The slate continues with 13 games Sunday, highlighted by two legacy franchises getting together on Sunday Night Football with the Steelers and Raiders squaring off in Sin City.
In the early slate, we also had the Desperation Bowl between the 0–2 Chargers and Vikings, Jordan Love making his first start at Lambeau Field and Bill Belichick trying to frustrate Zach Wilson in an AFC East duel.
Let’s get to the reactions from the early games on Sunday, with thoughts on the late games to come.
Bills 37, Commanders 3
- What it means for Bills: Buffalo has quietly been fantastic defensively, showing what they can do even without Von Miller. Against Washington, the Bills forced Sam Howell into four interceptions and nine sacks in an easy win. In three games, Buffalo has only given up 29 points while racking up seven takeaways and 12 sacks.
- What it means for Commanders: Burn the tape and move on. Washington’s defense tied for the league-lead in sacks with 10 before Sunday’s disaster. The Commanders aren’t ready to compete with top teams like the Bills, but they have enough talent to compete most weeks largely because their front four is excellent. Sometimes, you’re outclassed. Washington was outclassed by Buffalo.
Browns 27, Titans 3
- What it means for Titans: Malik Willis and Will Levis should at least be warming up. Ryan Tannehill was 20-of-24 in Week 2’s win over the Chargers, but has been hideous in the two defeats. Tennessee’s offensive line is doing him no favors, as the Titans ran for 26 yards Sunday while allowing 13 sacks through three games.
- What it means for Browns: Cleveland’s offense is always going to be run-heavy with a dose of Deshaun Watson, limiting its ability to score in bunches. However, the defense is elite. The Browns held Cincinnati to three points before surrendering 12 to Pittsburgh (not including two offensive touchdowns). Tennessee then was held without a touchdown. Jim Schwartz has proven to be a terrific hire at defensive coordinator.
Lions 20, Falcons 6
- What it means for Falcons: Atlanta is going to see a ton of eight-man fronts in the near future. Desmond Ridder doesn’t threaten defenses despite having quality weapons in tight end Kyle Pitts and receiver Drake London. In their first two games, the Falcons ran for 341 yards and three scores in victories. On Sunday, only 44 yards on 2.2 yards per carry. Stop the run, stop Atlanta.
- What it means for Lions: Detroit should be beaming over its rookie class. With running back David Montgomery inactive, Jahmyr Gibbs stepped up and ran for 80 yards on 17 carries, while second-round tight end Sam LaPorta caught eight passes for 84 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown. Once receiver Jameson Williams returns, Detroit has a host of young weapons.
49ers 30, Giants 12
- What it means for Giants: New York simply doesn’t have enough difference-makers on offense. Jones is an average quarterback who is surrounded by poor skill players and a bad offensive line, especially when left tackle Andrew Thomas isn’t healthy. The Giants threw for 4.3 yards per attempt and ran for 29 yards. General manager Joe Schoen should be aggressive before the trade deadline.
- What it means for 49ers: Nobody has a more complete roster than San Francisco. The Niners held New York to 150 total yards on 3.7 yards per play, while the offense saw Deebo Samuel rack up 129 receiving yards, with George Kittle contributing 90. People can criticize quarterback Brock Purdy, but all he has to do is avoid mistakes.