Week two of the 2020 season, featured some thrilling games like the Cowboys vs Falcons, and the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Patriots and Seahawks. Although, there were thrillers, during week two, lots of players went down with injuries like Christian McCaffrey. Additionally, lots of these injuries were season-ending like Saquon Barkley‘s and Nick Bosa‘s. Though there were lots of injuries, teams, and fans, have to move on as week three is nearing.
Although weeks one and two had tight games and exciting games, week three marks the start of the big time and playoff-type matchups. For week three I will predict the primetime games as I did in week two, where I had a 3-1 record. Again, instead of doing the CBS late game, I will be doing the Fox late game. I know it is not a primetime game, but it is a big-time matchup that will be televised to a big part of the nation. Here are the National Football League week three primetime game predictions.
NFL Week Three Primetime Predictions
Thursday Night Football
It is the battle of the Sunshine State as the Miami Dolphins (0-2) face off the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1). Now, the Jaguars have been interesting, but one might actually say that they have been surprising. After trading away almost their whole roster from their 2017 playoff run, many believed that the Jaguars were going to tank this season, and probably get two wins at most. That has turned around due to the phenomenal play of quarterback Gardner Minshew, or as many people like to call it, “Minshew Mania”. Minshew led the Jaguars to an upset win against the Indianapolis Colts in week one, while in week two they narrowly lost to the Tennessee Titans.
On offense, the Jaguars are a very good passing team as Minshew has 512 passing yards with six touchdowns with the help of DJ Chark who leads the team with 109 receiving yards. One of the most interesting things about that offense is their running game, which is led by the rookie out of Illinois State, James Robinson who has 164 rushing yards. The Jaguars defense has been fine so far, but the heart of this team is the offense which should succeed against a rather poor Dolphins pass defense.
Speaking of that poor Dolphins pass defense, although they only allowed 155 passing yards to Cam Newton in week one, in week two they were lit up by Josh Allen who threw for 415 passing yards. This won’t work against Minshew who is a great thrower of the football. Now the Dolphins other option is to stop the run game, but they have been bad at that too. To win this game the Dolphins might have to outscore the Jaguars.
They can certainly outscore them with the offensive talent they have. Now Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t the most talented quarterback, but he is reliable and has his magical moments. The Dolphins’ talent is in the receiving game. Mike Gesicki certainly displayed his talent, after he caught eight receptions for 130 yards against a very good Buffalo Bills defense. Besides Gesicki, the Dolphins also have Preston Williams and the athletic DeVante Parker.
The Dolphins are talented enough to put up points against a somewhat mediocre Jaguars defense. Ultimately, though, the defense will fail the Dolphins, especially with star cornerback Byron Jones questionable to play. Minshew and James Robinson have boatloads of confidence going into the game, and they will light up a poor Dolphins run and pass defense. The Dolphins will have to play catch up, and it is hard to win games playing like that.
Prediction: 27-21 Jaguars Win
Fox Late Game
This game is a game of two NFC playoff hopefuls and is one of the most exciting showdowns of the week. In the past couple of years, the Seahawks have had the number of the Cowboys, as they have won three out of the past five matchups. The (2-0) Seattle Seahawks enter with loads of confidence after beating the Cam Newton led Patriots in a Sunday Night Football thriller. Like in Week one Russell Wilson played like an MVP as he threw five touchdowns along with 288 passing yards. This gives him a season total so far of nine touchdowns and 610 passing yards. Besides Wilson, D.K. Metcalf and Chris Carson were also great performers in that game as they combined for 200 scrimmage yards.
The biggest concern with the Seahawks is their defense. Although Jamal Adams has been playing phenomenally, this Seahawks defense allowed the Patriots to score 30 points, while Julian Edelman had a career-high 179 receiving yards against them. The Cowboys (1-1) with their explosive offense will put up points against this inconsistent defense.
Speaking of the Cowboys, they had one of the greatest comebacks in sports history against the Atlanta Falcons. Led by Dak Prescott who had 450 passing yards and three rushing touchdowns, the Cowboys won after being down 29-10 at half time and trailing 39-24 with five minutes left in the game. Although it’s a great comeback win it is very hard not to look over the four turnovers in the first quarter by the Cowboys, which led the Falcons to have this big margin. This inconsistency won’t work against the Seattle Seahawks. The Cowboys will be able to put up points, but the Seahawks defense will be able to stop them at crucial points in the game.
Besides the Cowboys offense, there is nothing else going for them. Their defense is very shaky and it will be lit up by Russell Wilson who is playing on a whole other level. The key factor is the Cowboys don’t have Russell Wilson, while the Seahawks do. With two scary offenses and two mediocre defenses, this game should be a shootout with the Seahawks ultimately getting the win.
Prediction: 38-34 Seahawks Win
Sunday Night Football
Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints
What a huge game this is for many reasons. The Saints (1-1) are trying to prove that they are still contenders despite Drew Brees regression and Michael Thomas‘s injury, while the Packers (2-0) are trying to prove that they are the best team in the NFC. It’s a very hard matchup to predict, and it should come down to the wire, but let’s start with Saints.
