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Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

The Week 3 NFL schedule for the 2021 season is stacked with great matchups, and we have you covered with what you need to know heading into the weekend. Our NFL Nation reporters bring us the biggest keys to every game, a bold prediction for each matchup and, of course, final score picks.

Additionally, ESPN Stats & Information provides a big stat to know for each contest, and our Football Power Index (FPI) goes inside the numbers with a matchup rating (on a scale of 1 to 100) and a game projection. ESPN researcher Kyle Soppe hands out helpful fantasy football and betting nuggets as well. Everything you want to know is here in one spot to help you get ready for a loaded weekend of NFL football.

Let’s get into the full Week 3 slate, including a huge AFC West showdown between Justin Herbert and Patrick Mahomes — both coming off losses — a meeting of No. 1 overall picks in Jacksonville, Tom Brady vs. Matthew Stafford in Los Angeles and a potential offensive explosion on Sunday night between the Packers and 49ers. It all culminates with a Monday Night Football matchup between the Eagles and the Cowboys on ESPN. (Game times are Sunday unless otherwise noted.)

Jump to a matchup:
LAC-KC | NO-NE | WSH-BUF
CHI-CLE | BAL-DET | CIN-PIT
IND-TEN | ARI-JAX | ATL-NYG
MIA-LV | NYJ-DEN | TB-LAR
SEA-MIN | GB-SF | PHI-DAL

Thursday: CAR 24, HOU 9

Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
67.6 | Spread: KC -6.5 (54.5)

What to watch for: Chargers QB Justin Herbert carved up the Chiefs twice last season, throwing for more than 300 yards in each game and combining for four touchdown passes with one interception. He might find the going even easier this time around against a Chiefs defense that is allowing opponents to complete 72% of their passes and is winning in the pass rush at a league-low rate of 26.2%. The Chiefs need a big game from pass-rushers Chris Jones and Frank Clark, or it could be a long day. — Adam Teicher

Bold prediction: Herbert will bounce back in a big way with more than 350 passing yards and multiple touchdowns — and a win. He had an off game last week against Dallas, throwing only one touchdown pass with two interceptions. But if last season’s games against the Chiefs are any indication of what is to come, this bold prediction is a safe bet. — Shelley Smith

Stat to know: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes boasts a 16-2 record as a starter in division games over his NFL career, with 35 TD passes to just eight interceptions in those games. Since Total QBR was first tracked in 2006, Mahomes is one of three QBs with a 70-plus career QBR in division play, ahead of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady (minimum 15 starts).

Injuries: Chargers | Chiefs

What to know for fantasy: Two of L.A. receiver Mike Williams‘ top four career fantasy games have come in Kansas City — including 22.8 points in Week 17 of last season. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: The over has cashed in each of the past three games these two teams have played at Arrowhead Stadium, with the Chargers covering the number twice. Read more.

Smith’s pick: Chargers 31, Chiefs 27
Teicher’s pick: Chiefs 34, Chargers 31
FPI prediction: KC, 72.5% (by an average of 8.5 points)

Matchup must-reads: Chargers need to clean up penalties, turnovers to compete with Chiefs, AFC’s bestMahomes says more to incident than shown in video of brother pouring water on fanChiefs don’t have a championship defense right nowBehind Hill, Chiefs continue a wide receiver by committee approach


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

1 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating:
65.5 | Spread: NE -3 (42)

What to watch for: The Patriots’ run defense has been shaky — the Jets totaled 152 yards on 31 carries with a 4.9-yard average — and the Saints want to get running back Alvin Kamara going after eight carries for 5 yards vs. the Panthers in Week 2. So this is the matchup within the matchup. “If you were trying to build a perfect back, he essentially gives you everything you need,” Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower said of Kamara. — Mike Reiss

Bold prediction: Saints QB Jameis Winston will be held under 230 passing yards for the third straight week. It won’t be as ugly as last week at Carolina, when the Saints’ entire offense was held to just 128 yards and six first downs because of protection issues. But it will be hard to have a “get right” game against the Patriots’ stingy defense, which ranks top five in the NFL through two weeks in points allowed (11.5 per game) and yards allowed (297.5 per game). — Mike Triplett

Stat to know: The Saints’ 128 yards in Week 2 were the fewest in a game under coach Sean Payton since 2006. They have never had fewer than 250 yards in multiple games in a season under Payton.

