If I learned thing over the past 24 hours, it’s that I should probably stop binge-watching Netflix, because the first thing that went through my mind after the second week of the NFL season ended is that I’m pretty sure we’re now living in the upside down.
I mean, just think about it: We now live in a world where the Buccaneers are tied for first place, where Bears kickers are actually making field goals that count, where Eli Manning isn’t the starting quarterback for the New York Giants and where Andy Dalton has as many playoff wins as every other starting quarterback in the AFC North combined. Sure, that number is zero, but don’t tell that to Dalton, because there’s a good chance his agent is going to use that fact to help negotiate the quarterback’s next contract.
As if all of that stuff isn’t weird enough, Orlando Bloom has his dog’s dead skeleton mounted at his home.
Although this tweet probably seems kind of out of place, I’ve included it for two reasons: First, Orlando and I have the same birthday — which probably explains why we’re both insanely attractive — and the second reason that tweet is here is because dogs are dead to me this week … well, underdogs. I’m not proud of it, but I’m taking a lot of favorites in Week 3, so to find out who I’m taking, let’s get to the picks.
Actually, before we get to the picks, here’s a quick reminder that you can check out the weekly picks from every CBSSports.com NFL expert by clicking here. I get five cents for everyone who clicks through on that link, so make sure to click early and often. Actually, that’s not true, I think the money actually goes to Will Brinson.
Speaking of Brinson, he’s the host of the Pick Six Podcast, and just in case I haven’t made it clear over the past two weeks, I’ll be joining him three days per week on the podcast — Monday, Tuesday and Friday — for the rest of the NFL season. Even though I’m only one for three days per week, there’s a new episode every single day from Monday thru Friday and you should try to listen as often as possible (You can listen to Tuesday’s episode below and click here to check it out and subscribe).
We don’t just talk about football on the podcast. Sometimes, we debate important life topics, like whether or not it would be worth it to eat dog food for an entire year if there was a $20 million payout involved.
Apparently, I’m anti-dog this week, because I won’t eat dog food for any amount of money and I’m not picking underdogs.
Alright, you guys are probably tired of me forcing the podcast on you, so let’s get to the Week 3 picks. By the way, I hope home-field advantage is a real thing because I’m taking 12 home teams this week.
NFL Week 3 Picks
Tennessee (1-1) at Jacksonville (0-2)
Thursday, 8:20 p.m. ET (NFL Network)
Point spread: Titans, -1.5
Jalen Ramsey has apparently decided that he doesn’t want to play for Jacksonville anymore, which isn’t great news for a team that has to play a game in less than 48 hours. The Jaguars star corner , and if you’re wondering where his demand ranks on the AFC South distraction scale that I just invented, I’m thinking that it ranks slightly below the Colts losing their before the start of the season, but slightly above the Titans letting their field catch on fire over the weekend.
If you somehow missed the fire, here’s a video of it.
To me, that entire video is kind of symbolic of the state of the AFC South right now. You could argue that the fire represents the Jaguars’ season going up in flames while Jags coach Doug Marrone is the guy with the extinguisher who is somehow actually managing to make things worse. The guys in the blue shirts who are wandering around doing nothing are the Titans, because that’s what their offense basically did in Week 2.
Of course, that might not matter here, because Tennessee has absolutely dominated Jacksonville over the past two years. The Titans have won four straight games against the Jaguars and a big reason they’ve been able to do that is because Jacksonville hasn’t been able to slow them down on the ground. In those four wins, the Titans have averaged 177.3 rushing yards per game, so I think what I’m trying to say here is that Derrick Henry is going to run all over the Jags defense on Thursday, which shouldn’t be hard, because if Ramsey’s complaints are any indication, the Jags are starting to sound like they’ve already kind of given up on the season.
I’m taking the Titans, but I’ll be honest, I hate picking against anyone who’s bold enough to wear this type of outfit in public.
If there’s ever a movie made about a retired NFL quarterback who turns to adult films to make enough money to keep his ’70s disco club from going bankrupt, Gardner Minshew could definitely star in that … or Tom Selleck. He could probably pull off that role, too.
Unfortunately for Minshew, he won’t be playing the role of a winning quarterback on Thursday.
