Movie quote of the day:
“Hey, where did you get those clothes at the toilet store?”
– Brick Tamland, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004)
Here are the matchups for week three:
Week two record: 10-6 (62.5 percent)
2016 record: 21-11 (65.6 percent)
All-time record: 143-100 (59.0 percent)
Houston Texans (2-0) at New England Patriots (2-0)
Line: NE -1
It looks like New England will be without Jimmy Garoppolo for this game, which means Jacoby Brissett will get his first NFL start. New England has looked great, but when Garoppolo went out of the game last week the Patriots almost gave up a big lead to Miami. I don’t know much about Brissett and I’ve never seen him play. Meanwhile, Houston looks like a contender in the AFC. I’m going with a safe pick and taking the Texans.
Prediction: Texans 21, Patriots 17
Detroit Lions (1-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-1)
Green Bay, Wisc.
Line: GB -7.5
As a Green Bay fan, I’m at a loss for words. I have no idea what to expect from the Packers anymore and I worry they will never get out of the funk they’ve been in the last 10 games they’ve played. That being said, this will be Green Bay’s first home game since August 18. I expect Mike McCarthy to have this team ready to play after getting embarrassed Sunday night. I think the home crowd will help elevate Green Bay’s performance to get a division win, but Detroit will keep it close.
Prediction: Packers 24, Lions 21
Arizona Cardinals (1-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-2)
New Era Field
Line: ARI -4
Rex Ryan is likely coaching for his job for this game. The Buffalo fan base is breathing down his neck. West Coast teams rarely play well when traveling across the country for an early kickoff. I know that the Bills have looked really bad, but they need to win this game if they want to make the playoffs. I think Buffalo gets it done at home.
Prediction: Bills 20, Cardinals 16
Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-1)
Line: TEN -1.5
This will be a tough game for Oakland to win because Tennessee has a very underrated defense. The Titans rank in the top 10 in scoring defense, and the Raiders rank toward the bottom in the league in the same stat. It’s always tough to win games on the road in the NFL, especially for a young team like Oakland with a struggling defense. I think Tennessee is a better team than people think. I like the Titans to win.
Prediction: Titans 28, Raiders 24
Cleveland Browns (0-2) at Miami Dolphins (0-2)
Hard Rock Stadium
Line: MIA -9.5
I said after the draft to not sleep on Cody Kessler as the Browns starting quarterback – granted, he’s getting the start by default because the two quarterbacks ahead of him on the depth chart are hurt, but still – and his era is set to begin Sunday. The Browns are a really bad team and they’ve had a lot of injuries so far. It’ll be a tall order trying to get a first win on the road, with a below average roster, and a quarterback making his first career start. I expect Miami to take care of business at home.
Prediction: Dolphins 24, Browns 13
Baltimore Ravens (2-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
Line: BAL -1
Gus Bradley is another coach that could be coaching for his job in this game. Jacksonville’s front office has done a stellar job in recent years of drafting talent and signing quality free agents – it’s time for the pieces to start to gel. So far, it hasn’t happened this season and Bradley can’t afford an 0-3 start. Plain and simple, the Jaguars need a win more than Baltimore and I think they find a way to win at home.
Prediction: Jaguars 21, Ravens 19
Denver Broncos (2-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
Paul Brown Stadium
Line: CIN -3.5
I expected a drop-off with Denver’s offense, but it’s been the opposite this season. Trevor Siemian has looked decent at quarterback. However, that offense has had the luxury of playing at home for the first two weeks of the regular season. This will be a real test and Cincinnati has a pretty good defense. I expect Siemian to struggle in his first road game. Denver’s defense will keep the Broncos in the game, but it won’t be enough to win.
Prediction: Bengals 21, Broncos 16
Washington Redskins (0-2) at New York Giants (2-0)
East Rutherford, N.J.
