When the schedule came out, I think many people assumed Week 3’s Monday Night Football game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals would be a bit of a mismatch. Afterall, the Bengals came into the season with hopes of getting back to the Super Bowl, a game they lost to these Rams just two seasons ago. A preseason calf injury robbed Burrow of his preseason and the Bengals sit at 0-2 to start the year.
On the other side, many around the league whispered, somewhat loudly, that the Rams might be looking to tank the year, paying off the credit card from their Super Bowl run and maybe luck into the Caleb Williams sweepstakes. Pairing a young phenom quarterback with Sean McVay could be one of those combinations that stacks trophies and banners in Los Angeles for years to come. Apparently, no one told Matthew Stafford and McVay those plans because the Rams look like they’re ready to compete. They’ve had great production from their young wide receivers, rookie Puca Nacua and third year man Tutu Atwell in Cooper Kupp’s absence.
With Burrow on the mend from a calf injury and the Rams finding a spark on offense, I do think the Rams can go on the road and win this one. However, I think the Bengals know how dangerous it is to fall to 0-3 to start the year, especially in this AFC, and still fight through for a playoff spot. This is an early-season backs to the wall situation where I think they’ll find a way. I think they break out of this offensive slump and escape with a close W.
As for the Philadelphia Eagles traveling down south to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I think this one is rather straightforward. The Eagles may not be hitting on all cylinders quite yet, but they’re easily one of the most talented teams in the league. The Bucs are off to a great start, but they’ve taken down the Vikings and the Bears. This is one of those games that starts to really help us separate the wheat from the chaff. The Tampa Bay heat can’t help them in a night game either. I’ll take the Eagles to soar while Baker withers under pressure from a talented front four.
Picks: Bengals moneyline, Rams +2.5, Over 43.5
Eagles -5, Under 45.5