NFL Week 3: Picks and preview

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Week 3 is here, and an AFC East showdown leads the way. The Dolphins are a surprise 2-0, and Mike McDaniel has two big trophies in the form of Bill Belichick and John Harbaugh for his first two wins as a head coach. The Bills are a juggernaut that looks unstoppable. A Miami win would cement them as serious contenders. A Buffalo blowout might make the rest of the league take the year off. There’s also an all-time quarterback battle in the NFC, as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers travel to Tampa Bay to take on Tom Brady and the depleted Bucs. The Rams and Cardinals will try to keep the momentum going after wins of varying shakiness, while the Patriots and Ravens meet in an old-school slugfest in Foxborough. Will the Colts and Bengals fall to 0-3? Is Detroit kind of…good? Will the Steelers complete a pass more than 25 yards downfield? Will I continue to rebound from my ugly 5-11 Week 1 slate? We’ll have answers to all of these questions soon enough. Let’s get to the games.

Point spreads are from DraftKings.com and are current as of 11 a.m. Thursday.

NOTE: Pick with spread is in bold

Last Week: 9-7 (Season: 14-18)

 

1 of 16

PITTSBURGH (1-1) AT CLEVELAND (1-1) (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

PITTSBURGH (1-1) AT CLEVELAND (1-1) (Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

STREAMING: PRIME VIDEO            LINE: Cleveland -4

Through two games, the Steelers’ offense has been…let’s go with hideous. That might be too charitable, actually. Pittsburgh has gotten virtually nothing done down the field, particularly in the middle of the field, and Steelers fans were already chanting for Kenny Pickett midway through Sunday’s loss to New England. They might want to try chanting for a new offensive coordinator, too. Matt Canada’s schemes look the same as they did last year, which is to say, not good. Cleveland looked like they were cruising to a 2-0 start, and then Joe Flacco happened. Flacco rallied the Jets to 14 points in the last 90 seconds and stole a win. (Also, uh, look at this “coverage” on Corey Davis.) There’s nothing else to say, other than it was a complete breakdown of Cleveland’s defense and special teams, and it caused the kind of loss that could haunt the Browns three months from now. Thankfully for Cleveland, the Steelers’ offense looks too awful to take advantage of any defensive lapses.

Look smart to your friends:

-Corner Cam Sutton has been a divisional ball-hawk; he’s bidding for his third consecutive game with an interception against an AFC North opponent.

-Jacoby Brissett might be a “game manager,” but he’s managed things pretty well in both his starts against the Steelers, posting a 102.8 passer rating in those games.

The pick: Browns 23 Steelers 20

 

2 of 16

HOUSTON (0-1-1) AT CHICAGO (1-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

HOUSTON (0-1-1) AT CHICAGO (1-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

TV: CBS            LINE: Chicago -3

Lovie Smith’s team was 15 minutes from a 1-0-1 start and a shocking win over the Broncos, but they couldn’t hold a late lead for the second week in a row. The Texans are plucky, but they just aren’t very good, so on one hand, you want to hand it to Smith for how hard they play, but on the other, you can’t ignore a team getting outscored 27-0 in two fourth quarters thus far. Chicago ran the ball well against the Packers, but the passing game is still a major work in progress, and the Bears aren’t good enough to beat good teams unless they play a near-perfect game. Still, they should be able to handle Houston; in a big-picture sense, there needs to be significant progress in the passing game. Justin Fields barely threw the ball against Green Bay, not even notching his tenth attempt of the game with less than three minutes remaining.

Look smart to your friends:

-It’s kind of a sad stat, let’s be honest, but Dameon Pierce’s 77 scrimmage yards last week are the most by a Texans rooking running back in a single game since D’Onta Foreman in 2017.

-David Montgomery has been Mr. Consistency for the Bears. He’s got 50+ scrimmage yards in 21 straight games, the third-longest streak in the NFL. He also had 155 scrimmage yards the last time these two teams met.

