A solid start turned sour for the Seahawks in Minnesota. Chris Carson’s 30-yard scoring run early in the second quarter gave Seattle a 17-7 advantage, but for the second straight week, the offense stalled. The Hawks didn’t score again the rest of the way and ultimately fell 30-17 to the then 0-2 Vikings, dropping Seattle’s early-season record to 1-2.
The silver lining was DK Metcalf’s 107 yards on six receptions, including a 10-yard touchdown grab in the first quarter. The third-year standout had a touchdown in Week 1’s win over Indianapolis, but a total of only 113 yards on ten catches entering Week 3.
As mentioned above, Chris Carson also found the end zone for the Seahawks. His TD run accounted for a big chunk of his 80 rushing yards in the game, rebounding from his 31-yard output in Week 2’s loss to Tennessee.
Russell Wilson was solid again, netting 298 yards through the air, including the 10-yard score to Metcalf – Wilson’s lone TD toss of the game.
With a second consecutive loss, Seattle finds itself in the cellar of the NFC West. Both the Rams and Cardinals improved to 3-0 while San Francisco lost on a last-second field goal to Green Bay to fall to 2-1.
The Hawks could jump the 49ers in the standings as the two square off in Week 4, each team’s first divisional game of 2021.
Now for this week’s picks.
My season picks record: 11-5 last week, 31-17 overall
Seattle (1-2) at San Francisco (2-1)
Tyler Locket opened the season on an absolute tear. The 29-year old wideout turned four catches into 100 yards and two touchdowns in Week 1, then netted 178 yards and a score on eight receptions in Week 2. Week 3 wasn’t quite as pretty for Lockett, who finished with 31 yards on four catches. The Seahawks defense is giving up 440.3 yards per game, the most in the league. That includes 155 yards per game on the ground, which is third-most.
The Niners lost to the Packers on a 51-yard field goal as time expired. George Kittle caught seven of his nine targets for 92 yards. The star tight end has yet to find the end zone this season. Second-year receiver Brandon Aiyuk scored his first touchdown of the year on an 8-yard snag but finished with just 37 yards on four catches.
While both teams lost in Week 2, San Fran’s was less concerning. And Seattle’s second-half struggles on offense don’t pair well with the team’s lack of defense.
Pick: 49ers 27, Seahawks 23
Jacksonville (0-3) at Cincinnati (2-1) – Thursday
The Jaguars went up 13-7 on the ever-rare “kick-six” from Jamal Agnew just before halftime, but Jacksonville ultimately fell to Arizona and dropped to 0-3. One week after a 102-yard kickoff return in Week 2’s loss to Denver, Agnew returned a missed 68-yard field goal attempt from Matt Prater 109 yards to pay dirt.
Ja’marr Chase is proving to be a problem for cornerbacks. The rookie wideout scored a pair of touchdowns and finished with 65 yards on four catches for the Bengals. Chase now has four scores in three games.
Cincinnati should take advantage of a homecoming matchup with the winless Jags.
Pick: Bengals 34, Jaguars 17
Washington (1-2) at Atlanta (1-2)
Antonio Gibson took only one catch to lead the Washington Football Team in receiving as he took his lone reception 73 yards to the end zone. He also had 31 yards on 12 carries, but Washington lost 43-21 to Buffalo.
The Falcons won their first game of the season against the winless Giants. Matt Ryan had two touchdown passes to go with his 243 passing yards.
Perhaps it’s just the blowout talking, but Washington doesn’t seem to be trending in the right direction. Give me Atlanta in this one.
Pick: Falcons 20, WFT 16
Houston (1-2) at Buffalo (2-1)
The Texans managed just 193 yards in their loss to Carolina. Brandin Cooks led the way with 112 of those yards on nine catches.
As mentioned above, the Bills blew out Washington 43-21. Josh Allen had his best game of the 2021 season so far as he threw for 358 yards and four touchdowns on 32-of-43 passing. He added a fifth TD on a 2-yard plunge in the fourth quarter. Emmanuel Sanders had five catches for 94 yards and a pair of scores.
