NFL Week 3 Picks: Patriots to Hand Ravens Second Loss in a Row

Phil Shore@@PShore15Correspondent ISeptember 23, 2012

FOXBORO, PA - SEPTEMBER 16: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots hands the ball off to teammate Danny Woodhead #39 against Arizona Cardinals during the game on September 16, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Two weeks into the new season and there are already quite a few surprises.

Did anyone think the Saints would be 0-2?

How did the Cardinals beat the Patriots in Foxborough?

How are the Eagles 2-0 despite a myriad of turnovers?

There are a plenty of good matchups in Week 3 and we should see the true colors of some teams like the Dolphins, Jets, Seahawks and Saints.

Who do you think will win?

New York Giants (2-1) at Carolina (1-2)

On Twitter Thursday, I picked the Panthers to win.

St. Louis (1-1) at Chicago (1-1)

Steven Jackson is questionable, meaning either a less-than-100-percent Jackson or his untested backup Daryl Richardson will be forced to go up against the Bears ninth-ranked run defense.

A lot has been said about Jay Cutler and his emotions last week. He was seen chastising his offensive line during the loss to the Packers, but he tends to come back from criticism well.

Even with Matt Forte due to miss the game for the Bears, Michael Bush has proven before that he is more than capable to fill in for an injured starter.

Chicago wins.

Buffalo (1-1) at Cleveland (0-2)

After a Week 1 shellacking, the Bills took advantage of what looks like a lackluster Chiefs team. That play should continue against the Browns. Cleveland is 0-2 and struggles offensively.

The Bills will continue to ride the C.J. Spiller Express, as he is first in the league in rushing yards. The Browns are 18th in the league in rushing defense and will struggle to contain Spiller.

Buffalo wins.

Tampa Bay (1-1) at Dallas (1-1)

Dallas may have lost last week, but they still have the sixth-ranked passing offense behind Tony Romo.

He should have some luck against the Buccaneers, who rank last in the league in pass defense. That total is largely because of Eli Manning’s performance on them last weekend, but the Cowboys corners were able to contain Manning in Week 1.

Tampa Bay is also coming off a huge letdown, giving up a 21-point lead to the Giants.

Dallas wins.

Detroit (1-1) at Tennessee (0-2)

The Titans have lost their first two games by an average of 24.5 points.

Chris Johnson is also having an abysmal season. He has 21 yards on 19 carries in two games. He’s second on the team in rushing behind quarterback Jake Locker, who has four carries for 32 yards.

Against a Lions team with an aggressive defense and very good passing offense, the Titans will have difficulty moving the ball and keeping pace with Detroit.

Detroit wins.

Jacksonville (0-2) at Indianapolis (1-1)

In his first home game, Andrew Luck gave the Indianapolis crowd something to cheer for. He had a 64.5 completion percentage, 224 yards, two touchdowns and no turnovers to go along with the win.

Luck will make his second home start against the hapless Jaguars. Jacksonville hasn’t done too well in anything, currently sitting 31st in passing yards, 24th in rushing yards and 31st in rush defense.

Indianapolis wins.

New York Jets (1-1) at Miami (1-1)

The Dolphins have won two of their past three home games against the Jets. Miami has also won five of its past six home games.

As quarterback of the Jets, Mark Sanchez is 2-4 against Miami and has thrown four interceptions.

Reggie Bush is the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Week with his 26 carries for 172 yards and two touchdowns. He'll look to put on an encore performance against the 22nd-ranked rush defense.

Miami wins.

San Francisco (2-0) at Minnesota (1-1)

The 49ers have started the season on a tear. The defense looks like the strongest in the league and Alex Smith has yet to throw an interception.

The Vikings haven't fared too well against teams that seem to be playing at a similar level, so it's hard to imagine them putting up a fight against a stronger squad.

San Francisco.

Kansas City (0-2) at New Orleans (0-2)

The Saints haven't won a game yet, but the Chiefs look even worse.

The Saints have kept their games relatively close while the Chiefs have lost their two games by an average of 17 points.

