NFL Week 3 Game Picks
After a wild weekend in Week 2 resulted in several close games and last-second wins, the dust has settled. Teams are starting to get a sense of identity and are looking to keep themselves in postseason contention. Week 3 brings several games that have big implications, so here are our staff's predictions on how things will shake out this week.
Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) @ New York Jets (1-1), (NYJ +5), Sunday 1:00
After the incredible comeback win against the Browns, the Jets will come home to host the struggling Bengals. The biggest story of this game will be whether the Jets pass rush can get to Joe Burrow before he can get the ball to that scary wide receiver trio. Burrow has been sacked 13 times this season and is on pace to be sacked over 100 times this year.
The Robert Saleh defense’s heart and soul comes through man defense and getting to the quarterback, so if they can stifle the Bengals offense this game is winnable for New York.
Looking at the other side of the ball Joe Flacco and the Jets offense are starting to click after that Cleveland game, so expect the Jets to utilize everyone possible in the skill positions to try to earn themselves a winning record.
My prediction (Joey David): Jets: 31, Bengals: 28
Buffalo Bills (2-0) @ Miami Dolphins (2-0), (MIA +6), Sunday 1:00
Two of the hottest teams out of the game face off in an AFC East matchup that should be entertaining to say the least. The Bills look unstoppable on offense, defense and special teams so far and it is now up to Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel and company to find a way how.
The bread and butter of the Dolphins offense has been to throw it to their two speedsters in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle and throw it often. With Buffalo’s secondary being quite thin as Dane Jackson and Micah Hyde were injured in their previous game, the receiver duo has a chance to explode in this game.
Dolphins corner Xavien Howard has a big task at hand for him as he will have to cover Stefon Diggs who has been virtually unstoppable so far this season. This game is going to be a battle of offense even though both teams have strong defenses.
My prediction (Joey David): Bills: 44, Dolphins: 31
Detroit Lions (1-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-1), (MIN -6), Sunday 1:00
In both games so far for the Vikings, the losing team has been held to seven points, but that is going to change this week. The Vikings are coming off a rough loss to the Eagles in which Monday Night Football Kirk Cousins was in full effect. Expect the Vikings to bounce back in a big way this week given the game is played on Sunday.
The winner of this game will come from whichever number one receiver (Justin Jefferson or Amon-Ra St. Brown) can wreak more havoc. Even though Jefferson was quiet against the Eagles last week, expect a bounce back this week.
My Prediction (Joey David): Vikings: 27, Lions: 20
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) @ Denver Broncos (1-1), (DEN +1.5), Sunday 8:20
Sometimes storylines write themselves as quarterback Trey Lance is out for the season, insert Jimmy Garoppolo who is familiar with this offense already and should be a seamless transition for the 49ers. With a roster as talented as the 49ers have and an experienced quarterback in now, do not be surprised when they start stringing together good wins.
There have been growing pains under the Nathaniel Hackett administration regarding his choices of how he manages games and I expect more here this week with a talented 49ers team. What Denver has going for them is having Russell Wilson at quarterback who is more than familiar with San Francisco. Expect Wilson to have a big game as long as the coaching staff will let him cook.
My prediction (Joey David): 49ers: 28, Broncos: 20
Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) @ Washington Commanders (1-1), (WAS +6.5), Sunday 1:00
The Philadelphia Eagles are coming off a blistering start after dismantling the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. Both sides of the ball have been extremely impressive, and they have quickly jumped up the power rankings.
The Commanders are trying to follow up their loss this Sunday against the Detroit Lions. They got off to a poor start in this game, trailing 22-0. After the first half. They were able to claw back, but ultimately fell short in the end, losing by nine.
The main talking point of this game revolves around Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz, as he faces his former team for the first time Sunday. This will be both teams' first divisional game of the season, a game which will be filled with emotions.
My prediction (Brady McCormick): Eagles: 31, Commanders: 20
Baltimore Ravens (1-1) @ New England Patriots (1-1), (NE +3), Sunday 1:00
The Baltimore Ravens are in need of bounce-back win after blowing a 21-point lead against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The offense started very strong, boosting the Ravens out to a 35-14 lead through three quarters. The fourth quarter though was all Miami, outscoring Baltimore 28-3.
The New England Patriots looked stout in their 17-14 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend. The Patriots defense looked solid, holding Steelers star running back Najee Harris to only 3.3 yards per carry. New England will look to continue this type of production, as they try to find their offense.
Both teams come into this game at 1-1 and will look to grab this all-important victory in week three.
