Week 3 Predictions

Ok… so if you looked at last week’s post for my predictions… I’m sorry. If you haven’t looked… don’t bother. I went 7-9. Yeah… well you have to start somewhere. Oh and all those nifty scores I gave as part of my predictions? Soooooo off. I’m done with those, at least until I call every game right one week. In the meantime, I’m making another attempt at this whole “predict the future” thing. Take these with a grain of salt and the knowledge that was under .500 calling the games last week. In fact, you might want to hope I choose against your favorite team.

Thursday, 9/20 – 8:20 pm ET

New York Giants 1-1 @ Carolina Panthers 1-1

New York is coming off a nail-bitter at home against Tampa Bay. QB Eli Manning threw 3 interceptions early in the game last week before he led a tremendous comeback. Carolina knocked off New Orleans last week after dominating the Saints on both sides of the ball.

Prediction: Carolina Panthers

I think Carolina manages to keep the momentum from last week and knocks off the Giants this week. The key here is that the game is a home game for Carolina. This should be close though.

Sunday, 9/23 – 1:00 pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-1 @ Dallas Cowboys 1-1

Tampa Bay is coming off a close loss to the Giants. Tampa Bay dominated the first half against New York before their defense disappeared in the 2nd half. Their offense looked good for a majority of the game. Dallas followed their opening week win with a disappointing performance in Seattle against a team they should have beaten.

Prediction: Dallas Cowboys

This game should be surprisingly close. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Dallas does lose this game, but I think Dallas gets back on track following last week’s loss. Dallas should, once again, win this game.

Jacksonville Jaguars 0-2 @ Indianapolis Colts 1-1

Jacksonville is still looking for their first win following last weeks loss to Houston. QB Blaine Gabbert didn’t look nearly as impressive as he did in Week 1. The lack of offensive playmakers continues to hurt Jacksonville. Indianapolis was led by rookie QB, Andrew Luck, to their first win of the season against Minnesota on a last second field goal.

Prediction: Indianapolis Colts

I think it will be very interesting to see Andrew Luck play against Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert should be further along in his development, but Luck has already shown why he was the top pick in April. Ultimately, I think Luck will play better and just beat out the Jaguars. Jacksonville will win if the Colts can’t stop RB Maurice Jones-Drew though.

Buffalo Bills 1-1 @ Cleveland Browns 0-2

Buffalo responded to getting slaughtered by the Jets in Week 1 by dominating the Chiefs in Week 2, 35-17. Buffalo has found a true playmaker in RB C.J. Spiller who currently leads the NFL with 292 rushing yards. Cleveland is 0-2 after losing last week to Cincinnati. Cleveland has kept both games close despite a lack of real offensive threats.

Prediction: Buffalo Bills

Buffalo should win, but I expect Cleveland to make this a good game. Browns QB, Brandon Weeden, looked solid last week, but that was against a Bengals defense currently struggling to stop the pass. Cleveland’s defense is good, but Spiller is on a roll and with the Browns offense potentially having trouble, they could be in for a long day.

New York Jets 1-1 @ Miami Dolphins 1-1

New York is coming off a loss to Pittsburgh last week where the offense struggled to find their way against a very good Steelers defense. The Jets defense was also without CB Darrelle Revis, which contributed to Steeler receivers making plays on the otherwise stout Jets secondary. Miami is coming off their first win over the Oakland Raiders. Miami’s defense continues to impress as rookie QB, Ryan Tannehill, continues to make strides in his development.

Prediction: Miami Dolphins

I’ll go with the upset here. Miami’s defense has looked good as of late and the Dolphins versus the Jets is one of those games that always seems to be close no matter how lopsided the game looks on paper. Tannehill will need to play very well against a very good defense.

Kansas City Chiefs 0-2 @ New Orleans Saints 0-2

Kansas City is coming off another loss to the Buffalo Bills and you know they are looking to get back on track. Their defense has been atrocious, giving up 37.5 points per game. New Orleans is in the same boat though. Their offense hasn’t gotten on track yet and they are coming off a loss to the Panthers. Their defense is also giving up 37.5 points per game.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints

New Orleans needs this win badly. The Saints are a talented team, but they are playing very poorly right now. I think they finally get completely focused and pull off their first win of the season in high scoring fashion. Both teams can’t stop the other.

