Week 3’s slate is full of rivalry games, as well as matchups between some of the top teams from each conference. Some of the biggest include a battle between the undefeated Vikings and Panthers, as well as Round 2 of Josh Norman versus Odell Beckham Jr. Here’s your guide to watching each Week 3 game, as well as matchups to watch and fun facts.
Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m. FOX (Sunday Ticket channel 709)
Key matchup: Patrick Peterson vs. Sammy Watkins
Arguably the best cornerback in the league lining up across from a star receiver with a gimpy foot? I think we know who will win this battle. Watkins is clearly not 100 percent, and going up against Peterson won’t help the cause. Bench him, you fantasy fiends.
Fun fact: The last time Larry Fitzgerald didn’t record a catch in a game (181 straight, longest active streak in the NFL) was in 2004, his last visit to Buffalo.
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers, 1 p.m. FOX (710)
Key matchup: Sam Bradford vs. Luke Kuechly
This isn’t a direct battle, but it’s one that will take a lot of preparation on Bradford’s part. Kuechly is one of the rare defensive players teams actually have to game plan around. Bradford will need to account for Kuechly’s location on each and every play in order to avoid throwing picks.
Fun fact: The Panthers are 20-2 in the regular season since their last game against the Vikings – a 31-13 loss in 2014.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY SportsBruce Kluckhohn
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. CBS (705)
Key matchup: A.J. Green vs. Denver’s secondary
The Broncos have three outstanding cornerbacks, and they all play differing roles. Chris Harris Jr. man’s the slot, while Aqib Talib shuts down one side of the field with Bradley Roby on the other. Green will likely see all three in coverage, and none of these matchups will be an easy win.
Fun fact: Andy Dalton leads the NFL in passing yards, throwing for 366 in both Week 1 and 2. He’s on pace for 5,856 yards this season, which would shatter Peyton Manning’s record.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers, 1 p.m. FOX (711)
Key matchup: Packers O-line vs. Lions’ pass rush
The Packers struggled to protect Aaron Rodgers last week against the Vikings. He was sacked five times and fumbled on three occasions, which the Lions should be looking at and licking their lips. Detroit is eighth in the NFL with five sacks, and if it can get pressure on Rodgers, he could make a few mistakes.
Fun fact: Rodgers has gone 14 straight games with a passer rating below 100. Forty different starting quarterbacks have had a game with a 100-plus passer rating since the last time Rodgers did it.
Getty ImagesLeon Halip
Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m. CBS (706)
Key matchup: Blake Bortles vs. Baltimore’s No. 1-ranked pass defense
Surprisingly, the Ravens lead the league in passing yards allowed per game (168.5). Granted, they’ve played the Bills and Browns, but it’s still impressive. They should get their first real test on Sunday in Bortles, who has seemingly regressed this season.
Fun fact: The Jaguars won the first eight meetings between these two teams from 1996 to 1999 but have lost eight of the last 11.
Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins, 1 p.m. CBS (707)
Key matchup: Jordan Cameron vs. Cleveland’s safeties
The Browns have struggled in just about every area of the game so far, but they’ve had serious trouble limiting tight ends. This season, tight ends are averaging 8.5 receptions and 96.5 yards against Cleveland, which could mean Cameron has a big game.
Fun fact: Ryan Tannehill leads the Dolphins in both passing yards (575) and rushing yards (52).
Washington Redskins at New York Giants, 1 p.m. FOX (712)
Key matchup: Josh Norman vs. Odell Beckham Jr.
Norman versus any receiver is typically a marquee matchup, but this is the granddaddy of them all. He and Beckham have been feuding since last season’s contentious battle, waging a war of words on Twitter and in the media. All eyes should be on No. 24 vs. No. 13.
Fun fact: The Redskins lead the league in passing attempts (89) but are 27th in passer rating and second-to-last in passing touchdowns with just one. They’re also last in rushing attempts (29).
