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NFL picks Week 3: Predicting this week's games

Jason Butt and Daniel Park take a crack at predicting who wins this week's slate of games.

Brian Bahr

Fellow Baltimore Beatdown writer Daniel Park and I have waged a friendly bet. Whoever finishes with a worse record between us buys the winner a meal at Chipotle. Daniel says he might get guac.

His 53.125 percent record is currently tied with CBS Sports' Analyst Bill Cowher, NFL Network's Adam Rank and ATL writer Dan Hanzus.

Last week he was 8-8. For the year he's 17-15.

I was 10-6 last week and am 19-13 for the season. However, my picks last week weren't published as Chuck Mills filled in and posted picks during a hectic week of Ray Rice coverage.

Anyhow, we're retroactively counting the past two weeks to our totals and will do dual picks from here on out. Ravens picks can be found on game days still.

Here are this week's picks:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons

Park's take: Atlanta tumbled down my KiPower Rankings. Fortunately for them the Bucs are looking for a light at the end of a tunnel that hasn't even been plugged in yet.

Park's pick: Falcons 30, Bucs 18

Butt's take: The Falcons bounce back this week with a strong game from Matt Ryan, who has owned the Buccaneers in previous seasons. If Gerald McCoy (broken hand) is unavailable, getting a pass rush will be tough.

Butt's pick: Falcons 31, Bucs 20

San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills

Park's take: #Scrumptious match of the week. In 2013, the Chargers notably lost three road games on the EC: Tennessee, Washington and Miami. Imagine: Buffalo stamping a victory with 3:32 left.

Park's pick: Bills 27, Chargers 21

Butt's take: Traveling to the East Coast after a huge emotional win against Seattle will be tougher than it looks. But the Chargers secondary isn't a scary bunch and Philip Rivers just proved he can go toe to toe with one of the league's best secondaries.

Butt's pick: Chargers 27, Bills 24

Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals

Park's take: The Titans aren't sure who the Titans are. After coming off a solid road win against the Chiefs., Tennessee's reality check... bounced. The Bengals have full confidence in their team's identity.

Park's pick: Bengals 28, Titans 12

Butt's take: Early on, the Bengals look like the team to beat in the AFC North. The Titans are a mixed bag. But the Titans do feature a solid defense. This game will be closer than most people may think.

Butt's pick: Bengals 23, Titans 20

Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions

Park's take: Surprisingly Julius Peppers has yet to record a sack. He'll seize opportunities on Sunday against the Lions who've allowed five sacks in two games - one to Giants' defensive end Robert Ayers and a total of four to the Panthers: 2 ½ to defensive end Mario Addison and 1 ½ to defensive tackle Dwan Edwards.

Park's pick: Packers 24, Lions 23

Butt's take: The Packers defense has been disappointing to start the year. It should give quarterback Matthew Stafford the perfect opportunity for a bounceback game. This game has the makings of another shootout.

Butt's pick: Lions 34, Packers 31

Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars

Park's take: The angry Colts cook the Jaguars and help themselves to their first win of the season. Er-ic Wal-den.

Park's pick: Colts 31, Jaguars 9

Butt's take: If you're a fantasy owner, start Ahmad Bradshaw if you can. This may be the week the Colts realize they have to make him the starter and true No. 1 back.

Butt's pick: Colts 38, Jaguars 16

Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots

Park's take: The Raiders don't miss a beat, falling to 0-3. The Patriots stay thunderous courtesy of Tom Brady's six touchdown passes.

Park's pick: Patriots 45, Raiders 9

Butt's take: Tom Brady hasn't been able to put up any gaudy numbers thus far. That changes this week. The Patriots air it out in the first half and roll against a hapless bunch of Raiders that don't belong on the same field.

Butt's pick: Patriots 38, Raiders 13

Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints

Park's take: With two ugly losses in a row, #SaintsSteamroll is now in session. First casualty: Viking.

Park's pick: Saints 38, Vikings 16

Butt's take: The Ravens were able to deal with the Ray Rice distraction. Can the Vikings? I don't think they have the locker room to be able to. Saints win big.

