Not a lot of flash on the Week 3 schedule. Vikings/Niners is the only game between 2-0 teams, but it's too early to know what the 49ers really are. I'm impressed by them, but I'm far from sold on them. The only other game this week that really fits the Marquee bill (from what I saw) is:
Atlanta Falcons @ New England Patriots
Line: Patriots by 4 1/2
Atlanta was sort of the NFL's darling Cinderella story last year, and New England has been the marquee team of the decade. Both teams feature high-end quarterbacks, potentially explosive offenses, and defenses that currently qualify as question marks or works in progress. Tom Brady hasn't looked his usual self thus far, whereas Matt Ryan has been pretty sharp.
Atlanta's defense interests me, and Mike Peterson seems to have been an extremely good pickup. He has stepped up as the leader of the defense and improved the quality of play of the whole group. Their secondary doesn't seem particularly strong, and losing Peria Jerry for the season will definitely affect their run defense. Luckily for them, the Pats don't run much anyway. John Abraham can put some real pressure on Brady, and Peterson is just the kind of tough, heady linebacker that could cause a problem.
I don't know what to make of the Patriots this year. The offense has looked very sluggish, lacking any kind of rhythm. Brady looks uncomfortable in the pocket, and his throws have been jittery and off-target. They still haven't gotten the run game going, despite the addition of Fred Taylor, who has more gas in the tank than people (maybe even the Pats) think. The defense has been, and I hate to say it, pretty bad. Losing Harrison, Vrabel, Bruschi, and Seymour has affected them possibly more than they expected. Jerod Mayo's injury sucks even more talent off the field. This is a group that should be good, but has yet to get their act together.
This is a hard game to call. I can see Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez going crazy on the Patriots either old or inexperience linebackers. The Patriots offense, on the other hand, simply has to hit their stride at some point. They have too much talent to continue playing at this level. I can't be entirely sure this is the week it comes together for them, but I think the weak run D and not-as-good-as-the-Patriots-WRs secondary favor a good turnaround.
I see this as a high scoring affair, and the more potent offense will win. I'll go for the Pats on this one, and covering the spread.