21 September 2016

2016 NFL Predictions: Week 3

(USATSI)
This will be the first NFL weekend of the fall, so there's that. The NFL campaign is heating up in the nick of time and we have got ourselves some fun contests this week. Who will win this week in the NFL? Here are my predictions. 

Last Week: 9-7
2016: 19-13
Locks: 2-0

Thursday, September 22nd
Texans (2-0) vs. Patriots (2-0) - CBS/NFL Network, 8:25
Houston Texans (2002 - Pres)New England Patriots (2000 - Pres)
As we all know, it always is hard to bet against the Patriots and especially so when it seems like the best time to bet against them. After all, who would have thought that with a backup quarterback that they'd go into Arizona and win in their opener?. That said, I just have no idea what to expect out of Jacoby Brissett and especially so against a pretty good defense like that of the Texans. Even on the road, I like the Texans here.
Texans 20 Patriots 16

Sunday, September 25th
Cardinals (1-1) vs. Bills (0-2) - Fox, 1:00
Phoenix Cardinals (1988 - 1993)Buffalo Bills (1974 - Pres)
It was a classic Rex Ryan move, firing the person (offensive coordinator Greg Roman) that is not doing a bad job while ignoring the person that is the problem (himself). Buffalo's defense has not been good at all this season and the secondary just got torched by the Jets through the air. Even as the offense has been fine, the unit that should be Ryan's baby is holding this team back. Arizona rebounded from the disappointing New England loss by smoking the Buccaneers and even in an early contest, they should be able to take care of business in Orchard Park.
Cardinals 30 Bills 16

Raiders (1-1) vs. Titans (1-1) - CBS, 1:00
Oakland Raiders (1995 - Pres)Tennessee Titans (1999 - Pres)
Oakland has been breathtakingly bad on defense through two games, giving up over 500 yards of offense per game despite a number of free agent acquisitions. Fortunately, the usual suspects Derek Carr and Amari Cooper have been good and have allowed the Raiders to be in games but this team could not stop anybody right now. Tennessee's defense has been just the opposite and they have done a nice job in keeping scores low but they also took advantage of some key Detroit mental errors (you would've thought Jim Caldwell is coaching this team) to get the win. I think Oakland will get the win but it'll be close.
Raiders 33 Titans 28

Washington (0-2) vs. Giants (2-0) - Fox, 1:00
Washington Redskins (1965 - 1969)New York Giants (1961 - 1974)
It has not been a fun couple of weeks for Washington as their defense has gotten scorched two weeks in a row and now Kirk Cousins is reportedly under fire. The Washington offense has gotten some offense but it keeps on stagnating in the red zone. It may not be a do-or-die contest for them in East Rutherford on Sunday but it's getting close to that point. I don't see how this secondary can slow down the triumvirate of Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and Sterling Shepard to get a road victory.
Giants 31 Washington 28

Browns (0-2) vs. Dolphins (0-2) - CBS, 1:00
Cleveland Browns (2015 - Pres)Miami Dolphins (1989 - 1996)
Safe to say that the Dolphins have caught themselves a break with this matchup as the Browns, who were bad to begin with, will now start their fifth-different starting quarterback in the past five games. Rookie Cody Kessler will be the man this week but I'm not that optimistic simply because the team is dreadful but also because Kessler has a noodle arm. Color me surprised if Miami does not win this game.
Dolphins 17 Browns 6

Ravens (2-0) vs. Jaguars (0-2) - CBS, 1:00
Baltimore Ravens (1996 - 1998)Jacksonville Jaguars (1995 - 2012)
A tight loss to the Packers in their home opener was not a terrible loss for the Jaguars but getting cranked by the Chargers this past Sunday in the way that they were was a terrible loss as what we thought could be a promising season may just go up in flames. They need a win here at home and I think they'll get it. Baltimore may be 2-0 but it's been against two bad teams in the Bills and Browns and neither were convincing. A borderline desperate team gets that must-win.
Jaguars 23 Ravens 21

Lions (1-1) vs. Packers (1-1) - Fox, 1:00
Detroit Lions (1970 - 2002)Green Bay Packers (1968 - 1979)
Another mess of a coaching job by Jim Caldwell practically gave a win to the Titans on Sunday which is a shame because this team does have some talent. Now they get to go to Lambeau for the Packers' home opener when they could sorely use a win after a disappointing offensive performance on Sunday night. If you haven't been paying close enough attention, you would see that Aaron Rodgers has not been, well, Aaron Rodgers for the past 12 games or so. I'm not sold that he will be back to form but I do think that a hungry team will get a needed win at the friendly confines.
Packers 26 Lions 23

Broncos (2-0) vs. Bengals (1-1) - CBS, 1:00
Denver Broncos (1970 - 1992)Cincinnati Bengals (1997 - Pres)
Considering that the Bengals have not gotten a whole lot from their rushing game, it has been very important that Andy Dalton has been quite good to start his 2016. After all, he is leading the league with a hearty 732 passing yards. As to whether he will be good enough to penetrate this Denver defense is the question. I'm still not sold on the Broncos just yet even with their 2-0 start and in Trevor Siemian's first road contest, I think he's going to struggle.
Bengals 24 Broncos 22

