NFL Week 3 Picks: Predicting the Winner and Score for All Upcoming Matchups

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2020

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, right, and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) greet each other after their NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The injury bug loomed large over Week 2 of the 2020 NFL season, but it couldn't completely overshadow the tremendous football played.

The thrill ride started with Thursday night's shootout between the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals, shifted to the Dallas Cowboys' stunning comeback over the Atlanta Falcons and saw the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks go blow-for-blow Sunday night before Cam Newton's potential game-winning rush was erased at the 2-yard line.

None of this lessens the blow of the incredible rash of injuries—including Saquon Barkley and Nick Bosa both tearing ACLs—but those are unfortunate realities of the sport. Teams will scramble to make on-the-fly adjustments because the campaign waits for no one.

So, as the 32 clubs shift their focus to Week 3, we'll do the same with game-by-game score predictions and a closer look at three of the best matchups on the docket.


NFL Week 3 Score Predictions

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Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars | Jaguars 28-24

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons | Falcons 38-22

Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills | Rams 24-21

Washington at Cleveland Browns | Browns 20-13

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings | Titans 28-12

Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots | Patriots 31-28

San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants | 49ers 24-10

Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles | Eagles 20-19

Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers | Steelers 30-24

New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts | Colts 31-12

Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Chargers | Chargers 17-14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Denver Broncos | Buccaneers 30-17

Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals | Cardinals 42-20

Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks | Seahawks 31-27

Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints | Packers 34-31

Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens | Ravens 37-34


Cowboys at Seahawks

Dak Prescott has sprinted out of the gates, and the price tag on his next contract might be increasing by the minute. He has the third-highest passing yardage through two weeks (716), five combined passing and rushing scores and zero interceptions.

And somehow, he isn't the most productive passer in this matchup. That designation instead falls upon Russell Wilson, who has his fingerprints all over Seattle's 2-0 start. The 5'11" signal-caller enjoys league-best marks of 82.5 percent passing and nine aerial strikes. Even his lone interception hit off the hands of his intended target (Greg Olsen) before being snared by the defender (Devin McCourty, who took it in for six).

"Honestly, I think he's in a way maybe underrated by the media or the fans, I don't know," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick told reporters on Thursday. "I don't really see anybody better than this player."

This game won't just be decided by the quarterbacks, of course. Ezekiel Elliott sits third in rushing yards (185). DK Metcalf is second in yards per reception (23.4). Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith is tied for third in tackles (23).

Having said that, this is a quarterback-driven league, and this game will feature two of the league's premier passers.


Packers at Saints

At some point, the biological clocks of 36-year-old Aaron Rodgers and 41-year-old Drew Brees will catch up to them. We're not there yet.

Brees just delivered his first 300-yard performance of the season during Monday's 34-24 loss to the Raiders. While the veteran hasn't been quite as machine-like as we've become accustomed to, he's still connecting on 64.7 percent of his passes with three touchdowns against a single pick.

Rodgers, meanwhile, is busy throwing his hat into the MVP race. The Packers are 2-0 with a plus-30 point differential, and their quarterback has plenty to do with this sizzling start. He's 50-of-74 so far (67.6 percent) with six touchdown passes, nary an interception and just one sack.

Any time Brees and Rodgers lock horns, you're looking at a can't-miss matchup. What makes this extra intriguing, though, is that the running back battle is arguably just as good. Aaron Jones leads all players with 234 rushing yards, and three of his 34 carries have found the end zone. Alvin Kamara already has 241 scrimmage yards and four scores.

In other words, good luck to either defensive coordinator getting much sleep this week.


Chiefs at Ravens

As juicy as the quarterback matchups are in the first two games we detailed, nothing approaches this contest.

Lamar Jackson is the reigning MVP. Patrick Mahomes took home the hardware the season prior. The way they have started, both can expect to be in the thick of the award race again this year.

Mahomes has 513 passing yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions. Jackson has paired his 479 passing yards (on 77.6 percent passing, no less) and four scores with another 99 yards on the ground.

"I hate playing against him, to be honest, and I'm not even on defense," Jackson said at the 101 Awards in February. "He's gonna keep scoring, and I'm like, 'Now we gotta go score.'"

The weekend forecast in Baltimore is calling for lots of fireworks and a nail-biting outcome. The Chiefs and Ravens have squared off in each of the past two seasons, and the two contests were decided by a total of eight points.