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NFL Week 3 schedule and game-by-game predictions

NFL Week 3 is going to boast some of the best games of the entire 2020 season. It concludes with the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Kansas City Chiefs in a potential AFC Championship Game preview.

NFL Week 3 is going to boast some of the best games of the entire 2020 season. It concludes with the Baltimore Ravens hosting the Kansas City Chiefs in a potential AFC Championship Game preview.

Meanwhile, over in the NFC, the New Orleans Saints will host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in another potential playoff preview.

Here’s a look at the NFL Week 3 schedule with game-by-game predictions.

(Updated: Saturday at 08:10 pm EDT, September 26, 2020)

NFL Week 2 Sunday Games

Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, CBS

Raiders-Patriots point spread: Patriots -6.0 (over/under 47.5)

NFL Week 3 injury update: Raiders WR Henry Ruggs out

Jon Gruden and Co. put up a heck of a Week 1 performance in a 34-30 win over the Carolina Panthers. Running back Josh Jacobs looks like a true star. Meanwhile, Derek Carr seems to be a vastly improved quarterback in his third season under Gruden. Las Vegas followed that up with a stunning Week 2 win over the New Orleans Saints in their home debut at Allegiant Stadium. This team looks like the real dea.

Related: NFL defensive rankings

As for the Patriots, it does not seem like they missed a beat replacing Tom Brady with fellow former MVP Cam Newton. He excelled in a Week 1 win over the Miami Dolphins and came up huge in a narrow loss to the Seahawks this past Sunday night. I expect this game to be much closer than what we believed before Week 1. Despite that, the Patriots come out on top at home with a narrow win.

NFL Week 3 prediction: Patriots 24, Raiders 20

Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Rams-Bills point spread: Bills -2.0 (over/under 47.0)

Fresh off extending Tre’Davious White, the Bills’ defense is a top-three unit by our calculations. Head coach Sean McDermott has done a hell of a job rebranding this team on the fly, as evidenced by Buffalo’s surprising playoff appearance last season. It doesn’t hurt that Josh Allen has turned into a complete quarterback under center. His four-touchdown performance last week adds to this.

Related: NFL power rankings

As for the Rams, they came to play in Week 2 following a season-opening win over Dallas. Los Angeles defeated the Philadelphia Eagles by the score of 37-19 in a game that saw Jared Goff throw for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Rams, going up against an elite Buffalo defense will be a different monster in Week 3.

NFL Week 3 prediction: Bills 27, Rams 17

Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers

Time/station: 1:00 PM ET, CBS

Texans-Steelers point spread: Steelers -4.0 (over/under 45.5)

Oh boy. Recently-extended quarterback Deshaun Watson could not ask for a more difficult Week 3 matchup with his offensive line playing so poorly. It’s a shocker given that head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien made left tackle Laremy Tunsil the highest-paid player at his position during the spring. It also has us wondering about O’Brien’s future after a Week 2 blowout loss to the Ravens

Pittsburgh’s defensive front is absolutely loaded, including Defensive Player of the Year candidate T.J. Watt. Even if Houston is able to contain Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh’s offense, it’s not going to be enough to come away with a Week 3 road win.

NFL Week 3 prediction: Steelers 24, Texans 13

San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants

Time/station: 1:00 PM ET, CBS

49ers-Giants point spread: 49ers -3.5 (over/under 42.5)

Daniel Jones continues to make the mistakes that caused some concern as a rookie last season. This time, it’s about the interceptions not putting the ball on the turf. New York’s Week 2 loss to the Chicago Bears also included the team losing star running back Saquon Barkley to a torn ACL.

Related: 49ers injury report

In San Francisco, injuries continue to plague the defending NFC champions. Richard Sherman being placed on injured reserve with a calf issue adds to this. That should help Darius Slayton continue his rise as the Giants’ top wide receiver, as should the season-ending torn ACL Nick Bosa suffered in Week 2. Adding even more to the injury issues in San Francisco, Jimmy Garoppolo will miss Week 3 with a high-ankle sprain.

Even then, the expectation here is that San Francisco’s talent will win out. It still has too much talent for the Giants to make this uptra competitive, especally now that Saquon Barkley is lost for the season. That should make the difference in San Francisco’s second consecutive game in Jersey, even with Nick Mullens taking over for Garoppolo.

NFL Week 3 prediction: 49ers 28, Giants 17

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings

Time/station: 1:00 PM ET, CBS

Titans-Vikings point spread: Titans -2.5 (over/under 49.5)

Minnesota’s young secondary was absolutely torn to shreds Week 1 against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. That’s somewhat of a surprise given that head coach Mike Zimmer wanted to get younger on the defensive side of the ball. Week 2 then saw Kirk Cousins stink up the joint with three interceptions in a 28-11 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

As for the Titans, they nearly blew a double-digit fourth quarter lead agains the Jacksonville Jaguars, only to come away with a narrow 33-30 win. Tennessee has yet to play a complete game this season, but heads into Week 3 with a 2-0 record. Look for the team to hand Minnesota a third consecutive loss to start the 2020 NFL season.

