Bing Predicts: NFL Week 3

Written by:
September 19, 2018
Sam Greenwood

Bing Predicts: NFL Week 3

It was another phenomenal, captivating week of football in the NFL. Week 2 saw the best combined passing statistics in the history of the league. That’s right, the best week of passing ever recorded. Together, NFL passers had a rating of 102.6 and a completion percentage of 69.4 (all records), and Week 2 set the record for highest individual pass yards per game (278.6).

Again, an excellent slate of games comes this week, with a few exceptional highlights to look out for:

--Saints @ Falcons: A rivalry game that should bring offensive fireworks. Keep an eye on Alvin Kamara (Saints) and Julio Jones (Falcons) after both were held in check last week.

--49ers @ Chiefs: A battle of two young gunslingers. The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes II is off to a historic start to this NFL season. Can Jimmy Garoppolo keep pace?

--Chargers @ Rams: The Battle for LA. Expect a parade of points from these two high-powered offenses.

--Steelers @ Buccaneers: Is anyone having more fun than Ryan Fitzpatrick? Can he keep the ‘Fitzmagic’ rolling, or will the Steelers grab their first victory of the season?

Guiding you through every game is Bing Predicts, which leverages search, social, and historical statistics to forecast the week’s winners and losers. Read on for Week 3 predictions.

ALSO: see how Bing predicted the entire season here.


New York Jets (1-1-0) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-1-1)

New York Jets vs. Cleveland Browns

Game time: Thursday, Sept. 20 8:20 PM EST

Historical matchup: Cleveland Browns lead series 13-12-0

While a primetime game containing the Browns and the Jets is typically something to avoid as a football fan, this Week 3 matchup brings with it some interesting storylines.

The Cleveland Browns are in desperate need of some good fortune after another heartbreaking loss to the Saints in  Week 2. It’s tough to feel lonelier than now-former Browns kicker Zane Gonzalez -- the second-year man missed two extra points (one that would have given Cleveland a late lead) and two field goals (one that would have tied the game at the end of regulation). The Browns have waived Gonzalez and signed rookie kicker Greg Joseph, who spent training camp with the Miami Dolphins.

To the surprise of many, Cleveland passed on rookie quarterback Sam Darnold with the first pick in April’s draft in favor of Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. The Jets quickly scooped up Darnold, now the team’s starter, at No. 3. Darnold has shown flashes of the great QB New York hopes he’ll become. Can Darnold make the Browns pay for passing on him earlier this spring, or will Cleveland finally break their winless streak? New York has been victorious the last five times the teams have met.


Bing Predicts: Cleveland Browns

Bing Predicts Winner: Cleveland Browns

See more on the Cleveland Browns 

Cincinnati Bengals (2-0-0) vs. Carolina Panthers (1-1-0)

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Carolina Panthers

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 1:00 PM EST

Historical matchup: The series is tied 2-2-1

Are the Cincinnati Bengals and their 2-0 record for real? Their matchup Sunday against the Carolina Panthers should be a good indication. The Panthers have won seven of their last nine home games, which is likely why they opened as favorites against the undefeated Bengals.

If Cincinnati can remain undefeated, the squad will have won as the underdog in each of its first three games of the season. Quarterback Andy Dalton was incredible on Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens in a 34-23 victory, throwing four touchdowns in the first half (three to receiver A.J. Green).

Carolina hopes to rebound from a tough divisional loss to the Atlanta Falcons. QB Cam Newton had a strong outing, but the offense was plagued by numerous dropped passes including a would-be touchdown to Ian Thomas, and a dump pass that bounced off of C.J. Anderson and resulted in an interception.


Bing Predicts: Cincinnati Bengals

Bing Predicts Winner: Cincinnati Bengals

See more on the Cincinnati Bengals 

Buffalo Bills (0-2-0) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-0-1)

Buffalo Bills vs. Minnesota Vikings

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 1:00 PM EST

Historical matchup: Minnesota Vikings lead series 8-5-0

There doesn’t seem to be a good deal of faith in the Buffalo Bills after what they’ve displayed through the first two weeks of the season. The Bills travel to Minneapolis this Sunday, and oddsmakers have Buffalo as a 16.5 point underdog. This marks only the second time since 2014 that a team other than the New England Patriots is favored by more than 16 after opening lines are released.