Injuries: Saints | Patriots

What to know for fantasy: Through two weeks, 74 players have more total yards than Kamara, and 136 have more targets than receiver Marquez Callaway. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: Unders are 6-3 in the nine instances New England has been favored since Tom Brady took his talents to Tampa Bay. Read more.

play

1:18

Damien Woody can’t believe Bart Scott is declaring Sunday a must-win scenario for the 1-1 Patriots.

Triplett’s pick: Patriots 23, Saints 20
Reiss’ pick: Patriots 20, Saints 17
FPI prediction: NE, 58.6% (by an average of 3.1 points)

Matchup must-reads: Winston vows he and Saints will be ‘resilient’ after up-and-down startJones, Patriots eye downfield strikes


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

1 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating:
64.2 | Spread: BUF -7.5 (45.5)

What to watch for: The Washington defense came into the season with high expectations but has started the year ranked No. 25 in yards allowed and No. 17 in points allowed. Against a Bills offensive line that is still improving, the defensive front should have an opportunity to take a step forward. With Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen still getting into a rhythm, making his day difficult — as the Steelers did in Week 1 — would go a long way toward a potential upset. If the Bills’ offense has its way, however, Washington could be in for a long day. — Alaina Getzenberg

Bold prediction: Bills receiver Stefon Diggs will surpass 100 yards for the first time this season, as Allen proves accurate enough to hit a big play or two. Diggs had seven 100-yard games last season but has gained just 69 and 60 yards, respectively, in the first two games of this season. In three games vs. Washington, he has surpassed 143 yards twice, albeit against a different group than he’ll face Sunday. But Washington has allowed some big plays and benefitted from near misses. — John Keim

Stat to know: Washington has lost five straight road games at the Bills, and all by double digits. Its last road win at the Bills was in Week 8 of the 1987 season.

Injuries: Washington | Bills

What to know for fantasy: Allen has been held under 18 fantasy points in both games this season, a total he eclipsed in each of his final five games of last season. On Sunday, he takes on the fifth-best defense in terms of defending fantasy quarterbacks since the beginning of last season. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: Washington has won three of its past five as an underdog outright, and it went 4-1 against the spread (ATS) in those games. Read more.

Keim’s pick: Bills 23, Washington 16
Getzenberg’s pick: Bills 24, Washington 10
FPI prediction: BUF, 71.0% (by an average of 7.9 points)

Matchup must-reads: Washington must fix defense as QB gauntlet awaitsHow Bills’ Moss made the most of second chances vs. DolphinsHeinicke’s composure reminds teammate of Seattle’s WilsonBuffalo-Washington matchup will have a decidedly Carolina feel


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

1 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating:
50.1 | Spread: CLE -7 (45.5)

What to watch for: How will Bears rookie QB Justin Fields perform in his first career start? Chicago’s future at quarterback has arrived, as the former Ohio State star returns to the Buckeye State. He is the Bears’ 36th different starting quarterback since 1989 — the second most in the NFL over that span behind the Browns (37). — Jake Trotter

Bold prediction: Fields will rush for two touchdowns. He is still a work-in-progress in the passing game, but there is no denying his ability to run with the football. Don’t be surprised if Fields also finishes with close to 100 rushing yards in his NFL regular-season starting debut. — Jeff Dickerson

Stat to know: Browns QB Baker Mayfield has a 81.6% completion percentage this season, the highest in NFL. The best completion percentage by a Browns quarterback through the team’s first three games is 75.8% by Milt Plum in 1960 (minimum 20 pass attempts).

play

1:30

Stephen A. Smith explains why he’s concerned about Justin Fields getting his first start for the Bears against the Browns.

Injuries: Bears | Browns

What to know for fantasy: Chicago running back David Montgomery has posted more than 18.5 fantasy points in a road game five times during his career, and four have come in his past four opportunities. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: They rarely play the AFC North, but after covering last week against the Bengals, the Bears are 7-0-2 ATS against the division over the past decade. And they have covered each of their past three games against Cleveland. Read more.

