NFL Week 3 Stock Up/Stock Down: Dolphins get a massive win, Jalen Hurts for MVP, and the Raiders’ season is over

Our NFL Week 3 stock up/stock down reports includes a statement win by the Dolphins, a dominant performance from the Eagles, and the end of the Raiders' season.

Week 3 of the NFL season is here, and the early slate of games provided some late-game excitement and a few statement victories. Let’s go around the league and figure out whose stock is up and whose stock is down, starting with a critical win for the Miami Dolphins.

NFL Week 3 Stock Up/Stock Down: Early slate

Stock up: The Miami Dolphins are for real

One week after stunning the Ravens with an epic comeback, the Dolphins proved their mettle with a hard-fought 21-19 victory over the division-rival Bills.

In what was probably Miami’s most significant win in a decade, their defense held steady against Josh Allen and the explosive Buffalo offense. Allen reached 400 yards through the air, but he had to throw the ball 63 times to do it. He got sacked four times, and the Dolphins only gave up two touchdowns (one each to Devin Singletary and Isaiah McKenzie) on the day.

Tua Tagovailoa managed the game, completing 13 of 18 attempts for 186 yards and one touchdown. He surprisingly re-entered the contest in the second half after taking a hard hit just before halftime. Tua had trouble standing up, leading to concussion fears, but he was somehow cleared to return.

While they walked away with a critical victory, the Dolphins almost gave this game away. Although the Bills had no timeouts remaining, Mike McDaniel opted to pass on third down near his own goal line, and an incomplete pass stopped the clock with 1:33 left.

In what will forever be known as the “Butt Punt,” Thomas Morstead punted directly into the rear end of up back Trent Sherfield, leading to a Bills safety that brought the score to 21-19 Miami. Buffalo traversed 36 yards on their ensuing drive, but they couldn’t get into field-goal range before time expired.

Stock up: The Philadelphia Eagles are the best team in the NFC

The Philadelphia Eagles made all the right moves over the offseason. They traded for impact players on both sides of the ball (A.J. Brown and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson) and filled critical voids with experienced free agents (James Bradberry and Haason Reddick). And through three games, it’s all coming together.

Jalen Hurts looks like the favorite for MVP after another dominant performance. A week after a flawless showing against the Vikings on Monday Night Football, Hurts made it look effortless again. He completed 21 of 34 attempts for 330 yards and three touchdowns, adding another 23 yards via eight carries on the ground.

Hurts was locked on to DeVonta Smith all afternoon long, and the 2021 first-round pick posted a career-high 169 yards and a score on eight receptions. He singlehandedly posted more receiving yards than the entire Commanders receiving corps!

In a conference where the Rams, Buccaneers, and Packers are all dealing with serious injury issues, the Eagles are taking advantage and have risen to the top. They have to be viewed as the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Stock down: Commanders QB Carson Wentz

It wasn’t just the Eagles’ offense that offered an authoritative performance against Washington — Carson Wentz also suffered the consequences.

Wentz was sacked nine times against his former team, as Philadelphia’s stout defensive front consistently pressured the Commanders QB. He averaged just 4.9 yards per pass on 43 attempts and looked entirely flustered throughout the game.

Washington eventually got on the board via a safety and an Antonio Gibson touchdown, but the Commanders never came close to winning on Sunday. There’s still room for Washington to force its way into the NFC Wild Card conversation, but Wentz has to play better for that to happen.

Stock up: The Bengals’ offense comes alive

Joe Burrow is back. After looking like one of the NFL’s worst quarterbacks in losses to the Steelers and Cowboys, the Cincinnati Bengals signal-caller balled out against the Jets in a 27-12 win.

Burrow completed 23 of 36 attempts for 275 yards and three touchdowns against Gang Green. And perhaps more importantly, Burrow only took two sacks for 14 yards. After being taken down a league-leading 13 times in the first two weeks, Burrow looked poised in the pocket, and Cincinnati’s beleaguered offensive line held up.

Playing against a Jets team that features more single-high safety looks than two-deep shells, Burrow spread the ball around. Tyler Boyd caught four balls for 105 yards and a touchdown, Tee Higgins went 5-93, and Ja’Marr Chase brought in six receptions and scored as well.

Cincinnati’s schedule gets much more difficult from here, with a Thursday matchup with the Dolphins followed by games against the Ravens and Saints. But Burrow and the Bengals can rest easy knowing they got off the schneid.

Stock up: The Colts saved their season

The Indianapolis Colts had to win against the Chiefs on Sunday. After beginning the year 0-1-1 with tough losses to the Texans and Jaguars, Indy had no room for error against the Chiefs and one of the league’s best offenses.

Matt Ryan avoided the costly mistakes he made in Weeks 1 and 2, throwing two touchdowns to rookie tight end Jelani Woods. Jonathan Taylor averaged fewer than three yards per carry, but it ultimately didn’t matter because of how well the Colts’ defense played.

Indy didn’t allow Kansas City to get anything going in the running game, and they held Patrick Mahomes to 262 yards. The Chiefs had a chance to tie the game with a last-second drive, but Rodney McLeod intercepted Patrick Mahomes before KC got into field-goal range.

Stock down: The Raiders are done

Like the Colts, the Las Vegas Raiders needed a victory in Week 3. NFL teams that start 0-3 only make the playoffs 2.5% of the time, so Sunday’s game against the similarly winless Titans was a must-win for Las Vegas.

The Raiders kept the game alive after going down 24-10, but they couldn’t complete a late-game comeback. Tight end Darren Waller didn’t play well — he dropped at least two passes, including one in the end zone that bounced around and eventually became a Tennessee interception.

Mack Hollins somehow ended the day with an 8-158-1 line for the Raiders, but Davante Adams managed only five receptions. Las Vegas converted all three of their fourth-down attempts, but they went just 1 of 12 on third down.

