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Players Can Wear No. 0, Roughing the Passer Not Reviewable, and More



The 2023 NFL owners meetings are the best opportunity for rule changes to happen. NFL Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay delivered some good news and bad news to franchises, players, and fans alike on Tuesday when he announced how several key votes went down. We tallied the results of the NFL rule proposals to see where the league got it right, and which proposals passed or fell short.

For rules to pass, at least 75%, or 24 of 32, owners must approve of the proposition. There were eight competition-based rules proposals and nine club-playing rules proposals. Nine total rules were passed.

Let’s dive into the results.

NFL Rule Proposals Results

Players Can Start Wearing No. 0

The Philadelphia Eagles successfully won their bid to allow the usage of the number zero (“0”), and kickers and punters to use any jersey number between 0-49 and 90-99. The number zero became a first-time sight for collegiate fans in 2022 when the NCAA adopted this rule. The NFL now follows college football.

MORE: 100% Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator

This is a tough one to love. For as good as the No. 1 looks on a receiver, No. 0 isn’t especially attractive. Despite this, new Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Calvin Ridley quickly announced that he’ll be the first player in franchise history to wear the number. Count me in as skeptical on this one.

Onside Kicks Were Not Amended

The Eagles were unsuccessful in their other key playing rules proposition. They sought an alternative to onside kicks to help make the game safer and slightly increase the chances of retaining possession of the ball. Philadelphia wanted to substitute one offensive play as a 4th-and-20 attempt from the kicking team’s 20-yard line for an onside kick attempt.

McKay said, “there’s not a lot of support” for the proposition, noting there’s a historical success rate of 13-14% of recovering an onside kick. He said the league is coming off a year with a 4% success rate, which is the lowest ever.

However, this lack of excitement hasn’t led to a universal desire to reward trailing teams just yet. I’d expect this one to be revised and possibly gain momentum in future years.

Roughing The Passer Is Not Reviewable

The most surprising result from the NFL owners meetings was that the Los Angeles Rams’ proposal on roughing the passer wasn’t approved. Despite fans bemoaning the current trend of bad roughing the passer calls, McKay said there was little support for adding a review option for the penalty, noting “it wasn’t a long discussion” amongst teams.

The Detroit Lions were unsuccessful in two similar amendments, including a third coaches’ challenge, and expanding the official’s jurisdiction to allow for consultation regarding the penalty assessment. The New York Jets sought to increase the definition of a crackback block to include players in motion who block a defender below the waist but were also unsuccessful.

The Definition of Launch Changes

The NFL was certainly concerned about increasing the ability to protect players by tweaking some language on current rules, even if some new rules weren’t adopted. The definition of what a launch means now includes when a player leaves one or both feet. McKay said this is part of a health and safety initiative that continues to punish risky behaviors.

Play Clock on Instant Replay Fixed

The Los Angeles Chargers proposed that the play clock could be adjusted after an instant replay reversal. This is a minor move that mirrors other timing rules, but one that can help teams avoid delay-of-game penalties after instant replays. This is a positive fix that can help keep the game clock moving.

Tripping Penalty Upgraded as a Personal Foul

Goodbye, five-yard penalties for tripping. The competition committee sought to make tripping a penalty a more severe offense, and they succeeded in passing the rule.

Fourth-Down Replays Expand

The Houston Texans sought an amendment for the replay official’s jurisdiction to allow for reviews on fourth-down attempts, and their efforts passed. This expansion adds clarity to treat the down as any other, instead of limiting what teams can challenge due to a change of possession.

Forward Handoffs and Illegal Kicks Will Be Penalized Equally

The competition committee made the penalties for two moves equal to other similar acts. Handing the ball forward, which was already illegal, will now be penalized in line with illegal forward passes. Illegal punts, drop kicks, or place kicks will now also be penalized as an illegal forward pass.

Offense Loses Foul Benefit at Halftime

In a way of cleaning up small rule loopholes that could help an offense have another play as the clock reaches halftime, the competition committee passed a rule to prevent that occurrence. Now, offenses can no longer benefit from committing a foul that would give them another play on an untimed down.

Impermissible Use of the Helmet Terms Updated

The competition committee removed language that included the terms “butt, ram, spear” from Article 8 and moved them into Impermissible Use of the Helmet. This seems more mechanical but will again hopefully help officials enforce player safety standards on the field.