My prediction (Brady McCormick): Ravens: 27, Patriots: 17
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) @ Los Angeles Chargers (1-1), (LA –7), Sunday 4:05
The Jacksonville Jaguars turned some heads through the first two weeks after shutting out the Indianapolis Colts 24-0 on Sunday. The lead they built up throughout forced the Colts to pass the ball and shy away from star running back Johnathon Taylor. Taylor only had 10 touches and was a non-factor in the game. Jacksonville quarterback Trevor Lawrence looks primed for a solid sophomore season and will look to get a big win on the back of last week.
Coming off a ten day lay-off after playing the Kansas City Chiefs last Thursday night, the Chargers should be well-prepared for a matchup with a confident Jaguars group. Chargers quarterback, Justin Herbert, injured his ribs during Thursday’s game but signs are pointing towards him being healthy for this matchup. Wide Receiver Keenan Allen’s status is still in question after missing last week, but the hope is he’ll play.
This matchup is crucial as both the Jaguars and Chargers will look to make a mark in their division. Both divisions these teams are in will most likely be very competitive, so every game is very significant.
My prediction (Brady McCormick): Chargers: 35, Jaguars: 17
Green Bay Packers (1-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0), (TB –1.5), Sunday 4:25
At the start of this season, many questions surrounded the Green Bay Packers with the departure of their star wide receiver Davante Adams. Through the first two weeks, we’ve seen the clear effect of his departure. They did, however, pick up a very important victory Sunday night against the Chicago Bears. Both sides of the ball looked solid, and Packers running back Aaron Jones had a field-day totaling 170 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. The packers should feel much more confident heading into this week.
After an interesting offseason highlighted by the retirement then unretirement of quarterback Tom Brady, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers look strong as ever. Unfortunately, this upcoming week they will be without wide receiver Mike Evans due to suspension. Wide receiver Chris Godwin’s status is also in doubt as he’s been dealing with an ongoing hamstring injury. Look for the Buccaneers to get the run game going this week and rely on their world-class defense to win this game
This game should be a thriller, with Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady set to square-off for another battle. Expect a lower-scoring game as both teams are lacking weapons for these quarterbacks.
Prediction (Brady McCormick): Packers: 21, Buccaneers: 20
Las Vegas Raiders (0-2) @ Tennessee Titans (0-2), (TEN +2), Sunday 1:00
Both of these teams are coming off of extremely disappointing losses, but in very different fashions. The Raiders had a big lead on the Cardinals before letting Kyler Murray look like he was playing a video game out there and leading a comeback in OT.
The Titans ran into the buzz saw that is the Buffalo Bills on Monday night and got absolutely demolished. Both of these teams have been very disappointing thus far, but I trust the Raiders and Derek Carr to right the ship much more than I do Tannehill going forward.
Look for the Raiders to get Adams much more involved this week after a down game against Ariona. The Raiders will load the box against Derrick Henry, so the performance of their corners will be pivotal.
My Prediction (Jameson Kramer): Raiders: 30, Titans: 17
New Orleans Saints (1-1) @ Carolina Panthers (0-2), (CAR +3), Sunday 1:00
The Saints defense has been spectacular to this point in the season, and their next test will be a familiar foe, Christian McCaffery.
Coming off an extremely disappointing offensive performance last week against the Buccaneers, Jameis and the Saints need to get back on track quickly, but it won’t be easy against a division opponent with a good young defense.
The Panthers have lost both games so far against two teams that are worse than the Saints, so expect that trend to continue this week. This is a division game, so it will be close, but the Saints just have too much offensive talent to lose to the Panthers.
My Prediction (Jameson Kramer): Saints: 24, Panthers: 20
Houston Texans (0-1-1) @ Chicago Bears (1-1), (CHI –2.5), Sunday 1:00
The Houston Texans have kept both games so far much closer than many might have thought, taking the Colts to a tie and hanging with the Broncos for much of the game, but haven’t been able to close out games.
The Bears had a disappointing performance on SNF against their rival Packers after a surprising week one victory against the 49ers in a monsoon.
This is a battle of two second-year quarterbacks performing above expectation thus far, but I trust Justin Fields a bit more to make something out of nothing in a game where both teams are lacking in skill position talent.
My Prediction (Jameson Kramer): Bears: 26, Texans: 23
Dallas Cowboys (1-1) @ New York Giants (2-0), (NYG –1), Monday 8:15
The big story for Dallas last week was how they overcame injuries in their win over the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals. Quarterback Cooper Rush started in the absence of Dak Prescott, and played just good enough to win on Sunday, the Cowboys were also without WR Michael Gallup, OT Tyron Smith, and S Jayron Kearse.
