NFL Week 3: Reasons to watch each game

Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season provided another solid slate of games, which included some impressive comebacks by the Dolphins to beat the Ravens and the Jets to defeat the Browns.

Heading into Week 3, there are plenty of intriguing matchups for fans to watch. It all starts when division rivals the Steelers and Browns square off on Thursday Night Football. Then there’s a showdown between two of the hottest teams in the AFC as the Dolphins battle the Bills on Sunday afternoon and some important divisional matchups.

Our NFL Wire editors offered their reasons for why you should tune in to each game in Week 3.

Live games, analysis and more 7 days a week: Get ESPN+

Steelers at Browns

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers: The pressure is on the Steelers both coaches and players to get this offense on track. Even with a short week, Pittsburgh needs to make changes to the offense if they hope to outscore anyone this season, much less the Browns this week. QB Mitch Trubisky is on the clock after two shaky starts and all eyes will be on him to see if he can do enough to hold off rookie Kenny Pickett. – Curt Popejoy, Steelers Wire

Browns: After the rest of the AFC North made the Browns feel better about blowing a two score lead in 1:55 to the Jets, they still have a fighting chance to stay in the fight over the next nine games. A win in Primetime against a divisional foe will do quite a bit for the fanbase and team. – Cory Kinnan, Browns Wire

Saints at Panthers

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Saints: Win, lose, or draw, the Saints are always watchable with Jameis Winston at quarterback. And he’s looking to bounce back after a really rough collapse against his old team. The Panthers always seem to compete hard against New Orleans in these early-season matchups, so we’ll be expecting another close one on Sunday. Let’s just hope Winston throws more bombs to the players in black and gold jerseys than those in Carolina blue. – John Sigler, Saints Wire

Panthers: Okay, we’re not going to lie to you—the Panthers have been a pretty rough watch thus far. Over their first two games, they’ve amassed zero takeaways and just as many touchdowns as they have botched snaps. And now, at a disappointing 0-2, head coach Matt Rhule is quickly running out of games to save his team and his job. So perhaps, if nothing else, a little desperation ball will be somewhat amusing to tune in to. It’s just about do-or-die time in Carolina. – Anthony Rizzuti, Panthers Wire

Texans at Bears

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Texans: This should be a terrific opportunity for the Texans to get their first win of the 2022 season. Lovie Smith’s team was leading Russell Wilson and the Broncos into the second half in Week 2. Can they finish the deal against the Bears, who created only 48 net passing yards and scored just 10 points against the Packers on Sunday night? Chicago has allowed almost 190 rushing yards per game to start 2022, so rookie running back Dameon Pierce could have a breakout performance. – Zach Kruse, Texans Wire

Bears: The Bears and Texans have two of the worst offenses, so if you’re into good ol’ fashioned run-the-ball, low-scoring affairs, this is the game for you. The Bears’ passing offense has been non-existent, Justin Fields has attempted just 28 passes this season and their biggest playmakers Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet have been missing in action. But after back-to-back games against playoff caliber teams, the Bears have a chance to rebound against a Texans team that’s more on their level. – Alyssa Barbieri, Bears Wire

Chiefs at Colts

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Chiefs: Watching these two teams play after the Colts were shutout by the Jaguars in Week 2 might feel like an opportunity for a Lion to pounce on an injured Gazelle. The reality is that this game has all of the makings of a trap game for the Chiefs. Indianapolis will be looking to get their first win of the season, they’ll be playing at home and they’re facing a Kansas City team that they historically have a lot of success against. Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the gang will have to be cautious or risk an upset. – Charles Goldman, Chiefs Wire

Colts: The main reasons for watching this game are to watch a generational talent at quarterback with Patrick Mahomes or to keep up with fantasy football studs like Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor. Coming off of an abysmal 24-0 divisional loss, the Colts have zero identity. The defense is scrambling in a new scheme while Matt Ryan is under duress nearly every snap. This has the potential to be a bloodbath at Lucas Oil Stadium, but Mahomes and some fantasy football investments on both sides will be reasons enough to watch. – Kevin Hickey, Colts Wire

