NFL predictions: Week 3
The NFL’s Week 3 season kicks off Thursday night with a battle of Southeastern Conference quarterbacks. Eli Manning and the Giants vs. Cam Newton and the Panthers. Time for predictions:
Giants at Panthers: Carolina 29-28. New York is not playing well. Two home games, two puzzling performances. The G-Men are lucky to be 1-1. And while I tend to side more with Tom Coughlin than Greg Schiano in the great victory formation debate, the Giants’ umbrage is a little disconcerting.
Rams at Bears: Chicago 24-16. I’m off the Jay Cutler bandwagon. I’m through sticking up for the guy. I’ve done it on the radio for several years. I’ll do it no more. If I’m the Bears, I don’t want this guy as my quarterback, even if he is the best Chicago QB in a quarter century.
Bills at Browns: Buffalo 23-20. Brandon Weeden looked much better in his second game. That’s no surprise. But think how quickly fortunes turn in the NFL. In the opener, the Jetropolitans routed Buffalo, and we all wrote the script for both teams’ seasons. Then last week, the Bills routed KC, and the Jets lost at Pittsburgh. Now Buffalo and New York both are 1-1.
Buccaneers at Cowboys: Dallas 34-14. The Seattle drubbing was no big deal for the Cowboys. That kind of thing happens. But lose this game, and it’s a big deal.
Jaguars at Colts: Indianapolis 27-12. The Colts are about to be 2-1, and Andrew Luck is under the radar. Think about that. No. 1 overall pick. An NFL legend, in some ways, before he ever left college. And now he can’t get anyone to notice that he’s playing decently and his woebegone team is not awful.
Jets at Dolphins: New York 19-7. Miami’s rout of Oakland has to say more about the Raiders than it does the Dolphins. Is this the game we see Tim Tebow unveiled, in the stadium where he beat the Sooners for the national title four years ago?
49ers at Vikings: San Francisco 26-10. I am not a big believer in Alex Smith, not yet anyway, but I am a believer in Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers.
Chiefs at Saints: New Orleans 41-24. It must be horrible to be a Kansas City fan. I’ve got a couple of friends who are Chief fans, and that’s got to be just brutal. They’re hardly ever terrible, as in 2-14 terrible. And every once in awhile, Kansas City makes the playoffs. But mostly, the Chiefs are just mediocre. And now they’re about to be 0-3, and the season is gone before October arrives.
Lions at Titans: Detroit 25-20. I don’t like the looks of Matthew Stafford. He threw very poorly against the 49ers. It’s one thing if there’s nobody to throw to. But when your passes float and wobble, that’s on you. Still, Tennessee is in danger of becoming the league’s most anonymous team. Jeff Fisher gave the Titans an identity. He took it with him when he was fired.
Bengals at Redskins: Cincinnati 26-24. The Robert Griffin wave has got to crash sometime. Why not in this unlikely place, home against the Bengals?
Eagles at Cardinals: Arizona 24-23. Michael Vick has got to play better. And even if he does, it might not be enough against this defense. The Cardinals are the story of the NFL so far, at least as far as teams go.
Falcons at Chargers: San Diego 30-20. Hey, Atlanta receivers, give Matt Ryan some help. Way too many drops against the Broncos the other night. Meanwhile, the Chargers are laying low at 2-0. Maybe they like it that way.
Texans at Broncos: Denver 27-24. Wow. Some great matchups in the late afternoon window. Is something wrong with Peyton Manning? Yes. He’s getting old. But he’s got a good defense and maybe enough moxie to get the Broncos past the elite Houstons.
Steelers at Raiders: Pittsburgh 33-14. Here’s a scary thought for Oakland fans, who figured the death of Al Davis would relieve the franchise of its disorganization and chaos. What if all Davis’ departure did was sap his football knowledge from Raider headquarters? What if the disorganization and chaos remain? Davis, we all can agree, had a great football mind. He didn’t know how to run an organization, not in this era at least, but he knew some football. What if the culture remains the same without him?
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