NFL Update: Week 3 preview

Quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens are locked and loaded for a showdown with the Texans in Baltimore.
patrick semansky/associated press
Quarterback Joe Flacco and the Ravens are locked and loaded for a showdown with the Texans in Baltimore.

A look at Week 3’s NFL matchups:

Houston at Baltimore

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Texans by 1½.

Records: Texans 2-0 (0-2 vs. spread), Ravens 1-1 (1-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Texans are first club since the 1970 merger to win their first two games of season on the final play . . . Expect a hero’s salute for returning safety Ed Reed (providing his hip is healed), who spent 11 seasons in Baltimore . . . Ravens QB Joe “Cool” Flacco is 4-1 with 7 TD passes vs. Texans. He has 92.2 rating in home games (official) and accounts for 92.2 percent of salary cap (unofficial) . . . Ravens have won 13 straight home games in September . . . Texans have won six straight overall in September . . . Player to watch: Houston TE Owen Daniels has caught a pass in 85 consecutive contests.


Key injuries: TEXANS: QUESTIONABLE: T Duane Brown (toe), TE Garrett Graham (hip, groin), S Ed Reed (hip). PROBABLE: LB Brian Cushing (knee), TE Owen Daniels (not injury related), RB Arian Foster (calf, chest, thumb), WR Andre Johnson (concussion, back), CB Johnathan Joseph (not injury related), LB Joe Mays (quadriceps), CB Brice McCain (knee), C Chris Myers (back), T Derek Newton (knee, calf, elbow), WR DeVier Posey (Achilles’, foot), LB Darryl Sharpton (hip), G Wade Smith (knee), RB Ben Tate (shoulder). RAVENS: OUT: C Ryan Jensen (foot), WR Jacoby Jones (knee). DOUBTFUL: LB Arthur Brown (chest), DT Chris Canty (thigh), RB Ray Rice (hip), WR Deonte Thompson (foot), DT Brandon Williams (toe). QUESTIONABLE: CB Chykie Brown (knee).

Green Bay at Cincinnati

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Time: 1 p.m. Line: Packers by 2½.

Records: Packers 1-1 (1-1 vs. spread), Bengals 1-1 (1-0-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Bengals lead this not-so storied rivalry, 6-5 . . . In their last visit to Cincy in 2005, a fan ran on to the field and stole the ball from Pack QB Brett Favre in the final minute (hey, there was a good chance the fan was going to intercept Favre at some point, anyway) . . . Last week, the Packers became first team with a 450-plus-yard passer (Aaron Rodgers) and a 125-plus-yard rusher (James Starks). GB had 580 total yards . . . Cincinnati LB Vontaze Burfict has a team-high 13 tackles . . . Player to watch: Bengals QB Andy Dalton has 10 TD passes and 97.8 passer rating in past five home tilts.

Key injuries: PACKERS: OUT: S Morgan Burnett (hamstring), CB Jarrett Bush (hamstring), CB Casey Hayward (hamstring). DOUBTFUL: RB John Kuhn (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: RB Eddie Lacy (concussion). PROBABLE: TE Jermichael Finley (toe), DT Johnny Jolly (neck), G T.J. Lang (back), CB Tramon Williams (groin). BENGALS: OUT: CB Brandon Ghee (concussion). DOUBTFUL: CB Dre Kirkpatrick (hamstring), G Mike Pollak (knee). QUESTIONABLE: T Anthony Collins (knee), CB Adam Jones (abdomen), S Jeromy Miles (hamstring). PROBABLE: RB Giovani Bernard (hamstring), DE Carlos Dunlap (thigh), DE Wallace Gilberry (knee), WR Marvin Jones (foot).

Atlanta at Miami


Time: 4:05 p.m. Line: Dolphins by 2.

Records: Falcons 1-1 (1-1 vs. spread), Dolphins 2-0 (2-0 vs. spread).