This one won’t be close—Buffalo in a landslide.
Pick: Buffalo 42, Texans 13
Detroit (0-3) at Chicago (1-2)
The Lions would have been 1-2 had it not been for the record-setting 66-yard field goal from Justin Tucker as time expired. D’andre Swift had 107 total yards – 47 on 14 totes and 60 more on seven catches – including a 2-yard TD run.
Outside of leading 3-0 after one quarter, not much went right for the Bears in their loss to Cleveland. Cairo Santos scored all six of Chicago’s points as the team finished with an embarrassing 47 total yards. Justin Fields threw for 68 yards but was sacked nine times for 67 yards, netting a grand total of ONE passing yard.
This should be the week Detroit breaks into the win column.
Pick: Lions 23, Bears 19
Carolina (3-0) at Dallas (2-1)
DJ Moore caught eight passes for 126 yards, and Sam Darnold finished with 304 yards through the air in the Panthers’ win over Houston. Darnold found the end zone twice with his legs and finished with 11 yards on the ground. Carolina’s defense currently leads the league at 191 yards allowed per game.
Ezekiel Elliott scored twice and had 95 yards rushing in the Cowboys’ 41-21 win over Philadelphia. He added 21 more yards on three catches. Dak Prescott finished with 238 yards and three TDs passing. Tight end Dalton Schutz had two of those touchdowns and 80 yards on six receptions.
Carolina’s defense will get tested early and often against a Dallas offense that seems to be picking up steam.
Pick: Cowboys 25, Panthers 21
Indianapolis (0-3) at Miami (1-2)
The winless Colts kept it close through three quarters but were outscored 11-3 in the fourth in their 25-16 loss to Tennessee. Carson Wentz continues to disappoint as he completed just 19 of his 37 pass attempts for 194 yards.
The Dolphins’ comeback attempt fell short in their overtimes loss to Las Vegas. Miami trailed 25-14 in the fourth before forcing OT. Mike Gesicki led the Phins with 86 yards on ten catches.
I have more faith in Miami’s backup QB (Jacoby Brissett) than Indy’s starter (Wentz).
Pick: Dolphins 23, Colts 17
Cleveland (2-1) at Minnesota (1-2)
As previously stated, the Browns held Chicago to 47 total yards in a 26-6 drubbing. Myles Garrett finished the game with 4.5 sacks, bringing his season total to 5.5, launching him into the league’s top spot.
The Vikings used 23 unanswered points to defeat Seattle 30-17 in Week 2. Kirk Cousins had 323 yards and three touchdowns through the air, Alexander Mattison finished with 112 yards on the ground, and Justin Jefferson netted 118 yards and a score on nine grabs.
Minnesota may have found some success, but Cleveland is the better team overall.
Pick: Browns 31, Vikings 29
New York Giants (0-3) at New Orleans (2-1)
Saquon Barkley found the end zone for the first time in 2021 as he took 16 carries for 51 yards in the Giants’ loss to Atlanta. He added 43 more yards on six catches.
The Saints rebounded from their embarrassing Week 2 loss to Carolina with a Week 3 win over New England. Jameis Winston didn’t have much through the air (128 yards) but finished with two touchdowns and zero turnovers. Malcolm Jenkins returned an interception 34 yards for a score in the third.
Expect New Orleans to keep New York winless.
Pick: Saints 28, Giants 20
Tennessee (2-1) at New York Jets (0-3)
Derrick Henry followed up his 182-yard performance in Week 2 with 113 yards on 28 carries in the Titans’ Week 3 win over Indianapolis. Ryan Tannehill tossed three scores and had 197 yards passing. He was intercepted once.
Zach Wilson was fittingly intercepted on the Jets’ final drive as New York was shut out 26-0 against Denver. Wilson finished with 160 yards and two picks while completing just 19 of 35 passes.
I doubt New York finishes with zero points again, but Tennessee should win easily.
