NFL Week Three Preview

By Brett Malamud

-Buccaneers (0-2) at Falcons (1-1), Thursday @ 8:25 PM EST

The Buccaneers travel one state over to the confines of the Georgia Dome. The Falcons come in after their offense was virtually shut down by Cincinnati last week. I think that coming home will heal the woes and that Matt Ryan will come back strong tonight. Verdict: Falcons

-Chargers (1-1) at Bills (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

I watched the Bills game last week and there wasn’t much excitement, other than the Sammy Watkins touchdown play and the C.J. Spiller kickoff return for a touchdown. I think that after taking down Seattle last week, the Chargers should roll through the Bills. Verdict: Chargers

-Cowboys (1-1) at Rams (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Cowboys beat the Titans last week and DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant looked great. The Rams third-string quarterback Austin Davis went 22/29 for 235 yards and no interceptions, as St. Louis slightly edged out Tampa Bay. If Davis continues at that pace this week, it could make for a close game, but I’m still going with the Cowboys. Verdict: Cowboys

-Redskins (1-1) at Eagles (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

Kirk Cousins is now at the helm for the Redskins and it’ll definitely be noticeable. Cousins went 22/33 and completed his first 12 passes. Not bad for a guy coming in cold off of the bench. I don’t think they’ll get past the Eagles though, after they’ve rolled as of late. The duel back combo of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles continues to be the story and should be it again this week. Verdict: Eagles

-Texans (2-0) at Giants (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Giants stink. They took a loss to the Drew Stanton led Arizona Cardinals after quarterback Carson Palmer was announced as inactive for the game. The G-Men turned the ball over the ball four times, much to the disappointment of head coach Tom Coughlin. The Texans, on the other hand, won in Oakland last week. I’m gonna take the Texans here because the defense will be too strong for the Giants.  Verdict: Texans

-Vikings (1-1) at Saints (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Saints are 0-2. Seriously? They’re so great but have had some not so great moments. A last second field goal decided their fate last week in Cleveland. I’ve got to take them here, especially after the beat down that the Patriots gave Minnesota. Verdict: Saints

-Titans (1-1) at Bengals (2-0), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Titans couldn’t find a way to beat the Cowboys. Jake Locker showed some promise, throwing for 234 yards with a touchdown. The Bengals come in fresh off a win at home against the Falcons, and my belief is that they’ll stay undefeated after this week. Verdict: Bengals

-Ravens (1-1) at Browns (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Browns shocked the Saints last week, winning on a field goal in the final seconds. Baltimore came together after losing Ray Rice and didn’t allow a touchdown to the Steelers last week on Thursday Night Football. Still, Joe Flacco only threw for 166 yards. I think the Browns continue to shock and take this game in another close one. Verdict: Browns

-Packers (1-1) at Lions (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Packers were down 21-3 to the New York Jets. They came all the way back, beating the Jets 31-24. Aaron Rodgers looked pretty invisible in the first quarter and a bit of the second quarter, but powered back in the second half and finished the day off with 346 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Lions showed that Megatron was human, as Calvin Johnson could not be found in the end zone last week. Instead, the lone Lions touchdown went to Fullback Jed Collins. I think the Packers stay hot and win this one. Verdict: Packers

Calvin Johnson looks to get back in the end zone this week vs. the Packers (Via Getty)

Calvin Johnson looks to get back in the end zone this week vs. the Packers (Via Getty)

-Colts (0-2) at Jaguars (0-2), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

The Colts lost…to the Eagles. And I say it that way because the Eagles looked fantastic. But the Colts looked good too. They were edged out at the last second and so the loss might sting a bit, but I know they’ll come back strong this week against the Jaguars, who were slaughtered by Washington last week. Verdict: Colts

-Raiders (0-2) at Patriots (1-1), Sunday @ 1:00 PM EST

There shouldn’t be much debate here. The Patriots woke up last week, and beat down the Vikings by a score of 30-7. They’ll take on the Raiders in what could be an ugly result. Verdict: Patriots

-49ers (1-1) at Cardinals (2-0), Sunday @ 4:05 PM EST

I have been and am still pushing hard on this Cardinals defense. I’ve said it all along, I really like their defense. They forced four Giants turnovers last week at MetLife Stadium. This will be their toughest test yet, as they take on the 49ers. The Niners, however, didn’t look right at home in the second half of the inaugural game of their new stadium. Instead, quarterback Colin Kaepernick forced passes throughout and the Bears rallied to beat them. I think that the woes will stop and that Kaepernick will lead his team to the victory. Verdict: 49ers

-Broncos (2-0) at Seahawks (1-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

This is my matchup of the week. A rematch of last season’s Super Bowl sees the Broncos headed to Seattle to face the Seahawks. The Seahawks took a loss last week to the Chargers. Marshawn Lynch was not much of a factor, only rushing for 36 yards. Wes Welker is back this week after the NFL and NFLPA agreed on a new drug policy, freeing him from the remaining four games on his previous suspension. I think that the attention on Welker should free up Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas.  I like the Broncos this week to quiet the 12th man. Verdict: Broncos

-Chiefs (0-2) at Dolphins (1-1), Sunday @ 4:25 PM EST

The Chiefs almost took down Peyton Manning and the rest of the Denver Broncos last week, but they didn’t. Instead they dropped to 0-2 and their defense has allowed 50 points through only two games. On the other side of the field will be the Miami Dolphins, who shocked everyone back in week one, when they took down the New England Patriots. Last week was a different story and they couldn’t get anything going, taking the loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Chiefs are desperate for a win in the competitive AFC West, and I think they’ll get their first of the year here. Verdict: Chiefs

-Steelers (1-1) at Panthers (2-0), Sunday @ 8:30 PM EST

The return of Cam Newton brought a great performance by the Carolina Panthers offense. Newton was 22/34 for 281 yards and a touchdown as he defeated “Donkey Kong Suh and [his] fellow Auburn teammate Nick Fairley.” The Panthers look ahead now to this week’s matchup at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football. Simply put, the Steelers couldn’t score a touchdown last week on Thursday Night Football. This week they’ll play their second game in a row in a primetime slot. I think that they’ll lose this one as well, and the nation will see the flaws of this struggling team. Verdict: Panthers

-Bears (1-1) at Jets (1-1), Monday @ 8:30 PM EST

Ah, the Jets. Many of you know how much I love the Jets, and how I continue to root for them, even in the darkest of times. Well, last week was one of those times. The Jets went up 14-0 within the first seven minutes of the game. Then, the Jets were up 21-3 in the middle of the second quarter when things started to unfold. Capped off by an 80 yard laser to Jordy Nelson for a touchdown, the Jets collapsed and lost 31-24. As far as bright spots, there were not many. Eric Decker looked good, but how long until defenses double team him on every play? Chris Johnson played an awful game, and finished the day with 21 yards on 12 carries. Instead, the running back who looked the best was Chris Ivory, who had just 43 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. I’m not sure they’ll bounce back this week though, facing the Chicago Bears. The Bears had three fourth-quarter touchdowns to take down the 49ers. I don’t think that the Jets secondary can handle Brandon Marshall, who scored three touchdowns last week. Jay Cutler is 8-4 on Monday Night Football with 20 touchdowns in only 12 games. The trend of touchdowns for him should continue this week, and you can bet that Jets head coach Rex Ryan will be upset with that. Verdict: Bears


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