NFL: Week 3 WBLZSports Staff Predictions
The 2017-18 NFL Season is in full gear. Heading into week 3 there have been some surprise victories. However, week 2 went almost as planned. How does week 3 look? The staff at WBLZ again try to predict the outcomes of this week’s NFL Games.
Rams vs 49ers: The Rams allowed 3 ball carriers to have 67 yards or more versus Washington. Carlos Hyde will have a good outing and San Fran’s D will hold their own against an offense led by Jared Goff. 49ers 20 Rams 17
Ravens vs Jaguars: Blake Bortles still turns the ball over and the Ravens D already has 8 picks. Ravens 24 Jags 13
Steelers vs Bears: Pittsburgh has done a good job keeping opponents out of the end zone and Chicago is struggling to score points with Mike Glennon. Steelers 27 Bears 16
Vikings vs Bucs: Jameis Winston will turn the ball over versus a hungry Minnesota D. Plus, Minnesota will have a loud fan base giving them that extra energy. Vikings 24 Bucs 20
Dolphins vs Jets: New York hasn’t found much luck running the ball. Miami got a momentum building road win versus San Diego in week 2. Dolphins 26 Jets 16
Seahawks vs Titans: Seattle has to travel across the country and face a defense that’s already forced four fumbles. Titans 14 Seahawks 13
Bengals vs Packers: Aaron Rodgers will make enough plays and Green Bay’s defense will place pressure on Andy Dalton. Packers 24 Bengals 13
Broncos vs Bills: Bills’ head coach Sean McDermott coached the Panthers during their Super Bowl 50 loss vs Denver, so he may have a few tricks up his sleeve. With the Broncos going cross country, I think Buffalo keeps Trevor Siemian in check. Bills 23 Broncos 15
Panthers vs Saints: The Saints have no defense and will face a passing attack that consists of Cam Newton, Kelvin Benjamin, and Christian McCaffrey. The Panthers D will get to face a weak running game. Panthers 27 Saints 20
Texans vs Patriots: Houston’s offense is struggling to score points and keep up with New England’s balanced attack. Pats 28 Texans 16
Eagles vs Giants: The Eagles don’t have a good secondary, which means Eli Manning and Co. will have plenty of enough opportunities to put points on the board. Giants 23 Eagles 17
Chiefs vs Chargers: The Chargers have the weapons to get past KC’s defense and after back-to-back close losses I think they’re ready to win in front of their LA fan base. Bolts 27 Chiefs 23
Falcons vs Lions: The Falcons’ offense is too much to handle and Detroit’s Ameer Abdullah is still trying to show consistency as a ball carrier in the NFL. Falcons 26 Lions 20
Redskins vs Raiders: The Redskins have run the football effectively this season and the Raiders are another AFC West team that’s going east. Redskins 26 Raiders 24
Cowboys vs Cardinals: Arizona will be charged up playing at home and their offense should be able to make it to the end zone a few times versus the Dallas D. The Cards’ defense has some of the better playmakers in the league. Cardinals 29 Cowboys 24
Rams at Niners
I will take the Rams because I would take Jared Goff and Todd Gurley over Brian Hoyer and Carlos Hyde. With Reuben Foster out, Gerald Everett could be a mismatch against a weaker Niners defense over the Rams defense.
Ravens at Jaguars (London)
I will take the Ravens because Bortles will be prone in turning the ball over against a defense that has forced 10 total turnovers in the last 2 games. Ravens run defense can contain Leonard Fournette and while the Jaguars defense could stall the Ravens offense without Marshal Yanda, the Ravens could keep the score low and force enough turnovers to win.
Browns at Colts
I will take the Browns because the Colts are not the same team without Andrew Luck running the offense. Jacoby Brissett is ok and has a decent running back in Frank Gore and receivers with Ty Hilton but I think the Browns run game will get going against Colts defense and with Rashard Higgins replacing Corey Coleman, I think Kizer can do enough to win.
