It’s already Week 3, and this week’s slate of 16 games has some interesting encounters. Nine teams are looking to stay unbeaten, while nine other clubs are looking for their first victory of 2023.
For the second straight week, there are a pair of Monday night games.
Thursday, Sept. 21
N.Y. Giants (1-1) at San Francisco (2-0): Brian Daboll’s club had quite the comeback last week at Arizona. The 49ers are playing their first home game of 2023 and have scored 30 points two straight weeks. Under Daboll (including playoffs), the Giants are a surprising 10-3 outside the NFC East dating back to 2022.
Sunday, Sept. 24
Indianapolis (1-1) at Baltimore (2-0): It’s been nearly 40 years since their departure. It’s still funny to hear ‘Colts at Baltimore.” With quarterback Anthony Richardson in concussion protocol as of Wednesday, Gardner Minshew may get the start for Indianapolis. The Ravens are 2-0 for the fifth time in eight years.
Tennessee (1-1) at Cleveland (1-1): The Titans’ pass rush could create issues for old adversary Deshaun Watson, who was sacked six times Monday night at Pittsburgh. That doesn’t mean the former Texans’ quarterback won’t make some big plays. Nick Chubb is out, but the Browns just re-signed Kareem Hunt.
Atlanta (2-0) at Detroit (1-1): Arthur Smith’s club hits the road for the first time in 2023. The Falcons hope to fare better away from home than they did a season ago (1-7). The Lions’ offense has scored six touchdowns and the defense has a pick-six. Detroit’s defense has the same exact numbers in reverse.
New Orleans (2-0) at Green Bay (1-1): The Saints have won their first two games for the first time since 2013. It’s the home opener for the Packers, who have gotten solid play from Jordan Love (6 TD passes, 0 interceptions). However, Green Bay’s shaky run defense has sadly picked up where it left off in 2022.
Houston (0-2) at Jacksonville (1-1): All three of the Texans’ wins last season came on the road against their division rivals. The Jaguars got three first-half takeaways last week against the Chiefs and managed only three field goals. Texans’ rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has been sacked 11 times in two games.
Denver (0-2) at Miami (2-0): The Broncos make their first appearance in South Florida since 2017. Sean Payton’s club has already dropped two home games by three points. It’s only two weeks but the Dolphins lead the NFL in total offense. Mike McDaniel’s squad is playing its first home game of 2023.
L.A. Chargers (0-2) at Minnesota (0-2): Only three teams in the league have amassed more total yards than the Bolts, but Brandon Staley’s club has allowed the most yards in the league. The Vikings have an NFL-high seven turnovers in two games, four by quarterback Kirk Cousins (1 interception, three lost fumbles).
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New England (0-2) at N.Y. Jets (1-1): Robert Saleh’s club hosts host an AFC East rival for the second time in three weeks. The Jets have dropped 14 straight games dating back to 2016. A loss by the winless Patriots would be the team’s first 0-3 start since Bill Belichick’s debut season as head coach in 2000.
Buffalo (1-1) at Washington (2-0): What a difference a week makes. The Bills played turnover-free football against the Raiders and scored 38 points. That was in stark contrast to Josh Allen’s four-turnover outing in the loss to the Jets. It’s been more than a decade (2011) since Washington has opened 2-0.
Carolina (0-2) at Seattle (1-1): After two weeks of play, the Panthers are the only team in the NFC South without a 2-0 record. Meanwhile, both of Carolina’s losses have come within the division. Pete Carroll’s club is one of five teams (Cowboys, Buccaneers, Packers and Chargers) that hasn’t committed a turnover.
Dallas (2-0) at Arizona (0-2): How’s this for symmetry? The Cowboys have scored 70 points in their first two games, both victories and lead the league in turnover differential (7 takeaways, 0 turnovers). The Cardinals’ losing streak has reached nine straight as they face their third consecutive NFC East opponent.
Chicago (0-2) at Kansas City (1-1): Matt Eberflus’ team has allowed exactly 33.0 points per game during the team’s 12-game losing streak. Is this the week that the Chiefs’ offense gets on track. Andy Reid’s team has scored 37 points in two games, one fewer point than they came up with in Super Bowl LVII.
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Pittsburgh (1-1) at Las Vegas (1-1): The Steelers’ offense has been nothing short of embarrassing these first two weeks. The Raiders’ attack hasn’t been much better as the team has scored a combined 27 points in two games. It could be a pass-rushing fest with Alex Highsmith, T.J. Watt, and Maxx Crosby.
Monday, Sept. 25
Philadelphia (2-0) at Tampa Bay (2-0): It’s the only battle of 2-0 teams on the Week 3 schedule. It’s obviously early, but the Eagles and Buccaneers have allowed the fewest (104) and second-fewest (108) rushing yards in the league. Todd Bowles’ team has already totaled eight sacks and five takeaways.
L.A. Rams (1-1) at Cincinnati (0-2): Since the Rams’ 23-20 victory over the Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, Sean McVay’s club owns a combined 6-13 record. The defending AFC North champions are off to a 0-2 start for the second consecutive season. However, Zac Taylor’s club still wound up in the 2022 AFC title game.