Week 2 was an ugly one, with not one “Knows Picker” finishing at .500 or better against the spread.  So, as this group tackles the NFL Week 3 picks with our tails between our legs, here’s hoping that there are brighter days ahead, filled with plenty of successful selections.

Two weeks in, there have been plenty of NFL surprises, such as the Bills being 2-0 and the Saints 0-2.  Adrian Peterson is out indefinitely, and plenty of other stars are out due to injuries.

Heading into Week 3, KP and TWHS continue to lead the way in this epic pick ‘em battle.

But before diving into the NFL Week 3 picks, here are the results from Week 2:

KP (TWHS) – 7-9

Coin Flip – 6-10

Special Guest (Dubsism) – 7-9

Sports Chump – 3-13

The WIFE (that HATES sports) – 7-9

2014 NFL Season Standings (Against the Spread)

Knows Picker

Record (ATS)

GB

KP (TWHS)

17-15

Coin Flip

14-18

3

Special Guests

14-18

3

The WIFE

10-22

7

Sports Chump

8-23-1

8.5

A push is counted as a tie in the standings

Slight variation in spreads due to time and site used for picks

You may just want to pick the opposite of what the Chump selects.

KP’s Week 2 Recap (Season Total):

Against the Spread: 7-9 (17-15)

Straight Up: 9-7 (18-14)

It’s once again time to “Pick Your Knows – the only time it’s not a disgusting habit – and here are Week 3’s scheduled games (with spreads as they appeared through CBS Sports on 9/17/14).

Peyton Manning throws pass for Broncos

Peyton Manning and the Broncos get another shot at Seattle

KP’s “Pick Your Knows”: 2014 NFL Week 3

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)

Will the real Atlanta Falcons please stand up?  Is it the team that survived an offensive explosion from the Saints, or the squad that managed just ten points against the Bengals?  Bet on somewhere in between, and also look at the matchup, which is a home game versus the hapless Bucs, who faltered against a Rams team that was playing its third-string quarterback.  Tampa Bay has no interceptions in two games, while allowing opposing quarterbacks to rock them with a 104.3 QB rating.  Playing at home, expect Matt Ryan to add to that ugly stat line.  Falcons cover.

Against the Spread: Atlanta Falcons

Straight Up: Atlanta Falcons

Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5)

Two stingy defenses face off in this one.  The Titans have eight sacks in two games and have held opposing quarterbacks to a 67.1 QB rating.  Tennessee also currently features the top pass D, allowing just 163 yards per game.  The Bengals, on the other hand, have yet to allow a sack, and held a potent Falcons offense to just ten points last week.  Most will take this strong Bengals team to win by a touchdown at home, but my gut keeps gravitating towards the Titans.  If Giovani Bernard breaks out against the Tennessee run defense, this game will not be close.  I am expecting otherwise.  In a somewhat low-scoring game, the Titans keep this one tight throughout.

Against the Spread: Tennessee Titans

Straight Up: Cincinnati Bengals

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5)

The Jags have allowed 13 sacks in two games, but will face a Colts defense that has managed just one sack over the first two weeks.  Will that translate into Jacksonville being able to stick with an Indianapolis offense that can score in bunches?  For some reason, I recalled the Jags giving the Colts fits in recent years, especially at home.  I looked it up, and yeah, the last few meetings have been Indy blowouts.  Not sure where my brain came up with that one.  Someone get Blake Bortles on the phone.  This could be a long day for the Jags.

Against the Spread: Indianapolis Colts

Straight Up: Indianapolis Colts

San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills (-2.5)

The Chargers rebounded last week to knock off the defending champion Seahawks, while the Bills trounced the Dolphins, to move to 2-0.  If this game were taking place during the winter, Buffalo would have a much larger edge, playing the warm weather Chargers.  But this is September, and we aren’t talking about “Buffle-snow” yet.  San Diego’s offense was impressive last week, with Antonio Gates clearly returning to form.  All this and Keenan Allen hasn’t even broken out with a big game yet.  Give the Bills credit for what they have accomplished, but that momentum will come to a screeching halt eventually – and look for that to be on Sunday.  Chargers win this one outright.

Against the Spread: San Diego Chargers

Straight Up: San Diego Chargers

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5)

Kirk Cousins was effective taking over for the injured Robert Griffin III last week, and many (including yours truly) believe that the Redskins will be a more effective offensive unit with Cousins under center.  Through two weeks, the Redskins lead the league in overall defense (234.5 ypg), which includes third against the pass and fourth against the run.  Playing against the Jags last week likely skewed those numbers a bit, but still, Washington’s ‘D’ is much improved.  The Eagles, meanwhile, have been off to slow starts in each of its first two games.  With all this in mind, this NFC East rivalry game – which will be highlighted by the return of DeSean Jackson to Philly – should remain close.