Bills at Dolphins

AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell

Bills: This game is a whole lot more interesting thanks to the Dolphins’ comeback against the Ravens. However, we’re still feeling good about the Bills’ chances. Josh Allen is a dropped pass in the end zone in the dying seconds by Charles Clay from being undefeated in his career against Miami. For whatever reason, Buffalo plays the Dolphins so well since Allen’s joined the team–even when he’s been benched late in the year to rest for the playoffs. But let’s be honest, that game last week by the Dolphins was nuts–could this end up being the game of the week? – Nick Wojton, Bills Wire

Dolphins: This is the contest that all of the offseason moves were for. Bringing in Tyreek Hill and Terron Armstead as well as an offensive-minded head coach with a quarterback friendly scheme was all done to see just how the Dolphins could match up with the back-to-back AFC East champions. Now, Tua Tagovailoa and company will have a chance to keep up with Buffalo’s offense, while Miami’s defense looks to bounce back from a lackluster performance in Week 2 by slowing down MVP candidates Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. – Mike Masala, Dolphins Wire

Lions at Vikings

USA Today Sports

Lions: Detroit has scored 35 of more points three games in a row dating back to last season. It’s the first time since 1953 the Lions have posted points like that. Can they keep the streak alive against a divisional foe in their first trip away from Ford Field? WR Amon-Ra St. Brown has at least eight receptions in eight straight games. If St. Brown makes it nine in a row, he breaks the tie for the NFL record of most consecutive games with at least eight catches. Rookie DE Aidan Hutchinson notched his first three sacks in Week 2 and is looking for more. The Lions lead the NFL in yards per carry at 7.2 and the Vikings surrender 5.3 YPC, so there could be more big runs from RB D’Andre Swift. – Jeff Risdon, Lions Wire

Vikings: Who are the real Minnesota Vikings? I predicted a finish right around .500 before the season due to the massive variance in play this roster has shown us over the Kirk Cousins era. That hasn’t changed over the course of the first two weeks where the Vikings looked like a Super Bowl contender in week one and a team destined for a top ten pick in week two. The days on kumbiya are over with new HC Kevin O’Connell as he faces his first read adversity as head coach. Can Cousins and the Vikings shake off what happened in Philadelphia? It won’t be easy against a division rival Lions team that should have beaten them twice and has only gotten better. – Tyler Forness, Vikings Wire

Ravens at Patriots

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Ravens: Baltimore was a part of one of the more epic comebacks in NFL history in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins, albeit on the wrong side. Despite their collapse, QB Lamar Jackson had an electric game while S Marcus Williams notched two interceptions, adding to his league-leading total. The Ravens and Patriots have a rivalry that goes back years, and even with QB Tom Brady out of the fold, New England HC Bill Belichick is one of the brightest football minds the game has ever seen. Baltimore has made plenty of exciting plays so far throughout the 2022 season, and that should continue in Week 3. Kevin Oestreicher, Ravens Wire

Patriots: If you needed any more proof that the football gods exist, take this one on for size: The Ravens got outscored 28-3 in a fourth-quarter meltdown against the Miami Dolphins, which is the same deficit the Patriots overcame to beat the Atlanta Falcons at Super Bowl LI. Bring on all of the conspiracy theories because this game is going to be loaded with fun. Bill Belichick made Lamar Jackson look human on the field two years ago. Can his Patriots do it again? How will Mac Jones and the sluggish Patriots offense fare against the league’s worst passing defense? Who wins the battle of coaching wits between Patriots offensive play-caller Matt Patricia and Ravens defensive coordinator Mike MacDonald? – Jordy McElroy, Patriots Wire

Bengals at Jets

Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals: It’s tough to argue a season rides on a Week 3 outcome but the playoff-hopeful, Super-Bowl-hangover prone Bengals have already dug themselves a historically bad hole with the 0-2 stumble out of the gates. Joe Burrow doesn’t look comfortable in the pocket, the line that added four new starters looks sluggish and the play-calling, from prep to scheme right on down to execution has been subpar, to put it nicely. Plus, the defense that carried the team to the Super Bowl last year gave up 14 points to a backup passer over two drives in Dallas last week. Which is to say…this is the chance to get back on track before a quick turnaround to a Thursday night game against Miami, making it a must-watch affair. – Chris Roling, Bengals Wire

