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Week 3 Early Afternoon NFL Predictions

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Houston Texans at Pittsburgh Steelers

Week 3 Early Afternoon NFL Predictions
Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson looks to rebound after a rough 0-2 start for the Houston Texans.
Photo courtesy of houseofhouston.com

On paper this is a fairly even match up.

However, the Houston Texans currently sit with an 0-2 record due in large part to an extremely difficult schedule to start the year.

The Pittsburgh Steelers sit with a 2-0 record as a result of a very easy schedule to start the season. So far this year the Steelers have been able to overwhelm their opponents with a quite strong rush defense.

The Texans have struggled with run defense to this point giving up an average of 198 rush yards per contest. The Steelers have an opportunity to overwhelm the Houston Texans in the trenches.

Deshaun Watson is a superstar. When superstars are put in tough positions that is often when they shine the brightest.

Prediction: 19-16 Houston Texans

Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings’ run defense has been fairly non existent this year. They are going up against an elite running back (Derrick Henry) who has had a fairly unproductive start to his 2020 season (averaging 3.6 yards per carry).

The Tennessee Titans trust in Derrick Henry. That is why he has been handed the ball a league leading 56 times through two weeks.

Assuming Kirk Cousins continues to struggle, the Minnesota Vikings will be spent learning a lot about why the Titans trust in Henry so much.

Prediction: 25-16 Tennessee Titans

Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles

Joe Burrow has been spectacular to date this season. However, the roster is still a mess as a whole (outside of the wide receiver/running back positions).

As a result they should not be expected to get much pressure to Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. Expect Wentz to be making a lot of connections with his tight ends this upcoming Sunday.

Prediction: 24-20 Philadelphia Eagles

Chicago Bears at Atlanta Falcons

The Chicago Bears have an elite pass rush led by Kahlil Mack. They also have a very inconsistent young quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky.

If the Bears can get to Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan, this may play a large factor in the outcome of the game.

However, Trubisky has not been able to put together a solid full 60 minute effort through two weeks and as a result Trubisky should not be trusted to keep this game close.

On a side note star wide receiver Julio Jones is questionable for the Atlanta Falcons this week.

Prediction: 31-20 Atlanta Falcons

Washington Football Team at Cleveland Browns

Can Ron Rivera lead Washington in the right direction
Chase Young of the Washington Football Team
Image Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

Baker Mayfield has thrown interceptions in eight consecutive games.

After facing off against a Cincinnati Bengals defense with a somewhat non-existent defensive line, he will face off against a team which ranks number one in sacks forced.

The Washington Football Team also has an elite cornerback in Kendall Fuller returning to action for the first time this season. This should help limit the damage Odell Beckham Jr. can do to Washington in the secondary.

Assuming the defensive line can get to Mayfield early, expect a flurry of turnovers which should create opportunities for a team with few offensive weapons in Washington.

Prediction: 23-13 Washington Football Team

Las Vegas Raiders at New England Patriots 

The Patriots have an elite defense, however the Las Vegas Raiders offensive unit is currently on a mission.

The difference maker in this match up is the lack of backfield power that the Patriots have to offer. The Patriots will not be able to slow the game down (to limit the time of possession for the Raiders’ offense) if someone besides Cam Newton can not find ways to extend possessions on the ground for the New England Patriots.

Prediction: 19-10 Oakland Raiders

Los Angeles Rams at Buffalo Bills

The Los Angeles  Rams are 5-0 during the Sean McVay Era when forced to travel to the east coast.

The Buffalo Bills are attempting to become 3-0 for only the fourth time in their franchises history.

The Rams have averaged  173 rush yards per game this season. The Bills are giving up the third least rushing yards per game in the NFL (75.5).

This stat is somewhat misleading as the Bills have not been trailing much this season due to a week schedule to date.

Both Josh Allen and Jared Goff have been playing well this year, but Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey should be able to force a mistake or two out of Allen.

Prediction: 16-9 Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers at New York Giants

The New York Giants have gone a combined 12-38 over their last 50 games. They have also had losing seasons in 5 of the past years.They have a starting a quarterback (Daniel Jones) who has turned the ball over more times then he has passed for a touchdown on his career.

The San Francisco 49ers won 13 games last year alone. They may be deprived with key injuries (George Kittle and Jimmy Garoppolo), but many people are forgetting that the New York Giants will be playing without star running back Saquon Barkley.

The Giants may have signed former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman, but he was only a shell of the former All-Pro last year (averaged 3.6 yards per carry on 184 attempts).

On paper this game could be even, however the 49ers have instilled a recent culture of winning that the Giants have rarely been able to find in recent years.

Joe Judge is in his first year as head coach for the New York Giants and it will be apparent after the game on Sunday.

Prediction: 26-17 San Francisco 49ers

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