NFL Schedule Week 3: Breaking Down Week's Best Matchups
As the contenders begin to separate themselves from the rest, it will become a lot easier to identify which NFL games are the ones to watch during any given week. There are definitely a few that stand out from the crowd in Week 3.
Let's take a look at the best matchups on this week's schedule and break down what each team will have to do in order to pick up a key victory. Even though it's still early in the season, these high-profile games are a good measuring stick for the teams involved.
Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers
The Falcons defense was exceptional last week. Few teams outside of the New England Patriots have confused Peyton Manning as much as Atlanta did. If the unit can continue to play at a high level to go along with an explosive offense, the Falcons are lining up for a long playoff run.
They face a tough road challenge against the Chargers in Week 3, though. San Diego is 2-0. That might not seem like much, but for a team that's been prone to slow starts, it's big. The defense has led the charge with two solid performances.
Getting Ryan Mathews back in the lineup should provide a major boost to the Chargers offense. But the Falcons are riding high after an emotional victory on Monday night. This is literally a coin-flip game. Whichever defense can cause a key turnover will win.
Houston Texans at Denver Broncos
Manning has left the AFC South, but he can't escape the stout Texans defense. The new Broncos quarterback hasn't looked at full strength in the first few games, but he's still one of the best in the league. He should continue to progress as the rust wears off.
The Texans should watch what the Falcons did last week and do their best to match it. The only way to slow down Manning is change and disguise the coverage schemes, or else he'll pick the defense apart, even one as good as Houston's.
Denver faces a very tough schedule this season, which means these types of tricky home games are important in the playoff chase. It will come down to how the Broncos defense stops the run and Manning's success.
Which team will win on SNF?
New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens
The Patriots are coming off a shocking loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and you can bet Bill Belichick didn't let them forget it. Those are the types of games New England usually wins with relative ease, especially at home.
Their task certainly doesn't get any easier as they face off with the Ravens, who are also coming off a loss. One of these AFC powerhouses will leave the game on a two-game losing skid, so there should be no shortage of motivation.
Games between these two teams always come down to New England's defense and Baltimore's offense. They are the weaker units and the one that plays better will lead its team to victory. It will be a great way to finish another Sunday of NFL action.
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