Dickerson’s pick: Browns 24, Bears 21
Trotter’s pick: Browns 27, Bears 23
FPI prediction: CLE, 70.3% (by an average of 7.6 points)

Matchup must-reads: Fields to get first startOBJ closer to return but taking it ‘day by day’Now that Fields is starting, there’s no turning backLandry to IR, out at least three days


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
43.1 | Spread: BAL -8 (50)

What to watch for: Can the Lions fix their mistakes and put together a complete game? Against San Francisco in Week 1, they started poor before ending strong. Then against Green Bay in Week 2, they got off to a hot start and folded late. This weekend, they’re up against one of the league’s most dynamic stars in Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. The Lions are looking to avoid an 0-3 start for first time since 2015, while this Baltimore team enters Ford Field with 41 straight games with 100 rushing yards — the second-longest streak in NFL history. — Eric Woodyard

Bold prediction: The Ravens’ defense will not allow a touchdown after giving up the second-most points in the NFL over the first two weeks. After not blitzing against Kansas City, Baltimore will get back to its aggressive style of defense in Detroit. In their only meeting against Lions QB Jared Goff, the Ravens intercepted him twice and forced him to throw off-target on 22.2% of his passes (Goff was then with the Rams). — Jamison Hensley

Stat to know: Jackson has four straight games with 80 rushing yards — the longest streak of his career.

Injuries: Ravens | Lions

What to know for fantasy: Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson had never had a game with at least eight catches and a touchdown in his NFL career entering this season. However, he is the only player in the NFL who has produced that stat line in both Weeks 1 and 2 this year. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: Goff is 0-3 ATS in his career as a double-digit road underdog, and Baltimore has covered each of its past three games against Detroit. Read more.

Hensley’s pick: Ravens 31, Lions 9
Woodyard’s pick: Ravens 31, Lions 17
FPI prediction: BAL, 71.2% (by an average of 8.0 points)

Matchup must-reads: Letdown after emotional win? Ravens’ Jackson ranks among best at avoiding upsetsLions are looking to trade LB CollinsJackson misses practice Thursday with illness, but source says he’s OK for Sunday


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
42.0 | Spread: PIT -3 (43.5)

What to watch for: Steelers edge rusher T.J. Watt and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are banged up entering Sunday’s AFC North matchup. Roethlisberger, who is 24-8 against the Bengals, might be able to play through the pain of the left pec injury, but if the Steelers’ embattled offensive line can’t withstand a pass rush led by Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson, it could be another long day for the QB. Defensively, the Steelers have a rash of injuries that could make it difficult to defend the deep ball from Bengals signal-caller Joe Burrow — something Pittsburgh didn’t do well in the loss against the Raiders. — Brooke Pryor

Bold prediction: Steelers running back Najee Harris will get 150 scrimmage yards. The Steelers have had fewer than 100 rushing yards in eight straight games, the longest active streak in NFL. But they should be able to get favorable matchups for Harris in the middle of the field against Cincinnati. — Ben Baby

Stat to know: Pittsburgh receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster has gone 23 straight games without reaching 100 receiving yards, the longest streak of his career. On the other sideline, Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase has the chance to become the second player in NFL history with a touchdown catch of at least 40 yards in each of his first three career games (Billy Howton in 1952).

play

0:45

Keyshawn Johnson outlines why the Steelers need to be concerned about Ben Roethlisberger’s pectoral injury due to his age and their poor offensive line play.

Injuries: Bengals | Steelers

What to know for fantasy: Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon has touched the ball 51 times in his past three games against the Steelers and hasn’t scored once. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: The Steelers have covered six of their past eight home games against the Bengals. Read more.

Baby’s pick: Steelers 17, Bengals 13
Pryor’s pick: Steelers 23, Bengals 16
FPI prediction: PIT, 62.9% (by an average of 4.7 points)

Matchup must-reads: Bengals loss to Bears raises questions about TaylorRoethlisberger to do ‘everything he can’ to play vs. Bengals


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

1 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
41.3 | Spread: TEN -5 (48)

What to watch for: The Titans’ banged-up offensive line is facing a Colts run defense that is allowing an uncharacteristic 120 yards per game on the ground. Over the past three seasons, the Colts’ run defense allowed 100 or more rushing yards only three times. Regardless of who is blocking, expect the Titans to give running back Derrick Henry the ball early and often. Henry picked up 100 or more yards in each of his past three games facing the Colts. — Turron Davenport

