NFL Week 3 Picks!

Typically 13-3 will win you most weeks… but a 14-2 on the charity of Tennessee’s improbable win over Baltimore last week beat me to the punch. No matter. I am a combined 24-8 moving into the 3rd week of the season. And it’s a tough one.

Having waited to the last possible moment, bear with my succinctness…

Patriots @ Bills
The Bills can win this game and it wouldn’t even surprise me but they are still picked by only 1 out of 32 folks in my pool and less than 10% of folks across the internet. Hmm, then again I also picked the Patriots lol The Bills have a lot of familiarity with their divisional rival and have the offense (and emerging defense?) to at least challenge, especially at home. However, Belichick is evil and will find a way to ruin that.

Niners @ Bengals
The Niners lose Braylon Edwards but regain Michael Crabtree. My guess is that this frees up the offense, actually and expect more from Vernon Davis and Frank Gore. The Niners have what it takes to win most weeks but shoot themselves in the foot with inexplicable failures like the debacle that was allowing Dallas back into the game last week. No matter, if they remain focused, they should win in Cincy.

Dolphins @ Browns
Ok, Brownies, don’t you pull a Browns on me. I picked you against the Bungles and they beat you. I picked the Colts over you and you beat me. The Dolphins have no run game, their offense has been running off Ether dust or something as Chad Henne cannot sustain that sort of QB play and the Browns at least have an emerging stud perhaps in Colt. And I just like the Browns at home, they always bring it kinda nasty. No Peyton Hillis is a buzzkill but Hardesty can roll.

Broncos @ Titans
Well if last week is any indication, the Titans are very tough defensively at home and can rush the passer well. Orton and the Broncos get sacked a lot. McGahee looks fresher than years past but this doesn’t bode well. If Chris Johnson can finally get it together this year, this would be the week as Denver also was gouged by Darren McFadden a couple weeks ago and showed how its done. Hasselbeck has been quietly pretty good (and healthy).

Lions @ Vikings
I’ve been saying this all week but Minnesota’s strength offensively is Adrian Peterson and that goes straight into Detroit’s strength defensively, Suh and the (dis)ASSEMBLY LINE. I thought of that one myself. Also by the way, Stafford to Megatron is getting sexier by the week, Jahvid Best is starting to earn his draft position and the Lions, everybody’s trendy pick this year to make the most improvement, are keeping the hype alive.

Texans @ Saints
A shootout this might be but one in Nawlins usually ends with a Saints victory. The Saints offense will be the best challenge Houston’s “improved” defense has seen so after this week we’ll be able to rightly assess them but I don’t think they’ll be able to stop the attack enough times.

Giants @ Eagles
Vick is cleared to play and that’s all you need to know here. The Giants didn’t look good last week or the week before and the Eagles need Vick out there (Kafka was surprisingly good but obviously not that hard to scheme for). The Eagle want to bounce back from a tough loss in primetime and have their rivals at home. Eli will get a mouthful of Trent Cole before it’s all said n done.

Jags @ Panthers
I’ll keep this one very simple. The Jags secondary is going to get shredded worse than either of Cam’s last two match ups and that alone is scary enough for me to pick the Panthers to win this game at home. 500 yards combined offense for the rook? Not at all impossible.

Chiefs @ Chargers
Only by the hand of God can or will the Chiefs pull an upset here. Nothing to see or talk about here, move along.

Jets @ Raiders
Man, I can go on forever on this one but I’ll keep it sweet. The Raiders are coming off a tough loss on a short week and an early start in Buffalo. The defense knows it failed an offense that was highlighted by Denarius Moore showing off the skills he’s been showing all camp and preseason. I believe that Richard Seymour will get the defense riled up for the sold out home opener and the Black Hole will turn Mark Sanchez into the hot dog. McFadden and Bush will hammer away at the tough Gang Green until its blue.

Ravens @ Rams
I hate schizo teams. Right now, the Ravens are in my doghouse. The Rams have a lot of heart and a ton of skill but the amount of mistakes they made last week against the Giants was just inexcusable. The Ravens defense will not let those sorts of mistakes go untapped. Flacco wakes up from his flaccid slumber.

