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Week 3 2016 NFL Picks: Challenge Athlon Sports Experts!


The NFL is in full swing, and the competition off the field among fans is nearly as heated as the competition on the field on game day.

The Athlon Sports Pro Football Experts Club presented by New Era gives you the chance to compete with your friends and our experts each week.

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Here are this week’s picks from Athlon Sports senior editor John Gworek:

Thursday's Game

Houston at New England

One would think the Texans have the defense to shut down either inexperienced Patriots’ quarterback, but especially if it is Jacoby Brissett. But it’s still very difficult to bet against Bill Belichick.

Gworek's Pick: Houston, 17–13

Sunday’s Games

Arizona at Buffalo

Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets just lit up Rex Ryan and company for 37 points. What is Carson Palmer going to do? The Bills did fire their offensive coordinator, so that should fix the problem. Wait, what?

Gworek's Pick: Arizona, 30–16

Oakland at Tennessee

The Titans have scored 16 points in each of their first two games, but they’ll need to put up a few more against a Raiders team that is averaging over 30. Of course, Oakland is giving up more than 500 yards per game, too.

Gworek's Pick: Raiders, 30–27.

Cleveland at Miami

The Browns are winless and already on their third quarterback. Miami is 0–2 as well, but they have faced two playoff teams on the road. A home game against Cleveland is just what the doctor ordered.

Gworek's Pick: Miami, 31–17

Baltimore at Jacksonville

Perhaps we can’t read much into the Ravens’ 2–0 start given that the wins came against the Bills and Browns. But more was definitely expected of the 0–2 Jags. Last week’s blowout in San Diego is alarming.

Gworek's Pick: Baltimore, 23–20

Detroit at Green Bay

The Packers have not cracked the 300-yard mark in total offense in either of their first two games. They lost to the Lions in Lambeau last season for the first time since 1991. Could it happen twice in a row?

Gworek's Pick: Green Bay, 26–13

Denver at Cincinnati

Denver has done what it needed to do, winning at home while Trevor Siemian got his feet under him. Winning on the road against a playoff team is another story. The Bengals will find a way to pull this one out.

Gworek's Pick: Cincinnati, 23–21

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Minnesota at Carolina

With Adrian Peterson (knee) and Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) both likely out, it may come down to those big plays. Can Vikings QB Sam Bradford keep up with Cam Newton and company?

Gworek's Pick: Carolina, 24-20

Washington at N.Y. Giants

The Giants are 2–0 despite ranking 26th in scoring, but they may put up more points against a Washington defense that ranks 29th in points allowed and 27th in total defense. Can Kirk Cousins keep up?

Gworek's Pick: N.Y. Giants, 30–27

Los Angeles at Tampa Bay

The Rams shut down the Seahawks, but they still have yet to score a touchdown through two games. That’s a tough way to win. Tampa struggled in Arizona but may have too much firepower for L.A.

Gworek's Pick: Tampa Bay, 21–13

San Francisco at Seattle

After winning opening night, the 49ers crashed back to Earth against Carolina. Facing a San Francisco defense that allowed 529 yards last week might be just what the Seattle offense needs, but the top-ranked Seahawks defense looks as good as ever.

Gworek's Pick: Seattle, 23–6

N.Y. Jets at Kansas City

The Chiefs are at home but they are not built to take advantage of the Jets’ biggest weakness — they have allowed three touchdown passes of more than 50 yards in two games. Could Ryan Fitzpatrick have two big road games in a row?

Gworek's Pick: Chiefs, 24–23

San Diego at Indianapolis

The Colts were shut down by the Broncos, but Andrew Luck should have more options against a Chargers secondary that has allowed Alex Smith and Blake Bortles to both throw for more than 320 yards.

Gworek's Pick: Indianapolis, 34–23

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia

The Eagles have benefitted from a soft schedule and knocked out both opponents’ starting quarterbacks. The Steelers haven’t won in Philadelphia since the 1960s, but this would be a stunner for Carson Wentz to pull off.

Gworek's Pick: Pittsburgh, 28–17

Chicago at Dallas

Dak Prescott vs. Brian Hoyer probably wasn’t what the schedule makers had in mind, but that’s what we’ll see. Prescott has been solid if not spectacular; the Bears offense has been neither of those things.

Gworek's Pick: Dallas, 20–16

Monday’s Game

Atlanta at New Orleans

Drew Brees and Matt Ryan must be licking their chops watching film as this game features two of the four worst defenses in the NFL so far. When in doubt, pick Brees in a shootout at home.

Gworek's Pick: New Orleans, 40–35.

Week 1 Record: 6–10

Overall Record: 15–17