Marquist Parker Sports Editor
The NFL season is in full swing as we head into week 3. While some teams came into the new season ready to win games, others have looked out of sorts in the early part of the season. If a season could have a “theme” in week 3, it would be injuries. Multiple starting quarterbacks will be out this week and for the foreseeable future, leaving the teams to scramble to find a suitable replacement. Week 3 has some intriguing matchups, let’s delve into some of the best.
Saints at Seahawks– The New Orleans Saints losing Drew Brees to a thumb injury has some already proclaiming their season to be over after two weeks. The 40-year-old Brees injured his thumb on a first-quarter hit by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald on Sunday in Los Angeles. Brees left the game and did not return. The Rams beat the Saints 27-9. According to multiple reports, Brees has a torn ligament in his thumb and is scheduled to have surgery this week. He is expected to miss six weeks. Backup Teddy Bridgewater came in and struggled when he replaced Brees in week two. However, others believe that with an entire week of practice Bridgewater will look significantly better under center when the Saints get to Seattle. As for those Seattle Seahawks, they come into this game at 2-0 and are looking to keep their winning ways going. Winning by a combined three points in the last two weeks, Seattle has been winning but they haven’t been able to put together a convincing win so far, expect that to continue.
Prediction: 21-17 Seattle
Rams at Browns– The defending NFC champions LA Rams are 2-0 heading into a primetime matchup with the Cleveland Browns. The Rams have looked like an early favorite to win their division, and make another deep run in the playoffs behind their often-inconsistent QB Jared Goff. On the other end of the field are the Browns. Who, at 1-1, haven’t looked like the juggernaut many in the media touted them as in the off-season. Baker Mayfield has continued to turn the ball over at alarming rates, something that will have to change if Cleveland wants to finally be a winner. The Browns’ defense has looked dominant so far to start this season, It starts up front with Myles Garrett, who leads the NFL with 5.0 sacks. Garrett will have a tougher matchup going up against LA left tackle Andrew Whitworth, but this is why the Browns heavily re-tooled the defensive line. I expect the Browns’ offense to wake up and have a big game at home, which will help them roll to a dominant win.
Prediction: 35-14 Browns
Giants at Buccaneers– Normally this battle of bad offenses would not be a game worth highlighting. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston has looked like a player who is on his way to the bench, his erratic play has caused many to say that the former first pick is done in Tampa. The Giants are in the same boat as far as mediocrity is concerned, the offense went an entire first quarter with negative yards, and that ineptitude starts with their leader. Eli Manning has looked like a shell of himself, the 38-year-old QB looks to be done has the starter in New York. The debut of Daniel Jones makes this an important game to watch this week. The sixth overall pick from Duke has finally won the job and he gets to play an elite Tampa defense, which looks like it will be unforgiving for rookie QBs. This fact will be the reason Tampa wins easily.
Prediction: 21-0 Buccaneers
Ravens at Chiefs– The Kansas City Chiefs have the best offense the NFL has seen in years, and that explosive offense was on display in week 2. After falling into a 10-0 hole in the opening 15 minutes and punting on their first two drives, the Chiefs exploded for touchdowns on all four of their drives in the second quarter. Patrick Mahomes went 6 of 9 for 35 yards and a 73.8 passer rating in the first quarter as the Chiefs averaged only 2.8 yards per play. In the second quarter alone, Mahomes threw for 278 yards and four touchdowns. At halftime, he was 18 of 26 for 313 yards, four touchdowns, and a 149.5 passer rating, and the Chiefs held a 28-10 advantage. On the other side is the Baltimore Ravens, who also look like an explosive offense. They destroyed the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 by a score of 59-10 as quarterback Lamar Jackson threw five touchdown passes, earning AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Last week Baltimore secured a home win over the Arizona Cardinals 23-17. This will be a matchup of two AFC powerhouses with contrasting styles. K.C. will be airing it out for big plays, while the Ravens will play the ground-and-pound, ball-control offense. This will be a firework display that will go down to the wire, this is without question the best game of week 3.
Prediction: 42-35 Chiefs