Complete guide to Week 3 of the NFL season

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It's time to lock in and prepare for another weekend of football.

Injury reports for Sunday and Monday’s games will be updated as they come in. Line movements will also be updated periodically.


Giants at 49ers, 5 p.m. PDT, Amazon Prime 

Odds: SF -11, 44.5

Weather: partly cloudy, low in the mid 50s, possible wildfire smoke

Head referee: Shawn Hochuli

Injury report: Giants: OUT: RB Saquon Barkley (ankle), OL Ben Bredeson (concussion), LB Azeez Ojulari (hamstring), OL Andrew Thomas (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: LB Micah McFadden (neck), WR Wan’Dale Robinson (knee). 49ers: QUESTIONABLE: WR Brandon Aiyuk (shoulder), CB Ambry Thomas (knee).

Sep 17, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) celebrates the victory against the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s TNF tilt features the 49ers taking on the Giants in Santa Clara. The Niners took care of business Sunday, beating the Rams in LA 30-23. If you read last weeks guide, you’ll see I predicted the score to be 30-22. Whether or not the Giants took care of business depends on who you ask. Down 20 points at half to the lowly Cardinals, they managed to claw their way back to victory on the back of Daniel Jones. The game should have never been in question with how bad the Cardinals roster is. Perhaps most importantly, the Giants lost Saquon Barkley to a moderate ankle sprain on the final drive of the comeback effort. It’s hard to imagine a good outcome these next few weeks without him if he’s not available.

Fantasy notes

Brandon Aiyuk is currently a game-time decision with a shoulder injury that limited his production in week 2. Even if he is active, he will likely be on a snap count so I don’t recommend starting him.  Nothing really changes for the rest of the 49er offense in his absence. Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey are must starts regardless of whether or not Aiyuk is playing.

Update: Brandon Aiyuk is not expected to play, according to Adam Schefter.

Betting notes

The spread is currently sitting at -11 with the over/under at 44.5. While the spread is a big number, it doesn’t necessarily feel out of place given what we know about both teams. If the spread was a lower number I would have more faith betting the Giants in this spot, but -11 tells me that Vegas doesn’t have that any faith in the Giants. For good reason. According to Action Network’s Evan Abrams, Daniel Jones has a 1-11 straight-up record in night games. This is good for the worst win percentage among active quarterbacks. Maybe they cover, but I don’t feel strongly about it. 49ers or nothing here.

Prediction: 49ers 31, Giants 17


Colts at Ravens, 10 a.m. PDT, CBS

Odds: BAL- 7.5, 45

Sunday morning update: BAL -7.5, 43

Weather: heavy rain and wind due to tropical cyclone, high 60’s

Head referee: Clete Blakeman

Injury report: Colts: OUT: C Ryan Kelly (concussion), QB Anthony Richardson (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: CB Dallis Flowers (ankle), CB Kenny Moore II (knee), G Quenton Nelson (toe). Ravens: OUT: WR Odell Beckham Jr. (ankle), RB Justice Hill (foot), CB Marlon Humphrey (foot), C Tyler Linderbaum (ankle), LB Odafe Oweh (ankle), OT Ronnie Stanley (knee), FS Marcus Williams (pectoral).

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) takes the field for warm ups prior to a Week 2 NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

Lamar Jackson has looked as sharp as we’ve seen him in the passing game so far this season. He made a proficient Bengals secondary look rather amateur in the Ravens 34-31 win. With Nick Chubb’s injury providing a likely fatal blow to Cleveland’s already limited offense, the Ravens are in prime position to win the division once again.

The Colts matchup against the Texans on Sunday was supposed to be the first installment of a possible Stroud-Richardson QB rivalry in the AFC South. Unfortunately, Anthony Richardson was concussed in the first quarter after opening an early lead for the Colts, resulting in Gardner Minshew’s entrance. The Colts off-season acquisition of Minshew proved valuable in the win, and likely will for the rest of the season if Richardson can’t stay healthy. 

Fantasy notes

Kylen Granson is emerging as a possible starting TE option in deeper leagues, considering the lack of league-wide production. He has a pretty firm ceiling and probably won’t go off for many huge weeks, but a consistent 8-15 points weekly of the tight end spot is better production than many fantasy teams will muster week in and week out.

