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PFT’s Week Three picks

Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

In Week One, we disagreed on one game.  That was boring.

In Week Two, we differed on two games.  A little less boring.

This week, all hell is breaking loose; MDS and yours truly disagree on six of the 16 games.

Last week was a rough one for me, with a pathetic 7-9 finish.  MDS was 9-7, which gives him the season-to-date lead by one game:  19-13 to 18-14.

Or, in other words, pathetic.

Here’s hoping for something other than pathetic this weekend.

Giants at Panthers

MDS’s take: Last week my Panthers pick helped me take the season lead over Florio, and I’m tempted to pick the Panthers to beat the Giants in something of a changing of the guard in the NFC. But after the way Eli Manning played in the fourth quarter against the Buccaneers on Sunday, I see the Giants winning a shootout.

MDS’s pick: Giants 34, Panthers 31.

Florio’s take:  The defending champs hit the road for the first time this season, on a short week with a laundry list of injuries.  It all adds up to the Panthers making the most of their rare chance to dance on a national stage, especially if they can stick to the run and withstand Eli Manning’s inevitable late-game push.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 24, Giants 21.

Rams at Bears

MDS’s take: The Rams have a defense that can bring pressure on Jay Cutler, but Cutler will respond better to the pressure than he did last week against the Packers. (He could hardly respond to the pressure any worse than he did last week against the Packers.) Sam Bradford is off to a strong start, but the Rams are going to fall short here.

MDS’s pick: Bears 23, Rams 20.

Florio’s take:  Jeff Fisher returns to the place where he once played for the best defense in NFL history.  And while his current defense is still a far cry from the ’85 Bears, it’s already a lot better than what the Rams have had in recent years.  Look for the Rams to rattle Cutler and company early, forcing them into more mistakes and temper tantrums.

Florio’s pick:  Rams 27, Bears 24.

Bills at Browns

MDS’s take: So far this season I’ve picked the Bills to win twice and Florio has picked the Bills to lose twice. I’d love to see that pattern continue this week. I may jump off the Bills bandwagon eventually, but not yet.

MDS’s pick: Bills 24, Browns 14.

Florio’s take:  CJ2K2.0 is averaging more than 10 yards per carry.  While the Browns’ defense is good enough to keep that number in single digits, the Bills woke up in a big way last Sunday — and they’ll be ready to carry that momentum from one shore of Lake Erie to another.

Florio’s pick:  Bills 31, Browns 21.

Buccaneers at Cowboys

MDS’s take: The Cowboys looked absolutely terrible on Sunday in Seattle, but I see them bouncing back and Tony Romo having a big game against the same Bucs secondary that just gave up 510 yards to Eli Manning.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 34, Buccaneers 20.

Florio’s take:  So which Cowboys team is the real Cowboys team?  I’ll go with Week One.  And I’ll hope that the Cowboys are up by a touchdown or less late in the game, so that the team whose owner doesn’t believe in using kneel downs will have a chance to try one against the team whose coach doesn’t believe in honoring kneel downs.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 27, Buccaneers 20.

Jaguars at Colts

MDS’s take: The winner of this game is the second-best team in the AFC South — not that that’s saying much. I believe that team will be the Colts, as Andrew Luck will have his second consecutive strong game.

MDS’s pick: Colts 27, Jaguars 17.

Florio’s take:  The round robin for the first pick in the draft continues.  The Vikings beat the Jags, the Colts beat the Vikings, and it would be fitting for the Jags to now beat the Colts.  But the Colts are better than most realize.  Peyton Manning won only three of his first 16 games; Andrew Luck goes for two out of his first three.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 27, Jaguars 24.

Jets at Dolphins

MDS’s take: The Dolphins’ offense looked much better in Week Two than it had in Week One, and the Jets’ offense looked much worse in Week Two than it had in Week One. But the Jets are going to bring a lot of heat on Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and I don’t like Tannehill’s chances of taking that heat.

MDS’s pick: Jets 16, Dolphins 3.

