Vince’s View: NFL Week 3 Predictions and Game Notes; Titans try to avoid 0-3 vs. Raiders, Battle of 2-0s in Miami

Vince’s View: NFL Week 3 Predictions and Game Notes; Titans try to avoid 0-3 vs. Raiders, Battle of 2-0s in Miami

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

Below is the game schedule with my Week 3 NFL game predictions. Winners straight-up are in bold. The line is my pick against the spread.

You’ll also see some tremendous notes on the games, teams and players provided by NFL Communications.

Listen to The NFL Report with John Wilkerson and two rotating Sports Animal hosts, including myself, every Sunday, 10am to 12:30pm ET on 99.1 The Sports Animal here in Knoxville and streaming here at 991TheSportsAnimal.com, the WNML app or on your smart speakers. We’ll break down all these games, review what’s happened, share injury news, fantasy advice and more. You can call or text the show at 865-656-9900.

2022 Week 2 Straight-Up: 8-8 (50%)
2022 Week 2 Against The Spread: 5-11 (31%)

2022 Season Straight-Up: 16-16 (50%)
2022 Season Against The Spread: 12-20 (38%)

2021 Season Straight-Up: 158-97 (62%)
2021 Season Against The Spread: 140-115 (55%)

WEEK 3 NFL SCHEDULE

(All times Eastern)

Thursday, September 22(+4.5) Pittsburgh at ClevelandPrime Video8:15
Sunday, September 25(-2) New Orleans at CarolinaFOX1:00
Houston at Chicago (-3)CBS1:00
(-5) Kansas City at IndianapolisCBS1:00
(-4.5) Buffalo at MiamiCBS1:00
(+ 6.5) Detroit at MinnesotaFOX1:00
(-2.5) Baltimore at New EnglandFOX1:00
(-6.5) Cincinnati at New York JetsCBS1:00
(-2) Las Vegas at TennesseeFOX1:00
(-6) Philadelphia at WashingtonFOX1:00
Jacksonville at Los Angeles Chargers (-3.5)CBS4:05
(-3.5) Los Angeles Rams at ArizonaFOX4:25
(+1) Atlanta at SeattleFOX4:25
Green Bay at Tampa Bay (-1.5)FOX4:25
(-1.5) San Francisco at DenverNBC8:20
Monday, September 26Dallas at New York Giants (-1)ESPN/ABC8:15

MATT LAFLEUR made sure his team had the correct mentality in the Lambeau Field locker room on Sunday night.

“We’ve gotta have the mindset that it’s zero-zero,” Green Bay’s coach told NBC at halftime, his team leading 24-7. “I think you could see it all across the league this week. So right now, one play at a time; it’s zero-zero.”

 No lead is safe in the NFL. That was never more evident than last week when, for the first weekend in 30 years, three teams overcame fourth-quarter deficits of 13-or-more points to win. And games are extremely close. This year, 12 games have already been decided by three points or fewer, more than any previous NFL season through two weeks.

So don’t let a comeback sneak up on you like a no-look pass from MATTHEW STAFFORD. It’s a hallmark of the NFL. Comebacks and close games are contagious. Which games will showcase that excitement this week?

The Starting 11 entering Week 3…

1.     HARDWARE HEAVEN: No game in NFL history has featured starting quarterbacks with six combined Super Bowl MVPs … until Sunday. AARON RODGERS (MVP of Super Bowl XLV) leads the Packers into Raymond James Stadium (4:25 PM ET, FOX) to play TOM BRADY (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XLIX, LI, LV) and the Buccaneers.

  • The game also will be just the third in NFL annals to pair starting quarterbacks with seven combined Associated Press MVPs (Rodgers won the honor in 2011, 2014, 2020 and 2021; Brady earned it in 2007, 2010 and 2017). Rodgers played in the last such game, against Pro Football Hall of Famer and five-time MVP PEYTON MANNING on Nov. 1, 2015. Brady played in the first contest, against Manning on Nov. 2, 2014.
  • Including the postseason, Rodgers and Brady have squared off as starters on four prior occasions. The winner of each of the last two regular-season meetings (Brady in 2018 and 2020) has gone on to win the Super Bowl.
  • Rodgers, the reigning back-to-back MVP, will face the league’s top scoring defense through two weeks. Head coach TODD BOWLES and the Buccaneers are allowing only 6.5 points per game.