Touchbacks Not Changed

There were proposals on the table from the competition committee to change both the punt touchback and kickoff touchback rules. Both failed despite the propositions favoring offensive output and trying to encourage players to take a touchback by moving the ball to the receiving team’s 25-yard-line. The kickoff mechanics will be revisited and could be adjusted.

MORE: Lamar Jackson to Falcons? Odell Beckham Back to L.A.?

This one is a disappointing outcome considering kickoffs have been essentially a waste of time over the last few years. The small handful of returns we see are rarely worthwhile.

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Top 3 Storylines To Watch Include Brock Purdy’s Excellence and Where in the World Is Kayvon Thibodeaux?




The New York Giants at the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football might not be the matchup we thought we were getting before the season commenced. The 49ers are a double-digit favorite at home against the Giants, who are coming off just escaping Arizona with a win after an embarrassing beating versus Dallas in Week 1.

What Are the Top Storylines To Watch Tonight?

No Saquon Barkley in the lineup makes an already questionable offensive attack even less appealing. The 49ers have been great so far, but the offensive line has not made things easy on their young QB. Is this the week Kayvon Thibodeaux drops his invisibility cloak?

Where in the World Is Kayvon Thibodeaux?

Giants fans on social media are NOT happy with Thibodeaux’s performance through two games this season. Honestly, it’s hard to blame them.

No matter where one looks from a defensive metrics perspective, Thibodeaux has been missing in action. But numbers alone lack important context.

Pass rushing is an art, and teams that run a lot of play-action force rushers to buy new canvas and supplies after they already started their newest project. The Cowboys used it on 41% of Dak Prescott’s dropbacks. Joshua Dobbs and the Cardinals used it on 34% of their dropbacks.

Then, there is how quickly QBs get rid of the ball. Dobbs averaged 2.73 seconds in Week 2, and Prescott was at an astonishing 2.11 in Week 1. In other words, nobody had a chance to get home consistently against the Cardinals or Cowboys.

Add in a secondary starting not one but two rookies on the outside, and you’re asking your defensive front to perform miracles, especially given how aggressive Wink Martindale is. Which leads up to the next point.

thursday night football tonight

This isn’t your average four-down, drop-seven defense. Thibodeaux isn’t pinning his ears back the way Nick Bosa, T.J. Watt, and Myles Garrett are. And it doesn’t help that Azeez Ojulari is missing on the opposite side.

Do the elites overcome all of these situational factors? Usually to a degree. It’s fine to be disappointed in the young pass rusher, but he’s far from a bust through two weeks of his second NFL season.

Now Evan Neal…

What Makes Brock Purdy Different (And Better) Than Jimmy Garoppolo?

It might not be long before Brock Purdy legitimately establishes himself as a top-10 QB in the NFL. The narrative will likely lag behind nationally because of his… irrelevant… draft status. But Purdy’s play on the field is demanding respect, even independently of the phenomenal situation he was thrust into.

Despite Jimmy Garoppolo’s success in San Francisco, very few people ever regarded him as a top-10 passer in the league. His EPA+CPOE composite during that time (.129) matches Aaron Rodgers, a man who won two MVPs in that time. His success rate (50.9) is higher than Rodgers’ (49.3), but not a single sane human would compare the two.

What makes Purdy different?

He doesn’t have a very big arm. The Iowa State passer was never a dangerous rushing threat. At 6’1″ and 220 pounds, he’s not a prototypically sized QB. So, what makes his success more independent than Garoppolo?

Nobody cares about singles. And Garoppolo, for all of his efficiency, was a singles-only hitter.

Purdy is the same sort of assassin over the middle that Garoppolo was. He’s not as whip-smart yet, but that will come in time. And while Kyle Shanahan’s system and the weapons at his disposal help him immensely, Purdy consistently makes plays outside of that offensive structure that Garoppolo can only daydream about.

Part of that comes down to passing the athletic threshold necessary to create, and the other part comes down to his innate ability to manipulate and manage pressure on his way to creating hallways to deliver passes.

MORE: Giants vs. 49ers Predictions, Picks, Odds Today

San Francisco’s OL isn’t doing him a ton of favors, but Purdy’s lateral mobility, sturdy frame, and creativity allow him to seek creases to escape pressure and deliver into the intermediate levels of the field. He’s able to attack the line as a runner, freezing linebackers and safeties enough to hit crossing patterns.

