NFL Week 3 Picks: Teams That Will Change Public Perception with Big Win

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 15:  Quarterback Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions drops back to pass against the Arizona Cardinals in the third quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium on September 15, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Lions 25-21.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

First impressions are overrated.

Everyone always hammers down the importance of making a lasting first impression, but it's not as critical when not in a setting such as an interview where further interaction is dependent on a successful initial meeting.

Honestly, can you remember the first time you met most of your friends? It's the moments that defined your friendship that stick in your mind more than your first conversation, which likely just consisted of an introduction and idle small talk.

The same can be said for NFL teams. The 2007 New York Giants surrendered 80 points during the season's first two games. Then they beat those two teams (Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers) in the playoffs and won the Super Bowl.

Another week presents teams with more chances to influence the popular public opinion. The Kansas City Chiefs left any lingering doubters in their dust on Thursday, derailing Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense in a 26-16 victory.

These squads will gain some supporters with a strong outing on Sunday.


Detroit Lions (at Washington Redskins)

The Lions could have been much better last season.

Despite ranking No. 3 in total offensive yards compiled, the Lions finished No. 17 in points scored. They also lost six games by six points or less, so a few breaks here and there could have sent this 4-12 team searching for a .500 season.

They started 2013 strong with a victory over the Minnesota Vikings, the antithesis of Detroit last season. After beating a reigning playoff club, Detroit tossed aside any good will gained by losing to the Arizona Cardinals.

People quickly sour on a team after falling to the Cardinals, even though Carson Palmer has this offense running not horribly. Let's see how many of them quickly jump back on the bandwagon when Detroit destroys Washington.

Washington has already surrendered 1,023 total yards in just two games, and Matthew Stafford accumulated 10,005 passing yards over the last two seasons. This probably ends poorly for Washington.

Just like that, the Lions will sit at 2-1 and earn a seat at the NFC North's big-boy table.

Prediction: Lions 34, Redskins 27


New York Giants (at Carolina Panthers)

These Giants have only allowed 77 points through two games. They're better than the 2007 Super Bowl champs!

OK, probably not. This team possesses no pass rush and the league's worst rushing offense, both pivotal tenants to Tom Coughlin's first championship club.

Then again, nobody in the NFC East is that great. Somebody has to win it.

The Philadelphia Eagles have shown immense defensive holes after a promising Week 1 win, and the Washington Redskins make even the Giants look like the 1985 Chicago Bears. 

The 1-1 Dallas Cowboys are the division's only team with a positive point differential, but they also relinquished 450 passing yards to Manning.

New York got pummeled by the Denver Broncos last week, but chances are a lot of teams are going to get destroyed by Denver this season. Facing a much more reasonable opponent in Carolina, New York will show that it's a flawed, but not utterly hopeless team.

Its talent alone in the passing game is enough to storm past a squad hampered by Ron Rivera's ultra-conservative coaching. The Giants are far from amazing, but they're not 0-3 bad.

Prediction: Giants 27, Panthers 20


Houston Texans (at Baltimore Ravens)

HOUSTON, TX- OCTOBER 21: Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans avoids the tackle of Jimmy Smith #22 of the Baltimore Ravens on October 21, 2012 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texas won 43 to 13. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

Both of these teams have something to prove against the opposing AFC contender.

After Denver, the AFC does not feature many supreme organizations. The New England Patriots will get better once their skill players return, but for now they're highly beatable. 

After those two teams, the Texans and Ravens are two of the most stable squads left. Except the Texans barely beat two meddling clubs while the Ravens are playing without many of the pieces that led them to their Super Bowl championship.

Houston resides at 2-0, but falling behind by 21 points to the San Diego Chargers and beating the Tennessee Titans in overtime won't attract much buzz. The defending AFC South champs can use a statement victory on the road against a playoff hopeful. 

The last time these foes met, Houston obliterated Baltimore in a 30-point blowout, limiting the Ravens to 176 total yards. The Texans would prove they belong as legitimate AFC contenders with another decisive victory.

Prediction: Texans 23, Ravens 16