Handicapping the NFL preseason is not an easy thing to do because you are never sure if some starters will play in a game. But Week 3 is probably the easiest one to analyze because most teams will play all their first-teamers at least the entire first half and some teams will let them go into the third quarter. So here are three teams I feel confident in saying will lose this week. There are no NFL odds released yet but each home team should be around a 3-point favorite. And I like the home team in each of these.
Take a Look at the Sure Losing Bets Preseason Week 3
Coach Reid provides injury updates on Charles, Hali, Bray, Gaines and West.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) August 21, 2016.
Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears (Saturday, August 27th)
The Chiefs remain without top running back Jamaal Charles as he works his way back from a torn ACL. Charles was recently activated off the PUP list and is practicing but the team will stay cautious with him.
“Every day, we’ve kind of increased his workload, so we’ll continue to do that. I wouldn’t expect him to play this week [against Chicago], but we’ll get him in there with a little bit more practice,” Coach Andy Reid said on Sunday.
The Bears are 0-2 so they will want to get a win in their home preseason finale. The Chicago offensive line has been impressive thus far. The line figures to play together into the third quarter Saturday against the Chiefs at Soldier Field. If it can stay together, the Bears have a chance to be much better up front than they were a year ago when five starting combinations were used in the first 10 games.
Arizona Cardinals at Houston Texans (Sunday, August 28th)
While most teams’ starters will play at least a half in Week 3 of the preseason, Houston remains without the best defensive player in the NFL in three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt. In fact, the team is now saying it’s no sure thing that Watt will be ready for the regular season as he recovers from back surgery. Watt acknowledged at the start of camp he’s not a lock for the first game. Watt has never missed a game in the NFL.
“J.J. Watt obviously will not be back this week, but he’s making a lot of progress in his rehab,” Houston coach Bill O’Brien said of Watt, who’s working out on a specialized treadmill after having the stitches from the surgery removed. “I just don’t think anybody can predict when J.J. will be back.”
Also potentially out this week is kicker Nick Novak. He suffered a concussion on a kickoff against the Saints last week and is under the mandatory NFL concussion protocol. Prior to suffering a head injury, Novak connected on three field goals during a 16-9 preseason win, making kicks from 49, 46 and 36 yards. But I still like Houston at home.
San Diego Chargers at Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, August 28th)
Will the Vikings have starting QB Teddy Bridgewater for this game? He missed last Thursday’s preseason outing with a sore shoulder and didn’t practice over the weekend. Had it been a regular season game, Bridgewater likely would have played, but coach Mike Zimmer made a late decision to hold Bridgewater out and start Shaun Hill, who went 10 of 17 for 129 yards in the team’s win over Seattle. Meanwhile, star running back Adrian Peterson hasn’t played this preseason and probably won’t. He’s not hurt but the Vikings haven’t let Peterson play in the preseason for a few years.
The Chargers feared the worst when Jeff Cumberland and Donavon Clark were carted off the field in Friday night’s 19-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Those fears were confirmed on Saturday as Head Coach Mike McCoy announced both players would miss the 2016 season. Cumberland tore his Achilles late in the first half while Clark suffered an ACL injury in the third quarter.