NFL Picks Week 3: Can Eagles Dominate Jaguars With Michael Vick at QB?
NFL Picks Week 3 has arrived and presents interesting challenges to handicappers looking to make accurate picks.
The Cowboys head to Houston to face the Texans in a game that could shatter the scoreboard. Could one of the more trendy Super Bowl picks in the NFC really start the season with three losses?
Elsewhere, another trendy NFC team has started the season with two wins but faces a big challenge on Monday Night. Helped by the dominant performance of Clay Matthews, Green Bay's defense will need to slow down Jay Cutler and the Bears' surprisingly productive offense.
On the AFC side, the Jets head to Miami to battle the Dolphins in a pivotal early-season AFC East clash.
Here's a look at how all 16 games in Week 3 could play out.
Tennessee at New York Giants, 1 PM EST CBS
Why the Giants Will Win: Tennessee's dreadful performance last week against the Steelers at home is difficult to forget. Now, with both teams coming off disappointing losses, the Giants look to circle the wagons and take to the air against the Titans. Tom Coughlin has called for more leadership from his veterans, and he gets it as the G Men win.
Score: New York Giants 24, Tennessee 13
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, 1 PM EST CBS
Why the Steelers Will Win: Charlie Batch might not even throw for 200 yards, but it won't matter with the Steelers defense playing like the best unit in football. Josh Freeman has improved, but Tampa's 2-0 start still looks like a mirage.
Score: Pittsburgh 13, Tampa Bay 10
Cincinnati at Carolina, 1 PM EST CBS
Why the Bengals Will Win: Facing a rookie quarterback will offer a nice respite for the Bengals defense. After getting destroyed by Tom Brady in Week 1, 'Nati made Joe Flacco look silly in the Week 2 win. Jimmy Clausen struggles in his first career NFL start, and Carson Palmer helps the offense produce an easy win.
Score: Cincinnati 27, Carolina 13
Cleveland at Baltimore, 1 PM EST CBS
Why the Ravens Will Win: The Browns could really use Kevin Kolb. The offense hasn't been able to make nearly enough plays to get the job done, putting all the pressure on the defense. Joe Flacco's struggles early this season will be forgotten after Baltimore's offense explodes.
Score: Baltimore 28, Cleveland 9
Dallas at Houston, 1 PM EST FOX
Why the Cowboys Will Win: This might not be a trendy pick, but the Cowboys certainly have the firepower to hang with the Texans. If Tony Romo gets protection, Dallas should have no problem keeping up with Matt Schaub and the Texans.
Score: Dallas 37, Houston 31
San Francisco at Kansas City, 1 PM EST FOX
Why the 49ers Will Win: Alex Smith showed something late in the loss to the Saints, and the 49ers offense should be able to carry the momentum into Kansas City and the frenzied crowd at Arrowhead. The Chiefs are 2-0 and have gotten improved play from the defense this season, but Matt Cassel is still performing poorly at quarterback.
Score: San Francisco 24, Kansas City 20
Detroit at Minnesota, 1 PM EST FOX
Why the Vikings Will Win: As long as Adrian Peterson is in the backfield, the Vikings have a huge advantage against the Lions. With Brett Favre struggling and Hank Baskett joining the receiving corps instead of Vincent Jackson, the Vikes will lean on A.P. Sunday. Jahvid Best has another nice game for Detroit, but Minnesota wins fairly easily.
Score: Minnesota 31, Detroit 16
Buffalo at New England, 1 PM EST CBS
Why the Patriots Will Win: New England’s running game is shaping up to be nothing short of awful this season, but the Pats should be able to move the chains by throwing the ball Sunday. Rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez is coming off a 100-yard game against the Jets and could have another big game.
Score: New England 34, Buffalo 10
Atlanta at New Orleans, 1 PM EST FOX
Why the Falcons Will Win: Atlanta is one of the more underrated teams in the NFL, and the Saints might be dealing with a hangover of sorts after the big win Monday night over the 49ers. If the Falcons find a way to run the ball and control the clock, a win is a strong possibility.
Score: Atlanta 24, New Orleans 23
Washington at Saint Louis, 4:05 EST FOX
Why the Redskins Will Win: Sam Bradford doesn’t have much of a chance to succeed during his rookie season, but the rookie has acquitted himself well in the first two games. The Redskins defensive line should be able to dominate against Saint Louis, leading Washington to an easy road win. The Redskins might even be able to establish the run in Week 3, taking pressure off Donovan McNabb and the passing game.
Score: Washington 24, Saint Louis 9
Philadelphia at Jacksonville, 4:05 EST FOX
Why the Eagles Will Win: It is Michael Vick’s team now, and the Eagles offense should have no problem moving the ball against the Jaguars. Meanwhile, David Garrard is coming off one of the worst performances of his career against the Chargers. LeSean McCoy has a huge game, and Philadelphia pulls away late for a fairly dominant road win.
Score: Philadelphia 30, Jacksonville 14
Oakland at Arizona, 4:15 EST CBS
Why the Raiders Will Win: Oakland has a quarterback controversy and still needs help on the offensive line. Despite the traditional shortcomings of the Raiders, one thing has changed this season. Darren McFadden is finally healthy and starting to look like he can emerge as one of the better running backs in the NFL. The Max Hall rumors get even louder after Derek Anderson struggles against the Raiders D in a loss.
Score: Oakland 23, Arizona 17
San Diego at Seattle, 4:15 PM EST CBS
Why the Chargers Will Win: Ryan Mathews is ailing with an ankle injury, but Darren Sproles and Mike Tolbert should be able to shoulder the load Sunday. Philip Rivers has another 300-yard game and the Chargers hold off the feisty Seahawks.
Score: San Diego 27, Seattle 17
Indianapolis at Denver, 4:15 PM EST CBS
Why the Colts Will Win: The Colts offense has looked tremendous this season and got the running game going against the Giants in Week 2. The Broncos won’t have a chance Sunday unless Knowshon Moreno runs wild against the porous Indy run defense.
Score: Indianapolis 31, Denver 16
New York Jets at Miami, 8:20 PM EST NBC
Why the Dolphins Will Win: Miami is flying under the radar despite starting the season with two road wins. Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall should flourish Sunday night, and the Dolphins defense will make life difficult for Mark Sanchez. New York starts the season 1-2 with a loss in a low-scoring game.
Score: Miami 13, New York Jets 10
Green Bay at Chicago, 8:30 PM ESPN
Why the Bears Will Win: Chicago’s defense has been almost as surprising as its offense early in the season. Brian Urlacher looks like his old self and the pricey addition of Julius Peppers is already paying dividends. Green Bay struggles to run the ball and commits an untimely turnover as the Bears win in a close game.
Score: Chicago 20, Green Bay 17
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