2023 The Greatest Story on Turf Week 3
The Story of every game delivered to you every week, from the most interesting to least interesting, complete with predictions. Last week went 11-5 again. Let's see what happens in 2023 The Greatest Story on Turf Week 3.
16. Giants Vs. 49ers
Tale of the Tape
The 49ers game went pretty much just as everyone would expect. The 49ers scored 30 and won by multiple scores. However, the Giants hung in the game until about the fourth quarter. The Giants moved the ball better than expected against the 49ers, and they didn't even have Saquon. The Giant's blitz also shook Purdy up a bit and caused him to have an ugly game by his standards.
Now, most people won't care about the blemishes the 49ers showed because they are a great team, and they will roll over most of their opponents, and that's just a fact. But you have to wonder, in the biggest moments against the most elite teams, will those teams be able to fully take advantage of a 49ers Oline that gave up a lot of pressure? Will they get home on some of Kyle's long-play fakes? Lastly, will they be able to take advantage of the allowances the Giants got from the 49ers defense? Food for thought.
15. Saints Vs. Packers
Both these teams are in new eras. The Saints continue to grind out victories to remain undefeated. The Packers showed that maybe they aren't as good as they looked against the Bears. This will be Jordan Love's biggest challenge yet. Will he be able to survive this defense? Can Lafleur find a path to victory, or will the Saints remain undefeated? So far, Carr hasn't been very flashy, but he's been effective, and I'm starting to wonder how much more the team needs from Carr. Do the Saints need to open up the playbook more, or have they already found the recipe to success?
14. Dolphins vs. Broncos
It's Not Gonna Be Easy
The Dolphins have been cruising along, and now they are facing their second NFC West opponent. The Dolphins walk in as the clear, better team. Still, the Dolphins need to stay woke because the Broncos are desperate. They have been playing better than last year, but the win-loss column doesn't reflect that, and they will be giving everything they have to try and score their first win. Plus, Waddle Is in concussion protocol, which puts strain on the Dolphins. Also, last year, the Broncos traded Chubb to the Dolphins. Will that come back to bite them?
13. Colts Vs. Ravens
Ruined by Injury
Man, this game should have been box office. Anthony Richardson vs. Lamar Jackson, who got taken at 32 as a Heisman winner so that Richardson could be taken top 5 without any major college accomplishments outside of elite traits. But Richardson is already paying the price of having to do it all.
Gardner Minshew will be taking over, which is pretty lucky for the Colts because, as a former starter, Minshew is one of the best backups in the league. Still, the Colts face an uphill battle against a stout Ravens defense and tough offense. However, the loss of Odell, among others, leaves the door cracked for the Colts. Will the Colts pull off a shocking upset, or Will the Ravens keep cruising through the competition?
12. Panthers vs. Seahawks
Dalton, Take the Wheel
The Seahawks have had a very shaky season so far. They lost to a Rams team they were supposed to have surpassed, and they only beat the Lions by the grace of the officials closing their eyes on a blatant holding call. Now they face the Panthers, their easiest competition yet.
Also, Bryce Young has already fallen to injury with the Panthers, and he's not playing in week three. However, the Seahawks shouldn't get too comfortable because, with Dalton at the helm, the Panthers get better. Dalton doesn't have the crazy upside of Bryce Young, but he does have a much higher floor and veteran experience. The Panthers could squeak out an upset. I'm very interested to see how well the Seahawks play the Panthers. It will be very telling.
11. Texans Vs. Jaguars
Last year, Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars got their first division title and playoff win. They deserve credit for that, but they have far from established themselves as the overwhelming favorite of this division. Last year, the Texans and Colts didn't have a QB, and Ryan T was trash. This year, Stroud and Richardson have entered the chat. Lawrence has already gone to the wire with Richardson, so how will he look against Stroud? Stroud has thrown for a lot of yards, and he hasn't thrown a single interception in the regular season, but he also hasn't won. Will he get his first taste of victory against the Jags, or will Lawrence and the Jags establish dominance over the division early?
10. Cowboys vs. Cardinals
This is a game the Cowboys are supposed to win handily. With the loss of Trevon Diggs to an ACL tear, it will be interesting to see how that affects the defense. Still, the Cowboys should win by a lot.
But the Cardinals have been feisty. Despite being projected to be the worst team in the NFL, they certainly don't look like the worst 0-2 team. The Cardinals are playing with house money anyway because nobody expects anything from them, and even if they lose every game, it creates a better tomorrow for the franchise. So they don't have to win to have a good game. They just have to embarrass the Cowboys by not going down easy and playing them closer than expected, and if they somehow win, that's a bonus.
9. Bills vs. Commanders
Remnants of the Past
The Bills have been on a rollercoaster ride. They forgot the Jets had an awesome defense, leading to them only scoring 16 points and losing to Zach Wilson's Jets for the second year in a row. Then, when their back was against the wall, and everyone was criticizing them, they lit the Raiders up by playing smart football and capitalizing on the Raider's mistakes. However, the Raiders weren't a team that we expected to be able to compete.
Now the Bills face the Commanders, who have the same offensive coordinator that ended so many of Bill's most promising seasons. Eric B's offense has averaged 27.5 through two weeks and has never scored as low as the Bills did in week one, and the Commanders are undefeated. Plus, unlike the Raiders, the Commander's defense will be a test for the Bills offense. Will Josh be able to avoid costly turnovers, or will the Commanders remain undefeated?
8. Steelers Vs Raiders
These two teams have played erratically so far. The Steelers were blown out in week one, but then they had a dominant defensive performance in week two. The Raiders played well and upset the Broncos in week one and then completely fell apart and got their boots smoked in week two. In week three, we get a step closer to seeing which side of those coins these teams fall on. Are these teams middle of the pack, or is one a bottom-of-the-league team?