Bold prediction: Titans receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones will each have 100 yards, and Henry will have at least 100 yards on the ground. The Colts’ defense, as linebacker Darius Leonard said, has struggled putting together four quarters of consistent play for a season and a half. Leonard and Co. will struggle stopping the run and defending the pass with Brown and Jones lined up on the outside and Henry taking the handoffs. In the opening weeks, the Seahawks’ Tyler Lockett and the Rams’ Cooper Kupp each had 100 yards receiving against the Colts. — Mike Wells

Stat to know: Tennessee’s Jones has 59 career games with 100 receiving yards, tied with Marvin Harrison for the third most in NFL history (behind Jerry Rice with 76 and Randy Moss with 64).

Injuries: Colts | Titans

What to know for fantasy: The Colts saw a receiver score over 17 fantasy points in both meetings with the Titans last season. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: The Colts are 8-1 outright (7-2 ATS) in their past nine trips to Tennessee. Read more.

Wells’ pick: Titans 30, Colts 13
Davenport’s pick: Titans 28, Colts 17
FPI prediction: TEN, 58.5% (by an average of 3.1 points)

Matchup must-reads: At 0-2, Colts need Wentz to protect himself from himselfTannehill and Jones’ chemistry heats up in Week 2 for TitansWith Wentz injured, fair to question Colts’ QB depthTitans RB Henry looks to keep 100-yard streak alive against Colts


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

1 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating:
35.0 | Spread: ARI -7.5 (51.5)

What to watch for: This is not a good matchup for the Jaguars. They’ve given up 619 yards and four passing touchdowns, and they haven’t created a turnover in their two losses. The quarterbacks they have faced? Tyrod Taylor and Teddy Bridgewater. Solid players but not upper echelon QBs. Now comes Arizona’s Kyler Murray, who has thrown for 689 yards and seven touchdowns (with three interceptions) in victories over Tennessee and Minnesota. — Mike DiRocco

Bold prediction: Murray will throw for 450 yards and three touchdowns while running for another 100 yards and a touchdown. He is seeking to become the first Cardinals player with back-to-back 400-yard passing games and can tie Carson Palmer (three) for the most 400-yard passing games in franchise history. — Josh Weinfuss

Stat to know: The Jaguars have lost 17 straight games. With a loss, they would tie the 1972-73 Houston Oilers for the fifth-longest losing streak in NFL history.

play

1:04

Field Yates makes a case for why Rondale Moore is worth having on your fantasy team.

Injuries: Cardinals | Jaguars

What to know for fantasy: Receiver Marvin Jones Jr. is the only Jaguar with a red zone or end zone target through two weeks. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: Arizona has covered each of its past three games against Jacksonville, and the Jags have failed to cover each of their past three games as a home underdog. Read more.

Weinfuss’ pick: Cardinals 41, Jaguars 20
DiRocco’s pick: Arizona 33, Jaguars 17
FPI prediction: ARI, 65.4% (by an average of 5.6 points)

Matchup must-reads: What Cardinals’ Murray, Jaguars’ Lawrence could have made in NIL dollarsMeyer ‘concerned’ that kicker Lambo is no longer Lambomatic for Jaguars … ‘Frustrated’ Cardinals QB Murray has higher expectations than 2-0


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

1 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating:
25.1 | Spread: NYG -3 (47.5)

What to watch for: It’s a battle of 0-2 teams, and it’s getting late early for these two teams. Who at least wants to pretend they are going to be a playoff contender this season? Neither team can afford to lose this one. Atlanta is seeking to avoid eight straight losses for the first time since 1996, while New York is attempting to prevent consecutive 0-3 starts for the second time in franchise history (1995-96). It’s one of those games. — Jordan Raanan

Bold prediction: Giants running back Saquon Barkley will return to form with 150 yards rushing and a couple of touchdowns. The Falcons have the sixth-worst run defense in the league (4.9 yards per carry) and have yet to face a top-flight running back. For a while, Barkley was considered that. Coming off an injury last season and having 10 days of rest, this might be the healthiest Barkley has been in a while. — Michael Rothstein

Stat to know: Receiver Sterling Shepard has at least seven receptions for 70 yards in four straight games, the second longest such streak by a Giants player since 1950 (Odell Beckham Jr. had six straight in 2014).

