Every NFL team has played two games, but contenders might begin to separate themselves in Week 3 of the 2023 NFL campaign. What are the top storylines heading into this week’s action, and which teams are under the most pressure?
Trey Wingo Breaks Down NFL Week 3
What’s Going on With the Chicago Bears?
The Bears’ meltdown is real and spectacular. Defensive coordinator Alan Williams resigned the same week Justin Fields decided it was better for him to not think, just play instinctually, and call out his coaches.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) September 20, 2023
Here’s the entire list of successful NFL quarterbacks that have gotten better by thinking less: 0. There isn’t one. Every successful NFL QB has been someone who reads pre-snap and post-snap information correctly and succinctly.
And now the Bears go to Kansas City to take on the Chiefs, where DC Steve Spagnuolo has a unit that’s given up two touchdowns in two games. I cannot recommend taking the Chiefs enough in this matchup. It’s not even October, and the Bears are a hot mess.
Deshaun Watson Facing Pressure With Nick Chubb Gone
The 1-1 Titans travel to Cleveland to take on the 1-1 Browns, who are now without Nick Chubb. Since 2020, Cleveland is three games over .500 with Chubb and one game under .500 without him.
Chubb ranks second in the NFL in rush yards, rushing touchdowns, and games with 100+ rushing yards since entering the league in 2018. In other words, the defense and DeShaun Watson need to carry Cleveland.
The defense seems up to the challenge, but Watson has been average, to put it kindly. The Browns threw a bleep-ton of money at Watson to be a difference-maker. A home game against a middling Titans team is exactly the kind of matchup they’re paying Watson to be a difference-maker in. Watson has to return to his 2020 form, or his contract will go down as arguably the worst in the history of the NFL.
The Chargers and Vikings Meet in a Must-Win Game
Arguably the two most disappointing teams so far in 2023 will meet up on Sunday when the 0-2 Chargers take on the 0-2 Vikings. Barring a tie, someone with playoff aspirations will start 0-3. Since 1990, teams starting 0-3 make the postseason just 2.5% of the time.
The last three games the Chargers have played? They blew a 27-point lead in the playoffs and lost games against Miami at home and Tennessee on the road. No coach is under more pressure than Brandon Staley right now to get a damn win.
The Chargers, as always, continue to be baffling. They’re the first team in NFL history to start 0-2 despite scoring 50+ points and having no giveaways in their first two games.
Los Angeles has allowed the third-most points (63) and the most total yards (438.5 per game) in the NFL this year.
Meanwhile, Minnesota won 11 one-score games a year ago but is 0-2 in such games in 2023. The Vikings are trying to fix their league-worst rushing game by trading for Cam Akers, but right now, the idea of letting Dalvin Cook go in the offseason seems disastrous.