NFL Week Three Game Previews And Predictions

Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK

NFL Week Three Game Previews And Predictions

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NFL Week Three Game Previews And Predictions

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Week three is here! The Cleveland Browns took down the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday Night Football and now we have the weekend to look forward too. Here are the TWSN team picks and previews for all the weekend games on the schedule.

Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

There are quite a few parallels to note between these two teams. 1-1 record, vulnerable secondaries, and world-class head coaches. Offensively, the Baltimore Ravens run game has struggled more than ever. With no J.K. Dobbins or Gus Edwards, guys like Kenyan Drake and Mike Davis have failed to command all that much volume, which is why none of Baltimore’s running backs have tallied more than 30 rushing yards so far this season. Luckily, Lamar Jackson gives this run game an obvious, unique spark. Plus, the growth of Jackson as a passer and the emergence of Rashod Bateman has given Baltimore their best passing attack in years, which should be emphasized against a floundering Patriots secondary.

Fortunately, New England will have some options on offense as well. They could opt for their hard-hitting rushing attack to slow this one down and keep the ball out of Jackson’s hands, or they could turn to their passing attack against a struggling Baltimore secondary. However, the Ravens have forged a pretty solid run defense, and I don’t think New England has the play-calling, talent, or cohesion to absolutely torch this Ravens secondary either. Baltimore’s got the better roster, and I like a John Harbaugh led team after a loss. — Aidan Maher

 

New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panthers

The Saints are hurting right now. Injuries have started to take their toll of this extremely talented roster. Now going up against a physcial Panthers squad, the Saints will need to hope their guys can go. This Saints defense is legit and should continue dominanting. It could easily help them to a win but the injuries surrounding the offense remain a question mark.

For Carolina, they need a win. Badly. It hasn’t been the start that many thought it would be so they need to get things going now. What better way to do so against a division rival. If the Panthers can control the clock and limit turnovers, I like their chances,

Give me the Panthers and Baker Mayfield to win this game. There are too many questions with the Saints right now to pick them. — Matt Levine

 

Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts

The Kansas City Chiefs have been rolling this season after a predicted “regression” from the media. They will face their counterparts, an Indianapolis Colts team that was hyped up and has disappointed. The Chiefs want to keep swinging after offensively dominating the Arizona Cardinals in week one then outgunning a stacked Los Angeles Chargers team on Thursday Night Football. Patrick Mahomes is proving he can do it without Tyreek Hill, and he has his team firing on all cylinders.

The Colts have been a let down through two weeks. They ran into a determined Houston Texans team in week one, battling to a tie. Being a heavy favorite against the Jacksonville Jaguars last week, they went into the jungle and were pounced on by the Jaguars. With two lackluster performances behind them, the Chiefs are not the team you want to see on the schedule when looking for a rebound. The Colts will have a chance if their consistent defensive line can apply pressure to Mahomes and make him force passes. This got him in trouble last week, and it could be a deciding doctor in this game. — Tyler Paluzzi

 

Houston Texans @ Chicago Bears 

The Chicago Bears are coming off a brutal loss to the Green Bay Packers. Justin Fields only passed the ball 11 times, completing seven passes for 70 yards, and an interception. It was not a great game for Fields, but one thing about him is he always responds well to bad games. Last season, in brutal losses to the Cleveland Browns or Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he bounced back the next game to either win or have the great performance that showed why he was taken in the first round. While they didn’t pass the ball a lot against Green Bay, they did run the ball effectively. David Montgomery ended up with 122 yards on 15 attempts, and now will be facing a Texans defense that has allowed 326 yards and has missed 27 tackles. The run game will once again be the key for the Bears due to the Texans’ secondary. 

So far through two games the Texans have the fourth-best pass defense only allowing a completion percentage of 56.8% for 541 yards, two touchdowns, and have 17 pass breakups. Derek Stingley Jr. and Jalen Pitre have been major contributors for this. The Bears defense is very similar to the Texans defense, except the Bears lead the league in rushing yards allowed with 379. The Texans have a running back in Dameon Pierce who has the physical running style to possibly cause some problems for the Bears. While Davis Mills has been decent, he is coming off a game where he completed 19-of-38 passes for 177 yards and just six passes going for first downs. So like the Bears, for this game the offense will most likely try to hone in on the defense’s weakness, the run game. 

In what will most likely be a low scoring game, it will be close, but the Bears should squeak out the win over the Texans. — Marissa Myers

 

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins 

Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins are coming off a miraculous comeback victory over the Baltimore Ravens. The Buffalo Bills, on the other hand, enter this matchup coming off a blowout win over the Tennessee Titans. Things seem to be trending up for the Dolphins so far in the Mike McDaniel era. He currently has the Dolphins at a 2-0 record with wins over the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens. McDaniel has implemented a system that has worked for Tua Tagovailoa, as Tagovailoa looks slightly improved and currently leads the NFL in passing yards with 739 and touchdowns with seven. Tagovailoa hasn’t been asked to pass the ball too far downfield, as of those 703 yards, 338 have come after the catch, but that is the Dolphins setting the offense up to utilize Tagovailoa’s strengths. It helps when you have two receivers in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle that can get the yards after the catch effectively. 