Florio’s take:  Former Miami coach Tony Sparano will find a way to use Tim Tebow more effectively (which should make Jeff Ireland mutter “asshole” under his breath . . . again), and Dolphins fans will realize that last week’s romp over the Raiders, who traveled cross-country on a short week, isn’t an accurate picture of the current state of the franchise.

Florio’s pick:  Jets 24, Dolphins 17.

49ers at Vikings

MDS’s take: The 49ers look to me like the best team in the league by a wide margin. They should win this one handily, improving to 3-0 with all three wins coming over teams from the NFC North.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 31, Vikings 14.

Florio’s takeRandy Moss returns for the Metrodome for the first time as a member of the opposing team.  Though it would be even uglier if Brad Childress were still the head coach, it’ll be ugly enough to be a thing of beauty for 49ers fans.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 34, Vikings 13.

Chiefs at Saints

MDS’s take: The team that loses this one will be 0-3 and perhaps the NFL’s single biggest disappointment in the 2012 season. I like Drew Brees to have a big game at home and the Saints to finally get in the win column.

MDS’s pick: Saints 30, Chiefs 20.

Florio’s take:  The Chiefs are desperate and the Saints are desperate.  The edge goes to the home team.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 28, Chiefs 17.

Lions at Titans

MDS’s take: The Titans have been absolutely dreadful this season, and it goes well beyond Chris Johnson: Their offensive line has been terrible and their secondary is riddled with holes. I see Matthew Stafford putting up about 400 yards through the air in this one.

MDS’s pick: Lions 31, Titans 17.

Florio’s take:  The Titans are desperate and the Lions should be.  Again, the edge goes to the home team.

Florio’s pick:  Titans 28, Lions 23.

Bengals at Redskins

MDS’s take: We’ll learn a lot about what kind of team Mike Shanahan has built by the way they recover from last week’s major disappointment in St. Louis. I think the Redskins will bounce back.

MDS’s pick: Redskins 24, Bengals 21.

Florio’s take:  RG3 makes his home debut, as the Bengals continue their trend of losing the games they should lose.

Florio’s pick:  Redskins 30, Bengals 21.

Eagles at Cardinals

MDS’s take: Raise your hand if you picked this one as a Week Two matchup of 2-0 teams. The Cardinals’ defense is a lot better than people are giving them credit for, and they’ll force Michael Vick to keep turning the ball over. But the Eagles’ defense will have a big game against old teammate Kevin Kolb, too, and I like Philadelphia to win a low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 13, Cardinals 10.

Florio’s take:  Kevin Kolb gets a chance to do to John Skelton what Mike Vick did to Kevin Kolb two years ago, in a game against Mike Vick.  The defense, however, will be the difference.  If Ray Horton’s unit confused Tom Brady, it will turn Mike Vick into a turnover machine.  Wait, he already is one.

Florio’s pick:  Cardinals 17, Eagles 13.

Falcons at Chargers

MDS’s take: In this week’s other battle of 2-0 teams, the Falcons take a long road trip after a short work week. The Falcons’ secondary showed that it’s opportunistic on Monday night, but I don’t see Philip Rivers throwing as many bad balls as Peyton Manning did, and the Chargers will improve to 3-0.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 24, Falcons 17.

Florio’s take:  Sure, no one will take the Falcons seriously until they win a playoff game.  But Sunday gives them a chance to make folks take seriously their chances of winning a playoff game this year.

Florio’s pick:  Falcons 34, Chargers 27.

Texans at Broncos

MDS’s take: The schedule doesn’t get any easier for the Broncos, heading back home to host the team that most of us think is the best in the AFC. Denver’s run defense may be good enough to contain Arian Foster, but the pass defense is going to struggle against Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, and Owen Daniels.

MDS’s pick: Texans 21, Broncos 20.

Florio’s take:  The Falcons have given the Texans the blueprint for beating the Broncos:  Force Peyton Manning to throw it deep.  The fact that J.J. Watt is ready to swat any and all short throws makes it even more important for Peyton to try to get the ball down the field.  Key word:  try.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 26, Broncos 17.