The pick: Bears 17 Texans 16

 

3 of 16

LAS VEGAS (0-2) AT TENNESSEE (0-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

LAS VEGAS (0-2) AT TENNESSEE (0-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

TV: FOX            LINE: Las Vegas -2

I’m friends with a few Raiders fans. They’re conditioned to expect the worst from their team. Even they were shocked by Las Vegas’ total collapse against the Cardinals, one that puts them in a rough spot in the rugged AFC West just two games into the season. Vegas ran just five offensive plays in the last 12:31 of the fourth quarter, and then the normally sure-handed Hunter Renfrow coughed up the ball and the game when the Raiders were almost in range for a game-winning field goal. It’s clear that Ryan Tannehill is not the answer in Tennessee, and that the Titans might not have any answers. Granted, they were playing the Bills, a team currently masquerading as the Terminator, but Tennessee has already blown a lead and been blown out and hasn’t yet gotten Derrick Henry (34 carries, 107 yards, 3.1 yards per carry) going. How long until Malik Willis’ Week 2 cameo turns into a long-term engagement at the position? If things don’t turn around quickly, then it could happen sooner than you think.

Look smart to your friends:

-Davante Adams might be new to the AFC, but he’s no stranger to torching the AFC South. Adams is bidding for his fifth game in a row against the AFC South with a touchdown catch.

-Much like Adams, Robert Woods is back in the AFC after a lengthy stint with the Rams, but he has torched the AFC West, with 100+ receiving yards and a touchdown catch in two of his last three games versus the division.

The pick: Raiders 27 Titans 21

 

4 of 16

KANSAS CITY (2-0) AT INDIANAPOLIS (0-1-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

KANSAS CITY (2-0) AT INDIANAPOLIS (0-1-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

TV: CBS            LINE: Kansas City -5.5

Patrick Mahomes is 22-3 against the AFC West since taking over as Kansas City’s starter. He’s great enough to get away with a C+ performance against a team as talented as the Chargers. The Chiefs might not have Tyreek Hill anymore, but they certainly seem to be finding their way offensively, and if Clyde Edwards-Helaire can continue to give them games like he did Thursday night, they’ll be a multi-faceted nightmare for opposing defenses. The Colts? What do you want me to say about the Colts? They stink, it appears, and Frank Reich should start worrying about his job. The Colts have played nine quarters. They have 3 total points in eight of them and 17 in the other. Matt Ryan was supposed to be a good fit for a team with a great offensive line and running game. Instead, he’s been absolutely putrid through two games, and may well be at the end of the line. An 0-2-1 start is staring this team in the face.

Look smart to your friends:

-Does Mahomes have any real weaknesses? It doesn’t seem like it. Road games certainly haven’t bothered him. He’s got 17 touchdowns, 1 interception, and a 117.3 passer rating in his last five road starts.

-Stephon Gilmore will be under a lot of pressure in this game, but historically he has been tough against the Chiefs, with 9 passes defended in eight career games against Kansas City.

The pick: Chiefs 30 Colts 27

 

5 of 16

BUFFALO (1-0) AT MIAMI (2-0) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

BUFFALO (1-0) AT MIAMI (2-0) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

TV: CBS            LINE: Buffalo -6

The Bills aren’t just scary, they’re terrifying. Tennessee has traditionally played them tough, but got their doors blown off on Monday night. Josh Allen is playing with the completely uninhibited confidence of a guy who knows whatever he does is going to work, and he’s right to feel that way. What else is there to say about the Bills? They’re quite clearly the best team in the league through two weeks, and unless Allen gets hurt, that’s unlikely to change. I was not a Tua Tagovailoa believer. Still might not be. But I’m starting to change my mind more and more with each passing week. He looked totally at ease bringing the Dolphins back from 21 points down in the fourth quarter for a stunning win. It’s a novel concept, really; take a quarterback in the first round, then give him elite weapons to throw to, and a coach whose main task is to get the best out of him. Lots can still go wrong, but early on, Miami looks both fun and good.

Look smart to your friends:

-Stefon Diggs’ big game against Tennessee was significant; his 3 touchdown catches gave him his third-career game with 3 receiving touchdowns, the most in the NFL since 2019.

-Tagovailoa’s insane performance against the Ravens put him high up the career leaderboard in one category; at 24 years, 200 days, he became the third-youngest player in league history to throw 6 touchdowns in a single game.

