Thursday, September 18, 2014

Week 3 Preview

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-1)
Vegas Line: Atlanta -5

Josh McCown is 30th in the league in QB rating and to make matters worse, both defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and running back Doug Martin are questionable. Atlanta's defense has not played well this season, but facing a struggling Bucs offense may be the pick-me-up they need.

Final: Atlanta 28 Tampa Bay 17

San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Buffalo Bills (2-0)
Vegas Line: Buffalo -2.5

San Diego dismantled the defending Super Bowl champions in a win over Seattle last week while Buffalo took sole possession of first player in the AFC East. San Diego could deal with a bit of a hangover after their big win last week, but I think their defense will be able to hand the Bills their first loss.

Final: San Diego 24 Buffalo Bills 20

Dallas Cowboys (1-1) at St. Louis Rams (1-1)
Vegas Line: Dallas -1

The Cowboys run game looked dominant and took a lot of pressure off of Tony Romo in a road win over the Titans. St. Louis was able to defeat Tampa Bay last week even with their third-string QB Austin Davis.  Dallas is on the road again, but if their running game gets going again, Dallas should be able to defeat the Rams for the third straight time.

Final: Dallas 31 St. Louis 14

Washington Redskins (1-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)
Vegas Line: Philadelphia -6.5

Philadelphia loves playing from behind, winning both of their games this year despite trailing by double-digits. Washington obliterated the Jaguars after Robert Griffin III exited the game with an injury. Kirk Cousins will get the nod this week in what could be an audition to take over the starting quarterback job. This game could turn into a shootout and DeSean Jackson is looking to get some payback over Philadelphia, who released him during the offseason. Expect the Redskins to win in my upset pick of the week.

Final: Washington 35 Philadelphia 31

Houston Texans (2-0) at New York Giants (0-2)
Vegas Line: Houston -2

Houston is the first team since the 1994-99 Miami Dolphins to start five consecutive seasons 2-0. The Texans have only started off 3-0 once in franchise history. The Giants are on a low-point offensively and are facing a red-hot Texans defense. I don't like their chances.

Final: Houston 21 New York 10

Minnesota Vikings (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-2)
Vegas Line: New Orleans -10

New Orleans is 0-2 following a shocking loss to Cleveland while the Vikings are coming off of a game where they were steamrolled by New England and Matt Cassel threw four interceptions. Adrian Peterson is again gone and now indefinitely suspended, which cripples the Vikings running game, their focal point on offense. Expect the Saints to put pressure on Cassel and walk away with a victory.

Final: New Orleans 27 Minnesota7

Tennessee Titans (1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-0)
Vegas Line: Cincinnati -7

After a dominant win over Kansas City, the Titans were pounded by Dallas. The Bengals are 2-0 after dismantling the Falcons at home. It's hard to go against the Bengals and their defense in this game and you have to imagine that Giovani Bernard is licking his chops after seeing DeMarco Murray's performance last week.

Final: Cincinnati 33 Tennessee 20

Baltimore Ravens (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (1-1)
Vegas Line: Baltimore -1.5

The Ravens were instrumental in dismantling the Steelers on Thursday night while the Browns surprised the world when the defeated the Saints. Baltimore has the benefit of extra rest, but they are on the road and I think Cleveland's win lies more on the fact that they are a better team than advertised than on them just making a huge upset.

Final: Cleveland 20 Baltimore 13

Green Bay Packers (1-1) at Detroit Lions (1-1)
Vegas Line: Detroit -2

Green Bay got their doors blown off in Seattle and were down 21-3 to the Jets before rallying back, but the opposing defense is not of Seattle or New York's caliber. Detroit's offense fell flat against a quality Carolina defensive unit. This game should be a shootout, but the key factor to this game will be Eddie Lacy, who will have a breakout game after struggling the first two weeks of the season.

Final: Green Bay 31 Detroit 30

Indianapolis Colts (0-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)
Vegas Line: Indianapolis -6

Andrew Luck and the Colts are surprisingly 0-2, but this time they face a much easier opponent in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have been outscored 75-10 since halftime of Week 1. Could this be the game where we see the debut of Blake Bortles?

Final Indianapolis 35 Jacksonville 21

Oakland Raiders (0-2) at New England Patriots (1-1)
Vegas Line: New England -14

Oakland is painfully going through the Derek Carr era, but it doesn't help that their defense has been terrible this season and Carr can't receive any support in their running game. The Patriots looked dominant against the Vikings and with another home game, it wouldn't be surprising to see them dominate again.

Final: New England 28 Oakland 6

San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
Vegas Line: San Francisco -3

Arizona is currently in first place in the NFC West, but they have not played a defense as good as San Francisco yet. The 49ers spoiled their stadium debut with a poor fourth quarter to the Bears, but I can't see that happening in back-to-back weeks. In a matchup against two stellar defenses, the 49ers have the luxury of a better offense, which should help them win.

Final: San Francisco 17 Arizona 13

Denver Broncos (2-0) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1) Game of the Week
Vegas Line: Seattle -4.5

In a rare rematch between Super Bowl opponents, Denver looks to avenge their blowout loss. A big factor in this game, however, is it's location.  Seattle has only lost one home game in the Russell Wilson era. I am sure Peyton Manning has spent the last seven months rewatching the Super Bowl to learn from his mistakes, but I still see Seattle squeaking by.

Final: Seattle 28 Denver 27

Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) at Miami Dolphins (1-1)
Vegas Line: Miami -4

The Dolphins were humbled by the Bills last week while the Chiefs showed more life than they did in a Week 1 loss to the Titans, but fell to Denver after a late goal line stand.  Both teams are hungry for a win here, but I can't see Kansas City falling to 0-3.

Final: Kansas City 23 Miami 20

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (2-0)
Vegas Line: Carolina -3

The Panthers looked instrumental in a win over Detroit, shutting down their high-powered offense. Pittsburgh has not put it all together so far this season and will face another big test in Carolina. The X-Factor of this game could be Kelvin Benjamin, who could emerge at Cam Newton's new top target.

Final: Carolina 27 Pittsburgh 17

Chicago Bears (1-1) at New York Jets (1-1)
Vegas Line: New York -3

Chicago righted its ship last week after a Week 1 loss to the Bills while the Jets failed to build some momentum in a loss to Green Bay. Cutler should make a difference in this game, expect him to exploit the Jets secondary with his big, physical receivers in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

Final: Chicago 24 New York 20

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