Week 3 is a pivotal week in the NFL season, as undefeated teams look to remain perfect, while the rest of the league is just trying to stay relevant. There are too many teams that have overachieved in the first two weeks and will begin to show their deficiencies on the field,
Here are three teams guaranteed to lose in Week 3.
San Diego Chargers over Atlanta Falcons
Under normal circumstances, this game between the Atlanta Falcons and San Diego Chargers would be a close affair. But, the Falcons are coming off a Monday night contest at home and then traveling to the West Coast to play another game in the same week. Unfortunately, they will have no stamina to effectively compete with the Chargers.
The under-sized Falcon defense has shown a tendency to relinquish sizable leads back to high-powered offenses this season. The Chargers will establish their running game early to open the middle for the passing game. No one on the Falcons can cover tight end Antonio Gates in the open field, and quarterback Philip Rivers has played smart all season. He’s getting all of his offensive weapons involved in the passing game, as seven different receivers caught at least one pass last week in their win over the Tennessee Titans.
Defensively, the Chargers will contain the Falcons running game and force quarterback Matt Ryan into mistakes by having him throw into an opportunistic secondary.
Dallas Cowboys over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There’s no need for the Dallas Cowboys to stew over last week’s road loss to the Seattle Seahawks. They can redeem themselves by easily defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 3.
Offensively, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett will devise a gameplan that will attack a poor Buccaneer defensive secondary deep downfield. Wide receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten both have the hands and speed to create separation from an oncoming defender. Gaining a big lead early will help to better utilize DeMarco Murray’s running style for more than 10 carries in a game.
Defensively, the Cowboys secondary has improved significantly from last season and will shut down wide receiver Vincent Jackson in the Bucs passing attack. Their front seven will harass quarterback Josh Freeman in the pocket by showing him multiple blitz schemes all game long.
New Orleans Saints over Kansas City Chiefs
Picking the New Orleans Saints over the Kansas City Chiefs is a no-brainer this week.
The Chiefs secondary has been decimated by injuries all season, and look for the Saints to score early and often with their potent passing game. Quarterback Drew Brees will stretch the defense with long passing plays, and force the Chiefs to add an extra safety in their cover schemes downfield. This adjustment helps the Saints to establish their running game and dominant the line of scrimmage.
Defensively, the Saints have to worry about one playmaker on the Chiefs offensive roster, as wide receiver Dwayne Bowe is a stud. The corners can force him to come over the middle, where the safeties will be waiting with a big hit. And before too long, Bowe will regret this decision.