NFL Game Picks: Week 3
Host Logan Bourandas and analysts David Fortunato, Charlie Murray and Eric Fenstermaker dive into the biggest matchups for Week 3 of the NFL season. They give their picks on who will win these great matchups.
Miami Dolphins (0-2) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)
With both teams coming off tough losses, the Dolphins and Jaguars look to get back in the win column on Thursday night. Miami is coming off a 31-28 heartbreaker in Buffalo, while Jacksonville comes into Thursday off the heels of a tough 33-30 loss against the Titans.
Although these aren’t the deepest rosters in the league facing off this week, Jacksonville has the advantage, simply because of quarterback Gardner Minshew’s incredible competitiveness.
Prediction: Jaguars 30, Dolphins 25
Chicago Bears (2-0) vs. Atlanta Falcons (0-2)
Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears are coming off a solid 17-13 win against the New York Giants, but there are still some concerns about this team, specifically on the defensive side of the ball. Trubisky only completed 18 out his 38 pass attempts for 192 yards, and the Bears only scored 17 points against the Giants’ mediocre defense.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta Falcons are coming off another devastating loss to the Dallas Cowboys after blowing a 29-10 lead and losing 40-39 on a game-winning field goal by Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein.
This week, Atlanta’s defense will step up and stop Trubisky and the Bears’ offense enough to get a win.
Prediction: Falcons 29, Bears 20
Los Angeles Rams (2-0) vs. Buffalo Bills (2-0)
Two of the remaining undefeated teams take the field Sunday, as the Rams face the Bills in Buffalo this week. Bills quarterback Josh Allen has looked like a star through two weeks, but he faces his toughest test yet in a talented Rams defense that features one of the best defensive duos in the league with defensive tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Despite Allen’s red-hot start to the season, the Rams’ stifling defense hasn’t allowed more than 20 points yet, and the Bills will fall victim to that trend.
Prediction: Rams 28, Bills 18
Washington Football Team (1-1) vs. Cleveland Browns (1-1)
It’s a battle of former college rivals, as Dwayne Haskins Jr. and the Washington Football Team face off against Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns.
Haskins and his squad are coming off a deflating 30-15 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, while the Browns are rolling offensively after a 35-30 bounce-back win against Cincinnati.
The Browns’ balanced offensive approach will keep Washington’s defense guessing and will power Mayfield and company to a win.
Prediction: Browns 30, Washington 23
Tennessee Titans (2-0) vs. Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
In Week 2, Tennessee survived a scare from the Jaguars, winning 33-30, while the Vikings suffered a 28-11 loss to Indianapolis.
Although the Titans have taken a step back on defense, their offense is firing on all cylinders, with quarterback Ryan Tannehill passing for four touchdowns last week. Expect a similar performance from Tannehill this week against an inexperienced Vikings secondary.
Prediction: Titans 35, Vikings 17
Las Vegas Raiders (2-0) vs. New England Patriots (1-1)
The Las Vegas Raiders are the most surprising team this year, as Derek Carr has regained his 2016 MVP candidate form, and head coach Jon Gruden has figured out how to utilize his offense.
They head to New England to take on Cam Newton and the Patriots, which are coming off a devastating 35-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Despite Newton’s incredible season thus far, New England is far too depleted of weapons on both sides, and the Raiders have too much momentum. Las Vegas gets to 3-0.
Prediction: Raiders 37, Patriots 28
San Francisco 49ers (2-0) vs. New York Giants (0-2)
Despite San Francisco’s undefeated record, Week 2 turned out to be an absolute mess for the 49ers. The team lost defensive end Nick Bosa for the season due to a torn ACL and lost star quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman for multiple weeks due to injuries.
However, the New York Giants are playing without their star running back, Saquon Barkley. The Giants lost Barkley for the rest of the season due to a torn ACL. The 49ers will take advantage, as incredible coaching will propel them to a win.
Prediction: 49ers 20, Giants 17
Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2)
Coming into Week 3, the Bengals are looking to bounce back from a 35-30 loss to the aforementioned Browns, while the Eagles are attempting to put their season back together after an embarrassing 37-19 loss to the Rams.
Joe Burrow has looked like the franchise star that Cincinnati has waited for, but Carson Wentz has mightily struggled this season, and his abysmal performance in Week 2 does not give any confidence the Eagles will win this game.
