By Hannah Brewitt, CNN
The action continues this weekend with 13 Sunday showdowns including nine games with 1 p.m. kickoffs, and concludes with another Monday Night Football double-header.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Minnesota Vikings @ Los Angeles Chargers, 1 p.m. ET
The Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Chargers meet for an important early-season matchup on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams began the season with high expectations after making the playoffs in 2022, but have made shaky starts to the year, each losing their first two games of the season.
With the dreaded 0-3 start on the line, this game is as close to a “must-win” as it gets this early in the year. Since 1990, just four of 158 teams that started the season with three consecutive losses ultimately reached the postseason. That’s a dismal 2.5%.
Looking at Sunday’s game through this lens, fans could be seeing a September matchup with playoff implications.
For the Vikings, the key to victory will be minimizing turnovers. In two weeks, Minnesota has turned the ball over seven times, including six lost fumbles.
These mistakes have essentially canceled out the offensive contributions made by quarterback Kirk Cousins and wide receiver Justin Jefferson.
Cousins is tied for the most passing touchdowns with six and has the second-most passing yards with 708 while Jefferson leads the NFL with 309 receiving yards.
If the Vikings can eliminate turnovers and lean on Cousins’ and Jefferson’s offensive prowess, they will have a much better chance of defeating the Chargers.
On the other hand, the Chargers have zero turnovers entering this week’s contest. They are the first team in NFL history to start a season 0-2 despite scoring 50-plus points with no giveaways.
Their biggest problem isn’t the offense, it’s the defense. Los Angeles has given up the most total yards per game and third most points entering Week 3.
The defensive unit needs to make significant improvements for the team to succeed this weekend and down the line.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7:15 p.m. ET
Monday night’s double-header begins with a battle of unbeaten teams. Quarterback Jalen Hurts and the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles will travel south to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Eagles’ 2-0 start to the season is hardly surprising. The team returned to play in 2023 with a vengeance after suffering a heart-breaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.
Through two weeks of play, Philly’s offense averages 29.5 points per game and ranks second in the NFL in rushing. Hurts is one of the strongest rushing quarterbacks in the NFL with 28 rushing touchdowns in 47 career games.
With one more rushing touchdown against Tampa Bay, he will pass former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in their first 50 career showings.
The Buccaneers are led by former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield whose five-year NFL career can be best described as unstable.
The 2017 Heisman winner had a tumultuous run with the Cleveland Browns that culminated in a dramatic exit from the franchise.
He then split the 2022 season between the Panthers and Rams, struggling to find success on either roster. Now with Buccaneers, Mayfield has experienced a career resurgence.
In his first two weeks as Tom Brady’s successor, he completed 47 of 68 passes for 490 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Will he be able to keep this impressive start alive with an underdog victory over the Eagles?
Los Angeles Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals, 8:15 p.m. ET
Week 3’s finale features a Super Bowl LVI rematch between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals will look to secure their first victory of the season, but they might have to play without their star quarterback, Joe Burrow.
Burrow is currently listed as day-to-day with a calf injury that he appeared to aggravate in Week 2’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
If Burrow does not suit up, backup quarterback Jake Browning will make his first career start as his replacement.
The Rams enter this week’s matchup fresh off a 30-23 loss to the divisional rival San Francisco 49ers. While Los Angeles didn’t squeeze out a victory in Week 2, the matchup did shine a spotlight on some of the squad’s premiere young talent.
Most notably, wide receiver Puka Nacua had a breakout performance, setting a single-game rookie record with 15 receptions for 147 yards. His 25 receptions on the season are the most by any player in the NFL at this stage and are the most-ever by a player in their first two career games.
The record-breaking rookie will look to build on this historic start to the season with another standout performance against Cincinnati.
Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions, 1:00 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Chargers @ Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m. ET
New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers, 1:00 p.m. ET
Houston Texans @ Jacksonville Jaguars, 1:00 p.m. ET
Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins, 1:00 p.m. ET
Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns, 1:00 p.m. ET
Buffalo Bills @ Washington Commanders, 1:00 p.m. ET
Indianapolis Colts @ Baltimore Ravens, 1:00 p.m. ET
New England Patriots @ New York Jets, 1:00 p.m. ET
Carolina Panthers @ Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. ET
Chicago Bears @ Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. ET
Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Las Vegas Raiders, 8:20 p.m. ET
Philadelphia Eagles @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7:15 p.m. ET
Los Angeles Rams @ Cincinnati Bengals, 8:15 P.M. ET
How to watch
Here’s how to catch these teams in action, from wherever you are.
Australia: NFL+, ESPN, 7Plus
Brazil: NFL+, ESPN
Canada: NFL+, CTV, TSN, RDS
Germany: NFL+, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN
Mexico: NFL+, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports
UK: NFL+, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5
US: NFL+, CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN, Amazon Prime
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