Cincinnati Bengals 1-1 @ Washington Redskins 1-1

Cincinnati is coming off a win against the Browns, in which QB Andy Dalton played well and the offense as a whole moved the ball well against a solid Cleveland defense. Cincinnati’s defense was horrible though as they continue to give up yards and points. Washington started strong last week against St. Louis before the Rams made a comeback and won by 3. Rookie QB, Robert Griffin III, looked good again.

Prediction: Washington Redskins

Before the year began I thought this would be an easy game for Cincinnati. Their defense was supposed to be a top unit, their offense improved and Washington was supposed to be taking its lumps as a young team with promising talent. Now though, Washington has a very formidable offense that is fully capable of making the 29th defense, giving up 308.5 yards a game, look bad. Cincinnati has historically played poorly against rookie QBs and this week should be no different. Dalton should find success, but not enough.

St. Louis Rams 1-1 @ Chicago Bears 1-1

St. Louis go the win last week against Washington at home. They came back strongly to a slow start and were able to pull off the victory, 31-28. Chicago is coming off a loss at Green Bay, 23-10, where the offense looked bad. QB Jay Cutler has dished out and received criticism from teammates and now the question is if the Bears are a cohesive unit heading into this week.

Prediction: Chicago Bears

The Rams are a dangerous team with enough talent to stick with top teams if they let up. The Rams have already taken Detroit to the wire and beaten a much improved Redskins team. With that said, I think Cutler and the Bears take an “Us against the world” mentality and win at home.

San Francisco 49ers 2-0 @ Minnesota Vikings 1-1

The 49ers are coming off a home win against Detroit where they played very well. The defense is as dominating as ever and the offense is clicking. QB Alex Smith is playing very well. Minnesota just lost on a last second kick to the Colts last week. Star RB, Adrian Peterson, is apparently going to be getting more carries this week as he faces off against the stingy 49ers defense.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers

Some people are saying San Francisco is the best team in the NFL. They are. Right now anyway. I think they will trip up at some point, but I don’t see it happening this week. The defense is too good for Minnesota to really get any ball movement and the Vikings defense isn’t really a threat in terms of stopping the 49ers running game or Alex Smith through the air.

Detroit Lions 1-1 @ Tennessee Titans 0-2

Detroit is coming off a loss to the 49ers on the road. The Lions are getting RB Mikel LeShoure back from suspension and it will be interesting to see if and/or how he is utilized. He could be a playmaker for a Detroit team that needs a running game. Tennessee has just looked lost the first two weeks of the season. They lost last week to San Diego and RB Chris Johnson has done absolutely nothing this season.

Prediction: Detroit Lions

I need Tennessee to show me something… anything before I pick them. I always think Chris Johnson will return to his 2,000 rushing season form, but he has yet to do so. So you know what? I think CJ2K will continue to be worthless in the backfield for Tennessee and Detroit will be able to throw the ball on the Titans.

Sunday, 9/23 – 4:05 pm ET

Atlanta Falcons 2-0 @ San Diego Chargers 2-0

Atlanta just got done on Monday night, beating the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos in Atlanta. Atlanta now has the 2-0 Chargers on the docket. San Diego won last week against Tennessee and beat Oakland the week before. Both wins aren’t against the greatest competition. This is a great opportunity to show they are a top team in the league.

Prediction: Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons passing attack is very impressive and I think I have to take a wait and see approach with San Diego. I think Atlanta is the superior team, but the Chargers could beat them and show a lot of people they are for real. The travel to the West Coast is a challenge for many East Coast teams and Atlanta may fall into the same boat.

