Before we get into our predictions let us take a look at how our writers did on their picks last week:
Ismael Diaz: 12-3
Nick LoPrinzi: 11-4
Joe Toscano: 11-4
J.J. Wrobel: 0-0
Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers
Let me start off by saying that this is one horrendous Thursday Night game. However, I think this is the Rams’ game to lose. They have looked much better than I have anticipated and the 49ers look awful. Jared Goff was the man in their week one win, while in their week two lost Todd Gurley was the guy to talk about. Last week, Gurley had two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) and 136 total yards. The 49ers have been killed by the run game in their first two weeks, so I expect more of the same in this one. The key for the Rams will be stopping Carlos Hyde, who had 124 rushing yards against the Seahawks last week.
Score: Rams 23, 49ers 14
We got Jared Goff, the young gun on the rise, and Brian Hoyer, playing for his job. It seems as if the Rams are finally bringing it all together with an impressive first two games. The 49ers offense… not so much. The 49ers are still searching for their first touchdown of the season.
Rams 24, 49ers 13
I would rather watch an actual ram fight a miner than watch this game. The Rams defense will overwhelm the 49ers offense and the Rams will score just enough.
Score: Rams 16, 49ers 9
Not really an “exciting” Thursday Night Football match-up, but as a game between division rivals it should be rather close. Todd Gurley will run circles around that horrid niners run defense. Also, expect big games from Sammy Watkins and Cooper Kupp.
Score: Rams 24, 49ers 17
New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles
The Giants’ offense has looked down right awful in their first two games. They only been able to muster 13 points through two weeks. On the other hand, the Eagles look like the best team in the NFC East right now. They mad handled the Redskins in week one and played a very good game against the Chiefs, but ultimately lost in week two. If the Giants want to turn their season around they are going to have to give Eli Manning some time in the pocket. If they cannot, their season will be over quickly. Expect the Eagles to send blitz after blitz on Sunday.
Score: Eagles 20, Giants 13
The Giants have no run game. The quarterback is lost half the time and his top target, Odell Beckham Jr., isn’t fully healthy. I give the Philly the advantage.
Score: Eagles 27, Giants 17
Speaking of looking bad, the Giants have been awful so far. The Eagles look promising on offense and defense. This could get ugly.
Score: Eagles 33, Giants 14
Interesting match-up here between two teams in NFC East. I said last week that Carson Wentz was hungry, sure did show it as he threw for 333 yards and 2 touchdowns against a tough Chiefs defense. With the Giants’ secondary a bit banged up, I think he has another solid game. On a side note, the Giants’ offense is a complete mess and I don’t think they really do much to adjust against the Eagles in Week 3.
Score: Eagles 28, Giants 16
Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Baltimore Ravens’ defense is playing like a top 5 unit in the NFL. However, they have no had a true test yet and the Jaguars will not be the team to test them. The Jaguars were dominated by the Titans last week and Blake Bortles looked horrible. He turned the ball over three times (two interceptions, one fumble) and had a passer rating of 63.7. Leonard Fournette was shut down as well. After running for over 100 yards in week one, he was held to only 40 yards in week two, while 21 of those 40 yards came on one run. The Ravens’ defense is way better than the Titans’ D and the Jaguars will struggle mightily to move the ball.
Score: Ravens 20, Jaguars 10
I feel like this will be a close game. It depends on if we see the Jags from the Week One blowout of the Texans, or Week Two where they got blown out. The Raven’s physicality and experience will win this game for them.
Score: Ravens 17, Jaguars 14
I thought the Ravens defense would be good, but it’s been great so far. The Jaguars are also supposed to have a good defense. Both offenses are not great, but the Ravens offense is better.
Score: Ravens 19, Jaguars 10
Another London game that folks will probably forget is happening when they wake up Sunday Morning. The Ravens and Jags both boast tough defenses, but the Ravens just seem to have the edge over them. I think they get to Blake Bortles early and often, forcing turnovers. Joe Flacco does just enough to walk out of London with a victory.
