Although I really wanted to start this week’s picks by bragging about the fact that I picked the Los Angeles Rams to beat the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. I’m not going to do that because I’m too humble, and also, I want to talk about the Cleveland Browns ‘ season, which is exploding faster than a battery on a Samsung phone.
If you’re reading this from inside a Jeep, please do not charge your phone if it’s made by Samsung.
That’s a public safety announcement. I like to do those once a month here.
Speaking of public safety announcements, the city of Cleveland should probably do one for the Browns quarterback job because that’s somehow become the most dangerous job in America.
Trust me, I looked it up. The three most dangerous jobs are: Browns quarterback, logger, roofer. In that order.
Basically, Cody Kessler has five days to work some sort of worker’s comp clause into his contract. Just to give you an idea of how dangerous the quarterback spot is in Cleveland, here’s what’s happened to the last four players who started at quarterback for the Browns.
Week 16, 2015: Johnny Manziel . Manziel started against the Kansas City Chiefs and suffered a concussion, which may or may not be the reason why he flew to Las Vegas and told everyone that his name was Billy.
Week 17, 2015: Austin Davis . Davis didn’t get injured in the Browns’ 2016 season finale, but his career has gone completely downhill since then, and by downhill I mean that he wasn’t even good enough to make the Browns’ roster this year. He was cut in August.
Week 1, 2016: Robert Griffin III. Griffin injured his shoulder in a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and was placed on injured reserve less than 24 hours later.
Week 2, 2016: Josh McCown . McCown also injured his shoulder, only the Browns didn’t put him on IR. However, McCown’s too banged up to play against Miami this week, which means the Browns will be starting their fifth QB in five games on Sunday.
If Super Bowls were won based on how many quarterbacks a team started each year, then the Browns would be one of the greatest dynasties in sports history.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. The only other team since 1970 to start five different quarterbacks in five straight regular season games was the 1986-87 Atlanta Falcons . The Browns probably shouldn’t look to them for inspiration though: The Falcons went 3-12 during the strike-shortened 1987 season.
The only upside to the Browns losing all their quarterbacks is that it means they had to sign a new one, and that new one was Charlie Whitehurst . Trust me when I say that there is no other quarterback in the NFL who you’d rather visit a French art museum with. This guy is living the dream.
Let’s hope he plays at least one quarter on Sunday, and if he does, let’s hope he makes all his play calls in Spanish, or one of the 57 other languages he probably knows.
Someone who doesn’t know 57 different languages is my CBSSports.com colleague Will Brinson. However, Brinson does seem to know a thing or two about picking NFL games against the spread.
In Week 2, Brinson went 12-4, which means if you would’ve bet on his picks, you probably would’ve made enough money to afford a nice collection of champagne flutes. Those things aren’t cheap, trust me, Whitehurst wouldn’t be using them if they were.
Anyway, I’m not sure if Brinson will keep his hot streak going in Week 3, but if you feel like checking out his picks, you can click here. Not only will you see Brinson’s picks, but you’ll also get the picks from every other NFL writer here at CBSSports.com.
The best part is that if enough people click over, I get a free champagne flute. It’s written into my contract.
Alright, enough jibber-jabber, let’s get to the picks.
NFL Week 3 Picks
Houston (2-0) at New England (2-0), 8:25 p.m. ET (Thursday, CBS/NFL Network/Twitter): Last week I joked that Bill Belichick could coach the New England Patriots to a win with a sock puppet at quarterback, which is now kind of ironic because I’m pretty sure we’re only one injury away from that actually happening.
The Patriots quarterback depth chart for Thursday is:
1. Jacoby Brissett
2. Belichick won’t tell us, so sock puppet can’t be ruled out.
Every time I’m convinced that there’s no way the Patriots can win a game, they end up winning the game, so I’ve given up on picking against them. If Brissett gets injured in the first quarter and Julian Edelman has to finish the game at quarterback, I’m taking the Patriots.
If the Patriots run out of quarterbacks and have to run some sort of “Super Wildcat” on offense that features six running backs and five offensive linemen, I’m still taking the Patriots, and the big reason for that is because having no quarterback is arguably better than having Brock Osweiler . I’m just kidding, that one was for all the Denver Broncos fans out there who still hate him.