Betting notes

Ravens are sitting at -7.5 with the over/under at 45. My play here would be the over. After a Week 1 dominated by unders, the pendulum shifted and Week 2 was even more dominant in favor of the overs. Week 3 will surely be more of a mixed bag, and I like this as one of the over spots. The Colts offense has shown an ability to score points regardless of the QB on the field, but more importantly for the sake of this bet, they’ve shown an even greater ability to give points up. Lamar Jackson should carve up the Colts defense but I think we’ll see a few fireworks from the Colts as well. At least some Roman Candles.

Prediction: Ravens 35, Colts 23

Titans at Browns, 10 a.m. PDT, CBS

Odds: CLE -3, 39.5 

Sunday morning update: CLE -3.5, 38

Weather: partly cloudy, windy, high 60s.

Head referee: Craig Wrolstad

Injury report: Titans: OUT: G Peter Skoronski (abdomen), WR Kearis Jackson (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: CB Anthony Kendall (hip), DT Denico Autry (foot/groin), WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle). Browns: OUT: CB Greg Newsome II (elbow). QUESTIONABLE: OT James Hudson (ankle).

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) runs the ball in the third quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023.

The Browns defense looked like one of the best units in the league after Week 1. After Kenny Pickett and the Steelers beat them for multiple home-run plays in Week 2’s loss, they are certainly less qualified for that mantle now.

The Titans are one of the more puzzling teams for in the league right now. They have two of the most dangerous skill players in the league in Deandre Hopkins and Derrick Henry, a serviceable enough defense, and aren’t particularly disadvantaged in either of the trenches. And yet, the relative blandness and predictability of their Ryan Tannehill lead offense often puts them in a position where they are fighting at the end of games to beat even the worst of opponents. I wouldn’t be surprised if they lose a bunch of games but I wouldn’t be surprised if the went to the playoffs either. It’s a weird thing to say. 

Fantasy notes

With Nick Chubb out for the season, the question has shifted to the Browns backfield this week. The Browns just picked up Kareem hunt on a $4 million deal to finish out the rest of the season, pairing him with Jerome Ford in the backfield. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski has already stated that Ford will be the lead back, but Hunt’s presence will clearly put that into question. I think Jerome Ford is a must start this week but will need to be monitored with caution going forward.

Betting notes

The Browns are sitting at -3 here with the over/under at 39.5. My play is probably going to be Titans +3 or better if I can find it. The Titans are 2-0 against the spread this season, and I fully expect the Browns to still be reeling following Chubb’s loss. In addition, I feel a lot less confident in the Browns defense this week after the Steelers were able break through multiple times for massive gains. The Titans are a team that can strike for the home-run play, and they probably will. 

Prediction: Titans 24, Browns 20

Broncos at Dolphins, 10 a.m. PDT, CBS

Odds: MIA -6.5, 48.5

Sunday morning update: MIA -6, 47.5

Weather: rain, low 80s

Head referee: Clay Martin

Injury report: Broncos: OUT: LB Frank Clark (hip), FS Justin Simmons (hip). QUESTIONABLE: Mike Purcell (ankle). Dolphins: DOUBTFUL: RB Salvon Ahmed (groin). Questionable: OT Terron Armstead (back/ankle/knee), DB Elijah Campbell (knee), DT Raekwon Davis (wrist), TE Julian Hill (ankle) TE Tyler Kroft (back), LB Jaelan Phillips (back), WR Jaylen Waddle (concussion).

Sep 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) reacts after defeating the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins managed to go into Foxboro and win their fifth straight game against the Patriots, pushing Tua’s record against them to 5-0. The offensive weapons were tempered a bit by the strong Patriots secondary but they should be back in full force this week.

The Sean Payton era in Denver couldn’t have started off any worse for the Broncos. After a loss to a mediocre Raiders team in Week 1, they lost again at home to another relatively sub-par opponent in the Commanders. They had a sizeable lead early before the Commanders stormed back for the win. Russell Wilson connected with Brandon Johnson on a 50-yard Hail Mary as time expired to get the Broncos within a two-point conversion, but their effort was no good.

Fantasy notes

Raheem Mostert’s usage and productivity against the Patriots on Sunday puts him into the must conversation start conversation. At least for next week, while Jeff Wilson is still out, Mostert will get the bulk of the carries. Mostert typically comes through in these spots so I feel good about playing him here.

