PFT’s Week Three picks

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MDS is building an early-season lead. As he seems to always do.

Last week, MDS nailed 14 of 16 games straight up, and 11 of 16 against the spread. I did well but not well enough, with a 13-3 record straight up and 9-7 ATS.

For the year, MDS has a record of 24-8 straight up, and 21-11 against the spread. I’m 21-11 and 16-16, respectively.

For this week’s picks, scroll away.

Dolphins (+3) at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The NFL is not exactly putting its best foot forward with the early slate of Thursday night games, but the Jaguars have at least looked like a more competitive team than most were expecting. Gardner Minshew will continue making the case that Jacksonville doesn’t need to find its franchise quarterback, because he’s already there.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 27, Dolphins 20.

Florio’s take: The Jaguars have become a pleasant surprise, even if not many have noticed. On Thursday night, they’ll have a chance to get the nation’s attention.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 27, Dolphins 20.

Titans (-2.5) at Vikings

MDS’s take: The Vikings may be the NFL’s most disappointing team so far this season. Ryan Tannehill will continue his strong early-season showing as Minnesota falls to 0-3.

MDS’s pick: Titans 30, Vikings 20.

Florio’s take: The Titans have played too well to barely win two games. This week, they’re getting a team that suddenly have plummeted from contender to pretender to pathetic.

Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Vikings 10.

Bears (+4) at Falcons

MDS’s take: The Bears are 2-0 and the Falcons are 0-2, but that may say more about the quality of the team’s they’ve played than anything else. The Falcons will get their first win on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 23, Bears 20.

Florio’s take: The Bears have been living on the edge. The Falcons have been dying on the edge. A correction is in order.

Florio’s pick: Falcon 31, Bears 27.

Bengals (+5.5) at Eagles

MDS’s take: Carson Wentz has looked like a mess so far this season. I’m not expecting him to look great, but he should be better against a suspect Bengals Defense.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 24, Bengals 21.

Florio’s take: I’m buying Joe Burrow, and I’m selling the Eagles. Until they lose enough games to finally wake up.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 24, Eagles 21.

Washington (+7) at Browns

MDS’s take: Washington’s defensive front has talent, but I see the Browns running on them in a low-scoring and fairly unexciting game.

MDS’s pick: Browns 20, Washington 7.

Florio’s take: Baker Mayfield struggled against a great defense, and he picked apart a less-than-great one. To avoid a repeat of Week One, the Browns need to run to set up the run, and then run some more.

Florio’s pick: Browns 20, Washington 17.

49ers (-4) at Giants

MDS’s take: Both teams are struggling with injuries right now, but the 49ers have a roster that can overcome those injuries. The Giants do not.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 31, Giants 14.

Florio’s take: Both teams have endured major injuries, with the 49ers taking even more of a pounding. 

Florio’s pick: 49ers 24, Giants 13.

Texans (+4) at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Texans aren’t as bad as they look, but they’ve been handed a brutal early schedule. They’ll fall to 0-3 on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 20, Texans 17.

Florio’s take: The Steelers took too long to put the Giants away, and the Steelers allowed the Broncos to hang around too long. The offense should be better this week as Ben Roethlisberger gets more comfortable, and the Texans continue to navigate a who-did-they-piss-off? early-season schedule.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 23, Texans 17.

Rams (+2.5) at Bills

MDS’s take: Josh Allen is going to keep throwing downfield, and if he can use his feet to get away from Aaron Donald, the Rams are going to have a hard time stopping him.

MDS’s pick: Bills 31, Rams 28.

Florio’s take: The Rams have rebuilt on the fly, and they’re better than many expected them to be. The Bills are too good, however, and the L.A. to Philly to L.A. to Buffalo travel demand won’t help. 

Florio’s pick: Bills 27, Rams 23.

Raiders (+6) at Patriots

MDS’s take: Las Vegas is 2-0, but a long road trip on a short work week is going to make this a tough one.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 28, Raiders 24.

