Week 3 NFL Picks

Sadly Week 2 of the 2019 NFL season might eventually be known as the demise of three future Hall of Fame QBs. Three QBs who have combined for five Super Bowl wins and three game MVP awards. It’s unprecedented among recent and historical NFL standards:

  • Eli Manning started his likely final game in New York in a two touchdown loss to the Bills. He was benched was rookie Daniel Jones earlier this week.
  • ‘Big’ Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow gave out, surgery was required, and his season, ended prematurely. Pittsburgh’s 2019 hopes are now in the hands of 2nd year QB Mason Rudolph.
  • Saints QB Drew Brees suffered a thumb injury which will keep him out for a minimum of six weeks in what I consider to be his likely final season. Former Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater is his replacement and based on what we saw last Sunday against the Rams, I’m not optimistic as to his chances for success.


Brees has a chance to return before the end of 2019…but will he have the same accuracy and throwing power as he did before the injury? Roethlisberger’s injury brings into question the same thing when he likely attempts to return in 2020. As for Manning, he’s healthy but his skills have diminished to the point where he likely can’t be effective in short spurts.

What these injuries / demotions expose is the lack of quality quarterback depth in the NFL. Frankly it’s awful…and it’s apparent in this day and age that you can’t win a Super Bowl without a franchise QB.

The days of the 2000 Ravens winning with Trent Dilfer or the 2003 Bucs with Brad Johnson are long in the past.

On to the picks where I made a bit of a comeback last week…tough games, especially against the spread, to pick this weekend:

Week 3 Picks

Last Week: 10-6 Straight Up (SU),  10-6 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 19-12-1 SU, 16-16 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; HOME TEAMS IN CAPS)

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 19, Tennessee Titans 16 (ATS: Jaguars +1.5)
This is the pick I’m least confident in this week. But Jacksonville is 0-2, at home on a short week, and QB Gardner Minshew has shown promise. I have not been bullish on the Titans all season, even after they beat the Browns by 30 in Week 1, and I’ll take home underdog here in an UGLY TNF game.

BUFFALO BILLS 23, Cincinnati Bengals 20 (ATS: Bengals +5.5)
The Bills have a very real chance of starting 3-0 though don’t sleep on the Bengals making this a close game. It’s definitely a letdown spot for Buffalo so take Andy Dalton and company with the points.

DALLAS COWBOYS 34, Miami Dolphins 14 (ATS: Dolphins +21.5)
This might be my worst ATS pick of the week…but the Dolphins, as bad as they are, and yes they’re God awful, have to cover the spread one of these games. I’ll say they score late to cover the gigantic number in Dallas.

GREEN BAY PACKERS 26, Denver Broncos 20 (ATS: Broncos +7.5)
Matt LaFleur is the second coming of Vince Lombardi! I mean…they’re the only two Packers coaches to start 2-0 to begin their head coaching careers! In all seriousness, I’m somewhat concerned about a letdown spot for the Packers here as possible tension between Aaron Rodgers and LaFleur exists over playcalling. Green Bay wins but I wouldn’t be confident in laying the 7.5 points.

Atlanta Falcons 24, INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 21 (ATS: Falcons +2.5)
I went back and forth on this pick a few times. Indy has the better overall team but I don’t trust Jacoby Brissett. And I don’t trust Atlanta / Matt Ryan on the road after being burned in Week 1 where they showed no fight in Minnesota. But the theme this week is desperate teams…and I don’t think Falcons coach Dan Quinn survives with a season short of 10 wins. So Atlanta it is in a close one.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 31, Baltimore Ravens 27 (ATS: Ravens +6.5)
The game of the weekend! Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson – the two IT QBs in the NFL right now. This is a preview of my projected AFC Championship Game and I expect a close at Arrowhead Stadium. Give me the Ravens + the points though I can’t pick against Mahomes to lose at home. A 5* must watch on Sunday!

