NFL: Week 3 Picks

As we enter week 3, there are 8 2-0 teams and 9 0-2 teams. The AFC South and the NFC West are the only two conferences that don’t feature an undefeated team.

Thursday Night Football

  • Rams @ 49ers: San Fran’s defense looked pretty good in week 2, but they couldn’t overcome the Seahawks legion of boom.  LA fell in week 2, as their offense or defense didn’t show up quite as much as it did in week 1.  But that being said, they haven’t had much time scoring this so far this season, while the Niners haven’t scored a touchdown yet.  It should be a fairly easy win for the Rams. LOS ANGELES WINS
London Game
  • Ravens @ Jaguars: Both teams have gotten a good start out of their run game so far this season. Through two weeks, the Jaguars haven’t been consistent on either side of the ball.  Baltimore has controlled both of their games, and allowed 10 points… total.  The Ravens at their best, have been known to have a great, top flight defense. And early on, they’ve looked great.  Terrence West might miss this week, which hurts their running attack, but Joe Flacco has enough weapons to get past the Jags this week. BALTIMORE WINS
Sunday 1PM Games
  • Broncos @ Bills: It was pretty easy for Denver in week 2 against a Cowboys  that is coming off a division title.  The now 2-0 Broncos are getting shutdown defense a la their championship run with Peyton Manning.  Not to mention contributions in the passing attack from a number of different people.  As for the Bills, they are lucky they started against the Jets.  Buffalo enters action at 1-1, and other than one okay game from LeSean McCoy, they haven’t done much on offense. Their defense is again their shining light, but I don’t think it will be enough this week, even if they are the home team. DENVER WINS
  • Saints @ Panthers: New Orleans’ offense hasn’t been the problem this season, though it hasn’t been as prolific through 2 weeks as it can be.  It’s their defense that hasn’t given them a chance, leaving them 0-2.  It’s the opposite problem for the Panthers. They’re 2-0, but really only thanks to the resurgence of their defense. While this might be the most points Carolina has given up this season, the Saints defense is the cure this Panthers defense is looking for. CAROLINA WINS
  • Steelers @ Bears: Can the Steelers improve to 3-0 or will the Bears avoid an 0-3 start? Pittsburgh is playing well on both sides of the ball and has made it look easy so far.  Chicago put up a good fight in week one against the Falcons, but laid down in week 2 against the Bucs. They put up that fight with the help of Jordan Howard on the ground, but an injury limited him and the offense in week 2. The Bears couldn’t stop Tampa’s passing game. and I expect the same exploitation in the air from the Steelers this week. PITTSBURGH WINS
  • Buccaneers @ Vikings: Tampa Bay looked good in their season debut against the Bears. Mike Evans and Jameis Winston continue to form a very good relationship, and the defense made the necessary plays. After a very impressive week 1, the Vikings struggled last weekend without Sam Bradford. Give me another big day in the air for the Bucs on the road. TAMPA BAY WINS
  • Browns @ Colts: One of these teams will get their first win of the season (barring a tie) this weekend. No Andrew Luck again for the Colts, who will look to Jacoby Brissett again. There hasn’t been much good from this team on either side of the ball.  The same can be said for the Browns, who lost Deshone Kizer mid game in week 2 to migraines. He should be fine this week, but it’s of little comfort to these two teams that have already gone through multiple quarterbacks. I saw some better things on offense from Indy last week, and so give me the home team to get in the win column. INDIANAPOLIS WINS
  • Dolphins @ Jets: The Dolphins looked pretty good in their season opener.  Jay Cutler was solid, and Jay Ajayi ran at will. The defense bent, but didn’t break and they escaped LA with a win.  As for New York, they haven’t gotten off to a good start this year. On the one hand, the Jets scored 20 on the Raiders defense in week 2. On the other, they have allowed their opponents to score nearly 70 points in two weeks. MIAMI WINS
  • Texans @ Patriots: New England bounced back in a big way from their week 1 loss to the Chiefs. Tom Brady threw to anyone and everyone, and Mike Gillslee got back in the end zone on the ground.  Houston also bounced back to get to 1-1 on the season, holding the Bengals to 3 field goals on the road. It wasn’t an impressive offensive show for the Texans, but Deshaun Watson did do a lot of good things to get them the victory.  The Patriots will see a far better defense than they did in week 2, but they can score in more ways than the Texans can, and that’ll be the difference. NEW ENGLAND WINS
