It's Football Friday!! Week 3 is off to a good start following last night's thrilling matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles. So far through two weeks, picks are 22-10. How will things go this week? It hasn't started out so well with the Eagles losing 26-16 to the Chiefs last night, meaning that the week 3 record is so far 0-1. The Eagles could not hang onto the ball last night. The Eagles had five turnovers. Can't do that and win games. What a win for head coach Andy Reid though, beating his former team. He may not say it, but deep down this had to feel like a little better than most wins, knocking off his former team. Now though, time to find out as The Stack previews and predicts all of week 3's NFL matchups in "the stack" for today, Friday, September 20:
Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens 1:00 PM ET CBS
Ed Reed makes his return to Baltimore where he won a Super Bowl with the Ravens last year. Question is, will he play? It sounds like it. The Texans need to put together a full game together and can't play from behind in the fourth quarter. The Ravens haven't looked great through two weeks of the year. Think uncertainty will continue.
Prediction: Texans 24 Ravens 16
New York Giants @ Carolina Panthers 1:00 PM ET FOX
While it seems odd to say "must-win" in week 3, this is essentially a must-win game for both of these 0-2 teams. They can ill-afford to go 0-3. An 0-3 start for the Giants will have folks in New York upset, but Tom Coughlin will be coaching week 4. Not sure if that's going to be the same thing for Panthers coach Ron Rivera. The Panthers give up a lot of leads in the fourth quarter. If they have one Sunday, I think they'll give it up again.
Prediction: Giants 30 Panthers 24
Green Bay Packers @ Cincinnati Bengals 1:00 PM ET FOX
The Bengals defense is good, but can they stop Aaron Rodgers? They can slow him down, but that means their offense is going to have to be able to score points and I'm not sure they have enough yet to keep up with the Packers. This is going to be a really good game.
Prediction: Packers 27 Bengals 20
St. Louis Rams @ Dallas Cowboys 1:00 PM ET FOX
I feel as though the Cowboys should win this game fairly easily. They are the more talented team. But they don't run well nor do they try to run that much and they rarely ever seem to play up to the expectations that they talk about so this game might be a little closer than it should be. Still think the Cowboys come out with a win.
Prediction: Cowboys 27 Rams 19
Cleveland Browns @ Minnesota Vikings 1:00 PM ET CBS
Another battle of two 0-2 clubs. With the Browns trading away running back Trent Richardson and having third string quarterback Brian Hoyer start at quarterback, there should be no way that the Vikings lose their home opener. Then again, if any team would do it, it's the Vikings.
Prediction: Vikings 29 Browns 13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New England Patriots 1:00 PM ET FOX
Things have been quieter in Bucs camp this week, but there are still some turbulent waters aboard the pirate ship. The Patriots haven't played great the first two weeks, but giving them ten days to prepare will be enough for both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
Prediction: Patriots 23 Bucs 13
Arizona Cardinals @ New Orleans Saints 1:00 PM ET FOX
I know it was raining for much of the game last week at Tampa, but the Saints scored only 16 points. The Cardinals are playing with so much more confidence and their defense won't be intimidated by the crowd noise or Drew Brees. They'll stay in the game for a while, but the Saints have a little more fire power to get by the Cardinals. This game will be closer than people think.
Prediction: Saints 27 Cardinals 16
San Diego Chargers @ Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM ET CBS
The Chargers impressed me and I've got to imagine a lot of other people by going to Philadelphia last week and knocking off the Eagles. The offense looked outstanding. They've outplayed their opponents (Texans and Eagles) in about six of the eight quarters they've played this year. Perhaps their doomed for a let down in the Titans home opener. Better find Eddie Royal in the red zone some more than to make sure that a loss doesn't happen.
Prediction: Chargers 27 Titans 24
Detroit Lions @ Washington Redskins 1:00 PM ET FOX
I'll make this simple. If Reggie Bush is healthy, the Lions win their first ever game in Washington. Their 0-21 in D.C. all-time! A lot of talk about RGIII and the Redskins this week. Lions sneaking in under the radar. Against my better judgement...
Prediction: Lions 30 Redskins 20
Atlanta Falcons @ Miami Dolphins 4:05 PM ET FOX
If the Falcons were healthy, they would win this game pretty easily. But with Roddy White still ailing from a bum ankle and Steve Jackson not playing this week with a thigh injury, not to mention the injuries suffered on defense, this is going to be a much sitffer task. Miami has won two road games already and they look pretty good. Mike Wallace will most likely have another 100 yard game, but don't know if it will be enough. This game is a toss up. Again, against the better use of judgement...
Prediction: Falcons 24 Dolphins 20
Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets 4:25 PM ET CBS
EJ Manuel was impressive in his game-winning last minute drive last week against Carolina. He's made people in Buffalo believers. That should continue against the JEts who feature their own rookie quarterback Geno Smith who has not looked as impressive. The Jets defense will make things difficult for Manuel, but the Bills will be fair just fine.
Prediction: Bills 20 Jets 13
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Seattle Seahawks 4:25 PM ET CBS
The Jaguars are currently 19.5 point underdogs I believe. Can Seattle beat them by twenty or more. Even without offensive tackle Russell Okung, pretty easily, but they must not sleepwalk through this game or strange things could happen.
Prediction: Seahawks 34 Jaguars 6
Indianapolis Colts @ San Francisco 49ers 4:25 PM ET CBS
The Colts are going to make this a game even if Trent Richardson doesn't play much. The trade has increased the energy throughout the team and fan base. But they face a 49ers team that is ticked after they were killed in Seattle last week. Bad news for the Colts.
Prediction: 49ers 31 Colts 23
Chicago Bears @ Pittsburgh Steelers 8:30 PM ET NBC
The Bears have had to comeback in each of their two home games, but Jay Cutler has looked good so far. The Steelers, thanks in large part to some big injuries have not looked good. Can they really start 0-3. Still not a believer in the Bears, but they get the job done Sunday night.
Prediction: Bears 23 Steelers 9
Before I go, wish I could be up in Fargo, ND, this Saturday for ESPN's College Gameday. It is going to be an amazing atmoshpere and only the fourth time in the history of the show that they go to a school that is not FBS. What a great time for the North Dakota State Bison and their faithful fans.
Coming up Monday: Sunday week 3 NFL reaction plus MNF preview