The National Football League season has gotten off to a great start with exciting games in the first two weeks. Freshman Luke Misko put it perfectly stating, “the only place you should be on Sunday afternoon is in front of your TV.” This weekend should produce more action-packed games, especially with the battle of Pennsylvania happening between the Steelers and Eagles. There are teams like the Vikings, Giants, and Ravens who have gotten off to surprisingly great starts as they are all 2-0. However, some teams like the Bills, Colts, and Redskins are 0-2 after underperforming so far this season. This has led some coaches to wonder if their time as a head coach is limited. Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan explained how he “doesn’t feel comfortable right now” when discussing his feelings about his team’s start.
Here are my previews/predictions for the Week 3 games:
Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills 1:00 P.M. FOX
The Bills are coming off a disappointing loss on Thursday Night Football to the Jets where the defense looked lost. However, the next day head coach Rex Ryan fired the offense coordinator. We’ll see if that pays off this week as they faced a talented Arizona Cardinals defense who frustrated the Buccaneers last weekend. I expect QB Carson Palmer and the Cardinals to play well on the road and win this game pretty easily.
Prediction: Cardinals win 34-17
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers Sunday 1:00 P.M. FOX
This game will go on despite the protesting happening minutes away from the stadium in Charlotte. The Vikings have recently received news that star RB Adrian Peterson will be out for an extended period of time. Now the Vikings are missing their star quarterback and running back as they head to face the Panthers, who had a great bounce back win against the 49ers. I expect the Panthers defense to put pressure on Vikings QB Sam Bradford and get the win.
Prediction: Panthers win 23-13
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans Sunday 1:00 P.M. CBS
The Raiders have been very disappointing on the defensive side of the ball this season and look to change that against second year QB Marcus Mariota and the Titans. They are coming off of a nice comeback win against the Lions. I think that this will be a close game with the Raiders offense making some plays down the stretch to win the ball game.
Prediction: Raiders win 24-20
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals Sunday 1:00 P.M. CBS
The Denver Broncos are feeling good after two dominant performances on the defense side of the ball. They look to continue that against a hobbled Andy Dalton. The Bengals have struggled protecting their quarterback and will need to do a better job against the Broncos dangerous pass rush. I like the Broncos to squeeze by with a victory.
Prediction: Broncos 20-14
Washington Redskins at New York Giants Sunday 1:00 P.M. FOX
The Redskins have underperformed after reaching the playoffs a year ago. They will try to get in the win column against an impressive Giants team who has started the season undefeated. The Giants have throughly improved on the defense side of the football while getting more players involved on offense. I like the way they are playing and think they will get the W.
Prediction: Giants win 30-21
Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins Sunday 1:00 P.M. CBS
One of these team will have finally get a victory after week 3. The Browns blew a 20-point lead to the Ravens a week ago while the Dolphins got off to a terrible start in their game against the Patriots. I have the Dolphins winning this game because their defensive front should fluster the Browns new starting QB Cody Kessler, a rookie out of The University of Southern California.
Prediction: Dolphins win 20-7
Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday 1:00 P.M. CBS
The Ravens are feeling good after a nice comeback win against the Browns a week ago. Jacksonville has disappointed the first two weeks after coming into the season with heightened expectations. I believe Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley’s seat gets even hotter after this week.
Prediction: Ravens win 27-24
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers Sunday 1:00 P.M. FOX
The Packers are looking to rebound after a loss to the Vikings in which QB Aaron Rodgers was outplayed by journeyman Sam Bradford. He will play better against a Lions team that recently lost RB Ameer Abdullah to injury. I expect Rodgers and the Packers to respond to critics in a big way this week.
Prediction: Packers 38-21
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks Sunday 4:05 P.M. FOX
Seattle is looking forward to playing again after a disappointing loss to the Rams. They are struggling to run the football after Marshawn Lynch retired. The 49ers did not play a good game defensively last week and will need to be sharper if they want to come out on top. I like the Seahawks to bounce back in front of their raucous crowd.
Prediction: Seahawks win 31-15
Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday 4:05 P.M. FOX
The Rams played great a week ago, defeating the Seahawks in their home opener. The Buccaneers meanwhile struggled to protect the football, leading to a loss. It will be interesting to see which team steps up and moves to 2-1 on the season. I think it will be the Bucs at home who get the job done.
Prediction: Buccaneers win 20-16
Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles Sunday 4:25 P.M. CBS
This is going to be a great game featuring two undefeated teams. Rookie QB Carson Wentz has exceed expectations for the Eagles and is a major part of the reason for their fantastic start. The Steelers have their improved defense to thanks for their impressive wins of two playoff teams from a year ago. The Steelers will go on the road and get the win over their Pennsylvania foe.
Prediction: Steelers 31-20
New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs Sunday 4:25 CBS
The Jets bounced backed against the Bills last week having three wide receivers go over 90 yards receiving. It will be a challenge to keep that up against a solid Chiefs defense, despite their poor performance last week. The Chiefs’ home field advantage will get them the win again the Jets.
Prediction: Chiefs win 26-20
San Diego Chargers at Indianapolis Colts Sunday 4:25 CBS
QB Andrew Luck has played horribly in his first two games of the season, leading to Colts losses. I expect him to play better this week, but I don’t think it will be enough against an improved Charger team from a year ago.
Prediction: Chargers win 34-27
Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Sunday 8:30 P.M. NBC
The Chicago Bears are preparing to start Brian Hoyer at quarterback this weekend after Jay Culter was hurt in the loss against the Eagles on Monday Night Football. Rookie QB Dak Prescott and the Cowboys looked a lot better in their victory of the Redskins last week. I think that the good play continues against a reeling Bears team. Cowboys win 27-14.
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints Monday 8:30 P.M. ESPN
The Falcons had a nice performance against the Raiders last week bringing them to 1-1 on the season. The Saints are looking to finally win after losing close games the first two weeks. They need to feature RB Mark Ingram more in order to stabilize their offense. I think the Saints get it done in front of their home crowd.
Prediction: Saints win 38-35