Week 3 of the 2023 NFL regular season is in the books. It was another great week of football and we were treated to some exciting matchups. Today we take a look back at the third week of action and give you some takeaways, as well as look forward and preview some of the Week 4 slate.
(All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Browns, fresh off losing star running back Nick Chubb to a season-ending injury, absolutely dominated the Titans from the opening kick. Cleveland held the Titans to just 94 offensive yards, sacking Ryan Tannehill five times and holding Derrick Henry to 20 yards on 11 carries, an average of just 1.8 Y/A. The Browns’ defense is legit, and if Deshaun Watson can play like he did on Sunday (27/33, 289 yards, 2 TDs) more often, Cleveland has a chance to be one of the more dangerous teams in the AFC.
Three weeks into the season, the Dolphins have been the most impressive team in football. Miami continued their red-hot start on Sunday scoring 70 points, the most in an NFL game since 1966, in a win over the Denver Broncos. Miami recorded 726 yards of total offense, yes you read that right, 726 yards. That is more than some teams will record in a three-game span. Tua Tagovailoa tossed four more touchdown passes and continued to look like the early frontrunner for league MVP.
After a Week 1 loss to the New York Jets, the Buffalo Bills have looked much more like the Super Bowl-contending team we thought they would be in the last two weeks. Buffalo has outscored their last two opponents 75 to 13, including an impressive 37-3 win over the then 2-0 Washington Commanders in Week 3. Buffalo’s defense picked off Commanders’ quarterback Sam Howell four times and sacked him a remarkable nine times. Josh Allen and the offense played a solid game, but it was the defense that really led the way. If Buffalo’s defense is going to play like that more often they are a true threat to win the Super Bowl.
It pains me to put the Cowboys on here but there’s just no way they are not the biggest loser of Week 3. Dallas came into the game against the Cardinals as a 12.5-point favorite and ended up losing the game outright 28-16. Dallas’ defense could not stop a nosebleed on the ground, allowing 222 rushing yards and 7.4 Y/A. On offense, the Cowboys had no problem moving the ball from 20 to 20, but really struggled in the red zone. Dallas ended the day one for five in red zone opportunities, eventually sealing their fate for their first loss of the season.
Dallas wasn’t the only big favorite to lose on Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens, who came in as 7.5-point favorites, also lost to the Indianapolis Colts. Baltimore’s offense got the ball twice in overtime but was unable to put even a field goal on the board, and eventually turned the ball over on downs resulting in a Colts game-winning field goal. The Ravens did not lay as much of an egg as Dallas did, but losing as a 7.5-point favorite at home is never a good sign.
When you give up 70 points in a game, it’s safe to say that you had a rough week. The Broncos were on the other end of the Dolphins’ record win, and they looked awful on both sides of the football. Giving up 700+ yards in a single game does not even seem possible, but Denver somehow found a way to do so. Sean Payton and Russell Wilson have a lot of work do to if they are going to climb out of this 0-3 hole.
Game of The Week (Week 4)
Miami Dolphins (3-0) at Buffalo Bills -2.5 (2-1)
There’s absolutely no doubt this week’s best game comes in Buffalo as the Dolphins travel to take on the Bills. Miami has looked like the best team in football three games in, and they’ll get a huge test to prove that against the Bills. This game figures to feature plenty of firepower, making the O/U for the matchup 53.5.
Favorite of The Week
New England Patriots (1-2) at Dallas Cowboys -7 (2-1)
Call me crazy, but I see the Cowboys bouncing back in a big way against the Patriots this week. New England has an immobile quarterback, a shaky offensive line, and a lack of speed. These three things should be music to the ears of the Cowboys’ defense, and they are in a prime position to get back on track this Sunday. Dallas’ offense may continue their red zone struggles, but the defense will lead the way to a double-digit win.
Underdog of The Week
Baltimore Ravens +2.5 (2-1) at Cleveland Browns (2-1)
This is by far my favorite play of the week. Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens are 20-4-1 against the spread in their last 25 games as an underdog. Baltimore put up a stinker last week and Cleveland played about as well as they could. As we always see in the NFL, things always seem to find a middle ground. Baltimore opened as a +3.5-point dog and has already moved to +2.5. The lines moving in Baltimore’s favor and for good reason. They are going to cover this Sunday.
Over of The Week
Atlanta Falcons (2-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2) O/U = 43.5
The Jaguars are another team coming off a bad loss in Week 3, as they gave up 37 points at home in a loss to the Texans. Jacksonville has a good enough offense to bet on a bounce-back this week and Atlanta should be able to move the ball through the air against the Jags’ defense.
Under of The Week
Washington Commanders (2-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) O/U = 44
The Commanders put up just three points last Sunday against Buffalo and allowed nine sacks. This week against an even better Eagles’ defense, there’s a decent chance they could put up less than 10 points again. The Eagles defensive line is going to wreak havoc on Sam Howell and Washington’s offense, giving this under a very good chance to hit.