The San Francisco 49ers kick off at 1:05 p.m. PT against the Seattle Seahawks, which means we get to check out the AM slate while we wait. We get eight games in the morning, followed by four alongside 49ers-Seahawks.
I thought we’d begin our weekly look at the games of interest for the 49ers. This holds more value in the latter half of the season when draft and playoff implications mean more, but it is still interesting out of the gate. I have fantasy football and wager plans in place, but there is still plenty to watch for non-gambling and non-fantasy folks. We’ll open with the NFC West, and then move on to other games of note (all times Pacific).
Arizona Cardinals at Buffalo Bills
10:00 a.m., FOX, Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston
The Cardinals are coming off a big win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Arizona needed to bounce back after a tough home loss to the New England Patriots, and they did so in strong fashion. They now head on the road for the always tough early start on the east coast. They do benefit in facing a bad Bills team that will be without wide receiver Sammy Watkins. A ton of money is rolling in on the Cardinals.
Prediction: Cardinals win a close one, Bills cover +4
Cleveland Browns at Miami Dolphins
10:00 a.m., CBS, Spero Dedes, Solomon Wilcots
This is sort of a train wreck game. The Browns are sending out Cody Kessler, having lost Josh McCown to a shoulder injury, which happened a week after Robert Griffin III was lost to IR. Corey Coleman broke his hand and will not play, so this is a tough one for the Browns.
Prediction: Dolphins should win with relative ease, but never bet against Cody Kessler.......right?
Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans
10:00 a.m., CBS, Tom McCarthy, Adam Archuleta, Chris Fischer
The Raiders won a wild one in Week 1, only to blow it in Week 2 at home against a bad Atlanta Falcons defense. They head to Tennessee a slim underdog. Can their own awful defense right itself, or will they make the Titans look really good?
Prediction: Titans win a close one
Baltimore Ravens at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Ravens are a surprising 2-0, while the Jaguars have stumbled out of the gates to an 0-2 record. The Jaguars hung with Green Bay in Week 1, but then struggled big time in Week 2. The Ravens are favored in this one, but their wins have come against Buffalo and Cleveland. I think the Jaguars can get on the board with a win in this one.
Prediction: Jaguars win by 10
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers
10:00 a.m., FOX, Thom Brennaman, Thomas Davis, Peter Schrager
The Packers offense is struggling, with Aaron Rodgers not looking like himself. They face a Lions that is about as expected. They have a strong offense and a bad defense. This might be the cure for whatever ails the Packers.
Prediction: Lions with the road upset by a field goal
Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals
10:00 a.m., CBS, Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn
This could be quite the defensive showcase. Both offenses have their share of questions, but both defenses are stout. The Broncos are out to a bit of a surprising 2-0 start, while the Bengals are 1-1 after a close loss to the Pittsburgh steelers.
Prediction: Bengals win by 14
Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
10:00 a.m., FOX, Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale
The Vikings are 2-0, but they are losing players by the truckload. They lost Teddy Bridgewater, then Adrian Peterson, then Matt Kalil. That offense is running out of players it can afford to lose. The Vikings face a Panthers offense that exploded against the 49ers defense. Both defenses are strong, so the under is a tempting bet.
Prediction: Panthers win by 10
Washington at New York Giants
10:00 a.m., FOX, Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews
The Giants and Eagles are tied atop the NFC East at 2-0, which is a bit of a surprise. Washington has stumbled out of the gates, and there are reports of locker room displeasure with Kirk Cousins through two starts. How am I not surprised that Washington is turning into a dumpster fire?
Prediction: Washington with the upset, wins by a touchdown