Butt's pick: Saints 45, Vikings 14

Houston Texans at New York Giants

Park's take: Victor Cruz busts out his salsa dance and fancy footwork on a beautiful Sunday afternoon (hat trick alert). Eli Manning finally takes command and runs the offense like it's supposed to be run.

Park's pick: Giants 30, Texans 18

Butt's take: The Giants season is starting the way last season started - horribly. That won't change this week as Houston's defense looks like the real deal in Bill O'Brien's first season as an NFL head coach.

Butt's pick: Texans 24, Giants 17

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

Park's take: DeSean Jackson's attempt to return and give the Eagles a run for their money - a price that Philly declined to grant their star wideout for reasons still hazy to this day - falls short. Close game, only because Kirk Cousin gets the start.

Park's pick: Eagles 30, Redskins 23

Butt's take: The Eagles haven't been great in the red zone to start the season. And this Washington team has a better defense than advertised. But will Kirk Cousins be able to succeed against a legitimate team? Not this Sunday.

Butt's pick: Eagles 28, Redskins 17

Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams

Park's take: With Orlando Scandrick eligible to return for Sunday's game, shouldn't the Cowboys have little-to-no excuse for losing? He'll cover Rams slot receiver Stedman Bailey, who also had his suspension lifted, like Scandrick, due to the new agreement over the substance abuse policy between the NFL and The NFLPA. They'll appear to bark at each other on your TV screens but the whole time they're asking each other for advice.

Park's pick: Cowboys 28, Rams 15

Butt's take: The Rams have been a huge disappointment, though a lot of that has to do with Sam Bradford's preseason injury. But the Cowboys feature a bottom 10 defense. This game is close but the Cowboys get a win.

Butt's pick: Cowboys 24, Rams 21

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Park's take: Sending my condolences early this week, my heart goes out to those in San Francisco.

Park's pick: Cardinals 24, 49ers 21

Butt's take: The 49ers took a horrible loss last week against the Bears, giving up three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. That doesn't happen this week. The Niners get after the quarterback - most likely Drew Stanton unless Carson Palmer's nerve decides to wake up - and get a road win.

Butt's pick: 49ers 23, Cardinals 21

Kansas City Chiefs at Miami Dolphins

Park's take: No joke. This game could end in a tie. Read Butt's take.

Park's pick: Dolphins 20, Chiefs 17 (OT)

Butt's take: Knowshon Moreno is out with a dislocated elbow, which is a huge blow to the Dolphins' running game. Lamar Miller isn't one to be counted on as a three-down back, which should allow the Chiefs to spend extra attention on Ryan Tannehill.

Butt's pick: Chiefs 27, Dolphins 20

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks

Park's take: Wes Welker's return means the world for Peyton Manning, who was getting fed up with Julius Thomas' route running. Manning's meticulous ways hits new heights as he vigorously studies the Seahawks-Chargers game film all week. Whether he's at dinner, on the commode, Manning has "W" on his mind like ... Wario's cap.

Park's pick: Broncos 26, Seahawks 23 (OT)

Butt's take: The Broncos won't revenge. But in front of the 12th man, with the Seahawks coming off a loss? Not happening.

Butt's pick: Seahawks 30, Broncos 27

Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers

Park's take: Cam Newton vs. Big Ben. Juicy matchup for the Steelers to redeem themselves after last week's mishap. They w/don't.

Park's pick: Panthers 22, Steelers 21

Butt's take: The Panthers' defense has staked a claim as one of the NFL's best. The Steelers haven't been able to stop a nosebleed yet.

Butt's pick: Panthers 27, Steelers 17

Chicago Bears at New York Jets

Park's take: My power pick is saved for the final hand of the session. The Bears tend to get streaky while the Jets defense is giving up 52.5 rushing yards per game. That's against names like Eddie Lacy, Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden. Matt Forte, you're next.

Park's pick: Jets 35, Bears 23

Butt's take: A lot of this hinges on Eric Decker and if the Jets' offense can pose a deep option in the receiving game. The Bears will score more points on the Jets than most teams due to their balance on offense. But the Jets can go toe for toe if Decker's available. Still going with the Bears in the end, though.

Butt's pick: Bears 31, Jets 28