The pick: Titans 16-13 over Jaguars
Which teams can you back with confidence in Week 3? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which NFL teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from the model that is up over $7,000 on its top-rated NFL picks.
Atlanta (1-1) at Indianapolis (1-1)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Colts, -2.5
I know we’re only two games into the season, but I’ve already seen enough of the Falcons offense this year to know that Matt Ryan throwing the ball doesn’t really seem to be working. Whenever Ryan drops back to pass, I’ve noticed that one of three things seems to happen: He gets sacked, he throws an interception or he somehow throws a touchdown pass.
As you probably noticed, two of those things are bad. If someone told me I was going to be hit by a car, stabbed in the eye or a lottery winner every time I left my house, I would NEVER leave my house. Although winning the lottery sounds like fun, I would prefer not to be stabbed in the eye or hit by a car, which is why I would live the rest of my days as a hermit. If you’re wondering what my weird scenario has to do with anything, I’m only mentioning it because it’s also a situation where there are two bad options. I think my main point is that being a Falcons fan can’t be easy.
One way the Falcons could help Ryan is by establishing the run, but if the first two weeks of the season have been any indication, that’s not going to be happening anytime soon. The Falcons are averaging just 65 yards rushing per game, which is the fifth-worst total in the NFL. As a matter of fact, the only teams they’re ranked ahead in the rushing department are the Bengals, Dolphins, Redskins and Steelers, who have combined for exactly zero wins this season.
You know what though, I don’t want to talk about the Falcons offense anymore because that’s keeping me from talking about the only thing that I actually do want to talk about in this game: THE FACT THAT THE KICKERS ARE OLDER THAN MY GRANDPARENTS.
OK, so they’re not actually that old, but Adam Vinatieri (46) and Matt Bryant (44) are the two oldest players in the NFL right now. The Falcons have four players on their team who weren’t even BORN when Vinatieri played in his first NFL game back in 1996.
Of course, you probably already knew Vinatieri was an old man, because he’s been kicking like an old man. The Colts kicker has been so bad this season that he actually, but the joke was on us, because Vinatieri is never going to retire. Although he’s struggled this season, I expect him to shake off those struggles with A GAME-WINNING FIELD GOAL AGAINST THE FALCONS. Oh, and if anyone is scoring at home, I’m 1-for-1 predicting game-winning field goals this year.
The prediction here: Vinatieri kicks the Colts to victory and then decides to play until he’s 50.
The pick: Colts 26-23 over Falcons
Baltimore (2-0) at Kansas City (2-0)
1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Chiefs, -6.5
Even though there are 10 unbeaten teams left in the NFL, this game is somehow the only one on the schedule this week that will feature two unbeaten teams playing against each other. I’m not usually one to tell people what to do with their lives, but if you have plans with someone at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, you should definitely cancel those plans so you can watch this game, and I’m not just saying that because it’s on CBS, although that is an added perk.
The thing about the Ravens is that I’m still not exactly sure how good they are this year. To be clear, they’re definitely good, I just don’t know how good. In Week 1, they beat the Dolphins 59-10 in a game that told me nothing, because it was against the Dolphins. In Week 2, their defense actually struggled some against the Cardinals, which isn’t great news for Baltimore, because the Chiefs’ offense is basically the Cardinals’ offense, but with roughly 45 times more talent.
I see this game turning into a shootout, but I’m not sure the Ravens are going to be able to keep up with Patrick Mahomes and a Chiefs offense that seems to break five new records every week. If you missed Week 2, Mahomes threw for 278 YARDS IN ONE QUARTER, which is more than Lamar Jackson threw for in the Ravens’ entire game on Sunday (272). Of course, Jackson also did something on Sunday that no other player in NFL history has done, including Mahomes.
Basically, I think what I’m trying to say here is that there’s going to be 25 different records broken on Sunday and the Chiefs are going to win in a shootout.
The pick: Chiefs 34-31 over Ravens
Houston at L.A. Chargers
4:25 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Chargers, -3
It doesn’t seem possible, but Deshaun Watson has already been sacked a total of 10 times this year, which is the most in the NFL through two weeks. As a matter of fact, the Texans‘ offensive line has been so bad this season that Houston fans actually sound like they’re afraid for Watson’s life.