Score: Ravens 23, Jaguars 17
Denver Broncos vs. Buffalo Bills
The Broncos absolutely shut down the Cowboys’ running game last week, while Trevor Siemian continued to impress. He has thrown for 450 yards and is currently tied for the league lead in touchdowns with 6. C.J. Anderson had a fantastic game as well. He tallied 154 total yards and two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) against the Cowboys. The Bills are coming off a loss to the Panthers in which they generated very little offense. The Broncos’ defense is better than the Panthers’ and I think the Bills will once again struggle to score points.
Score: Broncos 24, Bills 13
The Broncos made a statement with their win over the Cowboys. Trevor Siemian is finally ready to be the quarterback that the Broncos’ defense needs. Look for the Denver defense to leave the Bills offense in the dust.
Score: Broncos 28, Bills 13
The Broncos looked dominating against the Cowboys and their defense looks amazing. The Bills have problems on offense, but this feels like a game they’ll win on the road. The Upset Special.
Score: Bills 24, Broncos 21
The Broncos are coming off an upset of the Cowboys and will be riding high into Buffalo. The Bills didn’t do as much as many people expected them to do against an awful Jets team at home in Week 1 and followed that by only getting a field-goal in Week 2 against the Panthers. So, what makes a game against an extremely tough Broncos defense any different? Broncos will not let the Bills get anything going threw the air, limiting the Bills to use their run game to beat them. Siemian doesn’t have as good as a game that he had last week but I think he thrive in the role as game manager, ensuring a win.
Score: Broncos 24, Bills 13
New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers
The Saints are winless, while the Panthers are undefeated. This week that will change. Drew Brees will not let this Saints team fall to 0-3. He is going to have a huge game against a tough Panthers’ defense. Cam Newton will continue his struggles, but the run game will get things going. However, without Newton thriving, they are going to continue to struggle to score.
Score: Saints 24, Panthers 17
The Panthers looks nowhere close to the team that was a Super Bowl contender two years ago. I think the Saints offense will score too fast for the Panthers to keep up.
Score: Saints 24, Panthers 17
The Saints are 0-2 and their defense could be historically bad. Eventually their offense will be good enough to win games, but not against a good Panthers team in Carolina.
Score: Panthers 37, Saints 27
Anytime you see the Saints, you think shootout. Not just by them, but the team they play as well. I expect the Panthers to play good enough defense to win, plus I think Christian McCaffrey and Kelvin Benjamin will each have big games.
Score: Panthers 31, Saints 27
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Chicago Bears
I think this game will be very similar to the Steelers’ week one game against the Browns. Ben Roethlisberger struggles on the road, but the Bears are just not a good team. I think they will rely heavily on Le’Veon Bell in this game and he will finally shake the rust off. Bell will total over 120 yards and have two touchdowns in this one.
Score: Steelers 24, Bears 13
The Bears are not off to a great start this year. Their only bright spot is Tarik Cohen’s breakout performance Week 1. Jordan Howard is questionable and Mike Glennon is running this team. I don’t see them putting up a fight with the Steelers, who are only going to get better with Le’Veon Bell getting back into shape. This is my blowout of the week.
Score: Steelers 35, Bears 10
The Steelers are 2-0 and are supposed to be a Super Bowl contender, but we have yet to see them look great. This could be a classic trap game, but they should do enough to win.
Score: Steelers 30, Bears 20
The Bears aren’t exactly a “breeze” whenever a team plays them at home, but I see the Steelers winning this pretty convincingly. Le’Veon Bell is due for a big game and I think he gets it this week, the Bears’ offense will have trouble keeping up.
Score: Steelers 28, Bears 14
Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions
The Falcons looked very good last week against the Packers. Julio Jones had over 100 yards and Devonta Freeman had two rushing touchdowns. The Falcons’ defense is what impressed me the most as they held the Packers’ high-powered offense to 23 points. The Lions have a high-powered offense of their own, but they are very one-dimensional and Matthew Stafford is not Aaron Rodgers. The loss of Vic Beasley will hurt the Falcons, but this is not the week in which the Falcons will receive their first loss.
Score: Falcons 33, Lions 23
Probably looking at the best game of the week with this one. It’s a toss-up of who is going to come out of this game with the win. The Falcons have been tested this year, earning a win over the Packers last week. They are still the team from last year’s playoffs. The Falcons win this game.