Comments: Possible Super Bowl preview? (stop your snickering) . . . Imagine these two playing in the Meadowlands in the dead of winter? . . . Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez has 6 TD catches in six games vs. Miami . . . Atlanta QB Matt Ryan has won 10 of last 11 vs. the AFC with a 99.8 passer rating . . . Dolphins are tied for league lead with 9 sacks and tied for second with 4 INTs . . . Undefeated Dolphins have been outgained, 739-673 . . . Falcons WR Julio Jones had 11 catches for career-high 182 yards last week . . . Player to watch: Miami’s Daniel Thomas is 50 rushing yards shy of 1,000 for his career.

Key injuries: FALCONS: OUT: T Sam Baker (knee, foot), RB Steven Jackson (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: WR Julio Jones (knee), DE Cliff Matthews (neck), CB Asante Samuel (thigh), WR Roddy White (ankle). PROBABLE: LB Akeem Dent (shoulder), G Peter Konz (knee). DOLPHINS: OUT: CB Dimitri Patterson (groin), DT Paul Soliai (knee). QUESTIONABLE: S Chris Clemons (hamstring), QB Pat Devlin (ankle), LB Koa Misi (ankle), C Mike Pouncey (ankle), WR Mike Wallace (groin). PROBABLE: CB Will Davis (toe), LB Dannell Ellerbe (pectoral, ribs), G Nate Garner (shoulder), G John Jerry (knee), DE Dion Jordan (shoulder), QB Ryan Tannehill (right shoulder), CB Jamar Taylor (groin), DE Olivier Vernon (thumb), S Jimmy Wilson (groin).

Buffalo at NY Jets

Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Jets by 2.


Records: Bills 1-1 (2-0 vs. spread), Jets 1-1 (2-0 vs. spread).

Comments: Buffalo leads series, 55-50 . . . Jets have won three straight at home vs. Bills . . . Rex Ryan is 7-2 at home in September . . . Game features top two QBs taken in April’s draft in Buffalo’s EJ Manuel (No. 16) and New York’s Geno Smith (No. 39) . . . Manuel threw a 2-yard TD pass with two seconds left to win last week . . . Smith threw 3 picks vs. Patriots in Week 2 . . . Bills LB Kiko Alonso has an NFL rookie-high 19 tackles . . . Jets TE Kellen Winslow is 57 yards shy of 5,000 yards for his career (Pops had 6,741) . . . Player to watch: Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller rushed for 169 yards in last game at the Jets.

Key injuries: BILLS: OUT: CB Ron Brooks (foot), CB Stephon Gilmore (wrist), WR Marquise Goodwin (hand), K Dustin Hopkins (right groin). QUESTIONABLE: S Jairus Byrd (foot), G Doug Legursky (knee). JETS: OUT: T Oday Aboushi (knee). PROBABLE: G Willie Colon (knee), LB Quinton Coples (ankle), CB Antonio Cromartie (hip), DT Kenrick Ellis (back), WR Clyde Gates (knee), WR Stephen Hill (knee), WR Santonio Holmes (foot), T Austin Howard (ribs), WR Jeremy Kerley (concussion), LB Garrett McIntyre (knee), DT Sheldon Richardson (shoulder), QB Geno Smith (ankle), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle), TE Kellen Winslow (knee).

Cleveland at Minnesota

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Vikings by 6½.

Records: Browns 0-2 (0-2 vs. spread), Vikings 0-2 (1-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Anybody else hear that ridiculous rumor that Browns want to trade Trent Richardson and go into rebuild mode? Where do these stories come from? . . . Former Patriots legend Brian Hoyer becomes 19th Browns starting QB since 1999 . . . Minny DE Jared Allen has 24 sacks in last 21 home games . . . Player to watch: Vikings QB Christian Ponder has thrown for 947 yards and 5 TDs in last four vs. AFC.

