The Infallible NFL Week 3 Straight Picks

After a rough week of close calls and subsequent outcries to the football gods (see: Shitting the Bed), I have returned to not suck as much as last week. And so far, I’m off to a quality start. Last year saw only 4 weeks without double digit wins predicted and never anything as low as 5. Here’s hoping all is right in the world this coming week.

Week 2 record 5-11

Overall record 17-15 (plus one with the Giants win)

Atlanta at Dallas. At the start of the season we could have looked at this one an interesting game based on two powerful offenses. Now it’s an interesting game because there are two teams with 2-0 records and we can’t seem to figure out how. Oddly enough, both teams have opened with the same two opponents, the Giants and Eagles. On the flip side, neither has won by a lot nor have they looked unstoppable doing it. For this game especially, one team will be offensively-reliant (Atlanta) while one will be defensively-reliant (Dallas). Which team will come through with their weaker team first? Falcons 27, Dallas 13

The Ravens need to find a new leader. Is it CJ Mosley?
The Ravens need to find a new leader. Is it CJ Mosley?

Cincinnati at Baltimore. The Bengals have be good when they’ve needed to be even though they are yet to fire on all cylinders. The defense has been solid though, especially against the pass. 3-o means a lot in the AFC North with three other teams that are getting beaten up so far. Baltimore is one of those teams. Two games in and an embarrassing loss to Oakland (might not look so bad in the end, but right now it doesn’t look good) and a defense that wasn’t able to find a leader with the glaring absence of Terrell Suggs. This is very nearly make or break for the Ravens. If they can’t win one or both in the next two weeks then the season is lost. Ravens 28, Bengals 26

Oakland at Cleveland. Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Derek Carr looked pretty good together last week. Can they follow it up with an encore? They probably won’t get the chance. Cleveland has been pretty bad against the run so far, though the jury is still out on Latavious Murray. The Browns need to get a consistent run game going and find some rhythm on offense. They’ve been getting some big plays (mainly for Travis Benjamin) and that’s all we’ve seen thus far. Still, they always play tough at home. Browns 17, Raiders 14

Indianapolis at Tennessee. The drama that is the Colts front office is a bit much, but let’s not act as though the sky is falling just yet. This happened last year. The Colts lost their first two games and then remembered that they were in the AFC South and everyone is terrible. Then they won 5 in a row and were back in the hunt. Well, the Titans are a different team than last year. They have some talent on quarterback and a solid defense. Still, there’s just not enough talent at the skill positions to trust this team. Colts 31, Titans 17

Pittsburgh at St. Louis. Not sure who to feel worse for right now. Both of these teams have had a tough go of it. Yes, the Rams lost to Washington but it was on the road and their only home game was against Seattle (which they won). And Pittsburgh played a tough team on the road in their loss and beat a questionably decent team at home. Le’Veon Bell is coming back. Watch out. The Rams are great on defense but they are still lacking a possession or go-to receiver and until Todd Gurley is at full strength (though he is making his debut this week) they won’t have a running game to speak of either. Steelers 30, Rams 20

San Diego at Minnesota. No game is easy in the NFL, but the Chargers ran into a tough team in Cincy. But this team is good. The tandem of backs is great and the receivers are playing well right now. Stevie Johnson even came to play. Let’s see how the opportunistic defense will fare against a Viking offense coming into their own. We can’t explain what happened in San Fran for the Vikes but they sure looked solid last week against Detroit with the running game that most envisioned. Vikings 20, Chargers 17

Jacksonville at New England. The Dolphins were supposed to be better, but losing to the Jags? We will see how serious they are about not playing for a Top 5 pick when they face the Pats this week. The offense came together last week and hopes to continue to improve while the defense has been so-so. Can they put enough points on the board and/or slow down New England enough to make this interesting? Patriots 27, Jaguars 10

