Welcome to week 3 in the National Football League. The shapes of each conference are being to take form. The divisions themselves match up quite well at this stage of the season. But this week will begin to separate the men from the boys. Those professional pickers over at ESPN have cast their ballots and the results are in!
As usual, I have made my predictions right long side the likes of Mike Golic, Ron Jaworski, the two robots and the rest of the ESPN panel of pundits. Last week was a wild wind up of football. There were upsets along with easy pickings. How did I fare against the ESPN machine? Who am I picking this week? You just might be surprised. Read on.
Patriots @ Bills: The Bills have been playing surprisingly well.Their come from behind win last weekend proved that they are not going to be satisfied with another losing season. Buffalo has not had a season above .500 since 2004. This just may be the year that things change for our other New York football team. Having said that, Patriots win. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pats mirror their 2007 season. Maybe the Giants can do the same?
Bengals @ 49ers: The Niners have been scratching and clawing their way up the ladder of the NFC West. In fact, their tied for first place. But San Fran aren’t filled with the goodies that the Bengals are filled with. Yep, you guessed it. Ganja! Cincinnati WR Jerome Simpson had his house raided yesterday where 8.5 pounds of buds the size of Ndamukong Suh were found. Simpson and Bengals OT Anthony Collins were detained. No arrests were been made…yet. To add fuel to Cincy’s big, munchie inducing fire, RB Cedric Benson will play his last game before a potential 3 game suspension. This could be the last big Bambu before the long arm of the law, both NFL and Federales, kill the nice little buzz that the Bengals were enjoying. So…dude…wait…what? Bengals win, man.
Dolphins @ Browns: Cleveland has been very successful shutting down the passing lanes. They lead the league with the least amount of passing yards allowed per game. This game will be played in their house, which always helps. However, Miami is looking for the first win. The Browns’ rushing defense is atrocious, 24th in the league. While most think that RB Reggie Bush is all washed up, I still think he has some gas left in his tank and I think this week is when he will prove it. Dolphins win.
Broncos @ Titans: Tennessee’s defense is ranked 3rd in total yards. Their offensive line is ranked 4th. They have Kenny Brit who is ranked 2nd in receiving yards, behind Steve Smith of the Panthers. I am not going to say that this will be a blowout but it will definitely be a lopsided victory. Titans win.
Lions @ Vikings: Last week the Vikings defense shutout the Bucs for the entire first half. Their defense did what one would EXPECT them to do. Then, the second half started. Minnesota’s defense AND offense were nonexistent. They performed almost identically in the season opener the week before. This is a team that has no consistency and that doesn’t bode well for them coming into this week’s matchup. The Lions have been consistent and solid all the way around. An offense and defense in the top ten and the #1 offensive line..the Lions will continue to roar. Lions win.
Texans @ Saints: I made the mistake of going against the Saints at home last week. It was a hard decision to make given how hot they are playing right now. The Texans are no slouches either. They are undefeated and have the best defense in the league. It will be a tough game for the Saints but if you know what it means to miss New Orleans then you know that the Saints will come marching in. Saints win.
Giants @ Eagles: I am all alone on this one kiddies. I tried to be as objective as I possibly could. The history between these two teams goes deep, especially over the last year. I don’t think the rivalry has ever been this heated. The Gmen have some guys missing, some players are banged up and some are questionable if they will be in on Sunday. The Eagles are dealing with the same sort of thing, perhaps not to the degree that the Giants are. Michael Vick sustained a concussion last week. He’ll definitely play. but, as usual, he is a just a moving target that WILL get hit. He will be forced out of the game by some hard hitting members of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew. That is not to say that their backup QB Mike Kafka is not capable of wreaking his own brand of havoc on the opposition. This game is going to come down to pressure and pressure is what the Giants will bring. They have the third best rush defense in the league. Philly’s rush defense is the third worst. These two teams know where to exploit the other and what their weaknesses are. At the end of a very long, bloody battle this Sunday in Philadelphia, Giants win.
Jaguars @ Panthers: This is my pick of the week folks. Cam Newton. Steve Smith. Any questions? Panthers win.
Jets @ Raiders: The only thing that the Raiders have working in their favor this week is the jet lag that the Jets will undoubtedly shake off. Jets win….say hello to Kevin Boss for us.
Ravens @ Rams: Baltimore performed horribly last weekend. It was ugly and hard to watch. On the opposite end of the spectrum, they manhandled one of the best teams in the NFL, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the week prior. I’ll speak more about the Steelers in a second. The Ravens have too much pride to play for this week and will be looking to redeem themselves against a second rate team. Ravens win.
Chiefs @ Chargers: KC clinched their division last season. They also struggled on the road. This year, they are struggling on the road and at home. It’s a little disturbing that they have started the season off at 0-2. What is even more disturbing is that they will be at 0-3 come Sunday evening. Chargers win.
Packers @ Bears: This is an age old rivalry. The Bears will win one of the two meetings this year. They’re just not ready to do it against a smoking hot Packers team. Packers win…eat cheese.
Cardinals @ Seahawks: Seattle was blown out of the water by the 49ers in the season opener. The were shut out last week by Pittsburgh. This week they will give their fans something to sob about in their home opener. What’s in the rain anyway? Cardinals win.
Falcons @ Buccaneers: After a dismal start, Atlanta came out strong against an old foe last weekend, taking out that old foe in the process (thanks guys). Hotlanta may have found their momentum last week and they will have a chance to prove it against a very competitive Tampa Bay team who are not without their share of weaknesses. The two matchup fairly well. But in the end, there will be mutiny at Tampa Bay. Falcons win.
Steelers @ Colts: What can you really say? It is a sad, sad situation all around for a class A organization. Losing Peyton Manning has proven to be even more catastrophic than originally anticipated. The Colts just have zero identity and the will to win is just not there. It is very disheartening to see. Now, the Steelers seem to have lost a few steps in their stride. This is an aging team but still have a few tricks up their sleeve. Hopefully, they keep the rest of the team off of Dancing With The Stars and finish the season off strong. Steelers win.
Redskins @ Cowboys: The majority vote from ESPN says that the Cowboys will win this game. Perhaps they didn’t see Tony Romo wincing in pain and struggling for five minutes to get out of his chair on Inside The NFL this week. Well, I did. I have also seen a reborn Rex Grossman defy the odds. Romo is in no shape to play this week. To put him in would be a huge mistake for the newly crowned coach, Jason Garrett. Sit him out. Let him mend. Then come out swinging when you face the Skins later in the year. Redskins win.
Who are you picking? Let’s hear from you.
Tags: Cam Newton Cedric Benson Chicago Bears Dallas Cowboys ESPN Green Bay Packers Jason Garrett Jerome Simpson Marijuana Minnesota Vikings National Football League Ndamukong Suh New England Patriots New Orleans Saints New York Giants NFC East NFL NY Giants NYG Philadelphia Eagles Rex Grossman Sean Kerr Steve Smith Tony Romo Washington Redskins