Fearless Rick's Football Picks - Preseason Week 3 - late games

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WEEK 3 NFL Preseason

All times Eastern

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7:30 pm Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers (-5 1/2, 41) - The 0-2 Colts have faced stiff competition, losing 24-10 to Detroit before last week's 24-19 loss at Dallas, They need to start winning some games, but that a big order against the 2-0 Steelers.

Pittsburgh have conquered the Giants, 20-12, at New York, and last week, Atlanta, 17-13, at Heinz Field. As usual, the Steelers have all the ingredients to be a top team, but the Colts may just sneak in enough points to cover, and maybe even win outright.

Coin Flip: Indianapolis

Prediction: Steelers 24 Colts 21

7:30 pm Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3, 42) - The 2-0 Browns will start rookie DeShone Kizer against the 1-1 Buccaneers, and there's reason to be encouraged, as the Browns have defeated both the Saints and Giants thus far - allowing just 20 points total - and appear to be headed for a more competitive season in 2017.

Tampa Bay has played both of their games on the road, losing to Cincinnati and whipping Jacksonville, 12-8 last season, but their offense hasn't been clicking, scoring just 20 points in those two games. If ever there was a situation to take a road team and three points, this is it. The Browns have momentum, a new QB and plenty of upside.

Coin Flip: Tampa Bay

Prediction: Browns 23 Buccaneers 12

8:00 pm LA Chargers at LA Rams (-2 1/2 42) CBS - Second of five televised games this weekend for nationwide viewing isn't one that should draw a lot of attention, except in Los Angeles, of course.

The Chargers are 0-2 and appear to be heading into the regular season without a credible defense, allowing a league-high 61 points in two games. The Rams are 2-0, having bested both Dallas ands Oakland, each by a field goal. This one should be markedly easier, and higher-scoring.

Coin Flip: Los Angeles Rams

Prediction: Rams 31 Chargers 24

8:00 pm Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys (-3, 44 1/2) - Quite the preseason match-up here, with Das Prescott facing off against Derek Carr, who may be the best pure thrower in the league.

Dallas is 2-1, losing to the Rams in LA for their only loss. Despite their reputation, the Cowboys haven't been exactly overwhelming, but they are good. The 0-2 Raiders should get healthy with Carr playing longer, but their defense needs to clamp down and tighten up. If they do, an upset could be in the making.

Coin Flip: Raiders

Prediction: Raiders 26 Cowboys 24

8:00 pm Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints (- 2 1/2, 44) - As usual, New Orleans will be a threat any time they're at home and have Drew Brees behind center, so they may be a little bit of an underlay here. Having beaten the Chargers, 13-7, a week after losing at Cleveland, 20-14, the 1-1 Saints will get a warm welcome in their first game in the Superdome.

Houston managed to overthrow New England, 27-23 last week after losing at Carolina, 27-17 and appear to be well-suited for a playoff run this season. Tom Savage was named starter over rookie Deshaun Watson, which may be a mistake, as Watson is the future for the franchise. In the short term, however, it may mean a loss to the Saints.

Coin Flip: New Orleans

Prediction: Saints 23 Texans 16

9:00 pm Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos (-3, 42 1/2) - A battle of unbeaten teams, each with an agenda. Denver needs to prove they can take the AFC West after missing the playoffs at 9-7 last season, while the Packers believe they can make a run deep into the playoffs.

Aaron Rodgers vs. Trevor Siemian? No contest.

Coin Flip: Broncos

Prediction: Packers 30 Broncos 20

Sunday, August 27

1:00 pm Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans (-3, 43 1/2) FOX - First of two games on FOX is full of intrigue, featuring two young QBs - Mitchell Trubisky for the Bears and Marcus Mariota for the Titans.

Since both teams are 1-1, this should be a coin-flip kind of call. The Titans have a slight edge in terms of experience, but the Bears have the surprise factor in Trubisky. Taking the points wouldn't be the worst move in the world, though it is iffy, either way.

Coin Flip: Tennessee

Prediction: Bears 23 Titans 19

4:30 pm Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins (-3, 42 1/2) FOX - The Redskins are 0-2 after losses to Baltimore and Green Bay and QB Kirk Cousins, though workmanlike, may have reached the pinnacle of his talent. Still, that may be enough against the Bengals, 1-1, but really taking a beating last week against Kansas City, 30-12.

This being Cincinnati's first road game, it would be logical to conclude that they may not be well-suited to their role as invaders. The Bengals have some roster spots still unfilled, so they may not be going with a full tank here.

Coin Flip: Cincinnati

Prediction: Redskins 24 Bengals 14

8:00 pm San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings (-4 1/2, 42) NBC - While this is the last of a trio of nationally-televised games, it could be one which the network of Sunday Night Football regrets.

San Francisco is in the throes of rebuilding, as was evident in their 33-14 loss to Denver last week. Minnesota is 1-1 after beating Buffalo (17-10) on the road and losing at Seattle (20-13). Their first home game of the preseason should be a cakewalk over a team that has holes at too many positions to mention.

Coin Flip: San Francisco

Prediction: Vikings 34 49ers 10

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