It's week three of the NFL and there have been plenty of surprises already. Many people's Superbowl tips the New Orleans Saints are 0-2 after consecutive road defeats whilst the Bills and Texans have gone 2-0. How will everyone fare this week?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons : FALCONS WIN
Tampa Bay started the season with two home match ups against a Cam Newton-less Panthers and a Sam Bradford-less Rams and still they managed to lose. They are not a very good team and to make matter worse their best player on defense Gerald McCoy is out.
San Diego Chargers @ Buffalo Bills : CHARGERS WIN
The Bills may be 2-0 but I'm not buying that they are going to finish week three 3-0. The Bills biggest strength is their defense against the run but the Chargers are going to be without their best running back Ryan Matthews and instead are going to look to air the ball out. Antonio Gates and Keenan Allen should be enough to give the Chargers the win.
Tennessee Titans @ Cincinnati Bengals – BENGALS WIN
If the Titans can't beat the Cowboys at home then they aren't going to go on the road to the Bengals and win. There are some tough games to call this week but Titans at the Bengals isn't one of them.
Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions – LIONS WIN
I've talked up the Lions as a potential Superbowl dark horse. Therefore, I'm going to
stick to my guns and tip them to win an NFC North encounter at home against a Packers side that has looked vulnerable and got lucky against the Jets at home.
Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars – COLTS WIN
It's a matchup between two winless teams as the Colts head to Jacksonville and I'm tipping the Colts to win. The Jaguars offensive line is so poor that even the Colts defense should get a pass rush going whilst Andrew Luck will punish a weak Jaguars secondary.
Oakland Raiders @ New England Patriots – PATRIOTS WIN
Aside from being a terrible team this year the Raiders franchise also has a terrible record when it plays on the East coast. The Patriots will win this one comfortably. This could be the game that allows Tom Brady to get his form back.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns – BROWNS WIN
As good as the Ravens were against the Steelers last Thursday I think we have seen their best performance of the season. The Browns meanwhile are riding high after being the Saints last week and also have home advantage.
Dallas Cowboys @ St. Louis Rams – RAMS WIN
The Rams don't really have an offense now that Tavon Austin and Sam Bradford are injured but in truth they didn't really have an offense anyway before that. The Rams strength all comes from the front seven.
At home I'm backing the Rams front seven to shut down DeMarco Murray and the Cowboys rushing attack and this should allow them to squeak out a second win of the season.
Houston Texans @ New York Giants – TEXANS WIN
The idea of the Giants going 0-3 doesn't seem right but I can't for the life of me come up with a realistic scenario where the Giants offense isn't awful against J.J. Watt and the Texans defense. It should be a low scoring game but a Texans defensive shutout is quite plausible.
Minnesota Vikings @ New Orleans Saints – SAINTS WIN
The Saints may be 0-2 after playing two road games but week three sees them welcome the Vikings to the Superdome and at home the Saints are a completely different proposition. Without Adrian Peterson the Vikings don't stand a chance. The Saints will win and it'll be a blowout.
Washington @ Philadelphia Eagles – EAGLES WIN
The Jaguars made the Washington defense and Kirk Cousins look like something special last week but this week against the Eagles is when reality bites. The Eagles offense is just too quick and too powerful to be stopped by Washington.
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals – 49ERS WIN
Losing the first game at their new home Levi's Stadium, after being so far ahead, will have hurt the 49ers. I'm expecting to see a reaction that will see San Fransisco pick up a win on the road in the super tough NFC West.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Miami Dolphins – DOLPHINS WIN
Give Alex Smith his due he is great at extending plays. It seems like every pass play has Smith running out of the pocket desperately looking downfield for someone, anyone to throw to. The return of Dwayne Bowe should give Smith at least one target.
Unfortunately, though Bowe's return is coupled with the absence of Jaamal Charles who is both the Chiefs number one receiving option and number one running back.
Away on the road the Chiefs shouldn't have enough to beat the Dolphins.
Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks – SEAHAWKS WIN
It's a Superbowl rematch that for some reason isn't being put on in primetime. The Broncos have a point to prove. They aren't going to want a repeat of the Superbowl again. This game will be tighter than the previous one. In the end though home advantage should see the Seahawks to victory.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Carolina Panthers – PANTHERS WIN
In pre-season the narratives of these teams were polar opposite. The Steelers were hyped up and seen as a team on the rise. Whilst the Panthers were seen as in decline due to their lack of receivers. Well two games into the season and the Steelers look like a weak side. They only just edged the Browns at home and they were comprehensively outplayed by the Ravens. The Panthers meanwhile have won on the road without Cam Newton and they edged out a strong Lions team at home.
At home with a fit Cam Newton and a super-strong defensive front seven the Panthers
should win comfortably.
Chicago Bears @ New York Jets – JETS WIN
The Jets have been one of the teams that has impressed me the most this season. Whilst the Bears seem to be supremely hit and miss. When they are good they are great. When they are bad they lose at home to the Bills.
It will be a close game but I think the Jets will edge it for three reason. One, they're at home. Two, the Jets biggest offensive strength is the running game and the Bears run defense is spotty at best. Three, the Jets front seven seems to be able to mask the deficiencies they have at cornerback.