Key injuries: BROWNS: OUT: LB Quentin Groves (ankle), QB Brandon Weeden (right thumb). DOUBTFUL: G Shawn Lauvao (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: DE Ahtyba Rubin (calf). PROBABLE: DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S T.J. Ward (shoulder). VIKINGS: OUT: RB Rhett Ellison (knee). PROBABLE: DT Fred Evans (shoulder), G Brandon Fusco (shoulder), LB Erin Henderson (heel), T Phil Loadholt (knee), S Mistral Raymond (shoulder), S Harrison Smith (upper arm), C John Sullivan (knee), DT Kevin Williams (knee).

NY Giants at Carolina

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Giants by 1.

Records: Giants 0-2 (0-2 vs. spread), Panthers 0-2 (0-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Cam Newton is just 33 passing yards shy of becoming No. 3 on the Panthers’ all-time list (Jake Delhomme, Steve Beuerlein) . . . Giants’ Eli Manning is 4-1 vs. Panthers and is second in NFL with 812 passing yards . . . Victor Cruz is averaging 18.2 yards per catch for the Jints . . . Giants have 10 turnovers . . . Player to watch: Carolina’s Steve Smith ranks third among active NFLers with 11,555 receiving yards.

Key injuries: GIANTS: OUT: T David Diehl (thumb), TE Adrien Robinson (foot). DOUBTFUL: CB Corey Webster (hip). PROBABLE: G Brandon Mosley (back), QB Ryan Nassib (ankle), WR Hakeem Nicks (not injury related). PANTHERS: OUT: RB Kenjon Barner (foot), S Quintin Mikell (ankle), CB D.J. Moore (knee), CB Josh Thomas (concussion). QUESTIONABLE: CB James Dockery (thumb, shoulder), DT Dwan Edwards (thigh). PROBABLE: LB Jon Beason (knee), LB Thomas Davis (tibia), TE Ben Hartsock (foot), CB Josh Norman (thigh), RB Mike Tolbert (knee).

St. Louis at Dallas

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Cowboys by 3½.

Records: Rams 1-1 (0-2 vs. spread), Cowboys 1-1 (2-0 vs. spread).

Comments: Dallas’s Tony Romo leads NFL in completion percentage at 72.5 . . . Upon learning this, Jerry Jones offered to extend his contract by 31 years and $4 billion . . . Series is tied, 11-11 . . . Rams’ Sam Bradford has thrown for 651 yards, the best two-game start of his career . . . Player to watch: DeMarco Murray rushed for a Cowboys’ record 253 yards vs. Rams in 2011.

Key injuries: RAMS: OUT: T Rodger Saffold (knee). QUESTIONABLE: TE Mike McNeill (chest), S Darian Stewart (thigh). PROBABLE: CB Cortland Finnegan (nose), DE William Hayes (hip), DE Chris Long (hip), RB Daryl Richardson (foot), DE Eugene Sims (foot), G Chris Williams (foot). COWBOYS: OUT: LB Ernie Sims (groin). QUESTIONABLE: DE Anthony Spencer (knee). PROBABLE: WR Dez Bryant (back), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder), QB Tony Romo (ribs), DE DeMarcus Ware (neck).

Detroit at Washington

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Even.

Records: Lions 1-1 (1-1 vs. spread), Redskins 0-2 (0-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Redskins lead the all-time slate, 30-12 . . . Detroit is 0-21 in Washington . . . Lions’ Matthew Stafford has 1,166 completions in 47 games, most by a QB in first 50 games . . . Detroit defense has allowed just three third-down conversions . . . Washington’s Alfred Morris has rushed for at least 75 yards in 16 of 19 career games . . . Player to watch: Redskins QB Robert Griffin III has rushed for just 25 yards.

Key injuries: LIONS: OUT: WR Patrick Edwards (ankle). DOUBTFUL: S Don Carey (hamstring), T Jason Fox (groin). QUESTIONABLE: RB Reggie Bush (knee), DT Nick Fairley (shoulder). PROBABLE: S Louis Delmas (knee), DE Jason Jones (knee), LB Ashlee Palmer (ankle). REDSKINS: QUESTIONABLE: TE Fred Davis (ankle), DE Stephen Bowen (knee), K Kai Forbath (right groin), DE Kedric Golston (abdomen), WR Leonard Hankerson (hamstring, hip), S Brandon Meriweather (concussion).