Betting notes

The Dolphins are clearly a well-oiled machine right now. Still, I think the Broncos getting 6.5 here is tempting. I believe the Broncos are still stronger than what they’ve shown. Their defense will struggle to stop the Dolphins explosive attack, but I actually like Russell Wilson’s chances of hanging here offensively and keeping this one within the number.

Prediction: Dolphins 31, Broncos 27

Patriots at Jets, 10 a.m. PDT, CBS

Odds: NE -2.5, 37

Sunday morning update: NE -2.5, 35

Weather: heavy rain and wind due to tropical cyclone, high 60’s

Head referee: Bill Vinovich

Injury report: Patriots: QUESTIONABLE: DT Christian Barmore (knee), DB Jonathan Jones (ankle), G Mike Onwenu (ankle), G Sidy Sow (concussion), G Cole Strange (knee). Jets: OUT: S Tony Adams (hamstring), OL Wes Schweitzer (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: T Duane Brown (shoulder/hip), DL John Franklin-Myers (hip), K Greg Zuerlein (groin).

Sep 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Christian Gonzalez (6) celebrates with fans after intercepting a pass by the Miami Dolphins in the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots had a great opportunity for a statement win in Week 2 against the Dolphins. Unfortunately for them, they once again started slow and dug themselves too deep a hole to climb out of. It’s pretty clear that the old, disciplined style of Patriots football is now long out the window. The post-Brady Patriots have seemingly shot themselves in the foot in every big spot they’ve been in since he left.

The Jets, also 0-2, are in objectively much worse shape at the moment. Breece Hall got only four carries in the Week 2 loss to the Cowboys before taking to Twitter to air his frustrations with the game plan.  Zach Wilson started Sunday’s game decent enough, but three interceptions in an 11 minute span in the fourth quarter was about as disastrous an ending you could possibly dream up.

Fantasy notes

Hunter Henry had another week of top-tier tight end production. While he was knocked off the top scoring spot this week, he still remains second out of all tight ends in PPR. Even with Mike Gesicki’s presence in the offense, Henry has proven to be Mac Jones’ favorite target and safety valve. He should be productive all year. 

Betting notes

This is an absolutely must win spot for the Patriots here, right? Given what we know about Bill Belichicks utter hatred and disdain for the Jets, it seems hard to fathom that he’d lose this one to fall to 0-3. While the Patriots sit at 0-2, their defense has had two strong performances against two teams in position for deep playoff runs. With the uncertainty around Breece Hall’s situation, this spells trouble for the Jets. Bet the Patriots with the number if anything.

Prediction: Patriots 24, Jets 7

Bills at Commanders, 10 a.m. PDT, CBS

Odds: BUF -6.5, 43.5

Sunday morning update: BUF -5.5, 43

Weather: heavy rain and wind due to tropical cyclone, high 60s

Head referee: Land Clark

Injury report: Bills: No players listed. Commanders: OUT: TE Logan Thomas (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: S Kamren Curl (illness), WR Curtis Samuel (illness, hip).

Sept. 17, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Bills quarterback Josh Allen congratulates receiver Khalil Shakir on his touchdown catch. Mandatory credit: Jamie Germano / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Bills were able to rebound from a catastrophic Week 1 loss to the Jets by shellacking the Raiders 38-10 on Sunday. Josh Allen looked a bit more like the version of Josh Allen that will be needed for the Bills to keep up with the Dolphins in the divisional race. The Commanders managed to pull out a gutsy win in Denver over the Broncos, putting together an impressive comeback and stopping the Broncos game-tying two point conversion attempt with no time on the clock. 

Fantasy notes

Sam Howell showed us in Week 2 that he’s a proficient enough passer to feel comfortable playing Terry McLaurin week in and week out. McLaurin is still one of the NFL’s most skilled and productive receivers when targeted, so I don’t feel shy making him a center piece now that we know Howell can sling it a little bit. 

Betting notes

Bills -6.5 feels like it’s reasonable here. I like the Bills to cover it, they seemed to be back in form Sunday, but the Commanders are a more feasible opponent than we’ve been giving them credit for. I also feel pretty good about the over here. The Bills offense is a candidate to put up 30+ themselves, so it may only take a touchdown or two from the Commanders offense to put this one over the 43.5 total. 

