Week 3 NFL Picks

I was only 8-8 last week and it was mostly because I played it safe on a lot of picks. That brings up the question on whether I should be more risky this week or play it safe again. There’s a lot of evenly matched games this week so it’s kind of tough to do either. Here goes nothing:

Tennessee Titans vs New York Giants

I’m a huge believer in the Steelers defense so I think that the Titans were simply overmatched by them. The Giants D isn’t an easy task either but Chris Johnson will have an easier time against them. Can Vince Young help lead the team to win, though? Who knows? He might not even need to be that much of a factor if the Titans defense can stop Eli and company. That’s why I’m taking the Titans.

Pick: Titans

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Carolina Panthers

Jimmy Clausen doesn’t exactly have an easy task on his hand against the Bengals D which picked off Joe Flacco 4 times last week. They have a strong group of corners and a line that can create a lot of pressure so it could be a long day. Carson Palmer could be the X factor. He hasn’t been good at all these first two weeks but he was up against tough defenses. If the Panthers pass rush struggles continue then Palmer could have a 200+ yard game. That’s looking very possible.

Pick: Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I know there’s a lot of people on the Bucs bandwagon but they played two awful teams to get to 2-0. Freeman’s scrambling is pretty impressive, though and his arm has looked good. We’re going to learn a lot about him and this Bucs team as they face a strong Steeler defense. The Steelers still need to figure out this whole “offense” thing, though. It’s weird to pick a team with Charlie Batch as their QB to win but I’m gonna do it anyway.

Pick: Steelers

Buffalo Bills vs. New England Patriots

I feel bad for constantly picking on the Bills every week but they really don’t stand a chance here.

Pick:  Pats

Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ravens

I think this is where we find out if the Ravens are real or not. Their offense struggled against winning teams last year too but they blew out cellar dwelling teams like the Browns, too. I still think the Ravens win even if they turn it over a couple times. That defense still hasn’t allowed a touchdown yet and the Browns usually that scores a lot of points anyway.

Pick: Ravens

San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Never thought the 0-2 team in this contest would be the Niners…. I’m still going to take them anyway. They impressed me on Monday night with how they handled the Saints offense, for the most part at least. Alex Smith played pretty well and their defense stopped the Saints offense multiple times in tight situations (until the end). The 49ers will get their first win of the year against the Chiefs. Mainly because Matt Cassel is still terrible and will have a ton of trouble against this defense.

Pick: 49ers

Dallas Cowboys vs. Houston Texans

The Cowboys need to win this. You can’t start the year 0-3 with the expectations they’ve had. This is going to be a difficult one for them, though. The Texans have displayed poor pass defense and are going up against one of the best QB’s in the league. Yes, Romo is in that class. Still, they gave up 400+ yards in their first two games and still won. Dallas will need to find a way to stop Matt Schaub. They have the front 7 to halt Arian Foster but stopping Schaub is a lot harder. I’m going to say Dallas wins this in a shootout with Neil Rackers missing a big field goal.

Pick: Cowboys

Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings

Which of these teams will get off the shnai? Common sense says the Vikings but the Lions have looked like a better team this year. For what it’s worth, the Vikings defense has played well this year so I don’t think Jahvid Best will go crazy against them. The Lions defense is still pretty bad as a whole so I think the Vikings have the edge.

Pick: Vikings

Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints

I said at the beginning of the year that the Falcons would give the Saints a run for their money in the NFC South. That new Atlanta secondary is going to have their hands full against Brees though. It’s time to see if Dunta Robinson is worth all of that money he got this 0ff-season. The Saints have struggled in their two wins but I’m expecting them to come out at full steam against Atlanta. If the Falcons running backs can get things going then I think they have a chance in this game. I’m going with the upset and saying Atlanta wins.

Pick: Falcons

Washington Redskins vs. St. Louis Rams

It’s amazing what a new coaching staff and a proven QB can do for a team that was so bad last year. Redskins are going to want to score early and fast to put this game away early.

Pick: Redskins

Philadelphia Eagles vs Jacksonville Jaguars

Reid made Vick the starter this year because that’s the best chance he has to save his job. He picked a good time to put him in because the Lions have no pass coverage and the Jags have no pass rush.  Eagles fans will be celebrating now but once they start playing real defenses then things will come crashing down.

Pick: Eagles

Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos

I can see the Broncos getting an upset but I’m going to take the Colts in this game. It will be pretty close but in the end of the day, I have to go with the team that has Peyton Manning, not Kyle Orton.

Pick: Colts

Oakland Raiders vs. Arizona Cardinals

Both teams have two things in common; they’ve beaten the Rams and they’ve been decimated by stronger offenses.  The Cardinals are getting Beanie Wells back which should help them go back to their “run-first” philosophy that Wisenhunt wants to employ. They have the receivers to be a passing offense but Derek Anderson can not get the ball to them. Meanwhile, the Raiders had strong outings from Darren McFadden and Darrius Heyward-Bey last week but they’re starting Bruce Gradkowski at QB and he’s been…well not bad. This could be a high scoring game. Getting Wells back should give the Cards a boost and I think they win.

Pick: Cardinals

San Diego Chargers vs. Seattle Seahawks

If San Diego doesn’t turn the ball over then they win this one easy. Only chance the Seahawks have to win is if they force a few fumbles or pick off Rivers, which I don’t think will happen.

Pick: Chargers

New York Jets vs Miami Dolphins

We’ve got two teams with a strong running game, okay passing game and tough defenses. No Darrelle Revis could spell trouble for the Jets though if Antonio Cromartie is the one left covering Brandon Marshall. I’m expecting bigger games out of Brian Hartline and Davone Bess than Marshall today because Kyle Wilson will be covering one of them. Meanwhile, Sanchez looked pretty good last week against the Pats but the Dolphins have better corners than them so it could be harder for him to connect on the long routes. If Schottenheimer lets him throw them that is. I’m still very high on the Dolphins so I’m taking them.

Pick: Dolphins

Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears

Well this is going to be a tough test for Jay Culter. He’s looked very impressive these first two weeks and I think he will have another big game again. However, I don’t think it’s going to be enough to keep up with the Packers passing attack. The Bears offensive line will have their hands full with Clay Matthews, too.

Pick: Packers

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