The pick: Bills 35 Dolphins 28

 

6 of 16

DETROIT (1-1) AT MINNESOTA (1-0) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

DETROIT (1-1) AT MINNESOTA (1-0) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

TV: FOX            LINE: Minnesota -6

The Lions were favored for the first time in 24 games, and they delivered the goods, beating Carson Wentz and the Commanders in a shootout. And wouldn’t you know it, Jared Goff, the guy picked ahead of Wentz in the 2016 draft, and mostly given up on in recent years, played lights-out. Goff had four touchdowns and no interceptions, and Amon-Ra St. Brown casually put up 184 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. I’m not saying Detroit is kind of interesting but…Detroit is kind of interesting? Do you know what else is interesting? When someone insists that Kirk Cousins won’t deliver a dud when the bright lights are on. It’s interesting in the “I can’t believe this person still doesn’t get it” sense. Don’t get me wrong, Cousins’ numbers will no doubt look good at the end of the year, and hey, the Eagles look like an early NFC favorite. But even with Kevin O’Connell the new head coach, Monday’s debacle looked like the same old Cousins. I won’t believe O’Connell can fix that until I see it.

Look smart to your friends:

-St. Brown is becoming not just a star, but a superstar. He’s the third player all-time (Randy Moss and Rob Gronkowski are the others) under the age of 23 with a receiving touchdown in six consecutive games, as well as the third player ever with 8+ catches in eight straight games.

-Cousins’ rough game against Philly might mean more Dalvin Cook, which would probably be a good idea anyway; in his last home game against Detroit (11/8/20), Cook had a career-high 206 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns.

The pick: Vikings 31 Lions 28

 

7 of 16

BALTIMORE (1-1) AT NEW ENGLAND (1-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

BALTIMORE (1-1) AT NEW ENGLAND (1-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

TV: FOX            LINE: Baltimore -2.5

Whew, buddy, the Ravens’ defense went completely in the toilet in the fourth quarter. That was unexpected and spectacularly awful in equal measure. Baltimore has injury issues in their secondary, but even with some banged-up guys back there, Tua Tagovailoa isn’t supposed to hang 28 points in 15 minutes. I would say that a John Harbaugh-coached team doesn’t give up fourth-quarter leads this way, but that would be overlooking the fact that they blew four fourth-quarter leads last year, too. Lamar Jackson is great, but Baltimore has issues. Speaking of issues, the Patriots cured theirs, at least for a week, by gritting out a win over the Steelers that only Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz could love. If you’re a Pats fan looking for reasons to be optimistic, the offensive line played well, Mac Jones made some big throws, Nelson Agholor had the play of the game, and the team salted away the win on the ground. Still, it was the Steelers, and T.J. Watt wasn’t out there. Perspective.

Look smart to your friends:

-Jackson certainly wasn’t to blame for the loss against Miami. He threw for 3 touchdowns and 318 yards, and his 119 rushing yards marked his 11th-career game with 100+ on the ground, passing Michael Vick for the most such games by a quarterback in NFL history.

-Damien Harris might be primed for a big game; when these teams last met, he went off for a career-high 121 rushing yards. He was also a touchdown machine at home last year, finishing the season with 9 rushing touchdowns over his final five home games.

The pick: Ravens 27 Patriots 16

 

8 of 16

CINCINNATI (0-2) AT NY JETS (1-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

CINCINNATI (0-2) AT NY JETS (1-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

TV: CBS            LINE: Cincinnati -5

If it’s not panic time in Cincinnati, it’s close. A loss to the Jets would bring about a full-on crisis. Joe Burrow is on pace to be sacked 111 times this season; the Bengals re-tooled 80 percent of their offensive line, and so far, the entire exercise has been a massive failure. Burrow isn’t blameless, either; he has to start faster. For his career, he has a 72.1 passer rating, 1 touchdown, and 6 interceptions on his first two drives of the game. The Jets weren’t getting dominated, but they were getting beat soundly by the Browns for 58 or so minutes. Then all hell broke loose in Cleveland, and somehow New York is 1-1. New York got contributions from everyone, and Joe Flacco showed he can still throw the deep ball (particularly when the other team elects not to cover it), but by far the most positive story is Garrett Wilson’s breakout. The rookie from Ohio State had 8 catches, 102 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the game-winner, and looks well on his way to being a top-end threat.

Look smart to your friends:

-Tyler Boyd loves playing the AFC East, specifically the Jets. He’s bidding for his fourth game in a row with a touchdown catch against an AFC East opponent, and third in a row with a touchdown catch against New York.