Cardinals @ Seahawks
How bad are the Seahawks? The Cards who have one of the most swiss cheese defenses in the league are probably going to look like the Steel Curtain in Seattle today. And at least they have productive offensive players with Kolb-Fitzgerald lookin nice and Hightower running hard. Seattle? Well, Tarvaris Jackson…

Falcons @ Bucs
Hmm. The Falcons won last week mostly off of X factors. They won the crowd back when Vick got smacked out the game, Matty Ice finally started releasing the ball a little bit quicker (and a little bit before Trent Cole would wind up on top of him) and the Falcons snuck out, at home, a pretty awesome win. The Bucs always play the Falcons tough and have shown that they have the talent to strike whenever and pretty hard. If Josh Freeman can play in the 1st half the way he plays in every 4th quarter he’s ever played, the Bucs win this game and many more this year.

Packers @ Bears
The toughest pick, by far. The Pack does have trouble in Chicago, it’s a place they’ve played many many times before and the rivalry is HOT. Green Bay’s secondary is suspect, Cutler has been throwing the ball better and the Bears really beat the Packers last year in primetime when they were considered not to have much of a chance. If the Bears come out with the same intensity they did at home against the Falcons in week 1, they’ll take this.

Steelers @ Colts
Overkill. The Steelers need only play 1 quarter of offense to win this game. Colts are in disarray. How is Jeff George’s name even in the news? Better question, why?

Redskins  @ Cowboys
Nice… I don’t like the Cowboys, I think Tony Romo is fake and there might be something brewin in the nation’s Capital. Redskins on the road against division rival with tough, tough defense, a smart Rex and big running backs.

NFL Week 2 Picks!

Seeing as how I’ve waited to the eve of battle to do this, I’ll keep it short n sweet. I went a decent 11-5 in opening week but it wasn’t enough to win out in an office pool so for all intents and purposes, I did not perform well.

It’s time to take this to another level.
Jags at Jets
The Jags snuck out of last week thanks to a dismal performance from their opponent, the Titans. McCown will need to use the Force to complete anything over 10 yards against the Jets defense that bent but did not break against an underrated Cowboys offense. Too much is being made of the sluggish start that New York had, they’ll handily shut down the Jacksonville passing game and force into being one dimensional.

Bears at Saints
The Bears defense smothered a pretty good Falcons offense and they might be even scarier this week with Urlacher playing with a heavy heart. That said, they’ll be in the Superdome and facing a Saints offense that scored enough points last week to have almost beaten anyone they’d have played and who are miffed that it all amounted to a loss.

Raiders at Bills
Too much is being made of Buffalo’s piledriver in KC. The Chiefs are terrible and have been in an epic offensive rut since the last month or so of the PREVIOUS season. The Bills looked good but a grain of salt is required; KC’s ineptitude is nothing new. The Raiders on the other hand overcame a ridiculous amount of penalties and mistakes to beat a divisional rival on the road in primetime that was rockin’ the house (the camera was literally shaking) to put up 190 yards rushing and harass both lines en route to a victory which means we know the Raiders can go into a hostile environment early in the season and shoulder that initial blitzkrieg of energy, stay settled and grind out a win.

 Cardinals at Redskins
The Cards secondary gave up the most yards ever to a rookie QB in his debut and they were at home and barely won. The Redskins showed that they can play some really gritty football at home and have a surprisingly effective offense under 2nd year head coach Mike Shanahan to go with their very good defense. Tim Hightower has a chip the size of Arizona on his shoulder and a lot of skill. Redskins will run the ball down Arizona’s throat, set up the pass, take advantage of their opportunities and win at home to go up 2-0 in the division. Hmm… was Rex onto something? Lulz
for a week anyway…

Ravens at Titans
No amount of tape can be watched in Nashville to change the outcome of this game. They couldn’t stop Jacksonville’s offense and couldn’t figure out their defense. What on Earth are they going to do against Cam Cameron and Ray Rice?

Seahawks at Steelers
The wrong time to be playing the Steelers in Pitts. Yuck.

Packers at Panthers
The Pack is the best team in football. They won the Super Bowl without a couple of their best players and with them, look even scarier. Cam Newton will be lucky to get 200 yards against this secondary. He’s good and his chemistry with Steve Smith is enticing but this week there’ll be a whole lot of scrambling with the two Viking warlords THOR I (Clay Matthews) and THOR II (AJ Hawk) chasing him all day.

