By Lucas Kochevar
On Koch's Corner I alluded to the fact that the Broncos were a very bad team, but good lord I couldn't have predicted a beat down of that proportion. The Dolphins absolutely smashed the Broncos over the head with a hammer, Looney Tunes style. The Bears also solidified themselves as one of the biggest losers in the league with their pitiful performance against the Chiefs. The best part here is that these teams both play each other next week. It's the sucky bowl. I'm hoping that we can get past these games and look forward to this next week and learn more about some of the contenders in the league. The Bengals earned their first win of the season, but didn't look sharp doing it. I'll be curious to see how they do against a lifeless Titans team. The Browns and Ravens face-off in an AFC North battle that could give us more clarity on the best team from that division. The last team I'll be watching out for is the Dallas Cowboys. After dropping a game against the lowly Cardinals, they'll have to take on a frisky Patriots team. Let's get into my three interesting matchups for this week in LK League Notes.
Miami Dolphins (+2.5) @ Buffalo Bills
The AFC East divisional matchup is the premier game going into week four and it's a shame that this isn't a primetime game. The Dolphins managed to luck out by traveling to Buffalo early in the season compared to last year when they had snowballs thrown at them from the fans in the frigid Buffalo winter. The Dolphins are coming off the most dominant win I've ever seen in their massacre of the Broncos. The Bills are also coming off a dominating win over the Commanders where the defense was the star forcing five turnovers. The Bills have rebounded nicely since their opening game loss and it feels like they're rounding into form with Josh Allen making the chaotic throws that he usually makes. This game will be super interesting to see if the Dolphins keep coming up with new ways to make their offense jaw-dropping.
Recently a report came out that Jordan Poyer was ruled as out for this game in Sunday and that's a huge loss for the Bills in dealing with this Miami offense. The Dolphins also welcome back Jaylen Waddle, who was out with a concussion last week. So the Bills will need someone to step up, while the Dolphins welcome back a stud. The game will come down to whether or not the Bills can get some stops. The Dolphins unlocked their run game last week so that's another element to worry about for the Bills. I have confidence in Josh Allen and co. to score some points, but they also can't turn the ball over. The Broncos made that fatal mistake on Sunday and we've seen Allen have that issue already. I like the Dolphins in the game because they're doing things on offense that are so unique and they're so fast. The Dolphins are built for a track meet and I think they'll succeed in winning this track meet on Sunday.
Baltimore Ravens (+1.5) @ Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns rebounded nicely last week after losing star running back Nick Chubb the week prior. They ran through the Titans in a dominant showing where Deshaun Watson looked largely competent for 90% of the game and that really all they needed. Jerome Ford proved to be a solid fill-in for Chubb and I thought Amari Cooper showed flashes of why he's one of the most underrated receivers in the game. The most impressive part of their win was the defense because they flat out shut down the Titans. I don't think the Titans are an offensive juggernaut, but they're still competent and the Browns didn't let them do anything. The Ravens, on the other hand, didn't have a great showing at home against an Anthony Richardson-less Colts team. They're dealing with injuries, but they still shouldn't have dropped that game. They'll look to bounce back this week.
The Ravens offense hasn't inspired a ton of hope early on this season. Lamar Jackson has been sloppy with the ball and they just haven't really hit that groove that I was expecting from them. Rookie Zay Flowers has been a bright spot for them, but that's really it. They'll have their hands full when they take on Myles Garrett and this defense. I'm very curious how they'll try and contain Garrett here. The Browns could be without Watson this week as he's dealing with a shoulder injury, but hopefully he'll play so we can get a good feel about two quality teams in this division. The Ravens are dealing with a ton of adversity with their injury report and I'm not sure they've played the way that head coach John Harbaugh likes to play quite yet. I don't think they'll really hit that spot today, therefore I like the Browns to win this hard nose battle in the AFC North.
New England Patriots (+6.5) @ Dallas Cowboys
The Patriots travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys in a battle of the national brands. The dynasty of the 90s and the dynasty of the 2000s. It'll be intriguing to see how these teams respond from very different weeks. The Patriots scrapped by in a game versus the Jets, but they still won the game. The Cowboys dropped a very disappointing game against the Cardinals. The Cowboys defense also didn't help at all and it's curious what the impact Trevon Diggs had on this defense prior to his ACL injury. The Cowboys redzone offense was pedestrian and Prescott had a troubling interception. Overall, the Cowboys will just need an overall better performance this week against a Patriots team that's competed hard in every game they played this season.
This game will be big for Mac Jones development because Dan Quinn will throw the book at Jones and how he responds to this test can be a real tone setter for the rest of the season. The offense has looked much more competent under Bill O'Brien and I think they can compete with this Cowboys offense. The Dallas offense will need to show improvement too. They started off the season with little resistance and it set them back when they actually needed to come back in their game against Arizona. They'll have a real test against the Patriots defense. The Patriots defense always shows up and I can imagine they'll show up in this game. I think CeeDee Lamb is the X-factor and if he has a big day, Dallas should be able to handle business at home against New England.
LK's Bet of the Week: Seattle Seahawks -1 @ New York Giants
So far I'm 1-2 on the year so far on these best bets, but I'm actually 30-19 on every other pick in the ESPN app. We're on to this week and I have to say that I don't understand this line at all. The Seahawks travel to New York to take on the Giants on Monday Night Football. The Giants have yet to really play an impressive game this season. They got smoked by the Cowboys and 49ers and it took an otherworldly performance in the second half of their Cardinals game to win. Yet, they're essentially in a pick em' against the Seahawks, who are coming off a solid win against the Panthers. I think they're starting to get back into a rhythm on offense and the Giants defense hasn't really shown a lot to convince me they can slow down Seattle. I like the Seahawks to win this game so at the very least, we'll get a push.
Sources: Image via Jennifer Buchanan, The Seattle Times