Line: NYG -4.5
The last time Josh Gordon and Odell Beckham Jr. played against each other it got chippy to say the least. I’m really looking forward to watching how those players will behave in this matchup. Washington is another team that can’t afford an 0-3 start, but the Giants look like a quality team. I think the Giants’ revamped defense – which ranks in the top 10 in total and scoring defense – will be too much for Kirk Cousins and the Redskins’ offense to handle on the road. .
Prediction: Giants 27, Redskins 19
Los Angeles Rams (1-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)
Raymond James Stadium
Line: TB -5.5
Los Angeles has one of the worst offenses I’ve ever seen. The Rams’s offense has only mustered a mere 468 yards and nine points in two games. It can’t get much worse for L. A. and I’m sure the offense will get better, but I need to see it to believe first. Jameis Winston had a bad game last week and I expect him to get back on track and look like he did in week one. Tampa Bay should win this game comfortably.
Prediction: Buccaneers 27, Rams 13
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
Line: SEA -9.5
Even though San Francisco looks like a better team than most people – and myself – thought it’d be this year, I don’t think the 49ers can win this game. Seattle is the toughest place to play in the NFL, and the Seahawks have one of the best defenses in the league too. That’s not good for a team that has Blaine Gabbert as its starting quarterback. It’ll be an ugly, but I like Seattle in a low-scoring game.
Prediction: Seahawks 17, 49ers 14
New York Jets (1-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-1)
Kansas City, Mo.
Line: KC -3
Which Kansas City team will show up for this game? I’ve been disappointed in the Chiefs’ defense because it hasn’t played well so far this season, and that area was supposed to be their strength. It looks like the Jets finally have a quality offense that can score points, and I think Kansas City will have problems trying to contain the Jets’ offense. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest venues in the NFL, but I think the Jets get a big win on the road.
Prediction: Jets 23, Chiefs 20
San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
Lucas Oil Stadium
Line: IND -3
Indianapolis is another team that can’t afford to start 0-3. The X-factor of this game will be if the Colts’ defense can slow down the Chargers’ offense, because Andrew Luck should pick apart the Chargers’ defense – which ranks No. 28 in the league in pass defense. I’ll take Luck and the Colts at home.
Prediction: Colts 31, Chargers 24
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)
Lincoln Financial Field
Line: PIT -3.5
Carson Wentz has been very impressive but he has played two lousy teams with below-average defenses. Ben Roethlisberger and Pittsburgh’s offense should have its way with a mediocre Philadelphia secondary. Philadelphia is a tough place to play, so, the atmosphere should be electric and could cause fits for the Steelers. I think the Eagles keep it close, but the Steelers will emerge victorious.
Prediction: Steelers 27, Eagles 23
Chicago Bears (0-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
Line: DAL -7.5
Chicago’s defense has struggled so far, surrendering 52 points in two games. The Bears will be without Jay Cutler for the forseeable future, so, this game could get ugly because Brian Hoyer is terrible. I expect Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys to play well in front of the home crowd.
Prediction: Cowboys 30, Bears 17
Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-2)
Line: NO -3
New Orleans will have a tall order this week trying to slow down Matt Ryan – the league leader in passer rating. The Saints’ defense isn’t great, so, it will have to force Ryan to make mistakes – which it was able to do to Eli Manning and the Giants’ offense last week. It could be a shootout, but I expect the New Orleans crowd to be the difference in the game.
Prediction: Saints 31, Falcons 28
Game of the week:
Minnesota Vikings (2-0) at Carolina Panthers (1-1)
Bank of America Stadium
Line: CAR -7
Carolina has one of the best front sevens in the league. The Panthers will have the luxury of dropping several back in coverage to slow down Stefon Diggs and the Minnesota passing attack if the Vikings can’t get the run game going – something they’ve failed to do so far. Even though Sam Bradford was able to outplay Aaron Rodgers last week at home, I don’t see him doing the same to Cam Newton on the road.
Prediction: Panthers 34, Vikings 24
Thanks for reading
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