New Orleans wins.

Cincinnati (1-1) at Washington (1-1)

The Bengals may have won last weekend and BenJarvus Green-Ellis is 13th in the league in rushing yards, but they've been largely underwhelming. A porous defense carries a large portion of the blame for that.

Cincinnati is 29th against the pass and 19th against the rush. Robert Griffin III can both run and pass. Last week he accounted for three of Washington’s four touchdowns.

Much like Andrew Luck for the Colts last week we can expect RG3 to send the Redskins fans into a frenzy.

Washington wins.

Philadelphia (2-0) at Arizona (2-0)

It's surprising how both of these teams are 2-0 right now, but that's where we currently stand.

Kevin Kolb gets to go up against his former team and show his worth.

Michael Vick looked better last week, compared to his Week 1 performance. Although the Eagles committed four turnovers last week they still put up 500 yards of offense.

A high-powered offense coupled with a much improved defense should help the Eagles should figure things out.

Philadelphia wins.

Atlanta (2-0) at San Diego (2-0)

Of all the talk of top quarterbacks in the league, how often is Matt Ryan mentioned?

He should be. He’s completed 70.1 percent of his passes this season, is tied for first in the league in touchdowns and is No. 1 in quarterback rating. He also hasn’t thrown an interception.

He’s playing well and has a lot of talented receivers to complement him.

Atlanta looks like they are living up to the Super Bowl contending expectations set for them last season.

Atlanta wins.

Houston (2-0) at Denver (1-1)

The Texans are another team rolling right now. Their defense is No. 1 in passing yards allowed and eighth in rushing. Arian Foster and Ben Tate have combined for the sixth-ranked rushing attack.

They’ll face a tough test against the Broncos in Denver, but Peyton Manning and Co. are realizing that No. 18’s return to the league won’t be as easy as they thought possible after Week 1. Three interceptions in the first quarter will do that to you.

Houston wins.

Pittsburgh (1-1) at Oakland (0-2)

Was there anything positive to take away from the Raiders game last weekend? They lost by 17 points, Darren McFadden ran for only 22 yards and allowed a total of 452 yards to the Dolphins, who looked offensively challenged in the preseason.

Meanwhile Pittsburgh, even without Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, held the Jets to 10 points and 219 total yards in their 27-10 victory.

The Steelers may not look pretty, but over the years they just continue to get the job done.

Pittsburgh wins.

New England (1-1) at Baltimore (1-1)

The Patriots did not play well enough to deserve a win last weekend. The Ravens, however, have a legitimate gripe about a questionable offensive pass interference call against them that brought back a touchdown against the Eagles last week.

The Patriots will be without tight end Aaron Hernandez, but the Ravens haven’t been able to get their wide receivers involved much. The Patriots boast the seventh-ranked passing defense and fifth-ranked rushing defense. The defense should be able to focus their efforts on stopping Ray Rice.

Although the Patriots lost last weekend at home, one field goal at the end would’ve done the trick for a victory, much like the AFC Championship last season. And for all the talk of the lack of playing time Wes Welker has received, he was the team’s leading receiver last weekend and should continue to get more involved.

New England wins.

Green Bay (1-1) at Seattle (1-1)

The Packers haven’t been as sharp in the passing game as the past few years and the lack of a productive Greg Jennings has hurt them. But Aaron Rodgers is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

Does Seattle, who ranks last in the league in passing yards per game, really have enough offensive firepower to match the Packers?

Seattle’s defense has been pretty stifling the first couple of weeks, but the Packers defense was also dominant last weekend against the Bears.

While the game will be played in Seattle, there is something to be said about Green Bay’s experience in prime time and big stages like Monday Night Football. Since 2009 the Packers are 9-3 in prime time games.

The experienced Packers defense will be aggressive in their pursuit of Russell Wilson and although the rookie quarterback has many endearing traits that have fans rooting for him to succeed, his inexperience and lack of overall talent around him could prove to be a hindrance in this matchup.

Green Bay wins.

This Week: 0-1

Last Week: 9-7

Season: 18-14


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