The pick: Patriots 20-17 over Houston Texans .
Denver (2-0) at Cincinnati (1-1), 1 p.m. ET (CBS): This isn’t an easy game to pick and that’s mainly because it matches up the AFC team I picked to go to the Super Bowl last year (Broncos) against the AFC team that I’m picking to go to the Super Bowl this year ( Cincinnati Bengals ). Clearly, I hit the nail on the head last year, so we can probably all agree that I’ll be right again this year.
Anyway, as this random guy on Twitter knows, there’s no way the Bengals are getting to the Super Bowl this year unless they beat the Broncos in this game. It’s a fact.
If the bengals beat the broncos they going to the super bowl
— ️ (@LilDwash) September 20, 2016
Sure, you can argue that Week 3 games aren’t that important, and you’d probably be right, but me and random Twitter guy are going to ride this Bengals win on Sunday all the way to the Super Bowl.
The thing that scares me away from the Broncos here is that Trevor Siemian will be playing in his first road of the game season. Also, the Andy Dalton mathematical flow chart (Dalton + home game + 1 p.m. kickoff = unbeatable) says I can’t pick against the Bengals in this game.
By the way, in what might be the most shocking news of the season, Dalton has thrown for more yards than any other quarterback through two weeks.
The pick: Bengals 23-20 over Broncos.
Washington (0-2) at NY New York Giants (2-0), 1 p.m ET (Fox): I hope Kirk Cousins is investing the $20 million he’s getting from the Washington Redskins this year, because based on the way he’s played so far this season, there might not be much more coming after 2016. If we were to rank NFC East quarterbacks right now, Cousins probably wouldn’t even be in the top-four, which is kind of embarrassing since there’s only four teams in the division.
Today would be a good day for the Redskins to re-open Kirk Cousins contract talks.
“Here’s our offer.”
“That’s a bag of Cheetos.”
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) September 19, 2016
Things are so bad in Washington that I have to use pirate words to describe them, and this week’s pirate word is mutiny. Apparently, there’s a small mutiny brewing in the Redskins locker room.
The good news for Washington is that Cousins was actually decent against the Giants last season, throwing for over 300 yards in each game. Decent doesn’t beat every team, but I feel like it’s going to be enough to beat the Giants.
The pick: Redskins 30-27 over Giants.
Pittsburgh (2-0) at Philadelphia (2-0), 4:25 p.m. ET (CBS): I don’t want to sit here and say I’m Carson Wentz ‘s good luck charm, but he hasn’t lost a single game since I watched him play for North Dakota State last January in the FCS title game. The most shocking thing about North Dakota State’s win wasn’t how good Wentz was, it was how many people from North Dakota showed up to watch the game.
Here’s a picture of the game, which was played near Dallas. Everyone in yellow is an NDSU fan, and as you’ll probably notice, pretty much everyone’s in yellow.
That’s a lot of yellow. I didn’t even know that many people lived in North Dakota.
Since winning that game, Wentz has gone 2-0 in the NFL and looked pretty amazing while doing it. The Eagles rookie is one of only five quarterbacks since the 1970 merger to start AND win his team’s first two games of the season. The other four QBs on the list are Joe Flacco , John Elway, Mark Sanchez and someone I don’t want to mention because it’s Ryan Leaf.
Anyway, I think we all know where I’m going with this, but if you don’t, I’ll just get there now: I’m taking the Pittsburgh Steelers . That’s right, there was a twist ending to this pick. I built up Carson Wentz only to pick against him.
After two weeks of picking against the Eagles, you’d think I’d have learned my lesson, but sadly, I haven’t.
The pick: Steelers 34-27 over Eagles
Minnesota (2-0) at Carolina (1-1), 1 p.m. ET (Fox): I was watching “Pet Sematary“ over the weekend, which I’m only mentioning because I’m 98 percent sure that the Minnesota Vikings built their new stadium on an Indian burial ground. Since playing their first game at U.S. Bank Stadium on Aug. 28 (it was a preseason game), both Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson have gotten injured. The Vikings should probably tear down the new stadium and rebuild their old stadium.
