NFL WEEK 3 GAME PRE­VIEWS

USA TODAY US Edition - - SPORTS -

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⁄

2

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⁄

2

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 1/2

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⁄

2

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⁄

2

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⁄

2

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⁄

2

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⁄

2

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

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