NFL Week 3 Picks, Predictions: Dolphins, Saints, Colts get first wins of season

Photo: Keith Allison via Flickr.com

Photo: Keith Allison via Flickr.com

Week 2 was another exciting one for the NFL but it was plagued with injuries that will affect many of the teams playing in Week 3.

Now the question is which teams will be most affected and which teams will be able to improvise and win games while lacking some of their star-power.

Let’s take a look:


Thursday, Sept. 22

Houston Texans (2-0) at New England Patriots (2-0)

In an intriguing matchup, Jacoby Brissett is expected to make his first career start at QB with Julian Edelman as his backup — yes, that Julian Edelman.

So can Brock Osweiler and the Texans take advantage of an injury-ridden Patriots squad?

No one else has been able to this season.

Q’s Pick: Patriots, 27-22


Sunday, Sept. 25

Denver Broncos (2-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)

Trevor Siemian continues to prove that he can lead the Broncos to convincing wins this season.

The Broncos will need to contain Andy Dalton and the Bengals passing game to win and will have to do it without DeMarcus Ware, who broke his arm last week.

The Broncos still seem like the more talented team here.

Q’s Pick: Broncos, 29-20


Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (1-1)

In a matchup of two teams who are better than most people think they are, we should have a pretty good game.

The Raiders have been clicking on offense but their defense hasn’t been able to stop anybody. Running into the Titans may be the solution for Oakland’s shaky D.

Marcus Mariota and DeMarco Murray will pose a challenge, but it shouldn’t be a lethal one.

Q’s Pick: Raiders, 30-24


Arizona Cardinals (1-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-2)

The Cardinals are rolling after posting a 40-spot on the Bucs last weekend.

Tampa Bay doesn’t have a great defense but Buffalo’s is worse. Carson Palmer and company should put up some major numbers in Week 3.

 Q’s Pick: Cardinals, 34-19


Baltimore Ravens (2-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)

The Jaguars have looked good at particular times this season, but the Ravens have looked better.

Sure, they nearly got blown out by the Browns, but Baltimore should be looking at it with confidence knowing they scored 25 unanswered points to get the comeback win.

They’ll be wanting to score early and often against Jacksonville to make sure they don’t need to do that again.

Q’s Pick: Ravens, 23-20


Cleveland Browns (0-2) at Miami Dolphins (0-2)

What started as a somewhat optimistic season for the Browns is quickly becoming one clouded by uncertainty. For the fifth time in five regular season games, Cleveland has a different QB taking the field Sunday as a starter.

Cody Kessler will be making his NFL debut against a Dolphins defense that has shut down Russell Wilson and been torched by Jimmy Garoppolo this season. So which defense shows up against the Browns?

I’m guessing the former.

Q’s Pick: Dolphins, 30-20


Washington Redskins (0-2) at New York Giants (2-0)

The Giants have been finding ways to win by relying on players other than Odell Beckham Jr. — just ask Sterling Shepard and Shane Vereen.

The Redskins have had trouble playing defense this season and that spells trouble against Eli Manning and everyone else mentioned above.

 Q’s Pick: Giants, 28-23


Detroit Lions (1-1) at Green Bay Packers (1-1)

The Lions learned this week that Ameer Abdullah will be placed on injured reserve which means a key factor in their backfield is gone.

Luckily, Marvin Jones has proven that he can be the go-to receiver in the absence of Calvin Johnson.

On the other hand, Green Bay’s defense has been solid; their offense just hasn’t held up their end of the bargain. That should change on Sunday.

Q’s Pick: Packers, 31-23


Minnesota Vikings (2-0) at Carolina Panthers (1-1)

The Vikings looked comfortable with Sam Bradford manning the offense, but now life without Adrian Peterson begins against a Panthers defense that is only allowing 106 yards per game this season.

Carolina also likes to put up more points than Minnesota does, and the Vikings may not have the answer for a big receiver like Kelvin Benjamin.

Expect a good game from him.

Q’s Pick: Panthers, 34-20


San Francisco 49ers (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)

Seattle’s offense has been terrible so far this season, and with Doug Baldwin and Russell Wilson both banged up, things may not be getting better this week.

Thomas Rawls has been suffocated by poor offensive line play and the 49ers like to stack the box.

That could spell trouble for Seattle, but I think their defense will save the day against a decent-at-best San Francisco offense.

Q’s Pick: Seahawks, 17-13


Los Angeles Rams (1-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1)

The Rams used defense to win last week and the Bucs lacked it in getting blown out on the same day.

Watching Jameis Winston and Mike Evans against L.A.’s secondary will be fun, but where Tampa Bay will have problems is in the run game without Doug Martin.

The Rams can win this one if they can put some points on the board, which they’ve struggled to do the past two weeks.

Q’s Pick: Rams, 20-17


Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)

The Carson Wentz bandwagon is growing, and rightfully so.

But he hasn’t played against a defense like Pittsburgh’s yet and the Steelers’ three-headed monster of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and now DeAngelo Williams has been on a tear as of late.

I don’t expect the Eagles to slow that down very easily.

 Q’s Pick: Steelers, 30-24


New York Jets (1-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-1)

The Jets showed life against the Bills in Week 2 and if Matt Forte can get going on the ground like he did in that game, the Jets have a shot.

But I like the way Kansas City has been playing lately, especially behind Spencer Ware who leads the team in both rushing and receiving yards. He could become the X-factor on Sunday.

 Q’s Pick: Chiefs, 27-23


San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Indianapolis Colts (0-2)

Things haven’t been looking good for Andrew Luck and the Colts. The offense was stale at best before learning Donte Moncrief, one of the team’s leading receivers, will be out at least a month with a fractured shoulder blade.

Now they are facing a Chargers team that’s fresh off a convincing win over Jacksonville and recently added Dexter McCluster to add into schemes on offense.

Still, Indy is at home and has shown more flashes of potential than San Diego has.

This one could go either way, but I think the Colts escape with a much-needed win.

 Q’s Pick: Colts, 30-28


Chicago Bears (0-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-1)

The Bears lack just about everything on offense and now their QB situation got worse.

Jay Cutler is out with a sprained thumb so Brian Hoyer will get the nod against the Cowboys defense.

Dallas’ offense is going to be one to watch now that Dak Prescott has figured out where to find Dez Bryant, plus Ezekiel Elliott looks comfortable running behind that enormous offensive line.

 Q’s Pick: Cowboys, 31-20


Monday, Sept. 26

Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (0-2)

The Monday Night game features two offenses who are going to score a lot of points.

The question is will Matt Ryan and Julio Jones make it happen for Atlanta or will Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks put up yards for the the Louisiana guys?

The answer is both, but the latter will come up with more.

 Q’s Pick: Saints, 34-30


Last Week’s Record: 12-4

Season Record: 18-14

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