Around the NFL: Week 3 Recap

Week 3 Takeaways and Implications for Week 4

Concise game recaps from Week 3 below that provide you with the information that matters to attack Week 4. Head over to our game matchup dashboards to see how every team matchups up on either side of the ball this week as every team continues to reveal who they are in 2023. Once you digest takeaways from the Week 3, head over to our dashboard section to breakdown the Week 4 board.

49ers / Giants

  • The Giants ran into a buzz saw on a short week on TNF against the 49ers, just 4 days removed from a dramatic comeback win over the Cardinals in Arizona. The Giants were down 2 starting OL’s and Saquon Barkley and struggled to generate any offense, posting just 150 yards of total offense (3.3 yards per play).
  • SF dominated NYG, outgaining them by a margin of 441-150 and winning the time of possession battle 39:10 – 20:50. The Giants managed just one trip to the RZ on their second drive of the 2nd half.
  • Brock Purdy was shaky and made some bad throws throughout the first half, but finished with 310 yards and 2 TD’s on 25-37 passing. Deebo Samuel caught 6 balls for 129 yards and 1 TD on 12 targets, while George Kittle caught 7 balls for 90 yards on 9 targets.
  • Christian McCaffrey was efficient on the ground, running for 85 yards on 18 carries (4.7 YYPC) and 1 TD. He and Elijah Mitchell combine for 127 yards on 29 carries.
  • Darius Slayton led Giants’ WR’s with 3 catches for 32 yards, while Matt Breida ran for 17 yards on just 4 carries.
  • The 49ers are 14-point favorites at home against the Cardinals, who won outright as 12.5-point underdogs at home over Dallas in Week 3. The Giants return home as 1.5-point favorites over Seattle, who posted a 37-27 win at home over the Panthers in Week 3 with 425 yards of total offense.

Browns / Titans

  • The Browns continue to demonstrate themselves as one of, if not the best defense in the league through 3 weeks in 2023. They held Tennessee to just 94 yards of total offense (2.1 yards per play), racked up 5 sacks, held TEN to 2-12 on 3rd down and stifled the Titans’ run game that posted just 26 yards rushing on 15 carries.
  • Deshaun Watson took advantage of one of the worst secondaries in the league, finishing with 289 yards and 2 TD’s on 27-33 passing; Amari Cooper thrived, catching 7 balls for 116 yards and a TD on 8 targets. Cooper could have finished with an additional 30 or so yards and another TD had the side judge not blown the whistle on a play where Cooper caught a ball deep and was never downed or stepped out of bounds.
  • Jerome Ford carried the ball just 10 times for 18 yards and 1 TD; Pierre Strong Jr. got 6 touches for 27 yards on the ground, while Kareem Hunt carried the ball 5 times for 13 yards; the jury is still out on who’s in charge of replacing Nick Chubb.
  • Tennessee posted just 26 yards of total offense on 19 plays in the second half as Cleveland steadily built their lead and cruised to a 27-3 rout.
  • The Browns head into Week 4 with a MNF showdown against the Ravens as 2.5-point favorites in what looks like it could be another defensive slugfest with two top 10 defenses on the field, while the Titans will open as 1.5-point underdogs at home against the Bengals, who will have an opportunity to open the floodgates against this secondary that ranks 29th in passing yards allowed per game and 26th in YPA through three weeks.

Falcons / Lions

  • Desmond Ridder does not look like the guy for the starting job in Atlanta through three weeks, which is unfortunate because the Falcons have talented players all over the field on offense and have significantly improved their defense from seasons past. Ridder led the Falcons to 4 punts and a field goal on 6 drives in the first half, leading Atlanta to a total of 84 yards on 29 plays. In the second half, Ridder engineered drives that ended in a missed FG, punt, punt, turnover on downs, field goal and a fumble en route to a 20-6 loss.
  • Ridder was sacked 7 times and finished with 201 yards on 21-38 passing (3.1 YPA); the Falcons put together just one trip to the RZ.
  • Jared Goff was efficient for Detroit, finishing with 243 yards on 22-33 passing with 1 TD and 1 INT, taking no sacks. Amon-Ra St. Brown finished with 9 catches for 102 yards on 12 targets; Sam LaPorta and Kalif Raymond were the only other WR’s targeted in this one.
  • The Falcons head to London as 3-point underdogs to the Jaguars, who have the advantage of playing over there every year and as a result have a better feel for the nuances trip than Atlanta does; The Lions are 1.5-point road favorites on TNF against the Packers at Lambeau.

