Rumors are circulating that Adam Gase could be fired if the New York Jets lose to the Denver Broncos and fall to 0-4 on Thursday Night Football. As a result, fans of the Jets en masse will be rooting for the Broncos. Which means the Jets will win the game for sure. The Broncos are turning to third-straight quarterback Brett Rypien after Jeff Driskel was awful last week against the Buccaneers. The Jets are a mess and worse on many levels, but the Broncos injuries and lack of a capable quarterback give the Jets a flightpath they can follow to win.
The Carolina Panthers played their best game of the season as they beat the Chargers on the road. Returning home, they look to get back to .500 against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals played their worst game of the year, as Kyler Murray had three interceptions. Still, the Cardinals had their chance to beat the Lions. I expect Murray to bounce back against the Panthers weak secondary and get a win on the road.
The Chicago Bears may be the worst 3-0 team in the history of the NFL. They won one game due to a dropped ball and benefited from a collapse from the Falcons or as it now called the Falcons being the Falcons. Nick Foles is now the starting quarterback for the Bears as his fourth-quarter rally helped burry Mitch Trubisky. The Indianapolis Colts will be a test for Foles as they have a strong defense that can get the pick-six. The Colts will be a nightmare for the Bears, who finally play a team that can finish the deal and get a win.
Despite not having a win, the Cincinnati Bengals have played well. They were a field goal away from overtime in Week 1, had a backdoor cover in Week 2, and a tie in Week 3. This is the week that Joe Burrow gets his first career win. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ defense is among the worst in the NFL, and facing a Bengals team that has shown the ability to score, they will get lit up again.
With a win last week, the Cleveland Browns are over .500 for the first time in six years, the Dallas Cowboys meanwhile are a Falcons fourth away from 0-3. The Browns’ early success is due to an easy schedule. The Cowboys have meanwhile had two challenging games on the road. The Cowboys offense has been potent and will be strong again as they get a relatively easy home win, with things returning to normal for Cleveland.
At 1-2, the New Orleans Saints face a must-win as they need to get Drew Brees and their offense on track. The Detroit Lions ended a stretch of four straight games in which they blew a double-digit lead as they got a game-winning field goal from Matt Prater against the Cardinals. The Saints had their chances on Sunday night against the Packers but made too many mistakes. Expect Brees to be at his best as the Saints find themselves and get back on track.
Two teams that won playoff games last season and are off to 0-3 starts meet with a chance to get their season on track. The Houston Texans are 0-3 because they have played a brutal early schedule. The Minnesota Vikings are 0-3 because they have played brutal football. Look for the Texans playing at home to win this one easily as Deshaun Watson has a big day. The Vikings, meanwhile, after a COVID exposure scare and missing a day of film study, continue to struggle as the focus begins to shift to retooling for the future.
There is no further trip than the one from Seattle to Miami. For the Seattle Seahawks, it is their second long flight, having opened the season in Atlanta. The Miami Dolphins are extra rested and coming off a feel-good win against the Jaguars. That is where the good news ends for Miami. The Seahawks are 3-0 for the first time since they won Super Bowl XLVIII, and Russell Wilson, with 14 touchdown passes, looks like a man on a mission to have an MVP season. The Dolphins will need to hope jet lag kicks in on Sunday to have any chance as Wilson has a shot another five-touchdown game,
Don’t look now, but Tom Brady appears to be finding his groove with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A strong game in Denver last week has the Buccaneers in first place. Returning home, they face the Los Angeles Chargers, who struggled against the Panthers at home. Justin Herbert was not sharp against Carolina and now going to the East coast, he has to face his first early start game. This one looks like it should be smooth sailing for Tampa, which suddenly looks like the City of Champions with the Lightning winning the Staley Cup and the Rays the best team in the American League.
The Baltimore Ravens are looking to rebound off a disappointing performance on Monday Night. Lamar Jackson failed to pass for 100 yards as they were outclassed by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Losing to the Chiefs should not worry anyone, and the Ravens get a cupcake to devour to get back on track quickly. The Washington Football Team, after their Week 1 comeback, has looked awful the past two weeks, and now they come home to face one of the best quarterbacks, and best teams focused on getting a bad game out of their minds by pounding a terrible team.
Against a banged-up 49ers team at home, the New York Giants put up an embarrassing performance last week as they played poorly in every aspect of the game. The Los Angeles Rams, in their second consecutive eastern game, rallied from down 28-3 and nearly beat the Bills, but lost on a controversial pass interference call. The Giants are a team that is building and will have their growing pains. The Rams are a team that could contend. This one could be ugly again for the Giants, who may have to walk home from Los Angeles if they play like they did last week.
There is no Super Bowl hangover for the Kansas City Chiefs, as they are 3-0 and coming off an impressive Monday night win against the Ravens. Patrick Mahomes can put up 30 points effortlessly when he goes against a quarterback with a similar skill level. Cam Newton has played well for the New England Patriots, but he is no Tom Brady, and if the Patriots were to win in Arrowhead Stadium, they would need vintage Brady. Look for the Chiefs to get a big game from Mahomes to stay unbeaten as the Patriots no longer have the weapons to win this battle.
The Buffalo Bills are riding high at 3-0, and have fans in Western New York feeling that 1990s nostalgia. The Las Vegas Raiders suffered a letdown in Foxboro, but that should not be that much of a surprise as they had an emotional win in their first game in Las Vegas six days prior. The Bills still have their flaws, as they nearly coughed up last week’s game and were bailed out by the officials. In the first Sunday, in Las Vegas, look for the Raiders to win again, as Josh Allen goes bust when he rolls the dice against the Las Vegas defense.
The Philadelphia Eagles have to be the happiest team in the pandemic as they would be getting pelted by their fans for their 0-2-1 start. Just imagine what would have happened if a full Lincoln Financial Field was on hand when they played for a tie last week. The best thing for them is to get away from Philadelphia, and a trip to the Bay Area is the best medicine. The San Francisco 49ers are coming off two wins in the Meadowlands and a score of injuries. The Eagles need a good performance and get it in primetime as they earn their first win of the season.
In each of the last two games, the Atlanta Falcons have suffered a humiliating fourth-quarter collapse. The good news is there will be no collapse this time around as they play the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football in Lambeau Field. The bad news is they will get boat raced and lose by three touchdowns. Aaron Rodgers is playing at the top of his game and has the Packers offense putting up big numbers. The Falcons collapses have resulted from a bad pass defense that will get shredded again as the Packers reach 4-0.
The Tennessee Titans are the first team to have COVID positive tests, and their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers as been postponed from Sunday. If there are no further positive tests, the game may be played Monday Night or Tuesday Night. Either way, this game between 3-0 teams has been dramatically altered. The Titans likely won’t get much practice time and will be missing a few key players. Had things been normal, this would have been a hard game to win.