NFL Week 3 bold predictions: Christian McCaffrey explodes on ‘Thursday Night Football,’ Justin Fields starts

The 2021 NFL season has been completely bonkers, and it is nonetheless too early to know who’s for actual and who is not. The Washington Soccer Group gained a sport with a former observe squad quarterback, Derek Carr is balling for the Las Vegas Raiders and Lamar Jackson acquired his first win over the Kansas City ChiefsPatrick Mahomes‘ first profession loss within the month of September.

Week 3 of the common season figures to be the identical as the primary two, the place it is utterly unpredictable. Particularly now that we’ve got a number of beginning quarterbacks who’re banged up. May we see two backups face off when the Miami Dolphins and Raiders kick off? Will Justin Herbert discover a method to upset Mahomes? May Matthew Stafford beat Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in L.A.? Let’s take out our flamethrower and ship 5 sizzling takes or daring predictions for Week 3 of the NFL season. 

The Carolina Panthers presently have the No. 1 protection within the league, and so they now face off in opposition to a rookie quarterback on a brief week. It appears like Sam Darnold and Co. have a terrific probability at shifting to 3-0. Christian McCaffrey is again from damage and he is beginning to seem like his outdated self. By means of two video games, he has racked up 324 yards from scrimmage on 59 touches and scored one landing. I say he actually breaks out in Week 3, with three whole touchdowns.

The Houston Texans allowed three touchdowns on the bottom final week in opposition to the Cleveland Browns, and one other to a operating again via the air. We noticed the Green Bay Packers middle their sport plan round operating again Aaron Jones on “Monday Night time Soccer,” as he scored 4 whole touchdowns — with three coming within the passing sport. McCaffrey is a good higher receiving again.

The All-Professional weapon has scored three touchdowns in a single sport 3 times in his profession. Our daring prediction is that he makes it 4 on Thursday. 

Here is a double daring prediction. 

Andy Dalton is coping with a knee damage. It is not a torn ACL, it is reportedly a bone bruise. His standing for Sunday’s sport in opposition to the Browns is unknown, however to illustrate Fields data his first begin — and wins. Fields was OK at greatest in reduction of Dalton in the course of the Bears’ 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He accomplished 6 of 13 passes for 60 yards and threw an interception, but additionally rushed for 31 yards on 10 carries. He was chargeable for simply three factors, because the protection carried Chicago to victory by forcing a fumble after which recording three interceptions on 4 consecutive drives within the second half. Fields did have some good passes, however his wideouts dropped a pair balls as effectively. Plus, the Ohio State product rushed for a primary down on third-and-9 to assist lengthen the Bears’ final drive of the sport and run out the clock. 

Rookie quarterbacks traditionally do not fare effectively of their first begins, however this Bears protection is nice and Fields is a dynamic dual-threat weapon that wishes to make the massive play down the sphere. The Browns allowed the Texans to hold round final week, and will do the identical in Week 3. 

Falcons-Giants goes to extra time

Newest Odds:

Atlanta Falcons

Two 0-2 groups face off this Sunday, with the Atlanta Falcons going to New York to tackle the Giants. The Falcons are coming off of a tricky loss to the Buccaneers. Whereas the ultimate rating was 48-25, Atlanta really entered the fourth quarter down simply three factors. Two pick-sixes by Mike Edwards within the last stanza wrapped this one up, nonetheless. The Giants are thought of the higher workforce on this matchup, however this squad is one that may’t get out of their very own method.

Of their 30-29 loss to Washington on Thursday evening, Darius Slayton dropped a landing that might have prolonged New York’s result in double digits within the fourth quarter. Then, the Giants performed for a area aim within the pink zone as a substitute of a landing late within the sport, and at last, Dexter Lawrence jumped offsides on the final play of the sport, which gave Dustin Hopkins one other probability to hit the game-winning area aim. Saying the Giants shot themselves within the foot is an understatement. That is a loss that might be laborious to return again from. 

On the opposite facet, I believe Matt Ryan is mad. The primary two weeks of the common season have been horrible for this Falcons offense, and whereas it appeared like Ryan was orchestrating a comeback within the third quarter final Sunday, it blew up in his face. Our SportsLine simulations predict this sport goes to be very shut. I will exit on a limb and say it goes to extra time. 

Brady’s 4 TDs down Rams in L.A.

The Buccaneers have been two-point underdogs to the Rams earlier this week, in response to Caesars Sportsbook. Now, they’re one-point favorites. I do know Falcons-Buccaneers final week wasn’t essentially appointment viewing, however Brady was once more implausible and handed for 5 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He now leads the NFL in passing touchdowns with 9 via two video games. 

Buccaneers-Rams this Sunday would be the sport of the week, as these are two NFC contenders that need to be enjoying in SoFi Stadium in opposition to an AFC opponent come February. This might be a preview of the NFC Championship sport, which after all means Brady might be going to ball out. We acquired a preview of the eventual NFC Championship sport final yr in October, when the Bucs hosted the Packers. Brady and the offense went on a 38-0 run after happening 10 within the first quarter on the way in which to a blowout win. I say Brady tosses 4 touchdowns because the Buccaneers emerge victorious. 

For those who assume Brady throwing for 4 touchdowns would not qualify as a “daring prediction,” I’ll level out that the Rams protection is among the greatest within the league and has allowed only one landing via the air in two video games.

Many have been excited to observe the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2 after they appeared fairly explosive in opposition to the Falcons, however their offense scored simply 11 factors in opposition to the San Francisco 49ers. Other than a number of Jalen Hurts scrambles, Philly’s solely explosive play got here by way of Quez Watkins, who had a 91-yard catch.

According to Next Gen Stats, Watkins reached a prime velocity of 21.62 miles per hour on this play, which is the quickest velocity reached by a ball-carrier this season. He additionally has the sixth-highest receiving PFF grade (82.3) of any large receiver, and his 79.1 general PFF grade ranks No. 13 amongst wideouts within the league. Watkins completed with 117 yards receiving on simply two catches final week, and will have a giant day in opposition to the Dallas Cowboys‘ go protection.

The Cowboys have the second-worst go protection within the league via two video games, as they’ve allowed a median of 346 air yards per sport. Watkins is a weapon who focuses on getting behind the protection, and may be capable of just do that a few occasions on Monday evening. Those that watched the Eagles’ first preseason game took discover of Watkins, as he caught a 79-yard landing and would have had a 98-yard rating if Hurts had thrown an correct go downfield. He is as a consequence of have an eye-popping sport on a nationwide stage. To illustrate 150 yards receiving. | NFL Week 3 daring predictions: Christian McCaffrey explodes on ‘Thursday Night time Soccer,’ Justin Fields begins


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