Friday, September 25, 2009

NFL Week 3 picks

After last week's horrendous 8-8 showing, my season record stands at 20-12. On with the predictions:

Browns at Ravens: This one should be easy. Baltimore appears to be one of the best teams in football, and the Browns are likely one of the worst. I'll take the Ravens.

Redskins at Lions: If the Lions are ever going to win a game again, this could be the one. The Lions don't appear to be much better than they were doing the 0-16 season last year, but they hung in against Minnesota last week for three quarters. On the other hand, the Skins stunk it up against the Rams (who are also horrible), barely squeaking out a 9-7 win. I ordinarily don't like to pick my favorite team to win (since they rarely ever do), but I'll take Detroit in this one.

Jaguars at Texans: Houston took a major step forward last week with its win against Tennessee. I thought they were bad after losing to the Jets in Week 1, but it turns out maybe the Jets are better than I initially thought. Jacksonville meanwhile appears to be completely uninterested in winning football games. They'll maybe get on track eventually, but I think the Texans take this one.

Falcons at Patriots: This is kind of a tough game to pick. The Falcons have looked impressive in their first two games, and the Pats haven't looked at all like a Belichick-Brady team, winning a game against Buffalo they could have easily lost and then dropping a game to the Jets. Still, you have to believe New England figures things out at some point. I'm still going to take the team with momentum in this one and pick Atlanta.

Packers at Rams: I honestly believe that Green Bay is a quality football program and that they had a bad day at the office last week when they lost to Cincinnati. I also believe that the Rams are a worse team than the Lions right now. That said, it's hard to not pick the Packers in this one.

Giants at Buccaneers: Gone are the days of Tampa Bay being a fearful defensive team. So far, they haven't stopped anyone this season. Everyone knows about the Giants' running game, although last week Eli got it done through the air. I expect New York to control the clock in this one and grind out a win against a Bucs' team that will be hard pressed to keep up on offense or defense.

Titans at Jets: Tennessee starts the season 0-2 after many picked them to be a shoe-in for the playoffs. The Jets, meanwhile, weren't expected to make any noise at all and start 2-0. Surely this can't go on forever. I think New York is playing above itself right now, and the Titans have lost a couple of very tough games. I'm taking Tennessee to get back on track in this one.

Chiefs at Eagles: It doesn't look like Donovan McNabb is going to be ready to go again this week, but I don't think it will matter. Kevin Kolb filled in in impressive fashion last week but the defense let down against a red-hot Saints squad. They shouldn't have as much difficulty against the Chiefs. I don't think that K.C. has the weapons to hang with Philly for very long in this one. I'll take the Eagles.

49ers at Vikings: The Niners have been surprising so far this year. Before the season started, it would have been a pretty safe pick to say that they would finish third in the NFC West behind Arizona and Seattle; yet, they've beaten both of those teams already to start out 2-0. That said, I think the Vikings are one of the elite teams in the league. I still believe Adrian Peterson is not from this planet, and San Fran will have trouble containing him. Minnesota wins this one.

Saints at Bills: I think this could be kind of a coming out party for the Trent Edwards-Terrell Owens duo, since the Saints have been allowing yards like crazy during the first two games. Fortunately for them, they've also been scoring like crazy on offense. Look for Drew Brees to come back down to earth in this one, but I'll still take New Orleans to win.

Bears at Seahawks: Seattle is racking up injuries reminiscent to last season, and it looks like they are quickly falling by the competitive wayside. I'm not convinced the Bears are really all that good though either. If Hasselbeck is healthy, I'd say the Seahawks take this one. But since he's banged up and may not even play, it's more of a toss-up. Since I have to take one or the other, I'll take Chicago; I'm not going to shout that pick though.

Steelers at Bengals: What's up with the Steelers this season? They look great one week and paltry the next. I understand that Troy Polamalu is a key part of their defense, and losing him really hurts, but getting torched by Johnny Knox last week? Really? It seems like the Bengals always play Pittsburgh tough but usually lose. I'm going to predict that tradition continues with a narrow Steelers' victory.

Broncos at Raiders: The early-season schedule makers certainly love Denver. The Broncos have opened up with wins against two lower-rung teams in Cincinnati and Cleveland, and now have the luck of playing the Raiders. Oakland has been playing a serviceable type of football so far, but I don't think JaMarcus Russell has developed enough into a winning NFL QB to get this team over the hump this season. This one should be an awful game, but I'll roll the dice and take Denver.

Dolphins at Chargers: I don't think that San Diego is as good as I anticipated, but I think they are still okay. Miami looked like a team on Monday night that wasn't really sure what it needed to do to close out a ball game. I think they are fairly solid defensively, but the offense just lacks big-play capability. Plus they are playing in a short week with a cross-country trip in the middle. I think Philip Rivers will light it up in this one, and the Chargers will win.

Colts at Cardinals: I'm going to stick with my preseason gut and say that Indianapolis isn't as a good a team without Dungy at the helm. Sure, they're still good, but I don't they're as good. Both Jacksonville and Miami had a solid chance of winning at the end of the first two games, and that tells me that Indy isn't putting games out of reach for the easy victory like they have over the past few seasons. That's a dangerous game to play against a Cardinals team that can score points in a hurry. Arizona handled Jacksonville easily in Week 2 after struggling in Week 1, and I think their momentum carries over into this shootout.

Panthers at Cowboys: This should be the week that the Boys can bring a win into their new house. Carolina so far has looked pretty bad, although getting a little better. I don't really have much to say about this one other than that I think Dallas will win because they are the better team.

Good luck everyone.

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