And while the middle-of-field mania gets all the attention, Purdy consistently tests downfield and along the boundaries as well, an area the offense avoided like the plague with Garoppolo.

An offense that was already outrageously efficient found a way to keep that efficiency while also becoming more explosive.

Can We Finally Get a Clean Prime-Time Game?

In Week 1, the Kansas City Chiefs’ weapons let down Patrick Mahomes in the season opener. The Cowboys embarrassed the Giants on Sunday Night Football. Josh Allen played like Rodgers gave him Ayuascha before the Monday night showdown in New York.

Week 2 was even uglier. The Vikings played hot potato with the football against Philadelphia, whose offense hasn’t looked right yet through two weeks. The Saints and Panthers game was an absolute snooze-fest, aside from a few insane catches from Chris Olave and Michael Thomas. The Browns and Steelers, meanwhile, did everything to lose the game.

Only the Dolphins and Patriots Sunday night matchup had any redeeming qualities. However, New England’s offense is so uninspiring that even a game featuring Miami’s offense felt dull at times.

A 10-point spread, no Barkley, and a struggling Giants OL do not bode well for NFL fans for Thursday Night Football tonight. Even if this game is close, it’ll likely come down to traditional sloppiness rather than legitimate play from each team. The 49ers simply outclass New York in every area of the field aside from their OL vs. the Giants DL.

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Updates, Results, and More From Thursday Night Football Matchup




Amazon Prime’s Thursday Night Football returns tonight, and we might witness one of the more lopsided games of this young NFL season. The New York Giants, who are coming off of an impressive 21-point come-from-behind victory against Arizona, will travel to San Francisco to take on the Super Bowl contender 49ers.

Make sure to bookmark and return often as we provide all the news, analysis, and up-to-date results for the Giants vs. 49ers game.

We will update this table as the game progresses.

We will add highlights and analysis as the Giants vs. 49ers game progresses.

Thursday Night Football stays on Prime Video this week. Fans can stay tuned into Amazon’s video streaming service all season long for the Thursday night showdowns, except Thanksgiving week when NBC returns for a one-off takeover. Here’s how to watch the NFL game tonight.

  • Date
    September 21, 2023
  • Start time
    8:15 p.m. ET
  • Location
    Levi Stadium
  • Channel/Live Stream Option
    Prime Video, FuboTV

Giants vs. 49ers Betting Predictions and Best Bets

All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook unless stated otherwise.

  • Spread
    49ers -10
  • Moneyline
    Giants +410, 49ers -550
  • Over/Under

Giants vs. 49ers Predictions

Bearman: We know going into this matchup that San Francisco has one of the better defenses in the league, and the Giants had next to nothing on offense for the first six quarters of the season.

Now, Daniel Jones and Co. woke up in the second half vs. Arizona, but you have to wonder if that was more a bad team protecting a lead or if the Giants figured something out. Either way, they now play against the Niners without Barkley.

MORE: NFL Survivor Picks Week 3

San Francisco has scored 30 points in both of their games, so that scares me off the game total. As a result, I will play the Giants’ team total under.

Jones has rushed for 43 yards and 59 yards in the first two games this season. Without Barkley, there should be more designed running plays for him. I’ll go over his rushing total as well.

Picks: Giants team total under 16.5 (-108 at DraftKings), Daniel Jones over 38.5 rushing yards (-115 at DraftKings)

Blewis: The Giants had their biggest comeback in franchise history last week, but it was against the Cardinals. As impressive as the comeback was, trailing by 21 points to this Cardinals team in the first half is almost equally pathetic.

The 49ers, you could argue, look like the best team in the NFL right now. They’re 2-0 straight up and would be 2-0 ATS if not for Sean McVay’s inexplicable decision to play for the cover in the final seconds last week.

On a short week in which both teams are banged up offensively, I’m going to go with the under. This is also a huge mismatch between the Giants’ offensive line and the 49ers’ pass rush.

We saw how badly the Dallas Cowboys dominated the G-Men in Week 1, and the 49ers’ defensive line is almost as talented.

I also expect Kyle Shanahan to play this one a bit conservatively. He already admitted this week that they need to keep Christian McCaffrey fresh and get Elijah Mitchell more involved. What better opportunity than on a short week as double-digit favorites?

Pick: Under 44.5 (-108 at DraftKings)

For more picks and predictions, make sure to check out our enitre betting preview for Giants vs. 49ers.