Arizona at New Orleans

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Saints by 7½.

Records: Cardinals 1-1 (2-0 vs. spread), Saints 2-0 (1-1 vs. spread).

Comments: Arizona’s Patrick Peterson last week had 4 tackles, a 17-yard completion, a 17-yard reception, and 3 punt returns. Who’s he think he is? Gordie Lockbaum? . . . Since 2011, Nawlins’ Darren Sproles leads all RBs with 173 catches and 1,501 yards . . . Arizona’s John Abraham’s 122 sacks are most by an active player . . . Player to watch: Saints QB Drew Brees is 2-0 with 562 yards and 5 TDs vs. Cardinals.

Key injuries: CARDINALS: OUT: LB Kevin Minter (hamstring). QUESTIONABLE: WR Larry Fitzgerald (hamstring), RB Rashard Mendenhall (toe). PROBABLE: LB Lorenzo Alexander (biceps), TE Rob Housler (ankle), DE Ronald Talley (wrist). SAINTS: OUT: S Isa Abdul-Quddus (ankle), S Roman Harper (knee). QUESTIONABLE: NT Brodrick Bunkley (calf), G Jahri Evans (hamstring), DE Glenn Foster (ankle), RB Mark Ingram (toe), DE Tom Johnson (hamstring), DE Tyrunn Walker (knee). PROBABLE: WR Marques Colston (foot), LB Junior Galette (hamstring), CB Jabari Greer (back), DE Akiem Hicks (knee), LB Curtis Lofton (knee), T Zach Strief (neck), LB Martez Wilson (elbow).

San Diego at Tennessee

Time: 1 p.m. Line: Titans by 3.

Records: Chargers 1-1 (2-0 vs. spread), Titans 1-1 (2-0 vs. spread).

Comments: Chargers lead series, 25-16-1, including winning the last nine . . . Tennessee has won 2 of last 3 home openers . . . Danny Woodhead (it’s OK to admit you miss the little fella) had a career-high 8 catches for the Chargers last week (shh, don’t tell TB12) . . . Titans are 3-1 when Jake Locker posts a 90-plus passer rating . . . Player to watch: SD’s Antonio Gates last week became fifth TE with 650 career receptions.

Key injuries: CHARGERS: OUT: WR Malcom Floyd (neck). DOUBTFUL: LB Manti Te’o (foot). QUESTIONABLE: LB Donald Butler (groin), T D.J. Fluker (concussion), CB Shareece Wright (hamstring). PROBABLE: DE Corey Liuget (hamstring), WR Eddie Royal (wrist). TITANS: OUT: RB Shonn Greene (knee), DT Sammie Hill (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: LB Zaviar Gooden (ankle), T David Stewart (calf), CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (hamstring). PROBABLE: WR Damian Williams (hamstring), WR Kendall Wright (concussion).

Indianapolis at San Francisco

Time: 4:25 p.m., CBS. Line: 49ers by 10.

Records: Colts 1-1 (0-2 vs. spread), 49ers 1-1 (1-1 vs. spread).

Comments: You may have heard the Colts traded for Trent Richardson this week (thanks for those helpful tweets, Mr. Irsay) . . . SF coach Jim Harbaugh coached Indy QB Andrew Luck at Stanford . . . Niners QB Colin Kaepernick is 5-0 at Candlestick . . . Game pits SF TE Vernon Davis vs. his brother, Colts CB Vontae . . . Player to watch: San Fran LB Aldon Smith has 6½ sacks in last five vs. AFC foes.

Key injuries: COLTS: OUT: S LaRon Landry (ankle). DOUBTFUL: LB Pat Angerer (knee). QUESTIONABLE: S Antoine Bethea (toe), DE Cory Redding (back), C Samson Satele (elbow). PROBABLE: LB Kavell Conner (ankle), WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (ribs), WR T.Y. Hilton (groin), WR David Reed (quadriceps), WR Reggie Wayne (shoulder). 49ERS: QUESTIONABLE: TE Vernon Davis (hamstring), RB LaMichael James (knee), DT Ray McDonald (ankle), S Eric Reid (concussion). PROBABLE: LB NaVorro Bowman (wrist), G Mike Iupati (shoulder), QB Colin Kaepernick (foot), LB Aldon Smith (back), DT Justin Smith (shoulder).

