2013 NFL Pick ‘Em: Week 3
Predictions and Picks for Week 3 of NFL Action
With two weeks’ worth of NFL action now in the books, we have Week 3 of the 2013 campaign to look forward to. And with another 16 games of gridiron greatness comes another round of NFL picks.
Following a much better showing in Week 2, I am now 20-12 on the season (7-9 in Week 1, 13-3 in Week 2) and looking to improve my percentage again in Week 3. The fact that the picture is becoming clearer as games are played definitely helps.
So what can we expect from this weekend of action around the NFL?
There will be nine different teams looking for their first win of the season, including three or four teams that were expected to make a push for the playoffs this year. There will be several quarterbacks – including Colin Kaepernick and Eli Manning – looking to dig themselves out a hole after poor Week 2 performances. We could also see several highly-touted rookies explode as they work their way into the offensive game plan.
No matter what happens, it’s going to be another exciting week in the NFL. There are plenty of exciting matchups to watch, as well as some snoozers that are sure to put fans to sleep by halftime. Still, football is football and we’re all glad it’s back – even Jacksonville Jaguars fans.
Here’s a look at all 16 games this weekend and my picks for who will end up in the win column when all is said and done. Even though I was 13-3 last week, you’re on your own if you choose to place large bets on these picks.
Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
In Andy Reid’s first return to Philadelphia after becoming the Chiefs’ new head coach, he’ll be looking to prove that the Eagles made a big mistake in getting rid of him. Seeing the way that Kansas City has played through the first two weeks, they shouldn’t have too much trouble overcoming the Eagles and their sieve cleverly disguised as a defense.
Houston Texans (2-0) at Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
It’s still early, but the Ravens are starting to look like a team on the decline. At the same time, the Texans have pulled off two hard-fought victories this year and are looking to put together a stronger performance in Week 3. While the offense will be important for Houston, Brian Cushing and the defense is what will hand them the victory against the Ravens and Joe Flacco on Sunday.
New York Giants (0-2) at Carolina Panthers (0-2)
Both of these teams are desperate to avoid falling to 0-3, so they’ll come out firing on all cylinders. Unfortunately for the Panthers, their injury-riddled secondary will be no match for the Giants’ high octane passing attack. Eli Manning has stumbled through the first two games, but will get his footing this week and finally put the G-Men in the win column.
Detroit Lions (1-1) at Washington Redskins (0-2)
The Redskins, still winless, need to pull out of the tailspin they’ve found themselves in early in 2013. Playing against the Lions could be just what they need to get back on track. Detroit fields an average secondary, which should allow Robert Griffin III the opportunity to make plays through the air. Especially without Reggie Bush, the Lions won’t have the firepower to outscore the Redskins.
San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-1)
Apart from the second half of their Week 1 loss, the Chargers have been playing like a team capable of consistently winning games. Philip Rivers is looking like his old self, and he’s getting help from his wide receivers – specifically Eddie Royal. Meanwhile, the Titans’ offense has been miserable, especially when throwing the football. Unless Chris Johnson goes off for 200+ yards, the Chargers will win this one.
Arizona Cardinals (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (2-0)
As impressive as the Cardinals’ offense was in Week 2, Arizona still has a long way to go before they can compete with the contenders of the league. The Saints are off to a strong start and are looking like a different team with Sean Payton back in the driver’s seat. Assuming Drew Brees stays on track and the defense can contain the passing game, the Saints should stay undefeated through Week 3.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) at New England Patriots (2-0)
With the drama between Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman still unfolding, the Buccaneers appear to be falling apart at the seams. Meanwhile, the Patriots are off to a strong start and are looking to improve on a rocky Week 2 performance. Having tight end Rob Gronkowski back in the fold, though, could be just what Tom Brady needs to elevate this team to true contender status.
Green Bay Packers (1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
Only two games in and Aaron Rodgers is already in mid-season form. He demolished the Redskins last week, and shouldn’t have too much trouble doing more of the same against the Bengals. The Bengals and Andy Dalton will put up considerable points, but the Packers offense is just too high-powered to keep up with.
St. Louis Rams (1-1) at Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
The Cowboys are still trying to prove that they should be taken seriously, but their Week 2 showing against the Chiefs didn’t help their case. Tony Romo is struggling to get the offense going by himself while the running game sputters. Meanwhile, the Rams offense is firing on all cylinders. Expect Sam Bradford and Tavon Austin to terrorize the Dallas defense all game long.
Cleveland Browns (0-2) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
Now 0-2, the Vikings desperately need a win if they plan on having any hope of making the playoffs this season. They’re still waiting for Christian Ponder to flip the switch, which may never happen. With Cordarrelle Patterson expected to be a bigger part of the offensive game plan, though, the Vikings shouldn’t have too much trouble putting up points on the Browns defense.
Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at Miami Dolphins (2-0)
The surprisingly strong start to the 2013 season continues here for the Dolphins, who are undefeated so far and appear to be kicking their rebuilt roster into high gear. The Ryan Tannehill-to-Mike Wallace connection is finally clicking, while the Falcons’ offense should be hurting due to injuries. It should be a close one, but the Dolphins are ready to make the move to 3-0.
Buffalo Bills (1-1) at New York Jets (1-1)
After an emotional comeback win in Week 2, the Bills are riding a wave of momentum started by E.J. Manuel. On the other side of the field, Geno Smith and the Jets are hoping to bounce back from a sloppy showing against the Patriots. In a battle of rookie passers, Manuel will come out on top with the help of his sneaky-good defense and outstanding ground game.
Indianapolis Colts (1-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-1)
Even with Andrew Luck under center, the Colts haven’t been able to get their offense going this season. They stumbled in Week 2 against the Dolphins and head into a Week 3 matchup with one of the best teams in the NFL. Colin Kaepernick will be looking to bounce back from a rough loss to the Seahawks, and should victimized the Indianapolis secondary to resuscitate the 49ers’ stock.
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) at Seattle Seahawks (2-0)
A battle between the juggernaut of the NFL and the worst team in the league; how exciting, huh? If the Seahawks don’t cruise through this one, it’ll be over before halftime. Don't be surprised if Seattle has most of their starters on the bench by the third quarter. Maybe we’ll even get lucky enough to see Christine Michael play.
Chicago Bears (2-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-2)
The Steelers are in a bad place right now, and it’s not going to get any better against the Bears in Week 3. Pittsburgh’s defense let Giovani Bernard do work on them on Monday night, and should do even worse trying to slow down the versatile Matt Forte. This one isn’t going to be pretty, especially if Jay Cutler can find a rhythm.
Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Denver Broncos (2-0)
If you thought Rodgers was on fire, take a look at Peyton Manning. Now healthy and comfortable in Denver, Manning is shredding secondaries with ease and appears primed to make a push for his next MVP award. The Raiders played well against the league-worst Jaguars last week, but don’t stand a chance against the superior Broncos.