Week 3: NFL Picks and Predictions

Daymon JohnsonCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2009

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 09:  The NFL shield logo on the goal post during play between the Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on November 9, 2008 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

If you recall reading this post last week, which 400+ of you did, you’ll notice that I was absolutely deplorable.  So bad in fact, I received emails from people who used my picks that were upset with me.  Well, let me apologize to those of you that did, and allow me to make up for it this week.  I guarantee it’s a LOT better!  Also, if you get a chance, please look at my blog page at www.sports-uncut.com

I pick the games every week.  Have for years, and last year was my best effort, finishing right at 80 percent.  This year I'm looking to beat that personal best. 

When I pick the games, I do so from a win/lose, matchup standpoint, meaning, I don't factor in the lines and who's favored by what.  It's just a straight up who's gonna win it.  So, I'm shooting for a 12+ win record this week....let's get to it!

Week 2 NFL picks:

Record from previous Week (2): 6-10

Record coming into Week(3): 20-12 (62.5%)

Overall record: 20-12


Sunday Sept. 27, 2009

Kansas City, by all rights, SHOULD have won their game last week, especially when you look at the statistical advantage they had over the Raiders, not to mention, they were at home.  Conversely, the Eagles tried to get into a shoot out with Drew Brees and the supremely loaded Saints O, which was a HUGE mistake.  Getting into to that kind of a battle with Brees and the Saints is almost like going to a gun fight with a super soaker.

This week, I think Philly is focused on the win and will utilize the run more, and likely get the job done against an average to bad Chiefs team that’s won 2 straight at Philly.  This time, the Eagles have too much D, and too much O for K.C. to handle.

Verdict: Eagles avenge the loss from a week ago and blow out K.C.

Green Bay looked a bit out of sync and to some degree outmatched last week.  I’m not quite sure why though.  The Bengals went INTO Lambeau and beat the Pack, looking good while doing it.  The Packers D made some plays but gave up WAAAYYY too many points (31) and they let Carson Palmer, Cedric Benson and Ocho Cinco beat them up.  The Packers will correct those issues and do everything they can this week to get Ryan Grant more involved.  When he (Grant) surpasses the 22 carry mark, his teams are 7-1.

The Rams were part of what I think, as well as many others do, was the most boring game of the last couple of seasons.  They hung with Washington for a while, and made some plays, but penalties kill that team and have for 2 consecutive weeks.

I think the Rams are going to get better as the year goes on, however, I don’t think it starts this week.

Verdict:  The Packers get straightened out, and win in St. Louis.

The 49ers are a feel good story this season so far.  Mike Singletary (my favorite NFL coach) has that team playing strong D and is cleaning up the Offense and Frank Gore looked absolutely phenomenal last week (207 rushing yards and 2 TD’s) against a D that looked as if it was coming back into the form it had when they went to the big game a couple of years ago.

Minnesota let Detroit hang around for a while before putting the petal down and rolling over them in the end.  Brett Favre (The Savior apparently??) has looked decent in his first 2 starts for the Vikes.  I think he’s probably still coming into form and learning his players and playbook since he missed camp and this week will be his biggest challenge yet.

Vegas has Minnesota as a 7 point favorite, as of the time of this writing, and I’m not sure I buy that, but I do think the fact that Brett Favre is 11-2 against the 49ers in his career is a big part of that.  Frank Gore will get his, but in the end I think Minnesota is too strong on both sides of the ball.

Verdict:  Minny get’s the W

The Patriots are clearly not the same Patriots we’re all accustomed to seeing.  Tom Brady looked tentative last week, and they have literally, NO running game to speak of to take some of the pressure off the Stetson Man himself. 

Atlanta has the brightest young QB in the league in Matt Ryan, and a RB who is set to explode at any moment in Mike Turner.  The addition of Tony Gonzales helps not only Ryan, but also “Rowdy” Roddy White and makes this team multi dimensional offensively.  Defense is the area I’m most concerned about with this team.

At the end of the day, the Patriots have won 15 consecutive regular season games against the NFC, and I think that streak may be done.  Atlanta doesn’t have the rushers that the Jets have and their D is average at best, but, so is New England’s.  Tom Brady will have time, and I look for them to use Taylor and Maroney a little bit more this week, but ultimately Atlanta has the better offensive showing.

Verdict:  Atlanta gets a road win on the legs of the Burner, Mike Turner.

Tennessee is coming off a surprising loss to the Texans, and I think Jeff Fisher is probably a little upset about that and will have his team ready to go this week.  His defense was mauled by Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson, and offensively, even though he got major contributions from Chris Johnson and Kerry Collins, it wasn’t enough.

The J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets stymied Tom Brady all day and made the most of the offensive opportunities they had. Mark Sanchez may be the real deal at QB, Leon Washington is earning more and more carries and Chansi Stuckey appears to be Sanchez’s favorite target.

The Titans are the best 0-2 team in the league, and the Jets are the real deal at 2-0.  So, it’s a tough decision, but, I believe the running game will be the advantage this week for the Titans.  It’ll have to be because Darrelle Revis is a shutdown guy. Last week, the Pats didn’t use it much, and Tennessee will.  I can’t see the Titans being 0-3 after this week, especially since they have the better offense and an equally daunting D, last week aside of course....

Verdict: The Titans get a HUGE road win.

MJD has been a big disappointment so far this season and the reason for that is simple: there is no one around to help him out and take some of the pressure off.  Garrard is an average QB and they have Torry Holt, but he faces double coverage all the time, and aside from them, that’s literally it.  Not to mention the D is suspect at this point too.

