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NFL Week 3 Picks: Browns and Raiders Notch First Wins; Steelers Lose Again; More Upsets!

Just when you thought things couldn’t get crazier. Week 2 was full of entertainment and weirdness. Week 3 will be no exception.

NFL Week 3 Picks: Browns and Raiders Notch First Wins; Steelers Lose Again; More Upsets!


Estimated Reading Time: 11 Minutes

Just when you thought things couldn’t get crazier. Week 2 was full of entertainment and weirdness.

There was another tie, no thanks to Daniel Carlson and his 0-for-3 kicking in Green Bay. The Vikings had dealt with circumstances like these before with Blair Walsh and so they wasted NO TIME in finding a new kicker who, by the way, is only the second most accurate kicker in football at an 88.2% success rate.

Yup, that would be former Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey. Bailey is second only to Justin Tucker who holds a 90.3% success rate. Why he was a free agent? Who knows…Cowboy things, right?

Zane Gonzalez, Browns kicker, didn’t have such a great weekend either. Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra-point kicks, and the Browns ended up losing to the Saints…by 3… at New Orleans…in a dome environment! Ouch. For a team who is trying to get their first win since 2016, that is probably more than enough to convince the Browns to replace Gonzalez with rookie kicker Gregory Joseph…A ROOKIE! Ouch again.

Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense got their groove back. You know it’s a good outing for Atlanta when Matt Ryan gives Cam Newton a taste of his own medicine, rushing for two TDs as well as throwing for two more. I don’t think we’ll ever see Matt Ryan RUN for two touchdowns ever again. The Falcons put up 31 points without Devonta Freeman and with Calvin Ridley coming alive. Could there be more sunny days to come for the Falcons?

Titans rebounded nicely with BLAINE GABBERT under center. We are not sure what is going on with Marcus Mariota’s health, but allegedly he is feeling better and may be back for Week 3. Tennessee is my pick to win the AFC South, so Mariota better come back…unless Gabbert has been drinking the same Kool-Aid Ryan Fitzpatrick has been drinking, and if that is the case, all may be well in The Volunteer State no matter who is under center. Speaking of Fitzpatrick…

FitzMagic strikes again! He is currently the highest-scoring fantasy quarterback through the first two weeks. I called that upset last week because, yes I am thoroughly enjoying this FitzMagic carpet ride, but also I just don’t think the Eagles are the same team since last year. Super Bowl hangovers are for real and they are banged up with injuries. I think they could (and probably will) still win the NFC East, but with that division, you just never know what could happen.

Glad to see Russell Wilson is alive and well. I thought for a moment, or many moments, on Monday night that he just wasn’t going to make it. If I am on the medical staff for the Seattle Seahawks, I am probably more on edge than anyone else in this league, including the entire Pittsburgh Steelers fan base.

Don’t sleep on the Broncos…but you can sleep on the Raiders…and is the Chargers’ defense overrated?

Steelers still look like crap…Jaguars wanted it more…Dolphins are a fraud…Giants pick up where they left off last season…and what is wrong with the Cardinals?!

I picked the Vikings to win last week, but because of the tie, I am going to give myself a loss for that one. I think we all lose when we have to see a second tie in two weeks. All exciting stuff though, and it should be a heck of a Week 3! So, let’s get right to the picks:

Week 2 Record: 9-7

2018 Overall: 19-13

Jets at Browns (Thursday Night @ 8:20PM ET)

Yup, that was more like the Jets we all know well. Their loss to the Dolphins reminded us that this Jets team still has a long way to go. Darnold was pressured big time for the first time in his NFL career, throwing two picks and getting sacked three times. The thing is, Darnold may be receiving even more pressure from a Cleveland defense that has not been all that bad so far. I think that is the difference-maker in this one. Cleveland’s defense will come to play, and the Browns will get their first win since 2016. Browns win 21-16.

Saints at Falcons (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Perhaps Steve Sarkisian has figured things out and, surprisingly, the Saints’ defense has not played well. I think Falcons are better at home, and if they can get guys like Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper more involved, I think they will be in good shape. Falcons win 30-24.

