Hardwired for Sports

NFL Week 3 Predictions

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Another pretty average week for me in terms of predictions, finishing 9-7 for the second time. Still, I remain over .500 for the season and although not great, there is plenty of room for improvement. We saw some exciting action last weekend, and there are lots of questions swirling around the NFL. What’s wrong with Green Bay? How will the Chargers be without Allen and Woodhead? Are the Eagles for real? Hopefully we get some answers soon, but for now, it is only Week 3 and there is a lot of season left.

Week 2 Record: 9-7

Total Record: 18-14

All times eastern.

Thursday

HOUSTON TEXANS (2-0) @ New England Patriots (2-0), 8:25 p.m.

The Patriots are now on their QB3 right now (Jacoby Brissett), which isn’t a great sign for this game. The Pats do have home field advantage, but the revamped Houston offense has been very productive in their first two games, and I expect DeAndre Hopkins to have a field day with the New England secondary.

Sunday

ARIZONA CARDINALS (1-1) @ Buffalo Bills (0-2), 1:00 p.m.

The Bills have been in two close battles so far this year, but I don’t think that they will hang around in this one. The Cardinals are a dominant team on both sides of the ball and it will not surprise me if this was a blowout by halftime. Larry Fitzgerald has scored TDs in each of his first two games and after their rout of the Bucs last week, Arizona will push their record to 2-1.

OAKLAND RAIDERS (1-1) @ Tennessee Titans (1-1), 1:00 p.m.

DeMarco Murray has looked surprisingly good in his first two games as a Titan, but I don’t think his touchdown streak will continue. The Raiders were not good last weekend, but they were almost able to make a comeback on the Falcons. I think that they get back in their groove this weekend behind a 100-yard performance from Amari Cooper.

Cleveland Browns (0-2) @ MIAMI DOLPHINS (0-2), 1:00 p.m.

Both teams are 0-2, so something has to break in this one. In fact, neither team has looked good so far, and that does not bode well for their individual seasons. Still, I like the Dolphins to take this victory in their home opener. They are almost a double-digit favorite, which I think is rather high, but Miami will get this win.

Baltimore Ravens (2-0) @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (0-2), 1:00 p.m.

Can the Jaguars finally settle in on defense? If the Jags can finally get some stops this year, then they should be able to take the victory at home. They are currently allowing over 30 ppg to opposing offenses, and you just can’t win that way. Playing at home against a weak Baltimore offense should help them get in sync, and I got the Jaguars getting their first win.

Detroit Lions (1-1) @ GREEN BAY PACKERS (1-1), 1:00 p.m.

What is going with this Packers’ offense? It just doesn’t have that same zip that I used to right now, and that is starting at the quarterback position. Aaron Rodgers looks off and he will need to get it going if Green Bay wants to remain a title contender. Still, their defense has played reasonably well so far this year, and would really welcome the return of Sam Shields. I think that the Pack at least find the end zone a couple more times this week and they should be able to pick apart the Lions defense.

DENVER BRONCOS (2-0) @ Cincinnati Bengals (1-1), 1:00 p.m.

They say that “defenses win championships,” and that is definitely the case with the Broncos. Their offense has been pretty average so far, but they rely on their great defense. C.J. Anderson is going to continue his touchdown streak against the Bengals and I think that the Broncos will leave Cincy with a tough and important win.

Minnesota Vikings (2-0) @ CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-1), 1:00 p.m.

Sam Bradford looked really good against the Packers while taking advantage of Sam Shields’ absence. He will not have that same luxury against the Panthers and I think that Cam will hand Minnesota their first loss. The loss of Adrian Peterson will hurt Minnesota, even though he did not produce great numbers in his time on the field. This will be the battle of two really good defenses and this could easily be a game that finishes with scores in the teens.

Washington Redskins (0-2) @ NEW YORK GIANTS (2-0), 1:00 p.m.

Match-up to watch this weekend: Odell Beckham Jr. vs. Josh Norman. After last year’s disaster, it will be interesting to see how much bad blood there is between the two. Still, this should be a competitive game. I am giving the advantage to New York with their home field advantage as well as a varying offense with plenty of weapons.

Los Angeles Rams (1-1) @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (1-1), 4:05 p.m.

The Rams came back after a disappointing Week 1 to grab a victory last weekend, but even that wasn’t pretty. They are definitely a team that still relies on its defense, and I think that Jameis Winston and the Bucs should be able to put up some points. And once the Rams start to trail, it can get ugly for them.

San Francisco 49ers (1-1) @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (1-1), 4:05 p.m.

The Seahawks are nearly a double-digit favorite in this one, and even though they have not looked great yet, I think this is a fair spread. The 49ers are not a very good team this year and I think that the Seahawks’ offense has a good chance to get in sync against a rather porous defense in San Francisco.

New York Jets (1-1) @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (1-1), 4:25 p.m.

Matt Forte has been a workhouse and a monster so far for the Jets, but I think that comes to an end in Kansas City on Sunday. The Chiefs defense will become too much and offensively the Chiefs have enough firepower to put up some points on the Jets. I think that this could be a low-scoring affair, but in the end, I’ll take Kansas City.

San Diego Chargers (1-1) @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (0-2), 4:25 p.m.

Shootout Alert! Shootout Alert! Watch out in this one, because it should have a lot of points. Neither defense has looked very good this year and both offenses have shown they could put up numbers in a hurry. Even without Keenan Allen, the Chargers looked potent last weekend and if Melvin Gordon can keep running effectively, they should be able to attack Indianapolis. Yet, I like Andrew Luck in this shootout due to his ability to keep plays alive and look downfield.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (2-0) @ Philadelphia Eagles (2-0), 4:25 p.m.

The Eagles have been strong in their first two outings, but this is their first test against a top-tier opponent. The Steelers have been exactly what we expected, and that is a very good sign for them moving forward. They are already 2-0 without Le’Veon Bell, and they should only get better with his return in the future. He will of course be unavailable in this one, but that will not stop Big Ben and DeAngelo Williams from having another great outing in route to a victory in Philly.

Chicago Bears (0-2) @ DALLAS COWBOYS (1-1), 8:30 p.m.

I refuse to pick the Bears to win on the road with a backup quarterback. I just refuse. The Bears were not good with Cutler in the game and he is far superior to whoever they end up starting on Sunday night. Dak Prescott has been solid in his first two games and he should lead the Cowboys to a 2-1 record by the end of the weekend.

Monday

ATLANTA FALCONS (1-1) @ New Orleans Saints (0-2), 8:30 p.m.

Shootout Alert! Shootout Alert! Brees vs. Ryan will be a great match-up to watch in a game that should involve plenty of touchdowns. I would advise not taking a break from watching on Monday night, because you could easily miss a score. With the way these two quarterbacks are playing right now against weak defenses, you can expect points to be put up early and often. Overall, I think that Ryan has more weapons to throw the ball to and therefore I’m going with Atlanta.

Photo courtesy of the Chicago Tribune.
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