Giants vs. 49ers Fantasy Start/Sit Advice

Daniel Jones

“Danny Dimes” checked every box fantasy football managers could possibly ask for in the Giants’ comeback win over the Arizona Cardinals last weekend, and that was great to see.

The former Duke Blue Devil totaled 321 pass yards and two touchdowns through the air and nine carries for 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground. But by “great to see,” I mean for October.

MORE: Fantasy Football’s Week 3 Burning Start/Sit Questions

New York’s final game of September comes on short rest against one of the elite defenses in the league without their top playmaker. San Francisco has allowed just two touchdown passes on 101 attempts this season, and they have coughed up under six yards per pass in both weeks to open the season. Jones is a top-15 QB the rest of the season — just not this week.

Brock Purdy

For the first time in his career, Brock Purdy didn’t come through for fantasy managers. Even on a down week, a rushing touchdown helped his fantasy box score. If a swing pass to WR Deebo Samuel goes a few inches forward instead of a few inches backward, we’re talking about another 18+ point fantasy day.

I like Purdy over Jones if you’re picking a QB in this game to play, but I’m not sold on either being viable in anything but the deepest of leagues.

Make sure to check out entire fantasy start/sit breakdown for the Giants vs. 49ers.

Who Are the Inactives for Thursday Night Football Tonight?

New York Giants Inactives

  • RB Saquon Barkley (Ankle)
  • G Ben Bredeson (Concussion)
  • DE Azeez Ojulari (Hamstring)
  • OT Andrew Thomas (Hamstring)

Inactives will be updated when announced.

San Francisco 49ers Inactives

Inactives will be updated when announced.

What Are the Starting Lineups for Each Team?

Giants Projected Starters

The projected starting lineup is based on the current Giants depth chart.

  • Quarterback: Daniel Jones
  • Running Back: Matt Breida
  • Wide Receiver: Darius Slayton, Parris Campbell, and Isaiah Hodgins
  • Tight End: Darren Waller
  • Left Offensive Tackle: Matt Peart
  • Left Offensive Guard: Joshua Ezeudu
  • Center: John Michael Schmitz
  • Right Offensive Guard: Mark Glowinski
  • Right Offensive Tackle: Evan Neal
  • Defensive End: Leonard Williams
  • Defensive Tackle: A’Shawn Robinson
  • Nose Tackle: Dexter Lawrence II
  • Right Outside Linebacker: Kayvon Thibodeaux
  • Right Inside Linebacker: Bobby Okereke
  • Left Inside Linebacker: Micah McFadden
  • Left Outside Linebacker: Jihad Ward
  • Left Cornerback: Tre Hawkins III
  • Right Cornerback: Deonte Banks
  • Free Safety: Jason Pinnock
  • Strong Safety: Xavier McKinney
  • Kicker: Graham Gano
  • Punter: Jamie Gillan
  • Long Snapper: Casey Kreiter
  • Punt Returner: Eric Gray
  • Kickoff Returner: Eric Gray

49ers Projected Starters

The projected starting lineup is based on the current 49ers depth chart.

  • Quarterback: Brock Purdy
  • Running Back: Christian McCaffrey
  • Fullback: Kyle Juszczyk
  • Wide Receiver: Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel
  • Tight End: George Kittle
  • Left Offensive Tackle: Trent Williams
  • Left Offensive Guard: Aaron Banks
  • Center: Jake Brendel
  • Right Offensive Guard: Spencer Burford
  • Right Offensive Tackle: Colton McKivitz
  • Left Defensive End: Nick Bosa
  • Left Defensive Tackle: Javon Hargrave
  • Right Defensive End: Drake Jackson
  • Right Defensive Tackle: Arik Armstead
  • Strong Linebacker: Oren Burks
  • Middle Linebacker: Fred Warner
  • Weak Side Linebacker: Dre Greenlaw
  • Left Cornerback: Charvarius Ward
  • Right Cornerback: Deommodore Lenoir
  • Free Safety: Tashaun Gipson Jr.
  • Strong Safety: Talanoa Hufanga
  • Kicker: Jake Moody
  • Punter: Mitch Wishnowsky
  • Long Snapper: Taybor Pepper
  • Punt Returner: Ray-Ray McCloud III
  • Kickoff Returner: Ray-Ray McCloud III

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Can Bengals, Chargers, and Patriots Avoid a Dreaded 0-3 Start?




