By Brian Burke

This time of year is one of the more interesting for NFL prognosticators. This is when our perceptions of which are the good and bad teams come into direct contact with reality. Two weeks into the season, the Patriots and Packers are struggling to pass the ball, while the Bills and Browns are moving down the field efficiently. (And if those trends continue we'll all pretend like we saw it coming.) These early weeks are the most revealing outings all season.

Last week, I had five out of the 15 games picked correctly off the spread (no pick for the Thursday night contest). Will Leitch got four out of 15 games. Our totals so far are neck-and-neck: 11 for me, 12 for Will. Here are our picks for Week 3.

Note: The Machine's outcome probabilities are based on who will win the game, not the point spread. The score predictions are Burke's own estimates when factoring in the win probability, which is based on a logistic regression model of projected core team efficiency statistics. For more on Burke's model, click here.

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The Machine

VIKINGS: 14 (21% win probability)
SAINTS: 27 (79%)
VEGAS: Saints (-10.5)

New Orleans is 0-2, but has been efficient in most facets of the game. This will be a good test to see if they suffered some bad luck in a couple road games or are truly vulnerable.

Leitch

SAINTS: 27
VIKINGS: 9

Thanks to Anheuser-Busch's courage, you can now drink your Lime-a-Rita in comfort and peace during this one.

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The Machine

WASHINGTON: 21 (25%)
EAGLES: 30 (75%)
VEGAS: Eagles (-6.5)

Don't expect Kirk Cousins to put up numbers like he did against Jacksonville every week.

Leitch

EAGLES: 41
WASHINGTON:14

The Kirk Cousins dream ends in tears, as it always does with cousins. (This might just be me. My cousins growing up were very big, and mean.)

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The Machine

TITANS: 14 (26%)
BENGALS: 35 (74%)
VEGAS: Bengals (-6.5)

The Bengals might me my top team if they can continue to play like they have in Weeks 1 and 2. Tennessee's pass defense is allowing just 4.5 yards per attempt, so they will present a challenge.

Leitch

BENGALS: 22
TITANS: 20

The Bengals are so much more dull without A.J. Green.

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The Machine

COLTS: 37 (74%)
JAGUARS: 17 (26%)
VEGAS: Colts (-7)

The Colts want to play old-school smash-mouth football, but their roster isn't designed for that. Despite averaging a modest 5.8 yards per attempt, Indy is still well ahead of Jacksonville's 4.3.

Leitch

COLTS: 28
JAGUARS 10

The Jags are going to take the brunt of the Colts' Monday Night frustration. The Jaguars, always taking brunts.

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The Machine

BUCCANEERS: 17 (32%)
FALCONS: 28 (68%)
VEGAS: Falcons (-7)

Atlanta's season will hinge on their pass defense, which is giving up nearly 10 yards per attempt so far. The Josh McCown experiment in Tampa is failing as their passing game flounders. It will be weakness vs. weakness when the Bucs have the ball.

Leitch

FALCONS: 31
BUCCANEERS: 10

The Buccaneers were a hot sleeper pick coming into this year, but that's pretty much over now. This is a game where you should be able to comfortably fall asleep by halftime.

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The Machine

STEELERS: 17 (36%)
PANTHERS: 24 (64%)
VEGAS: Panthers (-3)

Despite criticism to the contrary, Pittsburgh can move the ball as well as they have in recent years. But the Carolina pass defense will likely slow them down enough to win.

Leitch

PANTHERS: 24
STEELERS: 13

Still concerned this is the year the wheels come off for Pittsburgh.

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The Machine

RAIDERS: 10 (39%)
PATRIOTS: 28 (61%)
VEGAS: Patriots (-14.5)

Oakland is playing like a below-average team but don't seem to be the basket case most observers paint them as. Despite New England's struggles with their passing attack, they'll be able to handle the Raiders.

Leitch

PATRIOTS: 41
RAIDERS: 7

Yet another Raiders season when no one wants to get out of bed by Week 4.

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Colin
There's a good chance the Niners will make up for Week 2's home-opening loss this Sunday. (Getty Images)

The Machine

49ERS: 24 (60%)
CARDINALS: 20 (40%)
VEGAS: 49ers (-2.5)

Drew Stanton is a significant step down from Carson Palmer, so this game's probabilities ride on whether Palmer can go. But either way, if Colin Kaepernick is more careful with the ball San Francisco should have the edge.