The Giants have found a way to win close games two weeks in a row, in large part due to their first-year head coach Brian Daboll’s decision making, and the re-emergence of star RB Saquon Barkley.
The Cowboys have owned the Giants in recent years, but without Dak Prescott I can’t see them stringing together back-to-back winning performances. The one reason the Cowboys have a chance in this game is Micah Parsons, who absolutely took over last week against the Bengals.
My Prediction (Jameson Kramer): Giants: 20, Cowboys: 17
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) @ Cleveland Browns (1-1), (CLE –4.5) Thursday 8:15
The Steelers lost a defensive battle to the Patriots in week 2. The Steelers defense was still stout without TJ Watt, but the offense remains a glaring concern. Mitch Trubisky only threw for 168 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception, and Najee Harris only rushed for 49 yards on 15 carries.
The Browns are coming off an awful loss to the Jets after they practically had the game won. Jacoby Brisset played alright and helped manage the game, but Nick Chubb dominated in the run game with 3 touchdowns. The Browns should have won this game but blown coverages and a successful onside kick for the Jets did them in.
This is an early divisional game that could go either way. These teams are very alike as they have great defenses and mediocre quarterback play. If the Steelers had TJ Watt back, it would be a different story, but I am going to go with the Browns with a close one at home.
My Prediction (Jake Hernick): Browns: 27, Steelers: 24
Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) @ Indianapolis Colts (0-2), (IND +6.5), Sunday 1:00
The Chiefs are riding high into week 3 after a big-time win against the Chargers. The Chiefs have been firing on all cylinders as the offense seems to be fine without Tyreek Hill and the defense is coming up big when they need to.
Heading into the season, I’m sure the Colts did not expect to be 0-2 going into week 3. After losing 24-0 to the Jaguars, and with Matt Ryan throwing for 195 yards and 3 interceptions, the Colts need to do some soul searching.
I expect the Chiefs to stay hot and although Michael Pittman should be back for the Colts, I see no way that Matt Ryan can keep up with Patrick Mahomes.
My Prediction (Jake Hernick): Chiefs- 35, Colts- 10
Atlanta Falcons (0-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (1-1), (SEA –2), Sunday 4:25
The Atlanta Falcons are coming into Seattle looking for their first win, and this may be their best shot. Although they are winless, the Falcons have things to look forward to as rookie wide receiver Drake London had his coming out party in a close loss to the reigning Superbowl champions.
The Seattle Seahawks had an underwhelming performance against the 49ers after they were fresh off a revenge game win against Russell Wilson and the Broncos in week 1. The Seahawk's offense was nonexistent, and their only touchdown came from special teams.
This could be a low-scoring game as both teams have run-heavy offenses. If the Seahawks want to win games with their offense, they have to let Geno Smith stretch the field because the short dump-offs will not win games. Hence, I see the Falcons getting their first win and playing a complete game against their weakest opponent they have faced so far this year.
My Prediction (Jake Hernick): Falcons: 21, Seahawks: 13
Los Angeles Rams (1-1) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-1), (AZ +3.5), Sunday 4:25
In week 2, the Rams withstood a Falcons comeback and improved to 1-1. Cooper Kupp remained dominant with 11 receptions for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Allen Robinson was finally integrated into the offense after a lack of involvement in week 1. Matthew Stafford threw for 3 touchdowns but was still careless with the ball as he threw 2 interceptions, adding up to 5 in two weeks.
The Arizona Cardinals miraculously came away with a win in week 2 thanks to Kyler Murray. The Cardinals started off slow and dug themselves into a 20-point deficit to the Raiders. They began to get some stops on defense, but it was Kyler Murray who put the team on his back and led them to an overtime victory
In a divisional fight, I see this game being decided by the defense. The Rams haven’t been the same defense as of late, but I see that changing this week. Additionally, the Cardinals are weak in the cornerback room, and going up against Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson is a tough task. I’m taking the Rams as a statement game for the NFC West.
My Prediction (Jake Hernick): Rams: 31, Cardinals: 20
Joey David is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brady McCormick is a third-year majoring in Telecommunications. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Jameson Kramer is a fourth-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jake Hernick is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Sophomore / Broadcast Journalism
Joey David is a second-year student from North Caldwell, New Jersey. Joey has media experience in CentreNewsDigest and is looking to continue to add as much experience as possible.
Freshman / Broadcast Journalism
Jake Hernick is a freshman from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Jake is pursuing a career in broadcast journalism with hopes of becoming a sports broadcaster or sports talk show host.