Every NFL season, there are a few weeks that, on paper, look like duds. However, those weeks can sometimes provide us with quality entertainment, whether it be in the form of upsets or bad football chaos. The Monday Night Football doubleheader in Week 2 was pure, awful chaos. What do the NFL Week 3 predictions have to offer us?

Pro Football Network’s Week 3 NFL Predictions

First, let’s settle down from the first two weeks of the NFL season among the game selectors.

Year to Date

  • Adam Beasley: 19-13
  • David Bearman: 21-11
  • Dalton Miller: 21-11
  • Jay Morrison: 15-17
  • Dallas Robinson: 19-13

It is far too early to toot one’s own horn. We started strong a season ago before falling to the wayside and allowing Dallas Robinson to take home the crown in the regular season. They say you can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning. Likewise, it’s tough to win with a sluggish start to the season.

These predictions are simply deciding between winners and losers. There are no point spreads here. For that, head over to our Week 3 betting predictions.

New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers

  • Beasley: 49ers
  • Bearman: 49ers
  • Miller: 49ers
  • Morrison: 49ers
  • Robinson: 49ers

A short week after a hard-fought battle against — checks notes — the Arizona Cardinals does not bode well for the New York Giants. Add in an ankle injury for Saquon Barkley, and there are some incredibly difficult questions to answer for the Giants heading into Levi’s Stadium.

MORE: Ranking the NFL’s 2-0 Teams

The San Francisco 49ers haven’t skipped a beat on defense after losing DeMeco Ryans to a head coaching gig, and the offense looks as efficient as it was late last season so far. A Brandon Aiyuk injury could be something to monitor — but having Deebo Samuel, Christian McCaffrey, and George Kittle makes it feel like everything will be okay for the 49ers offense.

Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens

  • Beasley: Ravens
  • Bearman: Ravens
  • Miller: Ravens
  • Morrison: Ravens
  • Robinson: Ravens

Anthony Richardson was electric early in his second professional start, and he showed intelligence and maturity after his second rushing touchdown. After playing two more drives and six more snaps, he reported concussion-like symptoms to the training staff, and he did not return to the game afterward.

It’s a shame we likely won’t see Richardson and Lamar Jackson face off. Richardson’s legs would have been an outstanding weapon against a fierce Baltimore Ravens defense.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts have their hands full with the Ravens offense. Jackson is passing the ball incredibly well so far in 2023. He’s still a worrying product when pressured, but he’s been an assassin when kept clean. The Ravens are the better team, and losing the dynamism of Richardson, it will be tough for the Colts to keep up.

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns

  • Beasley: Browns
  • Bearman: Browns
  • Miller: Browns
  • Morrison: Titans
  • Robinson: Browns

This was one of the more difficult matchups of the weekend to decide on. Ryan Tannehill and the Tennessee Titans’ passing attack was awful in Week 1. But the Titans’ defense is incredibly talented, and Deshaun Watson looks like a shell of his former self so far as a Cleveland Brown.

The Cleveland defense is also legitimately talented, and now they’re well-coached. If they can keep the lid on Derrick Henry and Tyjae Spears, they’ll force Tennessee to sustain drives and work from behind the sticks. If they get behind schedule and are forced to drop back with Tannehill, that Cleveland pass rush and secondary will pounce on any mistake he makes.

But Watson’s play so far, and the unfortunate loss of Nick Chubb, makes the Browns’ entire season outlook cloudy.

Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions

  • Beasley: Lions
  • Bearman: Lions
  • Miller: Lions
  • Morrison: Lions
  • Robinson: Lions

If the Atlanta Falcons do somehow come into Detroit and escape with a win, it could say a lot about the direction of both teams for 2023. The Detroit Lions’ offense has been rocking so far through two weeks, particularly through the air. However, Ryan Nielsen’s defense is built well to stop the middle-of-field attack that Detroit will bring.

But do we trust the Atlanta Falcons’ offense to put enough points on the board? Desmond Ridder flashes quality quarterback play, but those flashes are often interrupted by an awful decision or a wild misfire.

New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers

  • Beasley: Packers
  • Bearman: Saints
  • Miller: Saints
  • Morrison: Packers
  • Robinson: Packers

The transitive property would suggest that because the Falcons beat the Green Bay Packers, and the New Orleans Saints should be the cream of the NFC South crop, then they should win this football game. But we know that’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

Jordan Love has been really impressive so far through two weeks of play. However, the New Orleans Saints are a test unlike the Packers have faced to date.