Prediction: Bills 31, Commanders 20

Falcons at Lions, 10 a.m. PDT, FOX

Odds: DET -3, 46

Sunday morning update: DET -3.5, 47

Weather: indoor

Head referee: Carl Cheffers

Injury report: Falcons: QUESTIONABLE: CB Jeff Okudah (foot), RB Cordarelle Patterson (thigh). Lions: OUT: OT Taylor Decker (ankle), FS Kerby Joseph (hip), DB Emmanuel Moseley (knee/hamstring), G Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee). DOUBTFUL: RB David Montgomery (thigh). QUESTIONABLE: WR Josh Reynolds (groin), WR Amon-Ra St. Brown (toe). FULL: C Frank Ragnow (NIR-resting player/toe).

Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) takes the field against Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023.

The Falcons are probably the league’s most surprising 2-0 team, knocking off the Packers at home Sunday 25-24 to remain unbeaten. Bijan Robinson once again notched one of the most impressive highlight reels of the week. Still, Desmond Ridder is a clear handicap for this offense and will be the reason they struggle to do anything besides hang around in a bad AFC south.

The Lions came back to earth after Week 1’s win over the defending champs, losing to Seattle at home. Star safety CJ Gardner-Johnson suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the loss, likely sidelining him for the remainder of the season. This loss will be far more consequential for the Lions than losing in Seattle could have been.

Fantasy notes

Drake London was able to produce some on Sunday to rebound from a zero point performance in Week 1. Still, I don’t have much faith that he will see the ball enough in this offense because of the lack of competency at quarterback. Both Falcons running backs remain a decent play. 

Betting notes

The loss of CJGJ is going to be deflating for the Lions defense and likely decimates any real hopes of a long post-season run they had. Still, I think this is a good rebound spot on Sunday against a Falcons team that is 2-0 less because of their own performance and more because the ineptitude of their opponents. I don’t love the line, but I feel confident enough the Lions win here.

Prediction: Lions 24, Falcons 22

Saints at Packers, 10 a.m. PDT, FOX

Odds: GB -2, 42.5

Sunday morning update: NO -1, 41.5

Weather: sunny, low 70s

Head referee: Brad Rogers

Injury report: Saints: OUT: RB Jamaal Williams (hamstring). DOUBTFUL: TE Foster Moreau (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: S Ugo Amdi (knee), CB Paulson Adebo (hamstring). Packers: OUT: S Zayne Anderson (hamstring), G Elgton Jenkins (knee), RB Aaron Jones (hamstring), WR Christian Watson (hamstring), T David Bakhtiari (NIR-resting player/knee), C Jaire Alexander (back)

Sep 18, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr (4) reacts with wide receiver Chris Olave (12) in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints have started the Derek Carr era about as well as they could have hoped. Even if they’ve come against two teams they should be able to beat, the Saints could easily be in a position like the Broncos are right now. Another favorable matchup this week could very well see them move to 3-0.

The Packers could not capitalize on their favorable week two matchup. They blew a second half lead to the Falcons in Atlanta, losing 25-24 in a game where they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. 

Fantasy notes

If Aaron Jones does return this week, he’ll have a tough go against a Saints defense that is one of the better units in the league. I don’t think I’d sit him unless I had a surplus of strong running backs, but it’s something to keep an eye for sure. The combination of returning from injury and facing a stout defense is rarely one that works out.

UPDATE: Aaron Jones is OUT.

Betting notes

The Saints are in a really good spot to get to 3-0 here. Their defense has given up less than 20 points in ten straight games, and I’d be surprised to see that streak come to an end this week. Raider Nation won’t love reading this part. Derek Carr is in a better position to win a Super Bowl than he has been in his entire career. This includes the 2016 Raiders, who watched their season blow up in Week 16 when Carr broke his leg. I like the Saints to win and cover the two here. The under also tempts me as well but after seeing how well the overs did last week I’m gonna stay off the 42.5 most likely.

Prediction: Saints 20, Packers 17

Texans at Jaguars, 10 a.m. PDT, CBS

Odds: JAX -9.5, 44

Sunday morning update: JAX -7.5, 43.5

Weather: sunny, high 80s

Head referee: Scott Novak

Injury report: Texans: OUT: LB Denzel Perryman (hand/wrist), S Jalen Pitre (chest), CB Tavierre Thomas (hand), CB Derek Stingley Jr. (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: OT Laremy Tunsil (knee). Jaguars: OUT: WR Zay Jones (knee), DB Antonio Johnson (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: LB Josh Allen (shoulder), DB Andrew Wingard (shoulder), DT Foley Fatukasi (shoulder).

