NFL Picks–Week 3


Here we go…

Tennesee Titans at New York Giants

The Titans might be facing a crossroads very early on in their season.  They’re 1-1, but Vince Young was benched during last week’s loss to Pittsburgh.  All indications are that he’ll be the starter tomorrow, but he’s got to bounce back in a big way.  The Giants are looking to rebound after getting crushed by the Colts last Sunday night.  Eli Manning is probably lucky to be alive after the Giants’ offensive line didn’t do much to hold the Colts’ pass rush at bay.

Titans 20, Giants 17

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)

In this unexpected matchup of undefeated teams, Tampa comes in having beaten Cleveland and Carolina, and Pittsburgh has beaten Atlanta and Tennessee.  Dennis Dixon is hurt, so Charlie Batch will start for the Steelers as they continue to play without Big Ben.  They’ve been winning sort of despite the quarterback position, though, so I look for them to do the same.  Tampa Bay is improved, but they’ve yet to face a defense like the Steelers’.

Steelers 28, Buccaneers 7

Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-2)

Jimmy Claussen gets his first NFL start at quarterback this week as the Panthers’ season is spiraling downward in a hurry.  it doesn’t get any easier this week as they take on a classy Bengals team.  The Bengals have played a tough early schedule, losing to New England and beating Baltimore.  Carson Palmer should have his way on Sunday (and I hope Chad Ochocinco has a big day too).

Bengals 35, Panthers 7

Cleveland Browns (0-2) at Baltimore Ravens (1-1)

The Browns are off to another bad start, and they’ll likely be without Jake Delhomme for the second straight week, which means Seneca Wallace goes again.  The Ravens’ defense never seems to let up, and I think this one won’t even be a contest.  Joe Flacco’s struggles can be hidden by their great defense, and they win big.

Ravens 24, Browns 0

Dallas Cowboys (0-2) at Houston Texans (2-0)

Is it ever too early to have a must-win game?  Not in the NFL, I don’t think, and this is certainly one for the Dallas Cowboys.  The Texans are coming off an exciting win over the Redskins, and everyone knows how they beat up on the Colts.  If the Cowboys go 0-3, expect anything to happen in Dallas.  Wade Phillips is constantly rumored to be on the hot seat, and although Jerry Jones said this week he’s safe, he could easily change his mind.  There’s just too much wrong with the Cowboys right now for me to have any confidence in them.

Texans 31, Cowboys 17

San Francisco 49ers (0-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)

At this point in the season, I think a lot of people expected these two teams’ records to look a little different.  The Niners lost to the Seahawks and Saints, and the Chiefs have beaten the Chargers and the Browns.  Even if the Niners lose this one to fall to 0-3, I think they still have a chance to win their division as many predicted.  The Chiefs defense is one of the big surprises of the young season, and they’ll be put to the test this week.

49ers 14, Chiefs 7

Detroit Lions (0-2) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)

One of these teams will get their first victory of the season.  Could it be the Lions?  They’ll have to play without Matthew Stafford again, but that didn’t stop them from putting up 32 points on the Eagles last week.  Everyone keeps talking about how old and tired Brett Favre looks for Minnesota, and you have to wonder if he’s having any regrets about coming back to play this season.  He should get Percy Harvin back this week, it’s just a question of how much he’ll be able to play.  As much as I’d love to see the Lions beat the Vikings, I think Minnesota comes out on top.

Vikings 28, Lions 21

Buffalo Bills (0-2) at New England Patriots (1-1)

It’s kind of scary when you have to face a good team coming off of a bad loss.  That’s exactly what the Bills have to do on Sunday when they travel to Foxboro to meet the Patriots.  Tom Brady might have said it best when he summarized the game in thre words…”We just sucked”.  They played a good Jets team, but good teams expect to compete with other good teams, and the Pats just didn’t do that.  The Bills haven’t shown anything to make me think they can beat the Patriots.

