NFL Picks Week 3: Teams Set to Surprise with Sound Victories
At times it is simple to see which team will prevail in an NFL matchup. The old adage "Any given Sunday" still applies, but some games are too obvious.
Look at Jacksonville traveling to Seattle this weekend. If San Francisco could not get the job done at CenturyLink last week, there's no way a hapless Jaguars franchise in the first stages of a serious rebuild are going to take down a Seahawks squad primed for a Super Bowl.
As obvious as that is, other matchups on the Week 3 slate are set to offer some surprises. Whether it's an upset or a plain beatdown of an old favorite, a few teams are about to shock fans with sound performances this week.
|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|
Chicago Bears Finish Off Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are reeling and on the verge of throwing in the towel on the 2013 season. History says an 0-3 start all but eliminates a team from the playoffs, and the Steelers have done little to inspire confidence that a win over Chicago is possible.
Pittsburgh is on a short week after suffering a humbling loss at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football and is without All Pro center Maurkice Pouncey.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley is clearly suffering without deep threat Mike Wallace (now in Miami with the Dolphins) and has no running game to support Ben Roethlisberger, who is running for his life behind a patchwork offensive line and has been sacked seven times.
Chicago has yet to lose courtesy of elite defensive backs Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings intercepting three total passes and a new offense under Marc Trestman that has Jay Cutler completing a career-high 67 percent of his passes.
Pittsburgh and Chicago are headed in two very different directions. Look for Chicago to score an impressive win.
Prediction: Bears 24, Steelers 10
Houston Texans Shock Baltimore Ravens at Home
Which team wins?
It's very easy to discredit what the Houston Texans have done so far this season.
Yes, the team needed comeback efforts to defeat both the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans, but both squads are better than advertised, and there's something to be said for Houston's ability to pull it off in consecutive weeks.
The combo of Arian Foster and Ben Tate in the Texans backfield will have no issue moving the ball against a defensive unit still developing chemistry. Baltimore's defense ranks as the No. 21 overall unit—a far cry from years past with stars like Ray Lewis and Ed Reed gone.
Baltimore especially struggles against the pass as it gives up 320 yards per game. Houston's impressive rookie DeAndre Hopkins (game-winning touchdown in overtime last week, seven receptions for 117 yards) will pair with Andre Johnson, who is a full go per Tania Ganguli of ESPN:
Which team wins?
Prediction: Texans 30, Ravens 27
Miami Dolphins Fend Off Atlanta Falcons
Kubiak says Duane Brown didn't practice but will still be a game-time decision. Andre Johnson has been fully cleared. #Texans— Tania Ganguli (@taniaganguli) September 20, 2013
The showdown between the Miami Dolphins and Atlanta Falcons features plenty of great matchups at skill positions, but it is the battle in the trenches that will decide the game.
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has been sacked five times already, and the Miami line, led by Cameron Wake, has already tallied a ridiculous nine sacks in two games.
The Falcons will also be without starting running back Steven Jackson per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Not only will Miami not have to focus on the run and be free to pin its ears back and get after Ryan, star receiver Roddy White is still dealing with an ankle issue that has limited him to being nothing more than a decoy with five receptions for 40 yards.
The nail in the coffin? Atlanta has the No. 27 ranked defense and will struggle to contain Miami and Ryan Tannehill. Miami can control the game in the trenches and take down a depleted Atlanta roster.
Prediction: Dolphins 27, Falcons 20
Note: All stats courtesy of NFL.com
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?