ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 18: An Atlanta Falcons cheerleader performs during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Georgia Dome on September 18, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Week 3 is highlighted by an AFC East showdown, an NFC Championship rematch and Dallas' home opener on Monday Night Football against the Redskins.
Week 3 of the NFL is upon us already, and as always, the staff here at SB Nation Dallas makes our fearless picks. There's a slew of good games on the docket this week, including a surprising AFC East showdown, an NFC title game rematch and of course, Dallas' home opener on Monday Night Football against the Redskins.
Without further ado, here's our Week 3 picks.
Patriots (2-0) at Bills (2-0) - Who knew that the Pats/Bills game could actually be a big game? Buffalo is 0-15 against New England in their last 15 meetings, but as Belichick so eloquently put it, 90% of the players in those games are watching Sunday's game on the couch. We'll see if Brady can keep up his ridiculous yardage pace as well.
- Liam Ponting: Patriots - I'm really not buying what the Bills are selling at the moment. Particularly not against New England.
- Maurice London: Patriots - Tom Brady is on pace to throw for a bazillion yards. Give me the under.
- Christopher Fittz: Patriots - This has become a marquee game.
- KD Drummond: Patriots - Buffalo has beaten two AFC West teams. Exactly.
- Robbie Griffin: Patriots - The Belichick Pats are typically disinterested in stopping the run, and that's usually what gets them upset when they are. If Fred Jackson goes yet another week without aging, that could be the case here.
- Brett Perryman: Patriots - The Bills have a bigger point differential so far than the Pats. Weird.
- JP Starkey: Patriots - This might be close thanks to a slew of injuries for New England.
49ers (1-1) at Bengals (1-1) - Two pretty awful teams, really. This will be the first road game this season for San Francisco, and likewise, Cincinnati's first home game. If the 49ers are to actually compete in the NFC West this year, this probably a game they have to win.
- Ponting: Bengals - I think the 49ers are probably better than the Bengals, but not by much. I'd rather just take the home team here.
- London: Bengals - Everybody's talking about Cam but I'm more shocked that Andy Dalton threw for 332 yards. He won't get that this week but he should do enough.
- Fittz: Bengals - John Candy can't save the Niners now.
- Drummond: 49ers - After a Texas-sized heartbreak, San Fran returns to the Gore and Davis show.
- Griffin: Bengals - I think the 49ers are the better team, but I think it's close enough I'll go with the home squad.
- Perryman: Bengals - Lots of meh here so I'm going to go with the home team and avoiding any deeper thought.
- Starkey: 49ers - Going against the home team here and taking San Francisco just because of Gore, Davis and Willis.
Dolphins (0-2) at Browns (1-1) - Two of the least inspiring teams in the league. It'll be Miami's first game on the road this year, which is probably a good thing for them given how putrid they are in Miami.
- Ponting: Browns - The Reggie Bush as feature back experiment lasted all of 1 1/4 weeks. Daniel Thomas still won't be enough here though.
- London: Browns - Set your DVR for this one. Then burn it.
- Fittz: Browns - This just seems like a game the Dolphins will under-perform in.
- Drummond: Browns - The Fire Sparano chants grow so loud, you can actually feel them in Ohio.
- Griffin: Browns - See the other Ohio game.
- Perryman: Dolphins - I'm going with the conventional 'Dolphins are good on the road' and 'more desperate team' theories.
- Starkey: Dolphins - Colt McCoy is not good. Neither are the Dolphins, but, they'll win somehow.
Broncos (1-1) at Titans (1-1) - Tennessee probably pulled off the biggest Week 2 upset when they beat the Ravens at home. Now with the Broncos headed into town, the Titans have a good chance of starting out the season 2-1 -- and in the lame AFC South this year, that means they'll be right in the race.
- Ponting: Titans - Kenny Britt continues his push for world dominance.
- London: Titans - Matt Hasselbeck is still alive. Who knew?
- Fittz: Titans - But hey, Tebow might make a reception, Broncos!
- Drummond: Titans - Titans running game gets things moving for the upstarts.
- Griffin: Titans - The Broncos just seem to be in shambles, I might pick everyone to beat them.
- Perryman: Titans - Naive Denver fans clamor for Tebow some more.
- Starkey: Titans - I'm glad this game will not find its way to my television.
Lions (2-0) at Vikings (0-2) - Two franchises going in opposite directions at the moment. Still, this matchup is important for Detroit as they'll have to play in the Baggy Dome against a desperate Vikings team led by Adrian Peterson.
- Ponting: Lions - Detroit, assuming continued health for Stafford, will end up pushing the Packers down to the wire for that division. They'll beat a crappy Vikings team.
- London: Lions - Just stay healthy, Matt.
- Fittz: Lions - This actually seems like a decent test for the Lions but I suspect they'll pass it.
- Drummond: Vikings - The Lions haven't faced a rushing attack like Adrian Peterson. Minny holds on, finally.
- Griffin: Lions - Here is your test, Lions. If you are for real, you will stave off a lesser rival on the road.
- Perryman: Lions - Forget it, they're rolling.
- Starkey: Lions - Between the Lions and the Tigers, Detroit fans must be feeling good.