MINNESOTA VIKINGS 27, Oakland Raiders 16 (ATS: Vikings -7.5)
Dalvin Cook has proven himself to be a top-5 RB in the league thus far in 2019. But durability has always been his issue. In this rematch of Super Bowl XI, Cook and Minnesota run all over the Raiders defense in a convincing home win.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 41, New York Jets 14 (ATS: Patriots -22.5)
Poor Jets…Sam Darnold gets mono…Trevor Siemian gets his leg contorted in a way it shouldn’t go. So it’s Luke Falk-time at Foxboro! No more explanation necessary…lay the Pats and the points.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 23, Detroit Lions 13 (ATS: Eagles -6.5)
Is anyone on Philly healthy enough to catch passes from future MVP (as I predicted this season) Carson Wentz? I’ve never seen a team sustain so many injuries in one game as the Eagles did on Sunday night in Atlanta? Even without Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson, the Eagles cruise to a win over the inconsistent Lions – who looked about as blah as can be in last week’s home win vs. the Chargers.

Carolina Panthers 24, ARIZONA CARDINALS 17 (ATS: Panthers -2.5)

I hate to make this prediction as being a hometown guy, I’d like to see the Cardinals succeed. But I’m confident in picking the likely Cam Newton-less Panthers as it’s desperation time for them and coach Ron Rivera. If Carolina loses, will Rivera get the boot? And heck, (Scottsdale) Desert Mountain grad Kyle Allen may be an UPGRADE over an unhealthy Cam Newton as is.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 30, New York Giants 21 (ATS: Buccaneers -6.5)
I think Daniel Jones is an upgrade over Eli Manning and he’ll produce some bright spots for the Giants this season…but this is a great spot for the Bucs to score points (against a lackluster defense), win at home, and advance to 2-1.

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 23, Houston Texans 20 (ATS: Texans +3.5)
I almost picked the Texans in an upset…but Houston has proven to be too roller coaster-ish in their first two games. Almost losing to Jacksonville at home last week? Not ok. Both teams are playoff-caliber but I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen thus far.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 23, New Orleans Saints 16 (ATS: Seahawks -5.5)
Can the Saints win on the road with Teddy Bridgewater? Based on what I saw last week, no thanks. Seattle moves to 3-0 with a matchup in Arizona next week.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 17 (ATS: 49ers -6.5)
I said over and over this preseason on The Daily Blender that I was very bullish on the 49ers in 2019. Thus far they look even better than I could’ve predicted! This is a playoff team, folks, and the Mason Rudolph-led Steelers won’t deter that this week. Fire up the 49ers defense in your fantasy leagues…they’re underrated and will cause fits for the second year QB.

Los Angeles Rams 27, CLEVELAND BROWNS 21 (ATS: Rams -2.5)
The Browns are hosting their first Sunday night home game since 2008…and I really wanted to pick them. But after their Week 1 dud and after tossing out the Week 2 snoozer against the beat up Jets, I just don’t think they’re ready to knock off the reigning NFC champs. Am I confident in this pick? No…but give me the road team in an entertaining matchup.

Chicago Bears 19, WASHINGTON REDSKINS 10 (ATS: Bears -4.5)
Another ugly Monday night matchup awaits. I don’t expect to see a lot better from Chicago’s offense as something clearly looks off with Mitchell Trubisky. But the Bears’ defense is elite and they’ll lock down Washington to win their second road game in a row.

Week 3 Betting Locks
(Last Week’s Result, Season Record in Parentheses)
Favorite (LOSS, 1-1): Panthers -2.5 at Cardinals
Underdog (WIN, 1-1): Falcons +2.5 at Colts
Bet the Over (LOSS, 0-2): Jets / Patriots Over 44
Bet the Under (WIN, 1-1): Bears / Redskins Under 41.5

Week 3 Fantasy Football Guidance
‘Boom’ Players
(15+ PPR fantasy points from a non top-10 player)
Last Week: 0-3
Overall: 0-6
QB: Jameis Winston (Buccaneers)
RB: Marlon Mack (Colts)
WR: Sammy Watkins (Chiefs)

This is comically bad…0-6 through two weeks! Might not want to take my fantasy advice until further notice!

‘Bust’ Players
(12 or less PPR fantasy points from a top-15 player)
Last Week: 1-2
Overall: 3-3

QB: Kyler Murray (Cardinals)
RB: James Conner (Steelers)
WR: Brandin Cooks (Rams)


To read previous entries of my blog, click here. Also make sure to follow me on Twitter @cohencurse1580.


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