Also, there's another piece to this. When Jimmy G was in turmoil in San Francisco, the Steelers could have been his new team, but they passed on him. Now they have Kenny Pickett, and Matt Canada is making it difficult to tell whether Pickett is a franchise QB or not. Will Jimmy ride in with the rival silver and black and stick it to the Steelers, or will the Steelers show Jimmy and the world they made the right move?
7. Rams vs Bengals
I'll bet this isn't what schedule makers had in mind when they made this match-up. Kupp is out, and Burrow is a ghost of his former self. Oddly, despite the Bengals remaining intact for the most part and the Rams falling apart, it's the Rams who look most likely to win. Mcvay is showing the NFL the edge you get from having an elite coach. Will this be the game the Bengals put themselves back together, or will the Rams rip them apart once again?
6. Falcons vs. Lions
Falcons and Lions are not so different. Both have been losers for decades, with few exceptions. Both are the resident fun teams to watch in the division. Didn't matter if you rooted for them or if they were even good; these two teams always put on a show. But now, these two teams are actually supposed to be good. So, who's taken the bigger leap? Who's ready to leave their lovable loser days behind them?
5. Bears vs. Chiefs
For the Chiefs, the season hasn't gotten off to the best start, but as the Chiefs, they have still been able to win. So far, Pacheco and Toney will be banged up on Sunday. The Chiefs offense hasn't looked the same all season, and Kelce isn't fully healthy yet. Nagy, the new offensive coordinator, and Mahomes would love to kick Chicago while they are down. Nagy wants revenge for the Bears firing him, and Mahomes holds a grudge because the Bears told him they would draft him and then chose Mitch instead.
The Bears need this win badly. Everything in Chicago is in question. Fans are questioning If Chicago missed on the QB, offensive Coordinator, and coach. If the Bears beat the Chiefs, all will be forgiven. In one game, the Bears will right all their wrongs.
Justin Fields has recently called out the coaching staff for trying to make him into something he's not. I think any objective person can look at the Bears and recognize that they aren't leaning into Field's strengths. If the Bears flip that switch like they did last year, then they can put up a lot of points against the Chiefs. Unfortunately, the Chief's defense has been the strength of their team, and the Bear's defense has been average, so if it comes down to it in a close game, the Chiefs have the edge.
4. Bucs Vs Eagles
The last game that the Eagles played against the Bucs was a playoff game that they lost. That game was often antidotally used to show that Jalen Hurts wasn't a franchise QB. However, if you watched closely, you saw Hurts find his footing and put together some offense that made the final score look more respectable. Also, using context, you should have appreciated that Hurts was, even in that game. He was a first-year starter on a meh team.
Plus, The Bucs were the defending Super Bowl champions and came within one play of going back. Now, if you realized all of that, then you weren't surprised when the Eagles added pieces and became the second-best team in the NFL. Now they are coming off a conference title, and they get to face a Bucs team with a new face at QB. It's a Bucs team that is undefeated, by the way. Will Jalen and the Eagles be able to get them this time?
3. Jets Vs. Patriots
Do you think you Let the Team Down?
Wow, the NFL is funny, isn't it? Last year, after a heartbreaking loss against the Patriots, Zach lost his job for saying he didn't think he let the team down. Now, after the Jets tried to replace Zach with Rodgers, and that blew up, here they are back to the Patriots with Zach Wilson.
This game is important for so many reasons. One, it's divisional, so losing is like losing a game and a half. Second, Zach and Mac are from the same draft class, so there's always that rivalry over who should have gone where. Plus, Mac played like crap last year too. He just didn't have to deal with the New York media after.
Lastly, the Jets never beat the Patriots. As last year showed, it doesn't matter how bad the Patriots are; the odds are they can beat the Jets. Well, if Zach can avenge himself and beat the Patriots, he might be able to inspire some confidence in his play and push down replacement talks another week. Mac, on the other hand, is winless despite playing much better offensively. If he takes an L to the Jets and goes 0-3, all hell will break loose in the Patriots organization.
2. Titans vs.Browns
Don't Think I Forgot
We may not be getting the epic battle of Running backs we were slated to get, but that's okay. The Titans are building momentum as a frisky team. The Browns just showed that they could easily lose to a team like the Titans.
However, now that Chubb is gone and Watson has looked so uncomfortable, you would hope the Browns coaching staff would lean more into Watson's strengths instead of focusing on Stefanski's. Chubb's exit allows the Browns to open up the pass game and reevaluate the scheme. Plus, Watson has a lot of experience playing the Titans. Maybe he could use that to gain an edge. Will Watson silence the critics, or will The Titans amplify the noise?
1. Vikings vs Chargers
Someone's Got to Win
Both teams are 0-2 and trying to avoid remaining winless, but there's a deeper story. Many people will die on the hill that Herbert is top ten because he's talented and fun to watch, and he puts up numbers. To that, I say, what makes him better than Kirk Cousins?
Think about it. Kirk has put up numbers his entire career. In fact, he has supported the number-one receiver in the league. He's won playoff games as well. Last year, Herbert and Cousins were both eliminated in the wildcard to teams they should have beaten. The difference is that Cousins didn't blow a huge lead from his defense and led his team to a better regular season record.
The way I see it, you need to actually accomplish things to be in the top ten. Brady isn't the goat cause he's just so talented. It's because of how he produced. Justin Herbert has top-ten talent, but he's not a top-ten qb until he proves it by earning his stripes in the league. I'm personally very interested to see how he stacks up to Kirk Cousins head-to-head. They are more similar than people want to admit right now.