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NFL Week 3: 5 Players To Keep An Eye On

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5 Must-Watch Players in Week 3

USA Today Sports

With week three of the NFL season already underway, the clock is now ticking down to this weekend's slew of games. As with pretty much every week of the season, there are tons of great storylines for fans to follow. With so much talent now spread out amongst all 32 teams (okay well maybe 30), most games are tough to call at best. This is bad for gamblers, but good for most fans.

Although week three is still very early on in the scheme of things, many teams are facing must-win games or very pivotal contests at minimum. The number that keeps getting thrown around is that only 12 percent of teams that start 0-2 make the playoffs. Going 0-3, all but eliminates a teams's chances of playing in the postseason.

There are a few games on the schedule this week where the outcome is almost a given. That rarely happens in today's NFL, but it's clear that there are a few teams playing without a full deck.

Another thing to take notice of this weekend is how much young talent is having an impact across the league. Now, more than ever, rookies and second-year players are playing the roles of difference-makers. Teams are putting a lot on these young guys' plates and it's always interesting to see if they're up to the task.

Be sure to check out Rant Sports' full preview of this week's games and predictions, here. But for now, take a look at five must-watch players:

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Tony Romo

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The Cowboys are saying that Romo is 100 percent following his rib injury in the season opener, but the QB said that he's prepared to get another pain-killing injection before his showdown with the Rams. That doesn't sound like something a player at 100 percent would do. Regardless, the Cowboys are at home and they'll be expected to take care of business and move to 2-1. If they don't, the haters will be out on Monday.

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Trent Richardson

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Richardson was no doubt the player of the week in terms of buzz. No one saw him getting traded to the Colts, but the reality is that he'll suit up for them in their tough road game against the 49ers. It will be interesting to see how big of an impact he can make after only a few days of practice with his new team. But unlike a player coming off of injury, Richardson is 100 percent and ready to run the ball.

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Antonio Brown

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

After rumors started to swirl this week of a spat between Brown and his offensive coordinator Todd Haley on MNF, it will be interesting to see how many targets the wide receiver gets. He's clearly the Steelers top pass-catcher and they'll need him to have a huge day to knock off the Bears. If he doesn't get the targets he wants, it could be curtains for his relationship with Haley.

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Bernard Pierce

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Ray Rice is currently listed as doubtful and the Ravens have a huge matchup with the Houston Texans. If Rice can't go, which the safe money is that he won't, Pierce will be called upon in a big way. The Ravens need to have a balanced attack to have any chance of knocking off the Texans.

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Eli Manning

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

Hardly anyone has taken as much flack as Eli in the first two weeks. The criticisms of him aren't unfounded, as the QB has tossed seven interceptions over the first two games. The Giants are traveling south to take on the Panthers, who also happen to be 0-2. The loser of this one is going to have a real tough time of making the playoffs in this year's loaded NFC. No one is under more pressure than Eli to perform well in this contest.