NFL Week 3 Picks: Thrilling Clashes Sure to Be Nail-Biters

Hector Diaz@@iamhectordiazAnalyst ISeptember 22, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 17:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to throw the ball against outside linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos during a game at the Georgia Dome on September 17, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Week 3 in the NFL is bound to have some surprises.

Last week saw the Arizona Cardinals come away with a win in New England and a shootout between the New York Giants and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Both games were unexpectedly great. Here are a few that may continue this trend. 


Arizona Cardinals vs. Philadelphia Eagles 

Last week, the Cardinals shocked the Patriots in New England with the help of a Stephen Gostkowski missed field goal. 

Arizona is taking its momentum from last week and going back home to the desert where it will face Michael Vick and the 2-0 Eagles. 

Sunday’s matchup is also a chance for Kevin Kolb to prove himself against his former team. In the past, Kolb’s success came from overcoming the odds much like in his Week 1 drive to beat the Seattle Seahawks after losing Skelton to injury. 

The Eagles, however, have the explosive Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy tandem, which may run circles around the improving Cardinals defense. 

Look for this game to come down to the wire considering the Eagles’ 26th best offense and the Cardinals’ inability to close out games early. 


Chicago Bears vs. St. Louis Rams

Both teams in this game are at a disadvantage considering their bread-and-butter running games will not be a factor in Sunday’s matchup. 

Matt Forte has been officially ruled out of the game while Steven Jackson remains questionable to play. 

Chicago has a great backup in Michael Bush, who has proven he can produce like a starter. St. Louis, on the other hand, may have to trust in rookie Daryl Richardson, who managed to rush for 83 yards last week against the Washington Redskins. 

Either way, both teams will have to rely on their passing game to get things going. 

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is currently in a rut, but Sam Bradford lit up the scoreboard with the help of Danny Amendola last week. 

Look for Cutler’s production to be the determining factor in the game as he tries to improve on his spotty passing performance. 


Atlanta Falcons vs. San Diego Chargers

Matt Ryan and the Falcons are firing on all cylinders this season. 

They are coming off a grueling 27-21 win against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in which Matt Ryan threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns. 

The Falcons are up against the San Diego Chargers, who have a lot of momentum coming off of a 38-10 blowout win against the Tennessee Titans. They are currently the third-best defense in the NFL, which will lead to problems for Matt Ryan and the Falcons. 

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has also managed to get over his paltry 2011 season, as he scored three touchdowns the previous game. 

This game is sure to be an offensive tour de force, which may result in the teams’ below-average running game to be the determining factor.