Flanny's Picks: Week 3

BY foxsports • September 20, 2012

LAST WEEK STRAIGHT UP: 10-6
SEASON STRAIGHT UP: 21-11

LAST WEEK VS. SPREAD: 7-9
SEASON VS. SPREAD: 16-16


GIANTS (+2.5) AT PANTHERS

The Super Bowl champs are underdogs? Hmmm. Apparently the Giants' thrilling come-from-behind win over Tampa at home didn't convince Vegas or the betting public. Me, either. The Panthers get a rare spotlight, Thursday night game and the home crowd will definitely give the Panthers some energy and juice. Maybe this is the night that Cam Newton really explodes on the national scene, especially against a Giants' defense that has been woeful through two games.

Panthers 31, Giants 24

CHIEFS (+10) AT SAINTS

Call me crazy, but I think the Chiefs are going to show up this week. The entire organization has its back to the wall, and words can't describe how detrimental another blowout loss will be. We'll see just how much pride the Chiefs have, especially defensively.

Granted, Drew Brees isn't the easiest quarterback to try and get well against, but the Saints haven't been anything like the team they were the last two years. They obviously miss Sean Payton's leadership and play-calling abilities. Don't get me wrong, the Saints will move the ball, probably all day. But the Chiefs will find a way to get some pressure on Brees and force a turnover or two that keeps this closer than most people would have thought.

The Chiefs' offense will try to play a little keepaway by pounding Petyon Hillis and Jamaal Charles, and it will work for awhile. But in the end, Brees and Co. will outgun Matt Cassel, who again will look lost and flustered once his team gets behind.

Saints 30, Chiefs 21

RAMS (+9) AT BEARS

The Rams and new coach Jeff Fisher still are many parts away from being competitive week in and week out. But last week's win at home over the Redskins should do wonders for their confidence. Maybe they can finally believe they can win now and then. The Bears will have had 10 days to stew over a dreadful performance against the Packers. The Bears will struggle, and the Rams will give them a scare, but....

Bears 23, Rams 16

BUCS (+9.5) AT COWBOYS

The Bucs are probably kicking themselves that they are not 2-0 after blowing a late lead against the Giants. Could they be this improved? The Cowboys flopped badly on the road at Seattle. Two teams I'm not sure about yet.

Cowboys 27, Bucs 21

49ERS (-7) AT VIKINGS

These 49ers might be the best team in the league – at least the most balanced. They continue their march through the NFC North division with a third straight win.

49ers 30, Vikings 14

LIONS (-3.5) AT TITANS

The Lions got beat handily last week after a so-so opening win. This is a time for them to get well and prove they're still an explosive team offensively. They get the job done.

Lions 34, Titans 20

BENGALS (+2.5) AT REDSKINS

Really a toss-up here. You can make the case that the Redskins threw away last week's game against St. Louis in the late going, but then again, a good team wouldn't have let the game get that close. The Bengals didn't exactly struggle with the inferior Browns but they didn't put them away, either. Take the home team.

Redskins 27, Bengals 20

JETS (-1) AT DOLPHINS

Was the Dolphins' rout of the Raiders a sign that Miami is that good or that the Raiders stink that bad? Probably the latter. The Dolphins always give the Jets fits and they probably will again, at least for awhile.

Jets 27, Dolphins 24

BILLS (-2.5) AT BROWNS

The Browns certainly gave their fans some hope last week by showing some offense. But you never know what to expect from a rookie quarterback week to week, and this week Brandon Weeden might fall on his face. The Bills have put up some points through two weeks and should do so again.

Bills 24, Browns 17

JAGS (+3) AT COLTS

The week's stinker game. The Jags apparently are just awful. At least the Colts may have a bright future. They also will be 2-1 come Sunday night

Colts 26, Jags 14

EAGLES (-3) at CARDINALS

What a wild win for the Cardinals at New England last week. Huge win, obviously. And now Kevin Kolb faces his old teammates. Gotta be all Cardinals, right? Nope. This is the NFL. This is parity. Eagles rise up in the desert.

Eagles 30, Cardinals 27

FALCONS (+3) AT CHARGERS

Will be one of the better games of the week. Falcons did a great job defensively to hold off Peyton Manning on Monday night and escape with a win at home. Not sure the Chargers' two wins against the hapless Raiders and hapless Titans mean all that much. Falcons look tougher this year than in years past.

Falcons 30, Chargers 20

TEXANS (-1) AT BRONCOS

Another great early-season matchup. Just can't see Peyton losing two straight. The Texans overall are the better team but....

Broncos 31, Texans 30

STEELERS (-3.5) AT RAIDERS

No debate here. The Raiders are awful. And yes, they sometimes can rise up and shock everyone, but not here.

Steelers 34, Raiders 17

PATRIOTS (+2.5) AT RAVENS

Another fun early-season matchup. One of these teams is going to be 1-2, and it's hard to imagine either one starting 1-2. The Ravens certainly haven't forgotten that crushing playoff loss last year when they felt they were the better team. Another chance for Joe Flacco to prove he belongs in the elite class of quarterbacks.

Ravens 19, Pats 16

PACKERS (-3) AT SEAHAWKS

Great win by the Seahawks last week over Dallas and probably a great confidence booster for rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who benefits by playing the suspect Packers defense this week, at home, on Monday night. Seattle is a tough, tough place to play and there's no reason to count out the Seahawks. But the Packers are still the Packers – a dangerous team offensively with the game's best quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, who has looked so-so through two games but gets on track here.

Packers 24, Seahawks 20





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