I’m not sure if playing behind the Texans’ offensive line counts as a job hazard, but if it does, I hope Watson is talking to the right people at the Department of Labor to make sure he’s getting some sort of workers comp pay out of this. To give you an idea of how bad things have been for Watson, not only did he get sacked an NFL-high 62 times last season, but he’s also alarmingly close to breaking one of those NFL records that no one ever really wants to break.
Watson has been sacked four or more times in eight straight games, which is tied for the longest streak in NFL history, which means if he gets sacked four times in Los Angeles, he’ll have the record to himself.
The good news for Watson and the Texans is that the Chargers haven’t been able to sack anyone this year. The Chargers have only tallied two sacks in 2019, which is tied for the third-lowest total in the NFL through two weeks. Basically, the Chargers defense against the Texans offensive line is like the NFL’s version of the unstoppable force vs. immovable object, except the opposite. It’s the very stoppable force against a bunch of movable objects that can’t protect Deshaun Watson.
The Texans have NEVER beaten the Chargers in franchise history, so I think that means I have to pick L.A.
The pick: Chargers 23-20 over Texans
Lock of the Week
New Orleans (1-1) at Seattle (2-0)
4:25 p.m ET (Fox)
Point spread: Seahawks, -4.5
If I was smart, the lock of the week would just be me picking against the Dolphins every week, but that’s too easy, and I hate easy, which is why I always throw the instruction book away immediately after I buy any piece of furniture from IKEA. If you thought putting that stuff together was hard with an instruction book, just wait until you try to assemble something from IKEA without an instruction book. It’s like trying to explain calculus to a baby, but you probably don’t care about calculus or babies, so let’s get back to the Lock of the Week.
If you somehow missed it, Drew Brees won’t be playing on Sunday , which means Teddy Bridgewater will be starting just his second game in three years this week. Brees has the ability to run the Saints offense to perfection, and even he likely would’ve struggled in Seattle, so I’m not exactly expecting Bridgewater to pull off any miracles on Sunday.
Since hiring Pete Carroll in 2010, the Seahawks have never lost a September home game (15-0) and I don’t think that streak is going to end against a quarterback who hasn’t started a road game since the Vikings‘ 2015 regular season finale.
The pick: Seahawks 30-16 over Saints
Lock of the week record: 2-0 straight-up, 1-1 against the spread
NFL Week 3 picks: All the rest
Bills 20-17 over Bengals
Cowboys 34-13 over Dolphins
Vikings 31-20 over Raiders
Patriots 37-17 over Jets
Packers 23-13 over Broncos
Lions 23-20 over Eagles
Cardinals 19-16 over Panthers
Buccaneers 24-16 over Giants
49ers 27-17 over Steelers
Rams 27-24 over Browns
Bears 20-13 over Redskins
Best pick: Last week, Iwould score 13 points and beat the Jaguars, and then the Texans went out and scored 13 points and beat the Jaguars. Now, did I know that Jalen Ramsey was going to have a total meltdown on the sideline and almost fight his coach? Of course, I did.
If I know one thing about the Jaguars, it’s that no team does sideline dysfunction better than them.
Want to see a player almost fight his coach? Check the Jaguars sideline.
Want to see a? Check the Jaguars sideline.
Want to see a player get suspended for running on to the field? I don’t even have to tell you anymore, because you know exactly where to look: The Jaguars sideline.
The Jaguars sideline is apparently a lawless land where the rules of civilized society don’t exist, and luckily for us, we’ll all get to witness the total chaos of the Jaguars sideline together this week since the Jags will be playing on national television. If the Jags really want to add some drama this week, they will either trade Ramsey during the middle of Thursday’s game or they will bring an actual Jaguar to the sideline. I feel like either one of those would make for good television.
Worst pick: I wrote a lot of nice things about the Bengals last week and I now regret them all. In my Week 2 picks, I took the Bengals over the 49ers because I was sold on Andy Dalton after watching him torch the Seahawks for 418 yards in Cincinnati’s opener. After that performance, I immediately jumped on what I thought was the Andy Dalton hype train, but the joke was on me, because there’s no such thing as the Andy Dalton hype train. You don’t get a hype train until you’ve won a playoff game.
Straight up in Week 2: 11-5
SU overall: 23-8-1
Against the spread in Week 2: 9-7
ATS overall: 17-14-1