Texans (2-0) at Saints (1-1) - One of the more interesting games of the week. Sure, the Texans won on the road last week, but that was against Miami. Sunday will be a pretty big test to see how far along the Texans truly are as they take on the Saints in the Superdome.
- Ponting: Saints - Could easily see the Texans winning here, with Ben Tate being a more than acceptable fill-in for Foster. Still, too hard to pick against the Saints in NO.
- London: Saints - The Texans beat possibly the two worst teams in the NFL. Expect the Saints to give them a nice smack back to mediocrity.
- Fittz: Saints - The road to 8-8 begins here.
- Drummond: Saints - I hope your TV has it's track shoes on. Houston's #1 defense has it's hands in N'Awlins.
- Griffin: Saints - This is one of the most exciting games of the week, just to see if Drew Brees can get 500 yards.
- Perryman: Saints - Texans get knocked down a peg, which may be just as well for them.
- Starkey: Saints - The Texans won't win in the Superdome.
Giants (1-1) at Eagles (1-1) - It looks like Mike Vick will be ready to play after all on Sunday, despite not being able to finish Week 2's game against the Falcons. With the Giants looking banged up on both sides of the ball, this could get ugly.
- Ponting: Eagles - If the Eagles can check Bradshaw/Jacobs early and go up a couple of scores, this could end up being embarrassing for the Giants.
- London: Eagles - The Michael Vick experience will play this week so give me the Giants. Wait, what?
- Fittz: Eagles - Just as long as something crazy happens in the end that makes one of these fanbases furious, I'll be happy.
- Drummond: Eagles - The Giants looked like a fraudulent team, all the way down to Watchtower 2011.
- Griffin: Eagles - It's already time in the season for Cowboys fans to root for the Giants.
- Perryman: Eagles - The NFCE is still a bit of a puzzle, but this is one of those games Philly needs to win if they're going to assert dominance.
- Starkey: Eagles - Love how much the Giants stink.
Jaguars (1-1) at Panthers (0-2) - If you're looking for a rookie quarterback matchup, then here's your game of the week. Blaine Gabbert will start for Jacksonville, after Jack Del Rio pulled the plug on the Luke McCown experiment. Cam Newton has been impressive, but he still needs to stop turning the ball over.
- Ponting: Panthers - Regardless if it's Blaine Gabbert's first start or another opportunity for Cam Newton to accumulate a ridiculous amount of passing yards, it's still a fairly meaningless game between 2 poor teams.
- London: Panthers - The Jags secondary is horrendous. Cam should throw for 700 yards easily.
- Fittz: Panthers - Unfortunately, the mediocre Jaguars probably have little hope of defending Cam Newton's lame duck passes and stopping everyone for anointing him the greatest quarterback of all time.
- Drummond: Panthers - Cam Newton gets his first victory, but Blaine Gabbert adds his name to the list of rookie sensation QBs.
- Griffin: Panthers - Cam Newton has looked nice against stiff competition. Now can he do it against scrubs?
- Perryman: Panthers - Two teams that aren't quite what I thought they were but are about as good expected; give me the home team as usual.
- Starkey: Panthers - Tempted to go Jags here just because of MJD, but, everybody gets another week of Cam Newton loving to look forward to.
Jets (2-0) at Raiders (1-1) - This game is actually pretty interesting. The Jets are travelling cross-country to take on a Raiders team that needs to beat somebody good to prove to the world and themselves that they're actually a good team.
- Ponting: Jets - Long road trip for the Jets, but I don't think the Raiders have any answers if the Jets are able to contain McFadden.
- London: Raiders - If I keep picking against the Jets, they'll eventually lose. Maybe.
- Fittz: Raiders - The Jets will likely win, but I just can't quit these Raiders.
- Drummond: Raiders - Oakland hands the Jets the loss they deserved from Week 1, as the real Mark Sanchez stands up.
- Griffin: Jets - The Raiders are going to need Darren McFadden to find holes against New York, and I just don't think it will happen.
- Perryman: Jets - Good, physical matchup with the potential for dozens of parking lot fights.
- Starkey: Jets - They're just the better team.
Ravens (1-1) at Rams (0-2) - Poor Sam Bradford. He has to be getting tired of throwing the ball to receivers who constantly drop it. Monday night's game was tough to watch, and this one could be as well with an angry Ravens team coming into St. Louis.
- Ponting: Ravens - St Louis is gimpy, Baltimore takes advantage and proves last week was an aberration.
- London: Ravens - I'm not mad, Ravens. Just disappointed.
- Fittz: Ravens - In a couple of years, this will be one of the most boring Super Bowls ever.
- Drummond: Ravens - I'd love to pick St. Louis because of their D, but their incompetence outside of the QB position on offense is crystal clear.
- Griffin: Ravens - St. Louis is looking better than I expected this year. I'm not picking them, but I think they might surprise.
- Perryman: Ravens - The Rams are going to have to show me something before I'm ready to pick them.
- Starkey: Ravens - Ugly.