Packers / Saints

  • New Orleans cruised out to a 17-0 halftime lead, with an elite defense that held GB to just 85 yards of total offense on 28 plays, but the tides changed quickly in the second half when Derek Carr was sacked and injured his throwing shoulder on the first drive of the second half. Green Bay overcame a 17-0 deficit in the 4th quarter with two 80-yard scoring drives that gave them a 18-17 win. Jameis Winston finished 10-16 for 101 yards and lead the Saints to 4 punts and a missed field goal in relief of Carr.
  • New Orleans couldn’t take advantage of Green Bay’s suspect run defense in this one, rushing for just 77 yards on 22 carries without Jamaal Williams. They will get Kamara back from suspension next week against a TB defense that’s been stout against the run but was exploited by Philly on Monday night.
  • Chris Olave (8 catches, 104 yards, 11 targets) and Michael Thomas (6 catches, 50 yards, 9 targets) dominated target share, but the Saints couldn’t post any points in the 2nd half to put Green Bay out of reach.
  • Jordan Love finished just 22-44 passing for 259 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT and rushed for 39 yards on 9 carries and 1 TD. Green Bay was banged up in this one, down 2 starting OL’s, Christian Watson and Aaron Jones, which translates to a gutsy come from behind win.
  • The Packers are 1.5-point underdogs at home on TNF against the Lions, while the Saints are 3-point favorites at home against TB with Derek Carr’s health in question.

Dolphins / Broncos

  • This game as a bloodbath from start to finish, as the Dolphins scored a TD on their 3rd play from scrimmage and posted 5 tuddy’s on 6 first half drives. Miami posted 726 yards of total offense and 70 points, finishing 6-6 in the red zone, averaging 10.2 yards per play and forcing 3 turnovers.
  • Miami had a balanced attack against New England on SNF in Week 2 and followed that up with another strong effort on the ground, posting 350 yards on the ground on 43 carries (8.1 YPC). De’Von Achane rushed for 203 yards on 18 carries and 2 TD’s, while Raheem Mostert added 82 yards and 3 TD’s on 13 carries. Achane caught 4 balls for 30 yards and 2 TD’s, while Mostert logged 7 catches for 60 yards and 1 TD.
  • Miami’s offense is first in the league on our dashboards in nearly every metric we track – if their defense can round into form under Vic Fangio, the Dolphins are going to be an issue in the race for the AFC title.
  • Denver’s defense has fallen off a cliff since the middle of last season – they now rank 32nd in our defensive efficiency ratings, 31st in EPA/play, 32nd in YPP, 29th in passing YPG, 32nd in YPA and 32nd in rushing YPG allowed – these numbers will be influenced heavily early in the season by this game, but keep in mind Sam Howell threw for 299 yards last week and was sacked by Buffalo 9 times this week.
  • Miami heads to Buffalo as a 2.5-point underdog in a showdown of two of the top teams in the AFC, while the Broncos are 3.5-point favorites on the road against Chicago.

Vikings / Chargers

  • This game played out exactly as everyone expected it to with points, yards, head scratching mistakes and turnovers all over the field. It ultimately ended up being decided by what team had it last, but Kirk Cousins pass to TJ Hockenson in the end zone with 12 seconds remaining was tipped and intercepted to give the Chargers a 28-24 win and kill the Over.
  • Both teams posted 475 yards – an affirmation of both offenses and an indictment of both defenses. Justin Herbert threw for 405 yards and 3 TD’s on 40-47 passing, while Kirk Cousins posted 367 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 INT on 32-50 passing.
  • Minnesota finished just 1-4 on RZ conversions, including the costly INT late in the 4th that lost them the game.
  • Keenan Allen caught 18 balls for 215 yards on 20 targets – his target share this season has been ridiculous and will likely only increase as Mike Williams went down with an injury and is out for the season after posting 7 catches for 121 yards and 1 TD on 8 targets. Justin Jefferson continues to post ridiculous numbers, catching 7 balls for 149 yards and 1 TD on 13 targets.
  • The Chargers were penalized 12 times for 94 yards and rushed for just 30 yards on 15 carries.
  • The Chargers avoided an 0-3 start and head home as 5.5-point favorites against the Raiders, while the Vikings are Vikings are 4-point favorites on the road in Carolina.

