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The Early Lead
Posted at 05:35 PM ET, 09/21/2012

NFL Week 3 schedule: Falcons-Chargers, Patriots-Ravens highlight game slate

Week 3 in the NFL features a pair of matchups between undefeated teams as the red-hot Atlanta Falcons travel to San Diego and the surprising Arizona Cardinals host the Philadelphia Eagles.

The schedule also includes a Sunday night rematch of the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.

Here’s a run-down of the full slate of games.

Tampa Bay (1-1) at Dallas (1-1) - 1 p.m., FOX

A week after matching a franchise record by allowing 10 yards rushing to beat Carolina, Tampa Bay’s defense gave up a record 604 total yards, including 510 passing, in Giants’ comeback victory.

Cowboys are going the distance to score touchdowns

Jacksonville (0-2) at Indianapolis (1-1) - 1 p.m., CBS

Andrew Luck could join Bert Jones in 1973 and George Shaw in 1955 as the only Colts rookie QBs with a passing TD in each of first three games. Seven of Jags RB Maurice Jones-Drew’s 25 100-yard games have been against Indy.

After 2 lost seasons, WR Donnie Avery continues comeback trail

Buffalo (1-1) at Cleveland (0-2) - 1 p.m., CBS

The Bills lead the NFL with 6.4 yards per carry and average a league-best 198 yards rushing per game. Browns QB Brandon Weeden passed for a team rookie record last week. He posted a 114.9 QB rating after 5.1 in opener.

Rookie RB Trent Richardson eager to build off sensational start

New York Jets (1-1) at Miami (1-1) - 1 p.m., CBS

Jets are 14 for 26 on third down, second-best in the NFL. Defense has given up third-down conversions 14 of 24 times, worst in the league. Dolphins haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in past 16 games, NFL’s longest streak.

Darrelle Revis expects to play after recovering from concussion

Kansas City (0-2) at New Orleans (0-2) - 1 p.m., CBS

Both teams rank near the bottom of the NFL in turnover differential. The Saints are tied for 30th at minus-4 and the Chiefs are last at minus-6. RB Darren Sproles is the Saints’ leading receiver with 18 catches for 163 yards.

Winless Chiefs, Saints reflect on wasted offensive production

Cincinnati (1-1) at Washington (1-1) - 1 p.m., CBS

Five story lines to follow

Redskins’ defense is reeling

Keeping Griffin healthy should be primary concern

Post Sports Live: Bold predictions

St. Louis (1-1) at Chicago (0-2) - 1 p.m., FOX

The Rams have scored 23 points or more in consecutive games for the first time since 2006. The Bears are trying to shake off a brutal loss in which Jay Cutler threw four interceptions and was sacked seven times.

Bears’ defensive line is providing plenty of pressure so far


Ahmad Brooks and the 49ers have terrorized opposing quarterbacks and Christian Ponder is next on their list. (Tony Avelar - AP)
San Francisco (2-0) at Minnesota (1-1) - 1 p.m., FOX

Alex Smith’s team-record streak is at 216 passes without an interception. The Vikings have no interceptions. Smith and Vikings QB Christian Ponder have each completed only five passes of 20-plus yards, none longer than 29.

49ers secondary showing its strength

49ers LB Aldon Smith played 2 days after serious car crash

NFL threatens Alex Smith for wearing S.F. Giants cap

Detroit (1-1) at Tennessee (0-2) - 1 p.m., FOX

Titans DE Kyle Vanden Bosch has 381 / 2 sacks in five seasons. Lions’ Ndamukong Suh’s 161 / 2 sacks are the most by a DT since 2010. Titans RB Chris Johnson is off to horrible start, with 21 yards on 19 carries.

Titans must be ready or Lions could blow them out

Atlanta (2-0) at San Diego (2-0) - 4:05 p.m., FOX

San Diego TE Antonio Gates looks to return from the rib injury that sidelined him vs. the Titans. RB Ryan Mathews hopes to make his season debut after breaking his collarbone on the first carry of preseason Aug. 9.

Falcons looking to build on 5-game west coast winning streak

Philadelphia (2-0) at Arizona (2-0) - 4:05 p.m., FOX

Philadelphia opponents have reached the red zone four times, tied for third-fewest in the NFL, and have scored a touchdown only once. Arizona foes have been in the red zone seven times and scored two touchdowns. Philadelphia has nine turnovers in the first two games. No other team has more than six (Chiefs). Arizona has not given up more than 20 points in 11 consecutive games.

Eagles are undefeated despite turnover issues

WR Maclin out vs. Cardinals

Pittsburgh (1-1) at Oakland (0-2) - 4:25 p.m., CBS

The Steelers are tops in the NFL in converting third downs at 55.9 percent, including 8 for 13 when they need at least nine yards. The Raiders have the worst average starting field position in the league — at the 19.3-yard line. Their opponents have the best average starting position at 33.9-yard line. Oakland is one of only two teams to cause no turnovers in the first two weeks.

As Raiders’ offensive struggles, OC Greg Knapp preaches patience

With Polamalu hurting, Steelers S Ryan Clark gets rare turn in spotlight


Peyton Manning could not overcome a bad start in Atlanta. (John Bazemore - AP)
Houston (2-0) at Denver (1-1) - 4:25 p.m., CBS

Houston’s defense is first in total defense (196 ypg), yards per play (4.08), yards passing (124), first downs allowed (12) and points (8.5). Broncos PK Matt Prater has made 29 of 30 career field goals in fourth quarter or OT.

Ben Tate’s development gives Texans formiddable 1-2 punch

J.J. Watt has “No. 18 on my sack list”

New England (1-1) at Baltimore (1-1) - 8:20 p.m., NBC

Both teams are seeking to avoid dropping below .500 after losing last week. Since the beginning of the 2003 season, New England is 27-3 after a loss. Baltimore has won 13 straight following a defeat. New England QB Tom Brady has at least one touchdown pass in 34 straight regular season games, the fourth-best mark in NFL history. The Ravens have won 11 straight and 19 of 20 at home.

Ravens must move on from frustrating loss against Eagles

What to make of Wes Welker’s diminished playing time

Green Bay (1-1) at Seattle (1-1) - Monday, 8:30 p.m., ESPN

Seattle’s .680 winning percentage (17-8) in Monday night games is the best of any team in the NFL. Green Bay is playing its first road game and will play four of the next five away from home. Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers has been sacked eight times in two weeks. Last season, Rodgers’s eighth sack came in Week 5. The Seahawks are averaging 136 passing yards per game, the worst in the NFL.

Golden Tate gets plenty of attention, and a hefty fine, for his block

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More

Week 3 schedule | Standings | Stats

Week 3 Fantasy Football primer

By Associated Press  |  05:35 PM ET, 09/21/2012

 
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