College and pro have some big match

NFL Week 3: Bengals-Broncos, Zeke’s ball security, potential protests?

Week 3 of the NFL hits this weekend, but the most surprising outcome might have already happened.

We’ve got that and six more things to know about the NFL this weekend.

1. The Bengals play one of the marquee games of the weekend as they welcome the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos in the home opener in Cincinnati. Andy Dalton and Co. will have a huge test in Denver’s defense.

2. The Browns play at the Dolphins, whose 0-2 start would seem to be much more disappointing than Cleveland’s. The Browns will be starting their third quarterback in as many weeks. This time it’s rookie Cody Kessler, who won’t have first-round pick Corey Coleman to throw to because the rookie receiver broke his hand in practice. Terrelle Pryor should be out there, though.

RELATED: All of the bad things that have happened to the Browns so far this season

3. NFL RedZone fans will be happy to see the late Sunday window packed with five games, including the NFL’s Battle of Pennsylvania. The Steelers and the Eagles are both 2-0, and Philly’s new quarterback is getting comparison’s to Pittsburgh’s veteran signal caller.

4. If you’re on Anthem Protest Watch, the 49ers are at Seattle. The San Francisco Chronicle detailed how on-field rivals have found common ground since Colin Kaepernick first began kneeling during the anthem.

5. The Sunday night game features the putrid Bears at the star-crossed Cowboys. One of the stories of the week in Dallas is the role Ezekiel Elliott will play after the former Ohio State star fumbled twice last week.

6. The Monday night game is not exactly enticing on the field as the 1-1 Falcons will travel to winless New Orleans, but it will stir memories of an emotional edition of the NFC South rivalry that took place one year after Hurricane Katrina.

7. Regardless of what else happens this weekend, the Patriots look like the team to beat. They thrashed a Texans team that’s supposed to be a contender despite having to start a rookie third-string quarterback on short notice. Just imagine when Tom Brady returns from suspension.

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