The second week of the 2017 NFL season was jammed packed with a great deal of action.
The Kansas City Chiefs improved to 2-0 on the season and may established themselves as clear AFC West favorites. In Seattle, the Seahawks needed a late touchdown in the fourth quarter to beat the San Francisco 49ers in a game that had a score of 9-6 during that quarter.
Quarterback Jameis Winston and his Buccaneers kicked off their season with a 29-7 thumping of the Chicago Bears while the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots enjoyed their first win of the season by smothering the New Orleans Saints. Enough with last week, here are the predictions for week three:
Last week: 11-5
Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers – 8:25 PM EST, Thursday, NFLN
Probably not the most appealing Thursday night matchup (definitely not), but here is what we have. The Rams were tied late with the Washington Redskins last week before a late touchdown gave their Rams their first loss. The same occurred for the 49ers in Seattle and in two games so far, they have only produced 12 points. The Rams have the clear cut better quarterback, running back, and the better defense in this one. The Niners may have a hard time scoring in this one also.
Pick: Rams 20 49ers 10
Baltimore Ravens vs. Jacksonville Jaguars – 9:30 AM EST, NFL on Yahoo, London, England
Defense is the calling card for the Ravens so far this season as they are 11th in total defense, 12th against the run, and second in scoring defense. They have also racked up four interceptions in each game this season. So going against a quarterback in Blake Bortles, who has thrown 53 interceptions since 2014, has the Ravens defense drooling. The Jaguars offense needs rookie running back Leonard Fournette to shine in order to keep this one close.
Pick: Ravens 26 Jaguars 17
Denver Broncos vs. Buffalo Bills – 1:00 PM EST, CBS
Going against what some believe is the best offensive line in the game, the Broncos held the Cowboys to just 40 rushing yards last week and now have the run-heavy Bills offense wanting to take a crack at their defense. Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian has played very well so far this season with six touchdown passes. These are two solid defenses and whichever front seven can be the most active may walk away victorious. Pick: Broncos 24 Bills 16
New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles – 1:00 PM EST, Fox
Against the Detroit Lions on Monday night, the Giants did more to anger their fans than to earn a win. For the second time in three weeks, the Giants have an NFC East road game and may be staring at an 0-3 start. For the Eagles, their week two loss in Kansas City was a tough one although they hung around with one of the league’s best teams. The Giants offensive line has alarming issues and may be the focal point for an Eagles front seven that has gotten after quarterbacks.
Pick: Eagles 28 Giants 21
Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions – 1:00 PM EST, Fox
A pair of 2-0 teams will meet with two excellent passers taking center stage. The Falcons enter this contest with the eighth ranked offense in the league led by quarterback Matt Ryan and receiver Julio Jones. Their 34-23 win over Green Bay may have adjusted the confidence level for the Falcons. The Lions surprised the Giants on Monday night and with quarterback Matthew Stafford, they are rarely out of a contest. Detroit has improved on defense and it would not be surprising if the Falcons are somewhat grounded in this matchup.
Pick: Falcons 24 Lions 21
Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets – 1:00 PM EST, CBS
It is the home opener for the Jets as they welcome their division foe. A division foe in the Dolphins that earned their first win of the season last week by beating San Diego. The Jets themselves are about a week removed from giving up 40 points to the Oakland Raiders and suffering a hurtful loss. The Jets are dead last in rushing defense this season. Which means a heavy workload for Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi.
Pick: Dolphins 31 Jets 13
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Chicago Bears – 1:00 PM EST, CBS
For the first time since 2010, the Steelers can go 3-0. Impressively, the Steelers are 11th in the NFL in scoring despite their two best players, receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell, not finding the end zone as of yet. The Bears have yet to find their footing on offense and early rumbles from fans pertain hopes of rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky taking the field. The run game for the Bears is their main source on offense. While Pittsburgh allows only 74 yards per game on the ground.
Pick: Steelers 30 Bears 16
New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers, 1:00 PM EST, Fox
Adrian Peterson’s time in New Orleans only has 44 rushing yards in two games and is the biggest story of the team so far. Not to mention, their defense is last in scoring and allows 32.5 a game. This may very well provide a reasonable test for the Panthers offense as they have sputtered so far themselves. Playing the #1 rated defense in the league is something the Saints offense can not afford at this point.
