AFC Editor Matt Loede’s NFL Picks For Week Three

Last Week: 11-5
Season: 21-11

San Francisco at Cincinnati – The Bengals play their home opener to a less than full house, but I think have the edge here. Andy Dalton has looked good in two games, going over 100 in QB rating in each of the two games. The Bengals need to run Ced Benson and pressure 49ers QB Alex Smith, who is void of a couple WR’s that are hurt. The Niners need to run Frank Gore a lot, but the Bengals know that and will key in on him. Cincinnati 17 San Francisco 9

Jacksonville at Carolina – The rookie QB bowl, as Cam Newton takes on Blaine Gabbert. It’s the two 1995 expansion teams, and they are pretty evenly matched for the most part. I like Newton to get his first win at home, as he’s played very good over the first two weeks, putting up massive amounts of yards. Against the Jags, look for a 300+ yard day, and one TD through the air and another on the ground. Gabbert will get some yards, but won’t do enough to get a win. Carolina 23 Jacksonville 10

Detroit at Minnesota – The Lions are 2-0, and the Vikings are 0-2. Minnesota is upset after losing to the Bucs last week at home in a game where they were up and should have been able to put them away. Instead now they will try to beat a team they usually have good success against at home in the Lions.

Denver at Tennessee – The Titans gained a huge amount of confidence with the home win a week ago over the Ravens. Denver got a big home win as well. I think here at home they will again be carried by WR Kenny Britt and QB Matt Hasselbeck and will get a win over the Broncos in a hard fought game. Tennessee 24 Denver 17

Miami at Cleveland – The Browns have won three straight over the Dolphins, but those have been in Miami, and the Dolphins seem to play with a lot more confidence on the road. They were 6-2 last season, and against a sub-par Cleveland team, they will get a close win with the run game doing enough to pull out a victory to get to 1-2. Miami 21 Cleveland 17

NY Giants at Philadelphia – Mike Vick should play in this game despite having concussion issues from last week against the Falcons. He took first-string snaps Thursday, which means he should be a go. The Eagles blew a 10-point lead to the Falcons, and they should be ready to bounce back against a beat-up Giants team. Vick and LeSean McCoy will have good games, and the Giants won’t have enough firepower to be able to top the Giants at home with Vick having a good day. Philadelphia 28 NY Giants 17

Houston at New Orleans – Houston DC Wade Phillips will come up with a good plan against Drew Brees, but the Saints are suck a better team at home, it is unlikely that the Texans will have enough firepower to match the Saints high-powered orchestra on offense of Brees and company. Look for a tight game that may not have as much scoring as one would think, but will still go the way of the Saints as they get to 2-1. New Orleans 24 Houston 20

New England at Buffalo – Interesting game between red-hot Tom Brady and a Bills team that is 2-0 after a huge comeback a week ago. Brady and the his teammates can’t be stopped right now, as they are in sync on offense, and their defense will do enough to slow down Ryan Fitzpartick and Fred Jackson. The Pats are still the big boys of the division, and they will have more than enough to top the Bills and what should be a shootout. New England 37 Buffalo 29

Baltimore at St.Louis – After the Ravens laid an egg on the road against the Titans, now they head to St.Louis to play a Rams team that last week was without Steven Jackson. This could be a big game for Sam Bradford, as the Rams will attack the Ravens secondary like the Titans and Matt Hasselbeck did last week. Bradford should be able to go near 300 yards, and the Rams D will look to harass Joe Flacco into mistakes to stop the Ravens offense for a second straight week. St.Louis 21 Baltimore 16

NY Jets at Oakland – Last week the Raiders blew a game they should have won, losing to the Bills in the final 30 seconds. They were up 21-3, and need to find ways to close teams out. They play a Jets team that usually finds ways to make things interesting, like two weeks ago against the Cowboys. They will do it again here, but the Raiders with Darren McFadden will do enough to pull out a close win that will come down to the wire. Oakland 17 New York Jets 13

Kansas City at San Diego – The Chiefs are a complete mess, losing two games as about as bad as a team could, and now they will have to go through the season without RB Jammal Charles, who is done. They head to San Diego, playing a Chargers team that made too many mistakes in trying to top the Pats on the road. They should have success against the Chiefs, who have been bad on offense and even worse on defense. The Chargers are a better team this year, and they will win going away vs the Chiefs. San Diego 30 Kansas City 17

Green Bay at Chicago – The Bears offensive line is a mess, and Jay Cutler is going to have another long day against the Packers defense. Last season the Pack got a huge win the final week of the season and then won the NFC Title Game in Chicago, which means that they right now have the Bears number. They will do it again, as Aaron Rodgers will have a big day and the Packers will get to 3-0 while the Bears will be 1-2. Green Bay 31 Chicago 21

Arizona at Seattle – Ugh. A game that already looks rather ugly, as the Seahawks are downright bad, getting shutout last week by the Steelers. The Cards couldn’t finish off the Redskins, and eventually lost the game and are 1-1 on the year. I like Arizona and what Kevin Kolb has done in two weeks with the team. Beanie Wells is also doing some good things with the run game, and the Hawks are already thinking about Andrew Luck and 2012. Arizona 30 Seattle 14

Atlanta at Tampa Bay – Two NFC South rivals do battle in Tampa. This was a good game last season, and the Falcons were able to come out with a big win to eventually win the division. Tampa Bay had a huge comeback last week in Minnesota, but seem to still be finding themselves. The Falcons rallied to top the Eagles, and I think they are still the better team, and once again, this could come down to a last TD or field goal. Atlanta 20 Tampa Bay 17

Pittsburgh at Indianapolis – Think NBC is wishing they could flex out a game three weeks into the season? Yes. This could be ugly, as the Steelers defense is going to play trying for shutout #2 in a row, and against a pretty bad Colts team that is 0-2. The Steelers should be able to run the ball with success, and Ben Roethlisberger should be able to pick apart the Colts D. They will need plenty to chat about in the second half of this dog. Pittsburgh 27 Indianapolis 7

Monday:

Washington at Dallas – DeAngelo Hall wants corner blitzes, and that is motivation enough for the Cowboys in their home opener for Tony Romo and company to come out and go after the 2-0 Redskins. I like Dallas for the things they have done right in weeks 1 and 2, and if Romo doesn’t make week one mistakes, they would be a solid 2-0. They will play with emotion here, and should have enough to shut down Rex Grossman and keep Romo protected. Dallas 17 Washington 13


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