Momentum and confidence from Burrow will translate to a win, sending the Eagles plummeting to 0-3 on the season.
Prediction: Bengals 35, Eagles 20
Houston Texans (0-2) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0)
Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans try to snatch their first win of the season against a thriving Pittsburgh defense spearheaded by defensive end T.J. Watt, who is off to another great start in his third season. The Texans are reeling from a 33-17 loss to the Ravens, while the Steelers are continuing to ascend the ladder of the AFC after a 26-21 win against Denver.
Although Watson is the more athletic, younger quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger and this Steelers team are too complete and well-built to lose this game.
Houston will fall to 0-3, but expect Watson to pull off some heroics to keep the game close.
Prediction: Steelers 28, Texans 20
New York Jets (0-3) vs. Indianapolis Colts (1-1)
The New York Jets come into Lucas Oil Stadium looking to pull off an upset against the Indianapolis Colts. The Jets continued their march of misery in Week 2 with a 31-13 loss to the 49ers, and now, they face a Colts team that’s rolling after a 28-11 win against Minnesota.
Head coach Frank Reich’s game plan of utilizing a running game and relying on a stingy defense will lead the Colts to an easy win.
Prediction: Colts 27, Jets 10
Carolina Panthers (0-2) vs. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1)
Despite the winless record, the Carolina Panthers have been competitive in both weeks, but that was with superstar running back Christian McCaffrey, who was another victim of an injury-riddled Week 2 across the NFL.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Chargers put up a fight against Kansas City last week with Justin Herbert starting under center in place of Tyrod Taylor due to a chest injury. Herbert was flinging the ball all over the field while using his legs to extend plays and pick up first downs.
Taylor’s injury will keep him out indefinitely, and the addition of Herbert will be a shot of adrenaline to this offense.
Prediction: Chargers 27, Panthers 20
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) vs. Denver Broncos (0-2)
With a bounce-back win against the Panthers in Week 2, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers turn their attention to an injury-riddled Denver Broncos team. In Week 2, Denver lost franchise stars Drew Lock and Courtland Sutton to injuries.
Tampa Bay is locked in, and a motivated Brady will easily dispatch what's left of Denver’s roster.
Prediction: Buccaneers 35, Denver 10
Detroit Lions (0-2) vs. Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
The Matthew Stafford-led Lions come into Week 3 winless after losing to the Packers in a 42-21 demolition. This week, it doesn’t get easier for head coach Matt Patricia and his squad, as they go up against an explosive Arizona Cardinals team that is coming off a 30-15 win against Washington and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down any time soon.
Arizona’s Kyler Murray and star receiver DeAndre Hopkins are going to carve up this Detroit defense, but the Lions will put up points.
Prediction: Cardinals 38, Lions 32
Dallas Cowboys (1-1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (2-0)
In one of the shockers of the young season, the Dallas Cowboys rallied for a massive comeback win against the Falcons in a game where quarterback Dak Prescott accounted for 468 yards and four total touchdowns.
On the other hand, the Seattle Seahawks held off the New England Patriots, thanks to a defensive stop at the goal line, so both teams have momentum going into this game. But Russell Wilson has proven that he can win by himself, and he’ll get his Seahawks to 3-0.
Prediction: Seahawks 37, Cowboys 30
Green Bay Packers (2-0) vs. New Orleans Saints (1-1)
Two legendary quarterbacks square off in one of the most anticipated matchups of the season, as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers go into New Orleans looking to beat Drew Brees and the Saints. The Packers are coming off a great win over the Lions, and Rodgers has looked like an MVP in the early weeks of the season.
Meanwhile, Brees and the Saints offense struggled last week against the Raiders without star receiver Michael Thomas, absent due to a foot injury. Expect Green Bay to take advantage if Thomas misses again.
Prediction: Packers 38, Saints 33
Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) vs. Baltimore Ravens (2-0)
Two AFC titans collide on Monday Night Football, as Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs roll into Baltimore after a win against the Chargers to play Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, which are coming off a win over the Texans.
With both teams getting the same amount of rest, this will be an even game, and there will be plenty of offensive fireworks. If this game does turn out to be a shootout, expect Patrick Mahomes to work his magic and steal a win.
Prediction: Chiefs 45, Ravens 43
Matthew McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.