Steelers at Raiders

MDS’s take: The Steelers looked great on both sides of the ball in Week Two, and the Raiders looked lousy on both sides of the ball in Week Two. This looks like a mismatch.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 28, Raiders 13.

Florio’s take:  Once upon a time, this would have been a great game.  But the Raiders have taken a step back (in the hopes of eventually taking multiple steps forward), and quarterback Carson Palmer will be cringing (again) when he steps up and throws with those Steelers jerseys swarming around his knee.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 27, Raiders 14.

Patriots at Ravens

MDS’s take: Both of these teams had disappointing losses to NFC opponents last week, but to me the Patriots’ loss raised far more questions.  Specifically, it raises the question of what kind of offense New England is going to have while Aaron Hernandez is out. The Patriots are going to have a tough time moving the ball against a good Baltimore defense, and New England is going to have a losing record for the first time since they were 0-1 at the start of the 2003 season.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 17, Patriots 16.

Florio’s take:  Last year’s AFC title game notwithstanding, the Ravens have had the Pats’ number lately.  With a suspect offensive line in New England and an improving offense in Baltimore, that continues on Sunday night.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 20, Patriots 17.

Packers at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The Seahawks looked awfully good against the Cowboys, but I think the same Packers pressure that frustrated Jay Cutler last week is going to frustrate Russell Wilson this week.

MDS’s pick: Packers 28, Seahawks 10.

Florio’s take:  The Green Bay offense isn’t what it used to be, and the Seahawks’ defense is better than anyone gives it credit for.  Especially at home.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 28, Packers 27.

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47 Responses to “PFT’s Week Three picks”
  1. giggywitit says: Sep 20, 2012 9:11 AM

    The only thing wronger than these picks is my grammar

  2. silvernblackpa says: Sep 20, 2012 9:13 AM

    0-2 on my predictions so far this year because I took my Raiders both times. Well , much like Roger Daltrey, I won’t get fooled again.

    Let’s just get this over with and make things short and sweet. And by “sweet” I mean “bitter.”

    Darren McFadden: 16 carries, 48 yards

    Carson Palmer: 25/40, 290 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT

    Roethlisberger spends the 4th quarter on the sidelines in a baseball cap after throwing for 375 yards and tossing 4 TDs against the cruel cosmic joke that is our secondary.

    Steelers 45 – Raiders 13

    Sweet Moses, that almost physically hurt to type.

  3. redguy12588 says: Sep 20, 2012 9:16 AM

    Oh man, that Patriots Ravens game is going to be fantastic.

  4. finsfan71 says: Sep 20, 2012 9:19 AM

    I understand the Dolphins are in the bottom third of the league. But when you pick the Raiders to beat the Dolphins in Week 2, coming off a short week and traveling cross country, it’s odd you support this weeks pick by pointing out the very thing you ignored last week.

    Dolphins 20
    Jets 17

  5. boltdaddy says: Sep 20, 2012 9:25 AM

    Those records sans spread are really bad you guys either get better or stop with the predictions. BTW get better faster servers.

  6. dredddog says: Sep 20, 2012 9:26 AM

    Browns win. Defense is better than you think even without Haden. Trent Richardson will find room to run in between the tackles.

  7. gotampabay52 says: Sep 20, 2012 9:32 AM

    Tampa 31 cowgirls 24

  8. hehateme2 says: Sep 20, 2012 9:40 AM

    Rookie Tannehill already has more poise than Shanchise. Look for the Dolphins RBs to have a big game (both in the run and pass game) and take over in the 2nd half when the jets implode….like last game ;-)

  9. 6250claimer says: Sep 20, 2012 9:42 AM

    Your 2-team Steamer this week is the Niners -7 at Minnesota, which should be a bloodbath, and the Cardinals +3.5 at home against the Iggles, which will feature Michael Vick looking like a man running from a pack of crazed dogs. Load up on that combo and shore up your hurting IRA.

