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The best game and sleeper game to watch in Week 3 of the NFL schedule

Week 3 offers a potential “game of the year” candidate in Chiefs-Ravens as well as other quality matchups throughout the weekend.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes shakes hands with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson after the Chiefs defeated the Ravens 27-24 in overtime to win the game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

With the arrival of Week 3, the NFL has given viewers a more than generous set of options. This slate features a genuine “game of the year” candidate as well as several other appealing options throughout the weekend.

The best game

Without question, Monday’s prime-time matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens casts a shadow over the rest of the NFL’s Week 3 slate. The game could well decide which team receives the top seed in the AFC playoff field and features the last two league MVP winners — quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson — each at the peak of his powers.

Monday’s showdown will mark just the third time Mahomes and Jackson have shared an NFL field, and both of the previous matchups lived up to the pre-game hype. The Chiefs narrowly won the first matchup in 2018, sneaking away with a 27-24 overtime victory. The sequel likewise featured fireworks with Jackson nearly completing a 17-point comeback in the final minutes.

With even more on the line this time, Monday Night Football rates as easily the most important game of the week. The oddsmakers favor the Ravens by 3.5 points, and the Chiefs have rarely entered a game as underdogs with Mahomes under center.

Sleeper game

Don’t let Week 3’s matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and the New England Patriots get lost in the early slate of games Sunday. Jon Gruden has the Raiders off to just their third 2-0 start since his first stint with the franchise ended nearly two decades ago while the Patriots have reinvented themselves offensively behind a resurgent Cam Newton.

While the Raiders’ record remains unblemished entering Week 3, the 1-1 Patriots look no less dangerous with Newton successfully running an option-heavy offense. Accordingly, the oddsmakers currently favor New England by 5.5 points. Still, Las Vegas has already shown the ability to win as an underdog, smacking around the New Orleans Saints last week to more than cover the four-point spread.

Worst game

None of the games involving the New York Jets have merited a spot on your TV rotation this season, and their Week 3 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts continues that trend. The Jets look lifeless, with former No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold continuing to flounder in a shapeless Adam Gase offense while the defense has shown little resistance through two weeks. Meanwhile, the Colts appear to have their best defense in years while veteran quarterback Philip Rivers settles in as the new starter under center.

Despite the one-sided matchup, the Colts have something to play for this week given the tight race in the AFC South. Conversely, the Jets have little at stake other than a morbid curiosity regarding Gase’s job security and the team’s outlook for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Unless you have an investment in #Tank4Trevor, focus on an otherwise excellent slate of games this weekend.

2020 NFL TV schedule, Week 3

1 p.m. ET

Chicago Bears @ Atlanta Falcons — FOX
Los Angeles Rams @ Buffalo Bills — FOX
Washington Football Team @ Cleveland Browns — FOX
Tennessee Titans @ Minnesota Vikings — CBS
Las Vegas Raiders @ New England Patriots — CBS
San Francisco 49ers @ New York Giants — FOX
Cincinnati Bengals @ Philadelphia Eagles — CBS
Houston Texans @ Pittsburgh Steelers — CBS

4:05/4:25 p.m. ET

New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts — CBS
Carolina Panthers @ Los Angeles Chargers — CBS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Denver Broncos — FOX
Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals — FOX
Dallas Cowboys @ Seattle Seahawks — FOX

Sunday Night Football 8:20 p.m. ET

Green Bay Packers @ New Orleans Saints — NBC

Monday Night Football 8:15 p.m. ET

Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens — ESPN