Florio’s take: The Patriots are for real. The Raiders eventually could be. For now, though, winning at New England is too much to expect from the most unlikely 2-0 team in the AFC.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 30, Raiders 20.

Jets (+11) at Colts

MDS’s take: I’m not sure I’d pick the Jets to beat anyone right now. Sam Darnold is playing better than people think, but he’s not getting much help.

MDS’s pick: Colts 20, Jets 10.

Florio’s take: The Jets’ roster still needs more pieces before it can compete, much less contend. And the Colts have picked up plenty of confidence after last week’s shredding of the Vikings.

Florio’s pick: Colts 27, Jets 13.

Panthers (+6.5) at Chargers

MDS’s take: This Panthers team is playing hard for first-year coach Matt Rhule, but right now the roster just isn’t good enough. The Chargers will cruise to an easy win.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Panthers 14.

Florio’s take: Justin Herbert in, Christian McCaffrey out. Chargers on their way.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 24, Panthers 13.

Buccaneers (-6) at Broncos

MDS’s take: If the Broncos were at full strength I’d probably pick them to win this one, but they have so many injuries I just can’t see them winning.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 17, Broncos 14.

Florio’s take: Mile High Stadium has been a house of horrors for Tom Brady. He’s never faced a Broncos team with so little punch, however, given the home team’s rash of injuries.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 20, Broncos 13.

Cowboys (+5) at Seahawks

MDS’s take: Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson will both have big games, but Wilson will do just a little more, in a matchup that I have a funny feeling we’ll see again in January.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 31, Cowboys 27.

Florio’s take: This one could be a shootout, given that both teams have great offenses and work-in-progress defenses. The Seahawks currently have made more progress on both sides of the ball.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 30, Cowboys 21.

Lions (+5.5) at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Cardinals’ offense looks fresh and exciting, and the Lions’ defense looks stale. It’s hard for me to believe Kyler Murray won’t have a very big game.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 35, Lions 21.

Florio’s take: The Lions won’t have to worry about blowing another double-digit lead this week.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 31, Lions 21.

Packers (+3) at Saints

MDS’s take: If I were a Saints fan I’d be worried about Drew Brees‘s arm, as he’s throwing short passes almost exclusively. And yet I think the Saints’ defense matches up pretty well with Aaron Rodgers, and so I think the Saints can pull out a close win here.

MDS’s pick: Saints 17, Packers 16.

Florio’s take: The warning signs are blinking quickly as to the potential decline of the Saints. Throw in a short week and a trip back from Vegas and a Packers team firing on each and every cylinder, and this one has a chance to get ugly.

Florio’s pick: Packers 31, Saints 23.

Chiefs (+3.5) at Ravens

MDS’s take: These look like the two best teams in the league right now, in a monster of a prime time game. I’ll pick Lamar Jackson to make one more big play than Patrick Mahomes.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 28, Chiefs 21.

Florio’s take: If the Kansas City defense was shredded by a rookie in his first start, it could be facing even more problems against the defending MVP, whose passing keeps getting better and better.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Chiefs 24.

41 responses to “PFT’s Week Three picks

  1. The winners:

    Fins, Titans, Falcons, Bengals, Football Team, Niners, Texans, Bills, Raiders, Colts, Bolts, Broncos, ‘Hawks, Cards, Pack and Chiefs.

  2. KC’s defense has no answer for LJ. Ravens have one of the better defensive back fields in the NFL. I’ll take Ravens defense over KC’s defense all day and any day.

    Ravens 34
    KC 24

  3. Really looking forward to Seahawks Vs cowboys in afternoon, and then two great matchups for the night games. Should be a fun few games!

  4. Agree with Florio on the Pack/Saints. I wasn’t very impressed with them Monday night and the Packers look strong this year. I think the Smith’s will rattle Brees early and the Pack will walk away easily, raising some eyebrows along the way.

  5. I always find it hard to put money on a team a qb who hasn’t beaten the other team and qb. So therefore the chiefs would be the smarter pick.

  6. If I were a Saints fan I’d be worried about Drew Brees‘s arm

    If I were a Saints fan I would have suggested he retired before the season started after

    that debacle in the preseason. What a joke.

