NFL Week 3 matchups: Bills-Dolphins battle to remain undefeated; Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady
Week 2 was week of the comebacks. What does Week 3 have in store? USA TODAY Sports previews Week 3 matchups. One of the biggest is Buffalo playing Miami in a battle of undefeated teams.
Seven NFL teams enter Week 3 still searching for their first victory. While six NFL teams enter Week 3 undefeated, including the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills who put their undefeated records on the line Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. Week 3 is also highlighted by a battle in Tampa Bay between future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
Entering the third week of the regular season, 12 games have already been decided by three points or fewer.
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) vs. Cleveland Browns (1-1)
Najee Harris had a career-high 206 yards from scrimmage the last time these two teams met, including a personal-best 188 rushing yards. Harris should get plenty of touches this week as the Steelers try to jumpstart their offense. Nick Chubb ranks second in the league in rushing entering Week 3. The Steelers swept the season series last year.
Houston Texans (0-1-1) vs. Chicago Bears (1-1)
Texans coach Lovie Smith faces a Bears franchise that he led to the Super Bowl during the 2006 season. David Montgomery is coming off a 122-yard rushing performance, the third most rushing yards he’s had in a single game. Houston’s given up 326 rushing yards in two games, the third most in the league.
New Orleans Saints (1-1) vs. Carolina Panthers (0-2)
The Saints have won five of the last six games against the Panthers. They'll have a difficult time winning on the road if they have another five-turnover performance in Week 3. The Panthers are the only team in the NFL without a takeaway.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-1-1)
Patrick Mahomes has a league-best 127.9 passer rating through two games. He’s registered seven touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Colts have produced just two offensive touchdowns and have five giveaways heading into Sunday. The key for the Colts to pull off the big upset? Dominate time of possession by giving Jonathan Taylor the football. Taylor’s 215 rushing yards ranks third in the NFL.
Buffalo Bills (2-0) vs. Miami Dolphins (2-0)
This battle between two undefeated teams will feature the NFL’s top three leading wide receivers entering Week 3 -- Tyreek Hill (284 yards), Stefon Diggs (270) and Jaylen Waddle (240). Tua Tagovailoa leads the NFL with 739 passing yards. Buffalo’s defense has allowed the fewest yards per game in the AFC (215).
Detroit Lions (1-1) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
Last week, Lions’ Amon-Ra St. Brown became the third player in league history to record at least eight receptions in eight consecutive games. The Vikings’ Justin Jefferson was held to just 48 receiving yards last week, but the Minnesota wideout holds the NFL record for most receiving yards in a player's first two seasons. The past three games in this NFC North rivalry have been decided by two points.
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Baltimore Ravens (1-1) vs. New England Patriots (1-1)
Sunday is New England’s home opener. The Patriots have allowed just 78 rushing yards per game through two weeks. Lamar Jackson has an NFL record 11 career games with 100-plus rushing yards. The Ravens should be motivated to rebound after their fourth-quarter meltdown last week, where they were outscored 28-3 in front of their home fans.
Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) vs. New York Jets (1-1)
The defending AFC champions surprisingly will try to get their first win of the season on Sunday against a Jets team that defeated them last year. Both of the Bengals’ losses have come on a field goal as time expired. Joe Burrow continues to take hits. He’s been sacked a league-most 13 times going into Week 3. The Jets have just three sacks going into Sunday’s matchup.
Las Vegas Raiders (0-2) vs. Tennessee Titans (0-2)
Sunday can’t come fast enough for the Raiders and Titans as both teams hope to turn the page from disastrous performances. Last week, Arizona’s 20-point comeback was the largest lead surrendered in Raiders history. Tennessee was routed by Buffalo, 41-7, and is 0-2 for the first time since 2012. Davante Adams has 12 catches, 153 yards and 2 TDs in his first two games with the Raiders. The Titans' secondary gave up 12 catches, 148 yards and 3 TDs to Stefon Diggs in Week 2.
Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) vs. Washington Commanders (1-1)
Jalen Hurts’ 723 total yards ranks second in the NFL among QBs. His 723 total yards are the most by an Eagles player through two weeks since Mike Vick (2012). The Commanders defense has given up an average of 404 yards per game. The Eagles have won two straight versus Washington. Philadelphia is 2-0 for the first time since 2016.
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)
Justin Herbert’s rib injury is a huge storyline this week. Will the third-year quarterback be able to suit up? If so, how effective will he be? The Jaguars lead the NFL with a +5 turnover differential. The Chargers’ turnover last week cost them the game in Kansas City.
Los Angeles Rams (1-1) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
Last week against the Raiders, the Cardinals overcame a deficit of 20 or more for the first time since 1999. Arizona can’t dig themselves in a hole versus the Rams. The defending Super Bowl champions won’t implode in the second half like the Raiders. The Rams are tied for the NFL lead with seven takeaways going into this matchup in the desert. Arizona’s lost six home games in a row dating back to last season.
Atlanta Falcons (0-2) vs. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
The winless Falcons have lost two games by a combined five points. Drake London leads all rookies in receptions (13) and receiving yards (160). The Seahawks currently rank second to last in total offense. Jordyn Brooks already has 23 tackles this season (most in the NFC). Brooks produced 184 tackles last year, which ranked second in the NFL.
Green Bay Packers (1-1) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)
Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have won a combined six Super Bowl MVPs. No game in league history has featured starting quarterbacks with six total Super Bowl MVPs. The two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks are going to garner all the headlines in this one, but Tampa Bay’s defense is the key for the Bucs to stay undefeated. The Bucs have the NFL’s top scoring defense entering Week 3.
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) vs. Denver Broncos (1-1)
Jimmy Garoppolo resumes his role as the 49ers' starting quarterback after Trey Lance sustained a season-ending right ankle injury in Week 2. The 49ers have averaged an NFL-high 35:54 in time of possession this year. The Broncos offense has managed just 16 points in both their games this season and were booed at home last week. Sunday is set to be the 49ers’ first game in Denver since 2014.
Dallas Cowboys (1-1) vs. New York Giants (2-0)
This is the Giants’ first Monday night game in MetLife Stadium since Nov. 2, 2020. The Giants haven’t started a season 3-0 since 2009. If the Giants want to get off to their best start in over a decade, they’ll have to contain linebacker Micah Parsons and the Dallas front seven. Parsons leads the NFL with four sacks. He’s recorded two sacks in each of his first two games.
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Tyler Dragon on Twitter @TheTylerDragon.