NFL: Week 3 Early Analysis
NFL Week 3 Game-by-Game Predictions
Every Tuesday, AccuScore presents its early analysis for the upcoming week in football. With Week 2 wrapped up, AccuScore has previews for every NFL Week 3 game. Remember, AccuScore has Expert NFL Picks against the spread, on the moneyline, and on totals for all games listed below.
NEW YORK GIANTS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS
Carolina has a +25 edge in total offensive yardage but the Giants are the slight 52% favorite thanks to big plays by Eli Manning. Manning is averaging 2 TDs on 284 yards. Despite their Week 2 win, Manning obviously cannot afford to have multiple interceptions. There is a 26% chance Manning has multiple INTs and if he does the Giants only have a 32% chance of winning. Cam Newton is projected for 250 yards passing and another 54 rushing with 2 combined TDs. In the 34% of simulations that Cam Newton has at least 1 passing and rushing TDs the Panthers have a 65% chance of winning.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS @ DALLAS COWBOYS
Tony Romo is expected to put up big numbers vs the Bucs defense that allowed over 500 passing yards to the Giants. Romo is averaging 285 yards and 2.4 TDs per sim and the Cowboys are 78% favorites. Even if Tampa Bay intercepts Tony Romo two or more times and holds DeMarco Murray to under 3.5 ypc Tampa Bay is still a slight 47% underdog. If Josh Freeman can also avoid throwing more than 1 INT then Tampa Bay is the 57% favorite.
ST. LOUIS RAMS @ CHICAGO BEARS
The St. Louis offense capitalized on key Redskins defensive injuries but this week the Bears are holding the Rams to just 15 points per simulation. Chicago is the 79% favorite even if Matt Forte is out. Michael Bush is forecasted for nearly 90 rushing yards and 1 TD as the primary RB. If the Rams hold Bush to under 75 yards and they get Jay Cutler to have another multiple INT game then the Rams are 55% favorites. But if Cutler has no more than 1 INT and Bush has over 70 rushing yards then the Bears are overwhelming 93% favorites.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Alex Smith has not thrown an interception since last season's Thanksgiving game. With just a 29% chance of throwing an INT this week the 49ers are the 66% favorite on the road. If Smith has at least 1 INT and Adrian Peterson (projected for under 4.0 ypc vs the SF defense) can average over 4.5 ypc then Minnesota is the 56% favorite. However, there is only a 10% chance of this exact scenario. If Smith has no INTs and Peterson is held under 4.0 ypc then San Francisco is the heavy 78% favorite.
DETROIT LIONS @ TENNESSEE TITANS
Chris Johnson has been historically bad to start the season and Detroit is the 67% road favorite. Johnson is only averaging 3.5 ypc vs the Lions which would more than triple his current ypc average. If Johnson can average at least 4.5 ypc and Jake Locker completes 62%+ of his passes with no more than 1 INT then Tennessee is the 53% favorite. Calvin Johnson has no TDs this year but there is a 64% chance he gets at least 1 this week. If he scores then the Lions chances improve to 72%.
BUFFALO BILLS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS
Both the Bills and Browns offenses looked good in Week 2. The Bills are 58% favorites. There is an 18% chance of a shootout with both teams scoring at least 24 points and the Bills are 56% favorites in a high scoring scenario. If CJ Spiller has another big game with at least 85 rushing yards and 1 or more TDs then the Bills are 81% favorites. If the Browns hold CJ Spiller to under 4.0 ypc while Trent Richardson averages over 5.0 ypc then Cleveland is the 61% favorite. The QBs are averaging a combined 2.7 interceptions so expect plenty of turnovers.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Andrew Luck is completing a high percentage of his passes (66%) and the Colts are 56% favorites. If the Jaguars hold Luck to under a 60% completion percentage then the Jags have the 56% chance of winning. Maurice Jones-Drew is projected for nearly 100 rushing yards but the Colts are doing a decent job holding him to just a 38% chance of rushing for a TD. If MJD has 100+ rushing yards with at least 1 rushing TD (a 26% chance) then the Jaguars are 66% favorites, but if the Colts hold him to under 100 yards then the Jags only have a 31% chance.
NEW YORK JETS @ MIAMI DOLPHINS
Both Mark Sanchez and Ryan Tannehill are completing under 55% of their passes in simulations. The Dolphins are slight favorites thanks to another solid performance from Reggie Bush. Bush is averaging 4.6 ypc while also averaging 3.5 receptions. There is a 36% chance that Bush has at least 70 rushing yards on over 4.5 ypc and if he does then Miami is the 70% favorite. However, if the Jets defense holds him to under 75 yards and under 4.5 ypc then the Jets are the 61% favorite. Mark Sanchez is averaging 1 TD pass and 1 INT. If he has 1 or more TD passes without any INTs then the Jets are 68% favorites.
