The Big Story for every NFL team

Wilson feels fortunate with injury (0:23)

Russell Wilson explains how he feels after suffering a knee injury against the 49ers and why he decided to come out of the game early. (0:23)

NFL Nation reporters detail the biggest storylines to come out of Week 3 -- and what they mean going forward -- for every team. Answers for the Bears and Cowboys, who play Sunday night, will be added after their game.

NFC East | NFC North | NFC South | NFC West
AFC East | AFC North| AFC South | AFC West


New York Giants (2-1)

Odell Beckham Jr. and Josh Norman turned into background noise. The Giants whiffed on a big opportunity Sunday against the Redskins. They self-imploded with 11 penalties, three turnovers and way too many missed tackles in a home loss that could've buried Washington. A win would've given the Giants a much-needed cushion because it only gets harder with prime-time games in Minnesota and Green Bay up next. -- Jordan Raanan

Next game: at Minnesota, Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET

Philadelphia Eagles (3-0)

The question heading into Sunday was: How will the Eagles look against a contender? That was answered with a throttling of the Super-Bowl hopeful Steelers. The question now is: What is this team's ceiling? Rookie quarterback Carson Wentz has thrown five touchdowns to no interceptions, the defense has yielded just 20 points in three games, and the Eagles head into the bye 3-0 and with expectations shooting through the roof. -- Tim McManus

Next game: Bye in Week 4; at Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 9, 1 p.m. ET

Washington Redskins (1-2)

The Redskins have multiple injury issues to worry about after Sunday's loss to the Giants, starting with safety DeAngelo Hall, who will undergo tests Monday to determine if he indeed tore his ACL as he feared Sunday night. Corner Bashaud Breeland suffered a high ankle injury but will undergo an MRI Monday. He was in a walking boot after the game. So, too, did guard Shawn Lauvao who also hurt his right ankle. Center Kory Lichtensteiger has a calf issue and more will be learned on him Monday. -- John Keim

Next game: vs. Cleveland, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET


Detroit Lions (1-2)

The Lions might have found a true No. 1 receiver in Marvin Jones, but that won't matter if there isn't improvement on defense. Detroit struggled all over against the Packers, from a lack of pass rush to covering the middle of the field and its continual bugaboo of defending tight ends. Detroit needs to figure this out in a hurry -- and potentially without defenders DeAndre Levy or Ezekiel Ansah -- since another road divisional game at Chicago beckons Sunday. If holes like this remain, it could be a long season for the Lions. -- Michael Rothstein

Next game: at Chicago, Sunday 1 p.m. ET

Green Bay Packers (2-1)

Look who's back to playing like a two-time NFL MVP. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a first half for the ages in Sunday's win over the Lions. Four touchdown passes later, and no one was asking what's wrong with him and his offense. The only problem now is that it'll be another two weeks before the Packers can show they're for real. Their Week 4 bye comes before their next game on Oct. 9 against the Giants. -- Rob Demovsky

Next game: Bye in Week 4; vs. Giants, Sunday, Oct. 9, 8:30 p.m. ET

Minnesota Vikings (3-0)

The Vikings are one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the NFC, and coach Mike Zimmer might not have long to play the no-respect card he sought to use on Sunday. "No one else believes, but our team believes," after the Vikings ended Carolina's 14-game home winning streak. The Vikings have won six straight regular-season games, but the loss of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and running back Adrian Peterson afforded Zimmer the opportunity to paint the Vikings as underdogs a little longer. If they keep winning in spite of their injuries, they'll have a much larger spotlight in the near future, starting next Monday night at home against the Giants. -- Ben Goessling

Next game: vs. New York Giants, Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET


Atlanta Falcons (1-1)

Wide receiver Julio Jones' health is the big topic for the Falcons, of course. He is set to play against the Saints on Monday night despite recovering from a calf injury. Jones looked to have his explosiveness back in practice. But in the big picture, the Falcons need Jones healthy for the offense to operate at its best. The Falcons might just have a shot to contend in the NFC South with the way Carolina looks now, but they need their superstar Jones to perform. -- Vaughn McClure

Next game: at New Orleans, Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET

Carolina Panthers (1-2)

