NFL Week 3 Game-by-Game Predictions


Sep 20, 2015; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins running back Matt Jones (31) leaps into the stands after scoring a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams during the first half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 is in the books, and we have a very interesting NFL picture. Nine teams enter Week 3 with an 0-2 record, and nine teams still remain undefeated. If you missed our weekly Power Rankings, check them out right here. With so many intriguing matchups, let’s get right into our Week 3 game-by-game predictions.

Don’t agree with me? Let me know on Twitter @CHoweSports.

Last Week’s Record: 8-8

Season Record: 19-13

(I didn’t write a predictions piece for Week 1, but you can find my picks here)

Washington Redskins (1-1) at New York Giants (0-2)

Thursday 9/24 at 8:25PM EST

The Redskins are hot coming into New York, but I like the Giants at home here. If it wasn’t for two clock management errors from Eli Manning, the Giants are a 2-0 team. Washington played well against a talented Rams team who came back to earth, but the home team should come out with the victory tonight.

Sep 20, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) celebrates throwing a touchdown to tight end Tyler Eifert (not pictured) in the second half against the San Diego Chargers at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 24-19. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals (2-0) at Baltimore Ravens (0-2)

Sunday 9/27 at 1:00PM EST

Cincinnati is red hot behind the Red Rifle, Andy Dalton. Meanwhile, the Ravens are a mess. This is a must-win for Baltimore, so the team could play with a sense of urgency and surprise me, but I’m giving this one to Cincinnati. Baltimore’s offense is a mess; Cincinnati’s is one of the best in the league. Baltimore defense has given up 52 points in two games and Cincinnati’s has given up 32 points. Cincinnati should have the advantage on the road.

20. 26. 30. 56. Final

New Orleans Saints (0-2) at Carolina Panthers

Sunday 9/27 at 1:00PM EST

The Saints have looked terrible this season, and that’s before losing Drew Brees. The Panthers should be able to get the easy win at home and extend their winning streak to three games. New Orleans has a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball–it may be time for a complete roster overhaul after the season.

21. 87. Final. 17. 15

Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)

Sunday 9/27 at 1:00PM EST

The Raiders are coming off an impressive win over the Ravens, but the Browns sneakily upset the Titans in a game where almost everyone in football thought Tennessee would win. The Browns’ defense is nasty and should rattle Derek Carr all game long.

Final. 20. 28. 27. 53

Sep 20, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Brandon Weeden drops back to pass in the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Falcons (2-0) at Dallas Cowboys (2-0)

Sunday 9/27 at 1:00 EST

The Cowboys can’t catch a break. Less than a year after starting Tony Romo, DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant at the team’s three skill positions, Dallas will be starting Brandon Weeden, Joseph Randle and Terrance Williams on offense. Call me a hater, but I have no faith in this team. And to Cowboys fans: the defense is nice, but it still isn’t a top five unit, especially since we don’t know what Greg Hardy will look like until week five against the New England Patriots. We’ve only seen two games; take a chill pill.

123. 24. 44. Final. 13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) at Houston Texans (0-2)

Sunday 9/27 at 1:00 EST

Tampa Bay is coming off a nice win in New Orleans, but let’s be honest here–any team in the NFL could’ve beaten the Saints on Sunday. Houston has a talented defense, but the team is still doomed until either Ryan Mallett or Brian Hoyer prove that they can win games. Against this subpar Bucs defense, I think Houston can get it done and win its first game on Sunday.

10. Final. 13. 48. 20

Sep 20, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) rushes against the Detroit Lions for 11 yards in the third quarter at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings win 26-16. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Minnesota Vikings (1-1)

Sunday 9/27 at 1:00 EST

Vikings fans have been surprisingly vocal to me this past week about how Minnesota should be ranked higher, how I should’ve predicted the Vikes to win and how Detroit is overrated. Adrian Peterson is the real reason I think Minnesota has a chance to win this game. San Diego is the better team, but the Vikings are playing at home and the last time Minnesota faced San Diego up north, Peterson shredded the Chargers’ defense for an NFL single-game record 296 yards rushing.

Fun fact for you Vikes fans: In the Chargers-Vikings all-time series (11 total games), neither team has won consecutive games against the other; San Diego won the last matchup between these two teams.

