Are you ready for some football?!
The third week of the 2016 NFL season kicks off with a battle between the New England Patriots and Houston Texans on Thursday Night Football, which should prove interesting as the Patriots turn to third string QB Jacoby Brissett after Jimmy Garoppolo went down last week.
Sunday’s games also feature some anticipated match-ups including an NFC East battle between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins, a battle of Pennsylvania with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles, as well as a Monday Night Football match-up as the New Orleans Saints hunt for their first win of the season against the Atlanta Falcons.
Here are our picks for week three of the 2016 NFL season:
THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: HOUSTON TEXANS vs. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
ALYSSA: New England 24, Houston 21 – The Patriots might be without QB Jimmy Garropolo, but Bill Belichick always finds a way to lead his team to victory.
LIZZIE: Houston 31, New England 27 – I’m starting with the upset. Because – well, because I’ve got a feeling, mostly. The Texans defense is playing great, and the Pats are down to their 3rd string QB. Something’s gotta give.
CHARLES: Houston 23, New England 17 – I mean eventually the Patriots aren’t going to have a good back QB..right?
ARIZONA vs. BUFFALO
ALYSSA: Arizona 31, Buffalo 17 – The Cardinals have been quietly declaring their dominance in the NFC despite a week one loss. Arizona is firing on all cylinders while Buffalo is firing on controversy.
LIZZIE: Arizona 37, Buffalo 14 – The Cards defense woke up last week. I don’t anticipate them going back to sleep.
CHARLES: Arizona 35, Buffalo 20 – Cardinals run roughshed over a not very good Bills secondary.
OAKLAND vs. TENNESSEE
ALYSSA: Oakland 27, Tennessee 17 – The Raiders have proven to be one of the sleepers in the AFC with a solid offense, defense, special teams, and coaching.
LIZZIE: Oakland 30, Tennessee 27 – But it could easily go the other way around. The Raiders defense looks almost as bad as their offense looks good.
CHARLES: Oakland 30, Tennessee 20 – Raiders put up points every week and sunday will be no exception over the Titans
WASHINGTON vs. NY GIANTS
ALYSSA: NY Giants 28, Washington 20 – The 2016 Redskins aren’t the 2015 Redskins. And the 2016 Giants aren’t the 2015 Giants. New York’s defense has been firing on all cylinders while Washington is turning on its quarterback.
LIZZIE: NY Giants 24, Washington 21 – Division games are hard, but the Giants are better and Kirk Cousins doesn’t look like he can win a game.
CHARLES: NY Giants 19, Washington 18 – These NFC East games are always nailbiters and this will be no different with the Giants Defense pulling out the victory.
CLEVELAND vs. MIAMI
ALYSSA: Miami 24, Cleveland 10 – The Dolphins are about to get their first win of the season against a still-struggling Browns squad that is now on its third quarterback in as many weeks.
LIZZIE: Miami 27, Cleveland 17 – Not that the Dolphins are that great, but the Browns are nothing to write home about either.
CHARLES: Miami 28, Cleveland 19 – I hope Cody Kessler plays good but the Dolphins need a win badly to keep up with the Pats. This is their best chance too.
BALTIMORE vs. JACKSONVILLE
ALYSSA: Baltimore 21, Jacksonville 14 – The Jaguars seemed poised to be a breakout team this season, but the team’s performance last Sunday did nothing to support that. The Ravens have been managing to escape games in the second half, so I’d expect more of the same.
LIZZIE: Jacksonville 24, Baltimore 23 – The Jaguars could have won their game against the Packers in week 1. They’ll pull a similar game off this week.
CHARLES: Baltimore 25, Jacksonville 23 – Ravens are good at these close games against opponents they are suppose to be better than. A late FG by Justin Tucker gives the Ravens another close W.
DETROIT vs. GREEN BAY
ALYSSA: Green Bay 27, Detroit 24 – I’d love for the Lions to deliver the Packers a loss that drops them below .500, but you figure Green Bay has to get itself together eventually. A division game against Detroit seems to be the place.
LIZZIE: Detroit 41, Green Bay 38 – I expect a lot of points, because neither defense is very good. But the Packers offense looked anemic at times in their last game, and I don’t think they have what it takes to win.
CHARLES: Green Bay 38, Detroit 35 – A QB battle at Green Bay with Rodgers pulling one more trick out to hold off the Pack going 1-2
DENVER vs. CINCINNATI
ALYSSA: Denver 31, Cincinnati 20 – The Broncos defense continues to lead the charge this season, and the Bengals have fallen victim to themselves.
