Her Huddle Presenter & NFL Reporter
Her Huddle presenter Hannah Wilkes looks ahead to Week Three in the NFL, including her standout match-up and Fantasy Football tips; Her Huddle is a new bi-weekly show to celebrate the stories of women working in and around the NFL; listen on Spotify or watch on Sky Sports NFL
Last Updated: 22/09/22 11:40am
There is no sport so completely able to make the “experts” look ill-informed, make the analytics look circumspect and make fans throw their arms up in disbelief like the NFL. Two weeks played this season and the “sentences I never thought I’d write” count on NFL Twitter is through the roof.
In just two weeks we’ve had more improbable comeback wins than we can count, pre-season favourites stuttering, players who made huge offseason moves fail to make an impact, kickers collectively lose their ability to simply do their jobs, and Josh Allen dethrone Derrick Henry as the King of stiff arms. And we’ve seen Travis Kelce resemble a rag doll.
It’s why we love this game. It’s why Scott Hanson so brilliantly styles “the Witching Hour” on RedZone. It’s why Pick Ems is a game for fools and Fantasy Football is an addictive rollercoaster. On multiple season preview podcasts, I repeatedly said “we don’t really know anything until a snap is played”. We’re two weeks in and we still don’t really know anything. Except for the one thing we already knew: the Bills should be lifting the Lombardi come February.
Three things to watch for in Week Three
1. The Undefeated
Miami, Buffalo, the Chiefs, Eagles, the Giants, Tampa Bay. Just six teams means this season is tied with 2012 for the fewest undefeated teams through Week Two since the league expanded to 32 teams back in 2002. *mic drop*.
Without causing too much outrage you could say that three of those are a complete surprise.
The Giants are arguably the worst 2-0 team we’ve seen in a long time; they’re tied 20th in the league for total offense, 31st in passing and they’re terrible on third down. With a Monday Night Football match-up against the Cooper Rush-led Cowboys, there is a solid chance they go 3-0 before hosting Chicago in Week Four. A 4-0 Giants team playing the Packers in London? Isn’t that an intriguing prospect?
2. Tua Time
Is it now? It looks like it after a monster comeback victory over the Ravens courtesy of 469 yards and six touchdown throws. He’s proved he can do it, Mike McDaniel praised his team and asked them to “keep proving me right”, and the Tua critics have been silenced for the moment. A Week Three match-up against the sublime Bills defense will likely provide a reality check but under McDaniel, with that Ravens game as evidence, Tua could well be on his way to a third-year break-out. Much like Josh Allen. Ah, symmetry.
3. Be aggressive, be, be, aggressive (on fourth down)
We’ve had, per NFL Research, 295 points scored after halftime by teams trailing by more than one possession, and we’ve had a flurry of teams overcome big deficits in the fourth quarter to snatch a victory, could the reason lie in the continuing trend of going for it on fourth down?
As fans, we love to see it. Analysts love to criticise it when it goes wrong (see Brandon Staley circa 2021) but there’s no slowing down in coaches willing to back their QB with 46 converted fourth down attempts through two weeks, the most since play-by-play tracking was brought in in 1991. Again, per the clever cats over at NFL Research.
Tellingly, the Dolphins and Giants are both point perfect in their fourth down conversion attempts so far this season (a “sentence I never thought I’d write” to add to the count) and it’s the kind of high risk, high rewards strategy that gets us off our sofas on a Sunday evening.
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Match-up of the Week
The fifth Edition of Brady vs Rodgers. Need I say more? (Yes, according to the editor).
Ok. This very likely will/should be the last time these two meet and, considering Brady’s brief flirtation with retirement, is essentially the bonus edition of 12 vs 12. Brady is 3-1 in their previous meetings as starters and Rodgers’ young receivers will have to make a huge leap to prevent it from becoming 4-1 against a stacked Bucs secondary.
At the time of writing, Julio Jones and Chris Godwin are still questionable, and Mike Evans is suspended (although taking it to appeal), so Brady may be entirely reliant on Scotty Miller.
If both these guys are depleted at WR it really will be a showdown of who has the skills to orchestrate a win for his team.
Or a defensive slogging match. Either way, it’s still Rodgers vs Brady. Still here for it.
Fantasy Tip of the Week
Last season I was, allegedly, the “self-appointed Sky Sports Fantasy Guru”. My performance across five (too many) leagues means I have to relinquish such a grandiose title.
However, what I lack in actual skill I make up for in enthusiasm so will wholeheartedly advise you to pick up Jared Goff if you’re in one of the 95 per cent of leagues where he’s not rostered; someone has to throw the ball to Amon-Ra St Brown and the Lions have a fairly kind schedule. If nothing else he’s great cover for your QB1.
Likewise, if your opponents are still sleeping on Garrett Wilson and Jahan Dotson two weeks of evidence is enough to convince me they should be on your roster.
If you’re streaming defences this week you need the Chiefs against the Colts who have already allowed Matty Ice to be sacked seven times and given the ball away on five occasions through 120 minutes of football. Yikes.
Her Huddle is a new bi-weekly show to celebrate the stories of women working in and around the NFL; listen on Spotify or watch on Sky Sports NFL.