NFL WEEK 3 GAME PREVIEWS
Bears (2-0) at Falcons (0-2)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox Betmgm.com line: Falcons by 3
Bears’ keys: Make the Falcons one-dimensional and tee off on QB Matt Ryan. While Atlanta has improved its ground game, the team will quickly abandon the run if Chicago gets ahead early.
Falcons’ keys: Avoid third-and-long situations. The Falcons have struggled with predictability on offense. RB Todd Gurley looks like a big upgrade over Devonta Freeman, but the offensive identity remains passing to WRs Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
Who wins? Falcons, 27-23
Matt Urben, Falcons Wire
Rams (2-0) at Bills (2-0)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox Betmgm.com line: Bills by 21⁄
Rams’ keys: The likely target for Sean McVay’s play calling will be wherever Buffalo CB Josh Norman was supposed to be. Norman is on the injured reserve list, and WRs Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp will have a big edge on CB Levi Wallace, Norman’s replacement.
Bills’ keys: Kept filtering the offense through QB Josh Allen. The way Allen’s been doing it might also be a perfect match for the Bills against the Rams: short to intermediate routes. Allen has spread the ball around nicely to WRs Stefon Diggs, John Brown and Cole Beasley.
Who wins? Rams, 27-17
Nick Wojton, Bills Wire
Washington (1-1) at Browns (1-1)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox Betmgm.com line: Browns by 7
Washington’s keys: An impressive defensive line will have to play like a great one. Rookie DE Chase Young and veteran Ryan Kerrigan key a fearsome pass rush that needs to keep Browns QB Baker Mayfield uncomfortable.
Browns’ keys: The RB combination of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt has been dynamic. Mayfield has had great pass protection from an overhauled offensive line featuring rookie LT Jedrick Wills. DE Myles Garrett, DT Sheldon Richardson and the defensive line must control the line of scrimmage.
Who wins? Browns, 23-17
Jeff Risdon, Browns Wire
Titans (2-0) at Vikings (0-2)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET., CBS Betmgm.com line: Titans by 21⁄
Titans’ keys: QB Ryan Tannehill played well against the Broncos and Jaguars, but the Vikings are desperate. Tannehill has to get receivers besides Corey Davis involved.
Vikings’ keys: This is a run-heavy team, but QB Kirk Cousins has to outgun Tannehill. Tight ends Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. have been quiet early in the season, but if Cousins could start connecting with them, Minnesota could thrive.
Who wins? Vikings, 20-17
Jack White, Vikings Wire
Raiders (2-0) at Patriots (1-1)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS Betmgm.com line: Patriots by 6
Raiders’ keys: DEs Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby need to play with discipline on the edge. It’s tempting for pass rushers to fire away at the quarterback, but Cam Newton will take advantage of those who overcommit to racking up sacks.
Patriots’ keys: Might be a good opportunity for Newton to air out the ball, with heavy targets for WRs Julian Edelman and N’Keal Harry. New England’s defense would be wise to force QB Derek Carr to make plays, particularly in the red zone, where Vegas has been hugely reliant upon Jacobs.
Who wins? Patriots, 31-27
Henry McKenna, Patriots Wire
49ers (1-1) at Giants (0-2)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Betmgm.com line: 49ers by 4 Giants’ keys: Overcoming the loss of star RB Saquon Barkley for the season to a knee injury. That puts even more pressure on QB Daniel Jones who still has to limit his turnovers. . If 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo plays (ankle sprain), he might not be very mobile.
49ers’ keys: Overcoming the loss of star DE Nick Bosa for the season to a knee injury. On offense, they must focus on exploiting the Giants’ revolving door at CB2, targeting Corey Ballentine, Isaac Yiadom and whomever else New York throws out there.
Who wins? Giants, 27-23
Dan Benton, Giants Wire
Bengals (0-2) at Eagles (0-2)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS Betmgm.com line: Eagles by 41⁄
Bengals’ keys: Keep doing things that make No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow successful. Against Cleveland, Burrow was 37 of 61 for 316 yards and three TDs with no interceptions. Playing behind a shaky offensive line, he will need to get the ball out quickly.
Eagles’ keys: Get RB Miles Sanders going early using the screen and passing game. Pressure Burrow up the middle and have confidence that CBs Darius Slay and Nickell Robey-Coleman can hold up in coverage.
