After nothing but negative publicity and players getting in trouble off the field, it’ll be nice for the NFL to finally shift its focus back to some football. Week Three is upon us, and here are the matchups:
Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots: Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the Patriots won by 50 points. The Raiders have the toughest schedule in the NFL this season, and at the rate they’re going they will be lucky to win a game. Derek Carr can’t do anything, and Dennis Allen will most likely be fired before Week 10.
Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals: The Titans got embarrassed in front of their home crowd last week by Tony Romo and the Cowboys, whereas the Bengals absolutely pummeled the Falcons on both sides of the ball. Jake Locker is not nearly as good nor does he have nearly as many weapons as Matt Ryan and the Falcons do. The Bengals should pull off an easy victory at home.
San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills: The Chargers may have upset Seattle last week, but that doesn’t make them the best team in the league. The Seahawks usually struggle on the road, and the Chargers simply took advantage of it in the same way the Colts did last season. The Bills are also not that special despite their 2-0 start, they’ve simply been able to rally around each other to overcome all the negatives of this past offseason. Bills fans will be going crazy, but the Chargers should be able to steal a close one on the road.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns: The Browns seem to have really come together under Brian Hoyer after earning a victory over the New Orleans Saints this past weekend. The Ravens on the other hand are in a very vulnerable position with all the negative publicity they have been receiving. The Ravens are also coming off a big win over the divisional rival Steelers, and they may be overconfident heading to the Dog Pound. Cleveland is supposed to be one of the toughest cities in the NFL to win in, and the Ravens may have to witness that first hand.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles: With Robert Griffin III likely to miss a good number of weeks, the Redskins may finally be able to start winning games with Kirk Cousins at quarterback. Unfortunately, winning will probably have to wait. Nick Foles hasn’t looked great in his first two games, but the combined running of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles have kept Chip Kelly’s high-powered offense pumping. The Eagles should have no problem winning at home.
Houston Texans at New York Giants: At 0-2, desperation is going to start kicking in for Tom Coughlin and the Giants. Eli Manning is clearly not a fan of the new offensive style, and his receivers still have yet to learn all the hand signals. Manning had a pretty good game last week against a solid Cardinals secondary, so he should be able to have the same production against the vastly underrated Texans defense. The Texans are 2-0, but they have yet to play a decent team. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not good enough to be a starting quarterback, so if the Giants can get just a little bit of pressure on him they should be able to pull off the upset.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars: The Colts lost a close one Monday Night to the Eagles, and starting 0-2 was definitely not part of Indianapolis’s plan for this season. Fortunately for the Colts they play the Jaguars twice a year. The Colts should have no problem stealing their first win of the season on the road in Jacksonville.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions: Aaron Rodgers and the Packers had a fantastic come from behind victory over the Jets this past week, whereas the Lions had trouble getting much of anything done in Carolina. The Lions will be back in Detroit this week and Matthew Stafford will be looking to get the team back on track. Calvin Johnson has not had any problem manhandling the Packers secondary in the past, and the Packers have not acquired any answers to that problem in the offseason. The Packers may be looking at a 1-2 start.
Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams: The Rams have one of the worst offenses in the NFL, but they managed to pull off the win last week against the Buccaneers. Similarly, the Cowboys have one of the worst defenses in the NFL and still managed to pull off the upset on the road in Tennessee. Bad offense meets bad defense. The Cowboys offense is very high-powered, but the Rams defense is too. We could be in for a pretty boring game here. The Cowboys have more weapons, so they should be able to pull off the victory on the road.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints: Adrian Peterson is out and the Saints are in New Orleans for their home opener. This game should be a blowout. The Saints have had problems on the road for the past few seasons, but they were 8-0 at home last season and this season should be no different. If Peterson was in, maybe the Vikings would have a chance against the weak Saints defense; but without the 201 NFL MVP there’s just no way.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals: The 49ers basically imploded Sunday Night against Chicago. Kaepernick threw three interceptions, and the Niners blew a 17-7 halftime lead losing the game 28-20. The Cardinals have won two close games. The 49ers need to win this game or things in the franchise will start to get ugly. The 49ers have never had a problem beating the Cardinals in the past, and they need to win now more than ever.
Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins will probably win this game just because of home field advantage. Neither team looks overly good. The Dolphins beat a declining Patriots team and the Chiefs only managed 17 points against a very weak Broncos defense. This will most likely be another boring game.
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks: The Broncos want nothing more than to get revenge after their 43-8 loss to Seattle in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Seahawks want nothing more than to bounce back from their 30-21 loss last week in San Diego. The Broncos have not looked good so far despite their 2-0 start, but for all we know they may have been preparing for Seattle instead of the Colts and Chiefs. The Broncos are certainly the underdogs coming into Seattle, but if the Seahawks aren’t careful they may find themselves 1-2.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers: If the Panthers defense can hold Calvin Johnson and the Lions offense to only seven points, they will have no problem shutting down the Steelers. On top of that, the game is in Carolina. Pittsburgh is not the same team they used to be, as evidenced by their 20 point loss to Baltimore. The Panthers should have no problem grabbing a win.
Chicago Bears at New York Jets: The Bears had an impressive comeback victory against the 49ers, whereas the Jets blew an 18 point lead against the Packers. Both teams’ quarterbacks are playing well, so this game could definitely be a shootout. Both Jay Cutler and Geno Smith are prone to making mistakes, however; and this game could come down to which quarterback can cut down on the turnovers. As of now the Bears seem to have an edge because of their fantastic receiving core.