Fearless Rick's NFL Football Picks - Week 3 early games

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WEEK 3 NFL Picks

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Week 2 Results: Coin: 7-9; Rick: 8-8
Cumulative: Coin: 16-16; Rick: 17-15

Thursday, September 22

Houston at New England (even, 41), 8:25 (CBS-NFLN-Twitter) - Injuries and absences may hinder New England's attempt to go 3-0, but also, Houston's stingy defense (26 points allowed in two games, third best in the league) should be impactful.

The Texans burned some bad memories by whipping post-season nemesis Kansas City last week, 19-12, and they're 2-0 ATS. Reason to believe that the Texans have caught the Pats at a ripe moment. Brock Osweiler should get the job done.

Coin Flip: Houston

Prediction: Texans 24 Patriots 17

Sunday, September 25

Arizona (-4 1/2, 47) at Buffalo, 1:00 pm (FOX) - Could be the blowout of the week as the Cardinals had everything working last week, dismantling Tampa Bay, 40-7. Buffalo has been mediocre in just about every aspect of the game thus far, posting an 0-2 record.

Fans are wondering why anybody thinks Rex Ryan is a good head coach. Clue: he's not proven that he is. Since going 11-5 in 2010 with the Jets, he hasn't had a winning season. This will be six straight seasons at .500 or worse.

Coin Flip: Arizona

Prediction: Cardinals 38 Bills 10

Minnesota at Carolina (-7, 43), 1:00 pm (FOX) - Have to agree with the coin on this one, only because the Vikings are a quality group and riding high at 2-0 after their Sunday night, 17-14, triumph over the Packers.

Carolina is without doubt one of the best three or four teams in the NFC, but this should prove a real test, even at home, where the Panthers are nearly invincible. Looking for a Carolina win, but by the slimmest of margins.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Panthers 23 Vikings 20

Denver at Cincinnati (-3, 41), 1:00 pm (CBS) - Another solid contest between likely playoff-bound squads should favor the Bengals, who need to rebound after a tough loss at Pittsburgh last week.

Denver has done well to get to 2-0 thus far, but their 34-20 victory at home over the Colts last week is a bit deceiving. The game was tight until the final minutes, when the Broncos recovered a fumble for a TD and a two-point conversion. The Bengals need better ball control and a few big plays to get their offense some confidence.

Coin Flip: Denver

Prediction: Bengals 23 Broncos 13

Detroit at Green Bay (-7 1/2, 48), 1:00 pm (FOX) - Everybody in the sports universe seems to think that the Green Bay Packers are the next coming of the Pittsburgh Steelers 1970s dynasty, but there's scant evidence to back up such claims.

With Aaron Rodgers at QB, the Packers always stand a fighting chance, but what happened last Sunday at Minnesota? The Vikings stymied the Packer offense and came away with the win.

Detroit was stunned by the Titans last week, but they should be emotionally ready to take on Lambeau Field and the Pack. Maybe not a win for the Lions, but this game figures closer than whatever the Vegas braintrust has conjured.

Coin Flip: Green Bay

Prediction: Packers 34 Lions 29

Baltimore at Jacksonville (even, 47), 1:00 pm (CBS) - The Jaguars have allowed 65 points though their first two games, so there's little wonder why they're 0-2.

Baltimore is the opposite, having allowed just 27 points in their first two weeks. Though they've scored just 38, the Ravens are tied with the Steelers in the AFC North, and they're certainly not about to blow that with a loss to what certainly looks like a sub-.500 team. Could be blowout city.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Prediction: Ravens 30 Jaguars 9

Cleveland at Miami (-10, 41 1/2), 1:00 pm (CBS) - Very surprising to see this line so large, but the Browns will be without Josh McCown, making Cody Kessler the starting QB.

While the Browns are not a very good team overall, Miami isn't that much better. Sure they lost close calls to Seattle and New England on the road the first two weeks, but they still have to lace them up, line them up and mow them down this week. Cleveland players are hungry for a win and may rally behind their backup. Turnovers may play a key role in this one.

Coin Flip: Miami

Prediction: Browns 23 Dolphins 22

Washington at NY Giants (-4 1/2, 46 1/2), 1:00 pm (FOX) - Even though the Redskins are 0-2, their losses were to the Steelers and Cowboys, arguably two pretty good teams. The loss to Dallas was close, 27-23, and the Giants topped the Cowboys in week 1, 20-19, in New York, so there are comparisons.

Not overly impressed with the play of the Giants in their two wins, especially their victory last week over the Saints in New Jersey, which they would not have won without critical turnovers by the Saints. Looking for an upset win for the Redskins.

Coin Flip: NY Giants

Prediction: Redskins 26 Giants 23

Oakland at Tennessee (-1 1/2, 46 1/2), 1:00 pm (CBS) - Their stunning, 16-15, win over Detroit last week has Tennessee fans on top of the world, and they return home to face one of the league's most potent passing offenses. That may work to the favor of the Titans, as the Raiders have almost no discernible defense, allowing 69 points in their first two games. Only the Colts have given up more (73).

Oakland will score their fair share of points, but this could be a shootout of magnificent proportions with Oakland's Derek Carr hooking horns with Tennessee's Marcus Mariota. One to watch if you like wide open offense, though Tennessee's defense eventually should be the difference-maker.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Titans 38 Raiders 34

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