  7. Chiefs










    Washington Foootball Team






    Random thoughts:

    The Vikings have to win eventually, theres just no way they are actually as bad as they looked against the Colts. The Titans are good but not THAT good, I think the Vikings can get it done this weekend.

    Saints better bring their A game because we all know the Packers will. Coach Matt is on the short list for Coach of the Year with the way his team is prepared every week.

    Lions at Cardinals will be a blowout, with the Lions on the losing end.

    Cowboys vs Seahawks and Ravens vs Chiefs are definitely the best games of the week.

    The Raiders are legit, I think they have a very good offense and will beat the Pats in a high scoring game

    Rams are a juggernaut. Cant wait for these NFC West division games. Best division in the NFL, every team looks like a playoff contender.

    Most likely upsets: Bengals over Eagles, WFT over Browns

    Cant wait for Sunday)

  8. Derrick Henry will set the single game rushing record of 301, on 41 carries, as they trounce the Vikes in a game of keep away. Some good news though….Cousins snaps his 2 game streak of taking safeties!! 0-3 leads to 2-14 and the #1 pick in the draft.

  9. Chiefs and Ravens equally destroyed the Texans. Ravens beat a Browns team that was the same old Browns. Chiefs played a division rival on the road against a rookie QB who was their #1 pick. To the people that think the Ravens are going to blow out the Chiefs (Ryan Clark) you really aren’t paying that close of attention. Mahomes has never lost a game by more than one score and Lamar has never beaten the Chiefs. This game will be determined by who can run the ball more effectively so its going to be a fun game to watch.

  10. Patriots 31 Raiders 17 This will be a bounce back game. Cam’s timing with Edelman will improve and the defense forces a couple of turnovers off of Carr to ice the game.

    Upset of the week Packers 27 Saints 13 Aaron Jones plays clock killer against the Saints just like the Raiders did the previous week. Brees looks even more off than Brady does right now.

    Lock of the week Broncos 23 Broncos 16 Fournette will get most of the work in this game. Bucs force a few turnovers from Driskel

  11. Dolphins and Jaguars is actually not a bad matchup. Should be a very entertaining game. My guess: Fitzpatrick keeps playing well, keeping up the trend from last week, but the secondary plays much tighter against a less explosive offense than Buffalo’s. Dolphins win by a field goal’s worth, to make up for losing by one last week

  12. The only reason I see the Raiders losing is because the Pats never lose back to back games. The omen is for real…

  13. Belechick may be uncomfortable with all the attention Cam is getting. Whether that creates a distraction in locker-room depends upon how the Pats react to a few losses when Cam loses his Superman cape ( like the last play of Seahawks game).

  14. Kirk Cousins is the worst QB in the league so far this year. What a joke. Titans will stick a fork in them.

  15. As Viking great Jared Allen once said – “embrace the suck”.

    0-3 start for Leslie Frazier v2.0.

  16. Let Russ Cook vs. Feed Zeke. Who could ask for a better Sunday afternoon? I think this game could go into OT.

  17. “The NFL is not exactly putting its best foot forward with the early slate of Thursday night games”

    I’ve noticed that since every team has to play a Thursday game they like to put two duds against each other and just kill two birds with one stone. They’ve been doing this for years.

  18. Locks: Steelers, Jaguars, 49’ers, Colts
    Winners: Packers, Jaguars, Titans, Falcons, Eagles, Ravens, Patriots, Cardinals, Seahawks, Bills, Bucs, Chargers.

  19. Martin, TNF is, usually a forum to let the mediocre teams play and get some exposure. The marqui game of the week is typicallyy SNF.

  20. likuidsmoke says:
    September 24, 2020 at 12:34 pm
    This might be Mahomes’ first double digit loss
    LOL. Not gonna happen. Didn’t you watch the post season last year?

  21. Way to go out on a limb guys with all of these upset special picks. (Tongue in cheek). Ok so if I were going to pick a minor upset it would be the Rams over the Bills. Buffalo has played two weak divisional opponents and Josh A. has been able to get away with his same ole mistakes because of it. Not a fan of either team just throwing in my two cents.

