Okay, I’m at 48-29 with a horrible week three. Otherwise, so far, so fair. Here’s a look at this week’s matchups:
Pittsburgh at Tennessee:
Played on Thursday. I predicted Steelers by 20. Very injured Steelers team there. Ouch. 0-1 to start this week.
Oakland at Atlanta:
Possibly a trap game here. Oakland’s RB Darren McFadden has a good chance to make a spash for once this season – the Falcons give up 5.4 yds/carry. I see chinks in this Falcons armor and the game should be closer than people expect, but I just don’t see the silver and black winning in the Georgia Dome straight-up, especially seeing how they played in Miami. The Raiders rarely play well on the east coast.
Falcons by 11
Cincinnati at Cleveland: Cincy finally lost to a team with a losing record last week when the Dolphins beat ‘em. The Browns don’t have the defense the ‘phins do, not quite, and Mohammed Massaquoi is out. The Browns’ defense hasn’t held up their end and until I see signs of life I can’t pick ‘em, but if they have a shot to beat anyone it might be this weekend against the Bengals. Until then…
Bengals by 6
St. Louis at Miami: The Rams are a surprise team of sorts this season with a defensive line that can pressure the QB and a pretty opportunistic secondary with 2 really good corners in Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins. Their linebackers, James Laurinitis aside, really have little talent. The Dolphins are a top-ten running team with Reggie Bush & Co. that should exploit that Rams D. The Rams’ offense is the struggling unit and I don’t see Bradford lighting up Miami’s defense…the pass rush will be enough to keep him a little jittery.
Dolphins by 13
Indianapolis at New York Jets: After the second-half comeback against the Packers last week, Andrew Luck showed he’s all those things people said he was in college. Mark Sanchez continues to prove he’s none of those things people said he was coming OUT of college. Much more of this, and Tim Tebow will get another chance at leading a team. The Jets defense hasn’t been effective either. Gang Green is a sinking ship.
Colts by 10
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles: This one could be a case of who wants to lose the most. With the Lions unable to stop anyone defensively and Michael Vick’s turnovers in the red zone, it should be an interesting game to watch, at least. Detroit’s had the bye week to plan well for the Eagles. Too bad it won’t help them win.
Eagles by 14
Kansas City at Tampa Bay: Now here’s a train wreck of a game for you. KC managed to play well against the Ravens at Arrowhead and Tampa Bay is really struggling after an opening-day win. KC may have it together enough to pull this one off.
Chiefs by 4
Dallas at Baltimore: This game should be a close game despite the Cowboys’ offensive woes. I think they matchup well against the Ravens right now, but they’re just not playing disciplined football – especially on offense. The Ravens are coached by a Harbaugh and those teams rarely come out unready to play.
Ravens by 13
New England at Seattle: This is going to be a difficult game for Brady’s Pats on the road. I’m convinced Seattle has the best home-field advantage of any team in the NFL and currently they sport the league’s top-ranked defense. I watched them frustrate the Panthers all day last week, and their defense is no fluke. They tackle well and make plays. If Russell Wilson can protect the ball….look out.
Seahawks by 2
Buffalo at Arizona: If any game can help the overpriced, underachieving Buffalo Bills defense, it’s this one. Arizona has so many problems on their offensive line, Kevin Kolb almost helps the team as much with his acting ability drawing flags for late hits as he does with his passing. He’s improved a lot over what he showed in preseason, however, and they’re coming off a long week after a Thursday night loss against the Rams. Since they’re at home, they should take this one against the hapless Bills.
Cardinals by 17
New York Giants at San Francisco: One of the more interesting games is last year’s NFC Championship game rematch. I think the Giants’ defense is too soft up the middle to stop the Niners’ running game and the Niners’ offensive game plan is always run first, then go to play-action and protect the ball. The Giants have struggled rushing the passer this year, despite all that talent on their defensive line.
Niners by 14
Minnesota at Washington: The Vikings are the surprise team and RG3 is coming off a concussion. I’ll cut to it. If RG3 plays, the ‘skins should win at home. I just think the Vikings are due for a reality check after their quick start and Washington is a team who matches up nicely right now I think.
Redskins by 4
Green Bay at Houston: The Packers continue to struggle despite improving their defense. Mike McCarthy is still trying to fix this offense, but they’ll be without Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley has a shoulder injury that will slow him even if he does play. The Texans are a run-first team that should slow down the pass rush. The Texans’ defense lost a key cog in Brian Cushing to an ACL, but are still a very tough unit facing that struggling offense. I see Houston continuing their winning ways again this week at home.
Texans by 17
Denver at San Diego: Very difficult game to predict. The Chargers seem to be the better team when they’re “on,” and Denver’s losses have all been to elite teams. The Chargers lost to the previously-winless Saints last week. The rub here is the Chargers are playing at home and is probably one of those Vegas “pick ‘ems” since both teams are coming off a rough road loss last week.
Broncos by 5
Pretty much can pick San Fran, Houston, or Atlanta as fallbacks if not used already. Not quite time to try to “steal” a game – yet – for most of us…then again I’m 2-3 in my own “eliminator” challenge, thanks to Green Bay’s collapse last week.
Miami over St. Louis
Arizona over Buffalo
Indy over New York Jets < — not a “steal”, just “opportunistic”
Philadelphia over Detroit