NFL Week 3: Chris J. Nelson's Week Three Game Predictions
I actually went 15-1 on the picks I wrote about last week, but somehow in my actual Yahoo! Pick'Em league, I had Miami selected instead of Houston like I intended. That being the case, I'm only giving myself credit as 14-2 in Week 2. Hopefully I can keep up that momentum this week, although Week 3 seems to have a number of difficult games to predict.
Last week's record: 14-2
2011 season record: 22-10 (68.8%)
Patriots over Bills — The Bills appear to be for real with two impressive offensive performances. That being said, I don't see them topping the best team in the league right now. Tom Brady should lead the Patriots to victory once again.
Bengals over 49ers — I'm not sold on the Bengals being even an average team yet, but Andy Dalton and A. J. Green have caught on quicker than expected. I'll take them at home in Cincinnati over an unimpressive Niners squad.
Dolphins over Browns — Logic says the Browns are the better team and have homefield advantage, but my gut likes Miami in this one. I don't see this veteran defense letting the team go 0-3, and I expect Chad Henne and the Dolphins offense to continue making strides.
Titans over Broncos — Matt Hasselbeck is performing better than I would have thought even though Chris Johnson hasn't even contributed much yet. That, combined with a Titans defense playing well, is why I am picking Tennessee in this one.
Lions over Vikings — It's been so long since Detroit should be an obvious favorite, and I'm still hesitating to even pick them because of past history. That being said, a lot of the pieces are coming together right now, and I can't pick against them as they play a pretty unimpressive Vikings team.
Panthers over Jaguars — I'm still not on the Cam Newton bandwagon and he certainly isn't beyond making mistakes, but he has shown the ability to pass downfield, and the Jaguars' secondary is horrendous. With Jacksonville starting an even less-experienced quarterback in Blaine Gabbert, I'll take the Panthers here.
Ravens over Rams — Baltimore shocked us all after getting embarrassed by the Titans in Week 2, but they're a much better team than that. St. Louis just isn't there yet and is still battling key injuries, so I have to go with the Ravens.
Chargers over Chiefs — Perhaps no NFL team has looked worse in 2011 than the defending AFC West champions, while San Diego's offense continues to fire on all cylinders. I don't see any way Kansas City wins this one, especially now that Jamaal Charles is done for the season.
Packers over Bears — The clash between these two old rivals almost always produces a quality game, and the Bears are certainly an above average team. The defending Super Bowl champs have just been so impressive, though, and I really can't pick against them.
Cardinals over Seahawks — Seattle is a mess right now, plain and simple. Arizona may not be much better, but they at least have a quarterback with potential and a play-making receiver to help him. I like the Cardinals here.
Falcons over Buccaneers — This is one of the hardest games to pick, because Tampa Bay is certainly capable of holding their own against the Falcons and they usually do well against them at home. Still, I like Atlanta a little better as a team, so I'll go with them.
Steelers over Colts — Indianapolis made some slight improvements in Week 2, but they are still a bottom-feeder of a franchise without Peyton Manning. The Steelers aren't perfect, but they should still destroy the Colts.
Cowboys over Redskins — I've always been a Tony Romo fan, and you can't deny his comeback performance with broken ribs and a punctured lung last week was incredible. I expect him to be under center in Week 3 and turn in another impressive performance despite not being 100 percent.
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Chris J. Nelson majored in journalism at Georgia State University and currently works for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.
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