Philadelphia Eagles 2-0 @ Arizona Cardinals 2-0

Philadelphia just beat a very good Baltimore team in Baltimore. Philadelphia is 2-0, but they have given the other teams plenty of opportunities to beat them. They have turned the ball over 9 times in the first two games… and won both… Arizona is also 2-0 and they just beat the Patriots last week in Foxboro. The game almost got away from them, but they held on when New England missed a last second field goal. QB Kevin Kolb is playing against the team that drafted him and eventually traded him to Arizona when they felt Michael Vick was a better fit in Philly.

Prediction: Arizona Cardinals

I like the revenge games and Kolb is in one. He was drafted by Philly and then discarded. Now he gets a shot to prove them wrong (he hasn’t done anything to prove they were wrong to this point, but still). I also like that the game is in Arizona. With the Arizona defense playing well, the Eagles offense turning the ball over and Kolb playing in a revenge game, I like Arizona… for some reason…

Sunday, 9/23 – 4:25 pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers 1-1 @ Oakland Raiders 0-2

Pittsburgh is coming off a physical game against the New York Jets. They won 27-10 at home. Oakland is coming off a poor showing against the Miami Dolphins, 35-13. QB Carson Palmer has plenty of experience against the Steel Curtain from his years in Cincinnati.

Prediction: Oakland Raiders

Ok so hear me out… the game is in Oakland. East Coast teams (I’ll count Pittsburgh as East Coast) have trouble making that trip. The games normally end up being closer than expected. Oakland has talent, but they just have Raider issues like: not being able to run the ball with one of the most talented RBs in the league, talented receivers who can’t catch, ineffective backup long snappers… that sort of thing. With that said, Palmer knows a thing or two about Pittsburgh. That doesn’t mean he did well against them, but he knows stuff about them. Hmm… I’m actually talking myself out of this pick as I type.

Houston Texans 2-0 @ Denver Broncos 1-1

Houston beat Jacksonville 27-7 last week with a power run game and, once again, an impressive defensive performance. This week they play the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos. Denver beat Pittsburgh in Week 1 and everyone, including myself, thought Manning was back to perfect. Then he threw 3 interceptions in a loss to Atlanta on Monday Night Football. They were bad interceptions too. The ones you don’t see Manning throw. Now you wonder which Manning you get and if either will be enough against a fantastic defense from Houston.

Prediction: Houston Texans

Manning’s performance last Monday has me scared of picking them. I think he is still going to be solid this season, but Houston’s defense is a different kind of beast. They have CB Johnathan Joseph and a litany of pass rushers. Houston also has a very capable offense, that I feel, hasn’t really opened up the playbook yet after opening with Miami and Jacksonville.

Sunday, 9/23 – 8:20 pm ET

New England Patriots 1-1 @ Baltimore Ravens 1-1

New England was shocked last week by Arizona, 20-18 when K Stephen Gostkowski missed a last second field goal that would have won the game. The Patriots offense hasn’t looked very good this season and WR Wes Welker has been withheld from many of the snaps thru two games. Baltimore followed up their Bengals beatdown of Week 1 with a loss to the Eagles last week when Vick managed to score in the last minute to take the 24-23 led/victory.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens

I have trouble picking against a, presumably, angry Tom Brady who saw his Patriots offense struggle mightily against Arizona, but Baltimore has everything going for them. They have the emotion of “AFC Championship Rematch”, the home crowd and all of that for a nationally televised Sunday Night game. Brady could make this a game, but I think Baltimore has too much going for them to pick against them.

Monday, 9/24 – 8:30 pm ET

Green Bay Packers 1-1 @ Seattle Seahawks 1-1

Green Bay is coming off a huge home win against the Chicago Bears where both offenses looked pretty bad, but Green Bay’s defense did it’s part. Seattle surprised the Cowboys last week in Seattle with a 27-7 victory. Seattle’s special teams had a lot to do with that when they forced a fumble on the opening kickoff and then blocked a punt, which was returned for a touchdown.

Prediction: Seattle Seahawks

Weird things happen in Seattle. The stadium is loud, this Seattle team is actually pretty good and the national spotlight is bound to make the stadium even louder. Seattle’s defense is good enough to limit Green Bay’s high-flying offense and with the home crowd and RB Marshawn Lynch, rookie QB, Russell Wilson, may be able to put up enough points.

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