Top 5 NFL Games in Week 3
Well it’s week three already and if the first two weeks have been any indication, we are in for yet another treat this weekend. So let’s pick some games.
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1 ½) (Sunday / 4:15 p.m. / FOX)
A good old fashioned AFC South battle, which the Falcons have owned over the past few years, but it never, comes easy. Neither team has looked particularly sharp over the first two weeks; each team is 1–1, both having come from behind wins last Sunday. The Falcons would appear to have played the superior opponents in their games, but what looks good on paper doesn’t always translate on the field. However, when doing predictions all we can go by is on paper. So far the trio of Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, running back LeGarette and wide receiver Mike Williams have not been impressive, thus the Tampa offense has struggled, so they need to get going to have a chance. The Falcons on the other hand need to start using the run to set up the pass instead of the other way around; it worked for them last year to the tune of a 13–3 record. I’ll take the Falcons and the points.
Falcons 24 Tampa Bay 21
New England Patriots (-8 ½) @ Buffalo Bills (Sunday / 1:00 p.m. / CBS)
This game should be a shoot-out between two of the league’s top offenses and two of their worst defenses, in other words it should be a fun game to watch. The Bills are probably a little bit of a surprise to most people this season. I can’t say I’m completely surprised they are 2–0 and have a great offense, but more than six wins from this team I don’t see. That being said, I do think they will be competitive and in every game with the balanced passing and running game they have, they will just have a problem stopping teams. This doesn’t bode well for them with Tom Brady coming to town this weekend. I think this game stays competitive throughout with the Patriots ultimately winning, but I will take the Bills and the points.
New England 38 Buffalo 31
Green Bay Packers (-3 ½) @ Chicago Bears (Sunday / 4:15 p.m. / FOX)
You can almost always throw the record books out the window when these two teams get together. They met three times last season, each team winning at home until the NFC Championship game which the Packers won in Chicago. All the games were close and very physical and competitive. Expect more of the same Sunday afternoon. For the Bears to win they have to run the ball early and often in order to keep the pressure off of Jay Cutler, and when they throw the ball Cutler has to get it out of his hands fast, he can’t hold the ball too long. The Packers just basically need to hold onto the ball and spread out the Bears thin secondary and let Rodgers pick them apart. I think the Packers win, but don’t cover.
Green Bay 20 Chicago 17
Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys (Even) (Monday / 8:30 p.m. / ESPN)
This match-up is just as big of a rivalry as the Packers and Bears. Being that it is the featured Monday Night game and at Jerry World makes even that much more of a spectacle. The keys to this game to me will be three things, number one, how many Cowboys will be out due to injury? We already know pro-bowl wide receiver Miles Austin is out, but will Tony Romo, Felix Jones and Dez Bryant also be out? Number two, which team can run the ball the best? The Redskins have been running it well with Tim Hightower and now with Roy Helu back from injury last week look like they have a nice one-two-punch combo. The Cowboys struggle to run the ball even with Felix Jones, so if he’s out, can they even run it at all effectively, it doesn’t look that way. And finally, number three, who will win the turnover battle? The Cowboys have been turning it over even with Romo in the game, but even more so win Kitna had to come in last week for just a little while against San Francisco. The Redskins have turned it over a few times as well and we know Grossman has been turnover prone in the past, but his interceptions this year have not been the bad Rex throws like in the past. So, after pondering these three questions I like the Redskins to win the game.
Washington 24 Dallas 20
Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints (-4) (Sunday / 1:00 p.m. / CBS)
This should be another fun game to watch between two very good offenses and underrated defenses. I really love the way the new look Texans defense has played so far, but this will by far be their biggest challenge to date. Even if Arian Foster can’t go on Sunday they should be ok with back-up Ben Tate, who if he had not gotten hurt last year would have been their starter then. We all know about the Saints powerful offense, so no need dwelling on it. The key to the game will be which team runs the ball the best and stops the run the best. I’m riding with the Texans in this one to win straight out.
Houston 28 New Orleans 24
So those are my picks for this week. After a rough 1–4 start to the year, I bounced back with a respectable 3–2 week to make me 4–6 on the year so far, hopefully I can at least to get .500 on the year with my picks this week. Enjoy the games.