CINCINNATI BENGALS @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS
The Redskins defense struggled when two of their best players, Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker, were hurt vs the Rams. Without them the Redskins are still slight 53% favorites with RG III posting over 300 combined passing and rushing yards. The Bengals defense has struggled this year. There is only a 21% chance that the Bengals hold Washington to under 250 passing yards and under 125 rushing yards, but if they do the Bengals are the 70% favorite. There is also a 21% chance that RG III has 250+ passing yards and 40+ rushing yards and if he dominates the Redskins are 64% favorites.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
It is surprising to see both the Chiefs and Saints are winless. Prior to the start of the season this only happened in 3% of simulations. The Saints are heavy 77% favorites with Drew Brees passing for 310 yards and the Saints RBs averaging a combined 5 ypc. There is actually a 22% chance that Matt Cassel passes for more yards than the Saints but the Chiefs chances decrease from 23 to 19% in these simulations. A big game from Cassel often comes in a blowout loss. If Cassel has an efficient game with 62%+ CMP, 1+ TDs, no more than 1 INT and the Chiefs can muster at least 4.5 ypc then the Chiefs are the slight 52% favorite.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ ARIZONA CARDINALS
The Eagles are 2-0 despite all the Vick interceptions. Vick is averaging just 1.1 INTs per sim and Philly is the 66% favorite. However, if Vick has another multiple INT game then the Eagles only have a 47% chance. Larry Fitzgerald was held to 1 catch vs the Patriots. The Cardinals fumbled twice, averaged 3.2 ypc and only passed for 140 yards. It is a near miracle that they beat the Patriots with these numbers. If they put up such paltry offensive numbers vs the Eagles then Arizona only has a 13% chance of winning.
ATLANTA FALCONS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Ryan Mathews should be ready to play in Week 3 but he is only projected for 3.5 ypc which is better than the 2.5 that backups Ronnie Brown and Curtis Brinkley are averaging. Even with modest rushing numbers the Chargers are the home favorite at 60%. If Mathews rushes for 75+ yards on 4.0+ ypc then San Diego is the 73% favorite, but if he has under 75 yards and under 4.0 ypc then the Chargers only have a 48% chance. Philip Rivers and Matt Ryan are both averaging 275 yards and a pair of TDs. There is a 20% chance that Ryan has more TD passes than Rivers and fewer INTs and if Ryan outplays Rivers the Falcons are 73% favorites.
HOUSTON TEXANS @ DENVER BRONCOS
Arian Foster is averaging 125 rushing + receiving yards and at least 1 TD, but Denver is actually the 62% favorite at home. In simulation wins Foster averages 115 rushing yards, 40 receiving yards and 1.4 TDs. In simulations Houston loses Foster averages just 69 rushyds, 31 recyds and 0.7 TDs. Peyton Manning is projected for 265 yards and 2 TDs vs the stout Houston defense. If Houston sacks Manning at least 3 times and intercept him at least once then Houston is the 58% favorite.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS
Carson Palmer is averaging over 300 passing yards. But he is only 6-15 in games where he passes for at least 300 yards and his record is especially bad in the past few seasons. There is a 10% chance that Palmer has 300+ passing yards vs the Steelers and if he does Oakland sees their chances drop from 41% overall to 36%. Darren McFadden is averaging a paltry 2.1 ypc and 27 yards per game. He is projected for a decent 62 yards on 4.0 ypc vs the Steelers tough defense. If McFadden has over 60 yards the Raiders are 59% favorites, but if he has under 60 rushing yards then Oakland only has a 28% chance.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS
The Ravens defense is definitely suffering from the absence of Terrell Suggs. Baltimore is the 60% favorite even though Tom Brady is projected for 2 TD passes and nearly 300 yards passing. In simulations where Baltimore wins, Tom Brady averages over 1 INT and the Ravens force a pair of turnovers. But when the Patriots win Brady averages just 0.6 INTs and he is well protected getting sacked just 1.5 times per sim. Joe Flacco is putting up big numbers (285 yards, 2 TDs) per sim, but the key is Ray Rice. When Rice has at least 70 rushing yards on over 4.5 ypc then Baltimore is the 76% favorite, but when Stevan Ridley out-rushes Ray Rice the Patriots are 61% favorites.
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Green Bay's offense has not been as dynamic in the early part of this season and Seattle's defense has looked very good. That said, the Packers are forecasted for a breakout offensive performance with 29 points and are the 69% favorites on the road. Seattle has a big edge on the ground. The Packers are averaging a paltry 67 rushing yards vs over 120 yards for the Seahawks. If Aaron Rodgers cannot compensate for the lack of rushing and has no more than 2 TDs with at least 1 INT then Seattle become the 51% favorite. If Seattle controls the game with Marshawn Lynch having 75+ yards, 1+ rushing TDs and Russell Wilson completes over 60% of his passes then Seattle is the 56% favorite.