NFL Picks Week 3: Quarterbacks Who Will Carry Their Teams

Ben LaymanCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 16:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants plays against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 16, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The NFL has seen some brilliant quarterback performances through two weeks.  Week 3 features a few of the best quarterback battles on the 2012 NFL regular season schedule.

Most teams in the NFL are built around the play of their quarterback, but these teams rely on their signal-callers more than most.

Here are three quarterbacks who will carry their teams this week.


Eli Manning

The star quarterback of New York was full of big plays last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as he threw for 510 yards and three touchdowns.  Despite three interceptions, Manning led his team to a clutch win in an unexpected shootout.  The Bucs surprised the Giants with 34 points, but Eli was up to the challenge and led his team on a game-winning drive.

The Giants will need to win a shootout again this week.  The Carolina Panthers have one of the most explosive offenses in the league, and Cam Newton will likely put up more than 350 yards of offense on his own.  Eli will overcome the offensive slew from the Panthers and carry the Giants with a big passing day like he had in Week 2 against the Bucs.


Matt Ryan

The Atlanta Falcons might be the best offense in the NFL right now, thanks in large part to Matt Ryan's excellence.  The face of Atlanta's franchise has been masterful this year, registering quarterback ratings of 136.4 and 101.5 in the first two weeks.  

The Falcons are 2-0, and their offense appears to be capable of carrying the team to a Super Bowl in February.

Ryan and the Falcons will travel to San Diego this week to face a hot Chargers team.  San Diego has surprised the NFL world with a 2-0 start, but their feel-good to start to the year will come to an end when they get a taste of Ryan and all of Atlanta's offensive weapons.


Matt Stafford

If there's one team in the NFL ready to have a breakout week, it's the Detroit Lions.  The Lions struggled through a close win in Week 1 at home against the St. Louis Rams, and they looked worse in a loss on the road against the San Francisco 49ers.  Matt Stafford has been surprisingly unproductive after throwing 41 touchdowns last season.

Stafford is bound to come around in a huge way, and the floundering Tennessee Titans will be an ideal opponent to bounce back against.  Stafford never had three games in a row with a quarterback rating under 80 last year, and it would be a shock if he were to have his third in a row this Sunday.