NFL Week 3 preview: Cowboys' dominance, Puka Nacua and more to know

There is plenty of things happening in the football world and with another slate of Sunday and Monday games on the horizon, fans will be locked into their couches and televisions for quite a while.

But before things kickoff, read a little bit about what you need to know before the action begins.


1). Will Dallas’ dominance continue?

Micah Parsons #11 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on from the field during a football game at AT&T Stadium on September 17, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

The Dallas Cowboys have had one of the strongest starts to a regular season ever. The Cowboys have only allowed 10 points through their first two games, which included a 40-0 lashing of the New York Giants and a pounding of the New York Jets at home. They have a +60 point differential through the first two games of the season and are licking their chops ahead of their game against the Arizona Cardinals

According to NFL Research, the Cowboys could become the first team in NFL history to score at least 30 points and allow 10 points over fewer in each of the first three games of the season. The Cowboys could also top the 1968 iteration of the team by having a point differential of over +99.

2). Don’t sleep on the name

Puka Nacua comes out

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua (17) enters the field with enthusiasm before the game against the 49ers  at SoFi Stadium on September 17, 2023 in Inglewood, California. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Rams rookie wide receiver Puka Nacua already set the mark for most receptions by any player through his first two games with 25. The Rams play the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night and could have the most receptions of any player through their team’s first three games.

Michael Thomas set the record with the New Orleans Saints in 2018. He had 38. Nacua will need another strong performance to even sniff the record. Thomas is the only player to have at least 10 catches through his first three games of the season. If he does it, he could become the first rookie to accomplish the mark.

Nacua can also become the eighth player to have 300 receiving yards in his first three games. He sits at 277.

3). Mahomes earning his contract

Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs restructured his contract earlier in the week. The Chiefs will be paying Mahomes $210.6 million between 2023 and 2026, which is the most money for an NFL player over a four-season span in league history, per ESPN. But he’s definitely earning it.

Mahomes could reach the 25,000 passing-yard and the 200-touchdown passes milestones against the Chicago Bears on Sunday. He sits at 24,772 passing yards and 196 touchdown passes.

If he reaches both, he would have done so in his 83rd game of his career making him the fastest player to reach the mark. Matthew Stafford reach the passing yards mark in 90 games and Dan Marino reached the touchdown-passes mark in 89 games.

The Bears enter the game 0-2 and have allowed 65 points through the first two games of the season.


4). Herbert doing Mahomes-like things

Justin Herbert calls a play

Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers reacts towards the sidelines during the first quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium on September 17, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

As Mahomes’ milestones will be talked about going into the week, Los Angeles Chargers star Justin Herbert will also be hitting a milestone as well if he has a career game. Herbet has 14,623 passing yards for his career and 97 touchdown passes in 51 career games.

A great game against the Minnesota Vikings will push him to the 15,000 passing yards and 100 touchdown passes milestones in just 52 games. Stafford hit he passing-yard mark in 53 games and Deshaun Watson and Johnny Unitas hit he touchdown-passes mark in 53 games as well.

Mahomes was the quickest to reach both totals. He hit the passing-yard mark in 49 game and the touchdown-passes mark in 40 games.

5). Keep a cold one on deck and lock in

There were a ton of close games in the second week of the season and the matchups look even tighter in Week 3.

According to NFL Research, there were 12 games in Week 2 they were decided by one score or fewer. It was the most such games in a single week in NFL history.

It can definitely happen again.


6). Is your team 0-2? Don’t panic.

Joe Burrow warms up

Sep 17, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) stands on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paycor Stadium. (Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports)

There are nine winless teams entering the third week of the 2023 regular season. 

Read why 0-2 teams and their fans shouldn’t hit the panic button just yet.

7). Thursday is over; Monday night doubleheader

The San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants already played. So, you won’t have to worry about scrambling to find them on your televisions or streaming devices. But don’t forget, Monday night will feature a battle of the undefeateds in the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And, a Super Bowl LVI rematch between the Rams and Bengals.

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