  10. homelanddefense says: Sep 20, 2012 9:42 AM

    “Last year’s AFC title game notwithstanding, the Ravens have had the Pats’ number lately. With a suspect offensive line in New England and an improving offense in Baltimore, that continues on Sunday night.”

    How does that make any sense? Brady is something like 5-1 against Baltimore.

    And the Tenn over Detroit pick is awesome too. (not really)

  11. hooterdawg says: Sep 20, 2012 9:49 AM

    Reading the rationale for these picks is like an audition for Bring In the Clowns.

  12. jtchernak says: Sep 20, 2012 9:53 AM

    This patriots gm reminds me of last years Sunday night jets gm where we won because we came off a bad loss and everybody is picking the other team and pushing the panic button

  13. kvanhorn87 says: Sep 20, 2012 9:58 AM

    Since both of you picked the cardinals over the eagles, does that mean we will be saved from the articles how bad the eagles are bc of one loss? It is so early, the eagles aren’t really a power house and new Orleans isn’t this bad. Let the season unfold.

  14. bengalskuta82 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:06 AM

    Bengals are not suppose to lose to this team and so,they won’t lose this game.Love the way RG3 plays but I don’t think he will be playing against the same defense that gave up 400plus yards in the last 2 games..They will play different this time

  15. ahostiletakeover says: Sep 20, 2012 10:08 AM

    It is going to be a tough game Sunday night that I could really see going either way. The Ravens got away from the no huddle last week due to the crowd noise at the Linc. They’ll be back in it this week and I expect both offenses, even on the Pat’s side without Hernandez, will put up some good numbers, I think both defenses can be pretty susceptible to big plays. But the Ravens haven’t lost at home since the end of the 2010 season to the Steelers and have rolled off 13 straight wins coming off of a loss. I’d say the Pats are pretty similar in those two “stats” but the home team gets the edge. Ravens 33, Patriots 31

  16. yelix says: Sep 20, 2012 10:21 AM

    In what world is the Chiefs defense going to hold New Orleans to 30 points?

  17. geniusfan says: Sep 20, 2012 10:21 AM

    “Last year’s AFC title game notwithstanding, the Ravens have had the Pats’ number lately.”

    The Patriots are 7-1 against the Ravens all time. The Patriots have only lost once to the Ravens since Brady has been at the helm so they are 5-1 against the Ravens with Brady.

    I have no problem with somebody picking the Ravens to win this game, they are at home and have at least in theory been waiting for this game. So they should be at a high energy level and putting everything they have into it.

    However I do have a problem with a writer not being able to do enough research to get his facts straight. Being 5-1 against the Ravens with Brady means the Patriots have had the Ravens number lately, I’m really unsure how you drew your conclusion but it must have involved little to no research and zero rational thought.

  18. greenbleeder says: Sep 20, 2012 10:22 AM

    Mike, one more thing….

    The formatting on this page drives me crazy every week. Would it kill you guys to take 1 minute to indent some stuff to make this darn page easier to read?

  19. drainbameged says: Sep 20, 2012 10:22 AM

    finsfan71 says:
    Sep 20, 2012 9:19 AM
    I understand the Dolphins are in the bottom third of the league. But when you pick the Raiders to beat the Dolphins in Week 2, coming off a short week and traveling cross country, it’s odd you support this weeks pick by pointing out the very thing you ignored last week.

    Dolphins 20
    Jets 17

    Carson Palmer is definitely better than Sanchez and Tebow, even on a short week. It’ll be a good game for sure and as a dolphins fan I’m fine with loosing the rest of the game sin a season as long as they beat the Jets twice. (If they beat the Bills twice its an added bonus)

  20. thisshiziswack says: Sep 20, 2012 10:39 AM

    Florio you are way off on the MN v SF matchup.

    AP is 100%. 49′s have no offense. At the metrodome. Ponder > Smith

    Vikes – 38
    49′ers – 17

  21. cbs1971 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:43 AM

    “The 49ers look to me like the best team in the league by a wide margin. They should win this one handily,”

    Careful how you use the word “handily” because the Patriots should have beaten the Cardinals “handily”

    Just saying….