Jets: After last week’s improbable comeback victory against the Browns, the Jets’ offense actually looks watchable, even with Joe Flacco under center, who is actually boasting the third-highest passing yards total through two weeks. Garrett Wilson showed flashes of being a potential star in the league in the victory. The Jets have a chance to really start turning heads this week and have the opportunity to put the reigning AFC champions in an early 0-3 hole. Only six teams in NFL history have ever come back from an 0-3 start to make the playoffs and only once has it happened since the league expanded to 32 teams. – Billy Riccette, Jets Wire

Raiders at Titans

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders: The Raiders completely dominated the Cardinals for the first three quarters in Week 2. But then they ran out of gas and now they sit at 0-2 for the first time since 2018. With the AFC West being one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL, the Raiders can’t afford to start out 0-3. They’ll need to get a win on the road against another 2021 playoff team looking to avoid an 0-3 start. There is no such thing as a must-win game in September, but this about as close as it gets for the Raiders and Titans entering Week 3. – Marcus Mosher, Raiders Wire

Titans: The Week 3 game between the Titans and Raiders features two teams that are desperately trying to bounce back from an 0-2 start, so you might see some acts of desperation in this one. With the way the Titans’ defense has played to start the season, and with the Raiders and Titans both sporting some impressive weapons on offense, this game has all the makings of a shootout that will go down to the wire. In their last meeting in 2019, the Titans and Raiders combined for 63 points, 42 of which came from Tennessee. – Mike Moraitis, Titans Wire

Eagles at Commanders

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles: Eagles fans are riding high after the team moved to 2-0 on the season after an emotional victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Now Philadelphia must look towards the past and their first meeting with former No. 2 overall pick Carson Wentz. The Eagles chose Jalen Hurts over the former North Dakota State star and Sunday offers the first of two highly anticipated matchups. Philadelphia has a chance to start the season 3-0, but they’ll need to avoid falling flat and allowing their former captain to shred them in a matchup that he’s look forward to now for two years. – Glenn Erby, Eagles Wire

Commanders: Carson Wentz passed for over 300 yards and four touchdowns in his Week 1 debut for Washington. In Week 2, Wentz passed for 337 yards and two touchdowns. Now, Wentz faces the team that drafted him for the first time. We will learn a lot about the Commanders and their offense against a tough, aggressive Philadelphia defense. Seeing Wentz vs. the Eagles is one of the NFL’s top storylines of the week. – Bryan Manning, Commanders Wire

Jaguars at Chargers

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguars: Optimism turned into results for the Jaguars in Week 2 when they smashed the Colts and took first place in the AFC South. Was it real or is Duval County just the Colts’ Bermuda Triangle? A cross-country game against a dangerous contender in the Chargers will answer questions about whether the Jaguars have turned a corner or are just headed in the right direction with a long ways to go. – Adam Stites, Jaguars Wire

Chargers: This week’s storyline is the status of Justin Herbert, who has a fracture to his rib cartilage that he sustained in the Week 2 loss to the Chiefs. It remains to be seen who will be under center. Still, whether it’s Herbert or Chase Daniel, this will mark the most challenging test for QB Trevor Lawrence yet, as he will face a stiff defense with seven sacks and three interceptions (and it would have been seven had the Chargers not gotten bailed out by two offsetting penalties and two dropped picks against Kansas City). – Gavino Borquez, Chargers Wire

Rams at Cardinals

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rams: The Rams went from getting blown out in Week 1 to nearly blowing a 28-3 lead against the Falcons. With this team, you truly don’t know what you’re going to get in Week 3 against a Cardinals team that mounted a miraculous comeback against the Raiders. Matthew Stafford could throw three picks, or he could connect with Cooper Kupp for 150 yards and two more touchdowns. The defense is playing better, too, with Jalen Ramsey building some confidence after his game-sealing interception on Sunday. – Cameron DaSilva, Rams Wire

