Crunch Time For Several Teams: Week 3 NFL Picks
This week the NFL sports many match-ups that look like they could be very lopsided; two 0-2 teams look to right the ship, one against a powerhouse and the other against a lovable loser; and it's all highlighted by 3 divisional clashes that's sure to set the tone for the rest of the season, as far as who will be playing catchup the rest of the year. Let's take a look.
San Francisco @ Kansas City
Despite poor quarterback play from Matt Cassel, The Kansas City Chiefs are 2-0 and in first place in the AFC West. They opened the season with a shocking win over rival San Diego, but barely squeaked by the Browns this past weekend. Meanwhile San Francisco has started the season 0-2, losing embarrassingly at the hands of Seattle, but raising eyebrows at how well they played the defending champion New Orleans Saints. In fact, had the Niners committed one less turnover, they likely would have won the Monday night showdown.
Look for the Niners to get it going this weekend in Kansas City as they hand the Chiefs their first loss of the season.
SF 26 - KC 17
Cleveland @ Baltimore
The Baltimore Ravens have relied on their defense thus far and are sitting on a 1-1 record. The defense has not allowed a touchdown all year long and don't expect that to change this weekend. What you can expect to change is the Ravens' offensive woes. Look for Joe Flacco, who is coming off the worst performance in his career, to carve up the Browns' secondary, and Ray Rice to run wild.
This one has Blowout written all over it.
BAL 39 - CLE 6
Dallas @ Houston
Have you ever seen such a talented team struggle so? The Dallas Cowboys, picked by many to be the first team to ever be the home team in a Superbowl, have started the season 0-2, with an ugly loss to Washington (because of penalties, not the final score) and losing to the Bears in their home opener. The Cowboys need to get something going this week. Unfortunately for them, they have drawn the Houston Texans, who are 2-0 after dismantling the Indianapolis Colts and coming from behind last week and emerging from OT with a victory against the Washington Redskins. It will be interesting to see how Houston plays without its starting left tackle Duane Brown tested positive for a banned substance and was suspended 4 games by the league.
Dallas will turn it around, but not this weekend.
HOU 31 - DAL 24
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings
The Detroit Lions travel to Minnesota this weekend. Both teams are 0-2. Both have had at least one game they should have won this year. Both teams feel they are better than their record suggests. Something's gotta give. One team will walk away from this game 0-3, and it won't be the team you think. The vikings are in real trouble, facing a must win against a team who no one had expectations for this year. Detroit has played both of its games well this year, and, if not for a bogus rule and the resurgence of Michael Vick, easily could be 2-0 right now. The Vikings, on the other hand, struggled against a sloppy Saints team to open the season, and was man handled by the Miami Dolphins last weekend.
The bottom line: the Vikings are a mess. and the Lions really are better than their record. This is my Lock of the Week.
DET 24 - MIN 13
Buffalo @ New England
The Pats are coming off a disappointing loss to the New York Jets, and the Buffalo Bills are just plain awful. The Pats have beaten the Bills 13 times in a row. Look for them to make it 14 easily on Sunday.
NE 56 - BUF 13
Atlanta @ New Orleans
Atlanta travels to face 2-0 New Orleans in this early season NFC South Showdown. The Saints have looked shaky at best in their first two games, and the loss of Reggie Bush won't help at all. In a game that could go either way, I see the dirty birds stealing a victory late in the game on a last second, game winning field goal.
ATL 24 - NO 21
Tennessee @ New York (Giants)
The Titans travel to take on the Giants this weekend after coming off an ugly loss to Pittsburgh. Both teams sport 1-1 records, both having won their opener and lost last weekend. The Giants were absolutely man handled by the Indianapolis Colts. Joseph Addai absolutely shredded the Giants defense, so look for Chris Johnson to do the same, especially after last weeks disappointing performance.
TEN 26 - NYG 20
Pittsburgh @ Tampa Bay
UPSET ALERT: Can you call it an upset when both teams are 2-0? I guess if you go by expectations for the season you could. I can't tell you exactly why I'm buying into this team, just call it a hunch, but do not be surprised if the Buccaneers are 3-0 after this weekend. Don't get me wrong, the Steelers have a good team, but how much longer can they get by with mediocre play from the QB position?
TB 17 - PIT 9
Cincinnati @ Carolina
Cincinnati goes south to face an 0-2 Panthers team who is handing the reigns to rookie QB Jimmy Clausen. Cincinnati has looked terrible in their first two games, on offense anyway, against an ugly New England beatdown and an ugly win against Baltimore. Carolina has had turnover issues, but here's to thinking the rookie will do enough game management to bring in Carolina's first "W".
CAR 10 - CIN 7
Philadelphia @ Jacksonville
Philly flies south to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars. Both teams are 1-1, but one is much better than the other, thanks to the resurgence of Michael Vick. Say what you will about the man, but he can flat out ball. He is electrifying, fun to watch, and the guys on the team believe in him. Meanwhile Jacksonville is coming off a 6 turnover game. Look for Vick to shred the Jaguars D with both his arm and his legs, while Garrard continues to struggle against the Eagles' secondary.
PHI 39 - JAX 23
Washington @ St. Louis
The Redskins are coming off a heartbreaking loss against the Houston Texans, as they travel to St. Louis to take on the woeful Rams. This again is one of those games that I just have a hunch about. Everything on paper says I should take the Skins, but Mike Shanahan's teams seemingly always struggle with really bad teams. That's the best reasoning I can provide.
STL 26 - WAS 17
Oakland Raiders @ Arizona Cardinals
Oakland heads to the desert to face the winless Cardinals after coming off their first win of the year against the lowly Rams. The big headline of this one is that Bruce Gradkowski has replaced Jason Campbell as the starting QB. It really doesn't matter who your QB is when you have the 3rd ranked rushing attack in the league. The Cardinals woes continue this week as they fall to 0-3 in yet another blowout win. (before you jump down my throat cards fans, this is coming from a Broncos Fan)
Maybe if Kurt Warner is eliminated from DWTS, he will come back to football. Or maybe your coach was an idiot to piss off Matt Leinart. more likely the latter.
OAK 37 - ARZ 17
San Diego @ Seattle
The Bolts travel north to face the Seahawks, who are coming off a beatdown at the hands of the Denver Broncos. Both teams are 1-1, and both have won decisively this year. If Seattle can get the ball into the hands of Golden Tate, and the fact that this game is being payed in Seattle, I see the Seahawks edging out the Chargers.
SEA 24 - SD 21
New York (Jets) @ Miami
Miami is 2-0 coming off an impressive victory against Minnesota, while the Jets are 1-1 coming off an impressive come from behind win over the Pats. The Jets will be without Revis, so look for Brandon Marshall to get multiple opportunities, while Miami looks to take control of the AFC East early.
MIA 20 - NYJ 13
Green Bay @ Chicago
GAME OF THE WEEK: The undefeated Green Bay Packers travel to Chicago to take on the undefeated Bears on Monday night. This division used to be the black and blue division, but has since become the finesse division. Look for a high scoring, high flying shoot out in a game where one team will come out on top and in control of the NFC North. Jay Cutler is about to have a career night.
CHI 45 - GB 41
I am a Denver Broncos fan and will not be picking games they are involved in. Call me superstitious, but i will not be doing. Sorry to all the Colts fans. I'll let you make your own predictions in the comments.