NFL Week 3 Picks: Rams and Road Teams Guaranteed to Win Tough Matchups
Road wins in the NFL distance the best teams from counterparts that must bank on playing at home to have an advantage. It also identifies the teams prepped for postseason play because home-field advantage is an elusive luxury in the postseason.
Week 2 was a strong example as to how difficult road teams have it in the NFL with the home teams compiling a 12-4 record.
The tempo for Week 3 has been set by the Kansas City Chiefs and Andy Reid, who traveled to Philadelphia on Thursday Night Football and scored a win over the Eagles.
The following matchups will see the road team follow in the Chiefs' footsteps.
|Away Team||Home Team||Prediction|
|Kansas City Chiefs||Philadelphia Eagles||Chiefs|
|San Diego Chargers||Tennessee Titans||Chargers|
|Cleveland Browns||Minnesota Vikings||Vikings|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||New England Patriots||Patriots|
|Houston Texans||Baltimore Ravens||Texans|
|St. Louis Rams||Dallas Cowboys||Rams|
|Arizona Cardinals||New Orleans Saints||Saints|
|Detroit Lions||Washington Redskins||Redskins|
|Green Bay Packers||Cincinnati Bengals||Packers|
|New York Giants||Carolina Panthers||Giants|
|Atlanta Falcons||Miami Dolphins||Dolphins|
|Indianapolis Colts||San Francisco 49ers||49ers|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Seattle Seahawks||Seahawks|
|Buffalo Bills||New York Jets||Bills|
|Chicago Bears||Pittsburgh Steelers||Bears|
|Oakland Raiders||Denver Broncos||Broncos|
Buffalo Bills Inch Past New York Jets
The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets are very similar teams. Both start rookie quarterbacks, play in the AFC East, have 1-1 records and have given the New England Patriots all they can handle early this season.
Now the two collide Sunday in a game that will shake out some of the confusion in the AFC East.
Which team wins?
Buffalo has had both contests this year decided by a total of three points and possesses the No. 18-ranked defense. New York has obtained its record through a four-point differential and the No. 2-ranked defense.
For the first time this season, Buffalo has to travel for a contest, but it will be a successful one thanks to rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel, who is completing 68 percent of his passes and has thrown three touchdowns and one interception. That's a far cry from Geno Smith's 53 percent and one touchdown to four interceptions.
Buffalo touts an improving defense thanks to Mario Williams' 4.5 sacks against Carolina last week. Offensively, the team is more talented than New York thanks to Stevie Johnson and C.J. Spiller. The Bills will overcome on the road.
Prediction: Bills 17, Jets 14
Green Bay Packers Surprise Cincinnati Bengals
The Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Bengals are set to have a classic strength-versus-strength matchup Sunday.
Cincinnati features a top-10 defense as always thanks to a unit that has surrendered just 300 yards per game. Green Bay's offense and Aaron Rodgers are best in the NFL with 482 yards per game.
Something has to give, and it won't be the Green Bay offense.
Which team wins?
Rodgers is coming off a contest in which he threw for 480 yards. He'll have little issue picking apart the Bengals secondary thanks to a wealth of matchups. Cincinnati is notorious for struggling against tight ends, so Jermichael Finley and his 11 receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns will cause the Bengals issues.
The key matchup is the Bengals defensive line getting to Rodgers, but Chicago wrote the blueprint on how to counter it in a Week 1 victory over Cincinnati—get rid of the ball fast.
Rodgers will have little issue doing so as his weapons spread the vulnerable (and injured) Bengals secondary out.
Prediction: Packers 30, Bengals 17
St. Louis Rams Take Advantage of Dallas Cowboys
St. Louis and Dallas have both started with a 1-1 record with the only victories coming at home.
That has to change.
The decisive factor here is simple: St. Louis simply has a better offense through two games. Sam Bradford (63 percent completion percentage, five touchdowns, two interceptions) looks like a different player now that he has weapons such as rookie Tavon Austin and tight end Jared Cook.
Which team wins?
Much of the issue for Dallas boils down to offensive line play (surprise!). Quarterback Tony Romo has been sacked five times to Bradford's zero. Romo has elite weapons such as Dez Bryant (who is dealing with injury issues), but it doesn't matter if he cannot get them the ball.
Robert Quinn (four sacks) and Co. will have little issue getting to Romo consistently. Dallas may have escaped at home in Week 1 by posting 36 points on a weak New York secondary, but that won't be the case against a stout St. Louis secondary protected by a strong pass rush.
Prediction: Rams 27, Cowboys 23
Note: All stats courtesy of NFL.com
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
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