NFL watchability index, Week 3: Packers, Dolphins games loaded with entertainment value

Wesley Hitt

Week 3 doesn't have as many headline-grabbing matchups as usual, but there are plenty of games worth paying attention to. Which ones? That's what we're here for. Welcome to Week 3 of the Watchability Index.

With two weeks of the 2013 NFL season in the books, we're starting to get a feel for the teams. It's still a small sample size, but it is a sample size, which makes these ratings much easier. The Browns helped by punting on the 2013 season.

None of the matchups this week have the crackling hype of Week 2's NFC West showdown on NBC between the Seahawks and 49ers. There are only two divisional games this week,  neither of which you should be watching. Having said that, there are plenty of games worth recommending. As usual, I'll rate each game on a 1-5 scale. This is Week 3 of the NFL watchability index.

Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles proved they can score bunches of points on offense. They also proved they can allow bunches of points on defense, since that unit is still a dumpster fire. Either way, this game shouldn't be boring. Keep an eye on the trenches. The Chiefs have an underrated defensive line, and will be going up against Philly's solid offensive line. It should be a fascinating battle.

Watchability rating: 4

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

The Texans may be the shakiest 2-0 team outside of New England, but that still puts them near the top in the AFC, because that's the kind of year the AFC seems to be having. Given Baltimore's injury woes on offense, Houston might not need a late comeback this week, but you never know! This should be a good one.

Watchability rating: 4

New York Giants at Carolina Panthers

I don't know if the "Fire Coughlin" chants have started yet. I definitely know that the "Fire Rivera" chants are starting after yet another blown fourth-quarter lead. The Panthers are down to the bare bones in the secondary after a rash of injuries. The Giants still can't seem to get out of their own way. This game may come down to who does the least dumb thing.

Watchability rating: 2

Green Bay Packers at Cincinnati Bengals

It's probably too early to crown the Bengals as the new class of the AFC North, especially since that Week 1 loss to the Bears is still fresh. They'll get another crack at the NFC North this week, hoping to prove that they can beat quality opponents outside the division.

The Packers thought they had a real feature back in Eddie Lacy. That lasted all of 15 carries in two games before he went down with a concussion. Now the Packers are stuck with another question mark at running back, which usually means that Aaron Rodgers will sling it for 400 yards again like he's done the past several years. This might be the best 1 p.m. game on the docket, so don't skip out.

Watchability rating: 5

St. Louis Rams at Dallas Cowboys

Sam Bradford faces a Texas team, which I'm sure will inspire extra incentive for Sooners fans to tune in. Other than that, I'm struggling to find anything about this game worth recommending. It will probably be one of those 17-13 snoozefests that doesn't say much about either team, but I'll give it a bump in my rankings in case Tony Romo does something hilarious.

Watchability rating: 2

Cleveland Browns at Minnesota Vikings

Two weeks in and the Browns have already thrown in the towel on 2013, trading Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first-round pick. No, this is not an NBA team. They're also starting Brian Hoyer this week, because why not? At least Josh Gordon is back from suspension. I hope Browns fans didn't pay too much for those Richardson jerseys.

Watchability rating: 1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New England Patriots

Tampa isn't normally known for being a media circus, but thanks to Greg Schiano, here we are. In addition to the Josh Freeman drama, we had a rumor that Darrelle Revis is already unhappy with Schiano's coaching style, though the two have apparently made up on Tuesday.

Watchability rating: 2

Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints

New Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has already made his intentions clear: the Cardinals are going to air it out, and they are going to make you like it. That makes for a potentially sneaky upset pick this week against the Saints defense. In the end I still trust Drew Brees more than Carson Palmer.

Watchability rating: 2

San Diego Chargers at Tennessee Titans

After two games, it's still hard to figure out these teams. Philip Rivers seems to have taken well to Mike McCoy's simplified offense, but he'll be without Malcom Floyd, who is out indefinitely. Jake Locker has taken well to the new strategy of "hand the ball off and get the hell out of the way," which has been effective so far but may not be a long-term winning strategy. We may find out more about both teams this week, but I don't recommend tuning in to find out.

Watchability rating: 2

Detroit Lions at Washington Redskins

The big storyline is that some people think Robert Griffin III should be benched for Kirk Cousins. This ignores the real crisis in the capital, that the Redskins are the first team since 1967 to allow 1,000 yards in the first two games. This should bode well for Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. If you like watching teams score points, don't sleep on this matchup.

Watchability rating: 3

Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins

Is it time to start taking the Dolphins seriously? Their defense sure looks like the real deal. Miami will be getting a nice test against Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. This game has some shootout potential with about half of the Falcons' defense injured. They'll also be without Steven Jackson, so look for even more passing attempts from Ryan.

Watchability rating: 4

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets

EJ Manuel vs. Geno Smith! The Rookie QB Showdown that has people shrugging! In all seriousness, Manuel is starting to win me over after his emotional comeback victory over the Panthers last week. I'm still not convinced starting him in year one was the best idea, but his coaches have set him up for success with a stripped-down, run-first offense.

I have less confidence in the Jets using Smith properly, particularly after another report that some people in the organization prefer Matt Simms. New quarterback, same old Jets.

Watchability rating: 2

Indianapolis Colts at San Francisco 49ers

Did you know that Jim Harbaugh coached Andrew Luck at Stanford? If not, you're in luck, because that's the only thing people will be talking about on Sunday. As for the actual game, both teams are coming off humiliating losses and will be scrambling to get their seasons back on track. I expect a good fight here.

Watchability rating: 4

Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks

The Jaguars took seven and a half quarters to score their first offensive touchdown of the 2013 season. They now face a Seattle squad that made Colin Kaepernick look silly, in front of a crowd that just set the world record for loudest sporting event. I don't know about you guys, but I'm not feeling an upset here.

Watchability rating: 1

Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers' brilliant plan to solve their anemic running attack? Give Felix Jones the majority of carries. Another brilliant plan to move the ball through the air? Give Jerricho Cotchery nine targets. This ended about as well as you'd expect against the Bengals. And now we get to watch them on primetime two weeks in a row. Excelsior!

Watchability rating: 2

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos

The Raiders won a game, so their 2013 season is already a smashing success. Too bad their better-than-expected play has come against a shaky Colts defense and the Jaguars. Losing Ryan Clady is a big blow to the Broncos. Peyton Manning might score only 30 points this week.

Watchability rating: 1

More from SB Nation NFL:

Browns trade Trent Richardson to the Colts

NFL teams and the cities that deserve them

David Roth: Getting GWAR to the Super Bowl

NFL Power Rankings: Dolphins, Saints climbing

Fumblr: NFL images you can't un-see

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