There has been plenty of excitement through the first two weeks of the NFL season. Through those two weeks, we have seen everything ranging from blow outs to ties. Quarterbacks like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Patrick Mahomes have been out of this world so far, leaving many to speculate if and when they will return. Fortunately, the injury bug that was huge in 2017 hasn’t really shown itself yet in 2018. Let’s hope that the trend continues.
So without further ado, let’s hit for Week 3!
Thursday, September 20th:
- New York Jets(1-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-1-1)
The New York Jets and Sam Darnold looked good in Week 1, by throttling the Detroit Lions in Detroit. Then, they looked lost and confused while at home against Miami last Sunday. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns have played well enough in both weeks to have earned a win, but something always prevents it. The streak of games without a win has hit 19. I don’t think they hit 20.
My Pick: Browns
Sunday, September 23rd:
- New Orleans Saints(1-1) at Atlanta Falcons(1-1)
Despite losing to Tampa Bay in Week 1, the Saints offense looked to be off and running on a similar campaign to 2017 after putting up 40 points. That was until Cleveland came into town and took the Saints to the brink last week. While Cleveland is improved, the Saints offense has been missing something. Drew Brees has had flashes of his younger self, but ultimately no one can outlast Father Time, regardless of what Tom Brady tells everyone.
Atlanta on the other hand probably should have won in Week 1 against Philly, and looked good last week against Carolina.
My Pick: Falcons in a Shootout
- Green Bay Packers(1-0-1) at Washington Redskins(1-1)
Green Bay has looked good through 2 weeks of this season. After shaking off the first half of the Bears game, the offense has looked like an Aaron Rodgers-led offense. If not for a few miscues last week, the Packers would be 2-0. Washington is still very much getting used to having Alex Smith, and while they have had flashes, overall the team looks to be struggling so far.
My Pick: Packers
- Indianapolis Colts(1-1) at Philadelphia Eagles(1-1)
The jury is still out on the Colts this season. The return of Andrew Luck has been successful to this point, and the defense has been much improved. This team is one fumble away from likely being 2-0 to this point. The Eagles haven’t looked good this season. They noticably struggled in their win against Atlanta to kickoff the 2018 season, and then lost in Tampa this past weekend. The return of Carson Wentz should revitalize the team this week, but the rust may be too much. Philly is the better team, but the Colts close the gap due to the rust.
My Pick: Eagles win a close one
- Buffalo Bills(0-2) at Minnesota Vikings(1-0-1)
The Bills look like the worst team in the NFL through two weeks, with exception to maybe Arizona. I don’t think anyone expected them to be playing as poorly as they have. The more playing time that Josh Allen gets under his belt however, should start improving this team. Minnesota has looked similar to last season’s team. Despite having a different man under center, the offense has been efficient and the defense has looked like the great unit that it was last season.
My Pick: Vikings win BIG
- Oakland Raiders(0-2) at Miami Dolphins(2-0)
The Raiders are coming off an absolute heartbreaker in Denver last week. This team is better than 0-2, and if they have any hope for making the offseason this season, new HC Jon Gruden will have to figure out how to right the ship. The Dolphins have looked good through their games. Being powered by the efficiency of Ryan Tannehill and the running game, the Dolphins have looked much improved over past seasons. I think the Raiders do enough to win on the road though.
My Pick: Raiders
- Denver Broncos(2-0) at Baltimore Ravens(1-1)
The Broncos and new QB Case Keenum have jumped out to a good start this season. We can only assume that the longer that Keenum builds chemistry with his WRs, the better this offense can become. The Ravens have looked good, but the defense isn’t what it used to be. This game should be a close one.
My Pick: Ravens
- Cincinnati Bengals(2-0) at Carolina Panthers(1-1)
The Bengals and Andy Dalton have looked strong so far this season. The connection of Dalton to A.J. Green looks to be back after having a lackluster year in 2017. The Bengals will be without their workhorse RB Joe Mixon for the next few weeks however. The Panthers have looked like the Panthers that we expected. Cam Newton is still Cam Newton, and gives this team a chance to win at all times.
My Pick: Panthers
- New York Giants(0-2) at Houston Texans(0-2)
The Giants hoped that the return of Odell Beckham Jr, mixed with the addition of rookie RB Saquon Barkley, would bolster this Giants offense to something special. They have looked like anything but. Meanwhile, the highly anticipated return of Texans QB Deshaun Watson has not gone as planned in 2018. The Texans will be looking to get things rolling in this matchup.
My Pick: Texans
- Tennessee Titans(1-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars(2-0)
Tennessee has looked better than I expected and took a big victory last week against the Texans, despite not having Marcus Mariota in the backfield. The Jaguars are riding high after knocking off the New England Patriots last week, in a rematch of the AFC Championship game. I think Jacksonville keeps rolling.
My Pick: Jaguars
- San Francisco 49ers(1-1) at Kansas City Chiefs(2-0)
Jimmy Garoppolo has looked so-so this season. It seems that everyone in sports media expects him to burst through at some point, and the 49ers would love it to be sooner rather than later. The Chiefs and second-year QB Patrick Mahomes have looked strong. The problem for them though, is that the defense is a liabilty. Mahomes has thrown for 10 TDs through 2 weeks, but he has had to do so in order to win. This one could be close.
My Pick: Chiefs
- Los Angeles Chargers(1-1) at Los Angeles Rams(2-0)
In a battle of the LA teams, the Chargers will look to hand the Rams their first loss of the season. Both teams have looked great this season, and this matchup could be considered the “Game of the Week.” I think the Chargers and Philip Rivers get it done.
My Pick: Chargers
- Dallas Cowboys(1-1) at Seattle Seahawks(0-2)
Dak Prescott and the Cowboys offense has looked lost this season. Prescott no longer has Dez Bryant and Jason Witten to count on to catch the ball, and it has shown. Fortunately, Ezekiel Elliott has looked as strong as ever. Seattle has looked bad. No other way to say it. Russell Wilson can work magic for this team, but in order for that to happen, the O-line has to keep him off his back. Until the Seahawks show that they can protect Wilson, this season is going to be a bad one.
My Pick: Cowboys
- Chicago Bears(1-1) at Arizona Cardinals(0-2)
Chicago’s offense is getting better, and the addition of Khalil Mack on defense has looked to be a huge plus. Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals seem to be content using Sam Bradford as their QB, not giving the ball to their best player in David Johnson, and have looked awful in just about every aspect of the game.
My Pick: Bears win easily
- New England Patriots(1-1) at Detroit Lions(0-2)
New England looked out of sorts against Jacksonville. I haven’t seen a team be able to frustrate the Patriots that much in a long time. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will certainly be looking to bounce back and show that the Jacksonville game was more a fluke than a trend. A lot of people were taken by surprise at how bad the Lions looked against the Jets in Week 1. I think the Lions are better than their record indicates, but it won’t get any easier for them.
My Pick: Patriots
Monday, September 24th:
- Pittsburgh Steelers(0-1-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers(2-0)
Pittsburgh is still without a win, their star running back isn’t showing up, and now their star WR Antonio Brown was a no-show at practice on Tuesday. Mike Tomlin has to figure out how to fix this team, before the season starts going more out of control. Tampa Bay has looked amazing so far. Ryan Fitzpatrick looks like a man that is playing for a starting QB job. If Fitzpatrick is able to take the Bucs to a 3-0 start, I don’t see any scenario how Jameis Winston gets his job back immediately following his suspension.
My Pick: Steelers
To recap, my picks: