Maxwell Football Club Pro Momentum Week 3

September 25th, 2021 by FootballWiz | Filed under Eagles, Football, General, NFL, Sports.

Maxwell Club Momentum

By Joseph Santoliquito
Maxwell Football Club Weekly Pro Football Preview – Week 3
 
Highlights of notable NFL performances for the week ending Sept. 20.
 
Special players want the ball when games are on the line in the fourth quarter. And if it seems as though games have been on the line more often this season, that’s because they have been.
 
Through two weeks, the 2021 season has produced 10 games decided by a field goal or less. That’s tied for the fourth-most such contests in NFL history through Week 2. Seven of the league’s 16 games last week were thrillers in that category.
 
Each of the Dallas Cowboys’ two games have been decided by three points or fewer, including their walk-off road win over the Chargers last week. The Cowboys (1-1), who host the Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), have kept games close by leading the NFL in both takeaways (six) and turnover margin (plus-four).
 
Dallas’ opponent last week, the Los Angeles Chargers (1-1), travels to face the Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS). Each of the AFC West rivals has played two games this season decided by four points or less. Close games are the culture in the NFL, so as the league enters Week 3, get ready for special players to seize the day.
 
A Rush Of Rookies Under Center
 
Six rookie quarterbacks – Chicago’s Justin Fields, New England’s Mac Jones, San Francisco’s Trey Lance, Jacksonville’s Trevor Lawrence, Houston’s Davis Mills and the New York Jets’ Zach Wilson – have attempted a pass this season, tied with 1971 (six) for the most rookie quarterbacks to attempt a pass in the first two weeks of a season since the league merger in 1970. Five of those rookies could start this week, which would make Week 3 of the 2021 season the second time in the Super Bowl era, excluding the strike-shortened 1987 season, in which five rookie quarterbacks started in the same week within the first three weeks of a season. It also happened in 2012.
 

Raising Arizona
 
Trevor Lawrence goes head-to-head against another former No. 1 overall selection, quarterback Kyler Murray, when the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) host the Arizona Cardinals (2-0) on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX). The game marks the NFL’s 30th meeting of starting quarterbacks drafted No. 1 overall since the beginning of 2018.
 
Arizona has an opportunity to begin a season 3-0 for the first time since 2015, when the Cardinals advanced to the NFC Championship Game. Arizona rookie wide receiver/kick returner Rondale Moore leads the team in both receptions (11) and receiving yards (182). Last week, Murray passed for 400 yards with three touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown in the Cardinals’ 34-33 comeback win over Minnesota. Murray, who had four touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown in Week 1, is the first player with at least three touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown in each of his team’s first two games of a season in NFL history. Murray now has 12 career games with both a passing and rushing touchdown, surpassing Steve Grogan (11 games) for the fourth-most by a quarterback in his first three seasons in NFL history. Only Cam Newton (20 games), Josh Allen (16) and Dak Prescott (13) have more. The game also features two head coaches, Arizona’s Kliff Kingsbury and Jacksonville’s Urban Meyer, who took the reins of their teams after serving as head coaches of college programs. Kingsbury and Meyer did not face each other as college head coaches.
 
Significant Starts
 
Both the Carolina Panthers and Las Vegas Raiders have an opportunity to go 3-0 this week. The last time Carolina opened 3-0 was 2015, when the Panthers advanced to Super Bowl 50 against the Broncos. The last time the Raiders opened 3-0 was 2002, when they advanced to Super Bowl XXXVII against current head coach Jon Gruden and the Buccaneers.
 
Must-See Week 3 Game
 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) at Los Angeles Rams (2-0)
Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET (FOX)
 
A very, very early look at a possible NFC championship takes place at SoFi Stadium when the Los Angeles Rams hosts the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The road team in the series has won each of the past three meetings, including last season, when the Rams secured a 27-24 win at Tampa Bay in Week 11. Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady will add to his legacy by starting an NFL game in a 37th city and a 44th stadium, including the postseason. The 36 cities in which Brady has started NFL games include two in other countries, Wembley Stadium in London (England) and Estadio Azteca in Mexico City (Mexico). Three of his starts have been regular-season games on college campuses, at Memorial Stadium in Champaign, Ill., Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., and TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. He also has started NFL games at seven venues that are no longer in existence: Texas Stadium in Arlington, Texas; the Georgia Dome in Atlanta; Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.; Foxboro Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.; the RCA Dome in Indianapolis; the Metrodome in Minneapolis and Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.
 
Including the postseason, Tampa Bay has won 10 straight games. The Buccaneers are now the first team in NFL history to win nine consecutive games while scoring at least 30 points in each contest, including the postseason. The Rams are 39-0, including the postseason, when leading at halftime since Sean McVay became head coach in 2017. Last week, Brady threw five touchdown passes, two to tight end Rob Gronkowski, and enters Week 3 leading the NFL with nine touchdown passes. Gronkowski, who leads the NFL with four touchdown receptions, now has 19 career regular-season games with at least two touchdown catches. Last week, he surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez (18 games) for the second-most such games by a tight end in NFL history. Only Antonio Gates (21 games) has more. Gronkowski, who also recorded two touchdown receptions in Week 1, joined Ben Coates (1994) and Dee Mackey (1962) as the only tight ends in league annals with at least two touchdown receptions in each of their team’s first two games of a season.
Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp is tied for the league lead with 16 receptions, including nine for 163 yards and two touchdowns last week. Kupp is one of two wide receivers (Tyler Lockett) with 100-or-more receiving yards and at least one touchdown catch in each of the season’s first two weeks. Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford bids for his fourth straight game (dating back to last season) with at least two touchdown passes and a passer rating of 100 or higher. He has at least 295 passing yards in four of his five career starts against Tampa Bay. The Rams lead all-time series, 15-9, including 6 of past 7. In the last game between the two teams, the rams prevailed, 27-24, on Nov. 23, 2020. In the last game in Los Angeles, the Bucs won, 55-40, on Sept. 29, 2019.
Joseph Santoliquito can be followed on twitter @JSantoliquito.
 
For more information about the Maxwell Football Club please contact: Mark Wolpert at mwolpert@maxwellfootballclub.org

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