NFL schedule: Week 3 game times and TV coverage

The AFC West battle will continue develop in Week 3 of the 2017 season when the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers face off Sunday afternoon.

Elsewhere, the Cowboys look to rebound from a disappointing Week 2 loss with a Monday night matchup against the Arizona Cardinals. Marshawn Lynch and the Oakland Raiders face a tougher test in Week 3, as they take on the Redskins in Washington on Sunday night.

Jordy Nelson, quadriceps, (Q) and Randall Cobb, chest, (D), Green Bay Packers: When Nelson couldn’t return to last week’s game after suffering a quadriceps injury (incidentally, the injury was to the same leg that required an ACL reconstruction in 2015), he appeared likely to miss time, even though the injury was not considered serious.

But Nelson surprised everyone, himself included, when he was able to put together a full practice Wednesday. Even better? He was able to do it again Thursday, indicating he was no worse for having pushed his activity the day before. On Friday, Nelson was again listed as a full participant. It’s worth noting the Friday designation is an estimation, as the Packers did not practice, but it is enough to signal he could have practiced. The questionable designation leaves the door open in the event Nelson has a setback in the window between practice and game time, but he is otherwise expected to play.

His teammate Cobb is far less certain to be on the field. Originally labeled with a shoulder injury late in last week’s game, Cobb is listed on the injury report with a chest injury. He did not participate in any of the Packers’ practices this week. The rarely used doubtful tag indicates the Packers do not expect him to be available, although coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Friday he would give Cobb until game day to be evaluated. Fantasy owners should make other plans, as it appears Cobb is more likely than not to sit this one out.
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The Bears are just about where everyone expected them to be.

They kept it close against the Falcons in Week 1, but got embarrassed by the Buccaneers on Sunday in Tampa Bay.

The surprise here is that it’s not the Packers atop the division, but the undefeated Lions. There’s no shame in a loss to the Falcons in Atlanta, but it did knock Green Bay down the standings. And the Vikings are sitting at No. 2 even though Sam Bradford is out with a knee injury.

Jackson will rival Rosen as the most divisive prospect, as he’ll eventually have to decide whether his rare athleticism is better used at receiver. (His slight build – listed 6-foot-3 and 211 pounds – has scouts concerned). Scouts are skeptical of [Ohio State’s J.T.] Barrett and [USF’s Quinton] Flowers because of their pocket-passing deficiencies, but there’s another thousand snaps of football to prove them wrong.
Part of a September post by Yahoo!’s Pat Forde:

Rich Bartel, a former NFL backup QB who now serves as director and creator of business development for KANO Sports, which created a software app for long-term quarterback development: “To me he’s going to have to learn how to handle punts and kickoffs and become a slot or an outside wide receiver who can go back and take a snap [as a third roster quarterback].”

Insulting as that opinion might seem, there are others looking at Jackson through an NFL prism who see issues. One NFL personnel director told my colleague Pete Thamel: “He can throw but can’t, meaning every now and then he’ll hit something. He’s a really good athlete.”
Some college people, too.
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One more easy pitch and catch for Goff. Setting him and the offense up for success.

The Rams also used formations to help Goff with defensive reads and he did the rest. Here the Rams line up their tight end in a 1×3 formation, allowing him to be alone on the top of the field. This lets Goff to see it’s man coverage, with a linebacker trying to man up the tight end. He recognizes this, as he should, and drops off a dime. This is the special arm talent that got Goff drafted so high.

This was my favorite play of the game for the Rams offense.

1) Look at the protection. What a difference for a young quarterback. Goff has all day to throw.

2) Goff has all day to throw, goes through his progression and throws a dart to Kupp for a touchdown. His mechanics are maybe not the best here, but the throw was outstanding. You can work on the footwork.

The Patriots are 17-3 straight up after a loss. They were 8-0 on the road last year and covered the spread in seven of those games. Tom Brady and the offense are going to take some time to get sync’d up without Julian Edelman — a glorified practice against the Saints defense should help with that.

That’s a big spread for a Panthers team that just didn’t look all that with last week against the 49ers.

The Raiders at home … Marshawn Lynch making his hometown debut for the hometown team … against the Jets. I’m not sure two touchdowns is a big enough spread.

Is this still a rivalry? It’s hard to think that it is given the state of the Niners. However, the Seahawks have a huge problem in the form of their offensive line, or lack thereof. Because of that, I think the 49ers can cover a 14-point spread … somehow.
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That Atlanta’s offense played well surprises no one.

