2019 NFL Week 3 Picks & Previews: Let the Upsets Begin

Week 1 and Week 2 were very exciting, and they set a dynamic for the season.  But just because a team dominates their first two games, it doesn’t necessarily mean a huge year is ahead.  This week, I expect a lot of surprises. We will see which strong starts and which rough starts are flukes.  We will see multiple heavily favored teams go down. So far, I’ve gone 21-10-1 (22-10-1 with TNF) after going 9-7 in Week 2.  Will my upset picks be on point this week? If so, I’ll likely be able to outdo my Week 2 performance. Keep reading to see which teams I think are set up for continued success (or continued failure), and which teams I have going down in an upset.  As always, feel free to comment with your thoughts.

Lock of the Week

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Miami was embarrassingly bad in the first two weeks of the season.  Over two weeks, they were outscored 102-10 between the Patriots and Ravens.  On their home turf, Dallas’ young defense will hold Miami scoreless for the second straight week.  But the Cowboys offense simply lacks the depth to do as much damage as New England and Baltimore did.  I’m still locking the Cowboys in for the win regardless. RB Ezekiel Elliott will lead the offense with over 150 rushing yards and 2 TD, and QB Dak Prescott will add on a couple more TDs.  

Upset of the Week

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The Packers have gotten off to a very strong 2-0 start after defensive improvements.  They took down both the Bears and the Vikings, who have two of the best defenses in the league.  You would think Green Bay can take down Denver. But the Broncos offense can be a little harder to contain once they get started on a strong day.  Especially with QB Joe Flacco under center, I think the Broncos can tire out this Green Bay defense and put up a big game. Green Bay’s shallow offense will also struggle to keep up, especially with edge rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb stopping the run.  

The Other Games

TNF (Posted to Twitter Thursday Night, Actual Score: 20-7 Jaguars)

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Despite a strong Week 1, QB Marcus Mariota has continued to struggle with consistency this season.  Even when healthy, he lets certain defenses get to him.  The Jaguars defense will definitely cause him to struggle, and they may even allow QB Gardner Minshew to work his magic and pull off an upset.  Minshew will utilize his chemistry with WR D.J. Chark and underrated WR Dede Westbrook as he leads the Jaguars to victory.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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With RB James White out and WR Antonio Brown gone, the Pats will not win as easily as they did in Weeks 1 and 2.  The Jets defense will give them a bit of a hard time, and I could see QB Luke Falk exceeding expectations. But QB Tom Brady still has a strong WR corps, including Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, and undrafted rookie Jakobi Meyers.  Expect them to hold on for victory despite challenges.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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The Bills will be exposed as overrated in this one after slipping by for wins against their New York rivals in Weeks 1 and 2.  QB Sam Darnold was not himself in Week 1, and the defense blew the game for the Giants in Week 2. The Bengals, under the leadership of new HC Zac Taylor, will not follow the same pattern.  The Bengals D will step it up big time, and QB Andy Dalton will score enough to pull off the upset.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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Everyone’s expecting the game of the year here.  I’m expecting two overrated offenses to be exposed.  QB Lamar Jackson will struggle throwing the ball against an improved Chiefs D.  QB Patrick Mahomes will rely on his RBs to win the game for KC, but with WR Tyreek Hill out, his receivers are no match for the Ravens secondary.  
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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This will be the offensive shootout of the week.  The Colts defense is the most overrated in the league, and Atlanta’s D has some nice pieces, but isn’t much better.  QB Jacoby Brissett will put up a very strong game. We know he’s a capable QB after his stint in New England. However, QB Matt Ryan and his receivers will just be too much for Indy’s defense, as they lead the Falcons to victory for the 2nd week in a row.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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Everyone’s talking about Patriots-Jets and Cowboys-Dolphins as locks of the week.  The Raiders looked okay in Weeks 1 and 2. But they are no match for Minnesota’s Top 5 defense and they’re about to be annihilated against an elite Vikings squad.  For Minnesota, RB Dalvin Cook will continue to succeed, and the WR duo of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs will give the Oakland secondary a wake up call.
Sunday, 1:00 PM EST

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With Eagles WRs Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson missing, this will be close.  But Philly will succeed by relying on the rest of the offense more. QB Carson Wentz will rely on WR Nelson Agholor and his TE duo.  They won’t score as much as usual, so the Lions underrated offense will pose a threat. But regardless, I expect Philly to slip by for victory.
Sunday, 4:05 PM EST

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A QB switch will revive the Giants offense in this one.  But defense is still a major issue for the G-Men. Tampa Bay’s offense will shine in all areas this week as they take advantage of New York’s defensive weaknesses.  Head coach Bruce Arians will get creative, utilizing TEs and WR Chris Godwin more than usual as CB1 Janoris Jenkins focuses on WR Mike Evans.  
Sunday, 4:05 PM EST

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In my original NFL predictions, I predicted a tie in this game. But the Cardinals already had a tie in Week 1, and QB Cam Newton is out.  I’m instead predicting a nail biter, where Arizona slips by for victory at the last minute.  QB Kyler Murray and his receivers will thrive against a young Carolina secondary. RB Christian McCaffrey and TE Greg Olsen will still do well with Newton out, but the rest of the offense will be impacted in this Carolina loss.  
Sunday, 4:25 PM EST

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The Steelers are about to become a sinking ship.  But I think they’ll have one more glorious game first, as young QB Mason Rudolph looks like the next man up in San Francisco.  49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo will also have a strong game against a depth-lacking Steelers secondary, making this one a close offensive shootout.  But the Niners just don’t have as many weapons for Garoppolo as the Steelers have for Rudolph.
Sunday, 4:25 PM EST

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The banged-up Chargers ran out of steam last week in Detroit, and I expect the same here.  TE Hunter Henry is still sidelined, and LA will have to rely on some backups to continue to put up high amounts of points against a strong Texans D.  I think QB Deshaun Watson will have a big game and lead the Texans in a win, utilizing his deep WR corps that can overwhelm almost any defense, even the elite Chargers D.  
Sunday, 4:25 PM EST

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If QB Drew Brees was healthy, the Saints would have a field day against a weak Seahawks secondary.  But with QB Teddy Bridgewater under center, this will be a close one. Seattle QB Russell Wilson will work some magic and make this close, possibly even taking the game to overtime.  But Bridgewater will still find a way to edge out a win at CenturyLink.  
Sunday, 8:20 PM EST

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I don’t know why this Sunday night match-up is getting so much hype.  The Browns only did so well last week because they were facing the Jets.  They are about to get schooled by the Rams. QB Baker Mayfield will rely on star WR Odell Beckham Jr. to move the sticks.  But the Rams WR trio will just be too much for a young Browns secondary.
Sunday, 8:15 PM EST

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Some are expecting a Bears blowout here.  This will not be a blowout by any means, but the Bears definitely have the edge.  Washington will fail to score a TD against the Bears elite defense. But QB Mitch Trubisky will struggle throwing the ball, forcing the Bears to rely on the run game in order to win. 

That’s all for this week’s NFL picks.  Before Football Sunday begins, I’ll be answering more start/sit questions on @bsmfantasyfootball, my new fantasy football Instagram account.  But stay tuned for some big announcements later this week.

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