Week three of the NFL season is upon us and three AFC West teams will be looking to bounce week two losses, while the San Diego Chargers will defend their perfect record against the Atlanta Falcons who are also 2-0. This article will give you an interesting look at five things to watch for in week three.
Matt Cassel Getting Yanked
I will admit that before the season started that I had high hopes and expectations for the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Matt Cassel. However, anything that gets too high finds a way to spring a leak, and come crashing to the ground, which is exactly what has happened to the Chiefs thus far in 2012.
One of the biggest problems for Kansas City is Cassel’s play. First, Cassel has been responsible for five out of six Kansas City turnovers this season, having thrown for three interceptions and losing two fumbles.
Secondly, Cassel had a completion percentage of 63.6 in week one, and of 54.8 in week two, which gives him an average completion percentage of 58.7, meaning he is barley completing half of his pass attempts.
Lastly, the offense as a whole is ineffective, being outscored 75-41 in the first two weeks of the season.
If Kansas City gets behind in their game with New Orleans this Sunday, expect Brady Quinn to get his chance to lead the offense.
Will Peyton Manning Be Able to Bounce Back in Week 3?
The last time that Peyton Manning threw for three interceptions in a game was November 21, 2010 against the New England Patriots, a game in which the Indianapolis Colts lost 31-28.
The next week on November 28, 2010 in a game against the San Diego Chargers, Manning threw four interceptions in a game Indianapolis lost 36-14. Then the following week, December 5, 2010, Manning again threw four interceptions in an Indianapolis lost to the Dallas Cowboys.
So it will be interesting to see which Manning shows up Sunday when the Houston Texans come to town. Will it be the Manning that lead the Broncos to a surprise win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, or the Manning who threw 12 interceptions in three weeks in 2010?
Making things tougher for Manning and the Broncos will be the Houston Texans stellar defense. Houston’s defense currently has given up the fewest total yards, fewest passing yards, fewest points, while also posting three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
You can be sure of this, if Manning makes a mistake the Houston defense will make him pay dearly for it.
Will San Diego Use More Well Known Players in Week 3?
In week two, injuries to Ryan Matthews and Antionio Gates, thrust back-up running back Jackie Battle and back-up tight end Dante Rosario into the spotlight. Battle ended up being San Diego’s lead rusher finishing the game with 61 rushing yards, and two touchdowns. Rosario finished the game with 48 receiving yards and all three of the team receiving touchdowns.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Matthew is expected to being fully practicing with the team starting today, and if all goes well will play his first game of the season against this weekend against Atlanta. According to Espn.com, Gates is questionable for the game against the Falcons.
Whoever gets the start for the Chargers in week three better be ready, because the Atlanta Falcons are a forced to be reckoned with after beating Kansas City and Denver.
Will Oakland’s Offense Show Up This Week?
Oakland has scored the second fewest number of points in the league this season with 27, has only scored one touchdown in the red zone on four attempts, has the lowest third down conversion percentage with 22.2 percent, a 59.6 pass completion percentage, and the second fewest number of rushing yards with 68.
These number show how anemic Oakland’s offense has been in the first two weeks of the season. Unless Oakland finds ways to correct these problems in week three, they are going to be in trouble, against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh has given up the ninth fewest points this season with 4 1, has given up the ninth fewest first downs with 36, has only allowed nine third down conversions, and as only given up 184 rushing yards.
This game looks to feature a weak offense against a strong defense, which gives Pittsburgh a huge edge in the game.
Will Denver’s John Fox Keep the Officials Busy in Week 3?
Between the penalties charged to the Denver Broncos, challenge flags thrown, and outright disgust, Denver head coach John Fox, kept the replacement officials quite busy in their game against Atlanta.
The first thing that fired Fox up was the pass tip/interference call. Despite the ball being tipped before the caused any interference, the officials called the pass interference. The play was eventually corrected but it cost Fox a challenge. The next play that got Fox upset was a fumble that was called as recovered by Atlanta although it seemed like Denver came out of the pile with the ball.
The next call that upset Fox was a called 12 men on the field, which Fox vehemently denied and argued against, so much so that he used his second challenge on the call. Video showed on television and the official looking at the play both confirmed that Fox was wrong. Fox lost the second challenge, a chance for a third challenge and a timeout.
A last call that upset Fox, and rightly so this time, was a miscalled defensive pass interference call which gave Atlanta a first down and eventually a touchdown.
When it comes to penalties, the yellow flags were thrown 18 times for 168 yards in the Denver-Atlanta contest, with 10 penalties, and 96 yards being charged to the Denver Broncos.
It will be interesting to see if Fox and the Broncos can get a fairer shake and have more calls go their way in week three.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New Orleans Saints
Last Meeting: 11/16/08, NO 30 @ KC 20
2012: NO Wins- 42-10
Oakland Raiders @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Meeting: 11/21/11, OAK 3 @ PIT 35
2012: PIT Wins- 35-10
Atlanta Falcons @ San Diego Chargers
Last Meeting: 11/30/08, ATL 22 @ SD 16
2012: ATL wins- 28-21
Houston Texans @ Denver Broncos
Last Meeting: HOU 23 @ Denver 24
2012: HOU wins- 35-24