The winless Bills take on one of the NFL’s best pass rushes and most dangerous offenses in a Vikings team looking to rebound from a 29-29 tie in Green Bay last Sunday. Minnesota rallied to score 22 fourth quarter points to send the game to overtime, but a missed field goal by Vikings rookie kicker Daniel Carlson at the end of the extra period left the game locked in a tie.

Carlson was 0-of-3 on Sunday and was just 1-of-4 on the season. Minnesota cut Daniel Carlson and signed Dan Bailey earlier this week.  Expect the Vikings to win by a large margin.


Bing Predicts: Minnesota Vikings

Bing Predicts Winner: Minnesota Vikings

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Indianapolis Colts (1-1-0) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1-0)

Indianapolis Colts vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 1:00 PM EST

Historical matchup: Indianapolis Colts lead series 10-9-0

Eagles fans, rejoice! Carson Wentz was lost late last season to a torn ACL, but the electric young quarterback will make his season debut Sunday when Philadelphia welcomes the Colts.

While backup Nick Foles played better than anyone could have asked for in the absence of Wentz, the team will be excited to get the third-year quarterback, who was on track to be last season’s MVP, back into the swing of things. Last week, Foles and the Eagles’ comeback attempt fell just short, and the red-hot Tampa Bay Buccaneers held off Philly 27-21.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is starting to look like the player he was before an injury that kept him away from football for 585 days. Despite throwing two interceptions on Sunday, the seventh-year player engineered a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter, capped off by a 3-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton, to seal an Indianapolis victory. Luck finished with two touchdown tosses.

The Eagles hope to get back on the winning track this Sunday at home. Expect their tenacious defense to spend a lot of time in the Colts backfield putting pressure on Luck.  


Bing Predicts: Philadelphia Eagles

Bing Predicts Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

See more on the Philadelphia Eagles

Oakland Raiders (0-2-0) vs. Miami Dolphins (2-0-0)

Oakland Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 1:00 PM EST

Historical matchup: Oakland Raiders lead series 20-17-1

Fans in Miami have something to be excited about -- the Dolphins are off to their best start since 2013, and head coach Adam Gase seems to have found a good rhythm in his third season with the clipboard. Don’t consider them a playoff contender just yet, though. While 2-0, they won by just one score against both the Titans and the Jets.

Miami has a good chance to stay undefeated this week. The Oakland Raiders have been less-than-impressive in Jon Gruden’s second stint with the team. After being blown out by the Rams in Week 1, the Raiders squandered a 19-7 second half lead and lost on a Broncos field goal with six seconds left. A silver lining for the Raiders: quarterback Derek Carr threw the ball exceptionally well in the loss, going 29-of-32 for 288 yards. Carr needed a bounce-back game after his three interceptions last week and being called out by Gruden.

Oakland won 27-24 in Miami last season. While the Dolphins are favored, this game is one that could go either way.   


Bing Predicts: Miami Dolphins

Bing Predicts Winner: Miami Dolphins

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Denver Broncos (2-0-0) vs. Baltimore Ravens (1-1-0)

Denver Broncos vs. Baltimore Ravens

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 1:00 PM EST

Historical matchup: Baltimore Ravens lead series 7-6-0

Denver will try to stay undefeated on the road this Sunday in Baltimore. The Broncos won narrowly in each of their first two games, using fourth quarter drives and last-second field goals by Brandon McManus to secure victories. New addition at quarterback, Case Keenum, has given Denver just enough up to this point. Keenum, who signed a two-year, $36 million contract in the offseason, was a pedestrian 19-of-35 for 222 yards and an interception, but helped orchestrate the game-winning march.

The Ravens fell to Cincinnati last Thursday, but come into Sunday’s game with much needed extra rest. The team is preparing to be without three-time Pro Bowl linebacker C.J. Mosley who bruised his left knee in Week 2.  

