2012 NFL Week 3 Predictions

Michael JakubowskiCorrespondent ISeptember 20, 2012

Where to start with how Week 2 played out? The Cardinals beating the Patriots at the Foxboro home opener? The Seahawks destroying the Cowboys a week after they beat the reigning Super Bowl champs? Or maybe when Peyton Manning threw three interceptions...in the first quarter? The upsets of Week 2 made for some very interesting standings going into Week 3. 

The league has also had it's share of injuries in the first two weeks, sending some teams' values to the gutter. Here's where Week 3 stands:


New York Giants at Carolina Panthers

Winner: Carolina Panthers

The Giants are hurting right now. While Eli Manning did have a career high in passing yards in Week 2, he will be going into Week 3 without No. 1 target, Hakeem Nicks. He's also missing lead carrier Ahmad Bradshaw, so the offensive targets are slim pickings.

The Panthers, on the other hand, handed the Saints a loss this past Sunday. The Panthers will be riding high on handing Drew Brees his second loss of the year. 


St. Louis Rams at Chicago Bears

Winner: Chicago Bears

The Bears looked pretty awful on Thursday night in Week 2. But they also looked great in Week 1. Look for Cutler to bounce back in Week 3 playing the Rams in Chicago.

The Rams have been playing good football so far in 2012, and did beat RGIII and the Redskins on Sunday, but won't be able to do so against the Bears defense.


Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns

Winner: Buffalo Bills

Fred Jackson who? C.J. Spiller has been lights out as Jackson's replacement at running back, and has Buffalo fans crazy. The Browns just don't have that spark going for them, and will lose at home in Week 3.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys

Winner: Dallas Cowboys

The Seahawks embarrassed the Cowboys in Week 2, and the Buccaneers almost handed the Giants their second loss of the season on Sunday. Don't expect the strong Cowboys to fall short again in Week 3 at home, but you should expect it to be a nail-biter.


Detroit Lions at Tennessee Titans

Winner: Detroit Lions

The Chargers easily took the win from the Titans on Sunday, and expect the same for the Lions, who have a very similar offensive dynamic. Detroit didn't win last week, but they also faced the best defense in the league. 


Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

Winner: Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck looked much more comfortable on Sunday, beating the Vikings in the Indianapolis season home opener. This will be the first division rival the Colts have seen in 2012, and they hope to stop MJD as they stopped Peterson in Week 2. Jacksonville was decimated by division rival Houston last week, but this one should be a little closer.


New York Jets at Miami Dolphins

Winner: New York Jets

The Dolphins are not a good football team. Reggie Bush had an amazing week against the Raiders on Sunday, and the same won't occur against the strong Jets defense in Week 3. The Jets looked amazing in Week 1, fell short in Week 2, and will bounce back in Week 3.


San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings

Winner: San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers are looking great in 2012. Their defense still looks sharp, Frank Gore is averaging more than 100 rushing yards a game, and Alex Smith hasn't thrown a pick yet. If the Colts defense can shut down AP as much as they did in Week 2, then the 49ers will have no problem handling him in Week 3.


Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints

Winner: New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees is just mad now. He is mad at football, his opponents, and himself, and there is no chance that the Chiefs will beat him on his home turf. The Bills handled the Chiefs quite well on Sunday, and the Saints should have no problem doing the same.


Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins

Winner: Washington Redskins

The Redskins had a heartbreaking loss against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday, losing by a mere field goal. The Bengals only beat the Cleveland Browns by a touchdown, playing at home. I don't think the Bengals will be able to handle RGIII at home in Week 3.


Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

I think most people are in agreement that the Cardinals win against the Patriots was a fluke. I also think that the Philadelphia Eagles will snap them back to reality in Week 2 playing in Arizona.

LeSean McCoy will have a big day, and Vick will continue to bounce back from his atrocious Week 1 performance. The Cardinals offense will hardly do anything.


Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers

Winner: Atlanta Falcons

This will be one of the top games to watch in Week 3, showcasing two top QBs who are currently sitting at 2-0. This won't be by any means a blowout for the Falcons, but the Chargers just don't have the same quality of offensive options that the Falcons have available.

If the NFL had ruled that Michael Turner couldn't play per his DUI this week, this game would have been very difficult to pick.


Houston Texans at Denver Broncos

Winner: Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning cannot be happy with his Week 2 performance, all due to his terrible first quarter of play. He did, however, almost lead the Broncos back to a victory.

The Texans destroyed the Jaguars last week, but the Broncos are a much better team than the Jaguars. Look for Peyton to rebound at home and stop his former division rival.


Pittsburgh Steelers at Oakland Raiders

Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

The Raiders just looked awful against the Miami Dolphins last Sunday, allowing Reggie Bush to rush for almost 200 yards. The Steelers are a much better team than the Dolphins, and will shame the Raiders to start the 2012 season 0-3.


New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens

Winner: New England Patriots

I could almost go either way on this one. The Patriots, like Drew Brees and the Saints mentioned above, are a very, very competitive entity. They suffered an embarrassing loss in Week 2, capped off by that horrific missed field goal by Gostkowski to lose the game.

The Ravens have been playing great football, and will be at home, so a win from Baltimore is hardly out of the question (Billy Cundiff missed field goal in 2011 playoffs, anyone?).

I just feel the Patriots players fear the wrath of Bill Belichick if they lose again.


Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks

Winner: Green Bay Packers

This one's tougher than it looks on paper. Aaron Rodgers is starting to show some weakness, something that didn't present itself often in 2011. The Seahawks defense looks great, as they allowed the Cowboys just a single touchdown in Week 2.

The Packers offense still is just too good to pick against, whether on the road or not, so expect a win in Week 3 and for the Pack to stay atop the NFC North standings.


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