Site Editor Matt Loede’s NFL Picks for Week 3


Back again for week three of the NFL season. Last week was another solid week vs the spread, going 9-5, making me now 19-11 on the season. There was one push (Carolina) and the Houston-Baltimore game was called off. Now it’s on to what should be a very competitive week three around the league, so let’s get to it.

Kansas City at Atlanta (-6)

Tyler Thigpen gets the start for KC, and the Falcons look as if they should be able to dominate this team on both sides of the ball. Look for a big day from Michael Turner, and Matt Ryan won’t have to throw all that much, which is exactly the game plan for the Falcons. The Chiefs have lost 11 straight, and I can’t see them getting that streak snapped here vs a game Falcons team. Atlanta 23 Kansas City 9

Oakland at Buffalo (-9.5)

The Bills are playing well on all three phases. The Raiders put up 300 yards rushing vs the awful Chiefs last week. Can they duplicate that effort on the road in Buffalo? Probably not. Look for the Bills to put pressure on JaMarcus Russell, forcing the Raiders to become one-dimensional, and then they will crowd the line of scrimmage. The Bills on offense are getting good play from Trent Edwards, and now should be no different. Buffalo 21 Oakland 10

Houston at Tennessee (-5)

We haven’t seen much of the Texans, as they have only played one game since they had their home game canned last week due to the hurricane that hit around the city. The Titans are gaining more and more confidence, and even with the turmoil with the QB spot, they seemed focused on getting the job done, more so on the defensive side of the ball. Look for Albert Haynesworth and his pals to have some fun rushing Matt Schaub and punishing the running game. The Texans are going to have a long day in Nashville. Tennessee 30 Houston 16

Cincinnati at New York Giants (-13.5)

An awful lot of points to be giving, but Carson Palmer is hurting with a bad ankle, and the Bengals are just not very good. They didn’t play well vs either the Ravens or Titans, and that shouldn’t change here. Look for Eli Manning and the running game of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to dominate, and the Bengals to melt at the Meadowlands under the Giants tough defense. New York Giants 41 Cincinnati 20

Arizona at Washington (-3)

The Redskins got their first win last Sunday for coach Jim Zorn, topping the Saints at home. QB Jason Campbell is slowly getting more and more use to his offense, and as the year goes on he should improve. The Cards took apart the Dolphins at home, and for the first time in a long time, are 2-0. The Cards know that the Seahawks are limping, and while they won’t admit it, early wins can give them a cushion in the NFC West. I like Kurt Warner vs the Skins defense, and think that the Cards will score enough to pull out a huge road win. Arizona 27 Washington 23

Miami at New England (-12.5)

A big spread here, but the Pats showed last week they can beat teams without Super Brady. Matt Cassel did enough to win, and didn’t make a lot of mistakes. The Fins have to start running the ball better, as Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown have both looked terrible so far. Look for another strong outing from the Pats defense, and they should have enough to win here and cover. New England 24 Miami 10

Tampa Bay at Chicago (-3)

This looks like it’s going to be a low scoring, grind it out affair between two solid defensive teams that can play some offense, but depend mostly on the D to get it done. The Bears blew a 14-point lead in Carolina last week, and want to get on track, while the Bucs bounced back with new QB Brian Griese to beat the Falcons at home. Look for both teams to try and get their running games going, and the better team that can run likely will get the victory here. I still like the Bears at home, even if Devin Hester is out. Chicago 17 Tampa Bay 10

Carolina at Minnesota (-3.5)

Watch the spread on this one, as if star Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is out, it will for sure shift a few points. The Vikings already are going with backup QB Gus Frerotte as their starter, but it will be tough for this team to get a lift just from that. The Panthers are playing tough on both sides of the ball, and if the Vikings play their usual stingy run defense, Jake Delhomme will simply try and throw the ball to the returning Steve Smith and others. I like what the Panthers have done, and see them at 3-0 after this one no matter who plays for the Vikings. Carolina 20 Minnesota 14

St.Louis at Seattle (-9.5)

This had better be just what the doctor ordered for the Hawks, who really need a win and some success on offense to get things turned around. Look for it this week, even with a make-shift WR core and a running game that will feature Julius Jones. The Hawks will control the ball on offense, and should regain their form against a weak Rams offense that has been awful after two games. Things will feel better in Seattle – at least for one week. Seattle 27 St.Louis 14

Detroit at San Francisco (-4)

The 49’ers have the edge here at home, as former Lions QB J.T. O’Sullivan should be able to pick apart the Lions secondary. San Fran will also feature back Frank Gore, and he and the offense have a lot to prove to the Lions with former coordinator Mike Martz now running the Niners show. If the Lions want to play it tight, they have to have early success, and not look up and be down 21-0 by the second quarter. They will play better, but not good enough to get a win. San Francisco 23 Detroit 17

New Orleans at Denver (-5.5)

The Broncos got the no-call and then the gutsy call they needed last week to beat the Chargers to move to 2-0. Make no mistake, this is a good football team that has the Chargers worried. The Saints have firepower on offense, but last week suffered without Marques Colston, and eventually lost to Washington. The Saints seem lacking on the road, which is why in the end I think Jay Cutler has another big day and the Broncos sit at 3-0 by days end. Denver 30 New Orleans 20

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia (-3.5)

The Eagles come in after a tough loss to Dallas and on a short week, while the Steelers survived the wind and rain to top the Browns 10-6. I like this matchup for the Eagles, as Brian Westbrook should be able to pick apart the Steelers linebackers taking short passes and gaining ground. I know all the talk in Pittsburgh has been about Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulder, but even if he’s 100 percent, he and O-line are in for a long day vs the Eagles. I like the Eagles here, and they should have enough to cover even on a short week. Philadelphia 23 Pittsburgh 17

Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-5)

If there is a team more beat up than the Jags, let me know. They are looking anywhere and everywhere for offensive lineman, and this week it won’t be easy to beat their rivals on the road coming off a big win in Minnesota. Peyton Manning and company should have enough between the passing game and trying to get Joseph Addai going to gain a win here, and put their rivals at 0-3 and looking at a long season. David Garrard needs to play better, but it will be tough here. Indianapolis 24 Jacksonville 13

Cleveland at Baltimore (-2)

I started the week thinking Ravens, but as it’s gone by, I am getting a sense that the Browns are well aware of what may happen with a loss here. 0-3, two losses in the division, and their coach will officially be on the hot seat. They will do what they can to not let that happen, and I think it’s time for Derek Anderson and the offense to finally come to life. Look for D.A. to get some time and make some big plays, while the defense has enough to shut down Joe Flacco and the Ravens in a close one. Cleveland 17 Baltimore 16

Dallas (-3.5) at Green Bay

The game of the week on Sunday night, the Cowboys took care of the Pack at home last year, but this time it might not be as easy. Or will it? Sure the Pack has gotten off to a fast start with Aaron Rodgers and company, but I think there they have a tough time with the Dallas pass rush, and look for the Cowboys to get some easy yards against the Pack that other teams started to exploit last week in Detroit. Tony Romo and T.O. have big days, and the Cowboys are able to get the job done in another exciting game. Dallas 28 Green Bay 23

New York Jets at San Diego (-9)

Don’t like the points here, more so with the fact that the Chargers are limited with what L.T. can do with a bum foot. The Jets may not win, but you can bet with Brett Favre and a poor outing last week, they will do what they can to turn that around. Favre and that offense is going to get better, and there is no doubt that the Chargers have their work cut out for them. Phillip Rivers will have to carry San Diego, and he will – barley. Look for a closer game that could swing with a few big plays. San Diego 27 NY Jets 24

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