NFL Week 3: Overcoming the Odds – 3 Games to Watch

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Richard Graves

Presenter, Writer and Broadcaster

Rodgers & Brady do Battle in Tampa.

The Eagles Offense Flies into Washington & the Niners Turn to Jimmy G to Keep Their Season Alive


Green Bay Packers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Packers +2.5)

The Green Bay Packers have struggled against the Tom Brady led, Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the past couple of years but, despite their mixed start to this campaign, that maybe about to change.

The Buccaneers are 2-0 to start the season but their offense has hardly been firing on all cylinders. Scoring 19 points against Dallas and 20 last week in New Orleans. Now Tom Brady is without his biggest receiving threat, Mike Evans, who’s serving a one match suspension.  Julio Jones missed last weekend with a knee ailment and Chris Godwin is side-lined with a hamstring injury.

Defensively they’ve been great – giving up just 13 points across 2 games! That’s the challenge for Arron Rodgers and the Packers to overcome.

Last weekend looked better, albeit against a rebuilding Chicago Bears team. WR Allan Lazard returned to action and the ground game was impressive.

Don’t expect this to be a classic.  These are two teams still finding their chemistry in the new season but combined with a rebuilt offensive line, the Buccaneers may have too many injuries to overcome against a Rodgers led offense and a Packers defense which is one of the best in the league. The Packers starting this game as 2.5 point underdogs looks generous.

PICK: Green Bay Packers +2.5


Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Commanders (Eagles +27.5 Total Points)

The Philadelphia Eagles offense has been purring through the first 2 weeks of the season.  They followed up a 38 point game in Detroit by hanging 27 on the Vikings on Monday night.  Whether, through the air with AJ Brown and DeVonta Smith or, on the ground, with Miles Sanders and Jalen Hurts, this team is a headache for opposing defenses.

Aligned with his ability to make plays on the ground, Jalen Hurts has already thrown for over 500 yards through the air in 2 games as well – and now he has receivers who can take the top off of defenses and stretch the field. That’s a major problem for the Commanders coming into this game.

Washington’s defense is giving up 29 points per game and over 400 yards per game.  Admittedly, this is only week 3 but when you consider their opponents have been the Jaguars and the Lions, that spells trouble heading into this game.

This may well turn into a shoot out with QB Carson Wentz lining up against his former team for the first time since the Eagles traded him last year but if the same Philadelphia side which showed up against the Vikings on Monday night, show up in Washington, their offense is in line for another high scoring day

PICK: Philadelphia Eagles +27.5 Total Points



Denver Broncos @ San Francisco 49ers (Under 45 Total Points)

How relieved must the 49ers be that they couldn’t find a trade partner for Jimmy Garoppolo? After effectively freezing him out all off season, it was Garoppolo they turned to in the 1st quarter of last weeks game after Trey Lance went down with a season ending injury. Had things gone according to plan this off season, Garoppolo would be gone and so too now, might have San Francisco’s season.

So, it means this weekend, familiar rivals lead their offenses onto the field as long time Seattle Seahawk, Russell Wilson leads the Broncos into Levi stadium.  It’s fair to say, after the pre-season hype, Wilson and the Broncos have yet to find their swagger this season. Turnover problems in the redzone were costly in week 1, while they struggled past the Texans last weekend.

The 49ers lost in Chicago in week 1 and are now without their first choice QB or running back. First choice running back, Elijah Mitchell is side-lined through injury as well – expect Marlon Mack, newly added to the practice squad to be promoted to the active roster for this game. So, expect this to be a defensive battle. The 49ers will rely heavily on their ground game in an offensive scheme which will now look a lot like last years. While Denver has one of the better defenses in the league.  Incidentally, so too do San Francisco. The first to 23 points may well win this game, making the under mark for total points very appealing.

PICK: Under 45 Total Points

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