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NFL Week 3 preview: Quarterbacks: Who’s hot and who’s not

The quarterback battles of Week 3 got a lot more interesting after what we saw in Week 2, plus a look at a future HOF QB matchup.

Update:
The quarterback battles of Week 3 got a lot more interesting after what we saw in Week 2, plus a look at a future HOF QB matchup for the ages.
Rob CarrAFP

Week 2 was a big week for NFL quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers proved his Week 1 performance was just a fluke (again). Tua Tagovailoa led a huge comeback win over the Ravens. And Jalen Hurts dominated the Vikings.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Joe Burrow was sacked another six times and Daniel Jones was sacked three, including one in the red zone along with several sloppy passes.

With that intro, let’s take a look at which quarterbacks are hot going into Week 3, and which are not so hot.

Tua Tagovailoa leads epic comeback

Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa going up against each other suddenly got a lot more exciting going into Week 3. Allen, continuing to prove he’s the best QB in the league this season, had a perfect game against Tennessee in Week 2. He finished with 317 passing yards and four passing touchdowns, including a 46-yard pass to Stefon Diggs in the end zone. In Week 3, he faces the Miami Dolphins, whose defense had given up the most yards per pass in the league over the last two weeks. With the weapons of receivers he has at his disposal, Allen is unstoppable.

But let’s talk about Allen’s opponent for Week 3, Tua Tagovailoa and the monster comeback he led against the Ravens. After appearing a bit underwhelming to start out the season yet again, Tua led the Dolphins to an epic comeback from a 21-point deficit. He threw two bombs to Tyreek Hill for 48 and 60 yards, plus the game-winning touchdown catch to Jaylen Waddle.

But against the Bills defense, I question Tua’s ability to put up a performance like that one again. Whether or not he can do it on a more consistent basis in general is something he’s still got to prove.

Brady vs Rodgers

One of the most exciting matchups of the week is of course, when the two quarterback “legends” of the NFL, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, face off very likely for the last time in NFL history. The Packers are 1-1 and the Bucs are 2-0, but if you’ve been paying attention, you know that Brady hasn’t really been playing his best football. Both of those Ws were won with only one touchdown pass by Brady, only putting up a combined total of 32 points. It’s their defense that has been carrying the load and helping lead the Bucs to victory more than Brady himself. Honestly, going into Week 3, Brady does not make the “who’s hot” cut, especially considering how thin his o-line and receiving core is right now.

On the other hand, Rodgers, despite his newly annual Week 1 stinker game, bounced back as he always does, owning the Bears (as he also always does) in a 27-10 win including a 55-yard bomb pass to Sammy Watkins.

Neither Rodgers nor Brady has shown a particularly impressive breakout performance this season, but in this matchup, at least so far, Rodgers has been the better of the two heading into Week 3.

Mac Jones off to a slow start

In the battle between the Ravens and Patriots, it’s Baltimore who has the better quarterback situation. Despite the Dolphins’ epic comeback win over the Ravens, Lamar Jackson had himself an impressive day and is in general dominating this season so far. He threw for a 75-yard touchdown, ran another 79-yard touchdown, and broke two records in that Week 2 loss. He was responsible for seven touchdowns and 62 points over the first two weeks of the season.

Mac Jones and the Patriots will have their work cut out for them. The Pats have scored just 24 total points in the first two games and Jones has not contributed much. Last week, he missed a pass to a wide-open Kendrick Bourne and then nearly threw an interception just after. Compared to his rookie season, his first two weeks have been a disappointment.

Burrow’s sack saga

I don’t know if you recall - it’s easy to forget after seeing the Cincinnati Bengals in the freaking Super Bowl last year - but Joe Burrow led the league in sacks last regular season with a whopping total of 51. It was a shock to see the Bengals make it to compete for the Lombardi trophy, and now the Bengals are 0-2 and there are people asking, was it just a fluke? The Bengals lost to the Steelers and the Cowboys in Weeks 1 and 2. Burrow committed five turnovers in Week 1 and has been sacked a league-high 13 times over the first two weeks.

Though he may not be the hottest heading into Week 3, Bengals fans can feel good about one thing and that’s the fact they’re facing the New York Jets this week. The Jets defense allowed Lamar Jackson to throw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1. They aren’t ones to put the pressure on, which is good news for Joey, who probably needs a rest from hitting the ground so much. For the Jets, Joe Flacco has been quite decent, throwing for 616 yards the third-most of any quarterback in the league so far. I’d take the Bengals in this game, but neither quarterback is looking that hot right now.

Can Kyler Murray avoid a slump?

In one of the most exciting 2-point conversions I have ever personally seen, Kyler Murray proved once again why he should not be written off.

When he runs, he’s so explosive and shifty that he is nearly impossible for defenses to catch. He led the Cardinals to a comeback win over the Raider that may have just saved Arizona’s chances at making the playoffs this year. This week, he’s up against last year’s Super Bowl champs, the LA Rams, whose own Matt Stafford has not had trouble connecting with his favorite receiver Cooper Kupp. Despite that, over the last few weeks, Stafford has not looked like the confident quarterback from last year. In fact, he has thrown five interceptions over the first two games.

Stafford’s high turnovers should be concerning for the Rams, who easily could have lost the game to the Falcons last week had they had a better quarterback. They blew a 28-3 lead due in large part to Stafford’s interceptions.

Jalen Hurts making his presence known

Another quarterback who stood out in Week 2 was Philadelphia’s Jalen Hurts, who led the Eagles to victory over Kirk Cousins and the Vikings. He opened the score with a rushing touchdown and shut up those questioning his pass abilities by throwing a 53-yard dart to Quez Watkins to make it a two-score lead. He’s hot going in to Week 3 and the NFC East rivals, Commanders should be worried. Carson Wentz will face his old team after starting the season throwing for 650 yards through the two games. Though he’s certainly not an MVP contender (the Lions started out with a 22-0 lead in Week 2), those are certainly better numbers than anyone expected of Wentz going into the season. Against the Eagles, Wentz isn’t going to have a cakewalk either.

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