NFL Week 3 prediction: Titans 23, Vikings 17

Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns

Time/station: 1:00 PM ET, Fox

Washington-Browns point spread: Browns -7.0 (over/under 45.0)

Washington’s Week 1 win over the Philadelphia Eagles is among the biggest surprises of the young 2020 NFL season. Chase Young and the team’s young defense came to play big time, forcing multiple Carson Wentz interceptions. That could very well be the difference with Baker Mayfield already struggling with turnovers himself. 

Related: Washington Football team injury report

The Browns need to have success on the ground in this game with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt running the ball. If that doesn’t happen, a lack of balance will end up getting to Mayfield en route to another Browns loss.

NFL Week 3 prediction: Washington 20, Browns 17

Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles

Time/station: 1:00 PM ET, CBS

Bengals-Eagles point spread: Eagles -4.0 (over/under 47.5)

We might want to give the Eagles a mulligan for their Week 1 outing against Washington due to their injury issues. However, we simply can’t do that. Blowing a 17-0 lead against a talent-stricken Washington team just doesn’t sit well. It also has the defending NFC East champs on edge. This was given a whole new meaning in Week 2 with Philadelphia stinking up the joint in a 37-19 home loss to the Los Angeles Rams

On the other hand, Joe Burrow played darn well in his NFL debut and almost led Cincinnati to an upset win over the Los Angeles Chargers before upping his game even more in Week 2. The biggest key for Cincinnati moving forward will be to get the recently-extended Joe Mixon going on the ground. Expect that to be a problem against an Eagles squad in need of a win, making the biggest difference in this Week 3 game.

NFL Week 3 prediction: Eagles 27, Bengals 20 

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons

Time/station: 1:00 PM EST, Fox

Bears-Falcons point spread: Falcons -3.0 (over/under 47.0)

I am highly intrigued to see how Mitchell Trubisky performs after a solid start to a make-or-break season in Chicago. That three-touchdown fourth quarter performance in a comeback win over Detroit could help turn around a previously fledgling career. Chicago now finds itself at 2-0 following a Week 2 win over the Giants.

As it relates to Atlanta, Dan Quinn’s defense is a shell of its former self. While they struggled in recent seasons, the departures of edge pass rusher Vic Beasley and former Pro Bowl corner Desmond Trufant can’t be lost in this. That acted as a backdrop as Atlanta blew a double-digit lead against Dallas with less than five minutes left in Week 2.

NFL Week 3 prediction: Bears 28, Falcons 24

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts

Time/station: 4:05 PM EST, CBS

Jets-Colts point spread: Colts -11.5 (over/under 44.0)

NFL Week 3 injury update: Breshad Perriman, Jamison Crowder out for the Jets

Philip Rivers’ two-interception performance in Week 1 has to be seen as a major concern for the Colts after they added him to be an upgrade at quarterback. The season-ending injury to running back Marlon Mack adds another layer to this. The expectation now is that rookie second-round pick Jonathan Taylor will be given an opportunity to shine. Given he boasts more upside than Taylor, that’s not a bad thing. He went for 101 yards on 26 rush attempts in the Colts’ Week 2 win over Minnesota.

Related: Le’Veon Bell’s contract is now a disaster

Speaking of bad things, the Jets placed free-agent bust Le’Veon Bell on injured reserve after their Week 1 loss. Sam Darnold already lacks skill-position talent and a capable offensive line. The team was absolutely throttled by an injury-plagued 49ers squad by the score of 31-13 in Week 2, leading to some major reactions from the football world.

NFL Week 3 prediction: Colts 31, Jets 17

Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers

Time/station: 4:05 PM EST, Fox

Panthers-Chargers point spread: Chargers -6.5 (over/under 43.5)

Carolina’s struggles against the pass in Week 1’s loss to the Las Vegas Raiders could be the start of a troubling trend. The team just doesn’t have experienced guys in the defensive secondary, and it’s going to continue haunting rookie head coach Matt Rhule.

Related: NFL TV ratings down

Justin Herbert will get the start for Los Angeles with Tyrod Taylor’s injury making headlines in Southern California. Herbert was absolutely tremendous in his debut against the Chiefs last week, almost leading the Chargers to an upset win. Look for him take advantage of a bad Panthers defense in this one.

Week 3 NFL prediction: Chargers 31, Panthers 23

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals

Time/station: 4:25 PM EST, Fox

Lions-Cardinals point spread: Cardinals -5.5 (over/under 55.5)

Imagine this. Mitchell Trubisky drops three touchdowns in the fourth quarter against a Lions team led by defensive-minded head coach Matt Patricia. It’s not fake news. It actually happened Week 1 and was a horrible look for Detroit. It didn’t get much better this past weekend with Detroit yielding 42 points to the division-rival Packers in a blowout loss.