New Orleans at Carolina. Drew Brees has a sore shoulder and it wasn’t as if he was getting any younger. The weapons aren’t great and the defense has been a mess. This week against the Panthers won’t help things much as Carolina has been stout on defense and just good enough on offense to win the first two games. If Carolina wins this game the Saints will likely be out of the divisional race already. Saints 14, Panthers 10 *Updated: Panthers 13, Saints 10 with Brees out

Philadelphia at New York Jets. Prior to the season it would have been easier to assume backwards records for the two teams. Chip Kelly is guiding the worst offense in football right now. There’s no rhythm, there’s no rhyme. And by God, there’s definitely no bobsled time! Is Sam Bradford worth the risk? Well, at least he hasn’t signed a contract extension yet. DeMarco Murray needs more carries and Byron Maxwell needs to do better. And it’s good to see Ryan Fitzpatrick doing well. Brandon Marshall is still good player and there’s more offense on the Jets than many thought. Eagles 28, Jets 24

Tampa Bay at Houston. Until Arian Foster gets back the Texans will need to do more through the air. I’m sure DeAndre Hopkins would throw the ball and then catch it if he had the opportunity, but if Ryan Mallet can hit the side of a barn there might be some offense in Houston. Jameis Winston is coming off his first pro win and the Tampa offensive line doesn’t look that bad. So who will show out in this one? Texans 23, Buccaneers 16

He's back at it.
He’s back at it.

San Francisco at Arizona. I’d like to think a lot of people thought that with Carson Palmer coming back healthy and most a dominant defense back in the fold the Cards would be good, but even with the Andre Ellington injury, did anyone see them being this good? Larry Fitzgerald is playing like it’s 1999. Okay, not quite that far back. But he’s playing rejuvenated football and it’s about time. John Brown is a decent slot guy. But Michael Floyd just hasn’t become the #1 that they thought would take over like in Houston with Hopkins and Andre Johnson. If you think the 49ers haven’t been great on offense don’t think it’s all on the QB’s shoulders. Kaepernick hasn’t been great, but did you see Anquan Boldin dropping passes like it was his job? Cardinals 24, 49ers 20

Buffalo at Miami. So they are both 1-1. This might be a big game as far as the division is concerned, but both teams have the talent to get into the playoffs. Miami needs it more right now. They struggled to beat Washington on the road and then got beat by Jacksonville. Yikes! Lamar Miller has been banged up but I expected better. And what about Kenny Stills? Wasn’t he supposed to do better? He’s the #4 behind an okay group of receivers. And Buffalo got beat by the favorites last week. I’m just waiting on a week where LeSean McCoy, Percy Harvin AND Sammy Watkins play well at the same time. Could be very dangerous. Dolphins 23, Bills 21

Chicago at Seattle. Good timing for Seattle, even worse timing for the Bears. Both teams come in winless and both played Green Bay tough. Jimmy Graham is not happy with his role so far. Will Seattle give him the ball more or stick to their game? Not sure it will matter but we will see. Chicago was a big underdog WITH Jay Cutler. Wanna guess how they’re going to do without him? Seahawks 28, Bears 10

Denver at Detroit. This just isn’t the way the Lions wanted to come into this game. They’ve played two tough teams and suffered two tough losses. They still have the talent to win some games but Matthew Stafford needs to be healthy and he needs to be involved. It’s time the defense steps up for Detroit to hold court at home. The Fighting Peytons really came through last week in a tough one and with so much rest there’s no way they won’t come out ready. Will CJ Anderson play better? Broncos 31, Lions 27

Kansas City at Green Bay. Should be a really fun one to watch even without Eddie Lacy available. Alex Smith is going to need to start throwing down the field and going to Jeremy Maclin more often. Travis Kelce is also a target worth mentioning. The defense needs to continue to get a great effort out of Justin Houston. And can Aaron Rodgers do wrong? I think not. If this were at Arrowhead it would be a toss-up. But it’s at Lambeau. Packers 20, Chiefs 16

 

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