  22. Falcons over Bears – if the Falcons defense would just show up, they would be a much better team.. Bears will see their 1st real challenge this season.

    Chargers over Panthers – Panthers slight chance of winning is Herbert starting for Chargers.. Panthers just not a good enough team so it won’t matter.

    Buccaneers over Broncos – Broncos are starting several backups.. that is allyou need to really know.

    Saints over Packers – 2 good teams but the Saints are better built and coached.

  23. Like that Monday Night Game. Ravens ready to roll and once again prove they got it while KC barely got by a weak Charger team.

  24. Brees will do his thing in prime time at home, but the Packers’ superior defense will make one more play. Also, Rodgers is playing like an MVP right now. Packers 31 Saints 28

  25. Yes, keep betting against the Rams! I feel like you’re giving them good luck at this point.

  26. troy43mvp says:
    Way to go out on a limb guys with all of these upset special picks. (Tongue in cheek)

    I take your point. But their job is not to “go out on a limb,” or to entertain us with “upset picks,” but simply to pick the teams they think will win.
    There’s no such thing as a sure thing in the NFL, so there will likely be a few upsets. On paper, however, most of their picks would seem to be the prudent way to go.
    Later in the season — when we know more about the teams, and one of these guys is trying to catch up to the other — we’ll likely see at least one of them taking more chances. But not this early in such a weird and unprecedented season.

  27. I have a funny feeling that MDS’s funny feeling about seeing a Cowboys-Seahawks matchup in January is wrong.

    I’m no Seahawks fan, but it took the Cowboys a miracle to win last Sunday and I think they’ll end up losing more than they win this year. This game will be one of them.

  28. Chiefs D giving up 150 yds a game, Ravens O putting up 170 yds a game.
    Ravens D a much more complete package than the one that just held the Chiefs to 23 points.Doesn’t look good for the Chiefs.

    Dallas is winning games that they come on strong late in the game and their opponent tires out. Seattle may go up big early and their D is better than the Falcons,Dallas drops this one.

    Green Bay is looking like a contender while the Saints are looking like they should be Tanking for Trevor. Green Bay rolls.

    The Vikes, how much is the cap hit to draft a QB 1 overall and cut Cousins? They should look into that.

  29. Jags will come out with the W on TNF: 31-24

    They’ve been a nice surprise and that offense is actually fun to watch. The ‘STACHE is a franchise QB.

  30. We both know what the offenses of both Monday night teams are capable of so I’m looking at the defenses. The Chiefs beat the Ravens in OT and by 5 both in KC the last two seasons. Their defense just put on a pretty poor performance against a rookie in his first start. Meanwhile, apart from their pass rush getting home for sacks (they’re still generating hits and pressures these first two weeks), the Ravens defense looks to be in midseason top 5 form already. I’ll take the Ravens not having to travel as well.

  31. jerranamo says:
    Jags will come out with the W on TNF: 31-24 . . . The ‘STACHE is a franchise QB.

    Ouch! Rough prediction.
    Final score: Dolphins 31, Jags 13
    “The Stache:” 275 yards, no TDs, an interception, a fumble that directly led to a Miami TD, sacked four times (not very “franchise” of him).

  32. patsfan1818 says:
    September 24, 2020 at 12:32 pm
    Patriots 31 Raiders 17 This will be a bounce back game. Cam’s timing with Edelman will improve and the defense forces a couple of turnovers off of Carr to ice the game.

    Upset of the week Packers 27 Saints 13 Aaron Jones plays clock killer against the Saints just like the Raiders did the previous week. Brees looks even more off than Brady does right now.

    Lock of the week Broncos 23 Broncos 16 Fournette will get most of the work in this game. Bucs force a few turnovers from Driskel


    Edelman had like 180 yards last week haha

  33. eaglesmancave says:
    The Eagles aren’t going to lose the Bengals.

    Turns out you were right. Of course, they didn’t win either.

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