The Packers showed some fight in the fourth quarter, cutting Atlanta’s lead from 31-7 to 34-23. That run included Aaron Rodgers throwing his 300th career touchdown on a little shovel to Ty Montgomery from a yard out.

Winning’s good! The Falcons may or may not have serious competition in the NFC South this season, but they’re building an early collection of wins that only makes it likelier that they’ll take the division again. This performance was particularly impressive, with Atlanta favored by a field goal and winning in a cruise. I don’t think it’s a major deal that the second half was a lot slower than the first.

That Atlanta’s offense played well surprises no one. You stop sneaking up on teams when you ride 34 points per game to the Super Bowl, as this same offense did last year. Coordinator Kyle Shanahan is gone and replacement Steve Sarkisian is in, but it appears the Falcons can still score points. It’s good that we’ve sorted things out.

Also, migraines are terrible. Most people cannot get out of bed when they’re fighting a migraine. Playing football with one sounds like a special kind of hell. Mary Kay Cabot of reported that his migraines are hereditary, and he takes medications to prevent them. They don’t flare up often, which is good news for Kizer and the Browns.

Kizer showed promise in his first start, which was Week 1 against the Steelers. The Browns lost, but he completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 221 yards, a touchdown, and one pick.

Some analysts felt Kizer would need time to refine his skill set before he could assume a starting role in the NFL, but he won the job in Cleveland. If a long history of quarterback ineptitude has Cleveland fans worried, we get it. But while Kizer may have some growing pains this season, this game should be an outlier for him.
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Vote: What’s been the Giants’ biggest problem so far this season?

The New York Giants have not looked impressive to start the 2017 season.

Eli Manning & Co. fell 24-10 to the Detroit Lions on Monday, one week after losing 19-3 to the Dallas Cowboys. It marks the first time in franchise history that the Giants have lost their first two games by 14 or more points. No team has won a Super Bowl after such a start, and only two of 32 to do that under the current playoff format (since 1990) even bounced back and made the playoffs.

J.J. Nelson, WR, Arizona Cardinals: Who’d have guessed that Nelson would be the highest-scoring wide receiver during Sunday’s 1 p.m. ET block? Not many people, as evidenced by his 7.5 percent start rate in ESPN leagues. That was still quite a jump from his 0.6 percent rate in Week 1, even if it made some sense after the team scratched John Brown (quadriceps). His 23.0 PPR fantasy points were the third-best numbers in his career, and his 18.0 non-PPR fantasy points were fifth-best. Nelson has the speed to be a good risk/reward play in your WR3 slot when the matchup calls, so consider him among your Week 3 pickups.

Chris Hogan, WR, Patriots: He was another success story from the Patriots’ game, scoring 18.8 PPR fantasy points, the third-most in his career. Hogan was started in 38.5 percent of ESPN leagues, and he should continue to benefit from a healthy target total if Danny Amendola (inactive, concussion) struggles to recover quickly.
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NFL schedule: Week 1 game times and TV coverage

The 2017 NFL schedule kicks off Thursday, Sept. 7, with a marquee AFC matchup featuring the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots hosting the Chiefs in prime time on NBC. Tom Brady faces Alex Smith for the first time after the Patriots downed the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium in the divisional playoffs two seasons ago.

Thursday night’s matchup looks like the best game of the week, though there are plenty of great games on Sunday as well. Seahawks vs. Packers looks to be the highlight of the Sunday afternoon games, while NBC’s Sunday night game pits the Giants against the Cowboys in an NFC East rivalry game.

On Monday night, newly signed Saints running back Adrian Peterson returns to Minneapolis to take on his former team. Late Monday night, a matchup between the Chargers and Broncos will set the tone in the AFC West.

“For me to have an exit meeting, and the next time I talked to them I was getting a call at 1 o’clock in the morning saying we’re signing Latavius Murray, that’s no ego blow for me. For me that’s motivation. Congratulations. Now I can move on and take my abilities somewhere else.”

“I don’t know how to explain it, man. Especially when you have high-powered guys. When you have a Ben walking through your locker room. When you have an Antonio Brown, who’s putting up crazy numbers. You have a (Martavis) Bryant. You have Le’Veon (Bell), he’s not here yet, but when you just have those type of weapons just all over the place. You have an offensive line, like Pouncey, like Gilbert. These dudes just carry big personalities, and they’re confident in their abilities.”