Score: Falcons 28, Lions 21
This could be a shootout. It’ll be fun to see these 2 offenses go at it. Because this game is in Detroit, the Lions have a real chance to win this.
Score: Lions 42, Falcons 37
A match-up between two gunslingers, gotta love it. Both teams are coming off victories on prime-time games, they’ll both be looking to go 3-0. The Lions secondary is still fairly weak, which will lead Matt Ryan to expose them. It also helps to have Julio Jones as one of your weapons. Lions will try to keep it close, but Falcons leave Detroit with a W.
Score: Falcons 30, Lions 27
Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts will be without Andrew Luck once again and this game is going to be ugly all around. The Browns are an improved team this year, but they are far from a playoff team. The Colts without Luck have looked downright awful. I see a lot of turnovers in this game and very little scoring.
Score: Browns 17, Colts 10
We are looking at a matchup of two very young quarterbacks trying to cash in on their opportunities. I see this matchup falling in DeShone Kizer’s favor because he has the better supporting cast.
Score: Browns 17, Colts 13
Cleveland is actually favored for the first time in years – that’s how bad the Colts are. You can’t blame the Browns offense for looking bad so far, playing the Steelers and Ravens. They should look better here against a horrible Colts team.
Score: Browns 27, Colts 13
Talk about any ugly match-up! On one side you have the Browns, who are trying to find themselves offensively. On the other you have the Colts who are still without Andrew Luck and look like a dumpster-fire without him for the most part. With the Colts being at home and having better weapons against the Browns D, I think they pull out a win by a slim margin.
Score: Colts 14, Browns 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Minnesota Vikings
Will Sam Bradford play? That is the question every Viking fan is wondering. I am going to say that he will be under center for the Vikings on Sunday. However, I do not think the Vikings win this game, with or without Bradford. The Buccaneers are a much improved team and are a sleeper to win the NFC this year. In their first game against the Bears last week, they looked dominant. The defense did allow Mike Glennon to throw for over 300 yards, but they took the ball away four times and only allowed 7 points. They are still without their top running back, Doug Martin, but Jacquizz Rodgers and Peyton Barber formed a solid duo in the backfield this past week. Mike Evans looked like just as good as last year, he had 7 receptions for 93 yards and a touchdown.
Score: Buccaneers 23, Vikings 20
This depends on if we are looking at the Vikings with Sam Bradford, or the Vikings with Case Keenum. I think the Buccaneers will pull this one out either way, but Bradford might keep the game close.
Score: Buccaneers 28, Vikings 17
The Vikings lost to the Steelers and it wasn’t close because Sam Bradford was injured. If he plays this game, they should barely beat a good Bucs team.
Score: Vikings 24, Buccaneers 22
Tough one to call if Sam Bradford is starting, otherwise the Vikings score much less than this. I think while Mike Evans is covered heavily by Xavier Rhodes, Jameis Winston airs it out to DeSean Jackson for a couple of TDs. A close battle to the end, the Bucs edge it out.
Score: Buccaneers 24, Vikings 20
New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans
Tom Brady looked like a man possessed last week, after the Patriots got embarrassed week one against the Chiefs. Brady completed 30 of his 39 passes, while throwing for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski also had a huge game as he had 6 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown, the 69th touchdown catch of his career. The offense was clicking on all cylinders, while the defense shut down Drew Brees and the Saints. The Texans do not have anywhere near the offensive fire power that the Saints do, but their defense is better. However, Brady seems pissed and they have no chance of beating the Patriots.
Score: Patriots 30, Texans 14
The rookie quarterback, Deshaun Watson, will not know how to handle the Patriots’ multi-dimensional offense. Brady also tends to go on a tear after he loses a game he should have won. Look back to last demolition of the Saints. I see a similar future for the Texans.
Score: Patriots 38, Texans 24
You just don’t beat the Patriots in Foxboro. Oh, the Chiefs did? Well the Texans aren’t the Chiefs.
