NFL Week 3 Picks: Underdogs Guaranteed to Pull off Surprise Upsets
Since everyone loves a good theme week for the NFL, we are going label Week 3 "Gut Check Weekend."
Not all 32 teams are looking to prove something, but there are a group of teams who need to make a positive statement. We are approaching the point where you can't say that it is still early, because after next week a quarter of the season is over.
For many of this week's favorites, this is the moment where they show the world just what they are made of. Some teams will answer the call, while others will get the Charlie Brown treatment and have Lucy pull the ball away right at the last second.
Here are the Week 3 underdogs who are going to come out and shock the NFL world this weekend.
Odds courtesy of Bovada
Tampa Bay (+7) at Dallas
It baffles me that the Buccaneers would be such prohibitive underdogs in this game. They just lost in dramatic fashion to the defending Super Bowl champions last week, whereas the Cowboys couldn't do anything against Seattle.
Perhaps the oddsmakers are just looking at what happened in Week 1 with the Cowboys, because that's the only thing that makes sense.
The Buccaneers look to be much-improved up front on defense, which takes a lot of pressure off their weak secondary. They don't give up a lot of yards on the ground, thus forcing the Cowboys to play one-dimensional football.
Plus, I just don't trust the Cowboys to win a game that they are supposed to. We have seen this trick too many times before with this team. I don't think they are cursed or poorly put together, but until they start winning against teams they are superior to, how do you bet on them?
Prediction: Bucs 24, Cowboys 20
Philadelphia at Arizona (+4)
For Confidence Purposes, Which Team Needs To Win This Weekend?
For the people who are surprised at Arizona's 2-0 start, take a look at their defense. Overall the stats don't necessarily look that impressive—11th in pass yards allowed, 13th in rushing yards—but when you look at them play, they are really, really good.
The strength of this defense is in the secondary. Patrick Peterson is turning into the superstar everyone thought he would be. If he can take away half the field, it is going to make life so much easier on players like William Gay.
The Eagles, on the other hand, have gotten to 2-0 on a wing and a prayer. They have turned the ball over nine times. Michael Vick seemingly has no idea where the ball is going when he throws it.
One promising sign for the Eagles has been the play of the defense, particularly the secondary, which allows them to win the field position battle and get easier scores.
That said, I think the Cardinals have enough depth on defense to create more problems for the turnover-prone Eagles. Kevin Kolb doesn't have to be the savior for the offense—just don't beat yourself. He wasn't great last week in New England, but was efficient.
The Cardinals are going to surprise a lot of people this season, and they will add the Eagles to their hit list this weekend.
Prediction: Cardinals 23, Eagles 20
New England (+3) at Baltimore
This might not be a surprise upset since the Patriots did beat the Ravens eight months ago in the AFC Championship Game—with a little help from Billy Cundiff, of course.
However, the Patriots have lost a game to the Cardinals and apparently the sky is falling. We have seen the Patriots with their backs to the wall so many times over the years. We think that this is the end of the run, and then they come back with a brilliant performance to remind the world why they are one of the best franchises in all of sports.
This is a little bit different, as Aaron Hernandez is out with an injury, Kellen Winslow is in for at least the next few weeks. Wes Welker appears to have fallen out of favor with Bill Belichick. Deion Branch is back with the organization after being released in August.
And we still don't know what kind of team the Ravens are. They looked great in Week 1 against Cincinnati, then squandered four turnovers from the Eagles last week. The referees did help in that loss on a questionable pass interference penalty, but the defense still failed to make plays at the end of the game to hold on.
You can't be so quick to write the Patriots off. Remember back in 2010, when they lost to the Browns by 20 points and everyone was panicking, how did they respond? They won their last eight games of the season.
Prediction: Patriots 28, Ravens 23
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