On his health status last season and how he feels now: “Towards probably the last seven games of the season, I knew I needed surgery. So, I wouldn’t say I was too healthy. Now, I’m 100 percent. I had my surgery, January right after the season. I was rehabbing. I was there for OTAs, training camp, minicamp, everything. I was ready to go, full go.”
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Redskins’ Su’a Cravens reportedly pondering retirement at 22

The Redskins had to talk second-year safety Su’a Cravens out of retirement.

ESPN reported Sunday that the 22-year-old Cravens, a second-round pick of the Redskins in the 2016 NFL Draft, was considering retirement after suffering a knee injury this summer.

The knee injury was just the latest in a series of maladies for the 6-1, 224-pound safety from USC. He was limited to 11 games as a rookie because of arm and hip injuries and a concussion that forced him to miss Washington’s Week 5 and 6 games last season. Cravens had played in just one preseason game this year, Washington’s opener against the Ravens.

Cravens was not at practice Sunday, but a meeting with Washington’s coaches and executives changed his mind about retirement. His knee injury is expected to keep Cravens out of Washington’s regular-season opener against the Eagles.

There also may be financial incentives for Cravens to keep playing. Per Pro Football Talk, if he retires, the Redskins could ask him to pay back 75 percent of his $1.422 million signing bonus, or $1.06 million. He’d also be forgoing a 2017 salary of $651,000, $852,000 in 2018 and $1.05 million in 2019.

Should Cravens decide to walk away from football, he would not be the first to retire at a young age — but he might be the youngest NFL player to do so.

After claiming former Vikings lineman T.J. Clemmings off waivers, the Redskins placed Cravens on the exempt/left squad list.

“If it’s family issues, personal issues, whatever he’s dealing with, I’m supportive. Hopefully he’ll deal with what he has to deal with and be back out here.”

The Seahawks took advantage of a Raiders fumble to get the opening field goal

The injuries to Edelman and Ware will greatly affect their teams, for different reasons. New England has the reinforcements to survive without Edelman, but Brady will surely miss his favorite target. Kansas City needs to throw a promising rookie into the fire and ask him to carry a big load on the offense.

To reiterate: the preseason is bad and should probably be reduced, but the injuries can’t be undone, so here we are. The next step will be seeing how these teams adapt and adjust without those players.

Despite the inauspicious start, the Broncos scored 30 straight points with two field goals, two offensive touchdowns, and a pick-six. Arizona had no answers on offense — Blaine Gabbert went just 5-of-10 passing for 51 yards. Trevor Knight was even worse with an unfathomable 2-of-12 passing, throwing for only 19 yards ad an interception.

The Seahawks took advantage of a Raiders fumble to get the opening field goal, and then Trevone Boykin hit Rodney Smith for a 34-yard touchdown and 10-0 lead.

Oakland got on the board with an EJ Manuel touchdown pass to Keon Hatcher in the second quarter, then added a pair of field goals in the second half for the lead.

It helped Agholor set a new career high — his 14.6 non-PPR fantasy points doing the same — and makes him likely to be one of the top pickups in the 98.9 percent of ESPN leagues in which he is available. That’s too low a percentage to make a “sell-high” case, and in fact he’s probably a viable matchup-play pickup, but this was probably a more matchup-driven output than the start of a true breakthrough.images (3)

Washington did not respond to questions about the safety.

“Shocking,” Redskins safety D.J. Swearinger said upon hearing the news. “He has to handle what he needs to handle, whether mental or with his family. We’re here to support him. That’s tough. I’m not in those shoes, so I can’t speak on him, so whatever he’s dealing with I’m praying for him, and hopefully he’ll be back.

“If it’s family issues, personal issues, whatever he’s dealing with, I’m supportive. Hopefully he’ll deal with what he has to deal with and be back out here.”

Stafford’s record deal will average $27 million per year and carries $60.5 million in guarantees (and potentially as much as $92 million). Before Stafford’s deal, Derek Carr was the league’s highest-paid player — for a few weeks. Carr’s contract pays out $25 million per season with $70.2 million in guarantees.

The record-setting contract Stafford will sign resets the quarterback market and changes the game for players who have extensions or free agency on the horizon.

The value of a capable signal caller means that even someone like Sam Bradford could be the league’s highest-paid player, at least for a little while. Nobody would say Sam Bradford is a top-tier quarterback. But his contract is up with the Vikings next year, and there should be competition for his services. Bradford’s