NFL Picks For Week 3 – Part 1 – Early Games

By: Don Best Staff | Friday, September 21, 2012

Week 3 of the 2012 NFL season got underway on Thursday with the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants flexing their muscles despite being without a few key players due to injury when they routed the Carolina Panthers on the road, 36-7. Injuries to New York wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Domenik Hixon and running back Ahmad Bradshaw did not slow down the team’s offense, which was led by quarterback Eli Manning (288 yards passing, one touchdown) and RB Andre Brown (113 yards rushing and two TDs).

The question is, will injuries affect other less experienced teams playing early on Sunday? That includes the Washington Redskins (1-1), who are expected to be without wide receiver Pierre Garcon again due to a foot injury and also lost pass rushers Adam Carriker (quad) and Brian Orakpo (pectoral) for the season. The Redskins host the Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) in their home opener after splitting their first two games on the road and lost 31-28 to the St. Louis Rams without Garcon last week.

The Rams (1-1) bounced back from a loss to the Detroit Lions in their season opener and visit the Chicago Bears (1-1), who will have a few extra days to prepare following their disappointing loss to the Green Bay Packers a week ago Thursday. The Bears will need to give QB Jay Cutler more time to throw the ball or else the Rams could pull off the road upset.

Only one team with as many wins as the 2-1 Giants will be on display in the early games on Sunday as the unbeaten San Francisco 49ers (2-0) visit the Minnesota Vikings (1-1). The Vikings are trying to get start running back Adrian Peterson more involved in the offense by increasing workload, but he will have his work cut out for him against a San Francisco run defense that has allowed just 63.5 yards per game on the ground so far.

Make sure to check back each and every week as Kenny White, Brian Blessing and Pat Williams give out their NFL selections. All games listed below are covered in the video and kick off at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. Click here to view the latest NFL lines. To hear what the Don Best experts have to say about the late games on Sunday and Monday Night Football, click here.

401 St. Louis Rams at 402 Chicago Bears (-7½, 43)

403 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 404 Dallas Cowboys (-8, 46)

405 San Francisco 49ers at 406 Minnesota Vikings (+6½, 43)

407 Detroit Lions at 408 Tennessee Titans (+3½, 46½)

409 Cincinnati Bengals at 410 Washington Redskins (-3, 49)

411 New York Jets at 412 Miami Dolphins (+2½, 41½)

413 Kansas City Chiefs at 414 New Orleans Saints (-8, O/U 53)

415 Buffalo Bills at 416 Cleveland Browns (+3, 44½)

417 Jacksonville Jaguars at 418 Indianapolis Colts (-3, 43)

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