Atlanta (at Detroit) and Oakland (at Washington) are both three point road favorites, highlighting the slate of NFL Week 3 games. The Patriots are favored by two touchdowns in Foxboro against Houston in a rematch of last year’s playoff game. The Browns are surprise road favorites at Indianapolis as the Colts continue their post-deflategate descent into the abyss.
The Buffalo Bills did not suffer any letdown after their loss to the Patriots, as they traveled to south Florida and pummeled Miami, 41-14, to advance to 2-1. While three games is too soon to to reach a definitive conclusion, it appears that Buffalo has finally found a quarterback. Tyrod Taylor is completing 75% of his passes with seven touchdown passes to three interceptions, a passer rating of 116.1, and is also averaging 5.6 yards a carry. Taylor was able to stretch the defense with deep, accurate throws; against Miami he was 21-29 for 277 yards with three touchdowns, no picks, and no sacks. Tight end Charles Clay (5 catches for 82 yards and a TD at Miami) has been a nice pickup, and it is worth noting that the Bills were able to score those 41 points without LeSean McCoy.
Another week and another marquee NFL player is sidelined with a serious injury. Ben Roethlisberger was off to a fantastic start of the 2015 NFL season but will reportedly be out 4-6 weeks after suffering a medial collateral ligament sprain and bone bruise from a low hit in the pocket by St. Louis safety Mark Barron in the third quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 12-6 victory over the Rams on Sunday. Big Ben had completed over 75% of his passes this season and was leading the league with 10.2 pass attempts; in the first two games of the year Roethlisberger threw for a whopping 720 yards, and was picking the St. Louis defense apart, completing 20 of 24 passes before the unfortunate hit.
NFL week three has a few interesting matchups on tap. During commercials for the Pats-Jaguars game – or if it turns into a blowout – Pittsburgh at St. Louis and Cincinnati at Baltimore are a pair of compelling early games on CBS. Once the game against Jacksonville ends, Pats fans should be interested in leaving the tv on to watch a pair of AFC East teams meet as the Bills are at Miami in a late game on CBS. The other late game on CBS is a bit of an anomaly, as it is a cross-flex game between two NFC teams: Seattle will look to get their first win of the season as they host the Bears, who will be quarterbacked by Jimmy Clausen.
One early game on FOX features an underachieving 0-2 team versus a 2-0 team that has exceeded expectations as the Jets host the Philadelphia Eagles. Atlanta is at Dallas in a clash of 2-0 teams early, and the late game on FOX should be a good one with San Francisco at Arizona. Detroit looks for their first win Sunday night at home against the Broncos, and the week wraps up with Kansas City at Green Bay on Monday night.
Despite their recent history on the road, at this point in time Washington appears to be more stout in the trenches, where games are still won or lost. Their running game has dominated defenses that are better than New York’s…
NFL Week 3 finds the Patriots hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars in what on the surface appears to be most one-sided matchup next Sunday. The most competitive contests should be the Steelers at Rams, Bills at Dolphins, Bengals at Ravens and Chiefs at Packers.