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Week 3 Rooting Guide: Who to pull for and who to cheer against as 1-1 Saints face Packers

Pull extra hard for the Saints this week, as this game could have seeding implications

NFL: Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After a difficult Week 2 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, the Saints will try to bounce back against a home-field hopeful for the 2020 playoffs, the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have been one of football’s hottest teams over the first two weeks, while the Saints are clearly looking to shake off a little rust.

Looking around the NFC, the Saints are now 1-1 and trying to right the ship. The NFC, however, is in a very interesting position, with several teams that didn’t make the playoffs last year already sitting at 2-0, including the Bears, Cardinals and Washington Football Team. Whether these teams are for real or not remains to be seen, but as of now the Packers are one of the few powerhouse teams who have lived up to their hype.

Here’s who to pull for in Week 3 of the season. Thankfully, the NFC South is still struggling as a whole, so none of these games have the Saints in dire straits.

1 p.m. games

49ers vs. Giants

The Giants just cannot catch a break. With Saquon Barkley’s torn ACL, the team is now going to have to turn to Daniel Jones to find any kind of success. The 49ers, meanwhile, bounced back from a Week 1 loss to the Cardinals nicely last week with a 31-13 win over the Jets. While it’s a longshot, definitely hope the Giants can come out on top. The 49ers are the more imposing team here long-term, despite their rocky start.

Bears vs. Falcons

Yes, the Bears are 2-0. But after a historic choke job against the Cowboys last week, the 0-2 Falcons are still somehow three-point favorites against Chicago. Always root against the Falcons, but maybe root a little less loud this week. An 0-3 start could well end up in the end of the road for Dan Quinn and this coaching staff, although at this point it appears stubbornness is keeping them around anyways.

A bunch of teams vs. AFC teams

This is a big week for cross-conference matchups. The Washington Football Team, Eagles, Rams and Vikings are all playing AFC teams (Browns, Bengals, Bills and Titans, respectively). Always root for the AFC teams, it goes without saying.

4 p.m. games

Panthers vs. Chargers

See above, but more vehemently as the Panthers are divisional. They’re off to a rough start at 0-2, but there is definitely potential there.

Cowboys vs. Seahawks

This is kind of the big one, as both of these teams are — to some degree — legitimate NFC threats. However, the Seahawks are a bigger one. Russell Wilson is playing at an MVP level early in the year, and the Hawks are going to be a hard out no matter who they play. Root for the Cowboys this week, and go right back to hating them next week.

Lions vs. Cardinals

Root for the 0-2 Lions over the 2-0 Cardinals, but enjoy Kyler Murray’s game. He’s come such a long way from Year 1, quarterback growth is always fun to see. The Lions are clearly still figuring a lot out, and they shouldn’t be as bad as they’ve looked in the first two weeks. The Cardinals, meanwhile, are off to a hot start. Will they regress, or could they be this year’s 49ers? Only time will tell. Only the Seahawks are consistent out West it appears.

Buccaneers vs. Broncos

The Bucs got their first win in the Tom Brady era last week against the Panthers, and they joined the Saints as the only teams in the South with a win. Pull hard for the Broncos this week, as (like I said last week) you don’t want Brady teams to hang around. Ask the Falcons.

Monday Night Football

Chiefs vs. Ravens

No rooting interest here, but definitely enjoy this game. It could be a lot of fun.