NFL TV Schedule Week 3: Highlighting Upcoming Must-Watch Clashes
The first two weeks of the 2013 NFL campaign have presented us with a number of upsets, as many squads that were among the league's worst a year ago have notched shocking wins over perennial postseason contenders.
Week 3 of the season isn't particularly deep with games featuring elite teams taking on one another, but that doesn't mean that there's any shortage of matchups that, at least on paper, figure to be very entertaining showdowns.
With so many upsets thus far, there are more than a handful of teams that are already nearing (if not squarely in) desperation mode, and that means we'll be watching a variety of hungry football teams this weekend.
In preparation for this week's schedule of games, here's a look at some of the slate's must-watch games, plus a complete schedule of when and where to catch each and every clash.
Schedule (all times ET)
Thursday, September 19
Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles, 8:25 p.m., NFL Network
Sunday, September 22
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 p.m., CBS
Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals, 1:00 p.m., FOX
New York Giants at Carolina Panthers, 1:00 p.m., FOX
St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys, 1:00 p.m., FOX
Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m., CBS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots, 1:00 p.m., FOX
Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints, 1:00 p.m., FOX
San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans, 1:00 p.m., CBS
Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins, 1:00 p.m., FOX
Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins, 4:05 p.m., FOX
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks, 4:25 p.m., CBS
Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers, 8:30 p.m., NBC
Monday, September 23
Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos, 8:30 p.m., ESPN
Kansas City at Philadelphia
In Andy Reid's first trip back to Philadelphia since he was fired following the end of last season, the Chiefs will be looking to secure what's sure to be an emotional game for the longtime head coach.
More importantly, the Chiefs will be looking to jump out to a very surprising 3-0 start after upsetting the Cowboys in Week 2.
But at the other end of the field, Chip Kelly's Eagles are sure to be revved up for this tilt as well, because the former Oregon offensive guru's first two games in Philly have been wild. After pulling out an upset over defending NFC East champion Washington on the road, the Eagles dropped a heartbreaker to the Chargers at home, so this is a team very much still in search of its identity.
Both quarterbacks have been stellar so far, as Alex Smith has tossed four touchdown passes in the Chiefs' pair of triumphs, while Michael Vick registered a career-high 428 yards through the air against San Diego, so both teams have finally found stability under center.
This is a game that's been circled on both teams' schedules since the first day of camp, so expect this to be a hard-fought, closely contested affair.
Buffalo at New York Jets
No, this one won't feature a Super Bowl contender, and it may not even be the weekend's most exciting, but what does make this clash compelling is that it'll pit this year's two best rookie quarterbacks against one another, as EJ Manuel's Bills will head to MetLife Stadium to take on Geno Smith and the Jets.
Regardless of the way in which they've claimed victories, both signal-callers have managed to get their respective teams to .500 heading into Week 3.
But the two rookies headed in different directions in Week 2, as Geno Smith followed up his debut victory with a three-interception outing against the Patriots, so one has to think the pressure's on him to improve against Buffalo.
Which rookie will throw for more yards on Sunday?
At the other end of the field, Manuel nearly doubled his passing performance from the previous week, throwing for 296 yards, and most importantly, tossed the game-winning touchdown against Carolina with just two seconds remaining in the game.
Manuel's job is safe in Buffalo, but this game may be a pivotal one for Smith, because otherwise, the New York Jets' quarterback carousel may start edging towards spinning once again.
Indianapolis at San Francisco
Given that the San Francisco 49ers are arguably the most exciting team in football, there aren't many times when Jim Harbaugh's squad isn't worth watching, but this week's meeting with the Colts should be particularly entertaining.
That's because anytime arguably the most promising quarterback the league's seen since Peyton Manning travels to see the previous year's NFC Champions, it's must-see television.
Andrew Luck, who led the Colts to a stunning postseason berth a year ago, is coming off one of his most disappointing games of his career, as he was unable to lift Indy to a win over Miami, and you know he'll be motivated to do everything in his power to keep his team from going 1-2.
But that'll be tough against Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers, who are stacked on both sides of the ball, so in order to emerge with a road victory over one of the league's best teams, the former No. 1 overall pick will have to be better.
Houston at Baltimore
With the defending Super Bowl champs set to host the undefeated Houston Texans, two of the key plot lines to follow will be the statuses of All-Pro offensive threats Ray Rice who left Sunday's game with a hip injury, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN, and Andre Johnson who left with a possible concussion, per NFL.com.
However, even without those two on the field, there's still more than enough firepower on the field to make this clash worth tuning in for, as Houston's DeAndre Hopkins filled in admirably for Johnson, and Bernard Pierce has the potential to do the same if Rice is unable to go.
In addition, longtime franchise cornerstone Ed Reed will be making his return to Baltimore after departing via free agency in March, so the Texans will surely be aiming to win one for one of the team's most respected leaders, even if he's unable to actually play.
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