Cardinals: The Cardinals looked bad on offense and atrocious on defense for the first six quarters of the season but then put together one of the most impressive rallies to win on Sunday in Week 2 in overtime. Kyler Murray threw a touchdown pass and converted a crazy 21-second play for a two-point conversion. He also rushed for a touchdown as time expired in regulation and converted the two-point conversion to force overtime. They won the game on a 59-yard fumble return for a touchdown by cornerback Byron Murphy. They were great on both offense and defense after halftime. Can they keep it up against the Rams, who embarrassed them in the playoffs last season and have beaten them 10 times in their last 11 meetings, or will they revert to how they looked before halftime of last week? – Jess Root, Cards Wire

Falcons at Seahawks

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons: Atlanta has lost two games by a combined five points and very nearly pulled off a comeback in Week 2 despite trailing 28-3 in the second half. First-round pick WR Drake London is coming into his own and currently leads the Falcons in receiving yards. With Seattle also going through a bit of a transitional phase, Atlanta has a chance to get its first win of the season on Sunday. – Matt Urben, Falcons Wire

Seahawks: Seattle is off to a rough start in the post-Russell Wilson era. Hope must be found in the younger playmakers on the roster who could become something special down the line. Last week rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen used his freakish length and speed to block a field goal which turned into a touchdown for his team. Woolen may be the best athlete this franchise has drafted in a long time and will likely find new ways to impact the game every week. – Tim Weaver, Seahawks Wire

Packers at Buccaneers

Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

Packers: Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady. Rematch of the 2020 NFC title game. Maybe the final meeting of two of the greatest quarterbacks ever. A showdown of two of the top NFC contenders in 2022. The ol’ NFC Central nostalgia. “America’s Game of the Week” on FOX. Need anything more? This is the top matchup of Week 3. – Zach Kruse, Packers Wire

Buccaneers: Aaron Rodgers has faced Tom Brady twice since the latter came to Tampa Bay, and the GOAT has gotten the better of him both times. Brady has beaten Rodgers in Tampa, and he even snatched a Super Bowl berth away from him at Lambeau two years ago. Rodgers won’t have Davante Adams this time, and Brady won’t have Mike Evans, but both defenses might steal the show in this Round 3 between two future first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterbacks. – Luke Easterling, Bucs Wire

49ers at Broncos

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo is back under center. In a vacuum that’s not super fun, and might defeat the purpose of an article aimed at convincing readers to watch. However, Garoppolo’s return to the starting QB job means the 49ers’ quick passing game where WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk and TE George Kittle can make plays with the ball in their hands. It’s perhaps the most electric offense in the league when it’s clicking. On top of all that, San Francisco might have the best defense in the NFL. They’re ferocious at the line of scrimmage and they’re generating turnovers in the secondary. If defense is your thing — you’ve got to watch this 49ers unit play. – Kyle Madson, Niners Wire

Broncos: A Sunday Night Football spotlight is reason enough to tune in, but Denver might also be at a breaking point just three weeks into the season. First-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett admitted after Week 1 that he mishanlded the team’s season opener, and his follow-up performance wasn’t much better in Week 2. Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson has publicly backed his coach, but he did admit (diplomatically) that Hackett can improve. This might be the week that Hackett turns things around and gets an important win that proves he’s the right man for the job. Or he might lose at home and Denver’s season could spiral out of control. Tune in to find out! – Jon Heath, Broncos Wire

Cowboys at Giants

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys: What else are you going to do on a Monday night, watch reruns of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air? The NFC East is competitive, and one never quite knows how a division game works out. Dallas will look to end the Giants’ best start since 2016 with a dose of Cooper Rush trying to become just the third QB in Cowboys history to win their first three career starts. Micah Parsons has his sights set on the NFL sack record with four in two games and has become the latest must-see defender in the league. – K.D. Drummond, Cowboys Wire

Giants: The Giants are 2-0 for the first time since 2016, Saquon Barkley is leading the league in rushing and Wink Martindale’s defense is fascinating. Kayvon Thibodeaux is poised to make his NFL debut and it’s Giants-Cowboys on Monday Night Football. What more can an NFL fan ask for? This is about as good as it gets for Week 3. – Dan Benton, Giants Wire

Story originally appeared on Buccaneers Wire