On the other hand, maybe there’s no curse at all because the Vikings are 2-0 for the first time since 2009, and just like 2009, the Vikings have a quarterback who came out of nowhere to be named the starter. This year, it’s Sam Bradford . In 2009, it was Brett Favre, who didn’t sign with the team until mid-August.
Ironically enough, I’d feel a lot better about the Vikings chances of winning in Carolina on Sunday if Favre was their quarterback.
The pick: Carolina Panthers 27-20 over Vikings.
Bonus Florida picks: That’s right, you get bonus picks this week. I don’t normally break out my NFL picks by state, but we’re doing it for Florida this week because the entire state has been an utter disaster lately. As far as I know it’s the only state in the country where inmates soak their drawings in meth and then eat them.
Don’t try that at home.
It’s also the only state I know of that can produce any of the following headlines.
Anyway, if you’re wondering what this has to do with football, I think my point here is that nothing in Florida has been a bigger disaster recently than the state’s NFL teams were in Week 2.
At halftime of each of their games on Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins were trailing by a combined score of 69-3, which is kind of funny when I think about it because that reminds me of the time a man in Florida was caught with 69 guns on a 3-wheeled bicycle.
You can’t make this stuff up.
You know who does seem to be making things up though? The Jaguars and Dolphins. It’s almost like they just show up on Sundays with no game plan and then make up things as they go along. Well, I think this is the week where everything changes.
I say the state goes 3-0 on Sunday, and then after that, Florida will manage to stay out of the headlines until Election Day when it will likely implode on itself after Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump finish in a dead tie for the state’s electoral votes. Of course, that will likely lead to a recount, and if I know Florida like I do, Jeb Bush will somehow win.
Florida picks: All games being played in Florida, so expect weirdness
Jaguars 19-16 over Baltimore Ravens
Dolphins 30-20 over Browns
Buccaneers 24-17 over Rams
NFL Week 3 picks: All the rest
Arizona Cardinals 27-17 over Buffalo Bills
Tennessee Titans 33-27 over Oakland Raiders
Green Bay Packers 27-24 over Detroit Lions
Seahawks 16-10 over 49ers
Jets 24-23 over Chiefs
Indianapolis Colts 34-31 over San Diego Chargers
Dallas Cowboys 23-16 over Chicago Bears
New Orleans Saints 37-34 over Falcons
Best pick: Last week, I got crazy and picked the Rams to upset the Seahawks, and then a miracle happened: THE RAMS ACTUALLY WON. That being said, I don’t use the word miracle lightly, so I’m not going to pretend like that’s actually miracle. It’s not. The real miracle in Los Angeles would be if anyone actually gets to take advantage of the free Jumbo Jack deal that Jack-in-the-Box is offering to Rams fans this season.
That’s the worst offer in sports history.
I have no idea if those two touchdowns have to both happen in the same game or if the Rams have to score two touchdowns over the course of the entire season. Either way, it doesn’t really matter because the Rams are on pace to score zero touchdowns this year and LA is once pace to get zero free hamburgers.
Jack-in-the-Box should be giving away free burgers every time the Rams get a first down this season, and yes, I’ll be sure to leave that idea in the suggestion box the next time I’m in there.
Worst pick: Last week, I picked the Bears to beat the Eagles by a touchdown and then the Bears went out and lost by two touchdowns. Usually, this is where I say that I have no one to blame but myself, but I actually have someone to blame this week and that person is fellow CBSSports.com NFL writer, Sean Wagner-McGough. Sean is a professional Jay Cutler apologist who spends 22 hours a day defending Cutler on the internet, and I let him talk me into taking Cutler.
If I’ve learned one thing in life, it’s to never trust a Cutler apologist who has two last names, so you can bet that Bears-Eagles pick will be the last time I ever listen to Wagner-McGough.
You know what though?
Maybe this had nothing to do with Cutler. we’re heading into Week 3 and I’ve still never picked the Eagles to win a game, so maybe I should just look in the mirror and blame myself for picking them to lose. Of course, if I do that, I’ll just be distracted by my handsomeness, so it’s probably smarter just to blame Sean.
Straight up in Week 2: 8-8
SU Overall: 20-12
Against the spread in Week 1: 6-10
ATS Overall: 13-19
Source: CBS Sports / NFL Week 3 picks: Winless Redskins top Giants, Patriots upset Texans