-Only two quarterbacks in the NFL have at least 300 yards passing in each of the first two games of the season. One is Carson Wentz. The other? You guessed it, Joe Flacco. If you had that before the season, may I suggest playing the lottery?

The pick: Bengals 30 Jets 20

 

9 of 16

PHILADELPHIA (1-0) AT WASHINGTON (1-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

PHILADELPHIA (1-0) AT WASHINGTON (1-1) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

TV: FOX            LINE: Philadelphia -6.5

Well, the Eagles look downright frightening. Philly abused Kirk Cousins in front of a national audience, and Darius Slay silenced Justin Jefferson. The headline story, however, was Jalen Hurts, who sure has the look of a star in the making. Hurts was in full command of Philadelphia’s offense, and the Eagles have so far harnessed his dual-threat abilities to their fullest. It’s early, and weird things tend to happen in Philly, but how is anyone in the NFC East going to challenge this team? Carson Wentz’s numbers weren’t bad in Detroit, but they don’t tell the whole story. He got off to a wretched start, took a safety and threw an interception while Washington was trying to dig out of a 22-0 hole. He’s one of the league’s leading passers early on, and he has a league-leading 7 touchdown passes, but the jury is still very much out on whether he can sustain this for a whole year, or even a few more weeks. On the plus side, Jahan Dotson looks like a star in the making.

Look smart to your friends:

-Jalen Hurts’ dominant performance against the Vikings was historically great. He became the first player in NFL history with an 80+ completion percentage, 300+ passing yards and 2+ rushing touchdowns in a single game.

-Jahan Dotson has gotten off to a fast start. The Penn State product is one of two rookies with a touchdown catch in each of the first two weeks. The other? Chargers H-back Zander Horvath. I know, I know, you already knew that one.

The pick: Eagles 27 Commanders 23

 

10 of 16

NEW ORLEANS (1-1) AT CAROLINA (0-2) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

NEW ORLEANS (1-1) AT CAROLINA (0-2) (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

TV: FOX            LINE: New Orleans -3

New Orleans finally lost a regular-season rock fight to the Buccaneers, and while Jameis Winston deserves plenty of kudos for playing with four fractured vertebrae in his back, he was very much Bad Jameis against a superb Tampa Bay defense. Three interceptions were bad enough, but to throw all of them in the fourth quarter and have them lead to 17 Buccaneers points, including a touchdown on a pick-six? That was…let’s go with catastrophic. The Panthers also lost a rock fight last week, falling to the Giants. If you didn’t catch the game, don’t worry, you didn’t miss much, unless the idea of a Graham Gano-Eddy Pineiro kicking battle gets you all hot and bothered. Baker Mayfield was bad, and Carolina’s biggest task at the moment needs to be figuring out how to get Christian McCaffrey 25 touches a game, as opposed to the 19 he had against New York. Points figure to be at a premium in this one, and for the second straight week, I can’t say that I’ll blame you if you choose to opt for another game.

Look smart to your friends:

-Winston was bad against the Bucs, but he’s been a road warrior in general, and in particular against the NFC South. He has 9 touchdowns, 1 interception and a 103.4 passer rating in his past four road starts, and a 100+ rating in 6 of his last 7 road starts against division opponents.

-McCaffrey needs to get the ball a lot in this game, particularly in light of the fact that he’s looking for his fourth-straight game against the Saints with a rushing touchdown and cooked New Orleans for 137 scrimmage yards and a rushing touchdown the last time the teams met in Charlotte.

The pick: Saints 21 Panthers 20

 

11 of 16

JACKSONVILLE (1-1) AT LA CHARGERS (1-1) (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

JACKSONVILLE (1-1) AT LA CHARGERS (1-1) (Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET)

Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Unio / USA TODAY NETWORK

TV: CBS            LINE: Los Angeles -7

I’ve got a dirty secret: The Jaguars are my pick to win the AFC South. Isn’t it easier to envision after watching Trevor Lawrence carve up the hapless Colts, and the much-maligned Jags defense pitch a shutout? Christian Kirk brought the goods with 2 touchdown catches against Indianapolis, and while the Colts’ historical struggles in Jacksonville are well-documented, the victory still serves as a big confidence boost for a young team still trying to learn how to win. The only story that matters with the Chargers is Justin Herbert’s health. Herbert has fractured rib cartilage, and head coach Brandon Staley termed him “day to day.” If Herbert can play and is unencumbered by his injury, the Chargers should win. Then again, they probably should have beaten the Chiefs in Kansas City last Thursday night, and if we know anything about this franchise, it’s that they specialize in new and creative ways to shoot themselves in the foot. This is in the 4:05 “time slot of death,” but it has the potential to be an interesting – and great – game.