Sep 17, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) at the line of scrimmage during the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans are 0-2, but the silver lining is that CJ Stroud is the most advanced rookie passer we’ve seen in the NFL in some time. The Ohio State alum already broke the record for most NFL passing yards by a Buckeye in just his second start, posting 384 yards in the Week 2 loss to the Colts. 

The Jaguars played a really solid game defensively against the Chiefs. Unfortunately, there’s two sides of the ball and the offense couldn’t have hit water if it were in boat. Trevor Lawrence is turning into one of the game’s elite quarterbacks, but his slow starts in crucial moments like Sunday are what is keeping him from making the next leap to superstardom. 

Fantasy notes

With CJ Stroud showing he can be trusted to sling it, the Texans wide receiver room is looking a whole lot brighter in terms of potential fantasy potential. Nico Collins now borders on must start territory.

Betting notes

-9.5 is a tricky number, but I think I like Stroud and the Texans offense to force the cover here. The defense is still very much a question mark, last week in Indy showed it, but the offense can do a lot more than we expected too. They won’t cover by much, but I think they squeeze it. 

Prediction: Jaguars 31, Texans 23

Chargers at Vikings, 10 a.m. PDT, FOX

Odds: MIN -1, 54

Sunday morning update: EVEN, 54

Weather: indoor

Head referee: Shawn Smith

Injury report: Chargers: OUT RB Austin Ekeler (ankle), MLB Eric Kendricks (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: LB Joey Bosa (hamstring), LB Daiyan Henley (hamstring), LB Chris Rumph II (hamstring), DL Christopher Hinton (back). VIkings: OUT: OLB Marcus Davenport (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: C Garrett Bradbury (back).

Sep 17, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen (13) scores against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Easily the most important and intriguing game of the Week 3 slate. Two teams very much expected to be in the playoff mix in their respective divisions are now fighting for their lives already. The Vikings fought the Eagles diligently last Thursday, but of course fell short. The Chargers Week 2 battle wasn’t as noble as their fight in Week 1. They have much less in the silver linings department right now. 

Fantasy notes

Both of these offenses are still absolute wagons. Any skill position on either side, plus the quarterbacks, is probably a good start. 

Betting notes

Phew. Good luck with this one. According to Sportsbook Breakers, teams that have a regular season win total of over 9 are 9-0-1 in their third game since 2014. The Chargers are one of two teams that fall into that distinction this week, along with the Bengals. I think that trend will continue here. While both teams had playoff hopes, the Chargers were far more realistic. Losing this game would be a much bigger disaster for them than it would be for the Vikings. Chargers by 3, Brandon Staley avoids the unemployment line another week.

Prediction: Chargers 30, Vikings 27

Panthers at Seahawks, 1:05 p.m. PDT, CBS

Odds: SEA -6.5, 42

Sunday morning update: SEA -5, 42.5

Weather: partly cloudy, mid 60s

Head referee: Ron Torbert

Injury report: Panthers: OUT: QB Bryce Young (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: OLB Justin Houston (calf). Seahawks: OUT: CB Coby Bryant (toe), T Charles Cross (toe). DOUBTFUL: TE Will Dissly (shoulder), CB Tariq Woolen (chest). QUESTIONABLE: S Jamal Adams (knee), RB DeeJay Dallas (illness), S Quandre Diggs (hamstring), G Phil Haynes (calf), S Julian Love (hamstring), WR DK Metcalf (ribs), DT Jarran Reed (groin).

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III scores a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the first half at Ford Field in Detroit on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. Mandatory credit: Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Panthers played the Saints tough on Monday Night Football. Still, the inexperience showed and Bryce Young was handed his first prime time loss. You’d have to imagine this season is more about seasoning Young and getting good tape on film more so than winning games for the Panthers.

The Seahawks pulled out the road win against the Lions in Week 2, a game they were firm underdogs. In last week’s guide, I said the Seahawks would cover in that spot and they did me one better by winning. 

Fantasy notes

According to NFL Rookie Watch, Jaxson Smith-Njigba is averaging 4.6 yards of separation on all routes run this year despite a lack of targets. This is second among all receivers. You have to imagine his workload will increase as the weeks go on. 

