2014 Week 3 NFL picks

By Zac Wassink
Zac Wassink
Zac Wassink
Member PFWA. Freelancer/NFL columnist since 2006. Believer in Cleveland sports miracles. Soccer nerd.
September 18, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

While the National Football League continues to be featured in headlines for non-football related issues, on-the-field action will grab attention on Thursday, Sunday and Monday. A rematch involving the two best teams from the 2013-14 season will take place on Sunday afternoon. Two AFC North teams out of Ohio will be looking to show that they are for real, while a New York club that isn’t the Jets will be trying to save its season. 

2014 Week 3 NFL picks: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

So much for the Buccaneers being improved under Lovie Smith. What was supposed to be a menacing defense of the Bucs has looked rather ordinary, and Tampa Bay enters Thursday Night Football looking for the team’s first win of the season.

Don’t count on it.

The Falcons would be on upset alert if this game was taking place in Florida. Tampa Bay instead has to go north to face off with Atlanta inside of the Georgia Dome. Quarterback Matt Ryan, an early NFL Most Valuable Player candidate in the eyes of some, could be in for a big evening during the first league game of Week 3.

Winner: Falcons

2014 Week 3 NFL picks: San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills

Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills! Yes, these Bills are for real, and there are several reasons to believe they can pull off yet another surprise win. The Super Chargers have to fly all the way east to play Buffalo at 1:00 pm ET. Buffalo quarterback E.J. Manuel, the weakest part of his team’s offense, is limiting his mistakes. The defense of the Bills is playing as advertised.

Watch out.

Philip Rivers looked like the best quarterback in the NFL as he dismantled the vaunted defense of the Seattle Seahawks. That was on home soil. Buffalo is rocking due to the news that the Bills will be staying put for the time being, and that has given the franchise a bolstered home-field advantage.

Winner: Bills

2014 Week 3 NFL picks: Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams

The Austin Davis story is a nice one, but everybody praising the 25-year old reserve St. Louis quarterback needs to take several steps back. Davis has zero touchdowns and an interception in two appearances. He is averaging 213.5 passing yards per game. To his credit, Davis is completing 73.1 percent of his passes.

How long he will be able to manage games has yet to be determined.

The Dallas side from Week 2 is truer to what the 2014 Cowboys will be than what we saw from the team in the season opener. Don’t sleep on the ‘Boys, everybody.

Winner: Cowboys

2014 Week 3 NFL picks: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

I understand Washington fans being excited about Kirk Cousins getting his chance to lead the offense of the Redskins. Cousins has never had back-to-break great games while in the NFL, and he could be without a top target. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson will want to get revenge on the team that cut him this past offseason, but he is dealing with a shoulder injury that he suffered this past Sunday. Jackson likely won’t be at 100 percent this weekend.

The Eagles are the best team in the NFC East. They have done well to twice rally from behind this season. Philadelphia will be playing in front of a raucous home crowd. Take the hosts.

Winner: Eagles

2014 Week 3 NFL picks: Houston Texans at New York Giants

The Giants are a mess on both sides of the football. They can’t make tackles on punt returns. Fans and analysts are questioning the game plans of the New York coaching staff.

Ugh.

Houston has a great defense, a defense that could obliterate quarterback Eli Manning at MetLife Stadium. Manning is averaging two interceptions per game. The Texans may not have to put many points on the scoreboard to get the job done on Sunday.

Winner: Texans

2014 Week 3 NFL picks: Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

The Vikes will be without Adrian Peterson for the foreseeable future. Drew Brees and his offense will be playing at home. Don’t be shocked if the Saints cover the -10.5 spread.

Winner: Saints

2014 Week 3 NFL picks: Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals

“Remember when the Titans beat up on KC in Week 1 and people thought they were playoff contenders?” – conversations from this coming holiday season.

All kidding/attempts at kidding aside, the Titans were exposed in a 26-10 home loss to Dallas last week. Cincinnati, meanwhile, may be the best team in the conference let alone in the AFC North. Andy Dalton shouldn’t need A.J. Green (toe injury) to take care of business this time around.

The Bengals go to 3-0.

Winner: Bengals

2014 Week 3 NFL picks: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns

Johnny who? Cleveland quarterback Brian Hoyer has been both shaky and inconsistent over the past eight quarters, but not even the biggest of Johnny Manziel fans can deny what Hoyer achieved on the final drive of last Sunday’s game against the Saints. Hoyer converted on a fourth-down, he put the Browns in field goal range with pinpoint passes, and he has left no questions about who is the team’s starting quarterback for the now.

The Ravens did well to get up for a rivalry showdown versus the Pittsburgh Steelers a Thursday ago. That was in front of a home crowd, though. Baltimore experiencing a letdown seems logical.

Winner: Browns

Zac Wassink
Member PFWA. Freelancer/NFL columnist since 2006. Believer in Cleveland sports miracles. Soccer nerd.