Week 3 of the NFL season ended up as a good one for most of the Super Bowl contenders, but one suffered a shock loss to dent their championship credentials.
Are the 49ers the best team in football?
We came into the NFL season with the Kansas City Chiefs as favourites to win Super Bowl LVII. The Miami Dolphins – more on them soon – certainly made a case for themselves later on in Week 3.
But now three weeks in and seemingly getting better with every snap, the San Francisco 49ers are 3-0 and on the second line of betting to win it at $7.
Despite seeing what he was capable of towards the back end of last season, doubts around Brock Purdy turned a lot of people off the Niners as genuine contenders. Perhaps forgetting that he only needed to be relatively good – not great – to get this offense made up of Christian McCaffery, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Deebo Samuel humming, Purdy is exceeding expectations.
He has, in fact, been great.
The 23-year-old threw for a career-high 310 yards and two touchdowns as the 49ers handled the New York Giants with relative ease to win 30-12. Per Pro Football Focus, the Giants blitzed on 86.4% of Purdy’s dropbacks. The NFL average is 31%…
No Aiyuk? No problem. Samuel added 129 yards and a touchdown on six catches to pick up the slack after a somewhat quiet first two weeks. Ronnie Bell, a seventh-round pick in the NFL draft, caught his first career reception and a touchdown on a nine-yard Purdy pass. McCaffery, as usual, chimed in to ensure the 49ers running game continued to threaten.
Brock Purdy is the 3rd-youngest player in NFL history to throw for 700 pass yards, 4 Pass TD and have 0 INT through 3 games of a season.
The only players younger? Lamar Jackson in his 2019 MVP season and Patrick Mahomes in his 2018 MVP season. pic.twitter.com/DetSUgLqBQ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 22, 2023
The 49ers haven’t once looked like losing. The Kansas City Chiefs, on the other hand, have dropped a game already while the Philadelphia Eagles have been less than convincing to start the NFL season. San Francisco aren’t favourites to win Super Bowl LVIII just yet, but a big win over the Arizona Cardinals as $1.10 and -13.5 favourites might lift them to the top after Week 4.
If the 49ers are the best teams in football, the Miami Dolphins can confidently claim their title as the most entertaining.
While Bill Belechick’s New England Patriots made things difficult for the Miami Dolphins in Week 2, the Denver Broncos did no such thing in Week 3.
It ended up as an unopposed training run for the Dolphins who scored 70 points. 70! They comfortably broke their single-game record of 56 points and now rank third for the most points scored in a game in NFL history. It’s the most points scored in a game since 1966.
As you’d expect, Tua Tagovailoa had himself a field day. He found 309 yards completing 23 of his 26 throws along with four touchdowns. It all came together in the running game, though. DeVon Achane and Raheem Mostert combined for a whopping 375 yards and eight touchdowns.
As a result, the Dolphins finished up with an NFL record 735 all-purpose yards for the game.
The NFL stats heads will keep finding records for the Dolphins as the week goes on. They did whatever they wanted to confirm their place as the best offensive team in the league. Now on the sixth line of betting to win Super Bowl LVIII at $11, the Dolphins are putting themselves among the major contenders.
Dolphins (-6) cover the spread by 44 points over the Broncos today, winning 70-20.
Largest cover margin since Patriots (PK) beat Chargers, 45-0 in 2020.
— Evan Abrams (@EvanHAbrams) September 24, 2023
It ended up as a horror show for the Broncos who now move to 0-3 to start the season. Nobody expected this team to be particularly good. If anything, the play of Russell Wilson has impressed and exceeded expectations. However, after Sean Payten’s comments throughout the preseason, the only way for them not to come back to bite him is by picking up wins.
“It might have been one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL. That’s how bad it was.” https://t.co/rDO637PpnK
— Jason (@SportsJO13) September 24, 2023
He’s without one through three weeks and will be under incredible pressure to beat the Chicago Bears in Week 4 as $1.57 and -3.5 favourites.
Zach Wilson’s 157 passing yards flatter him in the end. It took a surprising 29-yard throw as the clock ticked towards 00:00 to get it that high as Wilson completed on only 18 of his 36 throws.
There is no scenario where Zach Wilson can start at QB next week
— The Jet Press (@TheJetPress) September 24, 2023
It’s almost unfair that Wilson is being put in this position. He’s not up to it and the Jets should have been able to see that despite the relatively decent showing in Week 1.
Expectations and plans changed following the Aaron Rodgers injury but improvement could have made the extra losses bearable. That isn’t happening right now. They’re at risk of wasting what could still be a valuable season if they can’t find some reliable production at the quarterback position in the coming weeks.
They face the Kansas City Chiefs as heavy $1.22 and -9.5 underdogs in Week 4…
The Eagles got the job done, albeit unconvincingly. Meanwhile, the Chiefs, 49ers and Bills also made it look relatively easy throughout their Week 3 wins. The Dallas Cowboys, on the other hand, crumbled in falling to the Arizona Cardinals 28-16.
No one saw this coming for the Cowboys (-11.5) in Arizona 🤯 pic.twitter.com/sUWVJrcCtx
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) September 24, 2023
The Cowboys couldn’t stop the Cardinals running game. In just the first half, the Cardinals managed 182 yards and two touchdowns on 11.4 yards per carry. Dallas made things more difficult for themselves with a lack of discipline. Their ten penalties accepted in the first 30 minutes is the most by an NFL team since 2011. They cleaned it up in the second half to finish with 13 for the game, but the damage had been done.
Injuries to the offensive line didn’t help Dak Prescott who finished with 249 yards on 40 throws. Tony Pollard’s 122 rushing yards is the only major positive to come from the offensive side of the ball.
It’s a shock loss for the Cowboys who were looking to confirm their place as Super Bowl contenders. Instead, they’re under a little bit of pressure as $1.34 and -6.5 favourites against the Patriots in Week 4.
Other NFL Notes From Week 3
– The Week 3 NFL tips finished up 2/3 after a horrific non-call for the Baltimore Ravens in overtime and a strange last-gasp drive by the Minnesota Vikings.
– Jordan Love continues to play out encouraging periods. Down 0-17, Love orchestrated an 18-17 comeback win without key players beside him.
– Patrick Mahomes didn’t need to play the 4th quarter, such was the dominance of the Kansas City Chiefs. Already with 272 yards and three touchdowns to his name, the defending MVP watched on as his team picked up a big 41-10 win over the Chicago Bears.
– Of the 99 teams to start 0-3 since the league expanded to 32 clubs in 2002, exactly one – the 2018 Houston Texans – recovered to reach the playoffs. The Panthers, Bears, Broncos and Vikings are in trouble.
– With 215 receiving yards and a 49-yard touchdown pass, Keenan Allen’s 18 catches are the most ever by a player who also threw a touchdown in NFL history.
TOP 6 SUPER BOWL LVIII ODDS
|TEAM||CURRENT PRICE||LAST WEEK’S PRICE|
|Kansas City Chiefs||$7||$7|
|San Francisco 49ers||$7||$8.50|