Jets / Patriots

  • New England clamped down on Zach Wilson and this Jets’ offense, holding NYJ to 5 punts on their first 5 drives of the first half and a field goal under the 2-minute warning. Wilson led the Jets to 32 yards of offense on 28 plays, including four three-and-outs.
  • New England did not enter the red zone against a Jets’ defense that remains stout but has to be getting increasingly frustrated by Zach Wilson’s ongoing presence in the locker room. The Patriots’ only TD came on a 58-yard passing TD to Pharoah Brown.
  • New England grinded the Jets on the ground for 157 yards on 40 carries, while Mac Jones barely completed 50% of his passes, finishing 15-29 for 201 yards and 1 TD. The Patriots held NYJ to 38 yards on the ground on 22 carries (1.7 YPC).
  • New England’s top-10 defense will have a tougher test on the road against Dallas, and their offense that lacks speed and explosiveness is likely going to have issues against Dallas’ high-powered pass rush and secondary, even without Trevon Diggs.
  • The Patriots are 7-point underdogs on the road in Dallas, while the Jets are 9.5-point underdogs at home against the Chiefs.

Commanders / Bills

  • The Commanders came back down to earth in Week 3 after starting 2-0 as they were completely thrashed by Buffalo in the rain at home. Sam Howell finished 19-29 for 170 yards, 4 INT’s and took 9 sacks against a high-powered Buffalo defense. Washington turned the ball over 5 times in total and finished 1-9 on 3rd down.
  • Buffalo has been lacking a threat on the ground to complement Josh Allen the last few seasons, but James Cook looks like he has the potential to continue to fill that void in 2023. Buffalo finished with 168 yards on the ground on 33 carries (5.1 YPC), and Cook finished with 98 yards on 15 carries.
  • The Bills led just 16-0 at half, posting three TD’s in the 4th quarter, which makes this result look a little more lopsided than it necessarily was on the offensive side of the ball.
  • Buffalo heads home for an AFC East showdown against the Bills as a 2.5-point favorite, while Washington heads to Philly as an 8-point underdog against a defense that was healthy in Week 3 and clamped down on Tampa Bay on MNF.

Jaguars / Texans

  • The Jags fell to 1-2 in a very surprising, lopsided loss in a game where they were 7.5-point favorites. The Jags missed a field goal, blocked a field goal, lost a fumble and punted twice in the first half, spotting the Texans a 17-0 lead heading into the second half. The Jags’ offense has stalled the last two weeks – they’ve continuously shot themselves in the foot with turnovers, penalties and dropped passes and rank 24th in the league in net YPP.
  • CJ Stroud looks like the most polished rookie passer by a wide margin – he finished 20-30 for 280 yards and 2 TD’s, leading the Texans to 9-15 conversion rate on 3rd down and 5 trips to the RZ, though they converted only two trips into TD’s.
  • The Texans head into Week 4 as 3-point underdogs at home against Pittsburgh, while the Jags will need to right the ship in London as 3-point favorites against the Falcons.

Ravens / Colts

  • The Ravens disappointed many who used them in teaser legs after they failed to put the Colts away late in the 4th quarter and in overtime on their way to a 22-19 loss in the rain at home. The Ravens were down several starters on the offensive line as well as Odell Beckham and were playing in the rain, but their offense looked extremely sluggish and lacked explosiveness after they posted a TD on a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive on their first possession of the game.
  • The Colts improved to 2-1 with a huge win over one of the better teams in the AFC on a gusty performance from Gardner Minshew and Zack Moss, who ran for 122 yards on 30 carries. They improve to 2-1 and could be frisky over the course of the rest of the season once they get Anthony Richardson back in the mix.
  • Zay Flowers led Baltimore receivers with just 8 catches and 48 yards on 10 targets. The refs missed a blatant pass interference call in OT that would have given the Ravens a first down and an opportunity to kick a game-winning field goal with another 10 or so yards of offense to follow.
  • The Ravens are 2.5-point underdogs on the road in Cleveland this weekend in a showdown vs the Browns, while the Colts are 1.5-point favorites at home against the Rams.

