Brady-Rodgers, Bills-Dolphins, Ravens-Pats headline NFL Week 3


Tua Tagovailoa and Lamar Jackson staged an entertaining quarterbacking duel last week in Baltimore, as Tagovailoa’s Miami Dolphins rally from a 21-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Jackson’s Ravens.

Both of those quarterbacks and their teams are right back in the spotlight Sunday, participating in highly intriguing Week 3 matchups. The Dolphins host the Buffalo Bills in an AFC East meeting between 2-0 teams. The Ravens face the New England Patriots in Foxborough, Mass., with the loser of that game falling into an early-season predicament at 1-2.

The third Sunday of the NFL’s regular season will also bring a clash of legendary quarterbacks, with Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers playing a late-afternoon game in Tampa.

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The Bills-Dolphins and Ravens-Patriots games are part of the early-afternoon slate. The Bills have lived up to their reputation thus far as the league’s Super Bowl favorite. They’ve beaten the Los Angeles Rams, the defending Super Bowl champs, and the Tennessee Titans, last season’s No. 1 AFC playoff seed, by a combined margin of 72-17.

Now they must go on the road to play a warm-weather game on a short workweek against a promising Dolphins team with a revved-up passing game. Tagovailoa threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns in last Sunday’s 42-38 triumph over the Ravens.

“We were executing on all cylinders offensively,” Tagovailoa said after that game. “And then when there were times where we didn’t execute, no one panicked. Everyone just came back into the huddle and we regrouped.”

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The Dolphins overcame deficits of 28-7 at halftime and 35-14 in the fourth quarter. They scored 28 points in the game’s final 13 minutes, and Coach Mike McDaniel began his postgame news conference by asking, “Is anyone else tired?”

The Ravens renew their sometimes-spirited rivalry with the Patriots as they try to get back into the win column. Jackson is coming off a brilliant performance against the Dolphins. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to have a touchdown pass and a touchdown run of at least 75 yards each in the same game.

“There are challenges every week,” Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said at midweek. “But certainly the Ravens have a lot of them with the quarterback, his passing game, the running game, his ability to make elusive extended plays, the explosiveness of their receivers and tight ends and him.”

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Belichick even drew chuckles when he was asked whether Jackson has answered the questions about his pocket-passing abilities that he faced entering the NFL.

“Without a doubt,” Belichick said. “He’s the type of player that’s an MVP type of candidate. I think he’s more than answered it. Wait and see what his contract is. That’ll answer it.”

Brady and Rodgers will square off for the fifth time in their highly decorated careers. Brady has won three of the four meetings to date.

Brady has thrown for a modest 402 yards in two games this season but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by their defense, are off to a 2-0 start. Rodgers’s Green Bay Packers are 1-1, having regrouped to beat the Chicago Bears at home last Sunday following a season-opening loss at Minnesota.

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