NFL Week 3 Preview & Picks

Detroit Lions QB Jon Kitna (Brian Bahr/Getty)

Scout.com NFL analyst Chris Steuber runs through this week's slate of games and makes his picks. Check them out and then link to his story in your team's fan forum and discuss your picks!

NFL Week 3
Games Time (EST) TV
Detroit (2-0) at Philadelphia (0-2) 1:00 PM FOX
Notes: The Lions come into Philadelphia this weekend with a 2-0 record and with a "nothing to lose" attitude. The same can't be said about Philadelphia. This is a huge game for the Eagles. If they lose to the Lions, they fall to 0-3, and what was once considered a promising season crumbles into obscurity.

Prediction: I think this will be a close game until the third quarter, and then the Lions' offense will hit on a couple of big plays and run away with this one. Lions 28, Eagles 17

Miami (0-2) at NY Jets (0-2) 1:00 PM CBS
Notes: This is always a fun game. The Jets and Dolphins are division rivals and have a long storied history, but with both teams being 0-2 this season, a sense of desperation may be on display at Giants Stadium. The return of Chad Pennington will help the Jets offense, but the loss of Pro Bowl return man Justin Miller will hurt the Jets' special teams. Miami has a solid defense, but the offense has to show signs of life for them to have any chance of resurrection.

Prediction: This game is a battle. The teams don't like each other, and it's always a close affair. In the end, I see the Jets edging the Dolphins. Jets 20, Dolphins 13

Buffalo (0-2) at New England (2-0) 1:00 PM CBS
Notes: This is a division game that features the best team versus a team searching for an identity. The Bills have struggled on offense this season and their defense was good against Denver -- but horrible in Pittsburgh. The Patriots are cruising thus far. They're a very disciplined team that can score with anyone and hold off an opposing offense with their defensive play.

Prediction: Sorry Bills fans, but it looks like you'll start the season 0-3. The Patriots are too good. Patriots 24, Bills 6

Arizona (1-1) at Baltimore (1-1) 1:00 PM FOX
Notes: This is a really good matchup between the Cardinals and the Ravens. The Ravens have a great defense, while the Cardinals have a potentially great offense. The Cardinals have improved on defense and have held their own against two division teams (San Francisco and Seattle) this year. Baltimore has been bit by the injury bug but has survived.

Prediction: The game comes down to defense and which team can make the most stops in crucial situations. This may shock some, but I see the Cardinals pulling this one out over the Ravens. Cardinals 21, Ravens 17

St. Louis (0-2) at Tampa Bay (1-1) 1:00 PM FOX
Notes: The Rams have to win this game. If they lose, their season is wasted. They have a lot of talent, but they took a huge blow when Orlando Pace suffered a season-ending shoulder injury. Tampa Bay played an outstanding game against the Saints last week, winning 31-14 and look to continue their winning ways against St. Louis.

Prediction: Despite being on the road, in warm weather, and in a hostile environment, the Rams will prevail and upset the Buccaneers. Rams 24, Bucs 14

San Francisco (2-0) at Pittsburgh (2-0) 1:00 PM FOX
Notes: This is a non-conference battle between two undefeated teams, the Niners and Steelers. Everyone thought that the Niners would have a good offense -- and they do.  But it's the defense that's shown the most improvement. The Steelers are a veteran team with an attacking style on defense, but their offense has shown promise thus far -- scoring 60 points in two games.

Prediction: The Steelers are for real and appear destined for another deep run in the playoffs. The Niners are improved, but it's not good enough against Pittsburgh. Steelers 27, 49ers 13

Indianapolis (2-0) at Houston (2-0) 1:00 PM CBS
Notes: The defending Super Bowl champions, the Indianapolis Colts will take on the rising Houston Texans in a matchup for the AFC South lead. Wow, did you ever think you'd hear that? The Texans have a very good defense, but they will be tested against Peyton Manning and the high-powered Colts offense. Unfortunately, the Texans will be without Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson, who may have had a big game against a suspect Indy defense.

Prediction: The loss of Johnson will definitely hurt the Texans, but being at home, I think this may be a closer game than some predict. In the end, the Colts will prove to be too much for the young Texans. Colts 20, Texans 17

San Diego (1-1) at Green Bay (2-0) 1:00 PM CBS
Notes: Green Bay is back… for now. The Chargers are coming off of a tough loss to the New England Patriots and must regroup as they head to Lambeau Field. The Packers are still struggling to find a consistent offensive game plan, but the emergence of running back DeShawn Wynn has given them some flexibility in the run game. San Diego must get LaDainian Tomlinson on track, as well as the rest of their offense.

