The Sports Editors’ NFL Week 3 Picks

Notis: New York Giants (-2.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons

This is probably the worst matchup in week three. Both of these teams have looked utterly terrible in the first two weeks of the season. The Falcons got dismantled by a mediocre Eagles team in week one and then gave up five touchdowns to old-man Tom Brady in week two. They still don’t know how to throw to newly acquired tight-end-supreme Kyle Pitts and their secondary couldn’t stop me from reaching the end zone. The Giants have all the pieces to be a second-place team in the NFC East, but Daniel Jones is just not getting it done every drive. However, last week against the Washington Football Team, he didn’t look like the worst quarterback in the league, ending the game without a turnover. Knowing these teams, the most fitting outcome would be a tie, because it’s just as dumb as these teams. However, with the amount of talent on New York’s roster and the possible emergence of an above-average quarterback, the Giants should be able to leave MetLife Stadium with a win in week three. 

Firment: Arizona Cardinals (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars

I know a line over five points in favor of anyone in the NFL is hairy, but this matchup seems (at least at face value) to be very lopsided. Arizona is coming off of two quality wins over Tennessee and Minnesota. Kyler Murray and company smashed the Titans on the road in week one and then won a shootout at home against the Vikings in week two. Murray has been slinging it, throwing for 400 yards and four total touchdowns against Minnesota following a five touchdown performance against Tennessee the week prior. An early MVP candidate? Certainly. The receiving core of DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, A.J. Green (yes, that A.J. Green) and Rondale Moore have been constant producers as well for Arizona. Not to mention, their defense has the likes of Chandler Jones, Budda Baker, Isaiah Simmons and J.J. Watt. These Cardinals are damn good. 

Meanwhile, the Jags, lead by number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence, have looked abysmal early on. They were dismantled by the mediocre Houston Texans in week one and then beaten handily by an average Denver Broncos squad in week two. Lawrence has four touchdowns and five interceptions through two games and still does not seem to have figured out NFL defenses. On the other side of the ball, the Jags have given up a lot of points to some questionable offenses early on, and the Cardinals are the furthest thing from an average offense. I expect Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals to go into EverBank field and annihilate Urban Meyer’s Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Silverstein: Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5) at Dallas Cowboys

Before I begin, I’d like to warn everyone reading this that I am perhaps the most biased person in the universe to be giving a take on a showdown between the Birds and the Boys. I can still remember walking into Lincoln Financial Field when I was eight years old, being exposed to some of the worst profanity I had ever heard, feeling the electricity in that stadium and yelling the first of what would become many “Dallas Sucks” chants. Every time I watch my birds take on their Lone Star State rivals, I am ready to run through a brick wall. With all of this being said, I truly do believe Philly can pull off the upset at Jerry’s World. The Eagles absolutely demolished Atlanta in week one, and while they came up short against a more than capable 49ers team, there were points left on the board; Jalen Hurts, Nick Sirianni and company could have completely flipped the script if they had just executed on a few plays. Meanwhile, Dallas certainly looked good during their first two games, but is coming off an emotional win that has all the ingredients for a classic Cowboys let down. In a historic rivalry full of crazy moments, the birds will write the next chapter and take down a Dallas team that has been plagued by inconsistencies for much of the past couple decades. 

Cobey: Tampa Bay Bucs (+1.5) at LA Rams

I could just explain this pick by saying don’t bet against Tom Brady. Why would you? The guy threw for 276 yards and 5 TD’s last week, and 379 yards and 4 TD’s the week before. He’s not slowing down, and not falling off his horse (will he ever?). He said this week he would play till he is 50. The Bucs are the returning Super Bowl champs and returned every member of their starting lineup from last season. Why should they lose to the Rams? I do like the Rams this year with Stafford at the helm, and I think they are genuine Super Bowl contenders. This pick is too easy though. Tom Brady as an underdog in his career is 38-17-1 against the spread. That’s pretty good. They are not just going to beat the spread, they are going to win this game. Brady’s weapons are in form, with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin playing well, and even veteran Rob Gronkowski is racking up touchdowns with four already on the year.  The defense has given up a lot of points (27 PPG), but the Bucs offense can outscore any offense in football. The Rams narrowly beat the Colts in week two, who are not very good. Don’t bet against Tom Brady folks! Especially as the underdog in week three.