Big Five Picks for NFL Week 3 (2023)

Well, last week was not as successful as the previous one. 1-3-1. I was right about Tampa Bay and should have been right about San Francisco. I am still baffled as to why Rams head coach Sean McVay decided to kick a field goal with 4 seconds left. The Rams were down by 10 and of course had no chance of recovering an onside kick and throwing a hail mary to tie the game. So why kick that field goal? Endings like this make you wonder if the coaches and players are wagering on the games and ultimately making on-field decisions based on the point spread. Clearly I was wrong about Jacksonville and should have known better than to pick against Mahomes and company. As for Cincinnati, it seems that Joe Burrow's injury is much worse than most of us thought. Lastly, my pick of Detroit is your typical "anything can happen on any given Sunday". Seattle looked awful in Week 1 and Detroit looked poised to become a playoff contender after beating Kansas City in the season opener. We saw totally different teams the following week. You gotta love the randomness of the NFL season!

The best thing to do after a bad week of picks is to just dust yourself off and try again. Overall my record is 5-4-1. Let's aim to get that record to 10-4-1. Here is how we will do it!

  1. Washington +6

This pick will be the first of 3 home dogs I like this weekend. I know Buffalo is a Super Bowl contender whereas Washington hasn't been a serious contender since George Bush Sr. was POTUS. However, Buffalo is 1-1 and Washington is 2-0. The Bills lost to the Jets even with Aaron Rodgers lasting just 4 plays. The Commanders are an undefeated team playing at home and we are getting 6 points. Let that sink in for a bit. Of course Sam Howell is not the household name that Josh Allen is but I am still perplexed as to why the public loves Buffalo so much here. I think the line should be Buffalo -3, not -6. What I am most impressed by with Washington is that they went on the road last week and won in Denver, not an easy place to play for any road team. I don't believe Washington will make the postseason and if they do, I don't see them going far. Buffalo should have another solid season but their championship window is closing fast. Buffalo will win this game but it will be close. Buffalo 23 - Washington 20.

  1. Seattle -5.5

I am completely flipping the script here. I was against Seattle last week and now I am on the Seahawks bandwagon. First off, the line has moved from -4 to -5.5 so that is a good sign when you are taking the favored team. Secondly, Seattle is back at home where historically they had success. Also, East Coast teams that make the cross-country journey to Puget Sound usually struggle. Perhaps the biggest reason why I like Seattle is that Andy Dalton will be behind center for the toothless Panthers. Did you know that Dalton is now playing for his 5th team in as many years? His record is 15-26 since 2019. Carolina is in rebuild mode right now and it's never a good sign when you need Dalton to lead your team. Lastly, the Panthers run defense is garbage. Seattle RBs Kenneth Walker II and Zach Charbonnet should feast on Sunday. Seattle 28 - Carolina 14.

  1. Kansas City -12.5

OK, OK. This is a lot of chalk to eat. However, I am fine giving up so many points when you have the defending Super Bowl champions hosting a team that is in severe turmoil. What was Justin Fields thinking by blaming the coaches for how the season has gone so far? I suppose he may have been inspired by Season 2 of the HBO show Winning Time where Magic Johnson forces the Lakers hand by firing the head coach just a few games into the 1981-1982 season. Still, Magic Johnson had won a championship as a rookie and did so by stepping in for an injured legend like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And he did so by playing center when his natural position is point guard! Fields hasn't won jack shit so he is in no place to put his coaches under the bus. Even worse is that the Bears defensive coordinator resigned earlier this week and the defense was already playing poorly. I fully expect Patrick Mahomes to throw for 350-400 yards and 4-5 TDs. It doesn't matter that Mahomes is spreading the ball to a dozen or so receivers. Any one of us can catch a pass from Mahomes. He is that good and if there is anyone who has the gravitas that Magic Johnson had at the height of the Lakers dynasty, it's Mahomes. Kansas City steamrolls the Bears. Kansas City 38 - Chicago 10.

  1. Arizona +12.5

Now, let's get back to the home dogs. This selection makes me nervous since the Dallas defense is very, very good. Arizona will most likely be a bottom five team this year and might have their sites set on Caleb Williams in next year's NFL draft. Still, the Cardinals have Pro Bowl level talent at most key positions on offense. James Conner is a solid RB and TE Zach Ertz has plenty left in the tank. Marquise Brown is decent too at the WR position. As for Dallas, they clearly have looked like a team on a mission by beating both NY teams by a combined score of 70-10. Of course the Cowboys defense had their way with those teams but I have my doubts about the offense. Gone is Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield and also gone is tight end Dalton Schultz. I also don't fully trust QB Dak Prescott. As long as Arizona QB Joshua Dobbs doesn't make any crucial errors, the Cardinals should be able to hold their own on their turf. Dallas wins but not in the same way it has won during the last two weeks. Dallas 28 - Arizona 17.

  1. Tampa Bay +5

The Bucs are 2-0 and hosting Monday Night Football yet they are an underdog? Can someone please help explain that to me? Much like the Buffalo-Washington line, I think this line is off too. I would make it Philadelphia -2 or -3, not -5. The Bucs offense looks rejuvenated with Baker Mayfield calling the shots. You still have awesome talent on offense with Rachaad White, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin. The Bucs defense has also looked sharp by forcing 5 turnovers so far this season and getting a pick six to seal the Bears fate last week. Don't forget that the Bucs sacked Fields 6 times as well. Meanwhile the Bucs offense has not turned over the ball. This Bucs team should continue to rule the NFC South. Of course Philadelphia is also undefeated and has the talent to get back to the Super Bowl. However, they have looked a bit sluggish lately. They barely beat the Patriots and Vikings, two teams with terrible defenses and unreliable QB play. The Bucs are the opposite: strong defense and capable QB who has a full arsenal of weapons. I will call an upset here. Tampa Bay 24 - Philadelphia 21.

There you have it! A home dog in the early games, action for all three afternoon games (afternoon delight, anyone?), and a Monday Night upset. Skyrockets in flight!