We’re charging into NFL week 3 with a divisional matchup on Thursday Night Football as the 1-1 Cleveland Browns host the 1-1 Pittsburgh Steelers. The first two weeks of the season have been filled with insane performances, comebacks, and upset wins. The NFL Week 3 slate might not be particularly strong but neither was last week and look at the interesting storylines it brought us. Football rolls on this Thursday and it can’t come soon enough.
NFL power rankings Week 3: Arizona Cardinals, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars jump https://t.co/urtBmp6hFg
— azcentral (@azcentral) September 19, 2022
NFL Week 3 Games to Watch
Packers vs Buccaneers
The biggest game of NFL Week 3 is the Green Bay Packers vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The last two times these teams met, it didn’t go so well for the Packers. In 2020, they went to Tampa Bay in the regular season and got dominated 38-10. The two teams met again in the NFC Championship Game that season and the Bucs bested them on their way to the Super Bowl.
The Packers look to rewrite the narrative and prove that they can beat Tampa Bay. They bounced back from week 1 in a dominating way last week against the Bears 27-10. Aaron Rodgers threw for just 234 yards and two touchdowns but that’s all he needed to do as Aaron Jones went to work on the ground and through the air. He ran for 132 yards and a touchdown while having 38 receiving yards and a touchdown. AJ Dillon chipped in with 61 yards on the ground. Allen Lazard came back from injury and caught a touchdown and Sammy Watkins had a breakout game with 93 yards.
This offense seemed to get back on track but we’ll see if it’s for real as they go to Tampa and face a tough defense that gathered 3 interceptions with six sacks and held the New Orleans Saints to 10 points in NFL Week 3. Tom Brady didn’t have a strong week 2 as he failed to throw for 200 yards and threw only a touchdown but he finally beat the Saints in the regular season.
Mike Evans will miss this game as he was dealt a one-game suspension (appealing) after the scuffle against the Saints. The status of a few others on this offense will be in question heading into this week but if relatively healthy, this offense is lethal and the Packers’ defense will have to repeat their performance against the Bears and improve their run defense if they want to find success.
Bills vs Dolphins
If we go by what we saw in week 2, this might be an offensive explosion. This is a great opportunity for the Miami Dolphins to show if they’re for real or not after their amazing comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens. They were down by three touchdowns heading into the fourth and erased that in a hurry and won 42-38. Tua Tagovailoa was phenomenal in the comeback as he threw for an amazing 469 yards and six touchdowns. The duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle went off with 11 catches and two touchdowns a piece with Hill having 190 yards while Waddle had 171.
It won’t be easy for the Dolphins as the Buffalo Bills are coming off an absolutely dominating 41-7 win over the Tennessee Titans. Josh Allen continued his potential MVP campaign as he threw for 317 yards and four touchdowns. He threw 148 of his yards and three of his touchdowns to Stefon Diggs. The Titans’ defense was outstanding as they limited probably the best running back in the game (Derrick Henry) to only 25 yards on 12 carries but he did add a touchdown.
The Bills have one of the best defenses in the game but limiting the speed of Waddle and Hill will be tough. They will have to contain Tua and bring him back down to earth. The Dolphins will need to play tougher defense as they also have to try to stop the Bills’ offense with the great connection of Allen to Diggs. The Bills are Super Bowl favorites and the Dolphins giving them a challenge will have people talking.
Rams vs Cardinals
Both of these teams were part of the craziness on Sunday. The Los Angeles Rams were up 28-3 at one point against the Falcons but Atlanta stormed back to make it a four-point game at 31-27. Luckily, mixed in with a Jalen Ramsey interception in the endzone and Justin Hollins sack fumble to end the game, the Rams prevailed. While Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions, he had 272 passing yards and three touchdowns. Old reliable Cooper Kupp followed up a big performance on opening night with 11 receptions for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Rams fell asleep in the second half and they can’t do that against a division rival this week.
While the Rams almost allowed a huge comeback last week, the Arizona Cardinals were one of the teams with a huge comeback win in week 2. They were down 21-0 at halftime to the Las Vegas Raiders until the Cardinals stormed back to force OT and an eventual win thanks to some Kyler Murray heroics. He threw for 277 yards and only a touchdown with an interception but he also ran for a clutch touchdown late and threw a huge two-point conversion through a tight window. The Cardinals capped it off with a fumble return for the win.
This is a big divisional game in which both teams are coming off close wins. The Cardinals can’t start slow this week against the defending champs and the Rams can’t lay back against Arizona as the Raiders did. Both offenses will have to play better, particularly at the quarterback position, if they plan on taking the lead in this division.
Other Games to Watch
Ravens vs Patriots
49ers vs Broncos
Steelers vs Browns
Cowboys vs Giants
Chiefs vs Colts
Lions vs Vikings
Eagles vs Commanders