49ers at Chiefs (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Patrick Mahomes has been lights out, and he makes his Arrowhead Stadium debut against a 49ers team who, despite their win last week, hasn’t really impressed me all that much. I still believe the Chiefs’ defense is not all that great, so this potentially could be another shootout that Mahomes gets into, but I think it’s another shootout that he and the Chiefs will win. Mahomes and the Chiefs stay hot. Chiefs win 31-20.

Raiders at Dolphins (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

The Dolphins are 2-0, but I just don’t think they are truly as good as they have looked so far. They had a marathon for a game in Week 1 where, after 7 hours and 10 minutes, it was really anybody’s game. Towards the end of that game, I don’t think anyone really gave a shit who would win…not even the players.

Then in Week 2, they faced a Jets team that isn’t so good when they aren’t stealing the opposing team’s signals.

The Raiders put up a nice defensive effort on the road at Denver last week, but they still managed to drop to 0-2. I’m going with the Raiders in this one though, because Derek Carr needs this badly if he wants to continue playing quarterback in Oakland, and after blowing a 12-0 halftime lead to Denver last weekend, I think the Raiders will be hungry to notch Gruden’s first win as a head coach since November 30, 2008. Raiders win 21-17.

Bills at Vikings (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Oh boy. This one is going to get ugly. Josh Allen’s first road game at QB will be against one of the best defenses in the league. The Vikings offense just got even better since last week, after picking up Dan Bailey, who will probably have plenty of reps kicking extra-points in this one. Also, why did the Bills trade AJ McCarron??? Vikings win 36-14.

Colts at Eagles (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Frank Reich faces his former squad and Carson Wentz comes back for this week, but I believe he will be a bit conservative in the passing game.

I think about how Deshaun Watson has been playing this season and how he has been a little more reserved with his passing because I think, just like Wentz, he is coming off of an ACL injury after all and he is sort of easing into normalcy because of it. Watson has not looked like the quarterback he was in the first half of last season, and there is a chance that Wentz undergoes similar progression in his first couple of weeks back.

I just don’t expect Doug Pederson to have Wentz throw 35 or 40+ passes in this game. Eagles will be without both Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles in this game, so the running game could be limited for the Eagles as well. It’s certainly possible that the Eagles defensive front causes trouble for Andrew Luck, but the Eagles are so banged up, and their secondary has not played well. Eagles acquired Jordan Matthews, but I’m not sure how much of an impact he is going to have for the offense right away. I actually think the Colts catch the Eagles at a bad time here, and pull off the upset. Big upset in Philly! Colts win 23-20.

Packers at Redskins (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

Do you expect me to go with the Redskins against Aaron Rodgers and the Pack after watching their abysmal outing against the Colts last week? Let’s face it, Redskins still don’t have a running game, and if they want to keep Rodgers off the field, well…good luck. Packers win 24-13.

Bengals at Panthers (Sunday @1 PM ET)

Bengals have been playing well lately, but their little hot streak will end here. This is the kind of game where the Bengals will be wishing they had Joe Mixon back from injury. Panthers win 26-24.

Titans at Jaguars (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

If Gabbert plays, I can’t imagine he’ll take down that Jaguars defense first time around. But Marcus Mariota knows a thing or two about getting the best of the best defense in the league. Titans swept the Jaguars last year, but I don’t think they’ll do it this year. Perhaps they will split, but I am giving this one to Jacksonville, who should be feeling pretty damn good after their win against New England, and I just don’t think Mariota will be ready yet. Titans keep it tight though. Jaguars win 24-20.

Broncos at Ravens (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

If the Football Gods want to have a third tie in three weeks, I would put money on this game for that to occur. I think this could be a close one, but when you draw a Broncos team away from home after they barely got by a miserable Raiders team, you have to think the Ravens can take this one after 10 days rest from the Thursday Night game they played last week. Ravens win IN OVERTIME 23-20.

Giants at Texans (Sunday @ 1PM ET)

I don’t like this Giants offense at all; especially their offensive line. The Cowboys’ defensive line had a feast with Eli, and the Texans’ defensive line is up next in the buffet line. This will be another tough test for the Giants’ offensive line and for Eli on the road.

