Taking a spin through the remaining Week 3 games while wondering when our boss is going to give us a midweek breather.
It’s going to be hot at Lincoln Financial Field, so watch those fluids and keep an eye on Detroit’s Kerryon Johnson in the screen game.
Most fascinating game: Ravens at Chiefs.
Worth skipping: Bears-Redskins.
Here’s a look at the weekend schedule. All games are Sunday unless otherwise noted.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had eight touchdown passes and no interceptions in his last two games against the Eagles, both won by Detroit. Carson Wentz is 16-5 at home, 8-13 on the road. Line: Eagles -6.5.
Postgame headline: Eagles nation would love to bring Jalen Ramsey to Green Bay with them
Poor Jason Garrett. He always gets the blame when the Cowboys lose. Now that they look like they’re Super Bowl contenders, offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is getting all the credit. This is the largest the Cowboys have been favored since they laid 21.5 to the Eagles during the 1987 strike, when replacement players were used. Line: Dallas -21.5.
Postgame headline: Jerry Jones buys Dolphins, uses them as a JV team
It’s been a little overlooked that the Raiders held Kansas City to 28 points last week, and shut out the Chiefs in the second half. Just five players ever have started a season with at least 110 rushing yards and a touchdown in the first two weeks: Jim Brown, O.J. Simpson, Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin, and Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook this year. And I took Chris Carson in my fantasy draft ahead of him. Grrr. Line: Vikings -8.
Postgame headline: Vikings win by 40, still angry that Jon Gruden dealt Khalil Mack to division rival Chicago
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is oddly revered in Buffalo for his indirect help getting the Bills into the 2017 playoffs. Buffalo fans were so grateful they donated nearly a half-million dollars to charity. The Bills’ two wins are against the Jets and Giants. Yawn. Line: Bills -6.
Postgame headline: Best team to play in Buffalo this weekend was Temple
The Ravens are first in offensive yards gained and second in fewest yards allowed. Are they for real, or are they the Central Florida of the NFL because they beat up on Miami and Arizona? A win by the Chiefs would allow Andy Reid to pass Chuck Noll for sixth most victories all-time. They are tied at 209. Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson is 8-1 as a starter in the regular season. His only loss was at Kansas City last year. In overtime. Jackson-Patrick Mahomes could be this generation’s Tom Brady-Peyton Manning. Line: Chiefs -6.5.
Postgame headline: See you back here in January
This is Indy’s first home game since Andrew Luck retired. The Colts are tied for second in the NFL in rushing yards. Marlon Mack had 174 in the opener but just 51 last week. The dramatic touchdown pass on fourth down to beat the Eagles last week was the 300th for Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. He’s tied with John Elway for 11th place all-time. Line: Colts -2.
Postgame headline: Teammates dumbfounded as kickers Adam Vinatieri and Matt Bryant reminisce about growing up in the ‘80s
Denver is 0-5-1 all-time in Green Bay, including a loss in their most recent visit, in 2011, when Aaron Rodgers threw for 408 yards and four touchdowns. Both Denver and Minnesota are trying for their franchises’ 500th career win this weekend. Broncos general manager John Elway has had it with left tackle Garrett Bolles, who was called for holding four times last week. “He’s had 26 holding penalties in the last two years and two games, so it’s got to stop,” Elway grumbled. “We’ll keep working for it, and he’s still a talented guy. [But] he cannot do that because it’s beating us.” Line: Packers -8.
Postgame headline: Rodgers throws fifth touchdown pass of game and emphatically yells toward the Denver executives’ club box, “That one’s for John”
The Jets are down to their third-string quarterback and are wondering if their highest-paid player (cornerback Trumaine Johnson) wants to play. The Patriots released Antonio Brown, which is probably addition by subtraction. Line: Patriots -23.
Postgame headline: Luke Falk? Jets would have been better off with Peter Falk
Not sure how much the schedule played a part in the Giants’ yanking Eli Manning for rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, but this is as good a time as any. No pressure on the road and they’ll have the Redskins at home next week. This will nauseate Eagles fans, but Tampa Bay is inducting Ronde Barber into the team’s Ring of Honor at halftime. Is Joe Jurevicius next?
Postgame headline: Giants pull upset as Saquon Barkley reminds everyone that this is his team now
Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen was briefly teammates at Texas A&M with Kyler Murray before they both transferred. Murray went to Oklahoma, won a Heisman, and became the No. 1 overall pick. Allen went to Houston and struggled to the point that he went undrafted in 2018.
“You have those ups, you have those downs, and you learn a lot about yourself,” Allen said. “Through that crap I went through in college and even getting released last year, you build that resolve. That’s something I hold onto really tight.” Line: Panthers -2.5
Postgame headline: Christian McCaffrey makes the same statement as Saquon as Panthers get first win
This will be the first time J.J. Watt gets to play against one of his brothers. Derek Watt is with the Chargers. T.J. Watt is a linebacker for the Steelers. “It is very surreal being in a meeting, seeing him on the scouting report, and flipping on the film,” J.J. Watt said. “Just like any week, you’re watching the film, but this time it’s your brother instead of the fullback.” Former Eagle Jaylen Watkins will see some time at strong safety for the Chargers after starter Adrian Phillips broke his forearm last week.
Postgame headline: Just for old times’ sake, J.J. gives Derek a wedgie at midfield
The Saints, who played in L.A. last Sunday, stayed out on the West Coast rather than return to the Bayou. It worked last week for San Francisco, which stayed in Ohio and spanked the Bengals. New Orleans has dropped three in a row in Seattle, and that was with Drew Brees. Teddy Bridgewater will make just his second start since 2015. Eagles fans should note that New Orleans will host Dallas next week. Line: Seahawks -4.5.
Postgame headline: Thumbs down to Saints offense, which gets rolled by Seahawks
The 49ers are on a run of three consecutive games against AFC North opponents. They beat Cincinnati last week and host Cleveland after next week’s bye. It’s Mason Rudolph’s show now. The second-year quarterback takes over for injured Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh running back James Conner is battling a knee injury. Line: 49ers -6.5.
Postgame headline: Hmmm ... maybe the Niners are for real
The last prime-time game in Cleveland was four years ago, when the Ravens won it at the gun on a blocked field goal. It was one of the Browniest losses during the three-year stretch (2015-17) when Cleveland went 4-44. The Rams are 8-0 against AFC teams under Sean McVay, winning by an average of 14.3 points. Line: Rams -3.
Postgame headline: Browns still not yet ready for prime time
The Bears were lucky to get their first win last week at Denver. The victory hasn’t stemmed the concern with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s struggles the first two weeks. Trubisky’s completion percentage is a pedestrian 58%, down from 67%last year. It was good to see tight end Trey Burton back on the field for the Bears. He missed much of the summer and Week 1 with groin injuries, but played 26 snaps last week. Line: Bears -4.
Postgame headline: Is it too early for the Nick Saban-to-Washington rumors? How about Dabo Swinney? Eric Bieniemy?
Good to have Mason Rudolph join the NFL party. He’s just the latest appropriately named player to fulfill his vocation of becoming a starter.
Some others whose names suggest they’re not afraid to toil: Gardner Minshew, Baker Mayfield, and Jake Plummer will take care of handling the ball. Priest Holmes, Irving Fryar, Blaine Bishop, and Marquez Pope always did their best work on Sundays. Deacon Jones is a Hall of Famer seven days a week.
There were a couple of Farmers, but they weren’t too distinguishable, not the way Von Miller is at the head of his surname’s class. And this item goes nowhere without Donald Driver.