Betting notes

Bryce Young is not expected to play after he suffered an ankle injury in Week 3. That leaves the Panthers with Andy Dalton at the helm going into Seattle. While I believe Dalton gives the Panthers a better chance to cover then Bryce Young does, going into Seattle and expecting a win with a lesser group is a tough ask. Be wary of the spread but I wouldn’t go as far as betting on the Panthers.

Prediction: Seahawks 21, Panthers 17

Cowboys at Cardinals, 1:25 p.m. PDT, FOX

Odds: DAL -12, 43

Sunday morning update: DAL -13, 43.5

Weather: indoor

Head referee: Alex Kemp

Injury report: Cowboys: OUT: CB Trevon Diggs (knee). QUESTIONABLE: G Zack Martin (ankle), C Tyler Bladasz (hamstring). Cardinals: OUT: DE Carlos Watkins (biceps), LB Josh Woods (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DT Leki Fotu (shoulder).

Sep 17, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) runs with the football after recovering a fumble in the third quarter against the New York Jets at AT&T Stadium. Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons (11) was ruled down by contact on the play. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys are cooking. Obviously Cowboys fans should approach this season with caution, given the last 25 years of playoff misery, but it’s looking objectively great in Dallas. I stand by my statement from last week where I compared them to last season’s Eagles group.

The Cardinals came as close to a cornerstone win as they will come this year in Week 2, but managed to lose a 20 point lead in the second half to the Giants. Caleb Williams should start looking at Scottsdale real estate.

INJURY UPDATE: Sources around the league are confirming that Cowboys’ star DB Trevon Diggs suffered a torn ACL during Thursday’s practice.

Fantasy notes

The Cowboys D/ST is currently a top 5 scorer in ESPN PPR leagues, which is remarkable. The Cardinals are another potential feast for the turnover hungry Cowboys. 

Update: You can still feel comfortable riding with Cowboys D/ST in this match up, even without Trevon Diggs, considering how bad the Cardinals are.

Betting notes

I’m betting Cowboys here and I’m not looking back. Trap game be damned.

Prediction: Cowboys 35, Cardinals 17

Bears at Chiefs, 1:25 p.m. PDT, FOX

Odds: KC -13, 48

Sunday morning update: KC -12.5, 48

Weather: partly cloudy, high 70s

Head referee: Alan Eck

Injury report: Bears: OUT: DL Khalid Kareem (hip). DOUBTFUL: FS Eddie Jackson (foot). QUESTIONABLE: OL Nate Davis (NIR-personal). Chiefs: OUT: LB Nick Bolton (ankle), WR Richie James (knee). QUESTIONABLE: RB Isiah Pacheco (hamstring), LB Willie Gay Jr. (quadricep), WR Kadarius Toney (toe).

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) walks off the field after a NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023 at EverBank Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-9. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

The Chiefs got their star defensive star Chris Jones back and cooking in Week 2’s win. If their defense lives up to its full potential with Jones now in the lineup, it could get scary for the rest of the NFL. This will be a different Chiefs team moving forward than the ones we are used to seeing Mahomes lead. Their defense is as good as it’s been since the Derrick Thomas days, meaning Mahomes can afford more mistakes and less production than he ever could have before. That’s a scary thought.

The Bears are now inching closer to full-blown dumpster fire territory. Justin Fields flatly blamed the coaching in Wednesday’s press availability when asked about his struggles in the Bears offense. To be a fly on the wall in that meeting room.

Fantasy notes 

Despite a little bit of life showed from Skyy Moore, I still don’t have enough trust in any singular member of the Chiefs receiving group to feel comfortable about playing them. Even with Mahomes. 

Betting notes

According to BetMGM’s John Ewing, the Chiefs 7-13-1 against the spread as double-digit favorites in the Patrick Mahomes era.

Keep in mind, only two of those games have resulted in a loss, making Mahomes 20-2 overall in these games. I think this one ends up right around that Chiefs -13 number when the final whistle sounds. At the very least, I think you can mark this as a good survivor pool play this week.

Prediction: Chiefs 33, Bears 20

Steelers at Raiders, 5:20 p.m. PDT, NBC/Peacock

Odds: LV -2.5, 43 

Sunday morning update: LV -3, 43.5

Weather: indoor

Head referee: Tra Blake

Sep 17, 2023; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels and pass game coordinator Scott Turner look on from the sidelines against the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The optimism following Week 1’s win over the Broncos was short lived, as the Raiders were absolutely pummeled in Buffalo. Not to mention that Chandler Jones is still acting unhinged on Instagram. Is there any team more entertaining for the wrong reasons?