Giants at Eagles
I will take the Eagles because of their defensive line against the Giants offensive line because it is an easy mismatch. A healthy Odell Beckham Jr. could have a nice day against Eagles cornerbacks but Eli Manning will get pressured and make mistakes if the Giants can’t protect him.
Dolphins at Jets
I will take Dolphins because Jay Cutler has enough receivers to have a good day against Jets secondary if Jay Ajayi has a tough time against Jets defensive line. Dolphins defense will cause trouble against Josh McCown and Matt Forte.
Broncos at Bills
I will take Broncos because of Trevor Siemian playing well with his receivers and Cj Anderson against the Bills weaker defense. Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy will have trouble against this Broncos defense.
Saints at Panthers
I will take Panthers because Saints defense has been terrible this season and even Cam Newton has not been good, they have the advantage with their receivers and run game. Panthers defense has been very good and a Saints defense struggling to run the ball and a lack of weapons could be trouble for Drew Brees.
Steelers at Bears
I will take Steelers because even the offense hasn’t clicked, they are a mismatch over Bears defense. Steelers defense has improved and will pressure Mike Glennon and will try to shut down Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
Falcons at Lions
I will take Falcons because although both offenses are very good, the Falcons defense has the speed and the guys to rush Matt Stafford with the struggling Lions offensive line. The Lions run defense is not good enough to stop all the Falcons weapons like Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones with Matt Ryan under center.
Buccaneers at Vikings
I will take Buccaneers with their improved defense and Jameis Winston, especially if Sam Bradford is out and even if it is, I do not trust Vikings offense enough. The Vikings do have a good defense but the Buccaneers are balanced have the weapons like Mike Evans and Desean Jackson.
Texans at Patriots
I will take Patriots with Tom Brady and although he is lacking weapons, Texans secondary has had a lot of injuries and Texans offense is struggling without Duane Brown and have a lack of targets for Deshaun Watson.
Seahawks at Titans
I will take Titans as the Titans run game and offense under Marcus Mariota has been very good and with the Seahawks not at home, they could be struggling especially the offense. Their offense under Russell Wilson has been a disappointment as the run game has not had an identity yet and could have trouble even with the Titans defense.
Bengals at Packers
I will take Packers even though they have a lot of injuries. Andy Dalton has been terrible under their offensive line. With an improved Packers defense, the Bengals offense will struggle even with a new offensive coordinator and the Bengals defense will have trouble with Aaron Rodgers.
Chiefs at Chargers
I will take Chiefs with Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Alex Smith. Phillip Rivers may challenge the Chiefs defense but even with Melvin Gordon and Keenan Allen, I don’t think it is enough even if it is close with the Chargers defense.
Raiders at Redskins
I will take Raiders with Derek Carr going against a weaker Redskins defense as the Raiders offense has been great with Marshawn Lynch, Michael Crabtree, and Amari Cooper. Kirk Cousins has been disappointing and will struggle against pressure with no star offensive weapon against a decent Raiders defense.
Cowboys at Cardinals
I will take Cowboys even though they struggled last week. With Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant, Jason Witten; they still have the weapons against a decent Cardinals defense but a struggling offense without David Johnson and Carson Palmer has struggled this year so far.
Los Angeles Rams@San Francisco 49ers
The Rams come into this Thursday night game after losing a close one to the Redskins. While the 49ers were in a real slobberknocker after losing to the Seahawks 12-9. The Rams are a hungry young group ready to take a step in the right direction and in a different direction from Jeff FIshers mediocre tenure. That being said this Rams offense can actually be explosive and defense is going to be one of the best. Give me the Rams 23-12.
Baltimore Ravens vs Jacksonville Jaguars in London
This game could be one of the biggest defensive battles we’ll see all year. Baltimore has been phenomenal through two weeks, and the Jags have the potential to steal the spotlight with their defense. That being said Baltimore has yet to face a team with a defense as good as Jacksonville’s, or an offense as good either. However, I think we see some old school Blake Bortles throws in London that lead to interceptions and points for Baltimore. Give me the Ravens 28-21.