2.     NUMBER OF THE WEEK – 75: Baltimore’s LAMAR JACKSON last week became the first player in NFL history to record both a rushing touchdown and touchdown pass of at least 75 yards in the same game. This week, the Ravens (1-1) meet NEW ENGLAND (1-1) at Gillette Stadium on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX). Since Jackson entered the league in 2018, New England’s defense has allowed just 18.5 points per game, best in the NFL.

3.     HOPE IS ALIVE AND WELL: This week, a quartet of teams that finished last season with four-or-fewer wins – DETROIT (1-1), JACKSONVILLE (1-1), the NEW YORK GIANTS (2-0) and the NEW YORK JETS (1-1) – have an opportunity to start 2-1 or better. That has not happened in 21 years. The last time four teams that finished the previous season with four-or-fewer wins rebounded the following season to win at least two of their first three games was 2001 (Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland and the San Diego Chargers).

  • With a home win over Dallas (1-1) on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN/ABC), the Giants can improve to 3-0. Since 2006, five teams have started 3-0 the year after winning four-or-fewer games. Four of those five teams made the playoffs. The last to do it, the 2019 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, advanced to the Super Bowl.

4.     SPOTLIGHT – INDIVIDUAL MATCHUP: Since the Dolphins selected XAVIEN HOWARD in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Miami cornerback leads the NFL with 27 interceptions. On Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Howard lines up opposite STEFON DIGGS, who ranks third in the NFL over the same time with 563 receptions.

  • Only six remaining teams are undefeated entering Week 3, including BUFFALO (2-0) and MIAMI (2-0).
  • Dolphins quarterback TUA TAGOVAILOA leads the NFL with 739 passing yards and Miami ranks first in the AFC with 427.0 yards per game.
  • Last week, Miami’s TYREEK HILL and JAYLEN WADDLE became the first teammates in NFL history to each record at least 10 receptions, 150 receiving yards and two TD receptions in the same game.
  • Buffalo, meanwhile, has allowed the fewest yards in the AFC, 215.0 per game.

5.     SPOTLIGHT – TEAM MATCHUP: The LOS ANGELES RAMS (1-1) are tied for the NFL lead with seven takeaways. On Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX), they travel to face the ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-1), who have only one giveaway, tied for fewest in the league.

6.     STREAK SPEAK: This week, each NFC East club plays a division game. PHILADELPHIA (2-0) is at WASHINGTON (1-1) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX) and the 2021 division winner DALLAS (1-1) is at the NEW YORK GIANTS (2-0) on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN/ABC). The NFC East has had a different division champion in each of the last 18 seasons (2004-21), the league’s longest streak since the 1970 merger. The AFC West had 14 different division champions from 1987-2000 and the NFC South had 12 different division champions from 2002-13, the second- and third-longest streaks since 1970, respectively.

7.     DID YOU KNOW?LOVIE SMITH returns with the HOUSTON TEXANS (0-1-1) to face the franchise he led to a Super Bowl berth in 2006, the CHICAGO BEARS (1-1). Smith and Bears head coach MATT EBERFLUS are members of the coaching tree of Pro Football Hall of Famer TONY DUNGY. That tree also includes current head coaches MIKE TOMLIN and FRANK REICH as well as former NFL head coaches JIM CALDWELLROD MARINELLI and LESLIE FRAZIER, currently Buffalo’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.

8.     UNDER-THE-RADAR STORYLINESAN FRANCISCO (1-1) visits DENVER (1-1) on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC). Niners head coach KYLE SHANAHAN was a wide receiver at Cherry Creek High School in suburban Denver when the Bruins captured the 1996 Colorado Class 5A state championship. Growing up, Shanahan three times lived in the Denver area, where his dad Mike was a Broncos assistant on two occasions and head coach from 1995-2008. … General manager JOHN LYNCH and seven members of San Francisco’s current coaching staff also have Centennial State connections, having either played or coached for the Broncos or played or coached at Colorado State University.

