Week 3 Predictions

Kansas City at Philadelphia

Andy Reid returning to Philly. Big story there, but that’s not why I like the Chiefs in this one. The Chiefs are just clearly the better team. The defense has been great for them, and I think they’ll show up once again. Alex Smith and the offense will do enough to win this one. The Eagles best chance is the Chiefs not being prepared on a short week. It’s not going to be enough.

Chiefs win 28-24

Green Bay at Cincinnati

The Bengals offense will have an opportunity to put up some points. The Bears and Steelers both should have better defenses than the Packers. But this will be, by far, the biggest challenge the Bengals defense has faced so far this season. If the Packers offense can get it going, Andy Dalton will have a hard time keeping up. This game could go one way or the other, but great teams win tough games. And Aaron Rodgers was able move the ball on the 49ers defense.

Packers win 31-28  

St. Louis at Dallas

This is going to be a close game. But the offense hasn’t been as impressive as expected for the Cowboys. A lot of points week one, but those came off six turnovers. Last week they struggled to score against the Chiefs. They will struggle again this week. The Rams have the talent up front to take advantage of the weak Cowboys offensive line, and they have the physical corners to knock Dez Bryant off his game. The Cowboys defensive line has been impressive so far, but the Rams offensive line has the talent to give Sam Bradford time to throw.

Rams win 24-21

San Diego at Tennessee

Two surprising teams to start the season. Both teams have been competitive in their first team games, and are coming in with 1-1 records. Both their losses have been close affairs with the Texans. The biggest surprise of the two has been the Titans. Their defense has transformed in a big way, and I think that continues today. They will be able t run on the Chargers. Their defense will be able to get pressure on Phillip Rivers, and have no problem shutting down a running game that hasn’t gotten going yet this season.

Titans win 20-17

Cleveland at Minnesota

It’s going to be very tempting to pick against the Browns. They just traded away their best offensive player, and won’t have starter Brandon Weeden under center. That can’t possibly help an offense that has shown no ability to move the ball down the field. But on the other side their defense has been fantastic. Their strength has been shutting down the run. It’s a tough task to shut down Adrian Peterson, but so far the Bears and Lions have done a good job. If Christian Ponder has to win this watch out. He is basically guaranteed to throw an interception. The Vikings defense is also the easiest the Browns will face so far. They’ve faced the Dolphins and Ravens. Two teams expected to have good defenses this year. The Browns will get some turnovers and do enough on offense to pull out the win.

Browns win 24-17

Tampa Bay at New England

The Bucs are not getting enough credit in this game. The Patriots are still hurting offensively, and the Bucs have looked good on defense, especially last week against the Saints. The Patriots defense didn’t look great against the Jets, even with only giving up 10 points. It looked like the Jets beat themselves more than anything. The Bucs offense will be better than the Jets. But what are the chances Tom Brady has two bad games in a row. It’s a home game for the Patriots. While the Jets played them close last week, Rex generally does a good job of keeping the game close. It’s not likely Greg Schiano is able to pull off the same feat.

Patriots win 20-14

Arizona at New Orleans

New Orleans has not put up big offensive numbers yet this season. That changes today. The Cardinals defense is no pushover, but they aren’t the same challenge as Atlanta and Tampa. At home, and finally out of the division, the Saints are going to light it up this week. Bruce Arians will try to keep up, but eventually the Saints will pull away.

Saints win 38-28

Detroit at Washington

RG3 is going to turn it around eventually. He looked much better in the second half last week, and the Redskins will be back home. But the defense is still a problem. Until they prove that they can stop anybody, it’s hard to pick the Redskins. Especially when there is just as much a chance that RG3 continues to struggle. The Lions have the defensive line to slow the Redskins running game. The biggest question is how the offense does without Reggie Bush, but they still have talent to put up points, especially against this defense.

Lions win 28-20

NY Giants at Carolina

The battle of two disappointing teams. Both have talent, but both are 2-0. The problem for the Panthers is they have big injury issues in their secondary. Both safeties will be out for this game. It just so happens the pass is the Giants greatest strength. Eli Manning is an elite quarterback, and you can’t say the same for Cam Newton. Even in a close game you have to like Eli to find a way to win this. The offensive line couldn’t possibly look worse than it has the last two weeks. I also have a big problem picking Ron Rivera in a game that’s close, and I find it harder to believe the Panthers win in a blow out.

Giants win 31-27

Houston at Baltimore

Both teams are in the Super Bowl conversation, but neither has been particularly impressive to start the season. But the Texans are 2-0, and there is a reason. This team has proven to be able to pull out close games, and has plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. The Ravens will have a limited Ray Rice at best, and he hasn’t shown a lot outside of that. The Ravens lack weapons on offense, and haven’t proven enough on defense to feel they can take a win against the top AFC teams, even at home.

Texans win 28-21

Atlanta at Miami

A lot of people are picking Miami to win this, and it’s not surprising. The Dolphins have shown a strong defense, are at home, and Atlanta will be without Steven Jackson. But I’m not buying it. The Dolphins will struggle to run the ball again, and the offense will once again struggle to put up points. Matty Ice might not have a lot of playoff wins, but he has shown a tendency to win close games in the regular season. He does that again today.

Falcons win 24-14

Buffalo at NY Jets

 

Battle of the rookie quarterbacks. Overall I’d take EJ over Geno, but not this week. Rex has done a tremendous job against rookie quarterbacks. Anyone remember how Andrew Luck faired last week? The Jets will make it tough on Manuel, tougher than Carolina and New England did. There will be turnovers in this one, and the Jets will get a defensive or special teams score. Smith will do enough on offense to seal the win.

Jets win 16-14

Indianapolis at San Francisco

The Colts add Trent Richardson, but it won’t be enough this week. Don’t forget the Colts offensive line didn’t improve with the trade. The 49ers were embarrassed last week, but return home and are still a very good team. The Colts don’t have the defense to frustrate the 49ers offense like the Seahawks did. There is no corner that can single cover Anquan Boldin either. 49ers win easily.

49ers win 31-21

Jacksonville at Seattle

The Seahawks are favored by more than 20. That isn’t crazy

Seahawks win 38-14

Chicago at Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has never started 0-3 with Big Ben. That looks to change this week. The Steelers are home and still have a good defense, but that offense has been horrendous. Only 17 points in the first two weeks. Seven of those came in garbage time. There is no reason to think they’ll figure it out this week against a solid Bears defense. Jay Cutler and that offense has looked a lot better too. They might not light it up, but they’ll do enough to advance to 3-0.

Bears win 24-17

Oakland at Denver

Denver lost Ryan Clady for the season. It’s a big blow, but it won’t be a problem this week. The Raiders just don’t have enough talent to really challenge a team that looks like the class of the AFC.

Denver wins 41-21

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