Tuesday, February 20, 2024
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What To Look For – Week 3

Below are teams and players that can set historic marks or reach career milestones in Week 3 of the 2023 NFL season, including:

  • Dallas (Dak Prescott & Micah Parsons)
  • L.A. Rams (Puka Nacua)
  • San Francisco (Brock Purdy & Christian McCaffrey)
  • Rushing QB milestones (Jalen Hurts & Anthony Richardson)
  • Houston (C.J. Stroud)
  • Kansas City (Patrick Mahomes)
  • L.A. Chargers (Justin Herbert)
  • Minnesota (Justin Jefferson, Kirk Cousins & Jordan Addison)
  • Las Vegas (Davante Adams)
  • Washington (Montez Sweat)
  • Buffalo (Matt Milano)

COWBOYS LOOK TO CONTINUE DOMINANT START TO SEASON

The DALLAS COWBOYS lead the NFL with a plus-60 point differential through the first two weeks of the season after capturing 40-0 and 30-10 victories in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively. They are the fifth team in the Super Bowl era to score at least 70 points and allow 10-or-fewer points through their first two games of a season.

They aim to continue their dominant start at Arizona on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX). The Cowboys can become the first team in NFL history to score at least 30 points and allow 10-or-fewer points in each of their first three games of a season. Dallas also has the opportunity to have one of the best point differentials by a team through their first three games of a season in the Super Bowl era.

The teams with the highest point differentials through their first three games of a season in the Super Bowl era:

TEAMPOINT DIFFERENTIAL
1968 Dallas Cowboys+99
2019 New England Patriots+89
1996 Green Bay Packers+89
1970 Detroit Lions+89
1966 Dallas Cowboys+89
1980 Philadelphia Eagles+88
  
2023 Dallas Cowboys+60*
*Through first two games 

Sunday will mark quarterback DAK PRESCOTT’s 100th career game. Since entering the league in 2016, Prescott has totaled 2,229 completions, 25,341 passing yards and 168 touchdown passes.

With 22 completions at Arizona, Prescott will surpass JARED GOFF (2,250 completions) and MATT RYAN (2,242) for the third-most completions ever by a player in his first 100 career games. Only MATTHEW STAFFORD (2,410) and DEREK CARR (2,272) have more.

The players with the most completions in their first 100 career games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAM(S)COMPLETIONS
Matthew StaffordDetroit2,410
Derek CarrOakland/Las Vegas Raiders2,272
Jared GoffL.A. Rams, Detroit2,250
Matt RyanAtlanta2,242
Dak PrescottDallas2,229*
*In 99 career games

With 276 passing yards, Prescott will surpass AARON RODGERS (25,616 passing yards) for the seventh-most passing yards ever by a player in his first 100 career games. And with three touchdown passes, Prescott will tie ANDREW LUCK (171) for the seventh-most touchdown passes by a player in his first 100 games.

Linebacker MICAH PARSONS recorded his 10th-career game with at least two sacks last week. With another two-sack performance, Parsons will surpass DWIGHT FREENEY (10 games) for the fifth-most such games by a player in his first three NFL seasons since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic.

The players with the most games with at least two sacks in their first three NFL seasons since 1982:

PLAYERTEAMGAMES WITH 2+ SACKS
Reggie WhiteHOFPhiladelphia16
Richard DentHOFChicago12
Shawne MerrimanSan Diego Chargers12
Aldon SmithSan Francisco12
Dwight FreeneyIndianapolis10
Micah ParsonsDallas10*
*In third season  

NACUA LOOKS TO BUILD ON HISTORIC START

Los Angeles Rams rookie wide receiver PUKA NACUA, a fifth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft from BYU, totaled a single-game rookie-record 15 receptions for 147 yards in Week 2, after recording 10 receptions for 119 yards in his debut on Kickoff Weekend.

Nacua became the first player ever with at least 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards in each of his first two career games. His 25 receptions are the most-ever by a player in his first two career games and are already the most by any player in his first three career games, surpassing ANQUAN BOLDIN (23 receptions in his first three career games in 2003).

Nacua’s 25 receptions lead all NFL players entering Week 3 and with another strong performance at Cincinnati on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN), his receptions will rank among the most ever by a player in his team’s first three games of a season.