Injuries: Falcons | Giants

What to know for fantasy: Atlanta running back Cordarrelle Patterson had nine touches to Mike Davis‘ 18 in Week 1, but Patterson greatly narrowed the gap in Week 2 (12 to 16). See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: Over tickets have cashed in five of Atlanta’s past seven games played in September — and hit last week before the fourth quarter even kicked off. Read more.

Rothstein’s pick: Giants 27, Falcons 24
Raanan’s pick: Giants 31, Falcons 13
FPI prediction: NYG, 63.2% (by an average of 4.8 points)

Matchup must-reads: Understanding the growth of Pitts through Atlanta’s first two gamesGiants’ Golladay says outburst was directed at Garrett, not JonesToney’s Giants career begins with a lot of noise, little production


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
43.2 | Spread: LV -4 (44)

What to watch for: The Raiders’ suddenly fierce pass rush faces a leaky Dolphins offensive line and backup QB Jacoby Brissett. Brissett is not only 11-19 and among the worst in QBR (47.3) and yards per attempt (6.5) over the past five seasons, but he is also the only QB in the league with at least 25 starts to complete less than 60% of his passes. Plus, he has been pressured on 34% of his dropbacks since 2017. Enter Raiders edge rushers Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue, who had 11 combined pressures last week at Pittsburgh and each forced a fumble. — Paul Gutierrez

Bold prediction: Raiders QB Derek Carr will have fewer than 300 passing yards. He leads the league in passing yards through two games (817), but Miami’s defense has the talent to match up with Las Vegas’ playmakers and will limit Carr on Sunday. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Stat to know: Las Vegas leads the NFL with a 38.4% run stop win rate this season, while Miami’s run block win rate ranks sixth.

play

1:54

Keyshawn Johnson explains to Stephen A. Smith why he’d prefer to play with Derek Carr over Russell Wilson or Kyler Murray.

Injuries: Dolphins | Raiders

What to know for fantasy: Carr is QB8 through two weeks and leads the NFL in passing by 128 yards. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: The under has hit just once in Vegas since the Raiders relocated (Week 10 last season vs. Denver). Read more.

Louis-Jacques’ pick: Raiders 21, Dolphins 13
Gutierrez’s pick: Raiders 27, Dolphins 16
FPI prediction: LV, 62.4% (by an average of 4.5 points)

Matchup must-reads: Tagovailoa ‘week-to-week’ with fractured ribsIs it time to go all-in on the Raiders?Is Raiders’ reimagined defense real, or a mirage?Carr overcomes ankle scare to continue Raiders’ historic early-season groove


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

4:05 p.m. ET | CBS
Matchup rating:
40.8 | Spread: DEN -10.5 (41.5)

What to watch for: How will Jets rookie quarterback Zach Wilson navigate Vic Fangio’s defensive scheme? With upgrades to the Broncos’ secondary, head coach Fangio has deployed a bigger variety of coverages than the team did in the previous two seasons. Outside linebacker Von Miller has also come out of the gate strong with three sacks and five tackles for loss. Wilson, meanwhile, is tied for the league lead in interceptions with five and has been sacked more than any other quarterback (10). — Jeff Legwold

Bold prediction: Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater will continue his hot start and throw for 300 yards and two touchdowns. The Jets’ defense has played surprisingly well in some areas, but it is still giving up too many explosive plays, having allowed 10 completions of 15 yards or more. Bridgewater will dissect their young pass defense. — Rich Cimini

Stat to know: Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton is averaging 20.1 air yards per target (second in the NFL). He averaged 12.6 over his career entering 2021 season.

Injuries: Jets | Broncos

What to know for fantasy: Three quarterbacks have completed 70% of their passes and scored 20 fantasy points in both weeks this season: Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson and Bridgewater. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: New York has covered just one game in September since 2019 (1-7 ATS over that span). And overall since the start of last season, it is 6-12 ATS, the worst cover percentage in the NFL. Read more.

