NFL Week Three Picks, Pats, and Apologies
Last Week: 11-4
Record Picking Redskins Games: 2-0
Against the Spread: 5-2
Lock of the Week: 2-0
Last Week's Pats: Very good week-- especially against the spread. I went 3-0 in that department and won my lock of the week (Titans) quite easily. I also called the straight-up victory for the Broncos and was only one point off in the final score prediction of Bears-Panthers.
Last Week's Apologies: I want to apologize to myself for changing a gut instinct. I pegged the Raiders to beat Kansas City all week, and then changed my pick last minute on Sunday morning. Of course, the Raiders proceeded to handle the Chiefs with ease. Also missed on three really close games (Bills, 49ers, and Colts). Not much to apologize for this weekend-- especially if you followed my advice with your money!
This Week's Picks:
Kansas City at Atlanta: Two Words: Tyler Thigpen. Yep, that's the guy who will be under center this week for the Chiefs. Who knows, maybe he's the next Tom Brady. More likely, he's the next Tyler Thigpen.
Falcons 27, Chiefs 17
Arizona at Washington: Two offenses that really exploded last week. But fans of both teams may want to temper their enthusiasm after realizing that both teams lit up the scoreboard against weak defenses. This will be a much sterner test for both sides. Arizona has a highly underrated secondary, but their inability to run the ball could do them in if a team can generate a pass rush on Kurt Warner. I think the Cardinals are the slightly better team here, but homefield plus the Cardinal's abysmal history has me tossing a coin and going with the Redskins.
Redskins 26, Cardinals 23
Houston at Tennessee: Before the year, I was very high on Houston. I picked them to beat the Steelers on opening day-- they responded by getting trounced. The Titans, on the other hand, have looked very steady thus far, and their offense appears stabalized with Kerry Collins at the helm. Still, I am going to play my pre-season hunch here that the Texans will compete for a wild card this year. Upset of the week.
Texans 17, Titans 13
Oakland at Buffalo: The situation is Oakland is a total mess. So, I was pretty surprised to see them go into Kansas City last week and win handily. But the Bills look salty so far in 2008, and while I could see Oakland hanging around, no way do they pull this one off.
Bills 20, Raiders 10
Tampa Bay at Chicago: So far, Chicago looks much closer to the 2006 Bears than the 2007 Bears-- which is a good thing for Bears fans. Matt Forte gives the offense some punch. Chicago opened the season with two difficult road games, and came out a very respectable 1-1. I see them handling the Bucs at home this week.
Bears 19, Bucs 16
Carolina at Minnesota: Why the Vikings waited until week two to decide Tavaris Jackson was not the answer at QB is a mystery. This was an organizational decision that should have been made early in the off-season. Now, the Vikings are stuck with veteran journeyman, Gus Frerotte. Frerotte should be an upgrade from Jackson of course, but he certainly isn't a longterm solution. Still, I like Minnesota to get their first win of the season in what amounts to a desperation game for the Vikings.
Vikings 24, Panthers 17
Cincinnati at New York Giants: The question isn't whether or not the Giants will win this game. The question is will the Bengals completey embarrass themselves yet again? For some reason, I see Carson Palmer having a respectable day, but the Giants will score at will.
Giants 34, Bengals 20
Miami at New England: Everyone keeps asking who is the favorite in the AFC now that Tom Brady has been lost for the year. After this week, those people will need to look in the standings and realize New England is 3-0.
Patriots 29, Dolphins 14
New Orleans at Denver: The Saints defense is on the soft side when healthy. Banged up like they are now, and they may have a bottom 5 defense in the league. Jay Cutler and the Broncos offense looks 100% for real. Another shootout in Denver?
Broncos 31, Saints 27
Detroit at San Francisco: Memo to the Lions: Don't get behind 21-0 and you might have a shot this week. Then again, maybe not.
49ers 28, Lions 24
St. Louis at Seattle: Yawner of the week. Two bad teams right now. I understand why Seattle's offense has struggled somewhat, but I don't understand why their normally stout defense has gotten pushed around by two subpar offenses. Still, I'm not sure how anyone could pick the Rams to win anything right now.
Seahawks 27, Rams 13
Cleveland at Baltimore: If the Browns haven't pushed the panic button yet, they should at least have hands hovering over it. They are 0-2 with two home losses. Their offense has looked putrid since pre-season. They can't cover anyone. The next two week they play at Baltimore and at Cincinnati. Cleveland may need to win both to have any chance at catching the Steelers this year. I am picking the Browns this week because I could see Joe Flacco struggling much like Matt Ryan did in his second start, but this is far from a confident choice.
Browns 16, Ravens 13
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia: Possibly the game of the week. Should be very entertaining. There's something about the Steelers I really like this year-- and I had them pegged as a disappointment in my pre-season picks. But they have performed quite well so far this year and I love their overall team balance. Having said that, the Eagles look sharp and agressive. Donovan McNabb is playing at an extremely high level and I see him leading the Eagles to a dramatic win this week.
Eagles 24, Steelers 21
Jacksonville at Indianapolis: If the Jags lose this week, I think we can officially start kicking dirt on their Super Bowl hopes. Playing in Indy, against a team that finally righted themselves in the second half last week, is not a good spot for the Jags.
Colts 23, Jaguars 13
Dallas at Green Bay: If Steelers-Eagles doesn't do it for you, then this one should. Excellent match-up. Slowly, I think people are beginning to realize how good of a job Ted Thompson has done in building this Green Bay team. They are my pick to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. But for this week, I see Romo and the Cowboys getting the upper-hand.
Cowboys 28, Packers 20
New York Jets at San Diego: Much like the Browns, the Chargers find themselves in a bit of a desperate situation this week. The focus all week has been on the early whistle that helped hand the Chargers a loss last week. But San Diego needs to put aside what they can't control and focus on a defense that has gotten shredded in the opening weeks of the season. If I'm a Chargers fans, this game scares me to death. But I have a feeling they find a way to avoid the 0-3 hole.
Chargers 27, Jets 21
4 To Score
1. Texans (+5) at Titans
. Playing a pre-season hunch. Gonna give the Texans another week to prove me stupid.
2. Patriots (-13) vs. Dolphins
. I think the New England defense may have gotten into a groove last week.
3. New York Jets (+9.5) at Chargers
. Not sure I can pick the Chargers to blow anyone out right now.
4. Browns (+2.5) at Ravens
. Going with a trend, picking against a rookie QB.