The players with the most receptions through their team’s first three games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRECEPTIONS
Michael ThomasNew Orleans201838
Julio JonesAtlanta201534
DeAndre HopkinsArizona202032
    
Puka NacuaL.A. Rams202325*
*Through two games   

Nacua can join MICHAEL THOMAS (2018) as the only players ever with at least 10 receptions in each of his team’s first three games of a season. He can also become the first rookie ever with at least 10 receptions in three consecutive games and the fifth rookie in the Super Bowl era with at least 100 receiving yards in three consecutive games, joining ODELL BECKHAM JR. (four consecutive games in 2014), MARQUES COLSTON (three in 2006), MIKE EVANS (three in 2014) and Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDY MOSS (three in 1998). 

He also ranks second in the league with 266 receiving yards entering Week 3 and can become the eighth player ever to record at least 300 receiving yards through his first three career games.

 The players with at least 300 receiving yards through their first three career games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRECEIVING YARDS
Anquan BoldinArizona2003378
Billy HowtonGreen Bay1952356
Louis LippsPittsburgh1984337
Dan EdwardsBrooklyn Dodgers1948327
Stefon DiggsMinnesota2016324
Charlie WadeChicago Bears1974315
Hugh TaylorWashington1947307
    
Puka NacuaL.A. Rams2023266*
*Through two games   

PURDY, MCCAFFREY CAN EXTEND STREAKS ON TNF

San Francisco 49ers quarterback BROCK PURDY has led the team to a 2-0 start, after winning his first five career starts last season. He is the first quarterback ever with a passer rating of 90-or-higher in each of his first seven career starts.

With a win against the New York Giants on Thursday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, Prime Video), Purdy will improve to 8-0 in his career as a starter, marking the third-most consecutive wins by a quarterback to begin his career since 1970. Only BEN ROETHLISBERGER (15 consecutive wins to begin his career) and MIKE TOMCZAK (10) had longer streaks.

The quarterbacks with the most consecutive wins to begin their careers since 1970:

PLAYERTEAM(S)SEASON(S)CONSECUTIVE WINS TO BEGIN CAREER
Ben RoethlisbergerPittsburgh2004-0515
Mike TomczakChicago1986-8710
Dieter BrockLos Angeles Rams19857
Daunte CulpepperMinnesota20007
Jimmy GaroppoloNew England, San Francisco2016-177
Brock PurdySan Francisco2022-237*
*Active streak

Running back CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY leads the NFL with 268 rushing yards entering Week 3 and has recorded at least 115 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of San Francisco’s first two games. McCaffrey can become the third player ever to record 115 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown in each of his team’s first three games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN (1958) and O.J. SIMPSON (1975).

​Since Week 13 of the 2022 season, McCaffrey has scored a touchdown in 11 straight games, including the postseason. With a touchdown on Thursday night, he will become the fifth player since 1990 to record a touchdown in 12 consecutive games, including the postseason.

The players with the most consecutive games with a touchdown, including the postseason, since 1990:

PLAYERTEAMGAMES (DATES)
Emmitt SmithHOFDallas14 (Oct. 8, 1995 – Jan. 28, 1996)
Arian FosterHouston13 (Dec. 18, 2011 – Nov. 11, 2012)
Emmitt SmithHOFDallas13 (Nov. 7, 1994 – Sept. 24, 1995)
LaDainian TomlinsonHOFSan Diego Chargers12 (Oct. 3 – Dec. 26, 2004)
   
Christian McCaffreySan Francisco11* (Dec. 4, 2022 – current)
*Active streak  

HURTS & RICHARDSON RUSHING INTO RECORD BOOKS

Last week, Philadelphia quarterback JALEN HURTS recorded his 9th-career game with at least two rushing touchdowns. With two rushing touchdowns at Tampa Bay on Monday Night Football (7:15 PM ET, ABC), Hurts will tie CAM NEWTON (10 games) for the most such games by a quarterback in NFL history.

​Hurts has 28 rushing touchdowns in 47 career games. With one more rushing touchdown, he will surpass Newton (28) for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in his first 50 career games.

