Fearless Rick's Football Picks - Week 3 early games

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All times Eastern

Week 2 Results: Coin: 6-10; Fearless Rick: 5-11

Cumulative Regular Season: Coin: 9-22; Rick: 14-17

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Thursday, September 21

LA Rams (-2, 40) at San Francisco 49ers, 8:25 pm, NFLN - A West coast special to kick off week three pitting two teams not likely to make the playoffs may or may not appeal to NFL fans, who have become less numerous and more fickle than ever, but many may tune in just to see Ram QB Jared Goff.

The Rams are tied with Denver for #3 in scoring at 33 points per game, so the SF defense will have its work cut out for itself. This should be an interesting game, especially since the Rams haven't shown much stopping power defensively.

Take the coin flip, as it's as reliable projection of this game as one is likely to find.

Coin Flip: San Francisco

Prediction: 49ers 20 Rams 17

Sunday, September 24

Baltimore Ravens (-3 1/2, 39 1/2) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (at London), 9:30 am, Yahoo - In two wins, the Ravens have allowed a total of 10 points, second only to the Panthers, with six points allowed through two games. The 1-1 Jaguars have allowed an average of 22, so it's safe to say that the British fans at this event will not be awed by either team's offense, though Baltimore has an upper hand.

Baltimore also has the second-best point differential (34), second to Oakland's 35. Granted, the Ravens have beaten the Bengals and Browns, but Jacksonville is no offensive juggernaught either.

Coin Flip: Baltimore

Prediction: Ravens 24 Jacksonville 14

Denver Broncos (-3, 40) at Buffalo Bills, 1:00 pm, CBS - Buffalo's offense was kept out of the end zone in a 9-3 loss at Carolina last week while the Broncos were busily beating up the Cowboys, 42-17.

There are some upstate New York pundits calling this a "trap game" for the Broncos because they may be looking ahead to their meeting with Oakland in a week's time, but it's doubtful they'll take the Bills lightly this early in the season.

Buffalo has almost no offense beyond Shady McCoy, putting them in a tough spot against the energized Broncos.

Coin Flip: Denver

Prediction: Broncos 24 Bills 13

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-6, 46 1/2), 1:00 pm, FOX - The Panthers are 2-0, the Saints, 0-2. New Orleans played two solid teams, however, at Minnesota and last week at home against the Patriots. The Panthers have defeated the 49ers and Bills, so comparing their records would be misleading.

Since this is a divisional match-up, the score may prove to be pretty close. In fact, last season, each team won at home by three points. Expecting a similar outcome here against the large line.

Coin Flip: Carolina

Prediction: Saints 27 Panthers 24

Pittsburgh Steelers (-7, 44) at Chicago Bears, 1:00 pm, CBS - The Steelers really hit their best stride in last week's 26-9 win over the Vikings after winning at Cleveland in Week 1, 21-18.

The 0-2 Bears have allowed an average of 26 points per game in losses to Atlanta and Tampa Bay, while scoring 17 and 7, respectively.

These Bears are bad newsŠ to their fans.

Coin Flip: Chicago

Prediction: Steelers 30 Bears 7

Atlanta Falcons (-3, 50 1/2) at Detroit Lions, 1:00 pm, FOX - Getting off to fast starts, both teams are 2-0, and the edge is given to Atlanta, supposedly on the strength of their being in the Super Bowl last season.

Detroit's wins were at the Expense of the Cardinals (35-23) and Giants (24-10), and they're on home turf for this, so Atlanta really should not be favored.

Coin Flip: Falcons

Prediction: Lions 31 Falcons 28

Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts (even, 40 1/2), 1:00 pm, CBS - Neither of these squads has been capable of posting a win through two weeks, but the Colts seem to have more problems than solutions. If DeShone Kizer starts for Cleveland - which he should - the Browns have an edge.

Coin Flip: Cleveland

Prediction: Browns 20 Colts 13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings (-2, 41), 1:00 pm, FOX - With the Buccaneers coming off a big win over the Bears, 29-7, and the Vikings reeling after a 26-7 beating at Pittsburgh, this game sets up a real test for both squads.

Tampa was one of the brightest surprises of 2016, finishing 9-7, are on a path to the playoffs eventually, and it could happen this season. James Winston has reinvigorated the offense and the defense seems to be responding to the challenge as well.

Issues in Minnesota's passing game should swing this contest in favor of the visitors.

Coin Flip: Minnesota

Prediction: Buccaneers 24 Vikings 16

Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-13, 44), 1:00 pm, CBS - Tom Brady disproved all of his critics Sunday in New Orleans, as the Patriots ripped the Saints, 36-20, off of 447 passing yards by Brady.

Texas starts rookie QB Deshaun Watson, and while he's good, the Patriots seem to have Houston's number, beating them 27-0 in week 3 last season, then dumping them, 34-16 in the playoffs. Watson won't make that much of a difference, especially since the Texans have injuries in their defensive backfield.

Coin Flip: New England

Prediction: Patriots 35 Texans 13

Miami Dolphins (-6, 42) at New York Jets, 1:00 pm, CBS - Many predicted that the Jets could go 0-16 this season and they're already on their way, starting 0-2, via a pair of road losses at Buffalo and Oakland.

While pointing their collective fingers at the Jets' offense, the defense hasn't really shown up either, making this home opener a real dud for fans in and around the Big Apple. Miami has played just one game, but it was a winning effort, 19-17, at the Los Angeles Chargers. All that travel may take a toll, bt the Jets are not capable of playing a complete 60 minutes of solid football.

Coin Flip: Miami

Prediction: Dolphins 24 Jets 10

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-6, 43), 1:00 pm, FOX - Here's another New York team without much in the way of recent success, going 0-2 to Dallas and Detroit, while scoring a whopping 13 points total. The 1-1 Eagles can probably put up 13 points in a quarter, so the line objection is not valid here.

The Giants sorely need a running game, or some receivers, because their offense is one of the worst in the league, even with Eli Manning in the backfield.

Coin Flip: NY Giants

Prediction: Eagles 27 Giants 13

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