NFL Picks Week 3: Marcus Stroud Predicts His Winners
What’s up peeps?
It’s me again and the good folks at Bleacher Report have given me another opportunity to grace their pages.
This week we will take a close look at a couple of games and the factors that make these games so interesting.
I started off at 4-1 and now I’m going to see if I can keep things going!
Jaguars vs. Panthers
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We have a very interesting game here people, as rookie sensation Cam Newton will face fellow rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert when the Jags and Panthers face off this Sunday.
Blaine Gabbert will be getting his first NFL start as the Jaguars are looking to rebound after a tough loss to the Jets last Sunday. Jacksonville was left with no other decision than to go with the rookie after the way former starter Luke McCown played.
The Jacksonville defense will be looking to regain their form also after facing a tough Jets offense. They will have their hands full having to face Cam Newton. Newton has put up huge numbers in his first two starts as an NFL quarterback. He has yet to reach the most important stat though, and that’s a win. The only way for the Panthers to achieve that win is to somehow find a way to get DeAngelo Williams jump started in the run game, especially in the red zone.
Expect to see two defenses going all out this Sunday, as I think that both coordinators are going to see just how much these rookies can handle. I think Cam will put up good numbers, but until his running game arrives he won’t get that W.
I think that Jacksonville will keep their plan simple and rely on MJD to carry the load.The Panthers will finally find a way to run the ball and Newton will have a solid day, not huge numbers, but their first win.
Prediction: Carolina 24, Jacksonville 14
Eagles vs. Giants
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After having to leave Monday’s night game due to a concussion, Mike Vick’s status for Sunday’s game may be up in the air.
The Eagles will face the Giants who beat the Rams on Monday night. The Giants were able to gain their first victory but not without a little controversy. Two Giants players were accused of faking injury to slow down the Rams no huddle. This even prompted the commissioner to send out letters this week warning against this. He even promised fines and or suspension—is anyone surprised?
To accompany all of this you have safety Antrel Rolle talking trash. Rolle wants no excuses when the G-Men put it to the Eagles. He wants Vick in the game but he may have to settle for backup QB Mike Kafka. Vick must first pass all of his concussion tests before he steps back on the field. He will want to be at 100 percent facing a Giants D-line that loves to pressure the QB.
This game has more subplots than a Hollywood movie.
The Giants are still a little sore about losing wideout Steve Smith to the Eagles this offseason, and they haven’t been quiet about it.
So who wins this NFC East rivalry? The Eagles of course, (with or without Vick.)That secondary will show why it’s one of the best in the NFL and will make Eli’s daylong. Expect to see a lot of McCoy and look for Steve Smith to try to make a few plays against his former team.
Prediction: Philly 27, New York 17
Bucs vs. Falcons
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Funny how a week can change things. I went against the Falcons last week as they hosted the Eagles, and boy was I wrong.
The Falcons were able to make plays in the running game as well as the passing game.They were able to keep a good pass rush on Vick and most importantly they kept their rushing lanes. This is very important when playing a mobile quarterback. By rushing your assigned lane it should minimize the quarterback’s scrambling area by condensing the pocket.
The Falcons did a good job of this Monday, even causing Vick to leave the game with a concussion. They will need more of the same when facing yet another mobile QB in Josh Freeman.
Freeman and the Bucs outscored the Minnesota Vikings 24-3 in the second half to secure their first victory. Both teams have two of the games’ next big thing at QB, and they both have a very capable run game with Michael Turner and LeGarrette Blount.
The Falcons wideouts will face a pretty good secondary in Tampa, but with the way Tony Gonzalez was playing last week, the Bucs had better be worried. I think the Falcons will continue their winning ways with a close one in Tampa.
Prediction: Atlanta 17, Tampa Bay 14
Redskins vs. Cowboys
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I know most of you wouldn’t have picked this game, but Washington/Dallas has and always will be one of my favorite football rivalries. Rex Grossman and the ‘Skins face a banged up Dallas Cowboy team.
Tony Romo led the Cowboys to an overtime victory despite having cracked ribs and a collapsed lung. His availability now is up in the air at best, or at least I think. I do know that they will be facing an undefeated Redskins team who is going to target those ribs if he plays.
Romo isn’t the only guy hurting while Dallas is banged up at secondary and receiver.That may signal good news for Rex Grossman and the rest of the ‘Skins offense.Fred Davis will cause some issues for the Cowboys in coverage and Hightower is an effective runner in Mike Shanahan’s offense.
Barring a complete meltdown, Grossman and the ‘Skins should move along to 3-0.
Prediction: Washington 28, Dallas 17
Bills vs. Patriots
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Can the undefeated Buffalo Bills beat an undefeated New England Patriot team? That question will be answered this Sunday in a battle between these AFC East foes.
Both of the offenses in this game are simply on fire. The Bills are averaging 40 points a game while Tom Brady’s play has New England rolling along.
Are the Bills for real? I think so and this just may be an upset in the making. The Bills were able to run the ball against the Pats in last year’s meeting, and Fred Jackson is off to another good start. I will even dare to say that the Bills receiving corps have the advantage over the Pats secondary.
Can the Bills defense slow down the passing attack of the Patriots? Kyle Williams and the rest of that defensive line will need to put constant pressure on Brady, and not allow him to get in his comfort zone.
This will be a good game and surprisingly high scoring. “Fitzmagic” and the upstart Bills will remain undefeated and pull off the upset.
Prediction: Buffalo 38, New England 35
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Well folks, those are my thoughts and predictions for the week. Thanks for the support and feedback. Don’t forget to follow me on twitter @marcusstroud99! See you next week.