ATLANTIC CITY, September 17, 2014 — After two weeks of football, no team has had a bye week yet. However, several teams look like they have not yet played real football in 2014. The plots thicken as the summer comes to an end.
Here is the NFL 2014 Week 3 Preview, with the point spreads courtesy of Footballlocks.com and all times Eastern.
Thursday, September 18, 2014, 8:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5) — Lovie Smith will turn the Buccaneers around, but it will take time. Atlanta looked terrible last week on the road, but at home they can compete with anyone when Matt Ryan has time to throw. Falcons cover
Sunday, September 21, 1:00 P.M.
Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots — Under Bill Bellichick and Tom Brady, the Patriots once led a game 59-0, and that was only after three quarters. The record is 73-0, set by Chicago in the 1940 NFL Championship Game against Washington. This could be the day the record falls, which would finally perhaps be enough to get Dennis Allen fired. Patriots cover
Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals (-7) — The Titans looked listless at home last week while Cincinnati was impressive on both sides of the ball. The Bengals have too much firepower for Tennessee, especially in Cincinnati. Bengals cover
San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills (-2) — Despite San Diego’s impressive win at home against Seattle, neither of these teams is that special. San Diego could be setting itself up for a Bills team that somehow got to 2-0. Upset special, Chargers win outright
Baltimore Ravens (-1.5) at Cleveland Browns — The Cleveland Browns finally have a quarterback, and it is not Johnny Clipboard. Bryan Hoyer is a leader, and the Ravens are coming off an emotional home win over hated Pittsburgh. Upset special, Browns win outright
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) — Kirk Cousins has outplayed RGIII, but Nick Foles has been running Chip Kelly’s high-octane offense to perfection. Eagles win but fail to cover
Houston Texans at New York Giants — The Texans got to 2-0 by beating up a horrendous Oakland team. The Giants at 0-2 are another horrendous team. Yet with desperation kicking in, it is still tempting to give Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning one more chance at home to salvage their season. Upset special, Giants win outright
Indianapolis Colts (-7) at Jacksonville Jaguars — The Colts lost a heartbreaker last week at home and now face the perpetually bad Jaguars. Even on the road, the Colts have enough ammunition to win going away. Colts win but fail to cover
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (-1) — Aaron Rodgers added to his legacy by leading Green Bay back last week from an 18-point deficit. Yet that was at home, and the Lions at home can be tough. Jim Caldwell and Matthew Stafford could right the ship after laying an egg on the road last week. Lions cover
Dallas Cowboys (-1) at St. Louis Rams — Dallas was supposed to have the worst defense and the Rams a miserable offense, but both teams somehow won last week on the road. Dallas has the offense and the Rams have the defense, but give the edge to Dallas. Cowboys cover
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints — The Vikings will get Adrian Peterson back, but his role will be limited if the Vikings fall behind early. The Saints are a shocking 0-2, but both of those losses came on the road on the final play. Their offense is fantastic, and this is shaping up to be a blowout at home. Saints cover
San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) at Arizona Cardinals — The 49ers had an epic collapse last week at home while the Cardinals have rallied twice to overcome fourth quarter deficits to get to 2-0. This week order is restored, since the 49ers always seem to have Arizona’s number. Things could get really ugly in San Francisco if they lose this game, but the 49ers will respond to the gut check. 49ers cover
Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins (-4.5) — These teams both give new meaning to mediocrity. With nothing to be enthusiastic about, give the edge to Miami due to the home field. Dolphins win but fail to cover
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks (-5) — The Broncos would like revenge for the 35-point drubbing they took in the Super Bowl, but they are not going to get it. An angry Seattle team coming off a loss will be ready with the 12th man behind them. Seahawks win but fail to cover
Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers (-3) — Carolina has a solid defense, which held Detroit to only seven points last week. Pittsburgh is not what they were in past years. After losing badly to a Baltimore squad that is also less than what it used to be, facing the Panthers defense may be too much for the current Steelers unit. Panthers cover
Monday, September 22, 8:30 p.m.
Chicago Bears at New York Jets (-2.5) — These teams are just full of surprises. Last week the Jets blew an 18-point lead while the Bears came back from down 13 late. Jay Cutler and Geno Smith are both playing well. The Bears were not fazed by Sunday Night Football last week so the national stage will not affect them. However, the home crowd should be enough to inspire a Jets team determined to prove it is a serious contender. Jets cover