While the improved scheme for the Dolphins is good, Tagovailoa now has to go up against a Bills defense that has had his number in recent years. He has played three games against them in which he has completed only 56.4% of his passes for 579 yards, and one touchdown, while throwing four interceptions and taking five sacks. The defense has only gotten better, and Tagovailoa will be facing a front that now has Von Miller. The defensive line has gotten 20 pressures so far, nine of them they have turned into sacks already this season. As far as the Bills’ offense goes, Josh Allen is 7-1 against the Dolphins, completing 160 passes for 1,980 yards, 21 touchdowns, and only five interceptions. 

While the Dolphins seem to be turning the page, this early in the season it will be difficult for them to slow down the Bills. Even with a new offensive coordinator, the Bills have shown no signs of early growing pains offensively, as they have the third-best offense. With wins over the Los Angeles Rams and Tennessee Titans already, the Bills get the win over the Dolphins to improve to 3-0. — Marissa Myers

 

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are the favorites to win the NFC North. However, both them and the Detroit Lions have a tally in the loss column from the Philadelphia Eagles. The Lions played a much more competitive game. This game will truly show the world how this surprising team from Detroit stacks up in the NFL. The Vikings will look to squash the rebellion from the upstarts, and cement themselves on top of the NFC North pecking order.

This game will be decided in the trenches. D’Andre Swift has looked very good so far for the Lions. His opponent in Dalvin Cook, struggled last week against the tough Eagles run defense. Cook is always an x-factor throughout the season, so look for a big bounceback. These are teams will be lines on both sides of the ball. These players on both teams, as Lions head coach Dan Campbell likes to say, will kick you in the teeth. Can the Lions prove they aren’t just improved, but ready? Or will the Vikings take their rightful spot at the top of the NFC North? — Tyler Paluzzi 

 

Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets

This is a must-win game for the Cincinnati Bengals. It may only be week three, but the past two weeks have not been kind to Cincy. Week one was an embarrassing loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, although they looked better in the second half. It was followed up with a brutal defeat at the hands of a Dallas Cowboys team led by Cooper Rush. At 0-2 and coming to Metlife to take on the New York Jets, the Bengals reputation as a playoff team is on the line. 

The Jets, on the other hand, pulled out a miraculous comeback against the Browns to even their record at 1-1. Joe Flacco completely turned around his game after an abysmal performance in their week one loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Jets want to prove they are to be taken seriously this season, and taking down the Bengals would be a big step towards that.

The biggest matchup this game will be the Bengals air attack against the Jets passing defense. New York has one of the best cornerbacks in the league in DJ Reed and one of the best rookies in Sauce Gardner. Cincinnati will send out Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins to catch the ball from Joe Burrow. If the Bengals are shut down through the air, they will have to rely on running back Joe Mixon, who matches up with a lowly Jets rush defense. — Tyler Paluzzi

 

Las Vegas Raiders @ Tennessee Titans

Two playoff teams from last season that have started 0-2 to start the year. Many saw this coming from the Titans but not from Las Vegas. This game will help one get back into the fold while sending the other into no mans land. Las Vegas seems like the better team, at least on paper but never count out a gritty team like Tennessee. The Raiders defense will be put to the test against Derrick Henry and this offense, even despite their slow start.

Las Vegas has one of the leagues best set of offensive weapons but they seem a little out of sorts. Maybe it’s just early and they need more time together. Or maybe, people crowned them too early over the offseason (I’m guilty of that). Whatever the case may be, the Raiders need to pick it up and quickly.

I think they bounce back this week and get their first win of the season over the Titans. It won’t be easy but Vegas narrowly wins this on the road. — Matt Levine

 

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Commanders

For the first time since being traded by the Eagles in 2021, Carson Wentz will face his former team as he welcomes them to FedEx Field. So far, Carson Wentz has had an okay season for the Commanders, completing 57-of-87 passes for 650 yards and seven touchdowns. He got a win in Week One over the Jacksonville Jaguars despite throwing two interceptions. Last week though against the Detroit Lions he could not keep that same momentum as they lost. A big difference between the weeks is the amount of pressure the offensive line allowed on Wentz. In Week One they allowed a pressure percentage of only 8.9%. Compare that to against the Lions where they allowed a pressure percentage of 26.4% and five sacks, it’s clear Wentz continues to struggle under pressure. While the Eagles don’t get pressure as much as the Lions, they have still had a stingy defense. The Eagles have allowed the fifth-lowest completion percentage of 57.8%, and Darius Slay is coming off a game where he held Justin Jefferson to only 48 yards.

For the Eagles, Jalen Hurts through two weeks has shown he was overlooked heading into the season. Against the Minnesota Vikings, he completed 26-of-31 passes for 333 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 57 yards and two touchdowns. The addition of A.J. Brown in the trade with the Tennessee Titans has paid off, and so far this season the Commanders defense has struggled to contain receivers from the slot. Of Brown’s 15 receptions, three have come from him lining up in the slot, where he has averaged 13.3 Yards Per Route when he has lined up there. The Commanders have struggled against the run, allowing 314 yards so far. If they want to keep this game close, limiting the Eagles rushing attack with Hurts, Miles Sanders, and Kenneth Gainwell will be crucial. 

The season looks better for the Commanders compared to last season, especially with their underrated receiving group of Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Jahan Dotson. But when going against an even further improved Eagles team that has already won eight of the 10 last matchups against Washington, the Eagles will move to 3-0. — Marissa Myers

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