The final games for Week 3 for the 2023 NFL season have arrived. Tonight we have a double-header on Monday Night Football. First up is the Eagles visiting the Buccaneers in an NFC matchup. Our friends at DraftKings Sportsbook have the Eagles as 5-point favorites in the first game.
In the second game, the Rams will battle the Bengals. DraftKings Sportsbook has the Bengals as 2-point favorites in the nightcap game.
This is an open thread for game chat.
Let’s see how the BTB staff picked the game.
Here are their thoughts on why they made their pick.
Dave Halprin: We’d like nothing better than the Eagles dropping this game to the Bucs, but football logic says it won’t happen. The Bucs have had a great start, but they get exposed tonight. As for the other game, it’s a hard one to predict because of the health of Joe Burrow, but for now, I’m taking the Bengals at home.
Matt Holleran: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been one of the league’s more surprising team through their first two games. Tampa has beaten Minnesota and Chicago, and their quarterback, Baker Mayfield, has looked good in the process. Unfortunately for Tampa, their good start is going to hit a bump in the road tonight. The Eagles have not played perfect football in their 2-0 start, but they are simply so much better on both sides of the ball than Tampa. The Eagles win this one with ease, 27-17.
This Super Bowl LVI rematch between the Bengals and Rams will be pivotal to both teams. Cincinnati desperately needs a win to avoid starting 0-3, and the Rams are looking to build off their solid start. Joe Burrow’s status is up in the air, but even if he is out there he will not be 100% healthy. Burrow and the Bengals’ offense has struggled quite a bit the first two weeks, and his injury will only make matters worse. I see the Rams’ offense making one more play than Burrow and the Bengals are able to. Give me the Rams, 26-23.
RJ Ochoa: Obviously everything to do with the Bengals changes if Joe Burrow does not play, but at this point it is still too hard to know. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and roll that way despite being somewhat impressed by how the Rams have been playing. Give me the Bengals ugly to get their first win of the season.
Given the events of Sunday it would be wonderful if the Buccaneers could do us a solid, but they do not exactly seem like a contender despite their 2-0 status. I’ll take the Eagles to win and at this point because of what has shown to be one of their greatest qualities... finding a way to win even if the football is less than glamorous. Boo.
David Howman: The Eagles and Buccaneers are two of the NFL’s last remaining undefeated teams, and it seems likely one of them will emerge with a loss. I’m not counting out the Buccaneers, as their defense is really good and the Eagles offense has yet to look like they did a year ago. That said, I don’t trust Baker Mayfield against a pretty stout Eagles pass rush. I’ll take the Eagles 28-17.
It all comes down to Joe Burrow: will he play or not? The Bengals have been bad enough even with Burrow, while the Rams have been surprisingly competitive. Regardless of Burrow’s status, this could be a very close one, but I’ll take the Bengals 17-14. There’s no way they start 0-3, right?
Tom Ryle: ‘d really like to predict a Buccaneers win, because if the Eagles win, social media is going to be even more of a fetid cesspool with Philly fans mocking the Cowboys and their followers. While I do believe the Eagles are vulnerable, they also have shown a real ability to rise to the challenge - you can fill in your own comparisons there. I really wish Baker Mayfield would have himself a day, but he will probably get picked a time or two and Philadelphia will win by about 10.
The Cowboys aren’t the only team fighting injury problems, of course, and to me this one is simple. If Joe Burrow doesn’t play, I think this is a Cincy loss. But they are doing the game time decision dance. We know that didn’t work out in Dallas for the injured O linemen. That has little to do with how things are going for the Bengals. If Burrow does play, this is probably invalid, but I think he won’t and the Rams will cruise to a two score win - or more.
Brian Martin: Unless the Eagles decide to pull a no-show much like the Cowboys did against the Cardinals, they should be able to take care of a less talented Buccaneers team relatively easily. I’d really like to see Tampa Bay pull off the upset though. Unfortunately, I think Philadelphia wins by at least two scores.
The Monday night matchup between the Bengals and Rams all comes down to Joe Burrow. He’s less than 100% and may not even suit up for this game, which is why I’m predicting Aaron Donald and the LA defense gets the better of Matthew Stafford and Company. Give me the Rams by at least 10 points.
OCC: The arc of the universe bends towards justice: If the Cowboys laid a stinker on Sunday, why shouldn’t the Eagles do the same on Monday? Bucs over Eagles.
The Rams average +0.09 EPA per play on offense this year, the Bengals -0.17. Rams with the road win.