Against the Spread: Washington Redskins

Straight Up: Philadelphia Eagles

Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots (-14.5)

The Raiders will want to control the clock and run the ball, hoping to keep Tom Brady off the field and New England’s home fans quiet.  But Oakland, which has been a solid run team in previous seasons, is 31st in the league, averaging 63 yards per game on the ground.  The Patriots, meanwhile, have seven sacks in its first two games, and should get plenty of pressure on rookie Derek Carr.  This one has the makings of a blowout.  Heck, Gisele could be under center by the fourth quarter.  Yeah, you wish.

Against the Spread: New England Patriots

Straight Up: New England Patriots

Houston Texans at New York Giants (+2.5)

The Giants played a tad bit better last week, but the offense is clearly still a work in progress.  Every team needs to force turnovers and win the field position battle, but New York may need that more than any other team, considering the struggles of the offense, and the fact that Houston has allowed zero sacks in its first two games.  The Texans also lead the NFL in rushing attempts per game, with 40.  Plain and simple, Houston will try to bully the Giants in the trenches, and barring a miraculous turnaround by New York’s offense, the Texans will do just that.

Against the Spread: Houston Texans

Straight Up: Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-9.5)

Adrian Peterson is out indefinitely, which leaves the Vikings as a major question mark offensively.  The Saints have certainly struggled defensively, starting 0-2, including a shocking loss to the Browns last week.  New Orleans is at home this time, and do we really expect Drew Brees and Co. to start the season 0-3, especially when the Vikings have to start Matt Asiata at running back?  Saints cover.

Against the Spread: New Orleans Saints

Straight Up: New Orleans Saints

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-1.5)

Two offenses capable of scoring in bunches, leaves this game to be a tossup in favor of the home team.  The Lions were shut down by the Carolina defense last week, while Green Bay fell behind early to Rex and the Jets, only to post 31 points and the win.  For me, this game comes down to Stafford-Johnson versus Rodgers-Nelson.  Sure, both teams have additional weapons, but these two combos have been lethal in the first two games. Looking at the numbers on pass defense, nothing stands out between Detroit or Green Bay.  Therefore, take the better QB.  Rodgers and the Pack win on the road.

Against the Spread: Green Bay Packers

Straight Up: Green Bay Packers

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (+1.5)

The Browns pulled off a stunner versus the Saints last week, but perhaps we should hang that one on Rob Ryan and a New Orleans defense that is dead last against the pass?  Baltimore has allowed just one TD through the air in two games, and held opposing quarterbacks to an 82.0 rating.  On the other hand, the Ravens have just two sacks in two games.  With such a small sample size, the safer bet is to assume that Baltimore will be able to pressure Brian Hoyer into mistakes.  What’s that you say?  Johnny Manziel?   Don’t get me started.  Ravens win on the road.

Against the Spread: Baltimore Ravens

Straight Up: Baltimore Ravens

Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams (+1.5)

The Rams have allowed 171 yards per game on the ground in the opening two weeks.  DeMarco Murray has been running wild for the Cowboys, and appears to be headed for another big week against St. Louis.  The key will be Tony Romo, who is still recovering from a back injury.  If Romo is efficient throwing the football, then St. Louis will not consistently be able to stack the box against Murray.  Assuming that Dallas will have balance offensively, I like the Cowboys on the road.

Against the Spread: Dallas Cowboys

Straight Up: Dallas Cowboys

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (+2.5)

Drew Stanton held his own last week, replacing Carson Palmer and taking on the Giants.  San Francisco is a different team, featuring a much more aggressive defensive unit.  The Niners have to be angry following last week’s loss to the Bears.  Expect that frustration to be taken out on Stanton.

Against the Spread: San Francisco 49ers

Straight Up: San Francisco 49ers

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5)

Here we go, a rematch from last season’s Super Bowl debacle.  On paper, that game should have been a gem, featuring the league’s top offense taking on its top defense.  This season, it’s similar on paper, as the Broncos have elite offensive talent, along with some high-quality defensive additions, too.  Seattle is a similar team, although the ‘Hawks faltered in San Diego last weekend.  Peyton Manning is a beast during the regular season, and has no doubt studied plenty of film from San Diego’s Week 2 win over Seattle.  I give the win to the Seahawks, thanks to the 12th man, but I like Peyton to keep this one close.

Against the Spread: Denver Broncos

Straight Up: Seattle Seahawks

Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins (-4.5)

Two backup running backs were expected to be headlining this game, with Knile Davis representing the Chiefs and Lamar Miller running for Miami.  Jamaal Charles has returned to practice, and apparently has a good chance to play.  That boosts the Kansas City offense, but I like what Miami’s ‘D’ has done to opposing quarterbacks, including Tom Brady in Week 1.  The Dolphins are holding QB’s to a 78.9 QB rating through two games, and Alex Smith has been inconsistent so far this season.  Miami takes this game at home, but the Chiefs keep it close, thanks to its run game.

