Week 3 NFL Predictions: Results That Will Surprise Fans This Weekend

Andrew Gould@AndrewGould4Featured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2013

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 15: Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers walks on the field during pre-game before playing the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 15, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

An unforeseen predicament that catches NFL fans by guard always unfolds.

If only we could see them coming.

Something is bound to occur so out of the realm of possibility that no rational person could have forebode it without appearing insane. Who had Charles Clay more than double A.J. Green's output in Week 2?

Last week, the Seattle Seahawks demolished the San Francisco 49ers while the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans all came close to pulling off massive upsets. How will the NFL up the ante this Sunday?

Here are some happenings that could catch the league off guard.


San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans Will Deliver Game of the Week

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 08: Alterraun Verner #20 of the Tennessee Titans intercepts a pass intended for Emmanuel Sanders #88 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half during the game on September 8, 2013 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Colts vs. 49ers? Nope. Ravens vs. Texans? Nah. The game of the week will take place in Tennessee as the Titans face the San Diego Chargers.


Few people even predicted an 8-8 season for either squad, but they both participated in two of last week's best games.

The Titans took the Houston Texans to overtime in a tough loss. Although the passing offense stumbled again, their defense kept them in the game with an interception returned for a touchdown by Alterraun Verner late in the fourth quarter. 

Tennessee stood two minutes away from starting the season at 2-0 before Houston salvaged its second win. The first came in similar fashion against the Chargers, who held a 21-point lead after two quarters.

The following week, San Diego engaged the Philadelphia Eagles in a shootout, coming out on top with 419 passing yards and three touchdowns (all to Eddie Royal) from Philip Rivers

Following an entire offseason stemming around talks of Rivers' demise, the quarterback has completed 65.8 percent of his passes for 614 yards and seven touchdowns. Between San Diego's offensive renaissance and Tennessee's strong defense, Sunday's showdown should steal the show.

Since the Chargers have also struggled against the pass, maybe they can also help Jake Locker find his footing to turn this game into another high-scoring affair that goes down to the wire. 


Every AFC North Team Will Lose, Again

It's going to feel like ages ago since teams actually feared facing the AFC North.

Once an NFL powerhouse, the division will see all four of its constituents lose for the second time in three weeks.

When you break it down team by team, this prediction does not seem all that bold. The Cincinnati Bengals play the Green Bay Packers while the Baltimore Ravens face the Houston Texans, so the division's two competent clubs have vast challenges ahead of them.

The Bengals should ride a ferocious defense to a playoff berth, but few teams are properly equipped to contain Aaron Rodgers. After Jay Cutler played well enough to beat the Bengals during the opening week, Rodgers should get his against Cincy on Sunday.

Despite topping an offensively challenged Cleveland Browns squad, the Baltimore Ravens do not look the part of a defending champion. With a 58.9 completion percentage, Joe Flacco has quickly reminded everyone that he does not belong in the upper pantheon of quarterbacks after four superb playoff performances.

The offense has suffered countless injuries, while the defense still has to play a typical NFL offense after facing the abysmal Browns and deadly Denver Broncos. Matt Schaub won't throw seven passing touchdowns, but Baltimore's battered offense will struggle against the Texans.

As for the Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, they both look awful. The Browns sported the league's second-worst defense before trading their starting running back and deciding to start a quarterback who couldn't beat Ryan Lindley and John Skelton for a starting job in Arizona. The Minnesota Vikings just need one big Adrian Peterson run to emerge victorious.

Pittsburgh's offensive woes will continue on Sunday night against the Chicago Bears. Although the Vikings scored 30 points against the Bears last week, one score came on a kick return and another resulted from a fumble recovery.

By the end of Sunday, two 1-2 teams will be tied for a division lead.