The two big games in week 3 of the 2016 NFL season are the Thursday Night game between the New England Patriots (playing with their 3rd string quarterback) and the visiting Houston Texans, both undefeated, and the late afternoon Pennsylvania derby between two more undefeated teams, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers, in Carson Wentz’ biggest test so far. The Cleveland Browns playing the Miami Dolphins is the clash of the win-less teams, something the Dolphins can’t afford to lose.
So what’s on my mind heading into week 3?
- It’ll be scary to think how good the New England Patriots can be once Tom Brady comes back if they’re able to dominate against the Houston Texans with their third-string QB
- The Buffalo Bills might usher in the post-Rex Ryan era if the Arizona Cardinals do to them what the Jets did to that defense a week before
- As the Titans host the Raiders in a clash of 1-1 teams, it’s an opportunity for Marcus Mariota to show some consistency and greatness against an awful defense
- The Browns and Dolphins are playing a battle of winless teams. If Ryan Tannehill can’t dominate this encounter, than maybe it’s time to think about a new quarterback
- The Jacksonville Jaguars are winless, and need to get their running game going. Too bad the Baltimore Ravens are probably the worst team to face in this kind of situation
- The Detroit Lions gave Aaron Rodgers plenty of problems last season. Coming off a bad game against the Vikings, the two-time MVP needs a big afternoon to spread some much needed confidence
- A big test for Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals as the Denver Broncos come to town. The Broncos defense could struggle to be as dominant as usual with DeMarcus Ware
- As the Carolina Panthers host the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings, one has to wonder if Adrian Peterson not playing might actually be good for the Vikings
- The scary thing about the 2-0 New York Giants so far this season is that their offense hasn’t been able to really click yet. Against the troubled Washington Redskins, it might just happen
- If Jameis Winston’s career has taught us anything, is that he usually follows up disastrous performances with a good one, which could mean trouble for the no-touchdown Los Angeles Rams
- With Russell Wilson playing injured, the San Francisco 49ers have a chance to end their 5-game losing streak to their division rivals
- In the 1-1 derby between the Jets and the Chiefs, it’ll be the amount of mistakes Ryan Fitzpatrick makes (or doesn’t) that determines who wins the game
- If the Indianapolis Colts can’t finally start their winning this season against the injury-ravaged San Diego Chargers, then Andrew Luck will finally know he needs a new front office to help build a decent team around him
- The Steelers vs Eagles rivalry has two undefeated teams on both sides. If Carson Wentz plays well in this one, we’ll know the kid is 4 real
- The Chicago Bears are going to play without Jay Cutler in Dallas. Considering the Bears injuries, it might be time to see more than just OK from Dak Prescott, who needs to start taking some risks
- It’s hard to make something of where the Falcons and Saints are at right now. But New Orleans going 0-3 to start the season will mean it’s time to panic, if they haven’t already started.