LIZZIE: Denver 21, Cincinnati 14 – The Broncos don’t even need their offense to put up that many points. The defense can take care of that.
CHARLES: Cincinnati 23, Denver 17 – Broncos are very good this season but with a rookie QB and a tough road test early, this is the Bengals’s chance to show they can be a major power in the AFC.
MINNESOTA vs. CAROLINA
ALYSSA: Carolina 34, Minnesota 17 – The Vikings are without Adrian Peterson and while Sam Bradford looked solid, the Vikes will have a hard time contending with that Carolina defense and keeping up with their offense.
LIZZIE: Carolina 21, Minnesota 17 – Close game, but if Cam plays anything like he did last week, chances are they pull this off.
CHARLES: Carolina 20, Minnesota 13 – A defensive struggle leads to few points but a tough win for the Panthers.
LOS ANGELES vs. TAMPA BAY
ALYSSA: Tampa Bay 24, Los Angeles 10 – The Buccaneers stumbled last week, but a match against Los Angeles is exactly what they need. And the Rams have to score a touchdown eventually, right?
LIZZIE: Tampa Bay 21, Los Angeles 13 – The Rams lose, but get their first TD of the year! Celebrations ensue.
CHARLES: Tampa Bay 23, LA Rams 9 – I still don’t see the Rams getting a TD. I’ll have to see it to believe it.
SAN FRANCISCO vs. SEATTLE
ALYSSA: San Francisco 20, Seattle 17 – The 49ers aren’t as bad as everyone thought they’d be. And then you have the Seahawks that aren’t as good as everyone thought they’d be. Divisional showdown. This one should be interesting.
LIZZIE: Seattle 17, San Francisco 14 – I just don’t trust that the 49ers are actually good. And at least Seattle’s defense works.
CHARLES: San Francisco 13, Seattle 8 – Seahawks offense is pretty bad. The defense can only do so much versus a slowly improving 49ers team.
NY JETS vs. KANSAS CITY
ALYSSA: NY Jets 27, Kansas City 23 – The Jets offense was clocking on all cylinders last week. But the Chiefs are getting Jamal Charles back, which should make this contest interesting.
LIZZIE: NY Jets 17, Kansas City 14 – I’m now convinced Alex Smith can’t win the tough games. And in the NFL, they almost all are.
CHARLES: Kansas City 27, NY Jets 19 – The Chiefs get a emotional boost from Jamaal Charles’s return but the defense also contains the high-flying Jets passing game.
SAN DIEGO vs. INDIANAPOLIS
ALYSSA: San Diego 27, Indianapolis 24 – Following a week one collapse, the Chargers bounced back with a solid performance. The Colts are still struggling to find its first win, but it won’t come this week.
LIZZIE: Indianapolis 35, San Diego 31 – The Colts defense is not that good, and they’re all injured, so I expect points. I also expect the Chargers to blow it somehow.
CHARLES: San Diego 31, Indianapolis 24 – Chargers have so many injuries but the offense and Philip Rivers will have enough to overcome a Colts team that need to win badly.
PITTSBURGH vs. PHILADELPHIA
ALYSSA: Pittsburgh 31, Philadelphia 20 – The Eagles have looked pretty solid in the first two weeks. But they were going up against two 0-2 squads in Chicago and Cleveland. This week is their first real test.
LIZZIE: Philadelphia 20, Pittsburgh 17 – Though it could easily go the other way. Can Wentz keep playing like he has? We shall see.
CHARLES: Pittsburgh 20, Philadelphia 17 – Carson Wentz is the bell of the ball but a hard-hitting night will let him just be another victim of the Steel Curtain.
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: CHICAGO vs. DALLAS
ALYSSA: Dallas 27, Chicago 14 – The Bears are without Jay Cutler and John Fox looks like he’s lost control of his team. The Cowboys, on the other hand, are clicking. Should be an easy win for Dallas.
LIZZIE: Dallas 27, Chicago 10 – Without Cutler and with the offensive line they have, the Bears can’t win this game.
CHARLES: Dallas 24, Chicago 14 – Dak is slowly getting better each week and if Cutler is out, then it’s another long day for the Bears in Dallas.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: ATLANTA vs. NEW ORLEANS
ALYSSA: New Orleans 34, Atlanta 17 – The Saints offense was sidelined in its week two loss to the Giants. But with a divisional matchup upcoming and facing an 0-3 record, they should come out firing.
LIZZIE: Atlanta 34, New Orleans 31 – Great QB battle, but the Falcons have looked like the best-rounded team.
CHARLES: New Orleans 34, Atlanta 31 – Another QB battle with Drew Brees pulling out another 400-yard game to save the day for the Saints.