Steve Believes: Week 3, 2019 NFL Season

  • Tennessee Titans Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars-For the fifth time in six seasons, the Titans and Jaguars meet on Thursday Night Football, with the home winning each game. That trend will continue, as the Jaguars will win a game that they need to have to keep their shot at the AFC South Division title alive.
  • Cincinnati Bengals VsBuffalo Bills-What looked like a toss-up game heading into the season looks to be a mismatch now, as both these teams are heading in completely opposite directions. This game could be a potential trap game for the Bills, as they have the Patriots coming to town in Week 4. However, I don’t see Sean McDermott letting his guys lose focus this week. So with that being said, 3-0 for Buffalo.
  • Miami Dolphins VsDallas Cowboys-Through two weeks, the Dolphins have been outscored 102-10, whereas the Cowboys have outscored their opponents 69-31. Look for that trend to continue, along with the Cowboys going 3-0 for the first time since the 2008 season.
  • Denver Broncos VsGreen Bay Packers-The Broncos are 0-2, due to a mostly inept offense, as well as a surprising stat of ZERO sacks against opposing quarterbacks. The Packers are 2-0, due to timely offense, as well as timely interceptions. Look for Mike Pettine’s unit to suffocate Joe Flacco & Company, while Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense do just enough offensively. The Packers to go 3-0 for the first time since the 2015 season.
  • Atlanta Falcons VsIndianapolis Colts-Timely defensive stops and good-to-great quarterback play have each of these teams 1-1 instead of the daunting record of 0-2. One of these teams will most likely be 1-2 when this one ends and that team will be the Falcons, who will struggle in a loud Lucas Oil Stadium against a Colts team that boasts both a fearsome Justin Houston-led defense and a Marlon Mack-powered running game. Look for Houston & Company to make Matt Ryan’s day miserable and look for Marlon Mack to rush for 100 yards or more.
  • Baltimore Ravens VsKansas City Chiefs-A very possible AFC Championship Game preview features the red-hot quarterback play of Lamar Jackson and never missing a beat Ravens defense going against a Chiefs team that plays its first meaningful game at Arrowhead Stadium since a playoff game that I refuse to remember. Given how the season ended at Arrowhead Stadium last season, the Chiefs will use that as fuel to win their fifth home opener in the Andy Reid era.
  • Oakland Raiders VsMinnesota Vikings-The Raiders were clearly pretenders last week, as the Chiefs dominated them from quarters two through four. As for the Vikings, they lost a game that they had a chance to win against the Packers. Teams coming off heartbreaking losses one week typically respond with resounding wins the next week. Add the Vikings to that list.
  • New York Jets VsNew England Patriots-Ever since C.J. Mosley went out with a groin injury in Week 1 against the Bills, the Jets have been outscored 40-3. The Patriots have allowed that many points through the first two games of this season, along with scoring 76 of their own. Minus quarterback Sam Darnold and possibly Mosley, a game that had Jets upset written all over it during the preseason is now a surefire Patriots win.
  • Detroit Lions VsPhiladelphia Eagles-The Lions have been enigmatic this season, by blowing leads, along with having offensive droughts and playing actual good defense. As for the Eagles, they very nearly rallied from 17-6 down to win against the Falcons last week, and that was without both Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson. The Eagles dynamic duo of wide receivers could miss this game and that could play right into the hands of Matt Patricia’s defense. However, I don’t know which Lions team will show up this week. So with that being said, I got to go with Doug Pederson’s bunch.
  • Carolina Panthers Vs. Arizona Cardinals-The Panthers are the only winless team in the NFC South, having lost both games by a combined nine points. As for the Cardinals, their excellent rookie quarterback, Kyler Murray, is keeping them competitive and is fourth in passing yards with 657 through the first two weeks. This game is a must win for the Panthers and they typically respond in such situations. It’s tempting to pick the Cardinals to have the odd record of 1-1-1, but I can’t go against a Ron Rivera-coached with a history of bouncing back. So with that being said, I’ll take the Panthers.
  • New York Giants VsTampa Bay Buccaneers-It appears Eli Manning’s career is over, as the Giants are now turning the offense over to rookie Daniel Jones. However, he starts against a Buccaneers team that is coming off a monumental road win against the Panthers in the Week 2 Thursday night game. And come the end of Week 3, they could have sole possession of first place in the NFC South. The Giants tend to respond in these types of game, except neither Michael Strahan nor Antonio Pierce nor Justin Tuck are walking through that door. Plus, Bruce Arians is a damn good football coach and is light years better than Pat Shurmur. So with that being said, I got the Buccaneers in this one.
  • Houston Texans VsLos Angeles Chargers-Both these teams have two things in common, with the first being that they both were involved in games decided by one possession. And as for the second thing? Well, they both have absences on the defensive side of the ball, with the Texans trading one third (Jadeveon Clowney) of the pass rush trio to the Seattle Seahawks, while the Chargers are without All-Pro safety Derwin James for possibly the entire season. However, the Chargers aren’t minus Joey Bosa nor Melvin Ingram, whom will be the difference against a Texans offensive line that has allowed Deshaun Watson to get sacked 10 times through the first two weeks. The Chargers to go 2-1.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers VsSan Francisco 49ers-Ben Roethlisberger is done for the season, as he had surgery on the elbow of his throwing arm. And because of that, the Steelers could finish with a losing record for the first time in the Mike Tomlin era, as well finish with a losing record for the first time since the year 2003 BBR (Before Ben Roethlisberger). As for the 49ers, they have a chance to go 3-0 for the first time since 1998, Steve Young’s second to last season in the league. History says to pick the Steelers, based on how they respond in these types of situations. However, they are a shell of what they used to be and all that spells is 1998 all over again for the 49ers. 
  • New Orleans Saints VsSeattle Seahawks-Another bad call in yet another game against the Los Angeles Rams, the loss of Drew Brees and the offensive ineptitude that followed the latter has the Saints at 1-1. As for the Seahawks, they are coming off two hard-fought wins against the Bengals and Steelers, the latter of whom they defeated on the road. The Seahawks return to The Link, a venue where Russell Wilson defeated the Saints to earn his first career home playoff victory. The Saints are 0-2 at The Link in the Russell Wilson era. And without Drew Brees, it’s going to be 0-3.
  • Los Angeles Rams VsCleveland Browns-The Rams were shaky in Week 1 against the Panthers and had a game-altering call go in their favor against the Saints. But nonetheless, they are 2-0. As for the Browns, they play their second primetime game in a span of six days, as they easily handled the Jets last week. Cleveland’s home opener was a dud in Week 1 against the Titans, as they lost that game 43-13. However, they won’t lose by that many at home this week nor will they lose this week, period.
  • Chicago Bears Vs. Washington Redskins-This game screams defensive battle, as both these teams’ offenses are mostly inept. So with that being said, it will come down to which defense will be better throughout the game. And based on how the Bears have picked right up from where they had left off last season, I’m picking them to win this game.