Week 3 NFL Preview

PROLIFIC PASSERS TAKE THE STAGE

Week 2 was one for the history books, as high scores, close games and prolific passers around the league highlighted a thrilling week of NFL action. Through the first two weeks of the season, there have been 174 total touchdowns scored, the most in NFL history through Week 2, and the 1,506 total points are the second-most in league annals (1,556 in 2012) through the first two weeks of a season.

Close games continue to be the norm in 2018, as 25 of the season’s 32 games (78.1 percent) through two weeks of the season have been within one score in the fourth quarter, tied for the third-most in NFL history through Week 2. Twenty-one games have been decided by eight or fewer points through Week 2, the third-most in league history through the first two weeks of a season. Nine teams, including four last week (Denver, Minnesota, New Orleans and Tennessee), have won or tied after trailing in the fourth quarter this season.

 

MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST TWO WEEKS, NFL HISTORY

Through the first two weeks of the season, there have been 174 total touchdowns scored, the most in NFL history through Week 2, and the 1,506 total points are the second-most in league annals (1,556 in 2012) through the first two weeks of a season.

MOST TOUCHDOWNS IN FIRST TWO WEEKS, NFL HISTORY   MOST TOTAL POINTS IN FIRST TWO WEEKS, NFL HISTORY
SEASON TOUCHDOWNS   SEASON TOTAL POINTS
2018 174   2012 1,556
2011 172   2018 1,506
2015 170   2011 1,502
2012 170   2015 1,488

Last week, 17 of the league’s 32 starting quarterbacks (53.1 percent) recorded a passer rating of at least 100 and six passers completed at least 80 percent of their attempts (minimum 15 attempts), both the most in a single week in league history.

Three quarterbacks – Pittsburgh’s BEN ROETHLISBERGER (452 passing yards), Minnesota’s KIRK COUSINS (425) and Tampa Bay’s RYAN FITZPATRICK (402) – threw for at least 400 yards in Week 2. There have been six 400-yard passing performances in the first two weeks of the season, tied with the 2011 and 2013 seasons for the most 400-yard passers through the first two weeks of a season in league history. Fitzpatrick, who has thrown for at least 400 yards in each of the Buccaneers first two games of the season, looks to become the first player in NFL history with at least 400 passing yards in three consecutive games.

Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES threw six touchdown passes against Pittsburgh last week and has 10 touchdown passes in two games this season, the most in NFL history by a quarterback in his team’s first two games of a season.

The 65 touchdown passes in Week 2 are tied for the most in a single week in league history (2015, Week 15) and the 8,385 net passing yards are the second-most in a single week in league annals (8,706 in Week 2, 2016).

MOST TD PASSES IN SINGLE WEEK, NFL HISTORY   MOST NET PASSING YARDS IN SINGLE WEEK,

NFL HISTORY

SEASON WEEK TD PASSES   SEASON WEEK NET PASS YARDS
2018 2 65   2016 2 8,706
2015 15 65   2018 2 8,385
2013 14 64   2015 12 8,287

Entering Week 3, league-wide passing numbers are on a historic pace, as the marks for completions (1,516), completion percentage (65.3 percent), touchdown passes (114) and passer rating (92.6) are all the highest in NFL history through the first two weeks of a season.

SEASON COMPLETIONS   SEASON COMPLETION PCT.   SEASON TD PASSES   SEASON RATING
2018 1,516   2018 65.3   2018 114   2018 92.6
2013 1,489   2015 64.9   2013 111   2015 92.4

Seven teams enter Week 3 with a 2-0 record: CINCINNATI, DENVERJACKSONVILLEKANSAS CITY, theLOS ANGELES RAMSMIAMI and TAMPA BAY. Two teams from the NFC North– GREEN BAY andMINNESOTA – have a record of 1-0-1 after tying 29-29 at Lambeau Field last week. Five of the nine undefeated teams this season missed the 2017 postseason – Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, Miami and Tampa Bay. Since 1990, when the current playoff format was adopted, 142 of the 228 teams (62.3 percent) to start 2-0 have qualified for the postseason.

Below are a few highlights of the Week 3 schedule, which features eight interconference matchups and two divisional contests:

Week 3 kicks off at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland as the Browns host the New York Jets on Thursday, September 20 (8:20 PM ET, NFL Network). Both the Jets and Browns look to rebound from close losses last week. Jets rookie quarterback SAM DARNOLD, who threw for 334 yards against Miami last week, became theyoungest player in NFL history (21 years, 103 days old) with at least 300 passing yards in a single game in Week 2,­­ surpassing the previous record held by JACKY LEE (21 years, 137 days old on November 25, 1960). Browns wide receiver JARVIS LANDRY has recorded at least five catches in 19 consecutive games, tied withLAVERANUES COLES for the second-longest streak in league annals.

Two first-year head coaches – Detroit’s MATT PATRICIA and Indianapolis’ FRANK REICH – ­­face their former teams as the Lions welcome the New England Patriots to Ford Field on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC) and the Colts travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles (1:00 PM ET, FOX).

The Chargers travel to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to face the Rams (4:05 PM ET, CBS) in the first matchup between two teams from LA since November 13, 1994, when the Raiders defeated the Rams 20-17 at Anaheim Stadium.

Monday night’s Week 3 finale (8:15 PM ET, ESPN) features DE SEAN JACKSON and the Buccaneers hosting Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers at Raymond James Stadium. Jackson, who leads the NFL with 275 receiving yards and had a 75-yard touchdown catch in Week 2, has 23 career touchdowns of at least 60 yards,tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE for the most such touchdowns in league history. Last week, Roethlisberger (51,852 career passing yards) surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY (51,475) for the seventh-most passing yards in NFL history.

NFL WEEK 3 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 23-24

(All times eastern)

Thursday, September 20 Sunday, September 23 (cont’d)
New York Jets at Cleveland, 8:20 PM (NFLN) Buffalo at Minnesota, 1:00 PM
Indianapolis at Philadelphia, 1:00 PM
Sunday, September 23 Green Bay at Washington, 1:00 PM
New Orleans at Atlanta, 1:00 PM Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams, 4:05 PM
Denver at Baltimore, 1:00 PM Chicago at Arizona, 4:25 PM
Cincinnati at Carolina, 1:00 PM Dallas at Seattle, 4:25 PM
New York Giants at Houston, 1:00 PM New England at Detroit, 8:20 PM (NBC)
Tennessee at Jacksonville, 1:00 PM
San Francisco at Kansas City, 1:00 PM Monday, September 24
Oakland at Miami, 1:00 PM Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

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