These two teams haven’t played one another since 2015 when the Broncos won 19-13 in Denver. This time around, the Ravens should have a slight edge at home if quarterback Joe Flacco can be the player he was Week 1.


Bing Predicts: Baltimore Ravens

Bing Predicts Winner: Baltimore Ravens

See more on the Baltimore Ravens

New York Giants (0-2-0) vs. Houston Texans (0-2-0)

New York Giants vs. Houston Texans

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 1:00 PM EST

Historical matchup: New York Giants lead series 3-1-0

The Houston Texans and New York Giants have both had disappointing starts to the season. The Texans finally come home to NRG Stadium after losses to New England and Tennessee on the road. The Texans hope to avoid their second loss in as many games to first-year head coaches -- the team fell to Mike Vrabel last week and will face Pat Shurmur, who took over for former Giants coach Ben McAdoo, on Sunday.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson hasn’t returned to the player he was before suffering a torn ACL last season in his rookie campaign. Watson’s late-game clock mismanagement in Week 2 shows that the young QB still has growth to undergo.

The Giants are coming off of a dismal 3-13 record in 2017, and while still winless this season (both losses were one-score games), they have some reason to be excited about the future. Rookie running back Saquon Barkley has shown signs of promise over the past two games, even if the numbers don’t exactly indicate it. Barkley caught 14 passes out of the backfield last week, but for only 80 yards, which has never happened in NFL history.

The Giants’ stagnant offense will need to find ways to be more creative with Barkley and incorporate the now highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL, Odell Beckham Jr. (just four catches for 51 yards in Week 2).


Bing Predicts: Houston Texans

Bing Predicts Winner: Houston Texans

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San Francisco 49ers (1-1-0) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0-0)

San Francisco 49ers vs. Kansas City Chiefs

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 1:00 PM EST

Historical matchup: San Francisco 49ers lead series 7-5-0

The Kansas City Chiefs and their juggernaut offense look unstoppable right now, and second-year quarterback Patrick Mahomes II is an early-season MVP candidate. Mahomes has a record-setting 10 touchdown passes through his first two games (both of which were road games).

The San Francisco 49ers are hoping to groom their own franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, who is off to a decent start this season. The 26-year-old, who was traded from the New England Patriots last season, had two touchdown passes and zero interceptions last week. Garoppolo did make one tragic mistake in the game, though, when he threw a late-game pass directly into the arms of the Lions’ Tracy Walker, but the play was nullified because of a penalty.

Garoppolo, who was obviously very happy to see a flag on the field that helped preserve a win, will have to be as close to mistake-free as he’s been in his NFL career thus far. He’ll be asked to put the ball in the air a lot if the Niners want to keep up with a potent Chiefs offense.


Bing Predicts: Kansas City Chiefs

Bing Predicts Winner: Kansas City Chiefs

See more on the Kansas City Chiefs

Tennessee Titans (1-1-0) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-0-0)

Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 1:00 PM EST

Historical matchup: Tennessee Titans lead series 27-20-0

The Tennessee Titans pulled off magic last week when they took down the Houston Texans 20-17 despite missing their starting quarterback, Marcus Mariota, and both starting offensive tackles, Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin. Backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert was 13-of-20 with a touchdown.

It likely doesn’t matter who starts at quarterback for the Titans, as the Jaguars are firing on all cylinders. Jacksonville’s now-explosive offense was responsible for 481 yards against the Patriots in Week 2, and quarterback Blake Bortles played the best game of his career throwing for four touchdowns and 377 yards, in the 31-20 victory.

Still, its offense isn’t what makes Jacksonville the treacherous Super Bowl contender it has come to be. The defense, anchored by starters Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack, is arguably the best in the league.

Whether or not the Titans are at full strength, which remains up in the air, the road to victory in Jacksonville on Sunday is daunting. Tennessee beat Jacksonville in the last game of the 2017 season to clinch its first playoff berth in eight seasons, but the Jaguars had already clinched a berth before the game started.