Penalties and turnovers are killing the Panthers. With 10 penalties for 65 yards against Minnesota, the Panthers have committed 26 for 215 yards in three games. One of those cost Carolina a 56-yard touchdown catch by Fozzy Whittaker that could have made it 17-2 early in the second quarter against the Vikings. Those kind of mistakes kept the 49ers close last week into the fourth quarter and allowed Minnesota to win.The Panthers also had three interceptions on Sunday, giving quarterback Cam Newton five in three games. He had only two in the first three games a year ago. The Panthers have lost three fumbles this season as compared to none this time a year ago. They are the kind of mistakes that could keep an inferior team like the Falcons, this week's opponent, within striking distance. -- David Newton

Next game: at Atlanta, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

New Orleans Saints (0-2)

So what if it's still September -- this is a "must-win" game for the 0-2 Saints, at home on Monday Night Football against the rival Falcons. New Orleans swept Atlanta last season, but the degree of difficulty has gone up since then because of several key injuries. The Saints are arguably without two of their four most vital players: left tackle Terron Armstead and cornerback Delvin Breaux. They'll need second-year pro Andrus Peat to step up big, whether he lines up at left tackle or left guard. -- Mike Triplett

Next game: vs. Atlanta, Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)

Quarterback Jameis Winston is shouldering the blame in the Bucs' loss to the Rams, saying he needed to make a play on the final drive, and yes, he hesitated, but coach Dirk Koetter had two timeouts on that drive and only used one of them. The game ended on second-and-10, when Koetter should have called timeout after Charles' Sims catch with 49 seconds remaining. The Bucs have a designated coach upstairs responsible for assisting Koetter with clock management while he calls plays -- Andrew Weidinger -- and it's clear that he and Koetter dropped the ball. -- Jenna Laine

Next game: vs. Denver, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET


Arizona Cardinals (1-2)

The Cardinals' two losses have come against AFC teams, keeping their playoff hopes relatively intact. Their first division game awaits Sunday against Los Angeles, and Arizona knows it has to correct any and all of its offensive issues in time for that game because the last thing it can afford is to start the division schedule with a loss. The Cardinals will spend the week focusing on how to get off to a fast start -- which was also the priority last week -- and how to correct the issues that have prevented them from doing that this season. -- Josh Weinfuss

Next game: vs. Los Angeles, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Los Angeles Rams (2-1)

The Rams are somehow 2-1, for the first time since 2006, and in first place in the NFC West. Few saw that coming, especially after a blowout loss to begin their season against the 49ers. Their defensive line has been largely responsible, but their offense has taken steps forward. And Todd Gurley, who rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns in a win against the Buccaneers on Sunday, may finally be getting going. -- Alden Gonzalez

Next game: at Arizona, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

San Francisco 49ers (1-2)

Not much went well for the 49ers in Sunday's loss to Seattle, and there will be plenty of blame to spread moving forward. As is often the case after losses, much of that attention will turn to quarterback where Blaine Gabbert again struggled with a passer rating of 51.9. Coach Chip Kelly said he did not consider going to Colin Kaepernick in Sunday's game, but those thoughts will continue to come up unless Gabbert can turn things around. Kaepernick said he feels like he's physically back to where he can play at a high level, but with a game against Dallas this week followed by a short week before playing Arizona, Kelly has a lot to consider before he could make such a change. -- Nick Wagoner

Next game: vs. Dallas, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

Seattle Seahawks (2-1)

The Seahawks will await word on the severity of Russell Wilson's sprained left knee. The quarterback suffered the injury in the third quarter of the team's win against the 49ers. He missed one snap but then returned to finish the drive. With the team up 27-3, Pete Carroll decided to pull Wilson for the remainder of the game, and he stood on the sideline with his knee wrapped in ice. Both Wilson and Carroll said after the game that the quarterback could have played had the score been closer. Wilson confirmed that he'll have an MRI to determine the severity of the injury but said he'll "be good to go" against the Jets next week. And Carroll said Wilson will "most likely" be fine. The quarterback has never missed a start, but he has suffered a right high ankle sprain and a left knee sprain through the first three weeks of the season. -- Sheil Kapadia

Next game: at New York Jets, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET


Buffalo Bills (1-2)

