NFL 2017 – Week 3 Preview & Picks

The preview’s a little late this week, so Thursday Night’s game with the Rams and 49ers has already happened. Still, don’t let that spoil things…

Los Angeles Rams (1-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (0-2)
1:25am Friday 15th Sep (UK time)
This one went as expected in terms of the result, but completely unexpected in the manner on it. The Rams @ 49ers sounds like a close faught, low-scoring, defense heavy game. Instead, we witnessed a relatively close faught but incredibly high scoring, fast offense game – the first touchdown coming in just 8 seconds, with both teams scoring 80 points between them. In the end, the Rams’ 41-39 win demonstrated how much they’ve improved over last season, with Goff displaying some of that first pick talent and Gurley back to his rookie season monster form.

Baltimore Ravens (2-0) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)
2:30pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
The first of four Wembley games this season, as Jacksonvile “host” Baltimore in London. Baltimore look to have one of the beat defenses in the league, whilst the Jags have a few question marks – their week two loss against the Titans counteracting a lot of their week one win over the Texans. Their run game has certainly improved, but Bortles is still a liability and it’s not quite clear how good their defense is just yet. Expect the Ravens defense to win this, it could be a bit messy.

Denver Broncos (2-0) @ Buffalo Bills (1-1)
6:00pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
After their surprising week two victory over the Cowboys, where Ezekiel Elliott only managed 8 yards the entire game, Denver are looking strong, and defensively amazing. Young Bronco’s QB Trevor Siemian is finally growing into the team. The Bills are a team with a strong run game but no one to catch a ball, and right now Denver appear to have an invincible run defense, so expect to see the Broncos go 3-0 this weekend.

New Orleans Saints (0-2) @ Carolina Panthers (2-0)
6:00pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
The NFC South is looking strong this year, alongside the AFC West, with six undefeated teams between them. The Saints aren’t one of those undefeated teams. To their credit, their losses have been to the Patriots and a hardened Vikings defense, but Carolina won’t be much easier. Coming off a 9-3 win over the Bills though, the Panthers aren’t exactly lighting it up offensively. Still, their defense should be enough to keep the Saints under control and earn an unexciting W.

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) @ Chicago Bears (0-2)
6:00pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
The Bears appear to be in contention for worst team in the NFL right now, although there’s some fierce competition. Whilst Le’Veon Bell still hasn’t quite got his grove back at Pittsburgh, the rest of the offense has, and they should win comfortably against the Bears this weekend.

Atlanta Falcons (2-0) @ Detroit Lions (2-0)
6:00pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
Possibly the most interesting match-up of the week, 2-0 Super Bowl losers Atlanta face up against surprisingly 2-0 Detroit. Matt Stafford is in really good form, coming off wins against the Cardinals and Giants. The Falcons just carved up the Packers though. This could be close, and high scoring. Atlanta are slight favourites, but Detroit’s tendancy to surprise and make late comebacks could make this exciting.

Cleveland Browns (0-2) @ Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
6:00pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
A bit of a bum fight this. Cleveland’s rookie QB Kizer looked half decent in week one, but less so last week. The Colts looked appalling against the Rams in week one, but only narrowly lost to the Cardinals last week. The bookies have this as the closest match-up of the week, which seems fair as it’s a hard one to decide – which team will suck more on the day? Kizer could still impress, but the Colts should just about edge this, in a game that could be decided by interceptions and fumbles more than anything else.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
6:00pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
The Vikings are without Sam Bradford for another week, whilst the Buccs looked impressive against Chicago in their late start to the season. Defense could win this for the Vikings, but Winston and Evans should really win this for Tampa Bay.

Houston Texans (1-1) @ New England Patriots (1-1)
6:00pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
Houston managed a win against the Bengals last week in one of the worst games of recent years, whilst the Patriots came back with a vengeance against the Saints. New England will destroy Houston this week.

Miami Dolphins (1-0) @ New York Jets (0-2)
6:00pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
Cutler really didn’t look too bad in his first game of the season. There are some who think he could even be an upgrade over Tannehill. Ajayi was on monster form too. The Jets on the other hand are a garbage fire. Being a divisional game might keep this closer and lower scoring than it deserves to be, but Miami should be going 2-0.

New York Giants (0-2) @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-1)
6:00pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
The Giants appear to be lacking an O-line and a run game. The Eagles, despite the 1-1 record, are looking pretty solid. If, as expected, Philadelphia outscore New York this week, a 0-3 start might be the end of all hopes for the Giants.

Seattle Seahawks (1-1) @ Tennessee Titans (1-1)
9:00pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
Things are messy at Seattle, another team with a struggling O-line. Even fantasy fans are benching the likes of Russell Wilson and Jimmy Graham, at least till they sort their shit out. The Titans haven’t started the season as impressively as they might have hoped, but a week two win over the Jags is getting things back on track. A week three win over the Seahawks could help the Titans win the AFC South, even if it’s stupidly early to say such a thing.

Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) @ Green Bay Packers (1-1)
9:25pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
Teams that can’t score a touchdown against the Texans on Thursday Night Football really shouldn’t be expecting to win anything. Unless the Bengals have radically improved in the last 10 days, Green Bay will get an easy win this week.

Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) @ Los Angeles Chargers (0-2)
9:25pm Sunday 24th Sep (UK time)
With wins over the Patriots and Eagles, and 3 TDs for Kareem Hunt in his first two games, the Chiefs are making a strong case for the number one spot in the NFL right now. The Chargers have been unlucky more than awful – losing two games due to a missed field goal in consecutive weeks – but the Chiefs shouldn’t have much trouble beating them without relying on luck.

Oakland Raiders (2-0) @ Washington Redskins (1-1)
1:30am Monday 25th Sep (UK time)
The Raiders – the hipster’s choice – are lighting it up on offense this season. Washington on the other hand, aren’t awful, but are making a solid case of being middle of the road. Rob Kelly is out this week, and that might matter if he was a stud running back, but really no RB on the Redskins roster is. Oakland might be up against a strong defense, but they should put up enough points to win this weekend.

Dallas Cowboys (1-1) @ Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
1:30am Tuesday 26th Sep (UK time)
Was the week two loss to the Broncos an anomaly? Is Zeke still sulking? The Cowboys need to rebound and show they can be the top team in the NFC East. The Cardinals should be a tough opponent for Dallas, but they haven’t quite found themselves this season, and the injury of David Johnson has hurt their chances and many a fantasy player’s hopes too. Dallas should be able to get back on track and win this.

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