Who wins? Eagles, 28-17
Glenn Erby, Eagles Wire
Texans (0-2) at Steelers (2-0)
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS Betmgm.com line: Steelers by 4
Steelers’ keys: Two things stand out : The defense has been smothering, and the offense has been sporadic. QB Ben Roethlisberger looks to be healthy, but you have to wonder if he’s holding back a little.
Texans’ keys: Get the ground game going. The Texans cannot afford to get one-dimensional and put Deshaun Watson in harm’s way. . On defense, Houston must be ready to chase the Steelers’ wide receivers on short crossing routes all game.
Who wins? Steelers, 28-21
Curt Popejoy, Steelers Wire
Jets (0-2) at Colts (1-1)
Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS Betmgm.com line: Colts by 11
Colts’ keys: Stick to their strengths in a matchup they should win easily. With QB Philip Rivers, Indianapolis shouldn’t deviate from its desire to run the football.
Jets’ keys: Play a near-perfect game. Thirdyear QB Sam Darnold has to remain cool in the pocket. RBs Frank Gore and Kalen Ballage must be efficient to keep the offense from being one-dimensional.
Who wins? Colts, 29-16
Kevin Hickey, Colts Wire
Panthers (0-2) at Chargers (1-1)
Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS Betmgm.com line: Chargers by 61⁄
Panthers’ keys: Overcome loss of RB Christian McCaffrey, expected to miss multiple weeks with a high-ankle sprain. Protecting QB Teddy Bridgewater will be critical.
Chargers’ keys: Control time of possession and take advantage of all the weapons lagainst a young Carolina defense. Protecting QB Justin Herbert is an absolute must.
Who wins? Chargers, 26-13
Gavino Borquez, Chargers Wire
Lions (0-2) at Cardinals (2-0)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox Betmgm.com line: Cardinals by 51⁄ 2
Lions’ keys: Don’t blow early leads as they have in their first two games. They have allowed 46 second-half points in two games. Last year against the Cardinals, they blew an 18-point lead and tied.
Cardinals’ keys: They are 2-0 for the first time since 2015 and have done it with dynamic offense and a surprisingly good defense. QB Kyler Murray has 158 rushing yards and three TDs. WR DeAndre Hopkins has 22 catches. The defense, the worst in the league in 2019, is vastly improved.
Who wins? Cardinals, 34-20
Jess Root, Cards Wire
Buccaneers (1-1) at Broncos (0-2)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox Betmgm.com line: Buccaneers by 61⁄
Broncos’ keys: Play as they normally do against Tom Brady: six picks and 24 sacks in 13 regular-season meetings. The Broncos have rattled Brady with pressure, and they can do so again even with OLB Von Miller sidelined with an ankle injury. .
Buccaneers’ keys: Stack the box and force backup QB Jeff Driskel to beat them with arm. Starter Drew Lock figures to miss a couple of weeks (shoulder). On offense, Brady should test undrafted rookie CB Essang Bassey.
Who wins? Buccaneers, 24-13
Jon Heath, Broncos Wire
Cowboys (1-1) at Seahawks (2-0)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET, Fox Betmgm.com line: Seahawks by 51⁄
Cowboys’ keys: With the Seahawks defensive line a work in progress, QB Dak Prescott, who threw for 450 yards against Atlanta, will want to test Seattle’s pass-rushing abilities but won’t stand a chance unless his offensive line tightens things up.
Seahawks’ keys: Keep letting QB Russell Wilson do what he does. But his big guys up front must rein in their penalty count.
Who wins? Seahawks, 34-27
Liz Mathews, Seahawks Wire
Packers (2-0) at Saints (1-1)
Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC Betmgm.com line: Saints by 3
Packers’ keys: Someone must emerge as a real receiving threat opposite WR Davante Adams. But it’s more likely Green Bay will continue funneling touches to RB Aaron Jones whether as a runner or as a receiver.
Saints’ keys: Focus on limiting Jones, who racked up 131 rushing yards and a score in their last meeting. Taking him out of the game puts pressure on QB Aaron Rodgers.
Who wins? Saints, 24-23
John Sigler, Saints Wire
Chiefs (2-0) at Ravens (2-0)
Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN Betmgm.com line: Ravens by 31⁄
Chiefs’ keys: The few times Baltimore QB Lamar Jackson looked panicked last season was playing catch-up. Kansas City has to start hot and avoid turnovers to put the pressure on Baltimore’s offense.
Ravens’ keys: Do not settle for field goals. Defensively, stop RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire and hit QB Patrick Mahomes often.
Who wins? Ravens, 33-30
Matthew Stevens, Ravens Wire