Week 3 Watchlist: Brady vs Stafford, Justin Fields Takeover?

Game of the Week:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Los Angeles Rams

The only matchup this week that has two undefeated teams squaring off with each other is enough to tell you this should be a great game, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Los Angeles Rams in a matchup we could potentially see in this year's NFC Championship game. This battle of NFC contenders is headlined by two quarterbacks who have become must watch TV through two weeks of the regular season. Tampa Bay’s Tom Brady who has the most passing touchdown’s in league history already, currently leads the NFL with nine touchdown passes, continuing his dominance over NFL defenses. Brady also needs just 500 yards to surpass Drew Brees for most passing yards by a quarterback, and he should put a significant dent in that number Sunday afternoon. On the other side of the ball we have Matthew Stafford who has been one of the league’s best quarterbacks since being taken first overall in 2009, but has been stuck in Detroit, until this season. The trade to Los Angeles now sees Stafford on a high-powered offence with better protection and more game-breaking weapons to throw to, Stafford looks to be set up for one of his best seasons, and through two weeks its showing. Both team’s defenses are strong against the run which is why both teams should  rely on their passing game led respectively by these two veteran signal callers.

Storyline of the Week:

Justin Fields the Starter?

The Chicago Bears will arguably have the most eyes on them in the lead up to their Week 3 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, as a preseason debate will once again gain more traction after an injury in Week 2. Many Bears fans believed that rookie quarterback Justin Fields should have been the team's Week 1 starter and gives Chicago the best chance to win, but instead the job was “earned” by veteran free agent signing Andy Dalton. The chatter for Fields to take over the starting gig grew even more after Dalton had a miserable Week 1, while Fields, albeit in limited action, utilized his legs for a three yard touchdown run, continuing to show the fanbase his potential as a dual-threat quarterback. Dalton ended up getting the start once again in Week 2, but after a knee injury forced him out of the game, Fields took over in relief. Dalton did get some encouraging news according to NFL Network's Ian Rappaport

With this news, his immediate health for Week 3 is still in question which will continue the quarterback drama in Chicago. Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy’s has been stubborn sticking with the veteran Dalton despite some lousy play, while the Bears fanbase relentless efforts to see the rookie Fields at the helm might end up paying off this week given Dalton’s current injury status. Coach Nagy might have no choice but to give what the Bears faithful what they want to see which is Justin Fields making his first career NFL start.

Bounce-Back of the Week:

Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs Los Angeles Chargers’ rush defense

After two weeks Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire seems to be showcasing a bit of what’s called the “sophomore slump”. The second year back has failed to rush over 50 yards in both games this season and has yet to find the end zone. All that should change in Week 3 with Kansas City taking on division rival Los Angeles Chargers who have struggled to stop the run this season. The first two games of the regular season saw the Chargers defense give up 126 total rushing yards in Week 1 to the Washington Football Team and it got worse in a Week 2 loss against the Dallas Cowboys, surrendering 198 total rushing yards. The Chiefs also are coming off a loss in Week 2 in which Edwards-Helarie had a costly turnover in late in the game, but with backing of his teammates, I believe the young running back will have a lot of opportunities to make up for last week by taking advantage of a poor rushing defense.

© Kim Klement | 2021 Sep 19