Against the Spread: Kansas City Chiefs

Straight Up: Miami Dolphins

Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers (-3.5)

The Panthers are strong defensively, ranking sixth in run defense, while adding seven sacks through two games (4th most in the NFL).  Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers struggled to put points on the board last week, and I don’t see that happening two weeks in a row.  With that being said, Carolina is playing at home, and quarterbacks Derek Anderson and Cam Newton each showed that having no big name receivers matters.  Still, it’s enough to think that Big Ben and the Steelers can keep this one at a field goal or less.  Panthers win, but barely.

Against the Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers

Straight Up: Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears at New York Jets (-1.5)

Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery were both hampered last week, yet did enough on the field, especially after the 49ers completely shut down Matt Forte and the Chicago run game.  The Jets are number one against the run, holding opponents to just 52.5 ypg on the ground.  Even with a one-dimensional offense, the Bears were able to stage a fourth quarter comeback against San Francisco.  The Jets have fewer weapons offensively.  I like Chicago by a touchdown.

Against the Spread: Chicago Bears

Straight Up: Chicago Bears

 

THE WIFE

She HATES sports, but will pick teams in hopes of leading to your embarrassment.  No blurb, just her selection and we’re lucky we got that much.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) – Falcons

Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5) – Bengals

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5) – Colts

San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills (-2.5) – Chargers

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5) – Eagles

Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots (-14.5) – Patriots

Houston Texans at New York Giants (+2.5) – Giants

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-9.5) – Saints

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-1.5) – Packers

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (+1.5) – Ravens

Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams (+1.5) – Cowboys

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (+2.5) – Cardinals

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) – Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins (-4.5) – Chiefs

Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers (-3.5) – Panthers

Chicago Bears at New York Jets (-1.5) – Bears

 

COIN FLIP

This quarter refuses to be referred to as “Chump change”… see what I did there?

Oh, and by the way, HEADS equals the HOME team, and TAILS is a vote for the AWAY team.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) – Falcons

Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5) – Bengals

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5) – Colts

San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills (-2.5) – Chargers

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-7.5) – Redskins

Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots (-14.5) – Raiders

Houston Texans at New York Giants (+2.5) – Texans

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints (-9.5) – Saints

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-1.5) – Packers

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (+1.5) – Ravens

Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams (+1.5) – Rams

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (+2.5) – 49ers

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) – Seahawks

Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins (-4.5) – Dolphins

Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers (-3.5) – Steelers

Chicago Bears at New York Jets (-1.5) – Bears

 

SPORTSCHUMP’S Picks

Last week just wasn’t the Chump’s week.  On the bright side, he has to do better this week, right?

Right?

Here are a few of his Week 3 selections:

OAKLAND +14 at NEW ENGLAND

This is the biggest spread of the season so far.  There’s a reason for that.  There will be no tuck rule in this game.  The question is whether you feel comfortable laying two touchdowns against what we thought was supposed to be at least a slightly improved Raiders team.  This just in.  They’re not.  Most NFL power rankings have them dead last for good reason.  And if you don’t think Bill Belichick will have a stifling game plan for rookie quarterback Derek Carr in his first trip to Foxboro, you’re mistaken.  I’m feeling frisky enough to lay the fourteen.

(THAT TEAM FROM) WASHINGTON +6.5 at PHILADELPHIA

So let me get this straight.  We have a team that looks to be one of the best in the league going against a team with a rookie head coach who just lost his starting quarterback in a division game?  Can we just go ahead and crown the Philadelphia Eagles NFC East champions and save everyone the trouble of watching them play inferior opponents?  RGIII is out so why is Philly only giving a touchdown?  I’ll take the Eagles even on a short week.

DENVER + 5 at SEATTLE

Anyone who watched last year’s drubbing of a Super Bowl knows Peyton Manning would probably like a little payback.  Don’t expect for him to fumble the first snap of this game.  This is clearly this week’s most watchable, and probably unpredictable, game.  Last February, the Seahawks beat the Broncos 43-8.  I expect this one to be a little closer.  The question is whether it will be within five points.  I’m feeling a little revenge factor for Denver in this game, at least close enough to keep it within five points.  I’ll take the Peytonnettes and the points.

For the full spread, head over to the Sports Chump’s site:

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Special Guest: BleedLakersPnG

Another friend of the Chump and I, from back in our Fox Sports blogging days, here are a few of Bleed’s picks:

Ravens @ Browns (+2) – Cleveland’s impressive win over the Saints last week isn’t enough to sell me that they can take Baltimore, who manhandled the Steelers.

RAVENS

Packers (+1.5) @ Lions – Toss up game. Rodgers and Nelson are clicking, Stafford and, well, everyone, aren’t. Detroit dropped more balls than a drunk juggler last week.

PACKERS

49ers @ Cardinals (+3) – Cardinals undefeated no more as Kap and the Niners bounce back from a tough loss to Chicago at the new home stadium opener.

49ERS

For all of Bleed’s picks, visit the Sports Chump!

 

Who do you have this week?