouble in Training Camp thanks to a concussion. All in all, this will be a fight til the end. A fight leaving the Seahawks with a 2-1 record, and the nation wondering what’s going on in Green Bay.
Seattle Seahawks: 23
Green Bay Packers: 20
3. Eagles at Cardinals
The Eagles fly down to the Grand Canyon State this week, providing a match-up most are having a difficult time predicting. Both teams are 2-0, squeaking by their tail feathers in Weeks 1 and 2. Philadelphia became the fist team in NFL history to win their first two games by a margin of one point. They’ve also been able to secure two “W”s despite turning the ball over nine times in two games. Arizona, on the other hand, became the first team to ever beat the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in their home opener.
So, we will just rely on the stats. Philadelphia has the best overall offense in the league, and the 4th best overall defense in the league. Arizona, on the other hand, has the third worst overall offense in the league and an overall defense ranked 13th. While Michael Vick has thrown for six interceptions in two games – that’s double the amount of touchdowns he’s thrown – he has also thrown for a combined 688 yards. Kevin Kolb has only thrown for 206, after coming off the bench Week 1. We’ll side with the stats.
Philadelphia Eagles: 30
Arizona Cardinals: 21
4. Falcons at Chargers
Here’s another two team, 2-0 contest worth watching. The Atlanta Falcons shined under Monday Night lights, picking off Peyton Manning three times in the first half. That hasn’t happened since 2007, in an away game against San Diego. Those interceptions lead to a 20-0 lead, and assisted Matt Ryan in throwing his 100th career touchdown. He also completed 24 of his 36 throws, for 219 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 101.5. To leave San Diego undefeated he will have to continue that performance, as the Chargers boast the third best overall defense in the NFL, with the best rushing defense in the league.
San Diego is coming off their 38-10, Tennessee Titan beating; where they pounded Jack Locker into completing only 50% of his attempts, throwing one interception, and leaving the game with a shoulder injury. If Atlanta’s 3rd ranked offensive line fail to keep the Chargers from running through them, Matt Ryan will feel the same hurt. A hurt that will only intensify if Phillips Rivers can continue his 24-of-32 for 284 yard-type performances, that helped him connect with Malcolm Floyd six times for 109 yards. A formidable defense and a synced-up offense will be too much for the Falcons to handle.
San Diego Chargers: 27
Atlanta Falcons: 21
5. Buccaneers at Cowboys
Tampa Bay heads over to Dallas for the Cowboys’ home opener. Coming off an embarrassing loss in Seattle, this game is being painted as a “must win” for Dallas. If all goes according to plan, it shouldn’t be a difficult “W” for Romo and the Boys to pull off. Tampa Bay’s defense allowed Eli Manning to throw for a career high 510 yards against them last week, making them the worst passing defense in the league. This should be Tony Romo’s chance to make a statement, and boost his confidence.
Tampa Bay also has the 4th worst passing offense in the league, making their only viable option their running game. The burden will fall on the shoulders of Doug Martin, who has rushed for 161 yards and 1 touchdown so far this season. While the Cowboys were unable to contain Beastmode last week, they should have no problem shutting Martin down. Look for a blow-out in Jerryworld.
Dallas Cowboys: 38
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 14
6. Bengals at Redskins
While Robert Griffin III has solidified himself as a solid NFL quarterback, it was apparent he isn’t capable of carrying an entire team on his shoulders and into victory lane. Last week, Sam Bradford was able to rally the St. Louis Rams past a Redskin 21-6 lead, thanks to his 310 yard, three touchdown performance and Danny Amendola’s 15 reception, 160 yard performance. Luckily, RG3 and the Washington defense are facing Andy Dalton this week. While Dalton is coming off a 128.2 passer rating performance against Cleveland, he has struggled with consistency. In week 1, Dalton only completed 59.5% of his passes and was unable to secure a touchdown pass. The Washington defense isn’t worried.
Washington Redskins: 28
Cincinnati Bengals: 17
7. Lions at Titans
Lions, and Tigers, and Bears, oh my! At least, that is probably what Jake Locker is thinking. Locker is probable against Detroit, coming off a shoulder injury that forced him to leave the game last week against San Diego. The Titans are 0-2, and haven’t seemed to be able to establish any offensive momentum thus far. Case in point? Their quarterback lead their team in rushing last week.
Detroit is 1-1 going into this match-up, and have the 5th best passing defense in the league. Locker’s shoulder better be 100% if he doesn’t want to see attempts turn into interceptions. With the 11th best overall defense backing him up, Matthew Stafford just has to complete 66.7% of his passes, throw for 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions, and secure a passer rating of 69.4; like he did in his Week 1 win over St. Louis.
Tennessee Titans: 21
Detroit Lions: 24
8. 49ers at Vikings
San Francisco continues to prove that they are a force to be recognized, going into Minnesota undefeated so far this season. They have the 11th best overall defense, the 13th best overall offense, and a quarterback who’s thrown 216 passes without one single interception. Alex Smith is completing 70% of his passes, and has accumulated 437 yards, 4 touchdowns, and a passer rating of 115.9 in two games thus far. While the Vikings have the 10th best passing defense in the league, they will not be able to shut down Smith or Vernon Davis.
San Francisco 49ers: 38
Minnesota Vikings: 10
9. Steelers at Raiders
The Pittsburgh Steelers will travel to Oakland before they enjoy their Week 4 bye. This should be an easy contest for the Steelers, as the Raiders have allowed an average 147.5 rushing yards per game. While they have the 8th best passing defense, attempting to defend against the run and handle the threat of a passing game will – in all likelihood – prove to be too much. Especially since there’s a high chance that the Oakland defense will see the field far more than they would care to. The Pittsburgh Steelers boast the fifth best passing defense, the 11th best rushing defense, and are only allowing an average of 14.5 passes to be completed. Oakland just ordered an extra case of Gatorade for their defensive players.
Offensively, Oakland is struggling as well. Despite having a running back by the name of Darren McFadden, the Raiders are only averaging 34 rushing yards per game. That brings the Steeler defense’s attention to Carson Palmer. Palmer only completed 50% of his passes last week against the Miami Dolphins, which assisted in handing Oakland their second straight loss.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 21
Oakland Raiders: 17
10. Jets at Dolphins
Dustin Keller and Darrelle Revis are both expected to return in Week 3, as the Jets fly down to Miami. Both will be pivotal components of New York’s attempt to come off their embarrassing performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week. Miami doesn’t have a real #1 receiver to worry about, so Revis Island won’t have to provide a stellar performance, however having Keller will allow the Jets to spread the field and present themselves as a more formidable passing threat.
On the other side of the ball, the New York Jets have a rushing defense ranked 22nd. Problem? They are facing the sensational Reggie Bush this week. Bush has been unstoppable so far this season, accumulating 241 yards and 2 touchdowns in two games thus far. They key to who comes out on top rests on Reggie Bush’s ability to run downfield, and New York’s ability to stop him.
New York Jets: 21
Miami Dolphins: 17