9.     TREND TIMEDETROIT (1-1) travels to MINNESOTA (1-1) for an NFC North showdown on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX). Each of the last three games in the series have been decided by two points.

10.  THIS WEEK IN NFL HISTORY: Sept. 17, 1972 (50 years ago) – Nine months after their epic Christmas playoff classic, the MIAMI DOLPHINS and KANSAS CITY CHIEFS meet again, this time to open the season in the first official game at Arrowhead Stadium. BOB GRIESE throws a touchdown to MARLIN BRISCOE and LARRY CSONKA bullies his way to 118 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown as the Dolphins begin the road to the only perfect season in NFL history with a 20-10 victory.

11.  AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST: The JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (1-1) enter the week leading the AFC South. They also lead the NFL in takeaway ratio (plus-five) heading into their Week 3 trip to SoFi Stadium, where they face the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (1-1) on Sunday (4:05 PM ET, CBS).

LIGHTING IT UP: Three of the top four scoring offenses through the first two weeks are set to visit a divisional opponent in Week 3.

The BUFFALO BILLS (2-0) lead the NFL in total points scored (72) and rank second in scoring defense, allowing only 17 points in their first two games of the season.

On Sunday in Miami (1:00 PM ET, CBS), the Bills can become the fifth team since 2000 to score 100-or-more points and allow 40-or-fewer points in their first three games of a season.

The teams to score 100-or-more points and allow 40-or-fewer points in their first three games of a season since 2000:

TEAMSEASONPOINTS SCOREDPOINTS ALLOWED
New England201910617
L.A. Rams#201810236
New England#200711435
Miami200210037
 
Buffalo202272*17*
*Through two games
#Advanced to Super Bowl

The DETROIT LIONS (1-1) are tied for second in scoring offense (35.5 points per game) and have scored at least 35 points in each of their first two games for the first time since 1970. The Lions are one of five teams to average 400-or-more yards of total offense per game (405.5) through the first two weeks.

When Detroit visits Minnesota on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), they can become the fifth team since 2000 to score at least 35 points and record at least 375 total yards of offense in each of their first three games of a season. Each of the previous four teams to accomplish the feat made the postseason, with two advancing to the Super Bowl.

The teams to score at least 35 points and recorded at least 375 total yards of offense in each of their first three games of a season since 2000:

TEAMSEASON
Seattle2020
Denver2013**
New England2007**
St. Louis Rams2000
Detroit2022*
*Through two games
**Advanced to Super Bowl

The PHILADELPHIA EAGLES are off to a 2-0 start with quarterback JALEN HURTS under center, one of two quarterbacks (LAMAR JACKSON) with at least 500 passing yards (576) and 100 rushing yards (147) through the first two weeks. The Eagles recorded 455 total yards of offense in Week 1 and 486 total yards of offense in Week 2. On Sunday at Washington (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Philadelphia can become the fourth team since 2000 to begin a season 3-0 and register at least 450 total yards of offense in each game.

The teams to begin a season 3-0 and register at least 450 total yards of offense in each game since 2000:

TEAMSEASONGAME ONE YARDSGAME TWO YARDSGAME THREE YARDS
Dallas2019494474476
Kansas City2019491467503
St. Louis Rams2000513476529
     
Philadelphia2022455486??

— NFL —

SECOND-YEAR STARS: Dallas linebacker MICAH PARSONS has recorded two sacks in each of his first two games of the season and can become the third player to record at least two sacks in each of his team’s first three games of a season since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer KEVIN GREENE (1998) and MARK GASTINEAU (1984).

Parsons, who has 17 sacks in 18 career games and is one of six players since 1982 with at least two sacks in five of his first 20 career games, needs two sacks against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN/ABC) to tie JOEY BOSA (19 sacks) for the most sacks by a player in his first 20 games since 1982.  

The players with the most sacks in their first 20 career games since 1982:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONSSACKS 
Joey BosaL.A. Chargers2016-1719 
Aldon SmithSan Francisco2011-1218.5 
Clay MatthewsGreen Bay2009-1017 
Micah ParsonsDallas2021-2217* 
*In 18 career games

Detroit wide receiver AMON-RA ST. BROWN has registered at least eight receptions in eight consecutive games, tied for the longest such streak in NFL history, while Miami wide receiver JAYLEN WADDLE registered 11 receptions in Week 2 and his four games with at least 10 receptions since the beginning of the 2021 season rank as the fourth-most among all players.

