Wednesday, September 20, 2023

NFL Week 3 Picks

As posted at ESPN's Pigskin Pick'em site (straight picks, no spreads, etc., and I've created a group for those who would like to play along with me):

  • San Francisco 49ers beat New York Giants
  • Tennessee Titans beat Cleveland Browns*
  • Detroit Lions beat Atlanta Falcons
  • New Orleans Saints beat Green Bay Packers
  • Miami Dolphins beat Denver Broncos
  • Minnesota Vikings beat Los Angeles Chargers
  • New York Jets beat New England Patriots*
  • Washington Commanders beat Buffalo Bills*
  • Jacksonville Jaguars beat Houston Texans
  • Baltimore Ravens beat Indianapolis Colts
  • Seattle Seahawks beat Carolina Panthers
  • Kansas City Chiefs beat Chicago Bears
  • Dallas Cowboys beat Arizona Cardinals
  • Pittsburgh Steelers beat Las Vegas Raiders
  • Philadelphia Eagles beat Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Los Angeles Rams beat Cincinnati Bengals*

Asterisks indicate "upset" picks -- that is, my pick disagreed with the majority of players as of the time I made it (if I have time, I may swing back to see if that's changed, and change asterisks accordingly -- but any changes to the picks as listed will be prior to kickoff and noted in an update here).

Once again, I've picked four "upsets." The pick most likely to change at this point is the Rams vs. the Bengals. Burrow's injury is clearly a huge problem for the Bengals, and as others have said, he and the team would probably be best off if he sat a couple of weeks out to let it fully heal instead of continuing to aggravate it while trying to play through it. If he decides to do that, I'll have a look at his backup quarterback's reputation and possibly reverse myself.

For various reasons, I am bullish on the Commanders and Titans, not very impressed with the Bills so far this year, and think the Patriots are on a downhill slide at the moment.

Update, Saturday evening: Well, I picked the Thursday game correctly, but so did most people.

For Sunday, I'm sticking with the Chiefs vs. the Bears, but the Chiefs do have a lot of key players on the "out" or "questionable" end of the injury list. Hopefully that won't knock them off kilter.

I'm also sticking with the Rams vs. the Bengals. The Bengals have a total injury list of only two, but one of those two is quarterback Joe Burrow, who's listed as "questionable" and was clearly having problems the first two games (the other is tight end Irv Smith, Jr., who came over from the Vikings between seasons; he's listed as "doubtful"). I think the Bengals are in bad shape until Burrow recovers.

So, no changes yet, and I doubt there will be any before the kickoffs tomorrow.

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