Chiefs (0-2) at Chargers (1-1) - Jamaal Charles, Eric Berry and Tony Moeaki all on injured reserve? Two blowout losses to start the season? Kansas City's season is off to a rough start -- and it looks like it'll just get worse on Sunday.
- Ponting: Chargers - The Chiefs are a mess right now.
- London: Chargers - As the most lopsided game of the week CBS will undoubtedly find a way to get it on tv screens in the DFW market.
- Fittz: Chargers - There should be a Todd Haley's face cam during this game.
- Drummond: Chargers - This would actually be a game that I'd give more than 14 points. Which means KC will keep it close.
- Griffin: Chargers - On paper, this is the most one sided game ever played. Because it involves the Chargers, that makes me very wary.
- Perryman: Chargers - Chargers win by 30 and Philip Rivers throws eggs at Chiefs busses as they leave for the airport.
- Starkey: Chargers - How many times to the Chiefs have to be blown out for Haley to be fired midyear?
Green Bay (2-0) at Chicago (1-1) - Big Jay Cutler is going to be looking for revenge in the NFC Championship game rematch. Aaron Rodgers will actually have to face a legitimate defense for the first time this season as the Packers look to move to 3-0.
- Ponting: Packers - Bit too early in the year to get the full Soldier Field experience with this one.
- London: Packers - I almost feel bad for Cutler. That o-line is awful.
- Fittz: Packers - The Bears drew last season's NFC number one playoff seed Falcons, the previous year's Super Bowl winning Saints, the defending Super Bowl winning Packers, the Cam Newton Panthers, and the everyone's darkhorse Lions in their first five games of theseason. Yikes.
- Drummond: Packers - Mike Martz' porous O-Line scheme will be the remedy for Green Bay's struggling defense.
- Griffin: Packers - I really need Green Bay to win so I don't have to hear the Bears treated like a real contending football team.
- Perryman: Packers - Looking forward to this one. The Pack didn't look too inVINCEible last week, rock me.
- Starkey: Bears - Upset of the week.
Arizona (1-1) at Seattle (0-2) - Finally, a home game for Seattle, and against a pretty mediocre team. Pete Carroll must be salivating for a winnable game for his Seahawks.
- Ponting: Cardinals - I'm taking far too many road teams this week...but the Seahawks are terrible.
- London: Cardinals - Do you think the NFL sometimes wishes it could just cancel the NFC West?
- Fittz: Seahawks - Like anything in the NFC West is predictable other than it being terrible.
- Drummond: Cardinals - Someone remind me why we even consider the west division's as professional.
- Griffin: Cardinals - Wow. What a sad football game.
- Perryman: Cardinals - The Cards have to fight Seattle's big home field, but they're the better team.
- Starkey: Seahawks - Home field advantage too much for the Cards to overcome.
Falcons (1-1) at Buccaneers (1-1) - One of the best games of the week. Both teams are coming off of pretty great, come from behind wins in Week 2. Matt Ryan vs. Josh Freeman is something we're probably going to hear about for years.
- Ponting: Falcons - Tampa pulled off a pretty miraculous comeback last week and really haven't been very impressive so far.
- London: Falcons - If the Falcons want Tony Gonzalez to get his first playoff victory, they'll win this game.
- Fittz: Falcons - This game should be fun. I'm rooting for the Bucs but that means they won't win.
- Drummond: Falcons - Atlanta is an average team on the road, but Tampa doesn't have any sort of home field advantage.
- Griffin: Bucs - To young teams with the upside to be good. I'm going with the one I picked to make the playoffs. If Atlanta wins, I'll probably change said pick.
- Perryman: Bucs - Freeman > Ryan? I'm asking questions, Stan!
- Starkey: Falcons - I still don't believe in the Bucs.
- Ponting: Steelers - This one will be brutal.
- London: Steelers - Jeff George>Kerry Collins. Make it happen.
- Fittz: Steelers - The Colts' death march continues.
- Drummond: Steelers - The Colts will win a game with Kerry Collins, just not this one.
- Griffin: Steelers - Speaking of maybe wanting to change playoff picks. . .
- Perryman: Steelers - If the Steelers blow this one we'll know something is very wrong.
- Starkey: Steelers - Indianapolis' season is such a train wreck.
Redskins (2-0) at Cowboys (1-1) - Dallas' second prime time game in three weeks comes on Monday night... with their best players are injured to varying degrees. Still, the Cowboys should be jacked up for their home opener against one of their rivals.
- Ponting: Redskins - I make this pick with the assumption that Romo will either A. not play, or B. play, but be too limited by his injuries to really make a difference. The loss of Austin hurts tremendously too.
- London: Redskins - I don't think the Redskins are good but, as many have said, the injuries are too much.
- Fittz: Cowboys - There are no other options.
- Drummond: Cowboys - So a funny thing happened on the way to DeAngelo Hall cashing in on his bravado. Reality.
- Griffin: Cowboys - It's nice getting to feel confident about a Cowboys game. That's probably a bad thing.
- Perryman: Redskins - Damn injuries.
- Starkey: Cowboys - I just can't see the Redskins starting 3-0. Rex Grossman will do something to remind the world that he is, in fact, still Rex Grossman.
Standings will be updated prior to next week's picks.