Leitch

CARDINALS: 23
49ERS: 21

This one is massively important in the NFL West, a division that leaves no margin for error. The University of Phoenix crowd isn't 50 percent 49ers fans like old Sun Devil Stadium was, and that's the edge here.

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The Machine

CHIEFS: 10 (42%)
DOLPHINS: 16 (58%)
VEGAS: Dolphins (-4.5)

Neither team has been able to pass efficiently but Miami has the better defense to date. Look for a low-scoring slug-fest between middle-of-the-pack teams.

Leitch

DOLPHINS: 21
CHIEFS: 17

Is Hootie still a Dolphins fan now that he's a big country music star? Has anyone asked?

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The Machine

COWBOYS: 34 (58%)
RAMS: 24 (42%)
VEGAS: Even

Dallas can't continue their 4.5 percent interception rate and 3.4 percent fumble rate and hope to win. The good news is those numbers are both unsustainably high. Austin Davis had a great outing last week, leading the league in air yards per attempt (passing efficiency minus receiver YAC).

Leitch

COWBOYS: 27
RAMS: 17

It's always disappointing to pick the Cowboys to win, isn't it? The jokes are so much better when they lose.

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The Machine

TEXANS: 20 (57%)
GIANTS: 14 (43%)
VEGAS: Texans (-2.5)

Houston's passing game has been one of the best through two weeks, but look for it to fall back to earth. The Giants have already cratered into the earth.

Leitch

GIANTS: 17
TEXANS: 16

The Giants' offense showed a LITTLE more life last week, and they wouldn't dare start 0-3 (or 0-6!) again, would they?

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The Machine

BRONCOS: 24 (45%)
SEAHAWKS: 31 (55%)
VEGAS: Seahakws (-5)

Despite dropping a game to the Chargers, Seattle's 'internal' numbers look strong. They are No. 1 so far in both offensive and defensive run success rate, which is the percentage of run plays that result in improved down-distance-yard line situations.

Leitch

BRONCOS: 27
SEAHAWKS: 24

You know Manning will get his revenge because it's the regular season.

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The Machine

PACKERS: 31 (55%)
LIONS: 24 (45%)
VEGAS: Lions (-1)

Based strictly on their stats in the first two weeks and without any information from pre-season projections, this would be an 80-20 percent game in favor of Detroit. But it's a virtual certainty Aaron Rodgers will improve on his 5.9 yards per attempt.

Leitch

LIONS: 35
PACKERS: 31

This reeks of one of those games that is the last of the 1 p.m. hour to finish. I feel like I don't have ENOUGH points here.

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The Machine

RAVENS: 22 (54%)
BROWNS: 20 (46%)
VEGAS: Ravens (-1.5)

The Browns are playing much stronger than expected, but their pass defense is suspect. A lot of their success is directly the result of having no turnovers so far, something that is extremely unlikely to continue.

Leitch

BROWNS: 19
RAVENS: 17

It just won't be worth watching if Johnny Manziel doesn't get to hand the ball off a few more times.

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The Machine

CHARGERS: 23 (47%)
BILLS: 26 (53%)
VEGAS: Bills (-1)

Buffalo has been solid but not spectacular on both sides of the ball. San Diego is probably a slightly better team overall, but home field gives the edge to the Bills.

Leitch

CHARGERS: 20
BILLS: 19

I want SO BADLY to pick the Bills to go 3-0 to start the season. But beating the Seahawks focuses one's attention.

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The Machine

BEARS: 27 (53%)
JETS: 24 (47%)
VEGAS: Jets (-2.5)

The Bears' defensive weakness is masked by some timely interceptions, but they'll have enough of a passing attack for a slight edge in New York.

Leitch

BEARS: 31
JETS: 20

For what it's worth, I think Rex Ryan -- not the Jets, necessarily, but Rex Ryan -- should be on "Monday Night Football" every week.

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Brian Burke is a former Navy fighter pilot and tactics expert. He is the founder Advanced Football Analytics, the site that made modern football analysis a reality.