The quarterbacks with the most rushing touchdowns in their first 50 career games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMRUSHING TOUCHDOWNS
Jalen HurtsPhiladelphia28*
Cam NewtonCarolina28
Josh AllenBuffalo27
*In 47 career games  

Indianapolis rookie quarterback ANTHONY RICHARDSON recorded two rushing touchdowns in Week 2, after recording a rushing touchdown in his NFL debut on Kickoff Weekend. He became the third quarterback ever with three rushing touchdowns in his first two career games.

If Richardson rushes for a touchdown in his next game, he will become the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era with a rushing touchdown in each of his first three career games. He can also become the fourth player since 2000 with four rushing touchdowns in his first three career games, joining JAHVID BEST (2010), KAREEM HUNT (2017) and Pro Football Hall of Famer LADAINIAN TOMLINSON (2001).

STROUD’S FIRST THREE

Houston rookie quarterback C.J. STROUD ranks fourth in the NFL with 626 passing yards entering Week 3. His 384 passing yards last week marked the second-most passing yards in a single game by any quarterback this season.

With 213 passing yards at Jacksonville on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX, Stroud will move into the top-five for most passing yards ever by a player in his first three career games.

The players with the most passing yards in their first three career games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASON(S)PASSING YARDS
Cam NewtonCarolina20111,012
Justin HerbertL.A. Chargers2020931
Patrick MahomesKansas City2017-18866
Andrew LuckIndianapolis2012846
Baker MayfieldCleveland2018838
    
C.J. StroudHouston2023626*
*Through two games   

MAHOMES CLOSING IN ON 25,000 & 200

Since entering the NFL in 2017, Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES has totaled 24,772 passing yards and 196 touchdown passes in 82 career games.

With 228 passing yards against Chicago on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, FOX), Mahomes will become the fastest player in NFL history to reach 25,000 career passing yards, surpassing MATTHEW STAFFORD, who reached the mark in 90 games.

The players to reach 25,000 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAM(S)GAMES
Matthew StaffordDetroit90
Dan MarinoHOFMiami92
Jared GoffL.A. Rams, Detroit97
Peyton ManningHOFIndianapolis97
Kurt WarnerHOFSt. Louis Rams, N.Y. Giants, Arizona97
   
Patrick MahomesKansas City82*
*Has 24,772 passing yards in 82 games   

With four touchdown passes, Mahomes will also become the fastest player ever to reach 200 career touchdown passes, surpassing Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO, who reached the mark in 89 games.

The players to reach 200 career touchdown passes in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMGAMES
Dan MarinoHOFMiami89
Aaron RodgersGreen Bay99
Peyton ManningHOFIndianapolis106
   
Patrick MahomesKansas City82*
*Has 196 touchdown passes in 82 games   

  HERBERT EYES 15,000 & 100

Since entering the NFL in 2020, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback JUSTIN​HERBERT has totaled 14,623 passing yards and 97 touchdown passes in 51 career games.

With 377 passing yards at Minnesota on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Herbert will surpass MATTHEW STAFFORD (53 games) as the second-fastest player ever to reach 15,000 career passing yards. Only PATRICK MAHOMES (49 games) reached the milestone quicker.

The players to reach 15,000 career passing yards in the fewest games in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMGAMES
Patrick MahomesKansas City49
Matthew StaffordDetroit53
Marc BulgerSt. Louis Rams56
Andrew LuckIndianapolis56
Dan MarinoHOFMiami56
Kurt WarnerHOFSt. Louis Rams56
   
Justin HerbertL.A. Chargers51*
*Has 14,623 passing yards in 51 games   

With three touchdown passes on Sunday, Herbert will surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHNNY UNITAS (53 games) and DESHAUN WATSON (53) as the fourth-fastest player ever to reach 100 career touchdown passes. Only Mahomes (40 games) and Pro Football Hall of Famers DAN MARINO (44) and KURT WARNER (50) reached the mark in fewer games.