Prediction: The streak stops here for the Packers. This is the game where the Chargers offense gets rolling and puts a pounding on Green Bay. I predict Tomlinson will get 120 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Chargers 31, Packers 10

Minnesota (1-1) at Kansas City (0-2) 1:00 PM FOX
Notes: The Chiefs are a good team that hasn't been able to get anything to work. Running back Larry Johnson is struggling, and if he's not right, Kansas City's offense doesn't work. Minnesota's offense has a great running game with Adrian Peterson, but the passing game is abysmal. This is a must win for the Chiefs.

Prediction: The Vikings are entering a no-win situation. The Chiefs are down, and they need to get a win. The Chiefs have to give Johnson the ball early and often. Johnson will dominate against the Vikings defense. Chiefs 27, Vikings 13

Cleveland (1-1) at Oakland (0-2) 4:05 PM CBS
Notes: The Browns are coming off of a tremendous offense game against the Bengals. However, to expect the Browns to continue their offensive dominance is asking too much at this point. Oakland has a very good defense and playing at home will help their chances against the Browns.

Prediction: This has all the makings of a comedown game for Cleveland. The Raiders lost a heartbreaker last weekend against the Broncos and desperately need a win. Raiders 20, Browns 14

Jacksonville (1-1) at Denver (2-0) 4:05 CBS
Notes: Denver escaped with a win last week against the Raiders, but in this week's game against the Jaguars, it gets a little tougher. The Jags have a tough defense and an offense that has yet to reach its potential. The Broncos have the makings of a dominant offense, and their defense is solid.

Prediction: This is a tough call, but the team with the most takeaways will win this game. The game will be a defensive battle, and I'm looking at an upset. Jaguars 13, Broncos 10

Cincinnati (1-1) at Seattle (1-1) 4:05 PM CBS
Notes: The Bengals defense was exposed last week by the Browns, and it gave the Seahawks something to dissect this week. Seattle has a very good team all-around. Their offense is one of the most explosive in the league and their defense is improved.

Prediction: This game has the makings of being another shootout for the Bengals with the same result. I don't see Cincinnati traveling to Seattle and beating the Seahawks at home. Seahawks 34, Bengals 27

NY Giants (0-2) at Washington (2-0) 4:15 PM FOX
Notes: The Redskins are one of the biggest stories thus far. They have a very good running attack with Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts. Their defense has one of the best secondaries in the NFL. If they just stick to what they do best, they will be fine. The Giants are struggling. Their offense hasn't been efficient and their defense has been susceptible to big plays. But in a divisional game, anything is possible.

Prediction: Being home in a division game is a huge plus, and in a rivalry like the Giants and Redskins it's anyone's guess who'll win. So in that case, I'll go with the home team. The Redskins will be 3-0 after this game. Redskins 23, Giants 14

Carolina (1-1) at Atlanta (0-2) 4:15 PM FOX
Notes: After not being able to produce much on offense with Joey Harrington at the helm, the Falcons went out and signed former Jaguars quarterback Byron Leftwich. Harrington will continue to be the starter, but Leftwich may not be far behind. The Panthers suffered a tough loss to Houston last week, but got a great offensive performance out of Steve Smith, who scored three touchdowns.

Prediction: The Falcons are struggling in all facets of the game. Playing at home is a good thing when you're winning, but when you're losing, it can almost feel like you're on the road. The losing continues in Atlanta; Carolina will get the win. Panthers 35, Falcons 16

Dallas (2-0) at Chicago (1-1) 8:15 PM NBC
Notes: If only the Chicago offense was as good as its defense. Every week you're not sure what to expect from Rex Grossman. However, the Cowboys are starting to realize what Tony Romo brings to the field every game. Romo is emerging into one of the game's brightest stars behind center. This will be a great contest between the Dallas offense and the Chicago defense.

Prediction: Defense usually prevails in games, and the Bears have one of the league's best. But there's something about this Cowboys offense that's special. Dallas will continue its winning ways against Chicago. Cowboys 28, Bears 20

Tennessee (1-1) at New Orleans (0-2) Monday, 8:30 PM ESPN
Notes: Two of the top picks in the 2006 draft -- Vince Young and Reggie Bush -- face one another in this game. The biggest battle is for the Saints to get back in the win column. New Orleans' offense isn't clicking and has looked lost the last two weeks. Maybe being at home will help them? Tennessee battled Indianapolis to the end last week and nearly came up with a victory. The Titans are a tough team and have a never-say-die attitude.

Prediction: The Saints must show improvement with their offense if they wish to have a chance against the gritty Titans. I expect Drew Brees to have a great game and Reggie Bush to shine in the Monday night spotlight. Saints 24, Titans 14

Discuss Chris' picks in your favorite team's fan forum!

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