  • Falcons @ Lions: It’s a match-up of 2 undefeated squads in Detroit this weekend.  While the Falcons week 1 win over Chicago wasn’t easy, there were a lot of good things about it. Their week 2 win over Green Bay however, was huge. They held down an offensive juggernaut like Aaron Rodgers down long enough to build up too big a lead to come back from.  Detroit also had their problems in week 1, needing to come from behind to get the win. Last week, they dominated on in all 3 phases on the road. So while I think this game will be a shootout, I am rolling with the reigning NFC Champions on the road. ATLANTA WINS
  • Giants @ Eagles: New York’s offensive problems extend back to last season. Their run game is non-existent, and their offensive line is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Even the return of Odell Beckham Jr. last week couldn’t help.  The defense has been okay, but still not as electrifying as it was a year ago.  Philadelphia on the other had, has gotten great defensive performances in their first two games.  The offense hasn’t been high level, but it sure has been better than the Giants.  And it’s not even close.  While I think New York can get some things worked out this weekend, I don’t think it amounts to their first win of the season either. PHILADELPHIA WINS
Sunday 4/4:25PM Games
  • Seahawks @ Titans: Through 2 weeks, the former Superbowl champs have scored the 4th fewest points, but have also allowed the 4th fewest. Seattle hasn’t gotten what they’re used to on the ground, and weapons like Jimmy Graham and Doug Baldwin have been under utilized. That being said, the Legion of Boom is back.  On the other side of the field, Tennessee’s offense and defense have taken turns excelling.  While Seattle has the advantage on defense, the Titans have the real ability to control the clock right now, and I think that will be the difference in week 3. TENNESSEE WINS
  • Chiefs @ Chargers: The Chargers are 0-2. They’ve had a chance in both, with kicker Younghoe Koo missing game-tying field goals in both week 1 and 2. Kansas City meanwhile is 2-0, and have looked very good so far. They took down the reigning champs on the road and while it wasn’t so easy in week 2, they got another win over the Eagles.  This will probably be another close one, as Los Angeles has the talent on offense to stick with the Chiefs, but I trust Kansas City late a lot more than the Chargers, who couldn’t close games going back to last season. KANSAS CITY WINS
  • Bengals @ Packers: The 50th season of the Bengals hasn’t gotten off to a good start, as Cincinnati is the worst scoring team in the league through two games. Their saving grace moving forward? They have the fifth best total defense in the league. So figuring things out even a little bit offensively should lead to some wins.  The Packers are 1-1 after a road loss to the Falcons on Sunday Night.  Aaron Rodgers and company started off very slowly in week 2, and they just couldn’t recover. So can the Bengals defense hold off Rodgers long enough for their offense to do damage against the Green Bay defense? I’m not sure they will. The Packers defense has had one very good game, and one not so good game, so this could be a close game for sure, but it’s hard to bet against the Pack at home. GREEN BAY WINS
Sunday Night Football
  • Raiders @ Redskins: We already knew Oakland could score with anyone, and that holds true with a healthy Derek Carr so far. The defense has been solid and they enter week 3 undefeated. The Redskins needed a comeback against a good defense in week 2 to get to 1-1. I can’t really tell who Washington is yet, are they going to get more from Cousins in the passing game, or will they be a run first team? Neither aspect has been strong yet.  Oakland is balanced, and that will be the biggest difference in this one. OAKLAND WINS
Monday Night Football
  • Cowboys @ Cardinals: Both NFC teams enter the final game of the week at 1-1. Neither team has gotten what they expected from their running backs.  Ezekiel Elliot looks like a shell of the standout rookie from a year ago, and David Johnson is done for at least half the season.  But what should be most concerning for Dallas is the lack of explosion in the passing game, one that excelled a year ago.  Arizona had a similar problem in week 1. I think the Cowboys can rebound, but I feel like the Cardinals will play off their crowd and get to above .500 this week. Look for their defense to get back on track this Monday. ARIZONA WINS

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