Week 3 is here. Time for some of the things we thought we learned about the NFL so far this year to be proven untrue.
Thursday, Sept. 20
8:20 p.m. New York Jets at Cleveland Browns (NFLN) CLE -3 39.5
Sunday, Sept. 23
1 p.m. New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (FOX) ATL -3 53
1 p.m. San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs (FOX) KC -6.5 56.5
1 p.m. Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins (CBS) MIA -3 43.5
1 p.m. Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings (CBS) MIN -16.5 41
1 p.m. Indianapolis Colts at Philadelphia Eagles (FOX) PHI -6.5 47.5
1 p.m. Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins (FOX) GB -3 45.5
1 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals at Carolina Panthers (CBS) CAR -3 44
1 p.m. Tennessee Titans at Jacksonville Jaguars (CBS) OFF OFF
1 p.m. Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens (CBS) BAL -5.5 43.5
1 p.m. New York Giants at Houston Texans (FOX) HOU -6 42
4:05 p.m. Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams (CBS) LAR -7 48
4:25 p.m. Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals (FOX) CHI -6 38
4:25 p.m. Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks (FOX) SEA -1 41.5
8:20 p.m. New England Patriots at Detroit Lions (NBC) NE -6.5 52
Monday, Sept. 21
8:15 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (ESPN) PIT -1 54
If you would have told me that I would actually look forward to watching the Browns and Jets play on a Thursday night, I’d have laughed my ass off. But I kinda want to see how far along Sam Darnold is and if the Browns can actually win.
I also love the Bears v. Cardinals having an over of 38. Not a lot of respect for those offenses.
Some more general thoughts so far:
Fitzmagic is back! I always have a soft spot for Harvard guys, and his stylish look at press conferences is simply jaw dropping, so what’s not to love. If only he saved playing the best games of his career for the playoffs, he could join Eli and Flacco as the most overrated, overpaid QB’s in history. I’m guessing at some point he’ll return to being Ryan Fitzpatrick, the good-but-not-great-and-way-too-turnover-prone QB he usually is, but damn it’s fun to watch him for now.
How bad are the Bills and Cards? Can either team go 0-16? Or will the rookie QB’s (if the Cards turn over QB duties to Rosen rather than suffer more Bradford) be able to improve some pretty crappy play.
The value of running backs. Through two games, Barkley has looked like the real deal, with 3rd most yards from scrimmage for RB’s. And the Giants are 0-2. Combined with how well James Conner is going with LeVeon Bell’s holdout and powerful names like Phillip Lindsay, Matt Breida, and James Connor in the top 5, you have to wonder if taking a RB at #2, or paying a guy huge money at that position is really worth it.
Steelers drama. Such fun.
The Browns are a competitive team. And are still winless. They need to turn their good play into wins.
Maybe crowning Jimmy Garoppolo (or Deshaun Watson. Or Dak Prescott) as the next big QB thing after a few good games was a bit premature. The return of Carson Wentz should be interesting too, to see if he can get back to the stellar play he had before the injury or if he too will suffer the regression to the mean bite. Besides, we all know that Patrick Mahommes is the next elite QB because of those two great games.