NFL Week 3 Predictions
Published: Saturday, September 22, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 23, 2012 22:09
Let's just get this out of the way now, the New York Giants are the most unpredictable team in the NFL. When you expect them to win (opening night) they come out and look terrible. Last week against Tampa Bay they played an atrocious first half then hung 28 points on the Bucs in two quarters for the win. So heading into Thursday Night, who knew what team to expect? But in typical Giants fashion, they came out and played their tough defense, leading New York to a 36-7 victory over the Panthers.
I'll shamefully admit that I thought they would lose that game, but they clearly proved me wrong. So without further ado, here are the rest of my predictions for all this week's action.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) at Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
The best word to describe the Cowboys is inconsistent. Just like the Giants, you could never be sure what to expect from Dallas. Tampa Bay has its flaws, too, but Josh Freeman and the Bucs have shown improvement under new head coach Greg Schiano this season. As for the numbers, Dallas hasn't lost to Tampa since 2003. Cowboys win a sloppy one at home.
Atlanta Falcons (2-0) at San Diego Chargers (2-0)
This might be a little premature, but the Falcons look like one of the best teams in the league after beating Denver last week. And yes, the Chargers are also undefeated but their wins haven't been as convincing. With New Orleans struggling, these early wins will be crucial for Atlanta down the stretch. Falcons win a close one in San Diego.
Houston Texans (2-0) at Denver Broncos (1-1)
If there's one quarterback the Texans are used to it's Peyton Manning. They were surely glad to see him leave the division, but they still get their chance at him this season. Besides their overall records, both of these teams matchup almost identically on paper which should make for a great game. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Manning is 0-5 with three interceptions on passes of more than 20 yards this season. Look for him to snap out of that this Sunday and lead the Broncos to a huge win over one of the best teams in the NFL. Denver wins a tough one at home.
GAME OF THE WEEK: New England Patriots (1-1) at Baltimore Ravens (1-1) Sunday Night Football
Both teams are coming off losses in games that they should've won, but who wants it more? There's no doubt the Ravens will be fired up for a Sunday Night game at home. Then again, look who's across the field. The Brady Bunch is missing a crucial piece of their offense and that will play a big role in this game. Deion Branch will have a big impact on New England's offense, but not this week. Ravens get a statement win over the Patriots.
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-1)
Winning streak for the Colts, anyone? Bueller? Okay, maybe not. The Jaguars need Blaine Gabbert and Maurice Jones-Drew to show up in the same game. This Sunday will be that game. Jacksonville wins a hard fought game on the road.
Buffalo Bills (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-2)
Brandon Weeden is slowly improving and the Buffalo Bills will not help that process. Bills win easily in Cleveland.
New York Jets (1-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-1)
Reggie Bush ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns last week against Oakland, but that's not happening against the Jets' defense. Jets win easily in Florida.
Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) at New Orleans Saints (0-2)
The main reason both of these teams are searching for their first win is because of the horrible defense they've been playing. But despite the bounty scandal and absence of Sean Payton, we all know what Drew Brees is capable of. He's clearly out-of-character this season, but a matchup against a team that's been playing as bad might just be what he needs to turn things around. Big, emotional win for the Saints at home.
Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) at Washington Redskins (1-1)
Robert Griffin III has had an impressive couple of games but the Redskins problems aren't on offense. Losing linebacker Brian Orakpo and defensive end Adam Carriker for the season will have a huge effect on Washinton's run defense, which benefits BenJarvus Green-Ellis and the Bengals.Cincinnati wins a tough one on the road.
St. Louis Rams (1-1) at Chicago Bears (1-1)
Last week was a performance that Jay Cutler probably wants to forget about, but has he? Throwing four interceptions isn't that easy to overcome. Luckily for the Bears, St. Louis defense shouldn't cause that many problems. With Matt Forte out due to injury and Steven Jackson being a game-time decision, this game could go either way. I'll give the advantage to the home team. Bears win a sloppy one in Soldier Field.
San Francisco 49ers (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
It's a homecoming party for Randy Moss, but really none of that actually matters. San Francisco is the best team in the NFL and the Vikings are far from that. Simple enough. San Fran remains undefeated.
Detroit Lions (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (0-2)
Do you guys still think Chris Johnson is one of the best running backs in the league? Expect Calvin Johnson to score his first touchdown of the season this Sunday. And maybe his second. And his third. Lions win big on the road.