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NFL Pro Football 2011 Preseason Week 3 Picks

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Pro Football Preseason Week 3 Picks - late games


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Fearless Rick's NFL Preseason Week 3 Picks - Early Games

Rick Gagliano | August 25-28

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, August 25

7:00 pm Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals (-2 1/2, 34) - Finally, Week 3 brings some playable games, but we are forced to endure what shapes up to be a fiasco of enormous proportions. By now, even the players on these two teams realize that 2011 is going to be a bust, so practicing will be seen as a means to avoid injury or being cut. The Panthers were the worst team in the league last season, but the Bengals were not far behind.

As of this preseason, the Bengals have caught and surpassed the Panthers for ineptitude and are among the truly hopeless.

Prediction: Panthers 21 Bengals 10

7:30 pm Cleveland Browns at Philadelphia Eagles (-7, 39 1/2) - On paper, the Eagles appear to be the team to beat, but, fortunately for all of us, the games are played mostly on grass, so let's see the Eagles prove something before anointing them Super Bowl champions. Last week against the Steelers, the Eagles looked like the Gang Who Couldn't Run, Pass or Kick Straight, though much of their poor performance was surely tied to the Steel Curtain defense which bottled up the impatient Philly players and sent them back East with a dandy 24-14 loss.

All of Philadelphia's points were scored in the 4th quarter by backups against backups. At least they managed to send the number over.

Cleveland looked like they were on their way to a 2-0 preseason record when they made the score 28-13 early in the 3rd quarter, but the Lions' Drew Stanton engineered some drives and a 30-28 win. Still, the Browns have played well and don't deserve to be a TD underdog here.

Prediction: Eagles 24 Browns 21

8:00 pm Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens (-5, 33) - John Beck put in a solid performance in Washington's 16-3 victory over the hapless, sans-Manning Colts in Week 2, but he'll have to be even better against the stingy Ravens defense.

These two have history, as they are close neighbors and often get together in the preseason. The 2-0 Ravens looked comfortable at home, trashing the Chiefs, 31-13, and they stay put for Week 3. Look for Joe Flacco to get better acquainted with recently-acquired wideout Lee Evans (caught 3 passes for 68 yards last week) and hand the ball to Ray Rice more frequently. The Redskins won't likely be able to keep up the pace.

Prediction: Ravens 27 Redskins 13

Friday, August 26

8:00 pm Green Bay Packers (-9, 38 1/2) at Indianapolis Colts - Now, with Curtis Painter playing in place of the recovering Peyton Manning, the Colts have about as good a chance of winning this game as a candle does surviving a hurricane. The Pack is on track to win their second straight, and, even though the Colts' defense played pretty well against the Redskins last week, but they won't be facing an untested QB here.

Rather, they will be up against the ultimate gunslinger, Aaron Rodgers, and his backups, Matt Flynn and Graham Harrell were a combined 12-15 last weekend against the Cardinals. Ouch!

Prediction: Packers 30 Colts 6

8:00 pm St. Louis Rams (-2 1/2, 35) at Kansas City Chiefs - Hmmm... just the third week of preseason and already the Chiefs are home underdogs? Didn't they make the playoffs last season?

Well, yes, they did, and no, they don't look very good, especially after being completely outplayed by the Ravens in Week 2.

St. Louis rallied past Tennessee, 17-16, to get to 2-0, even though starter Sam Bradford didn't have a great game (8-15, 138, 1 TD, 1 INT, 2 sacks). Sam I Am will get more time in the pocket this week and may play into the third quarter, putting the Chiefs' rather ragged defense to the test.

Kansas City is already 0-2 and appear headed back to their old, mediocre ways.

Prediction: Rams 24 Chiefs 16

--- Story continues below ---

Looking for the best NFL Handicapper? Good luck. Most of them suck.

Saturday, August 27

7:00 pm NY Jets (-1 1/2, 37) at NY Giants - The Jets got Plaxico Burress going in their 27-7 pounding of the Bengals, while the Giants lost cornerback Terrell Thomas for the season with an ACL in their 41-13 pasting of the Bengals.

Those two, seemingly unrelated occurrences come to fruition as Plax lines up against the unknown in the Giants' secondary, and that spells trouble for the G-Men.

Both teams enter this contest 1-1, though the Giants' win was against a supposedly better team. The Bears made the playoffs last season; the Bengals weren't even close. Expect to see lots of playing time for both Eli Manning and Mark Sanchez, in addition to a slew of running plays. Both teams, though capable of aerial exploits, like to run opponents into submission.

Just on a health note alone, the Jets rate an edge. Their superior running game makes it even better.

Prediction: Jets 20 Giants 14

7:00 pm Jacksonville Jaguars at Buffalo Bills (-1, 35 1/2) - In four games combined, these two teams have scored a total of 40 points, though the Jaguars have allowed 60 to Buffalo's meager 34. Jacksonville did manage to beat the Falcons, 15-13 last week, after being humiliated by New England in preseason Week 1.

For their part, Buffalo looked lost on offense, despite having a nice variety of weapons like CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson and Stevie Johnson, in their 24-10 defeat at Denver. In their preseason opener, the Bills took it on the chin from the Bears, at home.

Buffalo may be a single-point favorite according to sharpies in Vegas, but the Jaguars are a better, more focused team.

Prediction: Jaguars 17 Bills 10

7:30 pm Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3, 35 1/2) - This one shapes up to be one of the better games of the preseason, what with all starters probably playing into the third quarter and both teams appearing to be ready for the regular season to begin, with aspirations of post-season glory.

In what could be a preview of the Super Bowl, at least these are two probable playoff teams getting together, so it should be a good one. The Steelers, always tough at home, took it right to the overrated Eagles in Week 2, shattering egos with an easy 24-14 win while Atlanta was caught from behind, 15-13, at home.

A loss would make the Falcons 0-3 and send some shock waves through the South, but winning in Pittsburgh is never easy and the team may not be putting much emphasis on this game, for obvious reasons.

Prediction: Steelers 20 Falcons 10

7:30 pm Miami Dolphins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-4, 36 1/2) - After their performance against Seattle in Week 1, the Bucs looked unstoppable, but New England quickly quieted the enthusiasm, pounding Tampa Bay, 31-14, with both of Tampa's scores coming in the second half, when the game was already essentially over.

Miami handled Carolina, 20-10, last weekend, and appears to have made some strides on both sides of the ball. Both the Bucs and Dolphins have high hopes for the 2011 season, but they also play in tough divisions.

This one should be a treat for the fans, but there will be no love for the home team as Miami seeks to lay claim to bragging rights in the Sunshine state.

Prediction: Dolphins 16 Buccaneers 13

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2011, 2012, Rick Gagliano, Downtown Magazine. All rights reserved. Downtown Magazine is located in the Uinted States of America and is not affiliated with the National Football League or the NCAA. For more information, contact us here. Use of this site is for entertainment purposes only.


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