Anything can happen over the rest of the season, but it doesn’t appear as though the Raiders have a chance in the AFC. That’s a disappointing result for a team that prioritized the present over the future by sending first- and second-round picks to the Packers for Adams.

Stock up: Lamar Jackson’s contract demands

Lamar Jackson is a one-of-one. His ability to singlehandedly take over games is nearly unparalleled in the NFL, and he did it again in a 37-26 win over the Patriots on Sunday.

Jackson willed the Ravens to victory, completing 18 of 29 passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns while adding another 107 yards and a score on the ground. Baltimore’s offensive line and running back rotation have continued to struggle, so Lamar has had to take over games.

He bet on himself over the offseason, refusing the contract extension offers put forth by the Ravens. Now, Jackson’s projected annual average value is only increasing each week.

NFL Week 3 Stock Up/Stock Down: Late slate

Stock up: Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars’ offense

Well, it’s probably time to officially label Urban Meyer the worst head coach in NFL history. A year after Meyer and his trainwreck reign stifled Trevor Lawrence and the rest of Jacksonville’s offense, Pederson has transformed this team into a legitimate contender in the AFC South.

The Jaguars demolished an admittedly injury-ridden Chargers team, winning by a final score of 38-10. Lawrence, who finished 28th out of 31 quarterbacks in QBR in his rookie campaign, looks far more composed in the pocket. He’s reading his progressions and delivering the ball with rhythm and timing. On Sunday, he completed 28 of 39 attempts for 262 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.

Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, and Marvin Jones all scored a touchdown, while James Robinson hit 100 yards on the ground and also scored. The Jaguars’ once-maligned offensive line kept LA’s rushers at bay and opened up plenty of lanes in the running game. Everything clicked against the Chargers.

At 2-1, the Jaguars are in first place in the AFC South, and they look definitively better than any of the other teams in the division. This is a feisty team, and one that should remain in the playoff picture through the fall.

Stock down: The Chargers just can’t stay healthy

By the time the whistle blew on Sunday, the Chargers were without Joey Bosa, Rashawn Slater, Corey Linsley, J.C. Jackson, and Keenan Allen, while Justin Herbert looked limited after injuring his ribs in Week 2. Those are arguably LA’s six most important players.

The Chargers’ roster wasn’t necessarily built to withstand this level of injury luck. They’re something of a stars-and-scrubs build. They don’t have the depth to make up for the loss of Bosa on the edge, and replacement left tackle Storm Norton wasn’t good enough to win the starting right tackle job over the summer.

Some of these issues will resolve themselves. We don’t know the severity of Bosa’s groin injury, but Allen and Jackson should be able to return to the lineup soon (possibly as early as Week 4). But these injury questions have started to show the cracks in the Chargers’ depth chart.

It didn’t help matters that Brandon Staley opted to keep Herbert in the game even after it was clearly out of hand late in the fourth quarter. Herbert is a competitor and surely wanted to keep playing, but that’s where a head coach has to step in for the good of the quarterback and the team.

Stock up: The Aaron-Rodgers-to-Romeo-Doubs connection

The Packers got the win over the Buccaneers in Week 3, but it’s hard to say their offense was efficient. Down several wide receivers, Green Bay scored all 14 of its points in the first half. The results of their second-half drives? Punt, punt, interception, punt, punt, punt, punt.

There was one silver lining for the Packers on Sunday, and that was Aaron Rodgers’ link with rookie wideout Romeo Doubs. The fourth-round pick generated tons of hype throughout the summer, but he’d only managed six catches for 64 yards through Green Bay’s first two games.

Doubs topped those totals against Tampa Bay, leading the Packers in receiving en route to an 8-73-1 line. As long as Sammy Watkins and Christian Watson are sidelined, Doubs figures to be part of Green Bay’s three-WR offense. And if he keeps producing, he’ll cement himself in the starting lineup regardless of what other wide receivers are available.

Stock down: The Buccaneers’ offense

Tom Brady and the Buccaneers could have sent their game to overtime had they converted a two-point conversion with 14 seconds left on the clock. But given how their offense functioned on Sunday (and has functioned all season), Tampa Bay didn’t deserve a chance to extend this game.

The Bucs managed only 285 yards of offense. They’ve now been under 300 total yards in each of their last two games, something they did only once all of last season. Brady managed just 5.6 yards per pass, but the real problem was the rushing attack, which generated only 34 yards.

Much of today’s performance can be chalked up to absences. Mike Evans was suspended. Julio Jones and Chris Godwin were injured. And Tampa was down to its third-string left tackle. Plus, Tampa’s defense was effective, just as it’s been all year.

Still, while the Bucs should be able to coast to another NFC South title, they’re not playing like a team capable of winning the Super Bowl. Getting healthy might be able to change that, but it might not.

Stock up: Rams offensive weapon Ben Skowronek

On a Rams offense that includes Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson, Ben Skowronek was the team’s leading receiver in a 20-12 win over the Cardinals. The 2021 seventh-round pick put up 66 yards on four receptions, but that wasn’t even the most interesting thing he did in Week 3.

Skowronek lined up at fullback on Cam Akers’ third-quarter touchdown run, and he provided a key block on Arizona linebacker Zaven Collins. After playing fullback on 19 snaps in Week 2, Skowronek lined up at FB seven times against the Cardinals.

Skowronek doesn’t exactly have the pedigree of an elite receiver, but he’s turned himself into a real contributor for Los Angeles. Could he be pushed aside once Van Jefferson returns, or if the Rams re-sign Odell Beckham Jr.? Sure, but until then, Skowronek looks like the Rams’ No. 3 receiver who just happens to moonlight at fullback.

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