Jacksonville at Seattle

Time: 4:25 p.m. Line: Seahawks by 19.

Records: Jaguars 0-2 (0-2 vs. spread), Seahawks 2-0 (2-0 vs. spread).

Comments: Shout-out to Seattle tackle Breno Giacomini for his shout-out to Malden High on “Sunday Night Football” . . . Woeful Jaguars are 2-8 all-time in West Coast games . . . Maurice Jones-Drew needs 100 scrimmage yards to become third Jaguar with 10,000 (Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith) . . . Seattle QB Russell Wilson is 9-0 at home with 18 TDs and 3 INTs . . . Player to watch: Jaguars DE Jason Babin has 38½ sacks since 2010.

Key injuries: JAGUARS: OUT: WR Mike Brown (back), QB Blaine Gabbert (right hand), CB Dwayne Gratz (ankle), TE Marcedes Lewis (calf). QUESTIONABLE: CB Alan Ball (groin), RB Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle), G Uche Nwaneri (knee). PROBABLE: WR Stephen Burton (hip), TE Allen Reisner (toe), WR Ace Sanders (ribs), LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring). SEAHAWKS: OUT: DT Jordan Hill (biceps). DOUBTFUL: S Jeron Johnson (hamstring), RB Spencer Ware (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring). PROBABLE: CB Brandon Browner (hamstring), DE Chris Clemons (knee), G J.R. Sweezy (back).

Chicago at Pittsburgh

Time: 8:30 p.m., NBC. Line: Bears by 2.

Records: Bears 2-0 (0-1-1 vs. spread), Steelers 0-2 (0-2 vs. spread).

Comments: Marc Trestman is third Bears coach to start his career 2-0 (George Halas, Neill Armstrong). Both wins were fourth-quarter comebacks . . . Steelers have lost 7 of last 9 . . . Pittsburgh’s Jerricho Cotchery is 2 catches shy of 400 . . . Bears QB Jay Cutler is 2-0 vs. Steelers . . . Bears haven’t won in Steel City since 1989 . . . Player to watch: Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger has thrown a TD pass in 17 straight games.

Key injuries: BEARS: QUESTIONABLE: CB Charles Tillman (knee). PROBABLE: TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder), G Kyle Long (back), WR Brandon Marshall (back). STEELERS: OUT: CB Cortez Allen (ankle). QUESTIONABLE: RB Le’Veon Bell (foot). PROBABLE: LB Jarvis Jones (heel), DE Brett Keisel (calf), NT Steve McLendon (hamstring), TE Heath Miller (knee).

Oakland at Denver

Time: Monday, 8:40 p.m., ESPN. Line: Broncos by 15.

Records: Raiders 1-1 (2-0 vs. spread), Broncos 2-0 (2-0 vs. spread).

Comments: Raiders lead rivalry, 60-45-2 . . . Broncos have won NFL-high 13 straight regular-season games . . . Oakland leading the league with 198.5 rushing yards per game . . . Denver is fourth in the league with 376 passing yards per game . . . Raiders’ Darren McFadden has an AFC-high 223 scrimmage yards . . . Oakland’s Terrelle Pryor leads NFL QBs with 162 rushing yards . . . Player to watch: Denver QB Peyton Manning is 12-4 on “Monday Night Football.”

Key injuries: RAIDERS: DNP: TE David Ausberry (shoulder), S Tyvon Branch (ankle), T Menelik Watson (knee). LIMITED: G Lucas Nix (ankle). BRONCOS: LIMITED: CB Champ Bailey (foot), TE Joel Dreessen (knee), S Duke Ihenacho (ankle).

Jim McBride can be reached at