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NFL Week 3 game picks: Lions top Broncos; Eagles fall again

Hard to believe Week 3 is already upon us ...

Kam with a "K" is back. Cam with a "C" is looking to go 3-0. John Footballisn't getting to play with his football this weekend.

Chancellor's return to the Seahawks should signal dominance ahead for their defense, although I'm not sure they'll need him versus the Bears. Then again, after the way things went last week with this picks column -- with literally every close game going against your friendly writer -- nothing is for certain.

I can guarantee one thing: Your team's score is below. Seriously love hearing your guys' take, especially when it agrees with mine. So hit me up on the Twitter ... @HarrisonNFL is the place.

Elliot Harrison went 5-11 on his predictions for Week 2, giving him a record of 16-16 so far this season. How will he fare in Week 3? His picks are below.

Brandon Weeden gives it a solid college try. It's not enough. Sans the injured Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Orlando Scandrick and Randy Gregory and the suspended Rolando McClain and Greg Hardy, the Cowboys don't have the horses to keep up with Matt Ryan and that Falcons offense. The key matchup will be Julio Jones versus Brandon Carr, considering Jones versus anybody pretty much works in Atlanta's favor. Carr has been so-so, but Jones? Freaking unstoppable. How does 22 catches for 276 yards and two scores (and thisclose to a third) in two games sound? Like another Falcons win. #riseup #ATLvsDAL

Trusting you've seen the numbers through two games, Colts faithful. Andrew Luck has turned the ball over six times, while the running game has sputtered along at 78.5 yards per game (with 44 of the 157 total ground yards coming from Luck). Without him, Indy has rushed for 113 yards at 3.4 yards per clip. That's not to say Luck himself hasn't struggled -- his 58.9 passer rating is the lowest in the league by a wide margin. Meanwhile, Marcus Mariota is first in the NFL with a passer rating of 129.9.

Mariota at the top, Luck at the bottom ... if you saw that coming, I bet you also knew the Honda Element would actually sell. My dad had a rust-colored one. You could wash it out with a water hose. The bottom line is, the Titans don't match up well with this Indy offense, and Tennessee is more than susceptible to the big play. #INDvsTEN

That's right: We're not going against Oakland three weeks in a row. Raiders QB Derek Carr showed too much moxie last week for such shenanigans. By the way, do you know which Raider was the NFL MVP 30 years ago? (@HarrisonNFL) The question is only posed because it would be nice to see Oakland's Latavius Murray get the rock as much as that guy did in 1985. Murray only had 15 rushing attempts last week and 11 the week before. Cleveland has been running the football, as evidenced by John Football's scant 15 passing attempts in last week's win over the Titans. On the season, the Browns have run 58 times against 52 pass plays. #OAKvsCLE

Baltimore doesn't fall to 0-3 in front of the home crowd. The Bengals have certainly been one of the best teams in pro football through two weeks, moving into the top five in the Power Rankings this week, in fact. But on Sunday, they fall in a stadium where they've had their share of troubles over the years. Cincinnati is 2-5 versus Joe Flacco in Baltimore. Andy Dalton, who is off to a fast getoff thus far, played in four of those game, and he struggled mightily, posting eight turnovers. This has the potential to be the game of the week, with Baltimore's season on the line. Ravens win. #CINvsBAL

So the winning streak stops at one game for Jacksonville. We're not going with a blowout, as Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (another viable fantasy start) should make it interesting late. As we pointed out in the Power Rankings this week, the Patriots' defense has struggled quite a bit, the team's lofty perch aside. First and foremost, the Pats must contain Jacksonville receiver Allen Robinson, who destroyed what was thought to be a solid Dolphins D last week (putting up 155 yards and two scores on six catches). Although the Jaguars' defense should be a top-15 unit this year, I don't see them having an answer for Rob Gronkowski or Tom Brady's quick release. Jacksonville's pass rush is ascending, but not dominant. #JAXvsNE

Have you seen that commercial goofing on Luke McCown's perennial backup status? Do you think ad execs thought, OK, who's the most prominent backup quarterback in the NFL? McCown! Yes! So ... where is Josh these days? Whether Luke gets a chance to shine or starter Drew Brees manages to play despite suffering a rotator cuff injury last week, the Saints are in for a challenge. (**UPDATE:** Sean Payton announced on Friday that Brees has been ruled out of Sunday's game.) According to Stats LLC, Carolina's defense has allowed successful offensive plays -- in this case, a "successful" play is defined as one in which the offense picks up 4-plus yards on first down, gains half the yards needed to convert on second down or picks up the first on third down -- only 37.8 percent of the time. We just taught you a new stat! #NOvsCAR

If the Eagles couldn't run against the Falcons (63 yards in Week 1) and Cowboys (7 yards in Week 2), how do you think they'll do against the Jets? Of course, given the way this football season is going, maybe we should expect DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews to combine for 390 rushing yards for Philly. Actually, look for Chip Kelly to have an even-steven run-pass ratio for the majority of this football game. More importantly, we can actually discuss the Jets' offense in New York now, something we haven't been able to do since before Tinder. Maybe even longer than that. Swipe left on Jets receiver Brandon Marshall, right on Eagles cornerback Byron Maxwell. #PHIvsNYJ

Spoke with my colleague Daniel Jeremiah about this game on the set of "NFL HQ", and DJ thought Tampa would have trouble blocking the Texans up front. I wonder how Houston will match up with Bucs receivers Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. Don't anticipate that Evans, who missed Week 1 with a hamstring injury, will be as limited as he was in New Orleans last week (zero catches, three targets). While the Bucs didn't need Evans to beat the Saints, this week they'll be without tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins, expected to miss four to six weeks with a strained shoulder.

