Week 3 of the NFL is approaching and there are some games that are a must see as the season begins to take shape.
Saints Vs Falcons:
This NFC South matchup looks to be a competition between elite offenses and sub-par defenses.
The Atlanta Falcons offense struggled in week one, but came back to score 31 points in a win against the Carolina Panthers last week. The New Orleans Saints on the other hand exploded for 40 points in a week one loss to the Buccaneers and then slowed down to 21 points in their win against the Browns.
Both offenses have proven they can score, and each teams defense has proven they can give up a fair amount of points as well.
The real matchup to watch here is the battle between veteran quarterbacks Drew Brees for the Saints and Matt Ryan for the Falcons. Both quarterbacks have the ability to throw for four touchdowns and over 300 yards in this matchup.
However, Ryan’s favorite target Julio Jones has a nagging calf injury that could effect his performance. While Brees favorite receiver Michael Thomas is fully healthy and eager to score against the division rival.
If you are a fan of offense juggernauts this game is a must watch for you. But if either team falls behind early, it could be a tall hill to climb to get back into the game.
Prediction: Falcons 38 – Saints 27
San Francisco 49ers Vs Kansas City Chiefs:
This game will showcase two of the elite up and coming young quarterbacks in the NFL.
Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs has proven in his second season that he is a force to be reckoned with and his teams decision to draft him and trade Alex Smith was a correct one. Mahomes has accounted for 10 touchdowns in the air through 2 weeks of the season and his team has scored 80 points combined in their first two wins.
Jimmy Garoppolo on the other hand has raised some questions to start this season for the 49ers. After going 5-0 last season after being traded from the Patriots to the 49ers, it was almost expected the quarterback couldn’t lose. But following a week one loss where the quarterback struggled, concerns rippled throughout the league.
However a week two bounce-back where the 49er offense scored 30 points shows promise that week one was just a fluke.
Another matchup where each team has offense at the top of the league and defense who are scraping the bottom, this should be a high scoring affair in Kansas City this week. The 49ers seem to still be figuring out what their teams identity may be early this season. While the Chiefs seem to know the direction their team is going.
Prediction: Chiefs 34 – 49ers 28
New York Giants Vs Houston Texans:
Oddly enough these two struggling teams could actually make for a good matchup in week 3. Both have had high expectations and both have underperformed so far.
The Giants just can’t seem to get it right offensively this season or last season.
In their 0-2 start they have failed to reach 20 points in either matchup. The Giants have all the talent they need with Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning, break out star Odell Beckham Jr, and 1st round pick Saquon Barkley in the backfield. If the team can connect offensively they could challenge the Texans in this game.
The Texans had a lot of promise to begin the season with Deshaun Watson going back from his knee injury, but his timid play style has concerns if he is the same quarterback has before after an interception in each game so far.
The Texans have lost to a powerhouse in New England but also to a rebuilding Titans team without Marcus Mariota. The Texans have battled a slew of injuries usual early on. Former first overall pick Jadeveon Clowney has another nagging injury to start the season, effecting the pass rush and run defense for the team.
The passing games for both teams have yet to take off, and the run games are just waiting to explode. But the Texan run offense has been more consistent so far, which will give the Houston the edge in this low to mid scoring competition.
Prediction: Texans 21 – Giants 20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs Pittsburgh Steelers:
This game may be the most important to watch in week three. Big implications hang on the outcome of who wins and who loses on Monday Night.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have had an ugly start to their year, tying the Browns and then losing a shootout to the Chiefs. Their star players have caused drama in the locker room and it is showing on the field.
Le’veon Bells absence was not missed in week one with is backup racking up over 100 yards and a touchdown, but in week two the team was hit with under 20 yards rushing. Antonio Browns discomfort with his role on the team has sent a shot in the heart to the teams morale, leaving some to question whether the team can get it together in time.
Still, the Steelers have the talent, coaching staff, and history of success that makes them dangerous every week.
The Buccaneers coaching staff, and Jameis Winston, will be keeping a close eye on this matchup and specifically on star studded backup Ryan Fitzpatrick. This is the last week of Winston’s suspension and Fitzmagic is running rampant through Tampa Bay.
If Fitzpatrick manages to put up another stellar performance and send the Steelers to an 0-2-1 start, it will be a tall ask for him to take a back seat to Winston in week four. A three touchdown performance by the former Harvard quarterback could send Winston right to the trade block to help the team make a desperately needed run to win their division.
A Steeler loss could mean the end for the season and possibly a much needed cleaning house of their roster before the trade deadline. A win for the Bucs and the only headline for the next week will be who will be the starter for a 3-0 Tampa Bay team.
Prediction: Buccaneers 35 – Steelers 21
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