Houston is coming off of a big game and riding high.  I think Steve Slaton gets on track this week, Schaub and Johnson continue to develop that chemistry and Mario Williams makes it a long day for Garrard.

Verdict: Texans get the W at Home.

The Bucs have been victimized this season, and I don’t know that Leftwich is the answer at the QB spot, even though he’s been kind of hot the first couple of weeks.  The D is not a Monte Kiffin D, that’s for sure, and there’s a lack of playmakers with Antonio Bryant hurt and the RB situation still up in the air.

Conversely, the Giants looked strong against Dallas and weathered the storm there and got the win.  The emergence of Steve Smith and Mario Manningham has helped Eli’s confidence and they will continue to contribute this week.  Brandon Jacobs must get going for this team to be successful, but their D is plenty strong and led by their intelligent MLB, Antonio Pierce.  G-men should dominate this one.

Verdict: Giants get a pretty easy win.

I’m a little in the air on this one believe it or not.  Detroit didn’t look terrible last week and even in Week 1 against Minny, they looked decent.

Washington has looked average to bad in their first 2 and I’m not sure what exactly Jim Zorn is trying to do in regard to the offense.  I thought the purpose was to get yardage and score???

Clinton Portis is still Clinton Portis and Campbell is 2-0 against Detroit in his career, so, I’ll go with the historical data here.

Verdict: Skins’ win.

The Browns haven’t scored an offensive TD in 34 quarters…..that’s 8 ½ games folks.  This team couldn’t win a game to save their life.  Mangini looks as lost on the sidelines as ol’ Romeo did.  Cleveland fans, can you say “#1 pick in 2010???”

The Browns will get a healthy dose of Flacco, Rice and maybe even McGahee in this one.  Sadly, they’ll not have an answer for any of them.

Verdict: Ravens win….easily.

The Bears are without Brian Urlacher for the year, but, they still play defense and make plays.  Jay Cutler settled in a little bit last week against the Steelers and, I expect to see more of that from him this week, especially against a weak Seattle D.  FYI – Cutler is 11-0 when he has a 100+ QB Rating.  He should be right around that number this week.

The Hawks have some concerns with injuries right now.  Hasselbeck is likely NOT going to play, and I’m just not sold on Wallace as a replacement.

Verdict: Bears get the win

One thing I can tell you is that points are going to be scored in this one!  Drew Brees is a freaking man child!

Buffalo’s D, aside from Terrance McGee is suspect.  That said, New Orleans’ D is equally as suspect as the Bills are.

Vegas says the Saints are a 6.5 point favorite, and I think they may be right.  I’m going with Drew and the Saints.

Verdict: Saints get the win on the road.

This should prove to be a great game.  The Dolphins, based off time of possession and points scored, should have won that game against Indy, and Peyton Manning showed why he’s the best QB in the NFL.  Winning that game with not even 15 minutes of time on the offensive side of the ball proves that fact.

The Dolphins have won 7 in a row against the Chargers, but, the Miami Defense was ripped apart through the Air, and that’s why I think it could be more of the same this week.  Philip Rivers, while whiney and kind of a punk, is an elite level QB in the NFL right now, like it or not.  He can thrown the ball with the best of them, and Darren Sproles is proving to be a game changing type of player.

I expect Ronnie to run plenty of Wildcat, but, I don’t think it’ll matter much as San Diego will just outscore them.  I also look for the San Diego D to bounce back a bit this week.

Verdict: San Diego gets the win at home

Well, this game pits an average team in Denver against an average to bad team in the Raiders.  Denver, in the Black Hole in Oakland have been decent, having won 5 of the last 6. Oakland though, won the last meeting in Denver and are looking for their second consecutive win over the Broncos.

This is a rivalry game and a division game at that, and really, it can go anyway in this one.  That said, I think Denver’s D is better than Oakland’s and with JaMarcus at the helm, who knows what you’re going to get from Oakland.

Verdict: Denver gets a win in Oakland.

I’m torn on this game as well.  Cincinnati showed last week that when they’re clicking and have some continuity, they can score points in bunches.  I like Carson Palmer, and the emergence of Cedric Benson (finally) as a legitimate starting RB is good for the Bengals.

Pittsburgh’s D is still tough, but, there’s no doubt that with the loss of Troy Polamalu, this unit is not the same.  Pittsburgh’s Offense is also very streaky at times and can prove to flourish and then sour within a week.  The Steelers have won 6 straight against the Bengals, and Ben Roethlisberger is 10-0 in the state of Ohio (6-0 vs. Bengals, 5-0 vs. Browns).

Cincinnati’s D is getting better, and evolving and their Offense is solid.  If the Steelers come out flat like they did last week, the Palmer lead Bengals will win that game….but, I’d not bet on that happening.

Verdict: Steelers win in Cincy.

This one is simple in my mind.  Peyton Manning doesn’t lose to Arizona, he’s won 4 straight.  And the Colts have won 11 consecutive regular season games (longest streak in the league).  The Colts D WILL give up some points to the high powered Offense of Arizona, but, the Cardinals D will do the same.  And frankly, Peyton Manning is a better QB than Warner and can ultimately lead his team to victory..

Verdict: Indy gets a win in Arizona.

Monday Sept. 21, 2009

The Cowboys have basically been cursed by Tony Romo and his untimely picks.  They should have beaten the Giants at home last week, and had the interceptions not shown up, they probably would have.

The Panthers are just ok, and their D is beatable.

I expect Tony Romo to take better care of the ball this week and make it a point to get Roy Williams a little more involved this week and add to their win total of 41 (most in NFL) on Monday Night Football.

Verdict: The Cowboys win at “The House that Jerry Built”

So, there's my picks for Week 3.  Good luck!


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