Pick: Titans 38, Jets 16
Kansas City (1-2) at Philadelphia (1-2)
The Chiefs turned the ball over on their first three drives – pick, fumble, fumble – and finished with four turnovers in all in their loss to the Chargers. Patrick Mahomes finished with 260 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Travis Kelce had 104 yards on seven catches, while Clyde Edwards-Helaire netted 100 yards on 17 carries.
Jalen Hurts threw for 326 yards, two TDs, and a pair of picks in the Eagles’ blowout loss to Dallas. Hurts also led the team with 35 yards on the ground.
Kansas City and Philly both struggled to keep possession in Week 2. KC will find its grips quicker.
Pick: Chiefs 32, Eagles 24
Baltimore (2-1) at Denver (3-0)
It took a record-setting field goal as time expired, but the Ravens escaped Detroit with a win. Justin Tucker’s 66-yard field goal hit the crossbar before going through the uprights – bested Matt Prater’s 64-yarder he kicked as a Bronco back in 2013. Mark Andrews had his best game so far this season, catching five passes for 109 yards.
The Denver defense racked up five sacks and came away with two interceptions in its 26-0 blanking of the Jets. The unbeaten Broncos allowed a mere 162 total yards, including just 43 on the ground. Tim Patrick had 98 yards on five receptions.
Denver is about to get its biggest test so far in 2021. This could come down to the wire, but Baltimore ekes out another close one.
Pick: Ravens 24, Broncos 23
Arizona (3-0) at Los Angeles Rams (3-0)
The Cardinals overcame a 109-yard “kick-six” and beat Jacksonville to remain undefeated. John Conner reached pay dirt twice and finished with 43 yards on the ground while AJ Green had 112 yards on five catches.
The Rams made a statement with their win over defending champion Tampa Bay. Matt Stafford threw for 343 yards and four scores, including a 75-yarder to DeSean Jackson. Jackson finished with three catches for 120 yards.
LA’s 34-24 win over the Bucs is definitely more impressive than Arizona’s 32-19 win over the Jags.
Pick: Rams 34, Cardinals 31
Pittsburgh (1-2) at Green Bay (2-1)
Rookie Najee Harris led the Steelers with 142 combined yards in a loss to Cincinnati. Harris, a running back, hauled in 14 catches for 102 yards. He added 40 more yards on 14 carries.
The Packers found themselves down 28-27 with 37 seconds left, but Mason Crosby’s 51-yard field goal lifted Green Bay over San Francisco as time expired. Davante Adams had 132 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions to lead the Pack. Aaron Jones added 82 yards and a score on the ground.
Green Bay should beat struggling Pittsburgh.
Pick: Packers 33, Steelers 22
Tampa Bay (2-1) at New England (1-2)
Tom Brady led the Buccaneers in rushing… wait… yep, that’s right. Brady’s 14 yards on three carries led the entire Bucs team in a loss to the Rams. He also had a much less surprising 432 yards through the air. Brady finished with one touchdown passing and another rushing.
Mac Jones was picked off three times in the Patriots’ loss to New Orleans. The rookie QB had 270 yards and a touchdown.
It’s the matchup the NFL has been waiting for since Brady left New England two offseasons ago – Brady’s Bucs against Belichick’s Patriots. Who will win? The signal-caller or the head coach? … It’s Brady. Brady’s gonna win.
Pick: Buccaneers 34, Patriots 20
Las Vegas (3-0) at Los Angeles Chargers (2-1) – Monday
The Raiders were expected to beat a Miami team down its starting quarterback at home, and they did… barely. It went into overtime, but Las Vegas pulled off the win. Derek Carr finished with 386 yards, two TDs, and a pick, while Peyton Barber ran for 111 yards and a score on 23 carries. Carr leads the league at over 400 yards per game entering Week 4.
Justin Herbert had 281 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Chargers to a surprising win on the road in Kansas City. Two of those scoring strikes went to Mike Williams, who hauled in seven catches for 122 yards.
The silver and black may be undefeated, but something tells me LA will hand LV its first loss.
Pick: Chargers 26, Raiders 24