So far the 2015 season has been as unpredictable as ever. Who would have guessed that teams like the Seahawks, Colts, Eagles, and Ravens would be 0-2. What surprises will Week 3 hold? Here are my predictions (hoping to bounce back after an awful week).
Last Week: 5-11
Thursday, September 24th, 8:30 e.t.
Washington Redskins (1-1) @ New York Giants (0-2)
Matt Jones and Alfred Morris ripped apart the St. Louis defense last week while Odell Beckham Jr. had a field day against the Atlanta secondary. Of course the Giants were unable to mount a late surge against the Falcons while the ‘Skins were able to find the “W”. This week should prove a bit different. The Giants are playing at home again while Washington is at a disadvantage having to go on the road during a short week. Additionally, New York should be the better team anyways.
New York 26, Washington 16
Sunday, September 27th, 1:00 e.t.
Indianapolis Colts (0-2) @ Tennessee Titans (1-1)
Both teams are coming off of embarrassing defeats to teams that they should have beaten and are looking for redemption. While Marcus Mariota has looked solid in two starts, he has been a bit loose with the ball. He fumbled it three times last week and lost two of them. Meanwhile, the Colts offense has stumbled out of the gates in a big way. Look for Andrew Luck to bounce back on the road against a team that he tends to dominate.
Indianapolis 37, Tennessee 17
Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) @ New York Jets (2-0)
If I told you two weeks ago that one of the teams in this game would be winless and the other would be undefeated, you probably would have believed me. However, you probably wouldn’t have guessed which one was which. The Eagles have been particularly awful on offense (especially on third down) while the Jets have been good on defense and passable on “O” with Ryan Fitzpatrick in control. On the road against a tough defense, the Eagles could struggle again, but I think Chip Kelly gets some sort of game plan going to pull out the “W”. The birds have a decent defense as well and that should show in a tough game on the road.
Philadelphia 31, New York 24
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) @ Houston Texans (0-2)
The Buccaneers shocked the Saints on the road a week ago and are looking for their first two game winning streak in a couple of years. The Texans have other ideas, though, and they will stop Tampa Bay in their tracks. I see Jameis Winston struggling on the road while Ryan Mallet has a nice game against a really inconsistent defense.
Houston 30, Tampa Bay 16
Oakland Raiders (1-1) @ Cleveland Browns (1-1)
Each team pulled off surprising wins a week ago, however the Oakland victory was quite impressive. Now that the Browns have decided to go back to Josh McCown, I honestly think that the offense will regress a bit. The Raiders should be able to move on the road and scoop up the win. It is weird thinking that one of these teams is going to be 2-1 if I may say so.
Oakland 23, Cleveland 12
Cincinnati Bengals (2-0) @ Baltimore Ravens (0-2)
The Ravens are a team that is a couple of plays away from being 2-0, but instead they sit with an ugly 0-2 record and have the AFC North leading Bengals coming to town. This is the home opener though, and Baltimore does tend to play much better at home. Even though Cincy has won in each of the last two seasons on the road against the Ravens, I see them dropping this game. Baltimore has something to prove and could ill afford to fall to 0-3 on the year.
Baltimore 26, Cincinnati 20
Atlanta Falcons (2-0) @ Dallas Cowboys (2-0)
Both teams are undefeated, but have an entirely different feel about this one. The Cowboys are without their three biggest weapons on offense from a year ago while the Falcons are looking pretty good, and could very well be the team to beat in the NFC South. Matt Ryan, while a different quarterback on the road, is worlds better than Brandon Weeden and Julio Jones > Terrence Williams. Atlanta wins.
Atlanta 27, Dallas 13
Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) @ New England Patriots (2-0)
The Patriots jumped out to a huge lead on the road in Buffalo before letting the Bills climb back into it. That said, they looked damn impressive on offense. At home in front of a raucous crowd, Tom Brady throws for another three scores as the Patriots dominate the Jaguars who will be hitting the road for the first time all year.