Patriots 41, Bills 14

Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (2-0)

The Falcons have a chance to take a big step forward if they can beat the Saints in the Superdome.  A lot of people think that if anyone is going to unseat the Saints from the NFC South, it’s going to be the Falcons.  They’re coming off a huge win over Arizona, and the Saints were in a dogfight with San Francisco on Sunday night.  Does the short week give Atlanta an advantage?  Maybe, but I still give the edge to the Saints.

Saints 31, Falcons 28

Washington Redskins (1-1) at St. Louis Rams (0-2)

St. Louis has a future star in Sam Bradford, and he’ll continue his learning process against the Redskins.  If they’re going to beat the Redskins, he’ll need to improve his completion percentage.  Right now it sits at just over 50%, and it should be closer to 60%.  Donovan McNabb, on the other hand, has looked pretty good in the two games he’s played thus far.  This will be a hard-fought game, and I think Washington has improved enough to feel safe from the upset.

Redskins 24, Rams 10

Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)

The big story this week out of Philadelphia was that Michael Vick was named the starter a couple of days after Andy Reid said that Kevin Kolb would start, despite Vick’s good play.  I think Reid is making the right decision here, as he’ s going with the quarterback that gives him the best chance to win.  It makes sense to play the hot hand, and Vick is exactly that.  Jacksonville is holding its own this season thus far, as David Garrard and Maurice Jones-Drew are both playing well.  I think the Eagles win out, though.

Eagles 23, Jaguars 13

Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-1)

In this battle of West Coast rivals, the Raiders are bringing a new quarterbakc to the table.  New really isn’t the best word to describe him though, because Bruce Gradkowski has played before.  I guess Tom Cable just doesn’t feel like Jason Campbell is playing well enough.  Maybe, just maybe it’s the end of the road for Jason Campbell?  Arizona needs help, plain and simple.

Raiders 20, Cardinals 17

San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)

The Chargers rebounded nicely after their Week 1 loss to Kansas City, beating up on the Jaguars last week.  The Seahawks crushed the Niners before getting beat by the Broncos last week.  There’s no doubt that San Diego is the better team, but can they go on the road and beat the Seahawks?  I think they can.

Chargers 28, Seahawks 14

Indianapolis Colts (1-1) at Denver Broncos (1-1)

Peyton Manning showed last week just how good he is, and the Colts also proved they can run the ball if they have to.  The Broncos will be without Knowshon Moreno, and Kyle Orton might just be too slow to elude the pass rush of Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis.  Denver is giving up two sacks per game, and that number could go up.  The Colts can’t go 16-0, but there’s no reason they can’t go 15-1.

Colts 41, Broncos 24

New York Jets (1-1) at Miami Dolphins (2-0)

This is a sneaky good game for Sunday night.  The Dolphins currently sit atop the AFC East, but the Jets can take an early lead if they win tonight.  It was a big win for the Jets last week, beating the Patriots, but now they have to face a tough Dolphins squad that can attack in many different ways.  Both teams are pretty good at running the ball, but I’ll give a slight edge to the Jets in the passing game.  They’ve had a rough few weeks, and it didn’t get any easier when Braylon Edwards was arrested for DUI.  He won’t start, but he will play.

Jets 21, Dolphins 17

Green Bay Packers (2-0) at Chicago Bears (2-0)

If I told you I expected the Bears to be 2-0, I’d be flat out lying to you.  That being said, the Bears improved leaps and bounds from Week 1 to Week 2.  That also being said, there’s still much to improve upon.  The Packers come in now the undisputed favorite to win the NFC North.  Their defense already has 10 sacks, and Clay Matthews has 6 of those.  Expect Jay Cutler to be getting rid of the ball very quickly tomorrow night.  This game will be a good barometer for the Bears, it will tell us if they are legitimate playoff contenders.  I think with Ryan Grant out, the Bears force Aaron Rodgers to beat them, which he’s fully capable of doing.

Packers 31, Bears 24

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