The fastest players to reach 100 career touchdown passes in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMGAMES
Patrick MahomesKansas City40
Dan MarinoHOFMiami44
Kurt WarnerHOFSt. Louis Rams50
Johnny UnitasHOFBaltimore Colts53
Deshaun WatsonHouston53
Andrew LuckIndianapolis55
Matthew StaffordDetroit55
   
Justin HerbertL.A. Chargers51*
*Has 97 touchdown passes in 51 games   

TRIO OF VIKINGS CAN MAKE HISTORY IN WEEK 3

Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON recorded nine receptions for 150 yards in Week 1 and 11 receptions for 159 yards in Week 2 and leads the NFL with 309 receiving yards this season. Jefferson has 10 career games with at least 150 receiving yards and joined Pro Football Hall of Fame LANCE ALWORTH as the only players with 10 such games in their first four seasons in NFL history.

In Week 3 against the Los Angeles Chargers (1:00 PM ET, FOX), Jefferson can become the first player ever with at least 150 receiving yards in each of his team’s first three games of a season and the sixth player since 1970 with at least 150 receiving yards in three consecutive games at any point, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers ISAAC BRUCE (three consecutive games in 1995) and JAMES LOFTON (1984), as well as JOSH GORDON (2013), ROY GREEN (1984) and ANDRE RISON (1990).

With 128 receiving yards this week, Jefferson can move into the top-five of the most receiving yards by a player in his team’s first three games of a season in NFL history.

The players with the most receiving yards in their team’s first three games of a season in NFL history:

PLAYERTEAMSEASONRECEIVING YARDS
Wes WelkerNew England2011458
Jerry RiceHOFSan Francisco1989449
Chad JohnsonCincinnati2007442
Julio JonesAtlanta2015440
Antonio BrownPittsburgh2015436
    
Justin JeffersonMinnesota2023309*
*Through two games

Minnesota quarterback KIRK COUSINS passed for 344 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1 and had 364 passing yards with four touchdown passes in Week 2. He leads the NFC with 708 passing yards through the first two weeks.

In Week 3, Cousins can become the fifth player ever with at least 325 passing yards and two touchdown passes in each of his team’s first three games of a season, joining TOM BRADY (2011), DEREK CARR (2021), RYAN FITZPATRICK (2018) and PATRICK MAHOMES (2019).

Vikings rookie wide receiver JORDAN ADDISON, who recorded 61 receiving yards in Week 1 and 72 receiving yards in Week 2, is one of six players with a touchdown reception in each of the first two weeks of the 2023 season.

On Sunday, Addison can become the fifth player ever with at least 50 receiving yards and a touchdown reception in each of his first three career games, joining JA’MARR CHASE (2021), BILLY HOWTON (1952), LOUIS LIPPS (1984) and TERRY MCLAURIN (2019).

DAVANTE IN PRIMETIME

In 41 career primetime games (games starting 7:00 PM ET or later), Las Vegas wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS has totaled 236 receptions for 2,916 yards and 29 touchdowns.

With a touchdown reception against Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), Adams will become the seventh player ever with at least 30 career touchdown receptions in primetime games. He has recorded a touchdown reception in each of his past 12 games on Sunday Night Football.

The players with the most touchdown receptions in primetime games in NFL history:

PLAYERPRIMETIME TOUCHDOWN RECEPTIONS
Jerry RiceHOF46
Randy MossHOF44
Terrell OwensHOF34
Antonio Brown31
Jimmy Graham31
Jason Witten30
  
Davante Adams29

SWEAT & MILANO AIM FOR HISTORIC FIRST THREE GAMES

Washington defensive end MONTEZ SWEAT is one of eight players in the league with at least three sacks entering Week 3, having recorded 1.5 sacks in each of his first two games.

With at least 1.5 sacks against Buffalo on Sunday (1:00 PM ET, CBS), Sweat will become the fifth player with at least 1.5 sacks in each of his team’s first three games of a season since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, joining MARK GASTINEAU (1984), Pro Football Hall of Famer KEVIN GREENE (1998), DEMARCUS LAWRENCE (2017) and HAASON REDDICK (2021).

Buffalo linebacker MATT MILANO is one of two players (CHRISTIAN IZIEN) with an interception in each of the first two weeks of the season.

With an interception on Sunday, Milano will become the fifth linebacker in the Super Bowl era with an interception in each of his team’s first three games of a season, joining JOHN ANDERSON (1978), MICHAEL BOLEY (2012), Pro Football Hall of Famer DERRICK BROOKS (2002) and KIRK MORRISON (2007).

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