Bing Predicts: Jacksonville Jaguars

Bing Predicts Winner: Jacksonville Jaguars

See more on the Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints (1-1-0) vs. Atlanta Falcons (1-1-0)

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 1:00 PM EST

Historical matchup: Atlanta Falcons lead series 52-46-0

These two NFC South rivals were picked to finish in the top two spots of their division, but have been overshadowed by the early success of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. One of these teams will improve to 2-1 on Sunday, but neither has looked particularly impressive through the first two weeks of the season.

The Saints eked out a 21-18 victory over the Browns on Sunday, needing Cleveland to leave eight points off the board when kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two field goals and two extra points.

Atlanta looked better last week after an underwhelming 18-12 loss to the Eagles in Week 1. Quarterback Matt Ryan accounted for four touchdowns (two through the air, two on the ground) in Atlanta’s 31-24 victory over Carolina.

This series has been extremely competitive -- since the 2012 season, the teams have split 12 contests. Neither of these Super Bowl hopefuls wants to drop to 1-2; expect a hard-fought battle this Sunday.


Bing Predicts: Atlanta Falcons

Bing Predicts Winner: Atlanta Falcons

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Green Bay Packers (1-0-1) vs. Washington Redskins (1-1-0)

Green Bay Packers vs. Washington Redskins

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 1:00 PM EST

Historical matchup: Green Bay Packers lead series 20-15-1

Green Bay hopes to bounce back from a bizarre 29-29 tie against the Minnesota Vikings. A late-game interception by Jaire Alexander would have sealed a Packers victory, but a very questionable roughing the passer penalty was called on Clay Matthews which negated the turnover. The Vikings capitalized, tying the game with a touchdown and two-point conversion.

Washington started the season with a dominant victory over the Arizona Cardinals, but regressed last week, losing 21-9 to the Indianapolis Colts and mustering only 65 yards on the ground.

The Redskins got the best of Green Bay in their last meeting, taking down the Packers 42-24 at FedEx Field two seasons ago. The Redskins host the Packers again, but don’t anticipate a Washington blowout this time around. Green Bay, despite giving up 52 points through the first two weeks, has a defensive unit that has shown impressive signs under defensive coordinator Mike Pettine.

Washington will face its biggest test of the season to this point. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, playing with a knee injury, was effective last week and will look to expose a defense that generated almost no pressure against the Colts, and could not get off the field on third down.

Bing Predicts: Green Bay Packers

Bing Predicts Winner: Green Bay Packers

See more on the Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Chargers (1-1-0) vs. Los Angeles Rams (2-0-0)

Los Angeles Chargers vs. Los Angeles Rams

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 4:05 PM EST

Historical matchup: Los Angeles Rams lead series 6-5-0

It’s the inaugural battle of Los Angeles -- the Rams (formerly of St. Louis) and Chargers (formerly of San Diego) will face off for the first time in their new city. The Rams have looked like one of the best teams in football through the first two games of the season and open as seven-point favorites against a Chargers team that easily handled the Buffalo Bills in Week 2.

Jared Goff has gotten off to an impressive start in his third year -- he has three touchdowns and 587 yards through two games. All-Pro running back Todd Gurley II is building on an incredible 2017 season where he amassed over 1300 yards and 13 touchdowns: he already has four TDs this season.

The Rams defense held the hapless Arizona Cardinals scoreless in their 34-0 routing. Don’t expect Philip Rivers and a dangerous Chargers offense to be shut out, but there is no reason to pick against the Rams until they give reason to.


Bing Predicts: Los Angeles Rams

Bing Predicts Winner: Los Angeles Rams

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Dallas Cowboys (1-1-0) vs. Seattle Seahawks (0-2-0)

Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 4:25 PM EST

Historical matchup: Dallas Cowboys lead series 10-8-0

The Seahawks haven’t given star quarterback Russell Wilson much of a chance with their atrocious offensive line play. Granted, the team has faced two of the NFL’s elite pass rushers in back-to-back weeks in Von Miller (Broncos) and Khalil Mack (Bears), but Wilson has been sacked 11 times through two games -- something that hasn’t occurred since it happened to Chad Henne in 2014.

Dallas took home a big 20-13 victory over the division rival New York Giants last week on Sunday Night Football. Quarterback Dak Prescott had only 160 yards passing, but took care of the football and finished with a serviceable 95.4 passer rating.