Denver Broncos@Buffalo Bills
Another week, another Broncos win. Not much to discuss here, Broncos are the best team in the AFC West only rivaled by Oakland, and Kansas City. Basically the entire division. Trevor Siemian has actually looked like he could be the future quarterback in Denver, especially after his week two performance against the “elite” Dallas Cowboys. Denver doesn’t have any issues and continues the defensive excellence, and win 32-12.
Pittsburgh Steelers@Chicago Bears:
The Steelers haven’t exactly seen Le’Veon Bell return to his 2016 form quite yet but this could be a game in which “Juice” runs loose. ‘Da Bears defense isn’t what it once was and the offense may as well be a joke at this point. The Steelers defense is also much improved and continues to get better. The Bears will have trouble all day on both sides of the ball and need help everywhere. Give me Pittsburgh moving onto 3-0 and winning 28-12.
Atlanta Falcons@Detroit Lions
The Lions come off a solid Monday night performance against the New York Giants. The defense looked unstoppable at times, but then again any defensive front that goes up against the Giants line should have success. The Falcons though come off a big win against the Green Bay Packers, which shouldn’t have surprised many. This game comes down to which team wins the turnover game, and if the secondary for both teams can cover the weapons on the other side of the ball. I’ll take Stafford and the Lions in this offensive battle, 31-29
Cleveland Browns@Indianapolis Colts
Both teams in this matchup are looking for their first win of the season, and the Browns will get theirs. This team is better than they’ve shown through two weeks, although the loss of second-year receiver Corey Coleman may prove to be troublesome. DeShone Kizer will get his first career win this weekend and convincingly so. Browns win 26-13
Tampa Bay Buccaneers@Minnesota Vikings
Both teams come into this week with a win in their pocket, but this is only the second game of the season for the Bucs after Irma forced them to cancel their week one matchup. The Vikings come into this game after taking a loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers and will be looking for vengeance. The big factor in this game will be Sam Bradford. Will he be able to play or miss another week? I’m confident that Jameis Winston can pick apart this tough Minnesota defense and the Bucs defense will be great. Bucs win 27-14.
Houston Texans@New England Patriots
Tom Brady went into week 2 pissed off after losing to the Chiefs and dropped 440+ yards and 3 TD’s on the Saints defense. Now Brady may not have the same kind of success against this Texans defense but he’ll still have a solid game. The question will be can the Pats stop the offense. DeShaun Watson led his team to victory last week and a win this weekend would be huge. I’m still taking the Pats but don’t sleep on the Texans. Pats win 29-21.
Miami Dolphins@New York Jets
Miami had a big win in their first game against the Chargers, and look to build on that. Jay Cutler almost looked comfortable at times. That being said he’ll definitely be comfortable this weekend against a sloppy Jets defense. Not much to talk about here, other than Ajayi running for 150, and a score. Dolphins win 30-12
New York Giants@Philadelphia Eagles
The Wentz train was derailed last weekend against the Chiefs. Nevertheless, it will be back on track this weekend against a weaker Giants defense. Head Coach Ben McAdoo may be putting himself at risk and alienating the fanbase after calling out Eli Manning for the week two loss to Detroit. Although let’s be real, the Giants continue to try and run the ball with what may be the worst offensive line in football and second wasn’t he the one calling the plays? Oh, and it didn’t help the receivers had a case of the drops all night. Regardless of that McAdoo may be on the hot seat after this week, when they fall to 0-3. Wentz train will be rolling right along to a 28-17 win.
New Orleans Saints@Carolina Panthers
This NFC South matchup should be an easy win for Carolina, who has one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Saints defense couldn’t stop a nosebleed and are wasting the waning years of Drew Brees career. An elite quarterback with no team around him makes me wonder why he stays at times. Regardless of that Panthers should handle the Saints easily. Cam runs wild winning 31-20.