The Saints in week one beat their division opponents the Buccaneers, 34-23. That game won’t be remembered especially after their abysmal performance in the Monday Night Football game versus the Las Vegas Raiders. The Saints were disappointing on both sides of the ball, but Drew Bree’s play stood out as a major concern. Although, Drew Brees threw for 312 yards everything else went wrong. Even the 312 passing yards were not special especially since it was against a bottom ten defense. He was inaccurate and had poor decision making. The most troubling stats is Brees has 4.82 air yards per pass attempt which is the lowest in the first two games since 2009, meaning Brees doesn’t throw the football deep.
It doesn’t get that much better for the Saints on defense. The Saints did record two interceptions in week one, but in week two they gave up 34 points along with giving up 400 total yards of offense. Josh Jacobs destroyed the Saints even with having two starting offensive lineman out. Besides Jacobs, Derek Carr also threw around the defense as he found Darren Waller who had a monster game with 105 receiving yards. The Saints’ defense looked unorganized and confused.
The Packers have had the complete opposite start of the Saints. On offense, they look explosive every drive. Aaron Rodgers is looking like his vintage self as he has thrown six touchdowns along with 604 passing yards through two games. Of course, he has done this with help of his star wide receiver Davante Adams. Everybody knows that the Packers have a great passing attack, but a pleasant surprise this year is their rushing attack. Their rushing attack has 417 yards through two games, while Aaron Jones leads the league in rushing yards with 234.
The Packers also have every solid defense. Their secondary is one of the best in the league with the likes of Darnell Savage and Jaire Alexander. While their deadly pass rush is led by Za’Darius Smith who has two sacks and he will get to Drew Brees. The Packers pass rush will be key to Packer’s chances of winning.
If Michael Thomas is out, and the pass rush can get to Drew Brees, then things will happen for the Packers. Brees will either throw it inaccurately or into the hands of the stout secondary. I expect the Saints to have a bounceback game especially at home, but I believe they will lose a tight game. The Packers energy will be too much for the Saints to handle putting them below .500.
Prediction: 24-21 Packers Win
Monday Night Football
NFL fans better get their popcorn ready, because this should be one of the greatest games this season. It’s a matchup of the two best teams in the AFC and a matchup between talented players. Currently, the Ravens are playing better, but Lamar Jackson is 0-2 against the Chiefs in his career.
Let’s start with the Ravens who many people consider as the best team in football currently. Lamar Jackson is playing like typical Lamar as he has 479 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, and 99 rushing yards. His rushing yards aren’t that high, but that is because he is throwing the football more. Many players have greatly benefited from this, especially the speedster Marquise Brown who has 143 receiving yards. Through two games this year, the Ravens have scored a mind-blowing 71 points.
Not only is their offense scoring, but their defense is stopping other teams with ease. The Ravens defense has only allowed 22 total points this season and this is while playing against two great offenses in the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans. The main contributor to this is the outstanding secondary which is probably the best in the league. It is led by the Pro-Bowler Marcus Peters and the young, talented Marlon Humphrey. It is a very hard defense to score on, but it does make it easier to score on them when you have Patrick Mahomes as your quarterback.
Speaking of Mahomes, he looked disoriented in the overtime win in week two versus the Los Angeles Chargers. He did throw for 302 passing yards and one touchdown, but his great play came late in the game. I don’t think it’s a concern though, and he will be back to playing like himself against the Ravens. Of course, Mahomes doesn’t do it by himself. He has the best tight end in the league in Travis Kelce, the fastest receiver in Tyreek Hill, and one of the most promising rookies in the running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
People knew Mahomes was going to show up in the game against the Chargers eventually, but a big worry was the Chief’s defense. They did only allow 20 points, but they were dominated in the run game by Josh Kelly and Austin Ekeler who combined for 157 rushing yards. The Chiefs were also poor at defending the pass. They let rookie Justin Herbert who was in his first game, throw for 311 passing yards and a touchdown. Yes, they picked him off one time, but that interception was all Herbert’s fault.
I expect the Chiefs defense to be better, especially in the run game. If they show up to the game as they did against the Chargers, then they will get blown out. Anyways, I believe Lamar Jackson will get his first win against the Chiefs. Both of these offenses are talented, so both of them should put up over 30 points. The key is that the Ravens have the better defense, and I will believe they will hold off Mahomes from scoring on the game-winning drive.
Prediction: 34-31 Ravens Win
Week Three Primetime Predictions Recap
It will be sad for many fans to not see superstars this week who are injured, but in week three there will be great matchups. Overall, week three has fantastic matchups, but the primetime games are especially exciting. I expect not all of my predictions to be correct, but that is fine as I am just anticipating to watch all these games and see highlight-reel plays before my eyes.
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