  22. luvnlfe says: Sep 20, 2012 10:45 AM

    Browns always play the Bills tough…Browns are home…Bills haven’t won a road game in over a year…Fitz performance is bipolar…my guess is Bills win a close one….and Lindell gets to finally kick the winning field goal with five seconds on the clock…17/14

  23. sbc85 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:57 AM

    If the Saints lose to the Chiefs, I am just going to go ahead and get ready for the draft. We will have a very high pick. (And no, Goodell didn’t take away our first rounder. Thank God(ell).)

  24. justwinbaby29 says: Sep 20, 2012 10:58 AM

    I might be an optimist but…

    Raiders are 0-2 but longsnapper ruined the San Diego game and they had the lead at Miami until the short week, heat, long flight caught up to them…Pittsburgh is banged up and must go coast to coast – one of those that’s why they play the game:

    Raiders 24 Steelers 17

  25. marima07 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:02 AM

    How exactly have the Ravens had the Patriots number lately?

    Even if you want to ignore the most recent game that the Patriots won, this statement makes no sense.

    Is “having their number” the same as that blueprint all those teams had for beating the 2007 Patriots?

  26. cylondetector says: Sep 20, 2012 11:04 AM

    Yep.

    I’ll be the next (but not last) person to state that the rationale behind the Patriots/Ravens prediction is quite possibly the best example of not thinking before typing this site has seen.

    And it’s not as if that category has any shortage of competitors.

  27. ctimesthr33 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:13 AM

    “Last year’s AFC title game notwithstanding, the Ravens have had the Pats’ number lately”

    Umm havent the patriots only lost ONCE in the history of these two teams playing?

  28. hehateme2 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:24 AM

    @justwinbaby29

    I might be an optimist but…
    Raiders are 0-2 but longsnapper ruined the San Diego game and they had the lead at Miami until the short week, heat, long flight caught up to them…

    dude, stop making excuses. The Fins have beaten the Raiders like 7 of the past 8. And the past 3 were blowouts. Just a reality check.

  29. nunpuncher says: Sep 20, 2012 11:26 AM

    I predict that there will be no kneel downs in the Buccaneers Vs. Cowboys game. I also predict that that the Jets will lose and the weekly hot topic debate will again be “kneel downs” instead of “Tim Tebow”. Everybody wins!

  30. imodan says: Sep 20, 2012 11:43 AM

    I just got to know the logic behind the thought that being beaten 7 out of 8 times is some how having a teams number. C’mon man, please share with the rest of us. This ought to be good.

  31. ninerhatersgetready4ring6 says: Sep 20, 2012 11:43 AM

    @thisshiziswack

    I don’t understand your thought here when u say the Niners have no Offense when they are averaging 30 pts a game #2 rushing team and the best set of skilled players by position next to GB(who they beat), NE and New Orleans….

    PS… The Niners have the best defense in the league and have allowed only 1 100 yard rusher in 3 years(Marshawn Lynch).

    Alex Smith is 16-4 in his last 20 starts and ranked #2 in Qbr rating and where is Ponder…..

    You have no basis for your comments. Niners win 34-13

  32. larryfitzgerald4mvp says: Sep 20, 2012 12:08 PM

    I respect the Eagles and think they’re a good team, but the Cardinals should win this one.

    They’ve won 6 straight at home and they’re 30-14 at home under Whisenhunt, counting the playoffs.

    Both teams have good defenses, and while the Eagles have a talented offense, they don’t always produce results. Not to mention the fact that they beat the Eagles in Philadelphia last year, so the Cards have to be confident that they can win this one.

  33. meytonpanning says: Sep 20, 2012 1:48 PM

    Carolina has an extremely underrated defense so far this year.

    1) They both played the Titans, and look at the difference in scores. Yes the Giants have a better offense (probably) but Carolina (at this point) has a better defense.

    2) They held drew Brees and the Saints to 27pts, which is pretty good.