Deshaun Watson needs to be on the attack in this game though. If the Giants are in it by midway through the 3rd quarter, they might start believing they have this. But I think the Giants’ offensive line will be overwhelmed again, and while it could be close, I think the Texans got this. Texans win 21-16.

Chargers at Rams (Sunday @ 4:05PM ET)

The Battle for Los Angeles is here! Philip Rivers could be one of few quarterbacks who are capable of dissecting this Rams defense this season. But there is something a little off with this Chargers defense. They looked like they were getting tired against the Bills last week in the second half, and they cannot afford to do that against much better competition. But speaking of much better competition, the Rams have played the Raiders and Cardinals so far, and that is not much to write home about. It will be a tight one, but I actually think the Chargers will surprise the Rams, and win the Battle for LA…but it won’t be easy. Here’s to Rivers having a solid game, and the Chargers defense making just enough plays. Chargers win 27-24.

Bears at Cardinals (Sunday @ 4:25PM ET)

Cardinals could keep this close, but my God their offense has been pitiful, and there’s about a 90% chance Khalil Mack will end up breaking four bones in Sam Bradford’s body. Bears win 21-14.

Cowboys at Seahawks (Sunday @ 4:25PM ET)

Watching Russell Wilson nowadays is like watching a Tom Cruise movie – so much running. Wilson just pulls out his Tom Cruise every game and just runs. He runs away and he runs for his life, because his offensive line is like a set of swinging saloon doors in a Western.

Image result for tom cruise running gif

Ok, now they should put Tom Cruise in a Western. And maybe Wilson can join him and the movie can be called Running Men of the West. CAN WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN?! Cowboys win 19-17.

Patriots at Lions (Sunday Night @ 8:20PM ET)

Bill Belichick is 14-8 against his former assistants in his career. The Lions look a bit lost on defense, and the Patriots very rarely lose back-to-back games, so I am taking the master over the apprentice here. Patriots win 27-21.

Steelers at Buccaneers (Monday Night @ 8:15PM ET)

Previously, on Keeping Up With The Steelers!:

Antonio Brown threw a sideline fit towards offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and scared everyone (except for myself) into thinking he was actually contemplating demanding a trade when he tweeted back at a former Steelers PR troll who made a weak attempt to degrade Brown’s career in Pittsburgh.

Let me just make this clear for you all: ANTONIO BROWN DOES NOT WANT TO BE TRADED. “But he didn’t show up to practice on Monday, Matt!” Okaaaay, but once upon a time, Tom Brady wasn’t showing up to OTAs, and it looks like currently he’s still in a Patriots uniform, so quite frankly I don’t want to hear it. This is SO overblown, Antonio Brown is not going anywhere, so that’s not the problem. What is the problem however, is that this Steelers team does not handle drama like this well and it shows on the field.

It’s been a sitcom n this locker room. The Steelers are a mess, and they are going into a Tampa Monday Night to take on this guy:

Image result for ryan fitzpatrick
Photo credit to: Zodab

I mean, look at that. That’s someone who is just bleeding confidence right now. You think the Steelers defense has a chance at beating THAT?

The Steelers are in a dark place right now, and taking on this Bucs offense on the road is not going to help them. They way the Steelers defense has been playing, FitzMagic will probably throw for 800 yards and 7 touchdowns. I don’t trust this Steelers team at all and I will continue to pick against them until they get their shit together. Buccaneers win 43-29.

Enjoy the games!

Matt lives in Newnan, Georgia but was born and raised in Upstate New York. He is a fan of the New York Yankees, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Celtics. At the collegiate level, he is a Notre Dame and Syracuse fan (yeah he can root for both, and what?!) He must, however, find a soccer team to root for. So please...help him out there. All suggestions are welcome. You can catch Matt on the Turf mostly covering NFL, NBA, MLB, College Football and Basketball, and Horse Racing (that is not a typo, he practically grew up on a racetrack). It's nothing personal...it's strictly sports.

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