No question that the must-bet game of Week 3 is a potential NFC Championship Game preview between the 2-0 Tampa Bay Bucs and the 2-0 Los Angeles Rams – it also happens to be taking place from SoFi Stadium, home of Super Bowl 56.Both teams are good enough to get there. Here’s a look at that matchup odds NFL.
NFL Predictions Week 3
Tampa Bay Bucs at Los Angeles Rams (-1)
This might be the only game this season in which the Bucs are underdogs. Bucs QB Tom Brady threw five touchdown passes, including two to tight end Rob Gronkowski, in the Buccaneers’ 48-25 win over Atlanta. Including the postseason, Tampa Bay has scored at least 30 points and won each of its past nine games, the longest such streak in NFL history.
Brady has 35 career games with at least four touchdown passes, tied with Peyton Manning (35 games) for the second-most such games in NFL history. Only Drew Brees (37 games) has more. Brady, who threw four touchdown passes on Kickoff Weekend, is the fifth quarterback in the Super Bowl era with at least nine touchdown passes in his team’s first two games of a season, joining Patrick Mahomes (10 touchdown passes in 2018), Brees (nine in 2009), Manning (nine in 2013) and Russell Wilson. WILSON (nine in 2020).
Dating back to Week 16 of the 2020 season, Brady has thrown at least four touchdown passes in four consecutive regular-season games, tied with Hall of Famer Dan Marino (four games in 1984) for the second-longest such streak in NFL history. Only Manning (five consecutive games in 2004) has a longer such streak.
Gronkowski, who also recorded two touchdown receptions in Week 1, joins Ben Coates (1994) and Dee Mackey (1962) as the only tight ends in league annals with at least two touchdown receptions in each of their team’s first two games of a season. Gronkowski has become just the second tight end in NFL history to have a three-game streak with multiple touchdowns, playoffs included. The only other tight end to pull off this feat was New England‘s Coates over the last game of the 1993 season and the first two of 1994.
The Rams were 27-24 winners at Indianapolis on Sunday. Tied at 24 with 2:27 left in the fourth quarter, the Rams took a 27-24 lead on Matt Gay’s field goal, then saw Jalen Ramsey intercept the second pass thrown by Colts quarterback Jacob Eason – who replaced Carson Wentz after Wentz sustained an ankle injury on the previous drive – to come away with the win, as the Colts could not muster anything on their final possession.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 19 of 30 pass attempts for 278 yards and two touchdown with one interception. Both of his passing touchdowns went to wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who also finished with nine catches for 163 yards. Of Stafford’s 19 completions in Sunday’s victory, nine – or 47.3 percent – went to Kupp, who also commanded the most targets of any Rams receiver with 11. In other words, he was targeted on 36.7 percent of Stafford’s pass attempts by the end of the game.
Kupp has been targeted a team-high 21 times on 56 Stafford pass attempts through the first two weeks of the season, hauling in three of Stafford’s five touchdown passes so far. He also leads the team in receptions (16) and receiving yards
(271) after the first two games of the Stafford era.
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings (+1)Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is on a very hot seat with his team 0-2 after Sunday’s 34-33 loss at Arizona. Greg Joseph missed a 37-yard field goal in the final seconds. After making all three extra points and his only field-goal attempt in Week 1, Joseph botched the field goal and one PAT in Sunday’s loss.
“I felt good about that kick,” Zimmer said. “I know he missed the extra point earlier, but it’s kind of like that. He’s been kicking good, we’re indoors, it’s a perfect surface. I’m thinking, ‘This should be an easy one here.’ “
Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook helped carry Minnesota’s offense. Cook ran for 131 yards on 22 carries, with Cousins throwing a trio of touchdown passes in the opening half. After two close losses, the Vikings need to turn the page quickly and get a win before the season spirals too deep to recover.
Seattle also lost a tough one Sunday, 33-30 in OT at home to Tennessee – blowing a 30-16 fourth-quarter lead. Seeing as the Seahawks were 65-2 dating back to 2012 when leading by four or more points at halftime, the 15-point advantage they built over the Titans seemed like it would be enough.
The Seahawks last loss when leading that big at halftime came in 2004 when the Rams overcame a 17-point deficit, and Sunday’s loss marked the second-largest lead surrendered at any point of a game in a loss since Pete Carroll and John Schneider took over in 2010, trailing only the 2015 overtime loss at Cincinnati that saw the Seahawks lose a 17-point third-quarter lead.
It was only the second time the Seahawks lost at home when leading by at least 14 points in the fourth quarter since they moved into their current stadium in 2002. The only other time was a loss to the Rams in 2004, six years before Carroll took over. Derrick Henry’s 182 rushing yards were tied for the most the Seahawks have allowed in a game under Carroll, matching what Adrian Peterson gained in 2012.
- Rams -1 and Seahawks -1
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