NFL Week 3 Picks - Early Games

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NFL Week 3 Early Games

All times Eastern

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Week 2 results: Rick: 7-9; Coin: 7-9
Cumulative: Rick: 14-17-1; Coin: 16-15-1

Thursday, September 24

Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3, 48) 8:20 pm (NFLN) - This game could turn into anything - a runaway romp or a close call to open the week.

Both teams are coming off near misses, Jacksonville falling late at Tennessee, 33-30, Miami coming back at home against Buffalo only to let it get away in the fourth quarter.

The Dolphins are 0-2, while the Jags come in at 1-1, virtue of their week 1 victory over the Colts. Gardner Minshew II was impressive against a solid Tennessee squad. Jags get a heads up with Indy's win at Minnesota in week 2.

Coin Flip: Jacksonville

Prediction: Jaguars 31 Dolphins 17

Sunday, September 27

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons (-3 1/2, 47 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Honestly, the Bears got lucky beating Detroit in week 1 and barely got past the stumbling Giants week 2. Atlanta faced better opposition, losing to a very solid Seattle team in week 1, and a heartbreak, 40-39, at Dallas, week 2.

They're a better team than their record shows and should mangle the Bears.

Coin Flip: Atlanta

Prediction: Falcons 27 Bears 14

Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills (-2 1/2, 47 1/2) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Both teams enter this foray with identical 2-0 marks, but the Rams appear more impressive with wins over the Cowboys and Eagles. LA absolutely hammered Philly last Sunday, 37-19, and it wasn't even that close.

This looks like a real test for the Buffalo defense, which wasn't that good on the road last week in Miami, allowing a late TD to the Dolphins to make their 31-28 win closer than it should have been. Both QBs are off to hot starts; defense, field position, and kicking will be keys here.

Coin Flip: Los Angeles Rams

Prediction: LA Rams 26 Bills 23

Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns (-7, 44) 1:00 pm (Fox) - Hard to imagine a team with a defense like the Browns have being a touchdown favorite, but they are at home against the No-name Washington squad who dropped a 30-15 bomb at Arizona after rallying to beat Philly, 27-17, in their home opener.

Cleveland whipped Cincinnati, 35-30, last Thursday, but their defense has allowed 68 points in its first two games, worst in the AFC. Washington is on the road for the second straight week, but they should find enough success on offense to stay right with the Browns to have a shot late.

Coin Flip: Cleveland

Prediction: Browns 27 Washington Team 24

Tennessee Titans (-2 1/2, 47 1/2) at Minnesota Vikings 1:00 pm (CBS) - Tennessee's defense left much to be desired in their 33-30 home win over the Jaguars last week, but they're taking their game on the road against the 0-2 Vikings, who haven't shown much, losing to Green Bay, 43-34, then getting pounded by Indianapolis, 28-11, last week.

Tennessee's defense may get a bit healthier against Kirk Cousins and company. Derrick Henry has an even 200 yards rushing in two games. He may really roll it up against the Vikings, who have the league's second-worst defense (71 points).

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Titans 34 Vikings 20

Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots (-6, 47 1/2) 1:00 pm (CBS) - The Raiders showed true grit in their Monday night week 2, 34-24 win over the Saints, opening their new digs with a solid victory. Life may get a little tougher for the Vegas gang, as the Patriots are a solid squad, despite their 35-30 Sunday night loss at Seattle because the Seahawks are just loaded.

Having to travel and a short week may not help the Raiders, but they look to be an improving bunch and 3-0 would garner them some props. Don't see the Patriots really dominating them. The points may be friendly to underdog lovers.

Coin Flip: Las Vegas

Prediction: Patriots 23 Raiders 20

San Francisco 49ers (-4, 41) at New York Giants 1:00 pm (Fox) - The Giants lost Shaquan Barkley for the season in last week's loss at Chicago, while the 49ers are also pretty bruised up and are on the road for a second straight week.

This being a game between an almost certain playoff team and an 0-2 sub-par squad still finding its footing, the 49ers look good to go. New York has only scored 29 points in two games. That's the lowest in the league, so the San Fran defense should be able to handle this.

Coin Flip: New York Giants

Prediction: 49ers 27 Giants 10

Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles (-5 1/2, 46 1/2) 1:00 pm (CBS) - So far, the Eagles look as sloppy and disorganized as they did most of last season when they actually won the NFC East with a 9-7 mark. They did that with four straight victories over division foes, including the Giants, twice. There's really nothing special about the Eagles other than they're at home for a second straight week, though that didn't turn out to be advantageous in their 37-19 loss to the Rams in week 2.

QB Joe Burrow is a keeper for the Bengals, but his team is still 0-2. They lost their first game by three points to the Chargers (16-13) and last week fell by 5 at Cleveland, 35-30. No reason to believe they'll be out of this one at all and may send the Eagles to 0-3.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Bengals 24 Eagles 21

Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers (-4, 45) 1:00 pm (CBS) - The 0-2 Texans had a tough start to the 2020 season, playing - and losing - at Kansas City, then hosting Baltimore - and losing again, 33-16, to the Ravens.

The Steelers beat up on the Giants and Denver, 26-16, and 26-21, respectively, and are usually quite good at home, but one the Texans are probably a better team all around and should notch a victory here.

Coin Flip: Pittsburgh

Prediction: Texans 26 Steelers 18

Click here for late games.

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