Final. 24. 13. 27. 60

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) at New England Patriots (2-0)

Sunday 9/27 at 1:00 EST

For the sake of excitement, I hope the Jaguars win this game. Because I’ve witnessed New England play in Foxborough in the form of my Bengals getting trounced in prime time, I’m going to make the smart, safe pick and predict the Patriots to come out on top.

24. 52. 37. 47. Final

Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) at New York Jets (2-0)

Sunday 9/27 at 1:00 EST

This is the hardest game I have to pick this week. Philadelphia is too talented on offense for me to count the Eagles out, but the Jets are coming off of two decisive victories. Todd Bowles’ defense is stingy and aggressive, while the Jets’ receivers are talented enough to embarrass Philly’s putrid secondary. I could see the Eagles winning this one, but I’m going to pick the Jets in this one.

10. 54. 24. 30. Final

Aug 29, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) on the sideline during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) at St. Louis Rams (1-1)

Sunday 9/27 at 1:00 EST

I liked the Rams here for an upset, but I’m going to play it safe and pick the Steelers. Pittsburgh’s offense is coming off a 40-burger, all while the Rams defense just let an inept Redskins offense gain 373 yards. St. Louis has proven to be one of the NFL’s streakiest teams. Le’Veon Bell is set to return to action and Ben Roethlisberger is still the quarterback, gives me no option but to pick Pittsburgh here.

51. 34. 55. Final. 24

Indianapolis Colts (0-2) at Tennessee Titans (1-1)

Sunday 9/27 at 1:00 EST

Andrew Luck will finally get to suit up against a defense that isn’t one of the NFL’s best, and he is going to have a field day in Tennessee. The Titans should drastically improve this year, but the Colts have too much offensive firepower for me to believe that the Titans defense can keep it in check.

46. Final. 28. 35. 37

San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Arizona Cardinals (2-0)

Sunday 9/27 at 4:05 EST

The Cardinals are quietly one of the best teams in the NFL. Carson Palmer is playing like he hasn’t ever torn an ACL–let alone three, while the defense is balling out (granted, that was against the Saints and the Bears, but it’s still a dangerous unit). The Niners are coming off a tough loss, and Jim Tomsula is about to learn how quick it can be to turn things around in the NFC West.

Final. 23. 42. 38. 32

Buffalo Bills (1-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-1)

Sunday 9/27 at 4:25 EST

The Bills have been playing well, but I just have a gut feeling that Miami will finally show up to play on Sunday. The Dolphins likely expected to start the season 2-0 against the Redskins and Jaguars, but they really could be 0-2 at this point and are lucky to have a single win. After two lackluster performances, Joe Philbin really needs to fire his team up; a win here is crucial for a Dolphins team with sky-high expectations.

59. Final. 17. 16. 20

Chicago Bears (0-2) at Seattle Seahawks (0-2)

Sunday 9/27 at 4:25 EST

The Bears are a mess. Seattle is 0-2 after a two-game road trip and will finally return home with the good news that Kam Chancellor ended his holdout. CenturyLink is going to go insane on Sunday, and the Seahawks should easily beat the Bears. If Chicago can muster a near impossible upset, there will be legitimate concern about Seattle’s playoff chances.

23. 57. 31. 36. Final

Sep 17, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) throws a pass against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second half at Arrowhead Stadium. The Broncos won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos (2-0) at Detroit Lions (1-1)

Sunday 9/27 at 8:30 EST

Broncos fans were really angry that I bumped the Chiefs ahead of Denver in my Power Rankings, but the fact of the matter is that the Broncos can’t afford to have Peyton Manning sling the ball downfield for 16 straight weeks; his arm is eventually going to wear out. Here’s a perfect chance for Gary Kubiak to emphasize the run game against a Lions defense waiting for its best player, DeAndre Levy, to return from injury somewhere in the next few weeks.

45. Final. 23. 50. 27

Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) at Green Bay Packers (2-0)

Monday 9/28 at 8:30 EST

It’s going to take a lot of convincing for me to believe that Aaron Rodgers will lose a game in Lambeau, but I think that Kansas City is the one team in the NFL with the best chance of picking off Rodgers on his home field. Regardless, Green Bay is going to win this game, whether Eddie Lacy plays or not. Aaron Rodgers doesn’t need an elite supporting cast to pick apart opposing defenses, as we’ve seen throughout his career.

23. 124. 31. 49. Final

Do you agree with these picks? What picks would you change? Let me know on Twitter @CHoweSports. I love talking football, so please, feel free to hit me up!

Next: NFL Power Rankings: Week 2