Seattle Seahawks@Tennessee Titans
Tennessee comes into week three after an impressive win over the Jaguars. Another week and another tough defense for the Titans to go up against. Let’s not forget this Titans defense is improved from a season ago as well. Russell Wilson didn’t look like Russell Wilson last week against the 49ers. Tennessee could cause the same kind of problems this week. I’ll take Tennessee in an upset 24-23
Cincinnati Bengals@Green Bay Packers
First off let me say, told ya so. The Bengals haven’t been able to use John Ross’ 4.2 speed to their benefit yet, and the bigger holes on the defensive side of the ball have been exposed. No way Aaron Rodgers loses two games in a row especially against a weak Bengals defense. Green Bay handles business easily winning 35-12. Oh and yes the Bengals score their first touchdown this weekend.
Kansas City Chiefs@Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers have had a tough draw so far this season, but that’s no excuse. Just like the Saints currently wasting the finals years of Brees, the Chargers are wasting the final years of Philip Rivers career. The Chiefs defense stays par for the course and Alex Smith does Alex Smith things. Chiefs improve to 3-0 and win 28-20.
Oakland Raiders@Washington Redskins
We have an interesting Sunday Night game between two perennial powerhouses. Both teams come into this game after winning last week. This could be a very back and forth game or a defensive battle. Will beastmode return to his Seattle form? Can Josh Norman shut down Amiri Cooper or Michael Crabtree? Tough to answer right now. However, I see Oakland improving to 3-0 and continuing the AFC West’s winning trend… Minus the Chargers. That being said Oakland wins 29-21.
Dallas Cowboys@Arizona Cardinals
So I picked Arizona to win big last week against Indianapolis which, well they didn’t. In fact, they almost lost. The Broncos shut down this high-powered offense last week in Denver, and Zeke wasn’t even a threat. I’m not sure I liked his response to the blowout, basically pouting on the bench like you would in a little league game. Another tough defense for this Cowboys team to go against, and another week I’m picking against them. We’ll definitely see if they are “those boys” in the next few weeks. Regardless of that Cards win 19-12.
Rams at 49ers: The 49ers have yet to score a touchdown. I am not sure they will this week either. The Rams look good against bad teams. 24-9 Rams
Ravens at Jaguars: The Ravens look like they have a defense once again. Jaguars will struggle on offense again this week. 24-17 Ravens
Steelers at Bears: The Bears are bad on offense. The Steelers will repeat what they did to the Vikings. Steelers win 38-9
Buccaneers at Vikings: If Bradford plays this could be a good game, if not the Vikings will look lost on offense yet again. Whichever happens, Bucs will have enough to win. 28-24 Bucs (with Bradford) 28-10 (with Keenum)
Dolphins at Jets: The Jets have an offensive offense and will do next to nothing. Cutler has a big day. Dolphins win 31-10
Falcons at Lions: This game has 2 solid defenses, but by the same token both have solid offenses. I believe the Lions will weather a late rally and win. 28-27 Lions
Seahawks at Titans: Seahawks are still having problems keeping Wilson upright. Titans will run on Seattle and then open up a little in the passing game. 21-17 Titans
Bengals at Packers: Andy Dalton might get benched in this game. Bengals won’t be able to stop the Packers even if Nelson doesn’t play. 28-10 Packers
Broncos at Bills: Broncos defense is the real deal. Bills will keep it close but then show everyone that they are the Bills. 24-20 Denver
Saints at Panthers: Saints have a historically atrocious defense. Cam will go off so will McCaffery. Panthers in a laugher 48-18
Browns at Colts: Colts can’t score or play defense. Browns will try to lose but they aren’t that bad. 24-10 Browns
Texans at Patriots: Tom Brady is the best for a reason and will get another win. The Texans offense is just not good enough yet with Watson at the helm. Patriots 24-17
Giants at Eagles: Giants really can’t get it going on offense. Eagles defense will get home on Eli enough. Wentz stays away from Jenkins side of the field and chews up the other side. Eagles 24-10
Chiefs at Chargers: Chargers don’t have enough offense or defense to keep up with the Chiefs. Chiefs have too many weapons on offense. The Chiefs defense is pretty good too. Chiefs win 35-17
Raiders at Redskins: Raiders are rolling right now but The Redskins need this game will put up a fight. Cousins will pull off the late game heroics. Upset alert 24-17 Redskins. I know you like that.