Look smart to your friends:

-James Robinson isn’t yet ready to cede his job to Travis Etienne (if that was even the plan to begin with). Robinson is the only running back in the NFL with a rushing touchdown in each of the first two weeks of the season.

-Austin Ekeler might be a problem for the Jaguars regardless of Herbert’s health. He had a career-high 213 scrimmage yards and a touchdown catch in the teams’ last meeting.

The pick: Jaguars 30 Chargers 24

 

12 of 16

LA RAMS (1-1) AT ARIZONA (1-1) (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

LA RAMS (1-1) AT ARIZONA (1-1) (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

TV: FOX            LINE: Los Angeles -3.5

Want to know something bad that’s happening with Matthew Stafford? He’s starting to throw a whole bunch of interceptions. In his last six regular-season games, Stafford has 13 interceptions, including five already this year. His sloppiness and inconsistency mirrors that of the Rams overall. Los Angeles very nearly cost themselves an easy win over the Falcons with an unfocused, terrible fourth quarter. A similar effort won’t work against the Cardinals. Kyler Murray looked terrible for the better part of three quarters against the Raiders, and then he got up off the mat and delivered an improbable win. Murray has been very uneven thus far this season, with one great quarter papering over otherwise frustrating play, but the real problem for the Cardinals is their defense, which has given up the most points and fifth-most yards in the league through two games. A division win and a 2-1 start would make those very real issues a lot easier to stomach.

Look smart to your friends:

-Cooper Kupp is great against everyone, and in every setting, and as such, he’s looking for his 10th-straight road game with 5+ catches and 90+ receiving yards. He had 13 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown in his last matchup with Arizona.

-Zach Ertz had 8 catches for 75 yards last week; his 27 career games with 8+ receptions are third-most all-time among tight ends.

The pick: Rams 34 Cardinals 28

 

13 of 16

ATLANTA (0-2) AT SEATTLE (1-1) (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

ATLANTA (0-2) AT SEATTLE (1-1) (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

TV: FOX            LINE: Atlanta -1

Arthur Smith’s Falcons have played hard in both of their losses, particularly last week against the Rams, when they could have thrown in the towel after the third quarter, but instead rallied and nearly pulled off a stunner. One thing that can’t happen again from the Rams game is the near-total ignorance of Kyle Pitts in the game plan. He had just 2 catches for 19 yards for the second-straight game, and was only targeted three times. Geno Smith, and by extension the Seahawks, came back to earth in Week 2. Seattle’s offense never really got going against San Francisco, and their defense had no answers for Jimmy Garoppolo once he entered for an injured Trey Lance. Seattle failed to score a point on offense and barely cracked 200 total yards. That figures to be closer to the norm for what happens to this team the rest of the season, particularly against better defenses.

Look smart to your friends:

-Drake London leads all rookies in receptions (13) and receiving yards (160) through two weeks, and he’s also the only rookie with 5+ catches in each of the first two weeks.

-Seattle’s passing game figures to be a struggle, but D.K. Metcalf is looking for his third-straight game against Atlanta with a touchdown catch.

The pick: Falcons 23 Seahawks 17

 

14 of 16

GREEN BAY (1-1) AT TAMPA BAY (2-0) (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

GREEN BAY (1-1) AT TAMPA BAY (2-0) (Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wis / USA TODAY NETWORK

