NFL Week 3 game changers

Which guys will decide the games in NFL Week 3? For better or worse, these are the players we expect to make a difference on Sunday.

ST. LOUIS (1-1) at CHICAGO (1-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

RAMS: Danny Amendola. Amendola piled up 160 receiving yards last week, catching 15 passes to tie a franchise record. He is second in the NFL with 20 receptions after being out for all but one game last season with a serious elbow injury.

BEARS: Henry Melton. Melton has three sacks already. The Bears are tied for second in the NFL with seven takeaways and are tied for second in the league with eight sacks.

BUFFALO (1-1) at CLEVELAND (0-2)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

BILLS: C.J. Spiller. The running back has capitalized on the opportunity with Fred Jackson sidelined. Spiller is averaging 10.1 yards per carry through two games. He has rushed for over 120 yards in each of the first two games.

BROWNS: Brandon Weeden. Weeden improved markedly after a rough season debut. He passed for a franchise rookie record 322 yards with a 114.9 passer rating. He had a 5.1 rating in the opener.

TAMPA BAY (1-1) at DALLAS (1-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

BUCCANEERS: Vincent Jackson. Jackson has a strong track record against the Cowboys. He caught seven passes for 120 yards during a 2009 win while playing for the San Diego Chargers and is still one of the most imposing downfield targets in the game.

COWBOYS: Tony Romo. Romo should be able to pile up yards and points against the Buccaneers. He has 153 career passing touchdowns, tied with Roger Staubach for the third-highest total in franchise history.

DETROIT (1-1) at TENNESSEE (0-2)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

LIONS: Cliff Avril. Avril is one of the most active pass rushers in the NFL. He has one sack this after recording 11 last season. With the Titans' running game struggling, will anyone be able to keep Avril away from quarterback Jake Locker?

TITANS: Chris Johnson. Speaking of the Titans' running game ... Johnson is having major problems. He's only rushed for 21 yards on 19 carries in two games so far. The Titans have to get more out of their star running back.


Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

JAGUARS: Maurice Jones-Drew. Jones-Drew has rushed for 1,212 career yards against the Colts, and seven of his 100-yard games have come against them. Six years ago, he set a franchise record with 303 all-purpose yards against the Colts.

COLTS: Reggie Wayne. After a severe down year in 2011, the former Pro Bowler is averaging over 100 yards per game so far in 2012. He and quarterback Andrew Luck connected on their first score of the season last week.

NEW YORK JETS (1-1) at MIAMI (1-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

JETS: Darrelle Revis. Revis has been dealing with a concussion and was sidelined against the Pittsburgh Steelers. When healthy, Revis is the top pure cover guy in the league.

DOLPHINS: Reggie Bush. The all-purpose running back has 346 receptions over the past six seasons, most among NFL running backs. He ranks second in the NFL in rushing this season.


Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX

49ERS: Randy Moss. This marks Moss' first game against his old team since being cut loose by the NFC North club two years ago. Moss was also drafted by the Vikings. He snagged a touchdown grab in the 49ers opener ... does he have more in store against the Vikes?

VIKINGS: Percy Harvin. Harvin is off to a fast start. He's tied for third in the NFL with 18 catches. For his career, he has 236 catches.


Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

CHIEFS: Justin Houston. Although Tamba Hali is the Chiefs' Pro Bowl pass rusher, it's this outside linebacker who's on a pass-rushing tear. He has 6 1/2 sacks in his past seven games going back to last season.

SAINTS: Drew Brees. With his beleaguered team sitting at 0-2, Brees is pivotal to New Orleans' hopes to engineer a turnaround. He has already thrown four interceptions this season and his passer rating is a paltry 71.6.


Sunday, 1 p.m. ET

BENGALS: Terence Newman. The veteran cornerback has nine career interceptions against the Redskins. That's the most he has against any NFL team.

REDSKINS: Robert Griffin III. Composed, athletic and strong-armed, the rookie quarterback has led the Redskins to an NFL-high 68 points. He leads all NFL rookies with a 111.6 passer rating and leads all NFL quarterbacks with 124 rushing yards.


Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX

EAGLES: Michael Vick. Vick has been a mixture of effectiveness and miscues so far. His six interceptions are the most by any quarterback this season, but he ranks third overall with 688 passing yards.

CARDINALS: Calais Campbell. The defensive end is coming off a huge game: 10 tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss and three quarterback hits against the New England Patriots.

ATLANTA (2-0) at SAN DIEGO (2-0)

Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, FOX

FALCONS: Michael Turner. This marks the first game back on the field since the running back was arrested and charged with driving under the influence following the Falcons' win over the Denver Broncos last week. He has rushed for only 74 yards and averaged 2.6 yards per carry this season.

CHARGERS: Antonio Gates. The star tight end is coming back from a rib injury and didn't play in the last game. Gates needs only three catches to reach 600 career receptions.

HOUSTON (2-0) at DENVER (1-1)

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

TEXANS: Arian Foster. Foster is off to a strong start. The versatile former rushing champion has already gained 189 yards and scored three touchdowns.

BRONCOS: Peyton Manning. The former NFL MVP has a history of dominating the Texans. He has a 16-2 all-time record against them with 42 touchdowns, eight interceptions and six 300-yard games.


Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

STEELERS: Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers quarterback threw four interceptions in his last game at Oakland. He has excelled on third down this season, going 19 for 25 for 251 yards and three touchdowns for a 146.8 quarterback rating.

RAIDERS: Carson Palmer. Palmer has rarely outdueled the Steelers. For his career, he's 4-8 against them. He could be under duress with LaMarr Woodley chasing him around. Woodley is looking for his 50th career sack.


Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

PATRIOTS: Vince Wilfork. The massive nose guard dominated Ravens center Matt Birk and Pro Bowl right guard Marshal Yanda during the Patriots' AFC championship game victory last January. The Ravens could have trouble with him again unless Birk upgrades his play.

RAVENS: Bernard Pollard. Pollard has vowed to play despite a painful rib contusion. Hard-hitting and aggressive, Pollard has emerged as an emotional leader on the defense with Terrell Suggs sidelined with a torn Achilles tendon.

GREEN BAY (1-1) at SEATTLE (1-1)

Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET

PACKERS: Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has never lost to the Seahawks in three meetings, including the postseason, but pass protection has been shaky so far this season. He's been sacked eight times in two games. Rodgers hasn't hit the 100 mark for passer rating in five of his last six games dating back to last season. His performance will be key for the Packers' hopes.

SEAHAWKS: Bruce Irvin. The Seahawks need a big game out of their first-round rookie defensive end. He had a sack -- the first of his career -- against the Cowboys in Week 2. Irvin has the size, speed and athleticism to provide a pass rush that can rattle Rodgers.

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