Score: Patriots 33, Texans 24
Similar to last years playoff game, the Pats make it look ugly but end up winning it by double digits. This is Deshaun Watson’s first true test in the NFL and I don’t think it bodes well for him, especially with the possibility of the Pats getting back Dont’a Hightower. Brady won’t have a great game, but he”ll make a few “GOAT” plays that will get the offense rolling.
Score: Patriots 33, Texans 17
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets
The Jets have a real chance of going 0-16 this year. They have a few games that they have a chance of winning, but this is not one of them. The Dolphins looked solid all around in their first game last week against the Chargers. Jay Cutler was serviceable as he threw for 230 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers, Jay Ajayi had a very nice game totaling 126 yards and Jarvis Landry was a receiving machine hauling in 13 passes for 78 yards. The defense looked good to as they held Philip Rivers, Melvin Gordon and company to only 17 points. On the other hand, the Jets, well, they are the Jets. Good luck next season.
Score: Dolphins 27, Jets 10
The Dolphins squeaked out a win in their first game last week, against the Chargers, with help from a couple of missed field goals. The Dolphins are only going to get better with Jay Cutler learning the offense and Jarvis Landry getting better. I don’t see the Jets getting in the way of the Dolphins. I see the Dolphins completely controlling the game with the Jets only scoring through luck and garbage time.
Score: Dolphins 20, Jets 13
I have serious doubts whether the Jets will win a single game this year. It’s not happening here.
Score: Dolphins 24, Jets 10
I don’t think anyone was really shocked to see the Jets completely obliterated last week, or that the Chargers lost another close game this time to the Dolphins. Jay Cutler had a pretty good game in his Dolphins debut and I believe he’ll have a better one this week. With the team the Jets throw out every week, it seems like they’re poised to go winless. Look for DeVante Parker to have a huge game with Miami too.
Score: Dolphins 27, Jets 17
Seattle Seahawks vs. Tennessee Titans
The Titans have looked pretty solid in their first two games. They lost a good battle to the Raiders in week one and dominated the Jaguars in week two. On the other hand, the Seahawks have not looked very good, specifically on the offensive end. They are having a ton of trouble moving the ball as their offensive line is playing horribly. They scored only 9 points in week one against the Packers and then in week two were only able to put up 12 points against the lowly 49ers. Going to Tennessee to face Marcus Mariota and the young Titans is going to be a real test for Russell Wilson and company. A test that I think the Seahawks will fail.
Score: Titans 20, Seahawks 17
I really do not know what to expect out of this game. The Seahawks are still Legion of Boom caliber, only giving up 26 points over two games. However, they have no offense, as they only scored 21 points over two games. The Titans will put up a fight. When it comes down to it, but the Seahawks do what they got to do to get a win.
Score: Seahawks 17, Titans 14
This should be a good game, but Seattle’s bad offensive line and playing in Tennessee doesn’t bode well for them.
Score: Titans 17, Seahawks 15
My gut tells me that the Seahawks will finally show up offensively this week, mainly relying on the play of their receivers. I like Mariota, but I have a feeling that he’ll have a hard time mustering up anything against the notoriously tough Seattle D.
Score: Seahawks 23, Titans 20
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers
Losing Jordy Nelson early on in the game against the Falcons hurt the Packers chances of winning. I think that was the main reason why the Falcons handled the Packers so easily. However, it seems as if Nelson will return for this week’s match up against the Bengals. The Bengals have looked horrible so far this season. They are another team that is really struggling to move the ball and score points. They fired their offensive coordinator and if that does not fix their woes, Andy Dalton may be the next one to lose his job. I think the Aaron Rodgers and the rest of that dynamic offense will handle the Bengals with ease in Green Bay.
Score: Packers 27, Bengals 13
I wonder if the Bengals can score their first touchdown of the season. They have to with an offense with so much talent if they want everyone to keep their jobs. Still don’t think it could beat an offense run by Aaron Rodgers.
Score: Packers 34, Bengals 17
Eventually the Bengals have to win a game, right? Or score a touchdown maybe? Not Sunday.
Score: Packers 27, Bengals 12
I don’t like the fact that there’s a chance Jordy Nelson might not play for the Pack, but Aaron Rodgers has plenty of other options he can go to, including Ty Montgomery who I think will have another monster game. The Bengals still haven’t scored a TD this year, which although hilarious, won’t last here. Still think the Packers win big here.