The Saints offense has moved the ball decently to start the season, but it’s turned into a pumpkin as it crosses the opponent’s 20-yard line. Michael Thomas looks to be about back, and his size and physicality should be a utilized weapon in that area of the field.

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Beasley: Jaguars
  • Bearman: Jaguars
  • Miller: Jaguars
  • Morrison: Jaguars
  • Robinson: Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have done just about everything within their power to shoot themselves in the foot over the first two weeks of the season. Trevor Lawrence and this offense need to get back into a groove after an ugly Week 2 performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, but that’s easier said than done behind a bad offensive line.

And with Will Anderson coming off the edge on the other side, there’s no way that Trevor Lawrence can feel comfortable when he drops back to pass. Doug Pederson needs to get the ball out of his hands very quickly and into the hands of his playmakers around the line of scrimmage.

On the other side of the ball, C.J. Stroud has played surprisingly well for the Houston Texans since a disastrous first outing in the preseason.

Denver Broncos at Miami Dolphins

  • Beasley: Dolphins
  • Bearman: Dolphins
  • Miller: Dolphins
  • Morrison: Dolphins
  • Robinson: Dolphins

This game sets up to be incredibly one-sided, even if the Miami Dolphins have only won their first two games by a combined nine points. The Denver Broncos (0-2) have lost to the Washington Commanders and Las Vegas Raiders. The Dolphins have beaten the Los Angeles Chargers and New England Patriots. Denver has a tough matchup here.

Christian Wilkins (94) celebrate the win against the New England Patriots with guard Austin Jackson (73) in the last seconds of play at Gillette Stadium.
Sep 17, 2023; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) celebrate the win against the New England Patriots with guard Austin Jackson (73) in the last seconds of play at Gillette Stadium.

Denver’s defense has more leaks than the Iraqi Navy right now, and the Dolphins are the last offensive unit a struggling defense wants to see right now. Not only are they physically dominant, but they also scheme defenses out of their shoes.

Additionally, Vic Fangio’s defense, theoretically, should be the worst possible matchup for Russell Wilson, who is now living solely off his ability to create or chuck it accurately downfield. Taking the downfield element away and forcing him to sustain drives would be bad news for Sean Payton.

Los Angeles Chargers at Minnesota Vikings

  • Beasley: Vikings
  • Bearman: Vikings
  • Miller: Chargers
  • Morrison: Vikings
  • Robinson: Chargers

The Chargers and Minnesota Vikings are both on the ropes. They each have potent offenses being anchored down by defenses that are struggling to maintain a semblance of sufficiency. But they’re also in different stages as organizations.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has come in and turned the Vikings roster on its head, snipping away at veteran contracts left and right. Mensah is building for long-term success instead of instant success. Last year was a fluke; they know that, and they acted accordingly.

Meanwhile, the Chargers are a team that has continuously added to the roster and coaching staff in order to fix their team’s woes. But Brandon Staley’s defense continues to be downright dreadful despite adding pieces left and right to avoid that very outcome.

The Chargers simply need it more.

New England Patriots at New York Jets

  • Beasley: Jets
  • Bearman: Patriots
  • Miller: Patriots
  • Morrison: Jets
  • Robinson: Patriots

A battle to avoid 0-3 brews in New Jersey on Sunday as the Patriots and New York Jets face off in an intradivisional defensive slugfest.

Mac Jones has looked surprisingly springy so far in 2023. He’s back in an offense that plays off of his strengths as a passer, and he’s been somewhat effective despite lacking a legitimate No. 1 option on the outside. In fact, the Patriots might not even have a legitimate No. 2 target on the roster.

MORE: Ranking the NFL’s 0-2 Teams

But their defense is good. The Dolphins are simply so fast that most defenses will look grossly outmatched by them. Zach Wilson will have a difficult time getting much going through the air against New England, especially with a bad matchup against Matthew Judon on the outside.

Buffalo Bills at Washington Commanders

  • Beasley: Bills
  • Bearman: Bills
  • Miller: Bills
  • Morrison: Bills
  • Robinson: Bills

The Commanders have struggled to come away with wins against the Cardinals and Broncos. Buffalo came out sloppy against the Jets in Week 1, but Josh Allen seemed like he’d sobered up for the drive against Las Vegas in Week 2 as the Buffalo Bills thoroughly dismantled the Raiders.