When St. Brown faces the Vikings in his 20th career game and Waddle welcomes the Bills in his 19th career game, each player can join ODELL BECKHAM JR. as the only players to record at least seven receptions in 10 of their first 20 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most games with at least seven receptions in their first 20 games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONSGAMES 
Odell Beckham Jr.N.Y. Giants2014-1513 
Amon-Ra St. BrownDetroit2021-229* 
Jaylen WaddleMiami2021-229** 
*In 19 career games
**In 18 career games

Waddle, who set the NFL rookie record with 104 receptions last season and has 15 catches through his first two games of 2022, needs three receptions on Sunday to surpass ANQUAN BOLDIN (121 receptions) and MICHAEL THOMAS (120) for the second-most receptions by a player in his first 20 career games in NFL history.

The players with the most receptions in their first 20 career games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMRECEPTIONS 
Odell Beckham Jr.N.Y. Giants141 
Anquan BoldinArizona121 
Michael ThomasNew Orleans120 
Jaylen WaddleMiami119* 
*In 18 career games  

Last season, New England quarterback MAC JONES led all rookie quarterbacks with a 67.6 completion percentage and tied an NFL rookie record for most games (nine) with a completion percentage of 70-or-higher. Jones, who has a 67.2 completion percentage through his first 19 career starts, can surpass CHAD PENNINGTON (67.3 percent) for the highest completion percentage by a quarterback in his first 20 career starts in NFL history (minimum 200 attempts).

The quarterbacks with the highest completion percentage in their first 20 career starts in NFL history (minimum 200 attempts):

PLAYERTEAM(S)COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Chad PenningtonN.Y. Jets67.3
Jimmy GaroppoloNew England, San Francisco67.2
Patrick MahomesKansas City66.8
   
Mac JonesNew England67.2*
*In 19 career starts  

— NFL —

KEEPING IT CONSISTENT: Through the first two weeks of the season, Buffalo wide receiver STEFON DIGGS ranks second in the league with 270 receiving yards, while Los Angeles Rams wide receiver COOPER KUPP ranks fourth with 236 receiving yards. Diggs and Kupp are the only two players with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown catch in each of the first two weeks of the season.

If Diggs records at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception against Miami on  Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), or Kupp does so at Arizona (4:25 PM ET, FOX), they would join Pro Football Hall of Famers MARVIN HARRISON (1999), RANDY MOSS (2007) and JERRY RICE (1989), as well as DWIGHT CLARK (1982) as the only players with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in each of his team’s first three games of a season in NFL history.

The players with at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in each of their team’s first three games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASON
Randy MossHOFNew England2007
Marvin HarrisonHOFIndianapolis1999
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco1989
Dwight ClarkSan Francisco1982
  
Stefon DiggsBuffalo2022*
Cooper KuppL.A. Rams2022*
*Through first two games

 — NFL —

BRADY/RODGERS: The back-to-back reigning Associated Press MVP AARON RODGERS faces off against the seven-time Super Bowl champion TOM BRADY when Green Bay visits Tampa Bay on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX). Both players have had continued success in their later years, as Brady led the league in passing touchdowns (43) in 2021 while Rodgers led the league in passer rating (111.9). It’s the fifth time in the last 15 seasons the passing touchdown leader and the passer rating leader from the previous season go head-to-head.

The matchups of the passing touchdown leader and the passer rating leader from the previous season in the last 15 years:

PASSING TD LEADER, TEAMPASSER RATING LEADER, TEAMSEASON
Tom Brady, TBAaron Rodgers, GBWeek 3, 2022
Lamar Jackson, BALRyan Tannehill, TENWeek 11, 2020
Aaron Rodgers, GBMatt Ryan, ATLWeek 2, 2017
Tom Brady, NERussell Wilson, SEAWeek 10, 2016
Drew Brees, NOAaron Rodgers, GBWeek 4, 2012
Foxboro, MA – October 3, 2021 – Gillette Stadium: Mac Jones (10) of the New England Patriots during a regular season game. (Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images)

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