Bears / Chiefs

  • The Bears were a dumpster fire on both sides of the ball off the field last week; their defensive coordinator’s house was allegedly raided and Justin Fields took direct shots at the coaching staff in a press conference. Chicago proceeded to show up to Arrowhead and get absolutely boat raced by the Chiefs, trailing 34-0 at halftime and 41-0 early in the 3rd quarter against a Bears’ defense that ranks in the bottom 10 of the league in nearly every defensive category we track on our dashboards.
  • KC outgained Chicago by a margin of 456-203, finishing 10-14 on 3rd down with 303 yards passing, 153 yards rushing and converting 5 of 5 trips to the RZ into TD’s. The Chiefs punted on their first drive but scored points on every remaining drive of the first half, while the Bears posted just 75 yards of total offense 22 plays in the first half.
  • Justin Fields finished 11-22 for 99 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT on 11-22 passing and led Bears rushers with 47 yards on 11 carries.
  • Mahomes threw for 272 yards and 3 TD’s on 24-33 passing despite playing just the first drive of the 2nd half.
  • The Chiefs are 9.5-point favorites on the road on SNF against the Jets in what looked like a great matchup in preseason, while the Bears are 3.5-point underdogs against the Broncos in a matchup of two teams who were embarrassed up and down the field on Sunday. 43

Cowboys / Cardinals

  • Dallas laid an egg on the road down two starting offensive linemen in C Tyler Biadasz and G Zack Martin. Arizona jumped out to an early 15-3 lead by posting points on each of their five drives in the first half with three field goals and two TD’s. Everyone has been critical of Jonathan Gannon coming off like a nerd, but the Cardinals have been competitive every week this season – they gave the Commanders a tough game on the road, led the Giants 28-7 at home before imploding and now won outright against Dallas.
  • Josh Dobbs lead the Cardinals to 400 yards of total offense against a Dallas defense that’s considered by many a top 5 unit in the league. James Conner rushed for 98 yards on 14 carries (7.0 YPC) and 1 TD, while Dobbs scrambled for 55 yards of his own. The Cardinals finished with a total of 22 yards on the ground on 30 carries (7.4 YPC).
  • Tony Pollard continues to get a lion’s share of the Cowboy’s touches on the ground, running for 122 yards on 23 carries, but the Cowboys posted just two field goals, a turnover on downs and an INT on four drives in the second half.
  • Dallas shot themselves in the foot often, finishing with 13 penalties for 107 yards and converting just one of 5 trips to the RZ into TD’s.
  • The Cowboys are 7-point favorites at home against the Patriots in Week 2 in what could be a defensive slugfest, with the 4th and 8th ranked defenses by our efficiency metric facing off at Jerry’s World. The Cardinals will head to SF to take on another NFC blue blood as a 14-point underdog that may be exposed on the ground by SF’s high-powered run game.

Seahawks / Panthers

  • Andy Dalton made his return to the starting role in Carolina, throwing for 361 yards and 2 TD’s on 34-58 passing. The Panthers led 13-12 at halftime, but the Seahawks posted a field goal and three touchdowns on 5 drives in second half to regain control of the game; they lead 37-20 with 4:17 to go after Jake Bobo caught a TD.
  • Carolina ran the ball just 14 times for 44 yards, while Kenneth Walker had a big day on the ground, running for 97 yards on 18 carries (5.4 YPC) and scoring two TD’s in the second half. Seattle finished with 146 yards on 33 carries on the ground against a Carolina defense that ranks 29th in rushing yards allowed and 27th in runs of 10+ yards.
  • Seattle finished just 3-13 on 3rd down but managed 6 trips to the RZ, posting TD’s on 3 trips.
  • The Panthers return home as 4-point underdogs against the 0-3 Vikings in Week 4; Young’s status will be the item to watch in this matchup. The Seahawks head across the country to take on the Giants as 1.5-point underdogs on the road.

