NFL Predictions Week 3: Titans and Teams That Will Win First Game of Season

Steven Cook@@stevencookinFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 19, 2012

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 16:   Kendall Wright #13 of the Tennessee Titans celebrates his touchdown against the San Diego Chargers during the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium on September 16, 2012 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Starting 0-2 is a tough hole to climb out of in the NFL, but these teams will take advantage of favorable matchups and notch their first win of the season this weekend.

Despite all of the stats and percentages of making the playoffs that we hear about 0-2 teams in league history, it's far from impossible to overcome and in many cases is attributed to a tough opening schedule or injury problems.

That dynamic rings true for all of these teams, who will rebound from a subpar start to the season and get their acts together in Week 3.


Tennessee Titans

The schedule makers didn't do the Titans any favors with their opening schedule, as they were throttled by both the New England Patriots and San Diego Chargers in their first two games.

They weren't spared with their Week 3 matchup either, as they face the Detroit Lions. But the Titans match up well against a balanced Detroit team and will come through with their first win at home Sunday.

The Lions' secondary is atrocious and is facing injury problems, and Kenny Britt is finally starting to return to a healthy form. Tennessee is loaded with young wideouts that are ready to bust (Kendall Wright, Damian Williams) and they have their steady No. 1 or 2 receiver in Nate Washington.

Detroit will also have trouble containing Chris Johnson, who is bound for a breakout game after gaining just 21 yards on 19 carries through the first two games. The Lions defense has been gashed on running plays many times so far this year, and CJ2K has just the skill set to do the same. 

If the Titans can keep Detroit's feisty defensive line from feasting on Jake Locker and allow him the opportunity to make plays, this team will hang up enough points to beat the pass-happy Lions.


New Orleans Saints

Though this may not be the same type of Saints team that we've come to expect over the last half-decade, it's surprising to say the least that New Orleans hasn't notched a win through two weeks.

They were unfortunate enough to run into Robert Griffin III in Week 1, who came in with something to prove. In Week 2, they went up against Cam Newton's Panthers, who wanted to right the ship after an awful opening game.

The defense has been ugly, but facing a Kansas City Chiefs offensive attack that is far from lethal should do wonders for this unit's confidence. 

Drew Brees is putting up impressive numbers despite the losses (664 yards, 4 TD's), and big tight-end target Jimmy Graham seems to be on course from his insane 2011 season.

Don't expect the Saints to be playoff afterthoughts for much longer.


Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland offense looked sad to say the least in their Week 1 opener against Philadelphia, but they turned things around immensely despite still ending in defeat against the Cincinnati Bengals.

They face the Buffalo Bills Sunday, who have been off and on so far this season and are very beatable.

Rookie running back Trent Richardson was expected to carry a huge load for the offense this season, but didn't show much capability in Week 1. That changed in a big way against Cincinnati, as the former Heisman finalist gained over 140 combined yards and scored two touchdowns.

The Browns offense also relies heavily on rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden's effectiveness. He put up historically bad numbers in Week 1, but tossed for 322 yards in Week 2 and seems to be turning Cleveland's offense around.


- Steven Cook is a TNT breaking news writer and featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter to keep up with all things sports and NFL.