NFL picks Week 3: Chiefs-Packers and all others

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Dec 21, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-3)

Baltimore (0-2) absolutely has to win this game. Cincinnati (2-0) is the better team, but divisional rivalries have a tendency to bring the playing levels closer together. The Ravens are also a tough beat at M&T Bank Stadium, and considering this is the home opener, look for the Ravens to come out inspired.

Pick: Baltimore 20, Cincinnati 16

Indianapolis Colts (-3.5) at Tennessee Titans

If Indianapolis (0-2) does not come out firing in this game, there are going to be some loud calls for Chuck Pagano’s job. Tennessee (1-1) has looked much-improved in the early going, but it is still one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Colts should be able to move the ball at will against the Titans’ suspect defense.

Pick: Indianapolis 31, Tennessee 20

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers (-3)

Carolina (2-0) might be the most unimpressive good team to ever play, but it is getting the job done. You know who is not getting the job done? New Orleans (0-2). The Saints are now likely without quarterback Drew Brees and Luke McCown is not going on the road and beating a good defense.

Pick: Carolina 24, New Orleans 9

Oakland Raiders at Cleveland Browns (-3)

We can only hope that the NFL has mercy and blacks this game out in both local markets. Cleveland (1-1) did get a nice performance out of Johnny Manziel in victory last week, but it is still mediocre at best. Oakland (1-1) was awful in Week 1 but then somehow turned it around and looked great in Week 2. Which team shows up?

Pick: Cleveland 21, Oakland 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans (-7)

Houston (0-2) needs to win this game, even with Ryan Mallett leading the charge. The Texans actually have a decent roster, but the quarterback situation is a mess. Tampa Bay (1-1) finally has what appears to be a long-term answer at quarterback in Jameis Winston, but he isn’t ready to win on the road yet.

Pick: Houston 26, Tampa Bay 20

Next: Onto the late games...