Cowboys at Cardinals: We will know if the Cardinals have anything left in the tank or they are just old. Cowboys were battered this past weekend and are looking to right the ship. Dak and Dez right the ship. Cowboys win 35-17
LA Rams over SF – SF has only scored 12 points on the season give me the Rams.
Baltimore over Jacksonville – Baltimore forces a lot of turnovers and Bortles is a turnover machine give me Baltimore.
Eagles over Giants – Giants are not good eagles are improving give me the Eagles.
Patriots over Texans – Once Brady lost the first week I knew he was going to be on a mission he may not put the numbers of last week up against Houston but he will get the win.
Steelers over Bears – Bears looked good week 1 and then horrendous week 2 Steelers too much for them.
Saints over Panthers – This team is too talented to go 0-3 and Carolina isn’t good enough to go 3-0.
Falcons over Lions – This game could go either way but give me the defending NFC champs.
Browns over Colts – Kizer gets the brownies their first win of the season.
Bucs over Vikings – If the Bucs play like this all season they will be a serious threat for the Superbowl.
Dolphins over the Jets – Because the Jets are going to go 0-16.
Broncos over Bills – That Broncos offense looks better than it ever has and the defense is ferocious.
Seahawks over Titans – I think a lot of people are forgetting about the Seahawks.
Packers over Bengals – Bengals are bad and this week doesn’t help them.
Chiefs over Chargers – This just in the Chiefs are good.
Raiders over Redskins – Raiders are very good Redskins are getting better but Raiders get the win.
Cowboys over Cardinals – Cowboys will need a bounce-back game or they will be in trouble. Cardinals are not good Dallas needs this win.
Rams at 49ers – Rams are a young hungry offense that can make plays. 49ers still struggle on defense. Rams win!
Ravens at Jaguars – This could end up being a defensive struggle. The Ravens find their’s to be better. Ravens win!
Giants at Eagles – Giants are about as bad as the Jets early on. Eagles win!
Steelers at Bears – Although the Bears are solid defensively, that is not enough. No offense leads to a big Steelers victory. Steelers win!
Bucs at Vikings – Vikings need Sam Bradford. He is the only way that offense moves. However, Bucs are or real. Bucs win!
Dolphins at Jets – Interdivision is what makes this game closer than it should be. Dolphins win!
Falcons at Lions – Falcons lose Vic Beasly. That could spell trouble for Falcons defense. Lions win!
Seahawks at Titans – This will let us know how far the Titans have come. Upset Special! Titans win!
Bengals at Packers – This is an easy one. We might see AJ McCarron. Packers win!
Broncos at Bills – This will test the Broncos early. Adapt and overcome. Broncos win!
Saints at Panthers – This game could go either way. I threw a dart. Saints win!
Browns at Colts – Jacoby Brissett makes the Colts offense respectable. Just not enough on defense to stop the Browns. Browns win!
Texans at Patriots – If this was in Houston I may take the Texans. However, I like the Patriots in a barn burner. Patriots win!
Chiefs at Chargers – This Chiefs team is for real. Chargers find it tough to stop them. Chiefs win!
Raiders at Redskins – This could be an air assault by both teams. A fun Sunday Nighter to watch. Redskins keep pace in the NFC East!
Cowboys at Cardinals – Cardinals defense has surprisingly struggled. However, the Mathieu pick is a corner turner. Cardinals win late!
We Hope you enjoy the week 3 slate.