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PFT’s Week Three picks

Mike Florio and Chris Simms draft the most important matchups for Week 3 including Josh Allen vs. Aaron Donald, Baker Mayfield vs. Washington's pass rush and more.

MDS is building an early-season lead. As he seems to always do.

Last week, MDS nailed 14 of 16 games straight up, and 11 of 16 against the spread. I did well but not well enough, with a 13-3 record straight up and 9-7 ATS.

For the year, MDS has a record of 24-8 straight up, and 21-11 against the spread. I’m 21-11 and 16-16, respectively.

For this week’s picks, scroll away.

Dolphins (+3) at Jaguars

MDS’s take: The NFL is not exactly putting its best foot forward with the early slate of Thursday night games, but the Jaguars have at least looked like a more competitive team than most were expecting. Gardner Minshew will continue making the case that Jacksonville doesn’t need to find its franchise quarterback, because he’s already there.

MDS’s pick: Jaguars 27, Dolphins 20.

Florio’s take: The Jaguars have become a pleasant surprise, even if not many have noticed. On Thursday night, they’ll have a chance to get the nation’s attention.

Florio’s pick: Jaguars 27, Dolphins 20.

Titans (-2.5) at Vikings

MDS’s take: The Vikings may be the NFL’s most disappointing team so far this season. Ryan Tannehill will continue his strong early-season showing as Minnesota falls to 0-3.

MDS’s pick: Titans 30, Vikings 20.

Florio’s take: The Titans have played too well to barely win two games. This week, they’re getting a team that suddenly have plummeted from contender to pretender to pathetic.

Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Vikings 10.

Bears (+4) at Falcons

MDS’s take: The Bears are 2-0 and the Falcons are 0-2, but that may say more about the quality of the team’s they’ve played than anything else. The Falcons will get their first win on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 23, Bears 20.

Florio’s take: The Bears have been living on the edge. The Falcons have been dying on the edge. A correction is in order.

Florio’s pick: Falcon 31, Bears 27.

Bengals (+5.5) at Eagles

MDS’s take: Carson Wentz has looked like a mess so far this season. I’m not expecting him to look great, but he should be better against a suspect Bengals defense.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 24, Bengals 21.

Florio’s take: I’m buying Joe Burrow, and I’m selling the Eagles. Until they lose enough games to finally wake up.

Florio’s pick: Bengals 24, Eagles 21.

Washington (+7) at Browns

MDS’s take: Washington’s defensive front has talent, but I see the Browns running on them in a low-scoring and fairly unexciting game.

MDS’s pick: Browns 20, Washington 7.

Florio’s take: Baker Mayfield struggled against a great defense, and he picked apart a less-than-great one. To avoid a repeat of Week One, the Browns need to run to set up the run, and then run some more.

Florio’s pick: Browns 20, Washington 17.

49ers (-4) at Giants

MDS’s take: Both teams are struggling with injuries right now, but the 49ers have a roster that can overcome those injuries. The Giants do not.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 31, Giants 14.

Florio’s take: Both teams have endured major injuries, with the 49ers taking even more of a pounding.

Florio’s pick: 49ers 24, Giants 13.

Texans (+4) at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Texans aren’t as bad as they look, but they’ve been handed a brutal early schedule. They’ll fall to 0-3 on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 20, Texans 17.

Florio’s take: The Steelers took too long to put the Giants away, and the Steelers allowed the Broncos to hang around too long. The offense should be better this week as Ben Roethlisberger gets more comfortable, and the Texans continue to navigate a who-did-they-piss-off? early-season schedule.

Florio’s pick: Steelers 23, Texans 17.

Rams (+2.5) at Bills

MDS’s take: Josh Allen is going to keep throwing downfield, and if he can use his feet to get away from Aaron Donald, the Rams are going to have a hard time stopping him.

MDS’s pick: Bills 31, Rams 28.

Florio’s take: The Rams have rebuilt on the fly, and they’re better than many expected them to be. The Bills are too good, however, and the L.A. to Philly to L.A. to Buffalo travel demand won’t help.

Florio’s pick: Bills 27, Rams 23.

Raiders (+6) at Patriots

MDS’s take: Las Vegas is 2-0, but a long road trip on a short work week is going to make this a tough one.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 28, Raiders 24.

Florio’s take: The Patriots are for real. The Raiders eventually could be. For now, though, winning at New England is too much to expect from the most unlikely 2-0 team in the AFC.

Florio’s pick: Patriots 30, Raiders 20.

Jets (+11) at Colts

MDS’s take: I’m not sure I’d pick the Jets to beat anyone right now. Sam Darnold is playing better than people think, but he’s not getting much help.

MDS’s pick: Colts 20, Jets 10.

Florio’s take: The Jets’ roster still needs more pieces before it can compete, much less contend. And the Colts have picked up plenty of confidence after last week’s shredding of the Vikings.

Florio’s pick: Colts 27, Jets 13.

Panthers (+6.5) at Chargers

MDS’s take: This Panthers team is playing hard for first-year coach Matt Rhule, but right now the roster just isn’t good enough. The Chargers will cruise to an easy win.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 28, Panthers 14.

Florio’s take: Justin Herbert in, Christian McCaffrey out. Chargers on their way.

Florio’s pick: Chargers 24, Panthers 13.

Buccaneers (-6) at Broncos

MDS’s take: If the Broncos were at full strength I’d probably pick them to win this one, but they have so many injuries I just can’t see them winning.

MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 17, Broncos 14.

Florio’s take: Mile High Stadium has been a house of horrors for Tom Brady. He’s never faced a Broncos team with so little punch, however, given the home team’s rash of injuries.

Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 20, Broncos 13.

Cowboys (+5) at Seahawks

MDS’s take: Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson will both have big games, but Wilson will do just a little more, in a matchup that I have a funny feeling we’ll see again in January.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 31, Cowboys 27.

Florio’s take: This one could be a shootout, given that both teams have great offenses and work-in-progress defenses. The Seahawks currently have made more progress on both sides of the ball.

Florio’s pick: Seahawks 30, Cowboys 21.

Lions (+5.5) at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Cardinals’ offense looks fresh and exciting, and the Lions’ defense looks stale. It’s hard for me to believe Kyler Murray won’t have a very big game.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 35, Lions 21.

Florio’s take: The Lions won’t have to worry about blowing another double-digit lead this week.

Florio’s pick: Cardinals 31, Lions 21.

Packers (+3) at Saints

MDS’s take: If I were a Saints fan I’d be worried about Drew Brees’s arm, as he’s throwing short passes almost exclusively. And yet I think the Saints’ defense matches up pretty well with Aaron Rodgers, and so I think the Saints can pull out a close win here.

MDS’s pick: Saints 17, Packers 16.

Florio’s take: The warning signs are blinking quickly as to the potential decline of the Saints. Throw in a short week and a trip back from Vegas and a Packers team firing on each and every cylinder, and this one has a chance to get ugly.

Florio’s pick: Packers 31, Saints 23.

Chiefs (+3.5) at Ravens

MDS’s take: These look like the two best teams in the league right now, in a monster of a prime time game. I’ll pick Lamar Jackson to make one more big play than Patrick Mahomes.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 28, Chiefs 21.

Florio’s take: If the Kansas City defense was shredded by a rookie in his first start, it could be facing even more problems against the defending MVP, whose passing keeps getting better and better.

Florio’s pick: Ravens 27, Chiefs 24.