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NFL Picks Week 3: Wake Me Up When September Ends

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Things went pretty much according to plan in Week 2, now let’s see what Week 3 of the 2017 NFL season has in store.

NFL: Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

After two weeks, the New Orleans Saints have suffered two humiliating losses and find themselves alone in the NFC South cellar once again. This is nothing new for the Saints and their fans, in fact its all too familiar, like a haunting song repeating itself ad nauseam. The fans are already tired of the losing and we’re only two weeks in.

The chance to finally reach the win column, a rare instance in the month of September over recent years, comes as the Saints face the Carolina Panthers. The Saints never have it easy when they travel to Charlotte, but a chance to face a familiar rival may be just what this team needs. Carolina will represent a tough challenge, as always, but maybe the Saints can rise to the competition. We can only hope.

Last week I went 14-2

I told you so: Steelers over Vikings!

What do I know: Cowboys over Broncos?

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WEEK 3

Thursday, September 21st - Thursday Night Football

Rams(1-1) at 49ers(0-2)

Jared Goff will get his first start back home in his native Bay Area, in front of his friends and family. Goff and his Rams will come out victorious in this one. It won't be pretty, but it'll be a win. Los Angeles wins 16-13.

Pick: Rams

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Sunday, September 24th - Very Early Game

Ravens(2-0) at* Jaguars(1-1) - Wembley Stadium - London, England

The NFL’s first overseas game of the season will, unsurprisingly, feature the Jags. Baltimore is the better team, but the distance and Jacksonville’s familiarity with the travel will even this game up a bit. Baltimore wins 19-17.

Pick: Ravens

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Sunday, September 24th - Early Games

Browns(0-2) at Colts(0-2)

Do we have to? Indianapolis wins 14-12.

Pick: Colts

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Giants(0-2) at Eagles(1-1)

Philly’s dangerous passing attack will be too much for a Giants team searching for answers to their many early-season problems. Philadelphia wins 24-13.

Pick: Eagles

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Dolphins(1-0) at Jets(0-2)

Miami won’t need a late field goal miss, to win this one. The Jets’ miserable start continues. Miami wins 30-17.

Pick: Dolphins

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Broncos(2-0) at Bills(1-1)

This one will feature some great defense, the problem for Buffalo though, is their offense will have no answers to solve Denver’s better defense. Denver wins 21-12.

Pick: Broncos

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Steelers(2-0) at Bears(0-2)

Pittsburgh’s offense is always a threat to dominate, but its the Steelers defense that has surprised this season. They’ll handle Chicago’s subpar unit as easily as they've handled their other opponents. Pittsburgh wins 24-12.

Pick: Steelers

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Falcons(2-0) at Lions(2-0) - Game of the Week

Atlanta’s season-opening victory lap through the NFC North lands in Detroit this week. The Lions have been riding late-game heroics at home in recent years, but that comes to a halt in this game. Matthew Stafford will miss on a game-winning touchdown pass in the closing seconds, saving a narrow victory for the visiting Falcons. Atlanta wins 24-19.

Pick: Falcons

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Buccaneers(1-0) at Vikings(1-1)

Tampa’s surprising season started as well as they could have hoped, despite starting their season a week late. Homefield advantage and a stout defense will be key for the Vikings, but the Bucs will pull out a close victory at U.S. Bank Stadium, where they hope to land next February. Tampa wins 23-19.

Pick: Buccaneers

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Texans(1-1) at Patriots(1-1)

New England has had their way with Houston in past years, but the resurgent Patriots offense will struggle mightily against the dominant Texans defense. They will show nowhere near the firepower on display last week, thanks to J.J. Watt and company. Houston’s main problem here is that they just don't have the offense to take advantage of New England’s miserable defense. This one will be extremely tight and will come down to which team has the better run game. It'll be the Pats, but it'll be close. New England wins 13-10.

Pick: Patriots

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Saints(0-2) at Panthers(2-0)

Recent games in Carolina have ended in bitter heartache for New Orleans. A game featuring the Saints’ 32nd ranked defense against the Panthers’ 1st ranked defense would appear to be an epic mismatch on paper, but these teams have played tight contests in Bank of America Stadium and this will be no exception.

Drew Brees and the Saints offense will find some semblance of a rhythm that has escaped them early on this season, and without Greg Olson to haunt their abysmal defense, the Saints’ unit may stand a puncher’s chance. Of course, Carolina will just have to find a new star to torture the Saints defense.

That will come in the form of struggling Panthers rookie running back Christian McCaffrey, who will likely go out and set the rookie record for all-purpose yards in a game against the Saints. McCaffrey will be snatching souls straight from the Saints linebackers bodies. I shudder at the thoughts of the highlights.

Despite all of this, the Saints will keep this one close, which will make it even more heartbreaking, when the Panthers secure victory, and a third straight Saints loss, in the closing seconds. Heartache and frustration will prevail again. Carolina wins 23-21.

Pick: Panthers

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Sunday, September 24th - Late Games

Seahawks(1-1) at Titans(1-1)

Tennessee’s defense needs to do more to keep the Titans winning consistently. For Seattle, all they have is defense right now. Seattle’s anemic offense and aggressive defense will keep this game tight, but the Seahawks will pull it out. Seattle wins 13-10.

Pick: Seahawks

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Bengals(0-2) at Packers(1-1)

Cincinnati’s defense is real good, but their offense is ATROCIOUS. Green Bay’s defense will have a much easier time this week than they did last Sunday Night. The Pack will win this one going away. Green Bay wins 20-6.

Pick: Packers

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Chiefs(2-0) at Chargers(0-2)

Kansas City’s offense is absolutely on fire, and surprisingly its their defense that has struggled this year. Los Angeles has been able to stay in games, but has yet to close one out. Points will be scored in this one, but KC will keep LA winless. Kansas City wins 35-27.

Pick: Chiefs

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Sunday Night Football

Raiders(2-0) at Redskins(1-1)

Oakland has been as good as advertised on offense and has also been surprisingly decent on defense so far (what a novel concept). Washington has had success in the run game this year, but it wont help much when the Raiders have a commanding lead early on. Oakland wins 35-22.

Pick: Raiders

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Monday, September 25th - Monday Night Football

Cowboys(1-1) at Cardinals(1-1)

Dallas will rebound from an embarrassing Week 2 loss, with a road victory in primetime here. Dallas wins 20-17.

Pick: Cowboys

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That's how I see it, tell us how you see Week 3 playing out. Leave your comments and insight below!