The Bills, their backs against the wall after an 0-2 start, gave themselves some breathing room with an unexpected win over the Cardinals. They'll travel to New England next, and the big question will be who plays quarterback for the Patriots. Coach Rex Ryan offered up several possibilities Sunday: Julian Edelman, Steve Grogan and Bill Belichick. In the less-than-likely case of Belichick playing quarterback, Ryan said, "We're coming after him, I promise you that." -- Mike Rodak

Next game: at New England, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Miami Dolphins (1-2)

The Dolphins got their first win of the Adam Gase era with an overtime victory against the Browns. Major questions remain, however, as the schedule gets more difficult, beginning with Thursday's road game against the Bengals. Miami allowed 169 rushing yards and 5.3 yards per carry against winless Cleveland, and the Dolphins are allowing an alarming 147.3 rushing yards per game this season. That's a recipe for a lot of losses if the run defense isn't addressed quickly. -- James Walker

Next game: at Cincinnati, Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET

New England Patriots (3-0)

After one of the most impressive regular-season victories in Bill Belichick's 17-year Patriots tenure -- a 27-0 blanking of the Texans on Thursday night -- the main question is on the availability of quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo (sprained AC joint in right throwing shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (right thumb sprain). The Patriots haven't signed a free-agent QB and are hoping either Garoppolo or Brissett will be available. But it's too early to tell right now. -- Mike Reiss

Next game: vs. Buffalo, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

New York Jets (1-2)

After an embarrassing, eight-turnover performance against the Chiefs, the Jets have to regroup on offense and solve their biggest problem -- lack of execution in the red zone. A year ago, they led the NFL in red-zone efficiency. Now they're only 5-for-14, relying too heavily on the pass. They need more balance. -- Rich Cimini

Next game: vs. Seattle, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET


Baltimore Ravens (3-0)

The Ravens are undefeated and in first place in the AFC North, but they know there is plenty of room for improvement. Quarterback Joe Flacco is too streaky. The running game is struggling. The special teams allowed a big return and muffed a punt. The Ravens' wins have come against three teams that are a combined 1-8. "You're not going to be able to get away with this when you're playing really, really good teams in January," Flacco said. Baltimore gets a bigger test Sunday, when the Ravens play host to the Raiders. -- Jamison Hensley

Next game: vs. Oakland, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)

The Bengals might be under .500 for the first time in several years, but they're not panicking, for two reasons: Vontaze Burfict and Tyler Eifert. Cincinnati is about to get back two of its best players (Burfict from suspension, Eifert from injury), and the Bengals also feel that they were just a few plays away from beating the Steelers and the Broncos. They'll have to shake off the loss to the Broncos quickly when the struggling Dolphins come to town Thursday. -- Katherine Terrell

Next game: vs. Miami, Thursday, 8:25 p.m. ET

Cleveland Browns (0-3)

For the first time this season, the Browns can plan to start the same quarterback two games in a row. Cody Kessler threw for 244 yards in an overtime loss to Miami and seemed healthy after the game. And when the Browns play in Washington, they will have the added threat of Terrelle Pryor running the read-option. So there were positives even after a tough loss. -- Pat McManamon

Next game: at Washington, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)

The good news: The Steelers get Le'Veon Bell back for Week 4 against the Chiefs. The bad news: The Steelers need better overall receiver play and more from a defense that is so fired up about giving up 34 points to the Eagles that players in the postgame locker room were heard discussing watching film as a defense instead of by position group. This is dig-deep time for a team that got trounced in Philly. The Steelers stand united heading into the Kansas City matchup. "You have to be professional," center Maurkice Pouncey said. "We'll get to work tomorrow and acknowledge all of the things we did wrong." -- Jeremy Fowler

Next game: vs. Kansas City, Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET


Houston Texans (2-1)

In Thursday's shutout loss to the Patriots, quarterback Brock Osweiler struggled in his first road game for the Texans. He never got into a rhythm, and he didn't get much help from the rest of the offense. Though Osweiler did not have a good game, coach Bill O'Brien said he is not concerned going forward and that it was not all on the QB. "I thought that he hung in there pretty well," O'Brien said. "I think it's the rhythm of the offense, everybody doing their job, the protection, the running game, the route running, catching the football." Osweiler will attempt to get back on track at home on Sunday against the Titans. -- Sarah Barshop

