NFL-AFCE Game Day-Week 3

NFL-AFCE Game Day-Week 3
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Today’s Games

 Broncos @ Bills

Denver’s D can’t slow Shady McCoy

Despite holding the Cowboys to 40 yards on the ground in Week 2, the Broncos‘ defense overlooks the Bills. LeSean McCoy has his biggest outing of the season with 100-plus rushing yards against the league’s third-best run defense.



Denver Broncos

Coach Vance Joseph said he doesn’t believe in “trap games,” but this one fits the profile: an 11 a.m. kickoff on Denver time following an attention-grabbing victory over the Dallas Cowboys and falling the week before an AFC West showdown with the Oakland Raiders. The Broncos do have the look of a balanced team in the early going; they led the league in rushing after two games, quarterback Trevor Siemian was tied for the touchdown-pass lead and the defense was No. 4 overall. Broncos 23, Bills 9Jeff Legwold

Buffalo Bills

There are two factors that could keep the Bills in this game: Their defense is allowing 0.95 points per opponent drive, fourth in the NFL, and they have a positive turnover margin (plus-1). The problem for Buffalo will be trying to play from behind, which is likely against a Broncos offense that has averaged 3.18 points per drive in the first half, fourth in the NFL and significantly higher than the Bills’ 0.70 rate. One of the items on coach Sean McDermott’s needs analysis this week is his receivers winning more one-on-one matchups, and that will be extremely difficult for Jordan Matthews and Zay Jones to do against Aqib Talib and Chris Harris. Broncos 21, Bills 13Mike Rodak



Denver Broncos 20, Buffalo Bills 13

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Think this week’s game in Buffalo will go a little differently for the hot Broncos. No doubt, Trevor Siemianand Co. have gotten off to a fine start on offense, but they have yet to play on the road, and the Bills‘ defense is better than both the Chargers‘ and Cowboys‘ groups. You know, Siemian is sporting the same haircut Jake Plummer donned during his first year with the franchise, before “The Snake” went all mountain man. Would like to see Siemian move from the feathered “Eight is Enough” hairdo to something more Alice In Chains. His running game has not so silently been the key to the Broncos‘ success and should only get better if Devontae Booker returns to the rotation. If Buffalo is to have a chance in this game, Tyrod Taylor must convert a few third downs with his legs, and his team needs to prevail in the kicking game. As solid as the Bills‘ ground attack has been in the past, guess which team is leading the league in rushing? #DENvsBUF



Texas @ Patriots


Houston Texans

The Bill O’Brien-led Texans have never won at Gillette Stadium, and that’s not going to change on Sunday. Houston’s defense gave Tom Brady and the Patriots trouble in the playoffs (Brady was 18-of-38 for 287 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions), but its offense still isn’t good enough to outscore Brady at home. Patriots 28, Texans 13Sarah Barshop

New England Patriots

The Texans have the defensive personnel to slow down the Patriots, specifically with a good pass rush up the middle when they bring ends Jadeveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus over center David Andrews. But in the end, the Patriots will have too much firepower, as they never have lost to a rookie quarterback at home under coach Bill Belichick (8-0). Patriots 30, Texans 24Mike Reiss



New England Patriots 30, Houston Texans 14

Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS

Against the defending champs, Deshaun Watson will start his second career game, which will give him just 236 fewer starts than Tom Brady. That’s OK, though, because it would take Brady about 49 quarterback sneaks to equal Watson’s touchdown scamper in Cincinnati. Texans at Patriots was the Jacoby Brissett game last year, when the then-rookie scampered all over Houston’s defense in a blowout win. As you’ll recall, this resilient Houston team gave New England all it could handle for one half in last year’s Divisional Round. Not sure Mike Vrabel’s defense has the corners this time around, while Brady’s accuracy on short passes can neutralize Houston’s vaunted pass rush. The Texans LBs will also have to stay with James Whiteand Dion Lewis in the flat (and beyond).

Fun fact: Going back to last season, Patriots are 11-0 without Rob Gronkowski. If he doesn’t play Sunday? 12-0. #HOUvsNE



Dolphins @ Jets


Miami Dolphins

Miami has won four of its past five meetings against the Jets at MetLife Stadium. Miami’s offense and quarterback Jay Cutler showed flashes in Week 2 but could have a breakout game. The Jets allowed more points (66) than anyone in the NFL through two games. Dolphins 28, Jets 17James Walker

New York Jets

The Jets’ best chance to win is to stop running back Jay Ajayi, shifting the onus to the turnover-prone Cutler. Problem is, it’s hard to trust the Jets’ run defense, which has yielded a combined 370 yards in two games. On the other side, the Jets will have problems with Miami’s front four, especially if guard Brian Winters (abdomen) doesn’t play. Defensive end Cameron Wake is a Jet killer: seven sacks and four forced fumbles in 15 games. The Jets will be 0-3 for the first time since 2003. Dolphins 24, Jets 20Rich Cimini



Miami Dolphins 30, New York Jets 14

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

Dolphins at Jets will be an extremely close, ugly football game until late in the fourth quarter. Jay Cutler will throw 55 bubble screens and Josh McCown will throw 55 times to guys you’ve never heard of. Well, maybe not, if Jermaine Kearse and Matt Forte get involved in the Jets‘ offense again. Would like to see more work for Bilal Powell (18 touches in two games). Hey, Jets tight ends have six catches so far this season, which is like Kellen Winslow-Mickey Shuler numbers for this team. Throwing to the RBs and TEs short could mitigate Miami’s clear advantage over New York’s offensive line. Dude, the Dolphins played a West Coast game, now go to the East Coast, then fly over the big pond to London, then back to Miami. They’ll be so tired by early October, you might have to drag them off that plane. Er, uh, maybe that’s not such a fine idea …#MIAvsNYJ

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