Score: Packers 30, Bengals 13
Kanas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Early on, the Chiefs are looking like the best team in football. Alex Smith looks like he is going to have a career year, Kareem Hunt looks like the next big thing at the running back position and their defensive is elite. The Chargers have played good football in the first two weeks, but have lost two tight contests. I think Philip Rivers needs to step up a bit for the Chargers if they want to make the playoffs. However, I think they lose another tight contest this week.
Score: Chiefs 28, Chargers 27
The Chiefs offense is operating on all cylinders. Kareem Hunt looks like another David Johnson. Alex Smith is showing the world he is not just a game-manager, and he has offensive threats all around him. The Chargers have a kicker who can’t kick, and a questionable offense. Give this one to the Chiefs.
Score: Chiefs 31, Chargers 21
This should be one of those great AFC West games that come down to the last minute. The Chargers are too good to go 0-3.
Score: Chargers 23, Chiefs 21
I’ll state the obvious here, Kareem Hunt will have another big game. I’ll also say something that might surprise people, Philip Rivers will have a nice game and will keep the game close. In the end though, the Chargers D isn’t all that talented enough from preventing the Chiefs from getting on the board often.
Score: Chiefs 28, Chargers 24
Oakland Raiders vs. Washington Redskins
I do not think the Redskins are a very good team. They beat the Rams last week, but the Rams are not very good either. The Redskins do not have much of a run game, Kirk Cousins struggled in the preseason and has continued to do so early on in the regular season, and their defense is not very good. On the other hand, the Raiders are up there with the best in football. Their offense with Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Marshawn Lynch is scary good. Their defense has improved as well. The Raiders have the looks of a complete team and they are one of the true contenders in the NFL.
Score: Raiders 38, Redskins 27
The Raiders have too much star power, while Kirk Cousins has lost his shine. The Washington defense is weak and they are taking on the three-headed monster of Carr, Cooper/Crabtree, and Lynch.
Score: Raiders 25, Redskins 13
Just for this game Marcus Allen will come out of retirement and recreate his MVP performance in Super Bowl XVIII.
Score: Raiders 38, Redskins 9
The Raiders are probably one of the most complete teams in the AFC and I think they can go almost anywhere and beat a team on the road. The Raiders’ offense seems to be clicking, while the Redskins’ offense seems a bit out of sync. An intriguing Sunday Night Football match-up that will end in a Raiders victory.
Score: Raiders 30, Redskins 21
Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Dallas Cowboys got absolutely man handled by the Denver Broncos last week. Ezekiel Elliott was held to only 9 rushing yards, while Dak Prescott was exposed as the Broncos dared him to throw it deep. The Broncos’ defensive backs were playing press coverage all game to stop the run as their number one priority and it paid off. The Cardinals did not look much better. They struggled against a terrible Colts teams and barely came out with a win in overtime. They seemed to have really struggled on offense without David Johnson. I think both teams will be much better this week, but the Cowboys are the overall better team and will come away with the win.
Score: Cowboys 27, Cardinals 24
The Cowboys are going to come back with vengeance after being blown out by the Broncos. The Cardinals don’t have their star running back, and a running back by committee isn’t going to help beat this team. If the Cowboys can get everything clicking again, this is an easy win.
Score: Cowboys 20, Cardinals 10
The Cowboys looked horrible on the road, losing to the Broncos. They have problems, but the Cardinals problems are much worse. David Johnson is gone, so that bodes the question: Is Carson Palmer washed up?
Score: Cowboys 23, Cardinals 16
What a horrible loss that was for the Cowboys last week, all around bad. They come into Arizona against a team struggling as well, after losing big against the Lions Week 1 and winning in OT against the Jacoby Brissett-lead Colts. I don’t see a big game from Zeke, but with the Cards tough secondary, I think he’ll get the ball quite a lot which will be good for fantasy owners. If the Cowboys defense can stop the Cards on 3rd down, which they couldn’t do at all last week against the Broncos, they should get the win here.
Score: Cowboys 26, Cardinals 17
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I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.