Next game: vs. Tennessee, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

Indianapolis Colts (1-2)

You never thought the Colts would root for the Patriots. But that was the case because by New England beating Houston and the Colts beating San Diego on Sunday, Indianapolis (1-2) is now only a game behind the Texans (2-1) in the AFC South. The Colts, who face the winless Jaguars (0-3) in London in Week 3, knew an 0-3 start would have made it tough on them. "Doomsday, soon thereafter," coach Chuck Pagano said. "It isn't but it is. This team needed this. We've been through, we faced adversity today and found a way to win. We didn't do that in Weeks 1 and 2." -- Mike Wells

Next game: vs. Jacksonville (in London), Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)

The Jaguars had chances in the fourth quarter to seal a victory over the Ravens, but the offense could only gain three yards on three drives after getting the ball inside the Baltimore 40-yard line. They also threw an interception, took a sack, kicked a field goal, and had a field goal blocked. The offense is, as quarterback Blake Bortles put it, underachieving tremendously and it starts with him. He has thrown six interceptions and accounted for seven turnovers in three games. The Jaguars hope he can get well against Indianapolis' beat-up defense in London on Sunday. -- Mike DiRocco

Next game: vs. Jacksonville (in London), Sunday, 9:30 a.m. ET

Tennessee Titans (1-2)

A potential game-tying touchdown drive went up in smoke thanks to two penalty calls: an unnecessary roughness call against left tackle Taylor Lewan, and an offensive pass interference flag against Andre Johnson. But the Titans might not need last minute heroics if the offense could do better earlier. An imprecise Marcus Mariota didn't get enough help, but he finished the game with two interceptions and a lost fumble. Losing the turnover battle 3-1 makes a one-touchdown loss against the league's top-rated offense almost impressive. The Titans have to get Mariota right, and fast. -- Paul Kuharsky

Next game: at Houston, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET


Denver Broncos (3-0)

Over the first two weeks of the season, the Broncos had shown people they could run the ball with some effectiveness against some tough fronts. And they had certainly showed they could play some elite defense. But they showed Sunday the one thing that should make opponents fret a little more in the weeks to come. They showed they can throw the ball and win on the road with quarterback Trevor Siemian making plays to win a game. Siemian threw for 312 yards in his first road start -- in Cincinnati -- and if the Broncos have a power-armed quarterback making plays down the field, they have a well-balanced look across the board and will force opponents into some tough choices. -- Jeff Legwold

Next game: at Tampa Bay, Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET

Kansas City Chiefs (2-1)

The Chiefs had six interceptions from five different players on Sunday, but there's no doubt where it all started. It started where it always starts with the Chiefs on defense, with cornerback Marcus Peters. Peters had two interceptions, including the first one of the game, to get the pick party started. The Chiefs always rely on his ability to make plays on the ball, and the second-year defender is one of the most important players on the team. -- Adam Teicher

Next game: at Pittsburgh, Sunday, 8:30 p.m. ET

Oakland Raiders (2-1)

After giving up more than 1,000 yards in total offense the first two weeks of the season, might the Raiders defense surviving a red-zone stand in the final minute to hold on for the 17-10 victory serve as a much-needed springboard? "If you want to put it like that," said cornerback Sean Smith, who had his first interception as a Raider. "I don't necessarily like how the game ended; we got the victory but we still allowed some big chunks. They shouldn't have got down the field that fast by any means. So we still have some things to clean up." Especially heading cross-country for a game at the undefeated Ravens next week. -- Paul Gutierrez

Next game: at Baltimore, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

San Diego Chargers (1-2)

It's an issue that's really stymied the Chargers during the Mike McCoy era. San Diego is now 3-11 dating back to last season in games decided by eight points or less, including Sunday's 26-22 loss on the road against the Colts. Quarterback Philip Rivers offered a simple solution to the team's struggles in late-game situations - win a game. "We haven't won one like this," Rivers said. "One just doesn't jump out. So we have to win one like this, and then it will become where we expect to." -- Eric D. Williams

Next game: vs. New Orleans, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET