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Will the Rams be tamed in Cleveland? Get NFL Week 3 tips for Sunday

Leigh Copson 19 Sep 2019
Aaron Donald and the LA Rams defense (credit:Brian Rothmuller/Zuma Press/PA Images)

NFL predictions for Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season. Will the Los Angeles Rams maintain their 100% record and inflict another home defeat on Cleveland? Can the New Orleans Saints cope without Drew Brees? And just how badly will the New England Patriots beat the injury-hit New York Jets? Read on for all of our free predictions and betting tips.

READ MORE: Get our free Chicago Bears at Washington Redskins picks for Monday Night Football

New York Jets at New England Patriots (Sunday 18:00 BST)

Are New England on another march to the Super Bowl? While it is too early to say, it must be said that the Patriots have made a storming start to the 2019 NFL campaign. They dominated Pittsburgh in a 33-3 victory on opening weekend and followed that up by becoming the second team to lay a beat down on the sorry Miami Dolphins this season, exorcising some Hard Rock Stadium demons with a 43-0 blowout of their hosts. Now, crushing the Dolphins is hardly something to get excited about given the state of the Floridian franchise right now, but at such an early stage of the season it is impressive to see a team looking so sharp on both sides of the football. Offensively New England are already firing and on the opposite side of the football that defense has been almost impenetrable, giving up just three points and less than 500 yards through the first two games, while also forcing five turnovers. Will this sort of dominance continue? Bill Belichick’s will face much tougher tests between now and the end of the season, but they really could not have wished for a much more friendly schedule to start the season because their first real challenge may not come until Week 8, if Cleveland can live up the pre-season hype of course. Next up for them are the New York Jets at home, and the visitors arrive in terrible shape. The Jets blew a 16 point lead in the final 18 minutes of their week one clash with Buffalo to lose 17-16 at home, and things got even worse for them a few days later when it was announced that starting quarterback Sam Darnold would be spending some time on the sidelines with illness. Backup Trevor Siemian then picked up an injury during the loss to the Browns on Monday Night Football that forced New York to turn to third-stringer Luke Falk and although his numbers on the night were not too bad – he completed 20 of his 25 passes for 198 yards – the rookie QB was unable to lead them on more than one scoring drive, an 11-play, 42 yard effort that ended with Sam Ficken converting a 46-yard field goal. Falk will be at the controls once again for this week three trip to New England and that spells all sorts of trouble for the away team because there is simply no way that Falk and that offensive unit will be able to keep pace with Tom Brady & Co. The Patriots’ stifling defense will shut down the Jets offense and then it will be down to Brady and the offense to decide just how much of a beating they want to put on the visitors, who may struggle to put any points on the board here.

New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks (Sunday 21:25 BST)

The New Orleans Saints came into the 2019 NFL season as one of the favourites to go all the way and lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy, but their quest for a second Super Bowl success in franchise history suffered a massive setback in week two when talismanic quarterback Drew Brees went down with a thumb injury during a defeat to the Los Angeles Rams. It was later confirmed that the 40-year-old signal-caller had torn a ligament during the loss – an injury that would require surgery and rule him out for around six weeks. The injury to Brees has not completely destroyed New Orleans’ season, but they desperately need to find a way to win a couple of games during his absence so that they are still in the postseason picture when he does make his return. They face some difficult games during this run however, starting with Sunday’s trip to CenturyLink Field to face Seattle. The Seahawks boast a perfect record after the first two weeks, but they were hardly convincing in a one-point win at home to a poor Cincinnati team in the season-opener and they then had to fight for a two-point victory in Pittsburgh despite the Steelers losing starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a season-ending injury in the second quarter. So as you can see, the Seahawks have been far from convincing so far, but they remain a notoriously difficult team to beat on their home turf and the Saints are a team that do not always fare that well when they are on the road and outdoors. Take Brees out and replace him with Teddy Bridgewater and the chances of victory get even slimmer. That is why I am confident that Seattle will climb to 3-0 on Sunday night, but given how their offense has toiled through the first two weeks I do not expect them to run away with this one.

Los Angeles Rams at Cleveland Browns (Monday 01:20 BST)

Sunday’s action concludes in blockbuster fashion as one of the favourites to win the Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Rams, pay a visit to one of the dark horses for the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the Cleveland Browns. So who takes this? Los Angeles go into the matchup with a perfect 2-0 record but it would not be unfair to say that they have been less than inspiring as they look to prove that there is no hangover from the way they were completely shut down offensively in last season’s Super Bowl. They had to fend off a second-half fightback from the Panthers to escape Carolina with the ‘W’ in week one and although a 29-7 final score in week two looks pretty convincing, the Rams did struggle to put away a New Orleans team that lost Drew Brees to injury during the game. So while they do boast a 100% record at this time Los Angeles are something of a ‘work in progress’. The same can be said for Cleveland though. The Browns were the subject of a great deal of hype during the offseason as some high-profile additions to the roster only served to heighten the expectations surrounding a team who enjoyed a turnaround in fortunes in 2018. They may not have made it to the Super Bowl or even the postseason, but having gone 0-16 in 2017 there was plenty to be positive about when they went 7-8-1 a year later – and had it not been for some kicking woes early in the season they would have posted their first winning since 2007 and could have perhaps extended their campaign into January. That did not happen, but for the first time in a long time Browns fans had an opportunity to be positive about their team and when they lured Odell Beckham Jr away from New York the excitement reached fever pitch. Cleveland were now being considered dark horses to win it all, but they suffered a major reality check on opening weekend when they slumped to a 43-13 home defeat at the hands of Tennessee. The Browns rallied a week later though as they made their first primetime appearance for quite some time, but a 23-3 victory over a New York Jets team that was down to their third string quarterback is not something to get carried away by. There were positive signs and who knows, if their season-opener had gone better I would maybe fancy them for the win here. However, there is still much work to be done before Cleveland can be ranked among the very best in the league and they are still struggling to protect quarterback Baker Mayfield – something which could be a massive issue on Sunday night against a player of Aaron Donald’s calibre. That is why I am going to back the Rams here. The Browns will have their moments and will give the home fans something to cheer, but ultimately Los Angeles will be a little too much for them and make it back-to-back home losses for the hosts while maintaining top spot in the NFC West.

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Will the Rams be tamed in Cleveland? Get NFL Week 3 tips for Sunday

NFL predictions for Week 3 of the 2019 NFL season.

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