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2012 NFL Picks, Every Game: Week 3


NFL Week 3 previews and predictions for every game on the schedule:

Giants (1-1) at Panthers (1-1)
Carolina’s Cam Newton steps into the spotlight on Thursday night, taking on a Big Blue defense led by one of Cam’s few athletic peers, pass-rushing end Jason Pierre-Paul.
Giants by 2

Buccaneers (1-1) at Cowboys (1-1)
Tampa Bay’s best bet is to keep Dallas from ever lining up in the “Victory Formation.” Why didn’t Greg Schiano think of that sooner?
Cowboys by 3

Jaguars (0-2) at Colts (1-1)
After watching Adam Vinatieri hit a game-winning FG last week, Andrew Luck knows what Tom Brady and Peyton Manning feel like.
Colts by 3

Bills (1-1) at Browns (0-2)
C.J. Spiller joined O.J. Simpson, Thurman Thomas and Fred Jackson as the only Bills to rush for back-to-back 100-yard games to open a season. The league’s leading rusher will look to go for three straight at the Dawg Pound.
Bills by 1

Jets (1-1) at Dolphins (1-1)
Tim Tebow returns to Miami, where the Mania started last season — when Tebow threw two TDs in the final 2:44 to pull off an 18–15 win on the same day the Dolphins honored the 2008 Florida Gators national championship team.
Jets by 2

Chiefs (0-2) at Saints (0-2)
One team will earn its first victory following the only matchup of winless teams. Drew Brees and Co. should put on a fireworks display at the Superdome against the struggling Chiefs.
Saints by 7

Bengals (1-1) at Redskins (1-1)
RG3 remains front and center on offense, but seemingly the entire Washington defense is banged up — with linebacker Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker already out for the season.
Redskins by 6

Rams (1-1) at Bears (1-1)
St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher returns to Chicago, where he learned the ropes from Mike Ditka and Buddy Ryan during the famed 1985 Bears’ Super Bowl run and set the team’s punt return yardage mark since broken by Devin Hester.
Bears by 9

49ers (2-0) at Vikings (1-1)
The Vikings better batten down the hatches, because the 49ers defense has been a wall of water, flooding backfields and drowning ball carriers in wins over the Packers and Lions.
49ers by 12

Lions (1-1) at Titans (0-2)
“People need to step up and do their job,” Chris Johnson told The Tennessean after a 38–10 loss at San Diego. “They don’t need to let people beat them. It don’t matter who the opposing defense is, you can’t let your guy beat you.” The opposing defense is coached up by Jim Schwartz, who worked in Tennessee from 1999-2008 before taking the top spot in Detroit.
Lions by 3

Falcons (2-0) at Chargers (2-0)
Atlanta power back Michael Turner — who was known as the “Burner” during his days in San Diego — returns to his old stomping grounds. Unfortunately, Turner was charged with DUI after the win on Monday night. The Dirty Birds may have to rely more on Matt Ryan — who threw his 100th career TD last week — to carry the load in this battle of unbeatens.
Chargers by 1

Eagles (2-0) at Cardinals (2-0)
Remember when Kevin Kolb was tabbed as the “Quarterback of the Future” in Philadelphia and Michael Vick was just a high-profile backup?
Eagles by 2

Steelers (1-1) at Raiders (0-2)
Big Ben Roethlisberger completed 24 passes to 10 different receivers in a win over the Jets. New Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley will take the aerial show on the road to the Black Hole. But the Steel Curtain defense will likely be without safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and linebacker James Harrison (knee) once again.
Steelers by 5

Texans (2-0) at Broncos (1-1)
Peyton Manning knows all about the Texans from his days tossing TDs in the AFC South as a member of the Colts. During his tenure in Indy, the four-time MVP went 16–2 against Houston, with 42 TDs and nine INTs. In fact, Manning has thrown more TDs against the Texans than any other team during his career.
Texans by 2

Patriots (1-1) at Ravens (1-1)
This Sunday night fight is a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship Game, which was won by the Patriots, 23–20, following two botched plays by the Ravens — a dropped pass by Lee Evans (who had the ball knocked out of his casual grip by Sterling Moore) and a missed potential game-tying 32-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with 11 seconds remaining.
Ravens by 1

Packers (1-1) at Seahawks (1-1)
The Packers will have had 10 days to bask in their 23–10 beatdown of the Bears on Thursday. The Seahawks will try to avoid getting too cocky after whipping the Cowboys, 27–7.
Packers by 3