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans, 1 p.m. CBS (708)
Key matchup: Karl Joseph vs. Delanie Walker
Walker is one of the best receiving tight ends in the NFL. He’ll likely be matched up against the rookie Joseph, a battle he should win. Joseph has outstanding closing speed and good range, but Walker runs routes like a wide receiver. He could have a big day.
Fun fact: The Raiders lead the NFL in both yards per play on offense (7.0) and on defense (8.0). Defensively, they’re far worse than the Titans, who allow just 5.4 yards per play.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks, 4:05 p.m. FOX (713)
Key matchup: Seattle’s offensive line vs. San Francisco’s defensive line
The Seahawks have the worst O-line in football. They’ve allowed five sacks and the second-most quarterback hits (17), which has led to Russell Wilson’s ankle injury. The 49ers’ defensive line isn’t great – just three sacks – but they have some big men up front who can wreak havoc on Wilson.
Fun fact: Dating back to the 2013 NFC Championship game, the Seahawks have won each of the last five meetings with the 49ers. After that game, of course, Richard Sherman called out Michael Crabtree, saying he’s a “sorry receiver.”
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY SportsSteven Bisig
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 4:05 p.m. FOX (714)
Key matchup: Todd Gurley vs. Tampa Bay’s linebackers
Gurley is the Rams’ best offensive player, yet he only has 98 rushing yards through two games. He’ll now face a Buccaneers linebacking group that boasts Lavonte David and Kwon Alexander. They won’t be easy to gain yards against, but Gurley has to break through soon, right? RIGHT?!
Fun fact: The Rams are the only NFL team without a touchdown this season and are averaging a league-low 234 total yards per game. The next closest team is the Bears at 271 per game.
San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts, 4:25 p.m. CBS (715)
Key matchup: Melvin Gordon vs. Indianapolis’ 29th-ranked run defense
Gordon looks like a completely different player this season, having rushed for 159 yards and three touchdowns already. He’ll continue to roll against the Colts’ terrible run defense, particularly with Danny Woodhead sidelined. Gordon didn’t rush for a single touchdown in his rookie year.
Fun fact: The Chargers have won six of the last seven meetings between these two teams, including two playoff victories.
New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs, 4:25 p.m. CBS (716)
Key matchup: Jets wide receivers vs. Chiefs cornerbacks
The Jets have one of the best receiving corps in the game today with Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa. All three are big targets for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, and all of them can win one-on-one matchups with the best cornerbacks. Marcus Peters and Phillip Gaines will have their hands full.
Fun fact: The last time these teams met, Percy Harvin had 11 receptions for 129 yards with Michael Vick as the starting quarterback for the Jets.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia, Eagles 4:25 p.m. CBS (717)
Key matchup: Antonio Brown vs. Philadelphia’s secondary
The Eagles entered the season with big question marks at cornerback, but Nolan Carroll, Leodis McKelvin and rookie Jalen Mills have played well. The Eagles are fifth in passing yards allowed, but Brown should have a big game, particularly when he finds Mills in coverage.
Fun fact: The Steelers lead the NFL in passing touchdowns and rushing yards despite being without Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant.
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys, 8:30 p.m. NBC
Key matchup: Alshon Jeffery vs. Morris Claiborne
Claiborne has surprisingly been the Cowboys’ best cornerback this season, and with Orlando Scandrick hindered by two bad hamstrings, he’ll likely be in coverage against Jeffery. This is a favorable matchup for Claiborne with Brian Hoyer under center, and it’s not as if Jeffery’s been dominant thus far.
Fun fact: The Cowboys have lost eight consecutive home games with their last win at AT&T Stadium coming more than a year ago, in Week 1 against the Giants.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints, Monday 8:30 p.m. ESPN
Key matchup: Desmond Trufant vs. Brandin Cooks
Cooks is off to a fantastic start, ranking sixth in receptions and fourth in receiving yards. He’ll likely draw Trufant, a top young corner, in coverage throughout the game. He has the speed to take Trufant deep and beat him over the top, which could make a difference in this one.
Fun fact: Drew Brees is 12-7 in his career on Monday night and has thrown 43 touchdowns to just 16 picks in those games. He averages 297 yards in Monday night games.