NFL

NFL Week 3 Picks: Home Teams That Will Slide by Tough Competition

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 10:  Sam Koch #4,  James Ihedigbo #32,  Brendon Ayanbadejo #51, and Arthur Jones #97 of the Baltimore Ravens take the field before the start of the Ravens gam against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on September 10, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Justin WeltonAnalyst IISeptember 17, 2012

Home-field advantage doesn't mean as much as it used to in football, but it still matters. Having that home crowd on your side late in the game can mean all the difference.

These three teams will use great home crowds to slide by tough competition:

 

Denver Broncos over Houston Texans

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will host the undefeated Houston Texans in Week 3. It's going to be just one of several great games scheduled for Week 3.

Manning dominated the Steelers in Week 1 throwing for 253 yards on just 19 completions. He controlled the tempo of the game, made the correct reads and looked like the old Peyton Manning.

Houston hasn't exactly played stiff competition to start the season. They defeated Miami and Jacksonville—two teams that are candidates to finish well under .500.

Denver has been in a close game; it has played stiff competition. If the game is close, expect the Broncos seal the deal because of their experiences doing so early in the season. 

Prediction: Broncos 24, Texans 21

 

Baltimore Ravens over New England Patriots

It’s easy explain why the Baltimore Ravens lost in Philadelphia Sunday, but how about the Arizona Cardinals defeating the New England Patriots in New England? Bet you didn’t see that coming.

Nobody did.

But now the Patriots and Ravens will try not to go under .500 in Week 3. There is just one small problem. They play each other.

Unless there is a tie, one of these two teams will be under .500 after three games.

Flacco had a similar performance Sunday to what he did last year. Against the Steelers during the opening game last year, Flacco threw three touchdowns and no interceptions. He followed that up with one touchdown and two picks.

He was great against Cincinnati in 2012, but not so great against Philadelphia in Week 2 going 22-of-42 for 232 yards.

Expect more deja vu. Flacco threw for 389 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against the Rams following its loss to Tennessee last year.

Even though it's the Patriots, Flacco will slice and dice the Patriots' defense just like he did in the AFC Championship Game. 

Prediction: Ravens 27, Patriots 24

 

Washington Redskins over Cincinnati Bengals

Robert Griffin’s blood will be flowing when he and the Redskins host the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3. Expect his excitement to cost him a mistake early, but Griffin will dominate the Bengals after that.

Cincinnati is a solid team, but it struggles to defeat the league's best teams. While Washington may not be elite, it still can't contend against quality talent on the road.

Griffin is no question a quality talent. He'll have a huge day against a defense that gave up 44 points to Joe Flacco to kick off the season. 

Prediction: Redskins 28, Bengals 24

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