NFC West Week 3 Preview
NFC West Week 3 Schedule
- Sunday, September 27th @ 10AM (Fox): 49ers @ Giants
- Sunday, September 27th @ 10AM (Fox): Rams @ Bills
- Sunday, September 27th @ 1:25PM (Fox): Lions @ Cardinals
- Sunday, September 20th @ 5:20PM (Fox): Cowboys @ Seahawks
Current NFC West Standings
- Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks: 2-0
- 49ers: 1-1
General Week 3 Overlook:
It was another great week for the NFC West teams, as the division walked away from Week 2 with a record of 4-0. The NFC West is now 6-0 in non-divisional games, clearly making it known that this is the best division in football.
For the second consecutive week, the reigning NFC champs are alone at the bottom of the division. But that may not last for much longer, as other divisional opponents have their hands full with their upcoming games.
Let’s examine each matchup.
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) @ New York Giants 0-2
2020 Team Stats (49ers on left side - Giants on right side):
Points Scored Per Game: 25.5 - 14.5
Passing Yards Per Game: 230.5 - 260.0
Rushing Yards Per Game: 152.5 - 52.0
Points Allowed Per Game: 18.5 - 21.5
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 204.5 - 209.5
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 142.0 - 138.0
Storyline: Will Nick Mullens lead the 49ers to victory?
Mullens is likely going to start his first game since the 2018 season. All things considered, this is an extremely significant game for both Mullens and the 49ers. For the team, it would be extremely difficult to bounce back from a Week 3 loss to the Giants. If this game is a loss, it will suck a lot of air out of the hope and optimism balloon.
If we see the 2018 version of “BDN," the 49ers should be able to move the ball up and down the Giants’ defense. In 2018, Mullens finished in the top four in yards per attempt and second in yards per completion. He has a good grasp of Kyle Shanahan’s offense and knows how to run it, and I expect him to play at a 2018-type level.
Taking a look at the injuries, both teams are banged up. Last week the Giants lost star running back Saquon Barkley for the season, while the 49ers lost Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas for the same amount of time.
Despite the injuries, the 49ers have more talent and depth than the Giants. That alone should be the reason why the team wins in New York, even with Mullens at the helm.
I’ll take the 49ers and Mullens to come out of this one with the win.
Los Angeles Rams (2-0) @ Buffalo Bills (2-0)
2020 Team Stats (Rams on left side - Eagles on right side)
Points Scored Per Game: 28.5 - 29.0
Passing Yards Per Game: 271.0 - 364.5
Rushing Yards Per Game: 172.0 - 104.5
Points Allowed Per Game: 18.0 - 22.5
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 254.0 - 271.5
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 128.5 - 75.5
Storyline: Which team will remain undefeated?
This is one of, if not the most exciting NFC West matchup this week. The Bills were a playoff team last year, and the Rams would’ve been a playoff team if the new playoff seeding went into effect a year earlier.
To this point in the season, the Rams have had two convincing wins against the Cowboys and Eagles. On the other hand, the Bills have beat two very weak divisional opponents - the Dolphins and Jets.
Looking at the quarterback matchup, both of these QBs are off to a hot start. Jared Goff is top-10 in passing yards, has completed 69% of his passes, and has thrown three touchdowns to one interception. Right now, Josh Allen leads the league in passing yards, has completed 70% of his passes, and has thrown six touchdowns to no interceptions.
Similar to Kyler Murray, Josh Allen is suddenly an MVP candidate that no one saw coming this early in his career. We'll see how long Allen’s hot start to the 2020 season can continue.
If this game were in Los Angeles, I’d like the Rams’ chances a lot more. However, it’s in Buffalo. The Rams will be playing in the eastern time zone for the second consecutive week, and it is always a challenge for West coast teams to win two straight out East.
Give me the Bills in a tight one.
Detroit Lions (0-2) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
2020 Team Stats (WAS on left side - Cardinals on right side)
Points Scored Per Game: 22.0 - 27.0
Passing Yards Per Game: 270.5 - 258.0
Rushing Yards Per Game: 113.5 - 170.0
Points Allowed Per Game: 34.5 - 17.5
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 241.0 - 241.0
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 204.0 - 120.0
Storyline: Are the Cardinals for real?
This may just be a question I ask every single week, at least for the foreseeable future, “Are the Arizona Cardinals for real!?" The Cardinals beat the 49ers in impressive fashion and then took care of business against the Washington Football Team, while they were riding high coming off a comeback win against the Eagles.
This matchup for Kyler Murray and the Cardinals is an interesting one, because the Lions are desperate for a win. If they lose this game, their season is likely over before it even got started.
The Lions are in luck because for the first time all season, star receiver Kenny Golladay is expected to play. Will Golladay be the fire power needed to help the Lions get their first win of the year?
I believe the Lions will drop around 24 points on this Cardinals defense, which is giving up only 17.5 points per game. The question for the Lions will be, can they hold the Cardinals under that mark?
I don’t think they do. I have the Cardinals winning this one.
Dallas Cowboys (1-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (2-0)
2020 Team Stats (Patriots on left side - Seahawks on right side)
Points Scored Per Game: 28.5 - 36.5
Passing Yards Per Game: 358.0 - 305.0
Rushing Yards Per Game: 130.0 - 119.0
Points Allowed Per Game: 29.5 - 27.5
Passing Yards Allowed Per Game: 274.0 - 423.5
Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game: 133.0 - 69.5
Storyline: How many points will be scored in this game?
I wouldn’t be shocked if there are north of 90 points in this game. Both of these offenses are off to a rapid start, and there is no reason to believe they will slow down.
Russell Wilson is c-o-o-k-i-n-g for the Seahawks right now. He is playing with a chip on his shoulder, and looks determined to not only receive his first MVP vote ever, but win the MVP award.
Wilson has the league on notice, as he’s thrown nine touchdowns to just one interception to begin the year. More impressively, Wilson has thrown only two more incompletions than he’s thrown touchdowns. Insane.
Dak Prescott isn’t too far behind Wilson. Prescott has thrown for the third-most yards in the league, and has totaled five touchdowns. Prescott has a bevy of receivers to throw to, and I expect him to throw for at least the 423 yards the Seahawks give up per game.
If you love defense, this game is not for you. The punters may not even leave the sideline at any point. Both of these defenses stink, and I’m going to say the team with the less stinkier defense has the edge in this one.
That’d be the Cowboys. Give me the Cowboys by a final score of 70-63. Kidding - it won’t be that high. Hopefully.
SF @ NYG
LAR @ BUF
DET @ ARZ
DAL @ SEA
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