Bucs at Vikings
I don’t expect McNabb to throw for 39 yards every week (the Chargers do have a pretty good secondary and pass rush after all) but I also don’t expect McNabb to look anything like his old self against Tampa or anyone else anytime soon. The Bucs had a rough, underperforming week 1 and will look to bounce back on the road with more touches for Blount and a much better performance from Josh Freeman

Browns at Colts
Not sure why everyone’s written off the Colts. I’m not saying they’re going to win the Super Bowl or nothing but the only team in their division that is worth anything is the Texans and they are as likely to lose a division that’s theirs to lose as any team in the NFL. Anyway, about the matchup at hand: the Colts obviously looked awful but Kerry Collins looked like an old QB just out of retirement that’s unfamiliar with the playbook, snap counts, and everything else. Sounds about right. The Browns coming into Indy might be the best tonic to get some of those kinks out the system. So many folk are picking the Browns to win this game but don’t forget that these are the same Browns that threw the game away against the BUNGALZ the week before. The Colts have talent on their team but are missing the most integral part of their system and a cog that has been there for a decade and a half. They’ll get it together at home this week.

Chiefs at Lions
The Lions look formidable and would be a trendy pick for me too were it not the ruthless division they operate in. They’re still the 2nd best team in the division at best and are more likely the 3rd behind Chicago but they can and will beat most opponents with a stifling defensive line and high-powered (as long as healthy) offense. A whole season of Stafford to Megatron is just AWESOME. The Chiefs? *sigh* everything’s broken in KC. The top rushing attack last year is missing its offensive line this year and Haley is hardheaded idiot.

Cowboys at Niners
I grew up watching this rivalry and it’s one of my favorites mostly because I love to hate both of these teams! In all seriousness, both teams are much better than their QBs allow them to be; Romo because he makes too many mistakes and Smith because he plays like he’s perpetually afraid of making any. Smith will not beat the Cowboys (even with all their injuries to the secondary… it isn’t like he challenges very many secondary’s anyway) completing 75% of his 5 yard passes. If the Cowboys (ie Romo) can limit their mistakes, they’ll win.

Texans at Dolphins
This is going to be a good game and is one of the tougher to call. My initial gut reaction was that the Texans could come in on the road with their explosive offense and outscore the Phins. Then I started thinking that New England basically did the same thing only Schaub is no Brady and that the Dolphin defense can get tough at home. Buuut…. then I remembered that Henne is bound to come back down to Earth and throw a few picks into a much improved Houston secondary (maybe better even than New England’s?). The Texans can get after the QB and Henne isn’t really good in those situations. Even without Arian Foster, the Texans can put up a lot of points on Miami and put this puppy out of reach. I’m sticking with my gut.

Chargers at Patriots
Not only do the Chargers do really poorly against the Pats in Foxborough, they’re also, generally, not very good playing East Coast games (although their record playing the late start on the East Coast is much better than their early start record). This will still be one of the better games this week as Rivers always shows up against the Pats but they always manage to find ways to eliminate Rivers’ supporting cast and Brady looks at the top of his game (thought he reached that already but whatever). As good as San Diego looked last week coming back from behind against a lukewarm, one dimensional Vikings team, they’re in for yet another Belichick clinic.

Bengals at Broncos
I can’t believe I’m doing this but I’m picking the Broncos to get their running game in order and grind out a win at home. They’re weak but I’m convinced their offense can move the ball against Cincy better than they did against an up n coming Raider defense. Defensively, Cincinnati’s offense is far more limited than Oakland’s. Broncos should be able to win this.

Eagles at Falcons
Game of the week? The scheduling gods don’t play around (or leave anything to chance) with awesome storylines like Vick returning to Atlanta on Sunday night with his brandspankin’new dream team to take on a preseason hyped Atlanta squad that got squashed in their first action of the year. It isn’t technically a time of desperation for the Falcons given the whole South lost last week but it’s still imperative they get something in the win column ASAP. The A will be rockin’ tomorrow night.

Rams at Giants
The Rams are ravaged by injuries after only one week. Even if Stephen Jackson plays, it’s a long shot that he’ll be a gamechanger and without their only real star, the Rams are in trouble against a Giants team looking to rebound at home.