There’s some very intriguing games on deck today and tomorrow, and here are my somewhat quick picks for all of them.
Indianapolis Colts (1-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3) (8:30am CT, CBS)
This game will be in London, and could be a shootout. Both teams could’ve been 0-3 heading into this game, but the Colts came back to beat the Chargers last week. It’s hard to say that the Jags will be 0-4 after this game, but I say that Luck and company will send them to that brink. Prediction: Colts 30, Jags 21.
Noon games (FOX and CBS)
Seattle Seahawks (2-1) at New York Jets (1-2) (FOX)
The most intriguing early game might be taking place in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets looked terrible last week in Kansas City, due to a terrible seven-turnover performance. Meanwhile, the Seahawks looked like their normal self for the first time all season. That said, Russell Wilson might be hobbled, and the Seahawks will be playing with a 10 a.m. body clock. That could shake things up, which is why I think this could be a nail-biter game for them. I’ll still pick them, but whenever the Seahawks play an East Coast noon game, strange things happen. Prediction: Seahawks 27, Jets 24.
Buffalo Bills (1-2) at New England Patriots (3-0) (CBS)
Who would’ve thought the Pats could’ve possibly gone 4-0 without Tom Brady? Well, they can, and they’re playing a team that has a questionable defense. So long as Jimmy Garoppolo can play, I see the Pats winning by double digits. Prediction: Bills 17, Patriots 31.
Carolina Panthers (1-2) at Atlanta Falcons (2-1) (FOX)
Hold up! The Panthers are 1-2 while the Falcons are 2-1? Well, the Panthers have played two of the best defenses in the league, while the Falcons have played some of the worst defenses in the league so far, so there you go. The Panthers should win this one. It could be tricky and really fun since it’s a divisional game, and the Falcons were the only team to best the Panthers last regular season, but this should be Carolina’s game to lose. Prediction: Panthers 34, Falcons 24.
Oakland Raiders (2-1) at Baltimore Ravens (3-0) (CBS)
This game should be sneaky good. The Raiders have been great on offense for the most part,as expected. While the Ravens might be 3-0, but their opponents so far have been a combined 1-8. Winning by a single possession against the Bills, Browns and Jaguars isn’t very impressive, and while the Ravens might be a good team, even though the Raiders will be traveling across the country, I’m expecting an upset in Baltimore today. Prediction: Raiders 28, Ravens 20.
Tennessee Titans (1-2) at Houston Texans (2-1) (CBS)
As bad as the Texans looked last week in New England, and even though they’ll be without their face of the franchise in JJ Watt for the rest of the season, I see them winning against the hapless Titans with relative ease. Prediction: Titans 14, Texans 27.
Detroit Lions (1-2) at Chicago Bears (0-3) (FOX)
This longtime NFC North rivalry will continue today, but sadly, neither team is that good. The Lions have a better offense and defense, and while Soldier Field has yielded some strange results, a loss for the Lions here will be very shameful. Despite some injuries, the Lions should definitely win. Prediction: Lions 28, Bears 17.
Cleveland Brown (0-3) at Washington Redskins (1-2) (CBS)
The Redskins have been far from great, but the Browns? Unless they win by some mucky score like 19-17, I see the Redskins taking care of business. Prediction: Browns 10, Redskins 24.
Late afternoon games (4:05/3:05 on CBS, 4:25/3:25c on FOX)
New Orleans Saints (0-3) at San Diego Chargers (1-2) (FOX)
It’s not often that the most appealing game on a late afternoon slate is between teams that are a combined 1-5, but that’s the case here. The Saints would’ve been 2-1 had their defense been anything close to decent, and the Chargers should be 3-0, if not for terrible game management. It’s sad that one of these teams has to lose, but I just don’t want the Saints to fall to 0-4. They probably will, but I’ll pick the upset as a heart pick. Prediction: Saints 38, Chargers 34
Denver Broncos (3-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-2) (CBS)
The Broncos have a great defense, and the Bucs have a terrible defense, injured running game and turnover prone offense. This should be a double digit win for the Broncos, but I see the Bucs sticking around until the final quarter. Prediction: Broncos 34, Bucs 17.
Dallas Cowboys (2-1) at San Francisco 49ers (1-2) (FOX)
For some reason, this is the late afternoon primetime game. Even though the Cowboys are constant disappointments and the Niners were awful and were expected to be awful, this matchup, which was last relevant two decades ago, is being elevated like this. The Cowboys will be without receiver Dez Bryant aren’t very good on defense, and the Niners have actually been decent on offense, so this could be a close game. Hell, I’ll say it’ll be a good scoring and fun game, just because. It probably won’t be, but whatever. Prediction: Cowboys 27, 49ers 24.
Los Angeles Rams (2-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-2) (FOX)
Okay, I know the Cardinals looked terrible last week, and the Rams are 2-1. I’m also well aware of the reality that the Rams tend to do well in their division. That said, as good as they were on offense last week, the reality is that they scored a combined nine points in their first two games. The Rams should, and likely will get waxed today against an angry elite caliber team. Prediction: Rams 10, Cardinals 41.
Sunday Night Football (8:30/7:30c, NBC)
Kansas City Chiefs (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1)
Oh boy, this could be a great one! Two consistent playoff teams, with their elite running backs returning. The Steelers’ Le’veon Bell might be the best in the league, and he’s returning after a shortened drug suspension. Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles missed more time than expected due to injury, but he’s expected back too. Both defenses are opportunistic as well. The Steelers are coming off a shocking 34-3 drubbing at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, in a game they were expected to win by double digits. I see tonight’s game being close, before the Steelers pull away late. It should be a fun one, with a playoff atmosphere to boot. Prediction: Chiefs 24, Steelers 31.
Monday Night Football (8:30/7:30c, ESPN)
New York Giants (2-1) at Minnesota Vikings (3-0)
Hold up! Is there a legit good game scheduled for Monday night for the second straight week! That’s right folks, it is! The Giants have been in close games all year, and while the Vikings are without superstar running back Adrian Peterson for possibly the entire year, their defense might be the best in the league. The Giants winning wouldn’t be a huge surprise, but I’ll say the Vikings defense will do enough to hold on for the win. Prediction: Giants 21, Vikings 24.