Cimini’s pick: Broncos 31, Jets 14
Legwold’s pick: Broncos 30, Jets 12
FPI prediction: DEN, 76.8% (by an average of 10.4 points)

Matchup must-reads: Franklin-Myers’ path: 0-30 in HS, Super Bowl sack, reboot with JetsBroncos LB Chubb set for ankle surgeryDoes Wilson’s four-INT game rank among Jets’ all-time QB clunkers?Left or right side, Broncos’ Miller wants to play where there’s actionBroncos’ Fangio, Jets’ Saleh in the minority as coaches with defensive backgrounds


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

4:25 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating:
82.2 | Spread: TB -1 (55.5)

What to watch for:The undefeated Rams have Super Bowl aspirations, which means a Week 3 matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion Bucs can provide a barometer of how they measure up. Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is off to hot start with nine passing touchdowns, and Rams QB Matthew Stafford has quickly settled into L.A. after 12 seasons in Detroit, providing an expected spark in the offense. His 599 passing yards are the second most through two games by a Rams QB over past 20 seasons (Sam Bradford had 651 in 2013). This matchup could be a preview of the NFC championship game. — Lindsey Thiry

Bold prediction: Buccaneers defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will close out the game by forcing a Stafford turnover and returning it for a touchdown. The last time the Bucs played the Rams in L.A. in 2019, Suh closed it out with a 37-yard fumble return for a touchdown. He’ll relish the chance to do it again in L.A. and against his former Lions QB. — Jenna Laine

Stat to know: Rams receiver Cooper Kupp can become the fourth player in the Super Bowl era with 100 receiving yards and a TD reception in each of the first three games in a season (Randy Moss in 2007, Marvin Harrison in 1999, Jerry Rice in 1989 and Dwight Clark in 1982).

play

1:42

Field Yates and Daniel Dopp detail how even though the Rams are a tough matchup for Tom Brady, they will still start him.

Injuries: Buccaneers | Rams

What to know for fantasy: Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans has scored over 29.5 points 12 times in his NFL career, and nine of them have come on the road. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: Tampa Bay has covered eight of its past 11 games, dating back to last season (including the playoffs). But Los Angeles has covered seven of its past eight meetings with the Bucs. Read more.

Laine’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Rams 28
Thiry’s pick: Rams 28, Buccaneers 26
FPI prediction: LAR, 55.3% (by an average of 2.0 points)

Matchup must-reads: Bucs safety Edwards makes most of opportunity with pair of pick-sixes‘They’re not all going to be pretty’: Stafford delivers first fourth-quarter game-winner for Rams


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

4:25 p.m. ET | FOX
Matchup rating:
63.8 | Spread: SEA -1 (55.5)

What to watch for: The Seahawks and Vikings might as well be in the same division, considering this is the fourth meeting between the two teams in the regular season since 2018. Seattle QB Russell Wilson has a 7-0 record against Minnesota, tied for second best by any active QB against any one opponent. The winless Vikings are at a critical juncture as they begin a stretch that could decide the direction of the season. Fortunately for Minnesota, these next two are at home, the first time in 636 days that fans will pack into U.S. Bank Stadium. — Courtney Cronin

Bold prediction: Either Adam Thielen or Justin Jefferson will top 100 yards receiving for the Vikings. It’s another bad matchup for the Seahawks’ defense. Seattle cornerback Tre Flowers had his issues in coverage last week, getting beat deep by both Julio Jones and A.J. Brown. If he fails to stay on top again Sunday, here’s a bonus prediction: You’ll see Sidney Jones IV come off the bench to replace him. — Brady Henderson

Stat to know: Minnesota QB Kirk Cousins has four straight games with multiple pass touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s the longest streak in franchise history and the longest active streak in NFL. But the Vikings are just 1-3 in those games.

Injuries: Seahawks | Vikings

What to know for fantasy: Since the beginning of last season, Seattle receiver Tyler Lockett averages 34% more fantasy points per game than DK Metcalf in road games and is responsible for three of this duo’s four 25-plus point efforts over that sample. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: The Seahawks covered easily in Week 1 at Indianapolis, a positive sign after covering just twice away from home last season (their first time failing to cover three road games in a season since 2010). Read more.