Sam Howell has been impressive so far as a first-year starter, but there is still a ways to go in his development. He often tries to do a little bit too much, something that could have catastrophic consequences against a defensive front as talented as the Bills possess.

Meanwhile, the Washington secondary struggled to keep WRs in front of them against Denver. Allen and the Bills’ offensive staff will undoubtedly try to push the ball downfield a few times in this one.

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks

  • Beasley: Seahawks
  • Bearman: Seahawks
  • Miller: Seahawks
  • Morrison: Seahawks
  • Robinson: Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks offense got back on its early ’22 grind last week against the Lions. Despite losing both offensive tackles for the game, Geno Smith played an incredibly efficient game, leading Seattle to a 37-31 win in hostile territory.

Meanwhile, the Carolina Panthers’ offense leaves a lot to be desired. Their QB is nursing an ankle injury, and they’re down their best cornerback for a few more weeks. Although an Andy Dalton-led attack could actually be more formidable at this point in Young’s development, it likely wouldn’t be enough to outduel the Seahawks.

Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals

  • Beasley: Cowboys
  • Bearman: Cowboys
  • Miller: Cowboys
  • Morrison: Cowboys
  • Robinson: Cowboys

This one doesn’t need a whole lot of discussion. The Dallas Cowboys are the top team in the PFN Consensus Power Rankings, and the Cardinals are dead last.

Chicago Bears at Kansas City Chiefs

  • Beasley: Chiefs
  • Bearman: Chiefs
  • Miller: Chiefs
  • Morrison: Chiefs
  • Robinson: Chiefs

The Chicago Bears are an abject disaster. Their last win came against the Patriots on Oct. 24, 2022. Since that time, Kansas City has won 13 games, including a Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Las Vegas Raiders

  • Beasley: Steelers
  • Bearman: Raiders
  • Miller: Steelers
  • Morrison: Raiders
  • Robinson: Steelers

What happens when a stoppable force meets a moveable object? Well, we’ll find out when the Pittsburgh Steelers offense travels to battle the Raiders defense on Sunday Night Football. Nobody asked for this football game to be on prime time, but it looks like we’ll have a Sunday night slop fest on our hands.

The Steelers’ defense is strong but flawed. If there’s one matchup to keep a keen eye on, it’s the Steelers pass rush against the Raiders offensive line. Pittsburgh needs to get pressure defensively to succeed. Their secondary is undermanned outside of Minkah Fitzpatrick. Meanwhile, the Raiders OL has been brilliant so far.

That is the matchup that likely decides this contest.

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Beasley: Eagles
  • Bearman: Eagles
  • Miller: Eagles
  • Morrison: Eagles
  • Robinson: Eagles

Another peculiar scheduling decision by the committee, but this time it worked out for them. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been surprisingly good so far in 2023. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Eagles are off to a slow start through the air, and the spine of their defense is an absolute tragedy at the moment.

Baker Mayfield looks better than he has since his shoulder injury in Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season, and having weapons like Chris Godwin and Mike Evans certainly helps. They will face a battered Eagles secondary, making for a surprisingly even battle on that side of the ball. But it’s only even if the Eagles’ defensive front can pressure Mayfield.

On the other side of the ball, The Buccaneers are built precisely to stop the run in their primarily single-high defense. However, Jamel Dean must unplug his power cord and plug it back in to reset his play to the 2022 level he showed. Avoiding the Eagles’ downfield bombs could be the key to an upset.

Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals

  • Beasley: Bengals
  • Bearman: Bengals
  • Miller: Bengals
  • Morrison: Bengals
  • Robinson: Bengals

The Los Angeles Rams sat at 31 on the PFN Consensus Power Rankings done by yours truly heading into the season. They now sit much higher than that. In fact, their loss against the 49ers may have proven their legitimacy more than their win against the Seahawks. Seattle is a good team, but the 49ers are a Tier 1 team, and the Rams played them tough.

MORE: 2023 NFL QB Rankings

It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see them test the Cincinnati Bengals from whistle to whistle on Monday night. However, it’s also incredibly difficult to imagine a scenario where the Bengals fall to 0-3.

It’s early in the week, and Joe Burrow’s calf could throw a wrench in this entire prediction. However, it appears Burrow’s calf is in better shape after two days of rest than many were anticipating, which is a good sign for his status on Monday. Soft-tissue injuries are tricky to navigate, though.

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