August 19, 2022

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This weekend’s NFL slate is… what’s the phrase? HUGE

Who is West’s greatest?
Image: Getty Images

Week 3 of the NFL season is the place we, as followers, usually begin to understand which groups are for actual and which groups are pretenders. While there are a couple of 2-0 groups that haven’t seemed very spectacular, Week 3 ought to give us a greater understanding of the place every stands within the present NFL panorama.

The San Francisco 49ers have arguably seemed just like the worst 2-0 staff within the league. After virtually blowing a 24 level result in the Lions in Week 1 and squeaking by the Eagles 17-11 in Week 2, Shanahan, Garoppolo, and firm have their first actual take a look at of 2021 in Week 3 towards the Green Bay Packers — a rematch of the 2019 NFC Championship Game. While the Packers seemed simply joyful they didn’t lose Aaron Rodgers throughout their Week 1 sport towards the Saints, they turned issues round in Week 2, dominating their favorite punching bag, Detroit. Theoretically, the Niners match up extremely effectively with Green Bay. As a run-first offense, the 49ers can keep away from Packers’ DBs Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes for a majority of the sport. However, all 4 of the 49ers’ halfbacks on the staff’s initial 53-man roster are questionable at greatest for this Sunday. The just one with a historical past of success towards Green Bay, Raheem Mostert, is out for sure.

The 49ers’ lack of expertise within the backfield might find yourself being their downfall. Despite the truth that the 49ers have received six of their final 9 conferences with Green Bay, they all the time battle once they can’t get the run going. Even although the Packers have given up the fifth-most rushing yards within the league up thus far, most of these yards got here from Alvin Kamara in Week 1, and the Niners don’t have anybody near Kamara’s expertise stage. Plus, the Packers are one among solely 4 groups to haven’t allowed a dashing landing on the season (Steelers, Cowboys, Bills). I haven’t seen sufficient from Jimmy Garoppolo to belief him to win the 49ers video games. If this sport is shut within the fourth, I count on Aaron Rodgers to drag out the win excess of his 49ers counterpart.

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There are two different video games that everybody ought to be excited for: Chargers at Chiefs and Rams at Bucs. These video games are… oh, my goodness. Just… perfection. Finally, Week 3 offers us some fireworks! Chargers/Chiefs is a matchup that’s been talked about for the reason that begin of the offseason. Justin Herbert was an exceptional rookie and has proven by the primary two weeks that he can nonetheless sling the pigskin with the most effective of them. Now, with a brand new head coach, Rashawn Slater defending his blind aspect (he’s seemed nice by the way in which), and a wholesome Austin Ekeler within the backfield, it’s Herbert’s time to indicate Mahomes who’s accountable for the AFC West.

On the opposite aspect of the aisle although, Mahomes doesn’t take losses too kindly. The fewest variety of factors the Chiefs have scored over a two-game stretch since Mahomes took over was 37 throughout Weeks 5 & 6 of the 2019 season. That’s additionally one among solely two instances in his profession, he’s misplaced two video games in a row. Both of these losses got here at residence as effectively. Over his profession, Mahomes has been higher on a per-game foundation in each single main statistical class when on the street. If the Chargers need to strike, they should do it now. A loss for the Chiefs right here would put the Chiefs in final place within the AFC West for the primary time in a very long time. I couldn’t even start to inform you the final time. It was positively… OK, most likely… earlier than the Alex Smith period. That’s all I do know.

Rams/Bucs can also be certain to be an excellent matchup. Through two weeks, the Bucs’ protection hasn’t seemed as stout towards the go because it did in 2020. Through two weeks, the Buccaneers have allowed Matt Ryan and Dak Prescott to finish 72.6 p.c of their passes (fifth-highest charge within the NFL) for 684 yards (4th-most within the NFL) and 5 touchdowns (tied for the sixth-most). While the Bucs have been in a position to come away with 4 interceptions as effectively (tied for second), they haven’t confronted an offensive unit as full because the Rams but. The Bucs are superb at stopping the run, however with the Rams’ backfield as banged up as it is, it was already unlikely that the Rams have been going to run the ball usually.

Not to say, the Bucs like to go greater than anybody within the NFL. Currently, they’ve the second-highest pass rate within the NFL, solely trailing the Jacksonville Jaguars who most likely have such a excessive go share as a result of they path by 20 at halftime each week. The Rams’ secondary is nice. Jalen Ramsey remains to be a dominant nook, and with Antonio Brown’s availability in query after testing positive for COVID, Brady can have a more durable time towards this Rams protection. Keep in thoughts, Antonio Brown led the Buccaneers in receptions and yards throughout their matchup against the Rams last season. That slot place goes to be enormously necessary for Tampa Bay because it’s seemingly Mike Evans might be shadowed by Ramsey as soon as once more. I like Scotty Miller, however he’s not somebody who can get open and discover gentle spots in zone protection like AB. The Rams have improved since these groups final met. If AB is gone, the Bucs can have barely regressed. Never guess towards Brady, however be cautious.

The last item to look out for this Sunday is the Miami Dolphins. Tua Tagovailoa is out with fractured ribs. With their beginning quarterback out, how will the Miami Dolphins reply? There have been many individuals final yr who believed the Dolphins have been higher with out Tua beneath middle. Now, the chickens have come to roost for these Dolphins followers. They mentioned the Dolphins have been higher off…okay, how do you want Jacoby Brissett, huh? How do you want getting shut out by a divisional opponent, huh? How do you want them apples, HUH?!

Obviously, the Dolphins don’t need to begin the season 1-2, however with how stable Derek Carr has seemed early within the season, it’s laborious to think about a state of affairs the place Miami’s offense can sustain with the Raiders. If the Dolphins can maintain the sport shut although, they are going to encourage hope that their staff can bounce again as soon as Tua returns. I consider the Dolphins have some of the full rosters within the NFL. I additionally consider that the Raiders are a staff that performs to their stage of competitors. That mixture might make for a a lot nearer sport than persons are anticipating. I’m excited to see it.

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