Henderson’s pick: Seahawks 23, Vikings 21
Cronin’s pick: Vikings 28, Seahawks 27
FPI prediction: SEA, 50.1% (by an average of 0.1 points)

Matchup must-reads: Jones? Sherman? Where Seahawks could turn for spark at cornerbackVikings, feeling ‘it’s time to get some wins,’ will play Cook despite ankle sprainSeahawks’ uncharacteristic collapse lessens margin for error in tough NFC WestZimmer defends Joseph as kicking woes continue to haunt Vikings


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

8:20 p.m. ET | NBC
Matchup rating:
63.1 | Spread: SF -3.5 (50)

What to watch for: Can the 49ers’ pass rush do enough to help their cornerbacks in a difficult matchup? The Niners are thin at corner after losing Jason Verrett for the season, and the Packers bring the stiffest test yet with QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Davante Adams and Co. coming to town. The best coverage for San Francisco might actually be a dominant pass rush, which seems possible given the Niners are fifth in the league in pass rush wins and Green Bay has allowed five sacks through the first two games and is still without star left tackle David Bakhtiari. — Nick Wagoner

Bold prediction: Brandon Aiyuk will finally have a big day. Don’t be surprised to see him catch at least five passes for 70 yards and a score. It’s almost unfathomable that the 49ers’ dynamic second-year receiver has only one catch for six yards so far this season. But the Packers can’t get a pass rush (one sack through two games) and have been prone to breakdowns in coverage. That’s a good combination for opposing receivers. Green Bay is still moving players around in the secondary, and with receiver Deebo Samuel to worry about, Aiyuk is bound to find holes in their secondary. — Rob Demovsky

Stat to know: Samuel has 282 receiving yards this season, the most by a 49ers player through two games in a season since Jerry Rice in 1989 (285).

play

1:54

Stephen A. Smith breaks down why his concern lies with the Packers’ defense rather than the Aaron Rodgers-led offense.

Injuries: Packers | 49ers

What to know for fantasy: Rodgers has scored over 22 fantasy points in five of his seven career games against the Niners. See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: The Packers have covered four of their past five games in the week after a Monday night game, but unders are 3-2 in those games. Read more.

Demovsky’s pick: 49ers 29, Packers 22
Wagoner’s pick: 49ers 34, Packers 24
FPI prediction: SF, 61.4% (by an average of 4.2 points)

Matchup must-reads: Bad blood? Packers’ LaFleur says no even after 49ers’ run at RodgersLegacy of pressure: Playing quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers49ers prove they can win in vastly different ways


Guide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, moreGuide to every Week 3 NFL game: Picks, matchup nuggets, more

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET | ESPN
Matchup rating:
53.0 | Spread: DAL -4 (52)

What to watch for: Can the Cowboys continue to make the explosive play on offense? Through two games, the Cowboys have 35 plays of 10 or more yards, the third most in the NFL. But the Eagles’ defense has not allowed many big plays in its first two games, with just 19 against going for 10 yards or more, which is the third fewest. It’s also worth noting that Cowboys QB Dak Prescott has seven interceptions in eight games against the Eagles, his most against any opponent. — Todd Archer

Bold prediction: Dallas running back Tony Pollard will have more than 150 total yards. That’s well within the realm of possibility after he rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown with 31 receiving yards last week against the Chargers. The Eagles’ zone-based scheme forces the opponent to methodically work its way down the field. There are yards to be had in the run game and underneath in the pass game, and Pollard will take advantage. — Tim McManus

Stat to know: Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has 416 rushing yards in six career starts, the third most by a QB through six career starts since 1950 (Lamar Jackson had 466, and Tim Tebow had 439).

Injuries: Eagles | Cowboys

What to know for fantasy: Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott had just two more touches than Pollard last week (18 to 16). See Week 3 rankings.

Betting nugget: The home team has covered each of the past five matchups in this series. The last road cover came by the Cowboys in Week 10 of 2018. Read more.

McManus’ pick: Cowboys 28, Eagles 26
Archer’s pick: Cowboys 31, Eagles 23
FPI prediction: DAL, 67.1% (by an average of 6.3 points)

Matchup must-reads: Cowboys’ Prescott and Eagles’ Hurts bring top-notch intangibles to QB duelCowboys overcome difficult week to build confidence for season aheadWhich Eagles need to step up in Graham’s absence? Start with Cox

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