Five NFL Story Lines for Week Three
Week Three of the NFL season is upon us. As fans, we have been given many good games, some upsets, some high-scoring affairs, and plenty of trash talk (Thanks, Rex!).
We can't ask for much more, but as always, we expect the best week in and week out. These are five story lines I look forward to seeing during Week Three of the NFL season.
Which 2-0 teams will stay undefeated?
The Jets, Ravens, Colts, Broncos, Giants, Vikings, Falcons, Saints, and 49ers are the teams left in the league without a blemish on their record.
There are definitely some surprises there, like the Jets, Broncos, and 49ers, but they have all played well and deserve to be where they are.
Which teams will stay undefeated after three weeks, though?
The Jets host the Titans, and linebacker Keith Bulluck has guaranteed a victory for the Titans. It will be a hard-fought physical battle, but many have the Jets winning. It will be a big test for them.
The Ravens host Cleveland, which should be an easy victory for them to go 3-0. The Colts go to the desert to face the Cardinals, in what is expected to be a shootout and a very exciting game. They could lose that game if the defense does not step up and stop Kurt Warner.
The Broncos go to Oakland, which has been playing above expectations. While some think the Broncos will win, I think the rushing attack of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush will be enough to stop the Broncos' winning streak at two.
The Giants go to Tampa Bay, which should provide them with their third win of the season, even without Kenny Phillips in the secondary. Atlanta goes to New England for a big game, and Matt Ryan will look to outperform Tom Brady. The Saints go to Buffalo and will most likely win in a shootout fashion.
The game of the week is the 49ers traveling to take on the Vikings. Both 2-0. both would love a win. Both teams rely heavily on their running games and tough defenses, and it should provide a great game. More on this later.
Which 0-2 teams will finally get a win?
The Dolphins, Browns, Jaguars, Titans, Chiefs, Lions, Panthers, Bucs, and Rams are all 0-2. Three of these teams are surprising, as the Dolphins, Titans, and Panthers were all division winners last year.
The Dolphins travel to San Diego and hope the Wildcat can provide some sparks against an injured Charger defense. The Browns will look hopeless against the Ravens though.
The Jaguars will travel to Houston to take on an explosive Texans offense. The Titans will go to New York and have a physical battle to try to get a win and stop rookie Mark Sanchez.
The Chiefs will travel to Philadelphia to take on the injured Eagles and have played two close games so far. If the Eagle offense can keep the defense off the field to stay rested, I can't see the Chiefs winning.
Detroit hosts Washington and will try to hold the anemic Redskins offense to little points and hope Megatron will be able to score a couple of touchdowns to win a game for the first time in over a year. The Bucs travel to New York to take on the Giants and will most likely finish the game 0-3 on the year.
The Panthers go to Dallas for Monday Night Football and will hope their rushing game can handle the load or Jake Delhomme can get his head screwed onto his shoulders properly. The Rams take on the Packers and will try to repeat what Cincinnati did last week.
Welcome to the Michael Vick show
With the reports of Donovan McNabb not being ready to go on Sunday, Kevin Kolb will get another start according to Eagle offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, even though it is Michael Vick's first week back off suspension.
Don't act stupid—we all know Vick will be seeing plenty of time on the field.
The performance of Kolb last week was nothing spectacular, throwing a couple of picks against a Saints defense. Going against a hungry and always competitive Kansas City team, those picks can cost them.
Vick will see plenty of time on the field, as the fans will be cheering for him and asking for him.
Will the real Tom Brady please stand up?
As a Jets fan, seeing Tom Brady struggle makes me happy. But as a fan of football, will he get please back on track?
62-of-100, 594 passing yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions: Those are not Tom Brady numbers.
I understand recovering from a knee surgery is very difficult for an NFL quarterback. The fear of getting hit again is there, and that is why Brady is having trouble.
He needs to realize he will get hit and that injuries happen. But playing scared is a way to get re-injured. If he wants to win another division title and possibly the Super Bowl, he has to trust his offensive line and step into his throws.
If not, I'll keep smiling comfortably from my chair.
The 49ers @ the Minnesota Vikings
There is a lot more to this game than what meets the eye. Many see it as a 2-0 team vs. a 2-0 team, but I expect a physical game.
On one side, we have the best running back in the game, Adrian Peterson, going against the hardest-hitting linebacker in the league, Patrick Willis. Adrian, meet Patrick. Patrick, meet Adrian.
I am excited for when a lane opens up and Peterson takes it up the middle with Willis waiting for him. I would pay money to see that scenario played over 100 times. Broken tackle? Monster hit? An amazing juke? The possibilities will be endless, and it will be a chess match between these two.
On the other side, you have a resurgent Frank Gore going against the hard-nosed defense of the Vikings. The Williams Wall will be looking to shut him down after seeing his dominating performance a week ago.
In my opinion, this is the game of the week, and it could be the hardest-hitting game of the year.
My prediction? Vikings 24, 49ers 17
Picks for the week
As always, I like to finish off this weekly slideshow with my picks for the upcoming week of football.
Philadelphia over Kansas City
Green Bay over St. Louis
Minnesota over San Francisco
New York Jets over Tennessee
Atlanta over New England
Houston over Jacksonville
New York Giants over Tampa Bay
Detroit over Washington
Baltimore over Cleveland
Chicago over Seattle
New Orleans over Buffalo
Miami over San Diego
Oakland over Denver
Pittsburgh over Cincinnati
Arizona over Indianapolis
Dallas over Carolina