Pick: Panthers 28 Saints 20
Cleveland Browns vs. Indianapolis Colts – 1:00 PM EST, CBS
Who wants their first win of the season is the outlook here. Cleveland rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer is taking his lumps as expected. On the opposite sideline, the Colts are still without their franchise quarterback Andrew Luck. Neither team averages more than 14 points per game which means both may scrape and claw their way to an ugly win.
Pick: Browns 19 Colts 14
Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots – 1:00 PM EST, CBS
After notching his first win as a professional, Houston rookie quarterback DeShaun Watson gets to tussle with the elite quarterback in New England’s Tom Brady. The veteran quarterback was flawless last week against the Saints with his 447 yards and three touchdowns. The presence of Houston pass rushers J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney may introduce themselves to Brady on numerous occasions. However, New England head coach Bill Belichick will devise ways to have a vice grip on a Texans offense that scares very few.
Pick: Patriots 28 Texans 15
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Minnesota Vikings – 1:00 PM EST, Fox
With starting quarterback Sam Bradford out of the lineup last week due to a knee injury, the Vikings were handled last week in Pittsburgh, 26-9. Backup quarterback Case Keenum filled in and may be called upon once again this week. The Bucs defense were the star of the show in their season opener last week against Chicago. Winston will have a tough task dealing with the Vikings defensive line. It may fall on which special teams unit can generate the most consistency.
Pick: Vikings 23 Bucs 21
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Green Bay Packers – 4:25 PM EST, CBS
For a team that is searching for their first win this season, Lambeau Field is one venue that poses a great challenge for the Cincinnati Bengals. Not only are they looking for their first win but they also would like to score their first touchdown of the season as they have scored only nine points this season. Injuries were the story for the Packers against Atlanta last week and getting those guys back (Nelson, Cobb, Daniels, Bulaga, Bakhtiari) are critical. The Bengals defense is playing very solid football. However, their offense has looked completely atrocious.
Pick: Packers 31 Bengals 17
Seattle Seahawks vs. Tennessee Titans – 4:05 PM EST, Fox
Talk about struggling offenses, the Seahawks have been woeful there also, at least on the offensive line. A talented Titans rushing attack while have to be bottled up by the Seahawks defense or else it may be a long afternoon. All of the attention will be on Seattle’s offense, which has scored just 21 points this season. If there is one stat that sticks out, it’s that the Seahawks have given up an average of 121.5 rushing yards a game this season.
Pick: Titans 19 Seahawks 14
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Chargers – 4:25 PM EST, CBS
The Chiefs may be the hottest team in the league at the moment thanks to wins over New England and Philadelphia. They have won six in a row against the Chargers, who are staring at 0-3 after losses to Denver and Miami to open the season. Chiefs rookie running back Kareem Hunt has been a nice spark for the Chiefs offense with 355 total yards and five touchdowns so far. A shootout may occur in Los Angeles, which sounds odd when speaking of the Chiefs.
Pick: Chiefs 34 Chargers 30
Oakland Raiders vs. Washington Redskins – 8:30 PM EST, NBC
Sunday Night Football decides to give us an interesting matchup on primetime. The Raiders are the highest scoring team in the league at 35.5 points per game. They are also fifth in rushing offense which matches up well against Washington’s ninth ranked run defense. The Redskins passing game has yet to truly get in motion and may have to be as polished as ever to stay with the high scoring Raiders.
Pick: Raiders 31 Redskins 23
Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals – 8:30 PM EST, Monday, ESPN
A must win for both franchises who were viewed as playoff contenders coming into the season. Dallas is on the heels of a humbling 42-17 loss on the road to Denver where their run game mustered little production. The Cardinals meanwhile needed overtime against the Colts last week in order to get a win. Cardinals running back David Johnson is truly missed in Arizona. On top of that, quarterback Carson Palmer has been notably inconsistent.
Pick: Cowboys 27 Cardinals 20