    So, if the Giants were healthy, I’d pick them hands down in a close game, but right now they do not look healthy.

  34. meytonpanning says: Sep 20, 2012 1:49 PM

    By Titans I mean Bucs…

  35. romeisfallingagain says: Sep 20, 2012 4:20 PM

    As a Chiefs’ fan, I can tell you right now you’re both giving way too much credit to Kansas City if you think the Saints are going to score under 45 points. This team is one of the biggest dumpster fires I’ve seen in the NFL in a long time. The players are utterly hopeless and have no confidence whatsover in this organization. Scott Pioli is a complete fraud and Romeo Crennel is a trainwreck as a head coach. This game is going to be an epic beat down. Chiefs will be lucky to win 2 games this year, and we can only hope it’s enough to convince Clark Hunt to get rid of Pioli and his Patriot rejects and start over yet again.

    Saints 56
    Chiefs 14

  36. goldrush36 says: Sep 20, 2012 6:14 PM

    @thisshiziswack… AP career vs niners… 33 carries 88 yds 0 TD’s and the defense has gotten a lot better. I’m sure they are terrified right now

  37. mancave001 says: Sep 20, 2012 6:35 PM

    larryfitzgerald4mvp says:
    Sep 20, 2012 12:08 PM
    I respect the Eagles and think they’re a good team, but the Cardinals should win this one.

    They’ve won 6 straight at home and they’re 30-14 at home under Whisenhunt, counting the playoffs.

    Both teams have good defenses, and while the Eagles have a talented offense, they don’t always produce results. Not to mention the fact that they beat the Eagles in Philadelphia last year, so the Cards have to be confident that they can win this one.
    ————————————-

    Dude, I respect your team, but come on. The Eagles defense is *vastly* improved from last year. We have a ridiculous amount of offensive weapons, and the best d-line in the league. By contrast, your 0-line is terrible and Kolb has no weapons other than Fitz.

    Anything can happen, but betting the Cards on this one is not exactly smart money.

  38. vincentbojackson says: Sep 20, 2012 7:47 PM

    I wonder what Tebow thinks.

  39. chi01town says: Sep 20, 2012 11:19 PM

    Chicago will beat the Rams at home
    37/14 Cutler will light up the score board. Forte will play and Urlacher will look alot more like his old self. But the Rams will score first

  40. thetokyosandblaster says: Sep 20, 2012 11:37 PM

    Flo,

    I was going to commend you for picking the Lions to lose, because they probably will.

    Then I saw you picked the Packers to lose. Against a Rookie QB. On MNF.

    Funny stuff.

  41. dmface says: Sep 21, 2012 12:45 AM

    Pretty decents pics. I had the Giants of course. Lions should win big, 49ers, Cards Over 43, Steelers, Saints, & Cowboys

  42. roadtrip3500 says: Sep 21, 2012 7:54 AM

    MDS got the pick right for Giants/Panthers, but no one expected the flat-out butt-kicking the Giants dispensed on Thursday. Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin strike again with depth and game planning.

  43. superredskins says: Sep 21, 2012 1:30 PM

    I hope Redskins win this week…

  44. thunderconvoy says: Sep 21, 2012 7:17 PM

    Redskins over Bungals!

  45. bubba99m says: Sep 22, 2012 8:08 PM

    If the Ravens have the Patriots number, it’s only because someone on that team wrote it down as New England was pulling away.

  46. 1historian says: Sep 23, 2012 8:54 AM

    “The Ravens have the Patriots’ number”

    Sir Michael – granted the contests between these two are not pretty – they’re not supposed to be. They are nasty, ugly games, but from what corner of the parallel universe in which you hang your silly hat did you come up with that one?

    “No one will take the Falcons seriously until they win a playoff game.”

    I’ll agree with that, although it is pretty much along the lines of “the sun came up in the east today!!”

  47. cliffclavicle says: Sep 23, 2012 3:26 PM

    Over-ratetriots on the downhill slide, not a very good team aside from 2-3 players.

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