While the Seattle defense has been decent to start the season -- particularly Shaquill Griffin who had two interceptions on Monday in the 24-17 loss to the Chicago Bears -- they are no longer the squad that became known as the Legion of Boom. The offensive line has given no reason to suggest they can protect Wilson. The only thing going for Seattle on Sunday is their record at home in September: the team has not lost at home in September since Pete Carroll took over as head coach in 2010.


Bing Predicts: Seattle Seahawks

Bing Predicts Winner: Seattle Seahawks

See more on the Seattle Seahawks

Chicago Bears (1-1-0) vs. Arizona Cardinals (0-2-0)

Chicago Bears vs. Arizona Cardinals

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 4:25 PM EST

Historical matchup: Chicago Bears lead series 56-28-6

The Arizona Cardinals have quickly proven to be one of the worst teams in football. Having been outscored 58-6 so far this season and showing zero signs of promise, they aren’t expected to have a chance against a revitalized Chicago Bears team this Sunday.

The acquisition of All-Pro linebacker Khalil Mack has made an instant impact for Chicago. Through two games, Mack has six tackles (eight combined), two sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception returned for a touchdown. The new Monster of the Midway helps bolster a defense that is quickly being recognized as one of the best in football.

If second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky can have even a percentage of the success he’s had so far this year, the Bears should see no issues taking down the Cardinals.


Bing Predicts: Chicago Bears

Bing Predicts Winner: Chicago Bears

See more on the Chicago Bears

New England Patriots (1-1-0) vs. Detroit Lions (0-2-0)

New England Patriots vs. Detroit Lions

Game time: Sunday, Sept. 23 8:20 PM EST

Historical matchup: New England Patriots lead series 7-4-0

The Sunday night game features one team who has played in three of the last four Super Bowls and another who has yet to play in a Super Bowl. The Lions and Patriots have existed on opposite ends of the spectrum as it relates to success over the past several years, and through the first two games of their 2018 campaign, it doesn’t appear the winless Lions are poised to make leaps anytime soon.

While not much history exists between these two franchises, there is familiarity between the Patriots and Lions’ first-year head coach Matt Patricia, the former defensive coordinator in New England.

The Patriots could be without defensive back Patrick Chung and defensive lineman Trey Flowers -- both left Sunday’s game with concussion-like symptoms. Detroit also saw their Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay exit Sunday’s contest with a concussion.

New England was outplayed last week by a talented Jacksonville Jaguars squad, falling 31-20, but the team did gain a new offensive weapon this week after trading for Josh Gordon. The bad news for the Lions is the Patriots haven’t lost back-to-back regular season games since 2015.

Bing Predicts: New England Patriots

Bing Predicts Winner: New England Patriots

See more on the New England Patriots

Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0-0)

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Game time: Monday, Sept. 24 8:15 PM EST

Historical matchup: Pittsburgh Steelers lead series 8-2-0

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and ‘Fitzmagic’ have been the biggest surprise in football thus far. The 35-year-old journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was simply filling in for the suspended Jameis Winston through the first three games of the 2018 season, has created a QB controversy in Tampa Bay. Fitzpatrick has thrown for 819 yards and eight touchdowns already this season.

The Buccaneers, expected to finish at the bottom of the NFC South, are still not receiving the credit they might deserve after their two upset victories over the Saints and the defending Super Bowl Champion Eagles, respectively. The Steelers are still favored on the road this Monday.

Pittsburgh, a team yet to record a victory this season, desperately missed cornerback Joe Haden last week as the defense gave up six touchdowns through the air. Some optimism came in the form of a tweet from Haden, who wrote, “I’ll be back soon,” after being ruled out of last Sunday’s game.

Pittsburgh’s star wideout Antonio Brown struck fear into the hearts of Steelers fans by responding to a critic’s tweet and suggesting the team trade him, then subsequently not reporting to work on Monday. However, he did show up to the team facility on Wednesday, and thus should be playing come Monday night.

Bing Predicts: Pittsburg Steelers

Bing Predicts Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

See more on the Pittsburg Steelers


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