COLUMN: NFL Week 3 Preview
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily express those of the Hofstra Chronicle.
Well, it’s only been two weeks and it’s been a very strange start to the NFL season, to say the least. We’ve already had two ties, teams struggling to find kickers, Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the league in passing yards and QB rating and a player even retired at halftime. Who knows what’s in store for week three as the season is only beginning.
If the playoffs started today, the division winners would be Miami, Cincinnati, Kansas City and Jacksonville coming out of the AFC. In the NFC, it’s Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Green Bay and Dallas. Clearly, there are some surprises here. Who would’ve thought that Miami, Cincinnati and Tampa Bay would all be 2-0 so far? It’s fair to say not many NFL fans.
Despite there not being any matchups in week three between two undefeated teams, there are still many great games coming up this week.
An NFC South showdown featuring the Saints and Falcons could be a big game for not only this week, but down the line when it comes to the playoff picture. Both teams are currently 1-1 and are each missing one of their running backs. The Saints lost Mark Ingram due to suspension and the Falcons lost Devonta Freeman to injury. This is the 20th time that Drew Brees and Matt Ryan face off. It will be interesting to see how each defense will look to stop the other’s high-powered offense.
The 1-1 San Francisco 49ers take on the 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs’ second year quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, has been absolutely outstanding so far. There have been 582 passing yards, 10 passing touchdowns and 0 interceptions for Mahomes in his first two games. Pairing him up with Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce makes this offense one of the best in the league. The 49ers have a young quarterback of their own in Jimmy Garoppolo. He hasn’t been on the same level as Mahomes so far, but he definitely has the potential to do so. This should be an interesting and high scoring contest. Will country roads take Mahomes, or will the 49ers snap the Chiefs’ two game winning streak?\
The battle of Los Angeles slates the Rams against the Chargers. The Rams are 2-0 and have arguably been the best team in the league so far. Led by an elite defense and one of the best running backs in the league in Todd Gurley, the Rams have had no issues the first two weeks of the season, with or without a kicker. The Chargers have an elite running back of their own in Melvin Gordon, as well as an experienced quarterback in Philip Rivers and a reliable defense. In what should be a tight game, we will see if the Rams can extend their winning streak to three on Sunday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will put their first 2-0 start since 2010 to the test against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week three. A big reason for their hot start is Fitzpatrick’s tremendous performance so far. He has been killing it both on the field and with his press conference outfit. In his two games, he has thrown for eight touchdowns and only one interception. Nobody saw this coming. Despite not having an efficient running game, Tampa has blown the league away offensively. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, has some issues to deal with. The big ones are their vulnerable defense and the fact that Le’Veon Bell continues to holdout. They are currently 0-1-1 and if they want to win their first game, they’ll have to stop this hot Tampa Bay offense.
These are only some of the big games coming up in week three.
Looking ahead, it’s never too early for a Super Bowl prediction. Patriots over Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Tom Brady lands his sixth ring after topping the Rams.