Last week was by far my best showing in Weekly Predictions as I finished with a 15-1 record.
Not bad and frankly I would love to brag to the fullest of my abilities, but alas, I have to make my Week 3 NFL Predictions and as we all know… the football gods don’t like me very much. I don’t think I’ll be repeating last week’s showing anytime soon.
There are no byes this week, let me know of questions or concerns.
Thursday, 9/19 – 8:25 pm ET
Kansas City Chiefs 2-0 @ Philadelphia Eagles 1-1
Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs
I’m really liking this Kansas City team this year and despite equally enjoying Chip Kelly’s offense, at home, I am going with the Chiefs picking up the win on the road. Chiefs head coach, Andy Reid, is returning to Philly for the first time and while he doesn’t have inside information on Kelly’s high-powered offense, he does know what makes his former players tick. Kansas City is a talented team across the board with the defensive talent to slow down the Eagles and the offensive talent to exploit a weak Philly defense. For me the edge goes to Reid in his return.
Sunday, 9/22 – 1:00 pm ET
Houston Texans 2-0 @ Baltimore Ravens 1-1
Prediction: Houston Texans
Baltimore is better than they have shown in the first two weeks. Their defense is solid and their offense still has Joe Flacco at quarterback and receiver Torrey Smith. The issue for them, and why I like Houston, is because Flacco hasn’t been playing elite and the Ravens’ offense, overall, is struggling to get things going. The injury to Ray Rice (not officially ruled out for this game to my knowledge) hurts them even more. Houston on the other hand will probably start slow in what becomes a defensive struggle before utilizing their offensive weapons (Ben Tate, Arian Foster, DeAndre Hopkins, Andre Johnson if he plays) to pull out the win late. Isn’t that the pattern this season for the Texans?
New York Giants 0-2 @ Carolina Panthers 0-2
Prediction: Carolina Panthers
What can you say about these two teams? Carolina nearly beat Seattle and Buffalo, only to lose both at the end in heartbreaking fashion and New York has been competitive, but has turned the ball over 10 times in two games to earn themselves a 0-2 start. While New York has, somewhat miraculously, stayed in games despite their miscues, I think Carolina’s defense buckles down and forces a couple more at home. The Panthers defensive line is legit and Luke Kuechly will be looking to make up for last week’s pass interference call that eventually gave Buffalo the game.
Detroit Lions 1-1 @ Washington Redskins 0-2
Prediction: Detroit Lions
This is a pretty simple call for me. Washington’s defense has been atrocious, albeit, against the Philadelphia and Green Bay high-powered offenses. Detroit isn’t necessarily on the same level as a Green Bay, but who in Washington is going to stop Calvin Johnson? Especially coming off a great game, Johnson will be unstoppable. The Redskins need Robert Griffin III to get it together while the game is still competitive and while I think he will eventually, I don’t see it happening this week against a very talented, aggressive defensive line.
San Diego Chargers 1-1 @ Tennessee Titans 1-1
Prediction: Tennessee Titans
These are two teams that may make me look really foolish come season’s end because they have looked impressive in the first two weeks. San Diego’s offense looks suddenly explosive again. It isn’t top-five in the league quality, but it is much improved, as is Philip Rivers. Tennessee looked good in Houston until they gave up the game in the fourth quarter. I’m going with Tennessee at home as they pull it out with an impressive defensive performance.
Arizona Cardinals 1-1 @ New Orleans Saints 2-0
Prediction: New Orleans Saints
New Orleans is at home at 2-0. I think that alone gives them a tremendous advantage as they thrive in front of their home fans, especially when they are winning. Arizona will keep it competitive, but the New Orleans offense is too explosive.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0-2 @ New England Patriots 2-0
Prediction: New England Patriots
Opposite ends of the spectrum as far as record is concerned and yet both teams have looked disappointing thus far. New England looks uncharacteristically lost on offense and Tampa Bay already appears to be imploding in the locker room. The Buccaneers have talent, but, traditionally, you don’t turn your fortunes against the Patriots in Foxboro.
