Prisco's Picks: Week 3

 
 
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WEEK
3
PETE PRISCO
Senior NFL Columnist
Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and can be seen throughout the week on CBS Sports' NFL shows. When he's not watching game tape you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
MATCHUP SCORE ANALYSIS
Thursday, Sep. 20, 2018
 
Cleveland
Browns
21
Could this be the week? Will the Browns finally win a game? I say they do. The Jets didn't look good against Miami, and it's a short week on the road for Sam Darnold. The Browns defense will get the best of him.
Result: Cleveland Browns 21, NY Jets 17
New York
Jets
14
 
Sunday, Sep. 23, 2018
 
Atlanta
Falcons
33
The Saints have struggled in their first two games, especially on defense. Atlanta seemed to right the offense against Carolina, especially in the Red Zone. I would expect the Falcons to put up a lot of points here, but New Orleans will as well. It's close, but the Falcons will take it.
Result: Atlanta Falcons 37, New Orleans Saints 43
New Orleans
Saints
28
 
 
Baltimore
Ravens
26
The Broncos are off to a 2-0 start, but the offense has been uneven at times. That will be a problem at Baltimore against the Ravens defense. Baltimore will have been off for 10 days after playing last Thursday. That matters. Ravens take it.
Result: Baltimore Ravens 27, Denver Broncos 14
Denver
Broncos
17
 
 
Cincinnati
Bengals
24
The Bengals are 2-0 and will have a nice rest after playing last Thursday night. Carolina didn't look good against Atlanta, especially on defense. I think Andy Dalton and the improved Bengals offense will get the best of this matchup. Bengals will win a road game.
Result: Cincinnati Bengals 21, Carolina Panthers 31
Carolina
Panthers
20
 
 
Houston
Texans
27
The Giants are playing consecutive road games, and didn't look good at all last week against the Cowboys. The Texans will be playing their home opener, losing the first two. Being back home will matter, but the Giants will hang around in this one.
Result: Houston Texans 22, NY Giants 27
New York
Giants
24
 
 
Jacksonville
Jaguars
24
The key here will be the emotion of the Jaguars coming off their big victory over the Patriots last week. Since they lost to the Titans twice last season, I think the focus will be good. Tennessee has been plagued by injuries, including to quarterback Marcus Mariota, and that's a problem against the Jaguars front. Jaguars win it by 10.
Result: Jacksonville Jaguars 6, Tennessee Titans 9
Tennessee
Titans
14
 
 
Kansas City
Chiefs
31
This will be the first home start for Patrick Mahomes, who has been on fire. Too bad the Chiefs defense isn't very good right now. That means we will see a shootout between Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo. It will be fun to watch as the Chiefs win a high-scoring game.
Result: Kansas City Chiefs 38, San Francisco 49ers 27
San Francisco
49ers
28
 
 
Miami
Dolphins
23
This is the second-straight road game for the Raiders, and it's a long trip to play in hot conditions. That's a challenge. Plus, they haven't played that well. The Dolphins are 2-0 and they've done some good things on both sides of the ball. It isn't always pretty for Miami and it won't be here but the Dolphins will get to 3-0.
Result: Miami Dolphins 28, Oakland Raiders 20
16
 
 
Minnesota
Vikings
37
This will be the first road start for Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen. He did some good things last week in his first start at home, but this is a major test. It won't be pretty behind his line. The Bills are also bad on defense. The Vikings win in a blowout.
Result: Minnesota Vikings 6, Buffalo Bills 27
Buffalo
Bills
10
 
 
Philadelphia
Eagles
27
The Eagles get Carson Wentz back for this one. But he is limited in terms of his the weapons he has at his disposal. Even so, the Colts are playing consecutive road games, which is always tough. The defense is improved, but not here. Eagles take it.
Result: Philadelphia Eagles 20, Indianapolis Colts 16
Indianapolis
Colts
13
 
 
Green Bay
Packers
27
Aaron Rodgers looked good playing with the injured knee last week, and another week will help him even more. The Redskins flopped against the Colts last week, particularly on offense. That's not a good thing against the Packers and Rodgers.
Result: Green Bay Packers 17, Washington Redskins 31
Washington
Football Team
21
 
 
Los Angeles
Rams
27
The battle of Los Angeles is an interesting early-season game. The Rams have looked great in their first two victories, but this is a step up in competition. The Rams will move the ball on offense, but I think Philip Rivers will keep it close. Rams take it, but it's tight.
Result: Los Angeles Rams 35, Los Angeles Chargers 23
Los Angeles
Chargers
24
 
 
Chicago
Bears
19
The Cardinals have been woeful the first two weeks, and the offense has been really bad. That's not a good thing against an improved Bears defense. Even so, I think the Cardinals will keep this close. The Bears will win it late, but it's tight.
Result: Chicago Bears 16, Arizona Cardinals 14
Arizona
Cardinals
16
 
 
Seattle
Seahawks
21
The Seahawks will be playing their home opener, which will bring some extra juice to an already lively building. The problem is that they aren't the same team. Dallas looked impressive in beating the Giants, but this will be different. The Seahawks will rally in front of the home folks to find a way to win this one.
Result: Seattle Seahawks 24, Dallas Cowboys 13
Dallas
Cowboys
17
 
 
New England
Patriots
33
The Patriots are playing consecutive road games, after losing to the Jaguars last week. But that won't matter here. The Lions are bad. They have major issues on defense. Even if Josh Gordon doesn't play, Tom Brady carves up the Lions.
Result: New England Patriots 10, Detroit Lions 26
Detroit
Lions
23
 
Monday, Sep. 24, 2018
 
Tampa Bay
Buccaneers
30
The Steelers haven't looked right, while the Bucs are flying high. The Steelers defense has been putrid, which will again show up against this high-powered Tampa Bay offense. Ryan Fitzpatrick will have another big day. The Bucs stay unbeaten.
Result: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 30
Pittsburgh
Steelers
28