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NFL picks 2019, Week 3: Experts think the Chiefs can be the first to slow down Lamar Jackson and the Ravens

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Quarterback injuries made a few games easy for our experts to agree on. Thankfully, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are healthy for their duel.

Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Quarterbacks are dropping like flies across the NFL.

Ben Roethlisberger’s done for the year due to elbow surgery, Drew Brees is having thumb surgery, Nick Foles broke his clavicle, Sam Darnold has mono, and Cam Newton may miss time with a foot injury. And it’s only Week 3!

Some of those injuries have made for some pretty easy predictions. Even with Darnold, you’d be hard-pressed to find an expert who’d pick the Jets to beat the Patriots. But with third-stringer Luke Falk now forced to start for New York? Pssh, New England’s now a no-brainer unanimous decision.

The Cowboys beating the Dolphins is another outcome we can agree on across the board, although that has more to do with Miami’s intentional ineptitude than anything else. If we’re wrong about that one, though, maybe we’ll be dragged like we were by the Buccaneers on Twitter (but we really, really don’t think we will be).

Luckily for all of us, the main event of the weekend features two quarterbacks who are healthy and at the very top of their game.

Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson absolutely has to be fun

Mahomes threw 50 touchdowns last season on his way to becoming the NFL MVP. Yet somehow, he’s blowing away his 2018 numbers so far.

He’s averaging 410.5 passing yards per game and is on pace for 56 touchdowns. The Chiefs rolled through the Jaguars and the Raiders in the first two weeks, but the difficulty level is going to be much higher with the Ravens coming to town.

Jackson is also on pace for 56 passing touchdowns after running roughshod on the Dolphins and Cardinals in the first two weeks. He’s averaging 298 passing yards with 63 rushing yards per game, to boot.

The Chiefs have the homefield advantage this week. The Ravens have a defense that’s No. 2 in the NFL right now and is allowing 1.8 yards per rushing attempt.

It’s the heavyweight bout of Week 3 and our expert panel is taking Kansas City to roll on to 3-0. I’m the only one who has decided to be the class clown by picking the Ravens. Even our very Good Dog of the week, Bennett, is taking the Chiefs.

Meet the Good Dog of Week 3: Bennett

Bennett, the companion of Caroline, is a part-Husky, part-[spins wheel] umm, let’s go with Australian Shepherd, that is turning five in January. Her favorite pastimes include barking at dogs on television, waiting for the trash truck, and getting strangers to pet her. She loves peanut butter-filled pretzels, but loves the container they come in almost as much. They had a bit of a falling out when she got her head stuck (twice), but their relationship is on the mend.

With her best friend, the empty peanut butter filled pretzel jar.

Thanks to her assistant (Caroline), Bennett watches a LOT of football, but is more of a college expert. When it comes to picking games, Bennett uses analytics, in-depth research, and results from the first two weeks. When that doesn’t narrow things down, she relies on a few simple rules:

  1. Never pick against Gardner Minshew or that mustache
  2. Never trust a Gruden
  3. When in doubt, just side with the team with the Virginia alums (Wahoowa)

Bennett had the hardest time picking Carolina-Arizona and Pittsburgh-San Francisco, but sided with the Panthers because of her crush on Christian McCaffrey and the Steelers because she’s all-in on the Mason Rudolph-James Conner-JuJu Smith-Schuster era.

Week 3 picks

Here are all the predictions for the third week of the season, although they aren’t quite locked in yet. Each expert has a chance to change a pick by Friday, and that’s a likely scenario given all the quarterback injuries across the NFL.

Our guest this week from the NFL blogs is Pete Sweeney, the manager at our Chiefs site, Arrowhead Pride. Also, Morgan Moriarty is taking over Charles McDonald’s spot on the panel and inheriting his very solid 23-9 record. Congrats to Morgan for having a last name that begins with “M” — and welcome.

Week 3 picks

Games James Brady Christian D'Andrea Sarah Hardy Morgan Moriarty Geoff Schwartz Adam Stites Stephen White Pete Sweeney Bennett the Good Dog Fooch
Games James Brady Christian D'Andrea Sarah Hardy Morgan Moriarty Geoff Schwartz Adam Stites Stephen White Pete Sweeney Bennett the Good Dog Fooch
TEN vs. JAX TEN JAX TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN TEN JAX TEN
CIN vs. BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF BUF
MIA vs. DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL DAL
DEN vs. GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB GB DEN
ATL vs. IND ATL IND IND ATL IND ATL IND IND ATL IND
BAL vs. KC KC KC KC KC KC BAL KC KC KC KC
OAK vs. MIN OAK OAK MIN MIN MIN MIN MIN OAK MIN MIN
NYJ vs. NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE NE
DET vs. PHI PHI PHI PHI DET PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI PHI
CAR vs. ARI CAR CAR ARI ARI CAR ARI ARI ARI CAR ARI
NYG vs. TB TB TB TB TB TB TB TB NYG NYG TB
HOU vs. LAC HOU HOU HOU HOU LAC HOU HOU LAC LAC LAC
PIT vs. SF SF SF SF PIT SF SF SF SF PIT SF
NO vs. SEA NO SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA SEA
LAR vs. CLE LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR LAR CLE LAR LAR
CHI vs. WAS CHI CHI CHI CHI CHI WAS CHI CHI CHI CHI
Season record 21-11 21-11 21-11 23-9 19-13 19-13 20-12 19-13 15-17 23-9