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NFL Week 3 bold predictions: Scoring explosion in clash of winless teams; Bucs upset Eagles

Throughout the 2023 season, NFL Network analysts will provide one bold prediction heading into each week's slate of games (see the full Week 3 schedule).

Matt Okada

The top five single-game fantasy performances in the Super Bowl era belong to Jerry (Rice, twice), Jimmy (Smith), Jerry (Butler) and Jamaal (Charles). I see you, scriptwriters. Give me a double helping of J's, please. In an absolute barnburner with the Chargers -- and their hapless defense -- Justin Jefferson joins three exclusive single-game clubs: 20-plus receptions, 300-plus receiving yards and 60-plus fantasy points. Oh, and the Vikings still lose. Sorry, Skol-ers.

Marcas Grant

Everyone is giving up on Najee Harris. So now is when he goes off for your fantasy team. I don’t make the rules. Two big runs on Monday night masked another inefficient rushing performance. But you can chalk some of that up to a good Browns run defense. The Raiders’ run defense, by comparison, is un-good. Combine that with a likely positive game script, and this is a get-right game for Najee, who logs a season-high 125 yards. 

Maurice Jones-Drew

Sam Howell is one of just four quarterbacks (joining Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Kirk Cousins) to have 200-plus total yards and at least two touchdowns in both weeks of the season. In Week 3, he puts up his best outing, recording a total of four touchdowns while outdueling Josh Allen in a close Commanders win.

Marc Ross

There’s a lot on the line in the “Someone Has to Win” Bowl between the Chargers and Vikings. Near the top of most statistical quarterback categories despite starting 0-2, Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins looks poised to feast on Los Angeles’ league-worst pass defense. He becomes the second QB to throw for 400 yards against the Chargers this season, while Justin Jefferson catches his first two touchdowns of the season in a last-possession win for the Vikings. 

Joel Smyth

Chicago has stayed away from designed quarterback runs to start the year -- and the team has also stayed away from the end zone. After struggling early last season, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy eventually gave in, ramping up the number of designed QB runs in Week 7’s Monday Night Football win over New England. This week’s opponent, Kansas City, is a heavy-man defensive team, which means opposing passers have more opportunities to scramble; in 2022, the Chiefs allowed the fifth-most rushing yards to quarterbacks. Look for Justin Fields to go back to his feet more in Arrowhead and rush for at least 100 yards.

David Carr

Jalen Hurts is 19-1 in his last 20 regular-season starts and 5-1 in prime-time games since 2022, but let's not jump the gun. Baker Mayfield has a chance to do something not even Tom Brady could accomplish in Tampa; he can lead the Bucs to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2005. And he does -- leading the charge in a big upset win over the Eagles.

Michael Florio

Chargers-Vikings is an indoor game loaded with receiver talent, featuring two secondaries that have allowed a ton of yards. And both teams are in a must-win spot. L.A. and Minnesota trade big plays, and Justin Herbert and Kirk Cousins end up throwing over 400 yards -- with multiple scores apiece. 

Full NFL Week 3 schedule

Sunday, September 24

Monday, September 25

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