Green Bay Packers 1-1 @ Cincinnati Bengals 1-1
Prediction: Green Bay Packers
Cincinnati is coming off a solid win against a divisional rival and Green Bay is coming off an offensive showcase against Washington. The Bengals are a better team than the Redskins and have a much better defense, but against Aaron Rodgers, does it really matter? The Bengals are loaded with talent and have a good chance of winning at home, but after what I have seen of Andy Dalton and his already erratic play, I don’t think Cincy wins a shootout. Odds are that’s the direction this game takes.
St. Louis Rams 1-1 @ Dallas Cowboys 1-1
Prediction: Dallas Cowboys
Both teams are coming off less than spectacular losses with Dallas losing a close one to Kansas City and St. Louis closing the gap late against Atlanta. The Rams defense is their best chance here as their defensive line and secondary are very talented. As is the theme with Dallas over the years, if they balance their offense and effectively run the ball, their offense is more than capable of winning games. If they don’t, Dallas will struggle to move the ball, keeping the Rams in the game. The x-factor here is Dez Bryant, who looked unstoppable during the first half… then the Chiefs… ya know… stopped him in the second. Look for Bryant to make plays .
Cleveland Browns 0-2 @ Minnesota Vikings 0-2
Prediction: Minnesota Vikings
Someone needs to win this game and I think it is going to be Minnesota. The Vikings almost caught the Bears last week, but lacked the offensive firepower to keep up and ultimately lost at the very end. Lucky for Minnesota, they don’t need much firepower as Cleveland lacks any. Oh, and third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer is starting for the Browns. Just found out about the Trent Richardson trade… yeah… Cleveland is a lost cause offensively.
Sunday, 9/22 – 4:05 pm ET
Atlanta Falcons 1-1 @ Miami Dolphins 2-0
Prediction: Miami Dolphins
I’m jumping on the Dolphins bandwagon this week again after an impressive showing last week. On top of that, Miami actually looks pretty good in this matchup on paper. Their offense was clicking last week against a below-average Colts defense, but Atlanta’s defense isn’t necessarily the second-coming of the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. The Miami defense doesn’t need to worry about Atlanta running the ball with Steven Jackson injured and backups Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers not major threats. The Dolphins defensive line should get to Matt Ryan and do just enough to win the game.
Sunday, 9/22 – 4:25 pm ET
Buffalo Bills 1-1 @ New York Jets 1-1
Prediction: Buffalo Bills
I talked up the Bills in my Season Outlook because I really like E.J. Manuel’s physical ability and thought new coach Doug Marrone would set him up for success. I essentially said the opposite about Jets rookie Geno Smith and coach Rex Ryan. This is one of the few times where Buffalo actually looks much more talented, on paper, then their opponent. Should be a close game, as divisional games traditionally are, but I like Manuel to out-duel Smith.
Indianapolis Colts 1-1 @ San Francisco 49ers 1-1
Prediction: San Francisco 49ers
Indianapolis really isn’t that great this season. That’s not to say they don’t have exciting young talent that will games, but they aren’t replicating last season’s success. They won a lot of close games last year with one of, if not the, softest schedule in the league. The 49ers are reeling from getting spanked in Seattle and will be focused and hungry to get back on track. I don’t think this is all that close.
Jacksonville Jaguars 0-2 @ Seattle Seahawks 2-0
Prediction: Seattle Seahawks
Seattle is going to win. They are home against the worst team in the NFL. Jacksonville, on the other hand should consider Tim Tebow, if nothing more because it would be mildly entertaining to watch and plus… you can’t get much worse… right?
Sunday, 9/22 – 8:30 pm ET
Chicago Bears 2-0 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 0-2
Prediction: Chicago Bears
This isn’t the week Pittsburgh stops the bleeding. Chicago is a good team coming into the game with momentum following their last-second win against the Vikings. The Bears defense will take advantage of a weak Steelers offense and I think the Bears will be able to muster enough points against the Steelers, still solid, defense. Steelers fans may be in for a long season.
Monday, 9/23 – 8:40 pm ET
Oakland Raiders 0-2 @ Denver Broncos 2-0
Prediction: Denver Broncos
The Raiders and Terrelle Pryor, aka “Superstar”, could make it interesting? Maybe? It’s possible right? Well, if there is a glimmer, it is that… well… maybe Denver will forget they have a game? That’s Oakland’s most likely win scenario.