2013 NFL Week 3 Preview — 5 Intriguing Storylines to Keep an Eye On
NFL teams are ready to kick-off Week 3 with a full slate of games starting Thursday night. Here are the storylines we’ll be watching:
Andy Reid returns to Philadelphia
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia — 8:25 p.m. on Thurs. Sept. 19
After 14 years in the midnight green of the Eagles, head coach Andy Reid was fired by Philadelphia (1-1) after last season…then hired by Kansas City (2-0). The Chiefs are off to a fast start under Reid and quarterback Alex Smith, who was acquired from San Francisco in the offseason. Lincoln Financial Field will be buzzing over the return of Reid, but it’s the game-planning of new Eagles head coach Chip Kelly that will factor more heavily into the game’s outcome. Still, Reid might want to wear a helmet.
The Texans & Ravens play the Ed Reed Bowl
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore — 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22
Ed Reed was a nine-time Pro Bowl safety — and Eddie Money impersonator — for the Ravens (1-1) before signing a three-year, $15 million free agent contract with the Texans in the offseason. Baltimore fans won’t forget Reed’s 11 years in Charm City nor his role in helping the team to a Super Bowl win in February, but they’ll be rooting against Houston (2-0). Reed will most likely play for the Texans, but his knee may not be fully recovered from offseason surgery. Linebacking legend Ray Lewis will be back in Baltimore, too, as the team inducts him into its Ring of Honor.
The Dolphins look to stay perfect
Sun Life Stadium, Miami — 4:05 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22
While eight teams have started 2013 with two wins in the first two weeks, the Miami Dolphins (2-0) are the least likely of the bunch. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has thrived with new wide receiver Mike Wallace and the defense has been solid in wins over the Browns and Colts. For the Dolphins to remain perfect in 2013, they must beat potential NFC Super Bowl contender Atlanta (1-1) at home on Sunday. A 3-0 start could serve notice that Miami has turned the corner in the rebuilding process, or at least get fair-weather South Florida fans interested in the team.
Trent Richardson debuts for Indianapolis
Candlestick Park, San Francisco — 4:25 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22
Indianapolis (1-1) seized an opportunity on Wednesday by trading a 2014 first-round draft pick for Browns’ running back Trent Richardson. The move gives the Colts their first real running threat since Edgerrin James in the mid-2000s. It also gives second-year quarterback Andrew Luck some help, which he may need against an angry San Francisco (1-1) team still smarting over a 29-3 loss to Seattle last Sunday night. Luck was a star at nearby Stanford, but the 49ers intend to offer him an unwelcome homecoming.
The Seahawks are huge favorites
CenturyLink Field; Seattle; 4:25 p.m. — on Sunday, Sept. 22
Not that anyone ever bets money on NFL games, but the Seattle Seahawks (2-0) were installed as a 19.5-point favorite over the terrible Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) by sports books earlier in the week. It’s the first time an NFL team has been favored by that many points this early in the season since the Colts were 20-point underdogs to the Bills in 1992. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has his team looking like every bit the Super Bowl contender, while Jacksonville is basically on the clock for the first round — and potentially the first pick — of the 2014 NFL Draft.