TV: FOX            LINE: Tampa Bay -1.5

Green Bay seemed to more or less get their equilibrium back against Chicago; Aaron Rodgers’ performance was of the sharp and efficient variety, rather than statistically spectacular. The real story was that the Packers’ offense ran all over Chicago’s defense, pummeling them into submission with Aaron Jones (15 carries, 132 yards, 1 touchdown) and A.J. Dillon (18 carries, 61 yards). Green Bay doesn’t yet have a receiver to fill Davante Adams’ cleats, but maybe they don’t need one. Tampa Bay’s defense certainly looks championship-caliber, but the Bucs will be without Mike Evans in this game, after Evans shoved Marshon Lattimore to the ground while the latter was jawing with Tom Brady. Tampa’s offense is as beat up as their defense is elite; Chris Godwin, Julio Jones, Russell Gage, Scotty Miller and Leonard Fournette are all skill players who haven’t practiced or have been limited so far this week. Cole Beasley is in the fold, but he needs to get up to speed. Assuming some of them can go, one imagines Brady and that defense will find a way to turn a battle of all-time QBs into a rock fight, one that they win.

Look smart to your friends:

-Rodgers’ sharp game against the Bears made him the second quarterback – Drew Brees is the other – with 40+ career games with a 130+ passer rating.

-Devin White will be busy against the Packers’ running attack, and when the teams last met, he brought the goods, with 10 tackles, a sack and 3 tackles for loss.

The pick: Buccaneers 26 Packers 23

 

15 of 16

SAN FRANCISCO (1-1) AT DENVER (1-1) (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

SAN FRANCISCO (1-1) AT DENVER (1-1) (Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET)

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

TV: NBC            LINE: San Francisco -1.5

Trey Lance’s ugly, season-ending ankle injury was tough to watch, but the Niners’ season wasn’t sunk by it, thanks to the fact that they kept Jimmy Garoppolo around this offseason. No one knows what that offense would have looked like as Lance grew into the starting role, but with Garoppolo under center, it should be pretty solid, and keep San Francisco in just about every game. Given the talent on the 49ers’ defense, a “solid” offense might have them set for a long postseason run yet again. Denver finally showed some signs of life just before it was too late against the Texans, but make no mistake, there is real cause for concern here. Russell Wilson has looked nothing like a big-money, franchise quarterback, and Nathaniel Hackett’s in-game coaching and play-calling have left much to be desired. It’s still early, but both Wilson and Hackett need to perform at a higher level, or the unease in the Mile High City will become palpable.

Look smart to your friends:

-All Jimmy does is win. Garoppolo is one of four active quarterbacks – Tom Brady, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are the others – with a .700+ career win percentage (minimum of 15 starts).

-Wilson has tormented the 49ers more than any other opponent. He has 36 career touchdown passes in 20 starts versus San Francisco, his most against any opponent.

The pick: 49ers 21 Broncos 17

 

16 of 16

DALLAS (1-1) AT NY GIANTS (2-0) (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

DALLAS (1-1) AT NY GIANTS (2-0) (Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET)

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

TV: ESPN/ABC            LINE: New York -1

Dallas pulled off a Week 2 shocker, and Cooper Rush made Jerry Jones look like a genius, outplaying Joe Burrow and leading the Cowboys to a game-winning field goal as time expired. Rush also managed to get the win despite only middling work from the Cowboys’ running game. Micah Parsons was a big reason why Dallas got the win, racking up two sacks for the second game in a row. At this point, Parsons might make more sense as a pure edge rusher, as he looks like a top-3 player at that spot. The Giants’ win over Carolina wasn’t pretty, but it was a win. Is anyone really buying New York as a serious threat? Probably not. But wins are wins, and 2-0 has them tied atop the NFC East. Daniel Jones’ efforts in New York’s Week 1 rally were impressive, but outside of that, he still hasn’t shown much. If New York can get a win here, they have Chicago at home next, and would have a good chance to head to Green Bay 4-0 in early October.

Look smart to your friends:

-If Rush pulls out a victory here, he’ll become just the fourth undrafted quarterback since 2000 to win each of his first three career starts.

-Jones hasn’t done much this year, but perhaps he can build off his last performance against the Cowboys; he had 2 touchdowns and a 106.9 passer rating in his last home start against Dallas.

The pick: Cowboys 20 Giants 19

Chris Mueller is the co-host of The PM Team with Poni & Mueller on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan, Monday-Friday from 2-6 p.m. ET. Owner of a dog with a Napoleon complex, consumer of beer, cooker of chili, closet Cleveland Browns fan. On Twitter at @ChrisMuellerPGH – please laugh.





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