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NFL Pro Football 2012 Week 3 Preseason Picks

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Pro Football Week 3 Preseason Picks - late games

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

Rick Gagliano | August 23-26, 2012

All times Eastern - Click here for late games.

Thursday, August 23

7:00 pm Green Bay (-3, 45 1/2) at Cincinnati - Maybe this the game that the 0-2 Packers actually wake up and start playing real football, or 2-0 Cincinnati comes back to earth on the realization that the regular season is only two weeks ahead.

This is a statistical anomaly, as the Packers have scored just 23 points while giving up 56 and the Bengals have put up 41 and allowed just 25.

With the highest over/under on this week's board, except a first-half shootout between Aaron Rodgers and Bengal QB Andy Dalton. According to the line, Rodgers will win it and get the Packers started towards winning games again. Also, expect RB Cedric Benson to mete out punishment on his former teammates.

Prediction: Packers 34 Bengals 28


7:30 pm Jacksonville at Baltimore (-7, 41) - The Jaguars beat the Saints, 27-24, last week, while the Ravens got blasted by the Lions, 27-12, so the line makes little sense from a momentum point of view.

QB Blaine Gabbert was impressive for Jacksonville, hitting 13 of 16 passes for 112 yards and two scores, while Joe Flacco was a sub-par 7-for-12 and a measly 79 yards. He threw for no touchdowns but didn't throw any picks, either, so maybe the Vegas fellows know something we don't, but we doubt it.

The Jags have much to prove and no better way to prove it but against a top defense like the Ravens are supposed to have.

Prediction: Jaguars 24 Ravens 17


8:00 pm Arizona at Tennessee (-3, 42 1/2) - Arizona got their first preseason win, beating Oakland, 31-27, after nearly blowing a 24-11 half time lead. The Cardinals turned the ball over four times, but Oakland committed three turnovers in the week's sloppiest game.

The Titans hammered Tampa Bay on the road, 30-7, and seem to be going in the right direction, despite the failure of Jake Locker (4-for-11, 21 yards). Tennessee overcame their lack of offensive thrust with some timely runs by Chris Johnson and four second half sacks that produced positive field position.

At home, the Titans should have a big edge over the Cardinals, who are still figuring out their offense.

Prediction: Titans 24 Cardinals 13


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Friday, August 24

7:30 pm Philadelphia at Cleveland (-4, 38 1/2) - There's more than just being at home to make the Browns four-point favorites. They're 2-0, though so are the Eagles, but Philly will supposedly be without the services of Michael Vick, as Nick Foles prepares for the start.

Foles was money for the Eagles last week in their 27-17 win at New England, but the Cleveland defense has been solid, allowing just 27 points over their first two preseason games.

The Browns are a dangerous team - at least in games that don't count - and may be equal to the task here.

Prediction: Browns 20 Eagles 14


7:30 pm Atlanta (-3, 41 1/2) at Miami - Both teams are 0-2, but Miami gets the nod for being at home and outscoring Carolina in the second half, 10-3, last week.

There are a lot of players who wish to make the cut in Miami, so expect the second half of this one to go their way again, but the starters will have to contain Matt Ryan, who was 18 of 21 for 174 yards and a score in the Falcons; 24-19 loss to the Bengals.

If the first string can keep the Dolphins close, the backups should finish with a flair.

Prediction: Dolphins 26 Falcons 24


7:30 pm New England (-6, 44) at Tampa Bay - The Patriots will have Tom Brady ready along with rookie speedster Jeff Demps, who signed this week after his stint at the Olympics, but the 1-1 Pats haven't looked all that good, especially against the Eagles last week in a 27-17 loss.

Tampa was slaughtered by Tennessee, 30-7, last week, but should rebound from that poor performance well enough to hang with New England, being that this is their second straight home game and the heat may be a bit oppressive for some of the New England players.

Getting six at home in the heat of August is too irresistible an opportunity to pass up. Tampa should keep this close enough to have a shot to win at the end.

Prediction: New England 23 Tampa Bay 20


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8:00 pm San Diego at Minnesota (-3, 42) - Surprisingly, this might be one of the better games of the weekend. The Vikings smashed a very weak looking Buffalo team with a barrage of second half points, winning 36-14, a real boost for a team with lots to prove.

The Chargers like to think they can win the AFC West, even though their defense needs plenty of work, which they'll get from Minnesota QB Christian Ponder, who is an underrated QB in his second season.

Should be a high scoring affair, but look for the Vikings to prevail as the Chargers are not great on the road.

Prediction: Vikings 31 Chargers 21


8:00 pm Chicago at NY Giants (-3, 41 1/2) - The Giants looked like Super Bowl champs in last week's, 26-3 embarrassment of the Jets, while the Bears eked out a 33-31 win over RG3 and the Washington Redskins.

The Bears don't have a very good record on the road against the Giants, but this game will be more about containing Eli Manning and getting the defensive players on the same pages.

New York's win over the Jets should be viewed with a degree of skepticism, because the Jets are playing a truly horrible brand of football, so expect a close outcome here with the Bears pulling off the mild upset.

Prediction: Bears 27 Giants 24


8:00 pm Seattle (-1 1/2, 42) at Kansas City - The Seahawks have the second best scoring differential in the league thus far at +30, and are 2-0 heading into Kansas City, which is not as much an imposing place to play as it once was, so they get the edge over the Chiefs, who lost a 31-17 decision at St. Louis last week and are likely happy to be back home on natural turf.

Seattle has gotten good production out of starters and reserves, especially rookie QB Russell Wilson, who was 10-17 for 155 yards and 2 TDs in their 30-10 yawner over defenseless Denver last week.

The Chiefs should probably be getting more points, but the 1 1/2 points to cover looks easy for Seattle.

Prediction: Seahawks 30 Chiefs 17

All times Eastern - Click here for late games

Copyright 2012, 2013, 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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