Week 3 of the NFL schedule brings on many interesting matchups across the league & this is the week where we will begin to see who could be a pretender or a possible contender down the line. Solid division matchups taking place & matchups that will begin to shape up the landscape of the NFL season.
Here are the top games this week.
Dallas Cowboys @ St. Louis Rams – 1:00 p.m. FOX
The Cowboys will be going up against another tough, physical team in the Rams – who are stocking up through the upcoming NFL Draft in picks & has a strong defense led by Chris Long & James Laurinatis. Rams coach Jeff Fisher has installed his strong defensive philosophy on the team, similar to the style that he employed when he spent so many years with the Tennessee Titans.
The Cowboys will be challenged by the Rams Front 7 but the secondary matchup between CB Janoris Jenkins & Cowboys WR Dez Bryant will be a must watch.
The Cowboys will have had 2 tough games against strong defensive units in San Francisco & Tennessee before they get to the Rams, who even though their defense is as close to elite as it can be, is still the 3rd best defensive unit in their own division behind the Seattle Seahawks & 49ers.
The Rams will be looking to prove that their offense can be more than QB Sam Bradford & second-year WR Tavon Austin from West Virginia. By this point, the Rams will have a good idea of their true playmakers for the upcoming season & this could be one of the better games in Week 3.
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions – 1:00 p.m. FOX
This is going to be the first test for the Lions in that the Packers are the one team in the division that can match them at basically every skill position & last year, the Packers got destroyed by the Lions on Thanksgiving.
In the NFL Draft, a glaring need for the Lions is in the secondary, especially with Louis Delmas gone. The Packers will test that secondary early & often to see if there has been some true improvement over last season.
On the flip side, the Lions will be able to do the same. Matthew Stafford will be able to go down the field early & often against a Packers secondary that was unquestionably the weak link of the team & cost them in the NFC Wildcard Playoff.
Of course, the Packers will need to stop the best receiver in the league, quite possibly one of the best in the history of the NFL, Calvin Johnson. Johnson can catch the ball in triple team coverage, can beat any player one on one & can be even more dangerous now with Golden Tate as the #2 receiver.
Oakland Raiders @ New England Patriots – 1:00 p.m. CBS
The Raiders have gone through many changes this offseason, starting with signing QB Matt Schaub who will replace Terrelle Pryor, who was traded to the Seahawks. The team also improved their defense by signing Justin Tuck as well as Lamarr Woodley, two guys who are known as impact players but also can be leaders in the lockerroom who can possibly help to change the culture in Oakland.
Going into Foxboro & taking on the New England Patriots (we already know the main parts that they bring to the table) will be a huge litmus test on if the Raiders have turned the corner to become a legit contender in the AFC.
Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks – 4:25 – CBS
This game is of course the rematch from Superbowl 48, where the Seahawks beat the holy hell out of the Broncos in every stretch of the imagination.
If Manning & the Broncos had a hard time communicating there, being in Seattle will be absolutely brutal as basically no one can be successful in Seattle with the noise level in the stadium. The defense pretty much returns in tact for the Seahawks, which is pretty much a nightmare for the Broncos.
The Broncos have upgraded their team big time with the additions of Talib & Ware on the defensive side of the football, which should help to slow down the Seahawks, who did not improve much on the offensive side of the ball by losing their best receiver, Golden Tate, to the Detroit Lions.