Raiders / Steelers

  • After starting the season 1-1 but looking awful on offense against two of the league’s best defenses in the 49ers and Browns, the Steelers managed to not trip on their faces on their way to a 23-18 win against the Raiders. The Raiders outgained the Steelers by a margin of 362-333, but Pittsburgh held LV to 4-13 on 3rd down, forced 4 sacks and 3 turnovers.
  • Kenny Pickett was fine, finishing 16-28 for 235 yards and 2 TD’s; George Pickens was Pittsburgh’s leading receiver, catching 4 balls for 74 yards on 8 targets. Pittsburgh jumped out to a 23-7 lead after scoring a field goal and a TD on their first 2 drives of the second half and cruised behind their defense from there.
  • Jimmy G threw for 324 yards, 2 TD’s and 3 INT’s on 28-44 passing, taking 4 sacks and suffering a concussion. Davante Adams caught 13 balls for 172 yards and 2 TD’s on 20 targets, while Jakobi Meyer caught another 7 balls for 85 yards on 12 targets.
  • The Raiders elected to kick a field goal down 8 points with 2:22 left on the clock that made the score 23-18 – they got the ball back on their own 15-yard line with 12 seconds to go and threw an INT to end the game.
  • The Raiders are 5.5-point dogs on the road against the Chargers, while the Steelers head to Houston as 3-point favorites against the upstart Texans, who got their first win of the season on the road against the Jags.

Eagles / Buccaneers

  • The Eagles played bully ball against the Bucs on the road in which they outgained TB by a margin of 472-174. Aside from a 13-play, 69-yard drive tha tended with a field goal midway through the first half, the Bucs ran 17 plays and gained 22 yards. Jalen Hurts threw 2 INT’s in a game where rain was heavy at points, but the Eagles won the time of possession battle 38:55 – 21:05 and forced two turnovers of their own.
  • The Eagles leaned heavily on the run game again in Week 3 against a strong Bucs’ front 7, rushing for 201 yards on 40 attempts. D’Andre Swift rushed for 130 yards on 16 carries (8.1 YPC) and now has 305 yards on the ground over the L2 weeks. AJ Brown caught 9 balls for 131 yards on 14 targets.
  • The Eagles left a lot of points on the field, finishing just 1-5 on the red zone. Hurts passed for 277 yards through the air with 1 TD on 23-37 passing.
  • The Bucs posted just 41 yards on the ground on 17 carries (2.4 YPC) against the Eagles’ stout front 7. Baker threw for just 146 yards on 15-25 passing with 1 TD in garbage time and a costly INT.
  • The Eagles open as 7-point favorites at home against the Commanders, who allowed 9 sacks and threw 4 picks in Week 3 against Buffalo. The Bucs will be 3-point underdogs on the road in New Orleans in a game where everyone will have an eye on Derek Carr’s health.

Rams / Bengals

  • Cincy’s offense continues to sputter early in the season – Burrow finished 26-49 for 259 yards and 1 TD, taking 2 sacks and struggling on throws and timing down the field early. Burrow did find his rhythm in the second half as he fed Jamar Chase, who caught 12 balls for 141 yards on 15 targets. Through three weeks, they rank 27th in passing YPG, 32nd in YPA and 25th in passes of 10+ yards.
  • Cincy’s defense held Stafford and LA’s upstart offense in check, sacking Stafford 6 times and holding him to just 18-33 passing for 269 yards. Puka Nacua came back down to earth slightly after a ridiculous start to his career, catching 5 balls for 72 yards on 7 targets. The Rams moved the chains on just 1 of 11 3rd downs and converted only 1 of 4 trips to the RZ into TD’s, while the Bengals managed just one trip of their own to the RZ.
  • Cincy avoided any major disasters after starting Burrow – they head down to Tennessee as 2.5-point favorites against the Titans, who were just routed by a stout Cleveland defense in Week 3. Burrow and Chase will have an opportunity to shred an atrocious Titans’ secondary and right the ship. The Rams are 1.5-point underdogs on the road in Indy.

Made it here? Head over to our game and player matchup dashboards to dissect every matchup and identify the biggest mismatches to attack the betting markets or optimize your DFS and fantasy football lineups in Week 4.