New England 44, Jacksonville 14
San Diego Chargers (1-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
The last time the Chargers visited the Minnesota Vikings, Adrian Peterson shredded them for an NFL record 296 yards back in 2007. I think he will have a slightly less spectacular day, but still a good one with about 140 yards and a score or two. Despite this, the Chargers, behind a big effort from Philip Rivers, will win the game on a last second score. This should be a really good contest.
San Diego 31, Minnesota 28
New Orleans Saints (0-2) @ Carolina Panthers (2-0)
With the status of Drew Brees up in the air, and given how bad the Saints have been so far this year, I don’t feel safe picking them on the road against Carolina who still has a good defense. Behind Johnathan Stewart and a nice running game, the Panthers improve to 3-0 on the year. The good news for the Saints is that Mark Ingram rushes for 135 yards and two scores to keep the game interesting.
Carolina 23, New Orleans 20
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) @ St. Louis Rams (1-1)
The Steelers have been hitting on big play after big play and they now go on the road to St. Louis to square off against a team that is prone to giving up a few of those every now and again. This one will be much more competitive than many might think, but in the end my money is on Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown against a shaky secondary.
Pittsburgh 36, St. Louis 31
Sunday, September 27th, 4:05 e.t.
San Francisco 49ers (1-1) @ Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
San Francisco looked pretty bad on defense a week ago, but their offense was not too bad. They should fare alright on the road against an Arizona team that can be quite good at times. However, the Cards “D” will give up a play from time to time and I think that San Fran takes advantage of this en route to the shocker of the week.
San Francisco 14, Arizona 10
Sunday, September 27th, 4:25 e.t.
Chicago Bears (0-2) @ Seattle Seahawks (0-2)
The Seahawks (all things considered) didn’t look too bad on the road against the Packers. Now they will have their hammer back in Kam Chancellor and will be taking on a Chicago team that will send out Jimmy Clausen as their quarterback. Seattle finally gets into the win column with a dominant victory in front of the 12th man.
Seattle 38, Chicago 10
Buffalo Bills (1-1) @ Miami Dolphins (1-1)
I want to pick the Bills to win this game here because they are the better team, but for some reason I have a weird feeling that this will be the random game that the Dolphins play were they look like they can be a contender in the AFC. Their offense is faster than Buffalo’s defense and Ryan Tannehill is better than Tyrod Taylor. Rex Ryan coached teams do have a history of success down in Miami, but this time I give the ‘Phins the win. Lets see if Cameron Wake isn’t a ghost in this one.
Miami 27, Buffalo 16
Sunday, September 27th, 8:30 e.t.
Denver Broncos (2-0) @ Detroit Lions (0-2)
The Broncos looked pretty terrible in the first half a week ago until they intercepted Alex Smith and then Peyton Manning got rolling. This week, they take on a Detroit team that has to be frustrated with their 0-2 start. Logic would dictate that you go with Denver here due to their incredible defense and passable offense, but because I like to get a little frisky with my picks I will take Detroit. I say their defense shuts down Peyton Manning and the offense does just enough to get them the victory in a gritty game.
Detroit 19, Denver 17
Monday, September 28th, 8:30 e.t.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) @ Green Bay Packers (2-0)
The Chiefs should really be (or could really be) 2-0 at this point but they fumbled away the game against the Broncos last Thursday night. A little later in the week, Green Bay flexed its muscles and clipped the Seahawks at Lambeau. Any time you play the Pack in Wisconsin, I wish you the best of luck. They are a tough out. Aaron Rodgers should light this defense up and the Packers will roll to an impressive victory.
Green Bay 45, Kansas City 23
Week 3 Bonus Predictions
Upset of the Week (0-2): San Francisco over Arizona
Sure Bet of the Week (1-1): Seattle over Chicago
Rookie of the Week: Melvin Gordon, RB, Chargers
Offensive Player of the Week: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers
Defensive Player of the Week: Glover Quin Jr., DB, Lions
Best Overall Offense: Green Bay Packers
Best Overall Defense: Seattle Seahawks
Feel free to leave a comment stating what you think will happen in this weekend’s games!