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Pats Pulpit Week 3 Dueling NFL Picks

Alec Shane and Greg Knopping make their picks for week three of the 2012 NFL season:

Patriots at Ravens

Alec: You think people are panicking now? Wait until New England drops its second straight game to fall to 1-2; you ain't seen nothing yet. We are about to enter full-on Crisis Mode here. Ravens 24, Patriots 20

Greg: There are a lot of factors working against the Patriots here. Home field advantage, no Aaron Hernandez, an angry Ravens team looking for revenge from the AFC Championship... it all adds up to a tough Patriots loss. Ravens 24, Patriots 20

Giants at Panthers

Alec: The Giants only tend to show up when they are in real trouble, and this game isn't do-or-die for them. Plus Hakeem Nicks is out, and Tom Coughlin may finally have gotten too crotchety for his own good. Panthers 28, Giants 27

Greg: This is a tough one for me to pick - both teams looked flat in week one, but came away with week two victories. I was much more impressed by the Panther's all-around win over the Saints. Panthers 30, Giants 23

Rams at Bears

Alec: Both of these teams surprised last week, one by playing well and the other by playing poorly. I can't see the Bears dropping a game at home against the Rams; expect Cutler and company to right the ship on Sunday. Bears 35, Rams 14

Greg: Sam Bradford had arguably his best game as a pro Sunday against the Redskins, and the question is, will he show up again? Meanwhile, the Bears disappointed Sunday, but are the better overall team. I'll take them in a close one. Bears 27, Rams 24

Bills at Browns

Alec: Upset of the week? Would it be considered an upset if the Browns beat the Bills? I guess it would. Regardless, while I think that Cleveland is a weak team, they aren't nearly as bad as their record states. They just need some confidence from the quarterback, and I think this is the week where he starts to find it. Browns 20, Bills 17

Greg: In week two, the Bills looked like the team many thought they would week one. I'm not a strong believer in the team, but I still think they're a lot better than the Browns. Bills 27, Browns 10

Rest of the picks after the jump!

Jaguars at Colts

Alec: This game is a coin toss, and I mean that literally. I flipped a coin to pick the winner here, and it came up heads. So Jacksonville it is. Jaguars 21, Colts 13

Greg: Andrew Luck impressed with a strong win over the Vikings in week two, and he'll move above .500 in his career with a win over the division rival Jaguars. Colts 24 Jaguars 16

Buccaneers at Cowboys

Alec: The Cowboys played horribly last week, which means that they will look solid this week. Tampa is likely to struggle against a fairly good Cowboys secondary, and Dallas will get themselves back on track. Cowboys 28, Buccaneers 10

Greg: The Bucs added a lot of talent this offseason, and Greg Schiano has made this team grow up... fast. I'm really close to being a believer, but not quite yet. The good side of the bi-polar Cowboys will show up this week. Cowboys 27, Buccaneers 24

Jets at Dolphins

Alec: Reggie Bush singlehandedly cost me my fantasy matchup last week - there's no way he does it again. I really want to pick the Dolphins here, but I just can't do it. Mark Sanchez isn't nearly as good as he looked Week 1, nor is he as bad as he looked Week 2. This is the game where he evens out. Jets 20, Dolphins 7

Greg: The Jets walked into a really hostile Heinz field on Sunday, and actually played a really strong first half against the Steelers. Miami also surprised in week two, but I like the Jets to right the ship in this one. Jets 19 Dolphins 13

Bengals at Redskins

Alec: I really like what I'm seeing out of RG3, but at the moment Cincy is just a more well-rounded team. Benjarvus Green-Ellis is doing a great job as the workhorse back, and Andy Dalton has enough receiving threats to make the team dangerous. Bengals 34, Redskins 20

Greg: Yeah, I'm still on the RGIII bandwagon. And honestly, these look like two similarly talented teams to me, so I'm going with the Redskins at home. Redskins 24, Bengals 21

