Week 3 Picks
Buffalo 27 – San Diego 20
A long trip across the country to a city that is suddenly hostile territory…disadvantage: San Diego. While the Chargers have proven themselves capable, and not everyone is buying the Bills’ fast 2-0 start, I think the travel time and atmosphere in Buffalo will be the tipping points in this close matchup.
Cincinnati 30 – Tennessee 7
There isn’t a defense in the league playing better than the one in Cincinnati so far this year, and the Titans just don’t have the firepower to do anything about it. Meanwhile, a balanced offensive attack will continue to pay dividends for a Bengals team who looks to maybe, just maaaybe…taking the next step.
Cleveland 23 – Baltimore 16
Three divisional games to start the season is rough, almost too rough. While the Ravens have broken even throughout the first two, they now head into Cleveland for their third. The Browns have been tough so far, and if they put up the same fight in this game, I don’t think Baltimore will match it.
Green Bay 34 – Detroit 31
Games that smell like shootouts, look like shootouts, are as often not as they turn out to be as they appear. This game, however, I’m willing to bet on being a high-scoring affair. If the Packers want to maintain course in a crowded NFC North, these are the games they must find a way to win; road divisional matchups. I think they can, but that has more to do with the inability of the Lions in closing out tough games.
Indianapolis 34 – Jacksonville 24
Now we’re beginning to see how borderline the Colts really are. Andrew Luck can work miracles, but this team is going to struggle going forward if they can’t find balance across the lines and defensive playmakers. Still, the Jaguars should be a good rebound for the more talented Colts.
New England 38 – Oakland 13
Raiders fans will reminisce on happy memories of the Tuck Rule game because, hell, at least they were competitive back then. Dennis Allen is on his way out in Oakland, and whoever comes in is going to inherit a mess.
New Orleans 35 – Minnesota 23
For the 0-2 Saints, a home game is looking to be just what the doctor ordered to salvage their season before it slips away. For the Vikings, they just have to hold on and hope Matt Cassel can limit the four-turnover mistakes he made last week. Or, maybe they don’t have such hopes, and want rookie Teddy Bridgewater out on the field ASAP. This game could be the catalyst for such a change.
Houston 28 – New York 10
The Texans are playing smart football so far, running the ball and holding strong on defense. This formula will work against the lesser teams in the league. Teams like the Giants.
Philadelphia 24 – Washington 23
Nobody is paying much attention to how well the Redskins have been playing defense so far, but the Eagles will get a course in it this week. Granted, Philly could easily add 10 points to my projected score just by giving Darren Sproles a few more touches, but I like this one being close all the way to the end. I just don’t think Washington is ready to win this sort of game.
St. Louis 23 – Dallas 17
DeMarco Murray will see his numbers increase steadily this week, but the Cowboys’ offense could be rendered one-dimensional with the Rams’ pass rush and a handful of turnovers courtesy of Tony Romo. Given 3rd string QB Austin Davis’ successes against a decent defense last week, I think he’s more than capable of beating what Dallas will line up in front of him.
San Fransisco 31 – Arizona 24
This is a statement game in the NFC West. While the Cardinals have overcome a wide variety of adversity (off-field issues, injuries, etc) to start strong at 2-0, the 49ers have been definitively inconsistent at 1-1. I’m putting my money on the team with the better track record of recent successes, but this one is going to be a battle and worth watching.
Miami 30 – Kansas City 20
I think Knile Davis, in place of Jamaal Charles, is going to have some success in Miami this week. I don’t think, however, that Alex Smith will. As Kansas City continues to deteriorate, the Dolphins can bounce back with a strong home showing after losing in all phases against a divisional foe last week.
Seattle 34 – Denver 28
A lot of people have been talking about this game. Not sure why. Superbowl rematch or some such hullabaloo. All jokes aside, the Seahawks are the better team right now, so I’m picking them. It’s as simple as that. If Peyton Manning manages to find his groove against the defense that borrowed it for four quarters back in February, it could go the other way. I think the real key here is how much more explosive Seattle’s offense is becoming, and how the Broncos much-talked-about revamped defense isn’t quite ready to keep up.
Carolina 27 – Pittsburgh 9
The Panthers are looking very strong after two games. The Steelers, not so much. In Carolina, on Sunday Night, the Panthers will show up looking to make a statement. Lately, when they do this, the results are in their favor.
New York 24 – Chicago 21
I don’t like all the injuries the Bears are accumulating. This is the blood in the water that the Jets can and, I think, will use to their advantage on Monday Night. Remember, they (the Jets) were a confusing timeout away from possibly upsetting the Packers last week. So long as Rex Ryan and his sideline don’t step on their own feet, they have as good a chance to upset the Bears.
(That wasn’t a Rex Ryan-likes-feet pun. At least, it wasn’t intended to be. Was it?)
Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami Dolphins
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina Panthers (Or Johnathan Stewart, flip a coin)
Khiry Robinson, RB, New Orleans SaintsMike Wallace, WR, Miami Dolphiins
Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
Marcedes Lewis, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars
Martellus Bennett, TE, Chicago Bears
Caleb Sturgis, K, Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots D/ST
Tony Romo, QB, Dallas Cowboys
Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals
Keenan Allen, WR, San Diego Chargers
Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
Charles Clay, TE, Miami Dolphins
Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
Cody Parkey, K, Philadelphia Eagles
Seattle Seahawks D/ST