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It’s the third week of the season, and the New England Patriots are already turning to their third-string quarterback, Jacoby Brissett, who’s stepping in for an injured Jimmy Garoppolo. While the Patriots are hoping Garoppolo will be ready for Thursday’s game, it seems very unlikely given the short recuperation time. In addition, we’ll look at the Washington Redskins’ tough start and Vikings QB Sam Bradford’s first performance.


Patriots Place Rookie in Charge

With Tom Brady still serving his suspension and Garoppolo likely out, the Pats will most likely turn to rookie third-round pick Jacoby Brissett. He finished the win last week at home against Miami. Given his inexperience, the Patriots now find themselves as 1.5-point home underdogs for Thursday’s affair against Houston. The underdog status bodes well for them, though, as the Patriots have covered the spread in seven of the last eight games they’ve been underdogs.


Can the Redskins Save the Ship?

The Redskins won the NFC East last season, but have started this season 0-2. To make matters worse, there are rumours of locker-room squabbles with players pointing fingers. However, the Redskins will have a chance to turn things around with Sunday’s game against the New York Giants as 4.5-point underdogs.

But it won’t be easy. The Giants are 2-0, and the Redskins have lost 17 of their last 24 matchups with the Giants in New York. Washington covered the spread in just nine of those contests.


Vikings Get Heat-Check in Carolina

Three weeks ago, the Vikings were written off after they lost starting QB Teddy Bridgewater for the season. Two weeks into the regular season and they’re in first place in the NFC North, coming off a big win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football. The offense looked crisp in Sam Bradford’s first start; he threw for 286 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a strong performance considering this team averaged just 136.8 passing yards per game last season. We’ll find out more about the Vikings when they visit the Carolina Panthers this week.


Important Injuries

Adrian Peterson (MIN): The Vikings’ star running back had to be carried off the field on Monday night after tearing his meniscus.

Jay Cutler (CHI): Cutler is dealing with a sprained thumb on his throwing hand and could be out a while. Backup Brian Hoyer is ready to step into the starter’s role if need be.

Jonathan Stewart (CAR): The Panthers are expected to be without their top running back due to a hamstring injury.

Doug Martin (TB): The Bucs’ top runner is also dealing with a hamstring injury, but the severity is unknown. He’s questionable for this week’s matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.


*Odds as of September 21, 2016