Offensively for Houston, the trick is to find a rotation at running back that works. We get that the team likes Alfred Blue (14 carries this season), Chris Polk (19 carries) and Jonathan Grimes (eight carries), but we have to point out that Grimes easily has the most yards per carry (4.4), a full yard more than Blue (3.4), who was rocking the 1.2 against the Panthers last week. #TBvsHOU

Although the Chargers still look like a playoff-caliber team, it's hard to like this matchup for them. The Bolts will be on the road for the second straight week, facing a defense that did a much better job against the Lions' offense in Week 2 than San Diego's defense did in Week 1. The Vikes' secondary has played well, allowing all of two completions of 20-plus yards. Sure, some of that was because Carlos Hyde ripped off so many big runs in Minnesota's Week 1 loss in San Francisco that the Niners didn't have to throw downfield. But Carlos Hyde > Melvin Gordon. Chargers QB Philip Rivers might find it difficult to hit Malcom Floyd vertically this week, but I think the vet still gets a TD. Not enough, though. #SDvsMIN

The Rams might actually score more than 24 points this week, but even so, I see them falling behind the powerful Steelers offense early. Keep an eye on Pittsburgh's Le'Veon Bell, the best running back in the league in 2014, as he returns from suspension. As dominant as that St. Louis defensive line is supposed to be, did you know the Rams are currently ranked 30th in rushing yards allowed? Giving up 153.0 per game is surely not quite what coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead were anticipating from this group. Rams QB Nick Foles must be on point.

By the way, Bell's return doesn't necessarily mean DeAngelo Williams -- 204 rushing yards and three touchdowns in two games of fill-in work for the Steelers -- will disappear. He still might be a viable flex play this week in fantasy. #PITvsSTL

The Cards move to 3-0 behind another strong performance from QB Carson Palmer. Palmer has been lights out, especially when it's been needed. His passer rating in the fourth quarter is 152.1, tops in the league. Meanwhile, the 49ers' defense looked absolutely atrocious in Pittsburgh last week, allowing the Steelers to put up 43 points and a staggering 8.7 yards per offensive play. San Francisco back Carlos Hyde must be more involved than he was in Week 2 (13 carries for 43 yards). Otherwise, the Niners will be forced to convert on third downs -- and Arizona is allowing only a 30 percent conversion rate on third downs. Good luck. #SFvsAZ

This is perhaps the most difficult game to pick in Week 3. Can Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill exploit the Bills' secondary, à la Tom Brady in Week 2 (466 yards and three touchdowns)? Uh, no. Does that mean the 'Fins are destined to lose? No, again. We're putting our faith in Tannehill's decision-making at home. The concern for Miami is not only limiting big plays -- something the Dolphins were not able to do in last week's loss to the Jaguars -- but containing Bills QB Tyrod Taylor, who will be able to extend drives with his legs. Get ready for a fired-up Buffalo pass rush after an embarrassing performance in the loss to Brady's Patriots. This should be an AFC East slugfest. #BUFvsMIA

Chicago quarterback Jimmy Clausen absolutely scares the Seahawks secondary ... by literally throwing right at them. After all, no one wants to be the guy who dropped the ball between the gray and lime-green numbers. The Bears' DBs won't have to worry about that with Seattle QB Russell Wilson, as none of them will be within 5 yards of Wilson's targeted receivers. Chicago is allowing opposing quarterbacks to post a 128.0 passer rating on the season. This will be the first 125-yard monster day of the year for Seahawks running back Marshwn Lynch. I guess we should mention something about Seattle safety Kam Chancellor being back. Hey, Kam Chancellor is back. #CHIvsSEA

On the surface, it would appear the Broncos should win this game. Peyton Manning turned it on late last Thursday night in Kansas City, and Denver's defense has been nothing short of stunning in two games, ranking second in the NFL. Yet, I'm going with Detroit. The Lions are more desperate than Ndamukong Suh would be if he were still looking for his first sack with his new team ... hypothetically speaking, of course. The Broncos might have their way with Detroit QB Matthew Stafford, but Detroit's front four can certainly dominate that Denver offensive line. A diehard fan of the orange dating back to the Orange Crush days of 1977 told me this is a "trap game" for Denver. Agreed. I think. #DENvsDET

The Packers continue their outstanding 2015 campaign with a win over a solid football team. You know Kansas City must be sick over dropping that "Thursday Night Football" contest last week. Of course, how a team is even in a game, much less in position to win, after turning the ball over five times and reaching the end zone on just one of four trips inside the 20 -- as the Chiefs did in that loss -- is anyone's guess. Alex Smith and company can ill afford such a faulty offensive performance at Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers has merely picked up where his 2014 MVP campaign left off: he's thrown 44 touchdown passes at home since last throwing a pick in Green Bay. Unreal.

This is one of many Super Bowl rematches this year, reuniting the teams that launched what would become an American holiday with Super Bowl I in 1967. Packers receiver Max McGee went on an all-night bender before the game. Then, when starter Boyd Dowler -- whom McGee had reportedly told, "I hope you don't get hurt. I'm not in very good shape," -- got hurt in the first quarter, McGee went out and posted a 100-yard receiving game, including two scores, in Green Bay's 35-10 win. Let's hope my picks go as well after my Mountain Dew bender last night. #KCvsGB


Just when you think Washington is going to take control of the NFC East, Kirk Cousins happens. Actually, the kid will be all right ... I just can't see the Giants falling to 0-3 in front of the home folk. The key will be New York's ability to stop the run. Through two games, New York has been awfully stout in that department, allowing the third fewest yards per carry in the NFL at 3.02 per clip. Who's the league's rushing leader? Take a wild guess -- yep, those Redskins, at 171.5 yards per game. Something's gotta give -- which is a solid, though not spectacular, movie, by the way. #WASvsNYG

Follow Elliot Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonNFL.

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