NFL Week 3 Odds, Picks: Rams Pressure vs. Kyler Murray sparked the win, and the Bills shut down the Dolphins’ deep passing game

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After Week 2, we have a little more clarity on which teams are the best this season and which teams might struggle. Here are the moves on my radar and next week 3 matchups and how they could affect the outcome of these games.

Sunday, 4:25 PM ET
TV: Fox Streaming: FuboTV

Special game , Arizona Cardinals vs. Los Angeles Rams

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Defensive schemes favor Stafford, not Murray

As recent history has favored the Bills against the Dolphins, the Rams had Kyler Murray’s number. Murray’s marks against the Rams (1-6 SU, 1-5-1 ATS, 7 TD, 8 Int) are his worst against any team (minimum 3 games). The only time Murray beat the Rams, DeAndre Hopkins was also in the lineup.

Murray vs. Rams pressure

Kyler’s struggles against the Rams begin with pressure. His worst rate against any team is 36% of his pressures for failure. He was absolutely on fire against them in the playoffs last year, going 4 of 12 for 22 yards and an interception in a hurry. Los Angeles’ pass rush isn’t nearly as potent without Von Miller, but it’s enough to put an end to the magical act Murray pulled last week.

Stafford vs. Cardinals blitz

The key to beating Matthew Stafford? Don’t BLITZ. He has an NFL-best 139.8 passer rating against five-plus pass rushers since being traded to the Rams with 18 touchdown passes and one pick. In a Rams uniform, Stafford is 9-0 at least 25% of the time and 8-6 in all other games.

I’d like to give Arizona the benefit of the doubt and say, “Maybe they won’t explode,” but I can’t do that after 1 week. Patrick Mahomes is the second-best QB against extra rushers since 2021, behind Stafford. He’s a poor blitz beater but the Cardinals threw five touchdown passes at the highest rate (54%) of his career. Arizona has blitzed at the highest rate (48%) in the NFL this year, and will likely continue to do so against Stafford.

Selection: Rams

Sunday, 1 pm ET
TV: Fox Streaming: FuboTV

Special game , Washington Commanders vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles OL vs. Generals D.L

The Eagles’ ground game is in midseason form, ranking second in the league in rushing yards per game this season. They will face a Chiefs defense that has allowed 7.5 yards per rush this season. How bad is that? It was the most by any team in Week 2 since 1951, when the Bears, Giants and Eagles were all bad. 1951! The Eagles will need to push the offensive line commanders around, as they did last year when they swept Washington by 178 yards per game. With Jalen Hurts’ early season breakout, that’s enough for me to pick Philadelphia over a reunion with Carson Wentz.

Selection: Eagles

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-5.5).

Sunday, 1 pm ET
TV: CBS. Streaming: Paramount+ (One Month Free Trial)

Special game , Miami Dolphins vs. Buffalo Bills

The Bills could block the Dolphins’ path to victory

The Bills have won by nearly 20 points per game seven times against the Dolphins, and Josh Allen has 19 touchdowns and three interceptions during the winning streak. So Buffalo already has their number, and they have the pieces to stop Miami’s new mojo as well. To play Micah Hype and Jordan Boyer at safety (no practice Thursday), I’d pick Buffalo.

Deep passing game

Miami’s miracle in Baltimore was aided by two deep fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Tua Tagovailoa to Tyreek Hill to a questionable Ravens defense. They shouldn’t find the same holes against a Bills defense built by rushing the four and keeping everything in front of them. Since the start of last season, the Bills have allowed the lowest passer rating on deep balls (20+ yards downfield) at 16.4. The next lowest ratio is 42.7. Buffalo has allowed zero touchdowns and has nine interceptions on these throws. While Hill can top any defense, he has yet to catch a ball thrown 15+ yards downfield against the Bills.

YAC

Miami is built on speed with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, as evidenced by Hill’s two long touchdowns last week, but Waddle was a key score in Week 1. Hill and Waddle have combined for 524 receiving yards this season, the most by any duo in Week 2 history in NFL history. They’re a big reason why Miami leads the NFL in yards after the catch this season, a driving force behind the team’s offense. It’s a small sample but the Bills’ defense ranks fourth in after catch average this season after finishing 21st in 2021.

Blitz

In the season opener new head coach Mike McDaniel told his team that this is still a defensive team until it can be proven. That may not be true after Week 2, but it’s still a dangerous defense built on an aggressive blitzing scheme. The Dolphins throw extra pass rushers at the third-highest rate in the NFL (42%), which isn’t a winning formula against Josh Allen. Since the start of 2020, Allen is 27-5 at least 20% of the time and 2-6 when not. He has 10 touchdown passes and zero interceptions in Miami’s last seven meetings against Miami’s blitz.

Selection: Bills

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