It’s week three of the 2022 NFL season and already we are down to only six teams with a 100% record! Whether this is going to be a season of parity is debatable however what we are sure of is that there will be a max of five 3-0 teams after Monday as two of them meet in the weekend’s big AFC match-up.
There are plenty of interesting games scheduled with two really standing out one in the NFC and one in the AFC.
The big NFC clash sees the Green Bay Packers travel to Tampa. This will be billed as Rodgers v Brady and barring (a highly possible) post-season meeting this could be the last time these two future HOF QBs meet. Neither are really firing on all cylinders, and Tom Brady will be without his most reliable WR as Mike Evans is suspended for the game. Still, their defense is as good as expected and with the Packer’s offense still struggling to establish its identity it should go the home side’s way.
In The AFC the big game is the all-East clash between the Dolphins & the Bills. Both are 2-0 and both have looked impressive in getting there. The Bills have pretty much annihilated both their opponents racking up a combined total of 72-17 in the process. Given one was against the reigning Super Bowl Champions and the other a 2021 playoff team they will be strong favourites to go 3-0. However, the Dolphins have shown their metal in both their games with the highlight being last week’s win in Baltimore.
The winner will join the Chiefs at the top of the AFC power rankings and even at this early stage have put a marker down. Anyway here are the weeks fixtures, starting with…
Thursday Nights Game
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns
Both are 1-1, although the Browns must still be wondering how they managed to lose to the Jets. All four games they have played have been one-score affairs and this could be close too.
Pittsburgh 17 @ Cleveland 20
Sunday Early Games
The Sunday early games are headed by that AFC East clash between the Bills & Dolphins. This will be a good test for both teams, however, the way Buffalo is playing it’s hard to see any other outcome but a Buffalo win. However, it probably won’t be a blowout this time.
The Indianapolis-Kansas game should also attract a bit of attention given their contrasting starts. The Chiefs have taken the loss of Tyreek Hill in their stride and showed a lot of grit to outlast the Chargers last week. Right now we regard them as the second-best team in the NFL and a win at the Colts will set them up nicely for the upcoming tough run of games.
Indianapolis has been disappointing thus far failing to win either of their openers against teams who were regarded candidates for the No1 pick in next year’s draft. Matt Ryan is struggling to get the offense moving so far and if it doesn’t click soon they could be in a similar position to last year when they missed the playoffs.
There are three additional divisional games to enjoy and of these, the Eagles’ trip to Washington is the most appealing from a neutrals point of view. It’s early days, but with Dak Prescott out for the Cowboys, Philly has the opportunity to steal a march. Overall the NFC East looks much improved in 2022.
New Orleans Saints @ Carolina Panther
Saints 21 Panthers 17
Houston Texans @ Chicago Bears
Texans 23 Bears 20
Kansas City Chiefs @ Indianapolis Colts
Chiefs 31 Colts 20
Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins
Bills 31 Dolphins 24
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
Lions 17 Vikings 28
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots
Ravens 27 Patriots 20
Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets
Bengals 21 Jets 14
LV Raiders @ Tennessee Titans
Raiders 20 Titans 23
Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Commanders
Eagles 31 Commanders 20
Sunday Late Games
The late games feature five teams who will be expecting to make the playoffs this year and they are headed by the Tampa, Green Bay game. The Buccs are 2-0 thanks in no small part to their defense which has been rock solid so far.
This is bad news for the Packers, as although they won last week it was against the struggling Bears and even there their offense looked slightly out of sync. Once Rodgers gets into a rhythm with his rookie WR cast things will come right but that may take a game or two yet. They might have to resort to running the ball more and that’s not easy against the Buccs front seven.
Tampa has only given up one TD so far, and that was when the game was already as good as over. Tom Brady hasn’t been his usual productive self in their opening games, however much of this is down to the injuries on offense. He has shown in the past that even when devoid of offensive weapons he knows how to win and he will probably find a way to get the Buccs to 3-0.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ LA Chargers
Jags 17 Chargers 31
LA Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
Rams 20 Cards 17
Atlanta Falcons @ Seattle Seahawks
Falcons 27 Seahawks 17
Green Bay Packers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Packers 17 Buccs 21
Sunday Night Game
This is another tale of two QBs with Jimmy Garoppolo back as their starter following the Trey Lance injury. He is up against his old foe Russell Wilson who has found life a little tougher than expected in Denver following his blockbuster trade. Still, they should have been 2-0 had they not had a bad case of the fumblies (is that a word?) in their opener. They didn’t look particularly impressive against the Texans either. Possibly another close one.
San Francisco 49ers @ Denver Broncos
49ers 17 Broncos 20
Monday Night Football
No, it’s not April 1st, The Giants really are 2-0 and on a bit of a roll. OK their two wins have been by a combined 4 points and Daniel Jones is still taking too many sacks, however, their defense looks quite good. They face a Cowboys team without their star QB, Dak Prescott. However, stand-in Cooper Rush has looked surprisingly capable so this could be a close one. Maybe not worth sitting up for if you are in the UK.
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants
Cowboys 20 Giants 16
So there we have it a quick overview of the week three games, and if our predictions are right there will only be four teams left with a 100% record.