Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week 3 picks: Raiders at Patriots


Publisher Nick St. Denis, associate editor Dan Begnoche and senior writer Sean Donovan pick the New England Patriots' home-opener against the Oakland Raiders.

Dan's take:
Oakland is coming into Foxboro 0-2, though they have an element of uncertainty on their side in rookie quarterback Derek Carr. The signal-caller showed signs of improvement in Week 2, and New England's defense has a mediocre history against mobile quarterbacks. The Pats own question marks on offense have been the talk of the week, though the rushing attack had no problems last week against Minnesota. Look for a trench war with opportunistic turnovers to tell the tale in this one.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Raiders 14

Sean's take:
A struggling west coast team travels cross-country to face a motivated contender that is historically nearly unbeatable at home. Seems cut-and-dry, right? There's always an element of 'any given Sunday' to every NFL contest, but the Patriots handle their business in this one. A talented, savvy New England defense harries developing rookie quarterback Derek Carr into a couple of crippling turnovers, and the offense puts on the rout.
Prediction: Patriots 41, Raiders 13

Nick's take:
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finally starts to distribute the ball more evenly to his pass-catching corps and connects with Brandon LaFell. New England wreaks havoc on Oakland's young signal-caller, and New England rolls over an overwhelmed Raiders team, thanks in part to a high-energy stadium for the home-opener.
Prediction: Patriots 30, Raiders 10

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