Now, imagine this. Kyler Murray and his Cardinals hosting this very same Lions squad after putting up a brilliant performance against one of the best defenses in the NFL. That’s especially true after Murray’s performance in a blowout win over Washington this past Sunday.

Week 3 NFL prediction: Cardinals 35, Lions 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos

Time/station: 4:25 PM EST, Fox

Buccaneers-Broncos point spread: Buccaneers -6.0 (over/under 42.5)

Tom Brady’s struggles in Week 1 are by now well known. He joined a handful of lesser quarterbacks, one Matt Schaub included, in throwing a pick-six in three consecutive games. Given the talent this six-time Super Bowl champion boasts on offense, that’s just not acceptable. While Tampa Bay did rebound Week 2 against Carolina, Brady threw another interception in a 31-17 win. That said, Leonard Fournette’s 103-yard, two-touchdown performance made the difference here.

Related: Bruce Arians calls out Tom Brady

On the other hand, Denver has been hit by the injury bug big time. Courtland Sutton missed the opener before suffering a torn ACL in Week 2. Fellow Pro Bowler, running back Phillip Lindsay, is dealing with turf toe. Meanwhile, former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller could be lost for the season. Week 2 then saw Drew Lock go down to a shoulder injury en route to Denver falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers by the score of 25-21. Lock, Lindsay and Sutton will all be sidelined in this one. That’s going to help Tampa win its second consecutive game.

Week 3 NFL prediction: Buccaneers 24, Broncos 19

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks

Time/station: 4:25 PM EST, Fox

Cowboys-Seahawks point spread: Seahawks -5.0 (over/under 56.5)

Jamal Adams. That’s it. That’s the story. The Dallas Cowboys were not interested in acquiring the All-Pro safety from the New York Jets before he was dealt to Seattle. In turn, Dallas’ safety issues have come out in a big way thus far this season. As for Adams, he helped lead Seattle to a narrow win over New England Sunday night. It’s the very same game that saw Russell Wilson compile five touchdown passes.

Related: Ranking NFL defenses heading into Week 3

As for the Cowboys, they are coming off a tremendous comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2. Dak Prescott has been awe-inspiring through two games. Even then, I don’t envision this team being able to keep up with Seattle’s high-powered offensive attack.

Week 3 NFL prediction: Seahawks 28, Cowboys 24

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints (Sunday Night Football)

Time/station: 8:20 PM EST, NBC

Packers-Saints point spread: Saints -3.0 (over/under 53.0)

NFL Week 3 injury update: Saints WR Michael Thomas out

NFL Week 3 injury update: Packers WR Davante Adams doubtful

Fresh off a brilliant performance against Tampa Bay, Drew Brees and his Saints put up a miserable performance in a double-digit loss to the Las Vegas Raiders this past Monday night. Brees couldn’t do anything down the field. Meanwhile, a lack of pass rush from Cameron Jordan and Co. enabled the Raiders to put up 34 points in the final three quarters.

Related: NFL Week 3 spreads and one liners

This could very well be a preview of the NFC Championship Game should the 49ers’ struggles continue. The Packers have dropped 40-plus points in each of their first two games. Aaron Rodgers is playing tremendous football. It’s in this that I am going with the Packers in a minor road upset.

Week 3 NFL prediction: Packers 34, Saints 28

NFL Week 3 Monday Night Football

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

Time/station: 8:15 PM EST, ESPN

Chiefs-Ravens point spread: Ravens -3.5 (over/under 54.5)

Many figured that this would matchup was going to be last season’s AFC Championship Game. Baltimore’s shocking loss to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional playoffs put an end to that.

Related: Top 100 NFL players of 2020

What we do know is that these two look like the NFL’s best. The last two MVP winners, both dominating from the quarterback position. Lamar Jackson with more weapons on offense. Patrick Mahomes continuing the historical start to his career. In what will be the best game on the Week 3 slate, we’re predicting the home team to come out on top.

Week 3 NFL prediction: Ravens 37, Chiefs 34

NFL Week 3 Thursday Night Football

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars

Time/station: 8:20 PM EST, NBC

Dolphins-Jaguars point spread: Jaguars -3.0 (over/under 48.5)

Miami heads into this Week 3 matchup with a surprising Jaguars team at 0-2 on the season following a narrow 31-28 loss to the Buffalo Bills. It’s a game that saw the Dolphins’ defense allow Josh Allen throw for 417 yards and four touchdowns in an all-around terrible performance.

Meanwhile, Jacksonville came back from a 30-17 fourth quarter deficit against the Tennessee Titans to make a game of it. Unfortunately, Gardner Minshew and Co. dropped to 1-1 by virtue of a 33-30 loss. Even then, Minshew continued his dazzling early-season performnace with 339 yards and three touchdowns. Expect him to eat against Miami in a big way.

NFL Week 3 prediction: Jaguars 24, Dolphins 16

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