Progress has been slow and steady this year, as I improved on a 9-7 opening weekend record to a 10-6 showing in Week Two.
Close losses were the theme for the second straight week. A Vikings loss by four points and a Dallas loss by seven points were the most damaging to last week's picks. Few people would have thought those franchises would be 0-2 and staring at such decisive turning points so early in the season.
As always, the first five games are the games I have identified as the best matchups of the week, followed by the rest of the games. My record for the season is 19-13.
1) Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0) - If you would have told people at the start of the season that one of the two games featuring undefeated teams in Week Three would be the Steelers, without QB Ben Roethlisberger, and the rebuilding Tampa Bay Buccaneers, most people would have wagered a lot of money that you would be wrong. On paper this is one of the best games of the week.
Unfortunately for the Buccaneers, games are not played on paper and their young QB, Josh Freeman, is going to have his hands full with a Steelers defense that is one of the elite units in the NFL that forced seven turnovers last week alone. I though the Steelers would be lucky to go 2-2 to start the season, now they are looking at going 3-0 and putting themselves in great position to be in first place when Roethlisberger returns. Reports of the Steelers’ demise were very premature. Look for their defense to show that Tampa Bay's 2-0 start was more the product of playing Cleveland and Carolina than being ready for primetime. Steelers win and win big. Winner: Pittsburgh