Chiefs at Saints

Alec: Who would have thought that these two teams would be playing a must-win game this early in the season? The loser of this one drops to 0-3 and faces a serious uphill climb for the rest of the year. I gotta pick the Saints here - but I'm not as confident about the pick as I should be. Saints 30, Chiefs 20

Greg: The Chiefs and Saints are both looking to avoid the dreaded 0-3 start. But there's just no way the Saints lose this one at home, right? Saints 34 Chiefs 16

Lions at Titans

Alec: Sorry, Jake Locker. You're going to have to wait another week to get your win. The Lions are starting to find a rhythm and Matthew Stafford won't be throwing four picks this Sunday. Lions 27, Titans 13

Greg: Thanks Locker, for letting me down last week when I picked your Titans. Appreciate that one. Lions 31 Titans 14

49ers at Vikings

Alec: For some reason, I really, really want to pick the Vikings to take this game. My gut just tells me that Minnesota is going to win. But, since I'm an idiot, I'm going to ignore my instinct and go with the safe bet here. 49ers 27, Vikings 17

Greg: Alec, I wouldn't trust your gut too often if it's telling you to pick the Vikings in this one. Good thing you listened to sound reason instead. 49ers 31, Vikings 13

Eagles at Cardinals

Alec: I saw first-hand the effectiveness of Arizona's front 7 last week. I also have yet to see anything from Vick that blows me away. The Eagles are a better team than the Cardinals - but so are the Pats. We all know what happened there. Cardinals 14, Eagles 10

Greg: The Eagles have somehow escaped the first two weeks of the season with extremely narrow victories. I think they'll win narrowly against the Cardinals once again. Eagles 20, Cardinals 19

Falcons at Chargers

Alec: This should be a great matchup; two teams that have been known to struggle early in the season are undefeated thus far and looking strong right now. I like Atlanta in this one, as the passing game looks great and I think that this is the week that Michael Turner finds his legs - assuming, of course, he plays. Stupid DUI. Falcons 30, Chargers 21

Greg: This is without a doubt one of the best week three match-ups. The Chargers have historically struggled to start the season, but have gotten off to a 2-0 start. The Falcons however, continue to be underrated. And if I've learned one thing through two weeks of the season: don't pick against them. Falcons 27, Chargers 24

Steelers at Raiders

Alec: I ignored my gut for the 49ers/Vikings game, but I'm not going to ignore it here. I think the Raiders will take this one. Pittsburgh looks old, and Oakland has a lot of talent; they just need to put it together. Raiders 26, Steelers 20

Greg: Many are looking at this match-up as a potential upset. I don't see it. The Raiders looked dreadful in a blowout loss to the Dolphins in week two and the Steelers are not only the better team, but are coming a very impressive second half against the Jets. Steelers 30 Raiders 17

Texans at Broncos

Alec: The Texans are the best team in the AFC right now. The Broncos are not, in spite of what you may have heard for the past year, an unstoppable led by the greatest anybody who ever did anything. If the Falcons can give Peyton Manning trouble, then the Texans D should be able to as well. Texans 17, Broncos 13

Greg: Peyton Manning has historically handled the Texans, but he'll be in for quite a battle today. These aren't the same Texans Peyton beat up on for most of the last decade. This team is arguably the elite of the AFC and the NFL right now. Texans 24, Broncos 20

Packers at Seahawks

Alec: Aaron Rodgers won't have two bad games in a row, even if he is playing in Seattle. CenturyLink field is an absolute madhouse during 1 PM games shown on local cable; I can't even imagine what it's going to be like on a Monday night. Regardless, the Packers simply have too much talent for the Seahawks to handle. Packers 35, Seahawks 10

Greg: We all thought the Seahawks looked bad in a close week one loss to the Cardinals. Now, suddenly, the Cardinals are 2-0... so perhaps that week one loss wasn't as bad as we thought, especially since they trounced the Cowboys in week two. We should find out a lot about this Seahawks team Monday Night, although I don't think they will have enough to top the Packers. Packers 31, Seahawks 20