The Steelers were able to rebound from a nightmarish Week 1 to surprise the Browns. The game obviously took a dark turn with the Chubb injury, but it was a game the Steelers would have had a great shot to win regardless. 

Fantasy notes

Najee Harris is now untenable with the added opportunities for Jaylen Warren. What’s more concerning for Harris owners and Steelers fans is that Warren looks like the better back for all intents and purposes through two weeks.

Betting notes 

This is a spot the Raiders could really use a win. Plus, it’s their home opener and the cozy amenities of Allegiant have surely been missed the first two weeks. The Steelers might be a tempting play here, you might even be surprised to see them as underdogs. There’s a reason. What it is I’m not sure but rest assured there is one. I think Vegas is on the money here with the spread. Raiders by 3. 

Prediction: Raiders 27, Steelers 24


Eagles at Buccaneers, 4:15 P.M PDT, ABC

Odds: PHI -5, 46

Sunday morning update: PHI -5, 45

Weather: partly cloudy, low 90’s

Head referee: Adrian Hill

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) and running back D’Andre Swift (0) celebrate touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles are in prime time for the second straight week. In Week 2, they managed to finally get the offense moving in the second half to put the Vikings away. The Vikings managed to hang late on the back of unreal numbers for Kirk Cousins but the Eagles were just too much. 

The Buccaneers are right at the top of the list of most surprising 2-0 teams with the Falcons. Baker Mayfield has done just enough to keep the offense afloat. I think a lot of people forgot there’s still a handful of champions on the defensive unit left over from 2020. 

Fantasy notes

Rachaad White showed enough life in the Buccaneers offense to feel comfortable playing him moving forward. Even after an abysmal Week 1, I think he can be a decent plug and play option moving forward if you are thin at running back.

Betting notes

I expect the Eagles offense to continue rolling. They still have some issues to wrinkle out and it may take longer than bettors will hope, but they should cover that -5 number in the end. 

Prediction: Eagles 28, Buccaneers 17

Rams at Bengals, 5:15 p.m. PDT, ABC

Spread: CIN -3, 44

Sunday morning update: CIN -2.5, 43.5

Weather: partly cloudy, mid 70s

Head referee: John Hussey

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) is hit as he throws by Cincinnati Bengals nose tackle D.J. Reader (98) in the third quarter during Super Bowl 56, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. The Cincinnati Bengals lost, 23-20.

A re-match of Super Bowl 56, this time in Cincinnati. The Bengals are still very much the hungry, unproven unit from two seasons ago that is trying to reach the mountain top. Granted, there is much more pressure now. And maybe it’s getting to them. The Bengals have started 0-2 and Joe Burrow is back nursing the same calf injury that cost him his summer. I’m really intrigued to see where this season goes for the Bengals. The Rams, on the other hand, are a far different group than the one we saw win the Super Bowl in their home stadium. The absence of Cooper Kupp due to injury has been softened by the emergence of breakout star Puka Nacua and his sidekick Tutu Atwell, but guys like Jalen Ramsey, Bobby Wagner and Von Miller are still very much missed on the defensive side of the ball. And yet, the Rams are 1-1 with a surprising win over the Seahawks on the road and a hard-fought battle against the 49ers who are the NFC’s cream of the crop. This will be a fun one. 

Fantasy notes

Jamarr Chase is a few weeks away from entering all-time bust territory as a consensus top 3 fantasy pick if he can’t get it together soon. Fortunately, I think he will. Don’t sit him under any circumstance unless you can stomach a potential 40 point explosion on your bench. 

Betting notes

This line started at CIN -6 before Joe Burrow’s status was put into question following an update to his calf injury on Monday. It immediately went down to -2 before eventually settling at -3 where it’s at now. I’m staying away from this because of the uncertainty around Burrow. I will say, if you liked the Bengals at -6, you might want to take a flier on this. If Burrow does play, you’ll be thanking yourself. Considering where the Bengals season currently stands, I’d be shocked if Burrow isn’t out there Monday. I think they cover the 3 but not the 6 which is why getting it now is important if you like the Bengals here.

Prediction: Bengals 29, Rams 24