Vikings (2-0) vs. Panthers (1-1) - Fox, 1:00
Minnesota Vikings (1966 - 2012)Carolina Panthers (1995 - 2011)
Adrian Peterson has a torn meniscus which is certainly bad news but hey, he didn't do much against the Packers and the Vikings still cranked out a win. That was due to some tremendous play by the Minnesota defense and some quality quarterbacking from Sam Bradford but there is a defense from playing a stadium opener and now going on the road to take on the Panthers. Cam Newton was tremendous against Frisco and the running game was very good with Fozzy Whitaker leading the charge. I don't see that same level of offense here but there will be plenty enough for a win.
Panthers 28 Vikings 20

Rams (1-1) vs. Buccaneers (1-1) - Fox, 4:05
Los Angeles Rams (2016 - Pres)Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014 - Pres)
The Rams marked their return to Los Angeles with yet another upset victory over the Seahawks but let's not act like it was a pretty win because it sure wasn't. Case Keenum was perfectly mediocre and Todd Gurley wasn't able to do much on the ground but the defense stepped up and led the charge. Tampa Bay got completely smashed by the Cardinals in Glendale but at home against a frankly inept offense, they should be able to get back on track.
Buccaneers 16 Rams 10

49ers (1-1) vs. Seahawks (1-1) - Fox, 4:05
San Francisco 49ers (1968 - 1995)Seattle Seahawks (2002 - 2011)
At least the Seahawks have themselves a good defense because their offense has been giving them absolutely no help. After all, averaging 7.5 points-per-game is not exactly a winning strategy in today's NFL and the hobbled ankle of Russell Wilson coupled with a bad offensive line doesn't exactly help the cause. San Francisco has seen some life from time to time with their offense this season but apologies if I don't have confidence in Blaine Gabbert on the road in Seattle.
Seahawks 13 49ers 6

Jets (1-1) vs. Chiefs (1-1) - CBS, 4:25
New York Jets (1964 - 1966)Kansas City Chiefs (1972 - Pres)
I would be more concerned here with the Jets with their crappy pass defense, and most notably the poor play of Darrelle Revis, but against a team that doesn't stretch the field vertically like the Chiefs, it's not that big of a concern. Meanwhile, their run defense is quite good and that is important against a quality running team like the Chiefs are. I'm feeling the road victory here for New York.
Jets 18 Chiefs 14

Chargers (1-1) vs. Colts (0-2) - CBS, 4:25
San Diego Chargers (2007 - Pres)Indianapolis Colts (2002 - Pres)
The Colts are probably due for a win as they return home and they have got themselves a good shot here. Yes, the offensive line is still bad and the defense is a mess but above all else, this is Andrew Luck's team and the team runs through him. Considering that the Chargers have looked bad against the pass thus far this season, I think Luck has the potential for a big day. Of course, the Chargers could get cranked up offensively against the aforementioned mediocre defense of the Colts but I like Indianapolis.
Colts 34 Chargers 30

Steelers (2-0) vs. Eagles (2-0) - CBS, 4:25
Pittsburgh Steelers (2002 - Pres)Philadelphia Eagles (1996 - Pres)
Everybody and their cousin is talking about Carson Wentz and his play thus far with the Eagles and he has looked solid. But perhaps people may need to calm down if all us because his performances have come against the Browns and the Bears. And he will certainly have to ramp up his play if he wants to duel with Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. It's not out of the realm of possibility but I'm also not betting on it happening.
Steelers 30 Eagles 20

Bears (0-2) vs. Cowboys (1-1) - NBC, 8:30
Chicago Bears (1999 - Pres)Dallas Cowboys (1964 - Pres)
You know, before the season I actually didn't think that the Bears would be terrible and they weren't that terrible in their opener. They were brutal on Monday night against Philadelphia and now with Jay Cutler being hurt, it's not a great time to be a Bears fan. Cowboys fans are feeling a little better considering that Dak Prescott has been solid and they could easily be 2-0. They don't look like a great team on either side of the ball but they do when they are contrasted with the Bears and therefore, Dallas is my Lock of the Week.
Cowboys 21 Bears 10

Monday, September 26th
Falcons (1-1) vs. Saints (0-2) - ESPN, 8:30
Atlanta Falcons (2003 - Pres)New Orleans Saints (2016 - 2016)
The 28th and 30th-ranked defenses in the NFL face off against the 9th and 2nd-ranked offenses in the NFL so I think you know what to expect on Monday night in the Big Easy. Matt Ryan has looked pretty good thus far and even in the Superdome, I'm not fully sure how the Saints plan to contain him. Drew Brees will keep them in it until the end but I like Atlanta on the road.
Falcons 35 Saints 31

7 comments:

  1. For Raiders and Titans, you put Raiders 33, Raiders 28

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Ben
    Again, like Week 2 there don't seem to be many obvious blow-out match-ups. Your LOTW is a good one but I shall go for the Giants to go 3-0 with a convincing win over Washington. Again the Fins showed they may have the spine of a team in the making but I think they will find a way to make it difficult for themselves against Cleveland,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your lock of the week was unlocked by the Redskins. Even though the NFL replay officials tried to bone them multiple times.

      Delete
    2. Yep, my lock was definitely picked by Washington and they were worthy winners. Eli had one of those Eli sort of games.

      Delete
  3. The Seahawks have actually averaged 7.5 points per game, 12 against the Dolphins and 3 against the Rams.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes you are correct, I was looking at points allowed. Fixed.

      Delete