What to Watch: NFL Week 3

Titans vs. Jaguars, Thursday Night Football 8:20 pm ET.

With Andrew Luck retired, this division is very, very much up in the air. The Titans are in as good a position as anyone to snatch the crown. Jacksonville is reeling at 0-2 after losing new quarterback Nick Foles to injury right off the bat.  

What to watch for: Is Jalen Ramsey really committed?  He’s a lock down defender when playing man, but a bit of a slouch in zone or hybrid schemes.  The elite cornerback has asked for a trade after a dust up with head coach Doug Marrone.  The two have said that the incident is behind them, but it will take a serious offer from a contender to get the Jags to part ways with one of the NFL’s best cover corners.  Think multiple first rounders, or a first and a roster ready player at a position of need. 

Ravens vs. Chiefs, Sunday 1pm ET.  

Both teams are off to the races with dangerous offenses putting up gaudy numbers.  Lamar Jackson is looking like a new man in Baltimore now that he can move the ball downfield.  We’ve heard a lot about the Chiefs, but are the Ravens for real?  

What to watch for: Mahomes vs the Ravens defense.  The Ravens will put up points against a Kansas City defense that is porous, barely squeaking inside the top twenty in yards allowed.  So, can Mahomes keep up against the far stouter Baltimore defense?  I’m not sure. Baltimore trails only New England in YPG allowed, but they’ve been susceptible to the pass, allowing 254 yards per game in the air, good for only 18th best in the league.  If they can’t get pressure on Mahomes, he might just put up enough points to win a high scoring game.  

Giants vs. Buccaneers, Sunday 4:05 pm ET.  

Ok, full disclosure.  This game probably won’t be “good” by conventional standards.  It’s more about the beginning of the Daniel Jones era in New York than anything else.  

What to watch for: Can Daniel Jones start to turn the Giants around? It’s a big ask.  The young quarterback doesn’t have a lot to work with in the receiving game, but he does have one of the league’s most fearsome weapons in Saquon Barkley by his side.  The Buccaneers are a surprising 1-1 after beating the moribund Panthers in week two, but this is a winnable game for Big Blue.  I’m very interested to see if the young Duke product can bring a spark to the team that drafted him sixth overall. 

Rams vs. Browns, Sunday Night Football 8:20 pm ET. 

The Browns came out flat in week one after an offseason that anointed them a Super Bowl favorite.  How will they fare in their first test against a legitimate playoff team?

What to watch for: Can the Browns keep up with the Rams under the bright lights?  I don’t think so, but it bears watching.  After getting shellacked by the Titans 43-13 in week one, the Browns looked better against the Jets, but let’s remember…it’s the Jets.  The 23-3 win didn’t exactly set the world on fire, given that New York might not win three games all year.  I’m interested to see how Baker Mayfield handles pressure from Aaron Donald and company, and how that Browns defense fares against a real contender.  Myles Garrett leads the league in sacks, and he’ll need to keep Jared Goff scared to keep the Browns close.  

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