Every week, we’ll look at the matchups of the week, and give our predictions for each of the games. If you’re a betting man…I’d take the opposite of these picks.
Last week, your resident expert went 9-7, and is sitting at 28-20 on the year. It was a tough week.
Miami Dolphins (1-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (1-2)
Cincinnati at home is tough, and after being put on the ropes, they need a win now. Miami is struggling, and traveling up to Ohio isn’t the best way to alleviate your issues. Bengals should be able to right the ship this week.
Prediction: Bengals 27-14
Indianapolis Colts (1-2) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3)
A heartbreak loss for the Colts last week, and a really sour start for the Jaguars. This is the closest thing to a “must-win” for both teams. A loss by the Jaguars probably is the end of Gus Bradley in Jacksonville. Bortles and company find a way to get the win.
Prediction: Jaguars 27-24
Tennessee Titans (1-2) @ Houston Texans (2-1)
Houston got embarrassed against New England, there’s no way around that. And it really wasn’t ever close. The Titans have given everyone a close game, and look like a young team finding their way. This is going to be close, but the Texans need this without JJ Watt.
Prediction: Texans 24-21
Cleveland Browns (0-3) @ Washington Redskins (1-2)
Washington is in dangerous territory. A loss would be crushing with the rising division around them. Everyone is better than expected, and they have to keep pace. The Browns can’t score, and if Washington can’t get this, there’s some big trouble.
Prediction: Redskins 21-10
Seattle Seahawks (2-1) @ New York Jets (1-2)
No Rawls, maybe no Russell Wilson, and probably no offense. The Seahawks have a scoring problem with them, and it may be bad without them. The defense is talented enough to rough up Fitz, but I really don’t think he’s throwing 6 INTs here. And if the offense is slowed, it could be an upset brewing.
Prediction: Jets 24-17
Buffalo Bills (1-2) @ New England Patriots (3-0)
The sun rises, the wind blows, and the Patriots win. They just can’t be stopped, no matter who’s under center. Rex Ryan may have temporarily saved his job last week. There’s no reason to be against the Pats here, or bet on the shaky Bills, but I think a letdown looms ahead of Tom Brady’s return.
Prediction: Bills 24-23
Carolina Panthers (1-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (2-1)
Cam and the Panthers have run into the buzz saw against good pass rushes twice this season. The offensive line is a trainwreck, and they have to find a way to keep Cam upright. But these Falcons don’t have that kind of rush. And the Falcons have been good, but the Panthers have their number.
Prediction: Panthers 24-20
Oakland Raiders (2-1) @ Baltimore Ravens (3-0)
The Ravens keep winning, but the quality of competition isn’t great. The big thing has been staying healthy, which the Ravens have so far been able to do. The Raiders are also winning, sitting at 2-1. But they’ve also faced subpar competition. Both can cement themselves with a win, and I think the Ravens are a more complete team.
Prediction: Ravens 28-24
Detriot Lions (1-2) @ Chicago Bears (0-3)
There’s bad, and then there’s the bad that the Bears have been this season. Chicago hasn’t had much promise on either side of the ball. And they’ve been blown out two weeks in a row now, and at last get to come home. The Lions need a win, and this is as good a chance as any, but it’s going to be ugly.
Prediction: Lions 21-13
Denver Broncos (3-0) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2)
The Broncos finally take their show on the road, and get the Bucs. Jameis has been alright, but this is a turnover prone team, and was really bad last week. It’s not the type of offense to trust against Denver. I’ve bet against the Broncos two weeks in a row now, and won’t do it again.
Prediction: Broncos 24-14
Los Angeles Rams (2-1) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-2)
Somehow, someway, the Rams are 2-1. They’ve won two in a row after their opening night embarrassment. Either way, the Cardinals are desperate. And this team is inconsistent. Good luck in Arizona with that offense. The Rams come back to earth.
Prediction: Cardinals 28-20
New Orleans Saints (0-3) @ San Diego Chargers (1-2)
This game screams “ugly”. The Saints defense can’t stop a nosebleed, and the Chargers aren’t much better. Both teams are on the ropes of seeing their season end abruptly before it even starts. The Saints can score, and the Chargers are in flux. Someone has to win this game, right?
Prediction: Saints 35-31
Dallas Cowboys (2-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (1-2)
The 49ers have come back to earth after their opening night stun of LA. They are looking more like the team we thought they’d be, but they are still competitive. The Cowboys, however, have found their footing. Ezekiel Elliot and the offense have been great, and the defense has been way better than expected. I’m betting on the Cowboys to keep it up.
Prediction: Cowboys 27-21
Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
The primetime matchup of the week should be slugfest, with KC bouncing back last week with a win. The Steelers got humbled in Philly last week, and will be looking to reestablishing things . I know they got hammered last week, but this still is one of the best teams in football. And beating them at home after a loss like that is going to be a tall task.
Prediction: Steelers 27-20
New York Giants (2-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (3-0)
There probably isn’t a more surprising team in football this year than Minnesota. The Vikings keep winning despite losing players left and right. The Giants are fresh off a tough loss to Washington. The Vikings defense will smother the Giants, but I think the Giants can go back at them, too. Upset here.
Prediction: Giants 21-20