Season Record: 31-18
I had an ugly 9-7 record last week with huge misses with the Giants, Niners, and Steelers getting housed. The Atlanta-Miami game met expectations, and
Cincinnati showed a lot of fight, scoring 20
unanswered points on the Packers. We’re
only three weeks in, but it’s pretty clear how this season is going to go for a
lot of teams.
The good –
Seattle, Denver, New
The bad –
Jacksonville, NY Giants, Minnesota, Pittsburgh
What will we learn this week?
Cardinals @ Bucs
Even though I’m glad to see the Freeman era end, I don’t believe Mike Glennon is the answer either. He gets his first chance to prove me wrong today. Both Vincent Jackson and Mike Williams are questionable. Their absences would make the Bucs virtually weaponless in the passing game. Doug Martin will be called on a lot regardless.
Arizona doesn’t put a ton of pressure on the
passer (5 sacks through 3 games), so that should work well in the rookie’s
favor. The Bucs are a couple of stupid
plays from being 2-1, so their 0-3 isn’t as ugly as the rest of the league’s
winless teams. I expect the Bucs defense
to be stout and help the rookie not have to get into a TD matching
contest. Assuming, Jackson or Williams
plays, look for Mike Sullivan to make use of Glennon’s arm with a few deep balls. Bucs by 10.
Ravens @ Bills
This is a big game for
Baltimore. Buffalo is
really beat up on defense and ranks near the bottom of the league in yards
allowed despite having faced teams that haven’t exactly lit it up against other
teams so far (New England 19th, Carolina 25th, and Jets 12th
in yards per game). Baltimore
is near the bottom of the league in that category thanks to that stinker
against the Browns and the defense and special teams scoring last week against Houston. With Ray Rice reportedly ready to go, I’ll take
the champs to win the time of possession and the battle on the scoreboard.
Bengals @ Browns
I like the Bengals, but I don’t like that they’re without Leon Hall, Dre Kirkpatrick, and Reggie Nelson in this one. Even if Terence Newman is able to handle Josh Gordon, the Bengals don’t have an answer for Jordan Cameron.
able to come back with 20 unanswered points to beat Green Bay last week, and I think they’re
going to need that kind of focused effort to win this one. I’m taking Cincinnati, but I don’t feel great about
it. The favored team has won only one of
the last twelve matchups between these two.
Bears @ Lions
Giants @ Chiefs
I can’t come up with a reason to take the Giants in this one. They can’t run the ball or protect Eli. That’s definitely not going to get any easier against the Chiefs in Arrowhead. To me it’s as easy as this – KC leads’ the NFL with a +9 turnover differential, and the Giants are the game’s worst at -9. Those numbers will surely even out as the season progresses, but I don’t foresee an instant turnaround by both teams. The Giants can’t stop the run (27th most yards per game) and were lit up by DeAngelo Williams for 120 yards on 23 carries (5.2 avg). If they had trouble containing Williams, they’re really going to struggle with Jamaal Charles. Look for another boring Alex Smith-led win and a lot of dirt on the back of Eli’s jersey.
Steelers @ Vikings
Flip a coin. Both of these teams stink so far.
Pittsburgh can’t run the
ball or allow Roethlisberger to set his feet for more than two seconds. Minnesota
couldn’t hold onto a lead if it came with handles. Both defenses are giving up far too many
points. I’m taking the Steelers simply
because I believe in Ben more than Christian.
Colts @ Jaguars
If the Colts were playing just about any other team this week, I might think they’d be in store for a letdown. That won’t matter here, as the Colts should be able to get a good audition from Trent Richardson this week with Ahmad Bradshaw sidelined. It will probably be boring and one of the lower scoring games of the week, but the Colts get the W.
Seahawks @ Texans
I’m sure they’ll lose eventually, but I can’t go against the Seahawks just because they’re on the road at the Texans. After basically walking through their week one win at
Carolina, over the last 8 quarters of
football, there has been no question as to who was the dominant team on the
field. Like San
likes to establish the run, and aside from some Kaepernick runs, the Niners
were shut down. Schaub isn’t
got housed at Baltimore last week, and didn’t
look dominant in beating San Diego or Tennessee. They’ll need to be dominant against Seattle, and I can’t see
it happening. If this is going to be a
special season for Seattle,
they have to win games like this. The
best team in the NFL moves to 4-0.
Jets @ Titans
Jake Locker played well in a loss at
and shined in last week’s win against San
Diego, but I don’t think he’ll be consistent enough in
the passing game to beat a strong Jets defense.
New York likes to run the ball, and I
think they’ll be able to do so successfully against Tennessee.
If Geno Smith can quit throwing the ball to the other team (6 INTs so
far), I like New York’s
chances of winning an ugly road game.
Eagles @ Broncos
After two home stinkers, how eager will the Eagles be to run the fast paced offense at Mile High? Unless Peyton Manning just has such an un-Peyton game, I don’t see Philly having a chance. The Broncos offense is in midseason form and is pretty much unstoppable. Philly’s defense will be outclassed in this one. If you like points, you should see a lot of them here.
Denver scores 40.
Redskins @ Raiders
Cowboys @ Chargers
This is where
usually gives you a stinker – off a strong home win against a team they should
beat with a chance to get some separation within the division. The Chargers have played three three-point
games, so they’re staying in ball games.
I like them to do more than stay in this one. Philip Rivers is off to a hot start (8 TD, 1
INT), and Dallas
has surrendered a combined 7 TDs to Alex Smith, Eli, and Bradford. I think Rivers will be the better QB in this
one, and the Chargers win by, yes, 3 points.
Patriots @ Falcons
Dolphins @ Saints
In what should be the season’s best MNF game so far, I believe Drew Brees and company will put up just enough points to outdo the upstart Dolphins. He had an impressive 342 yards and 3 TDs in last week’s win over
Arizona that I thought might have been
setting up as a bit of a trap. They’re
rolling on defense too, holding all opponents to 17 or fewer points so
far. Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins
earn more respect and fans in this one, but the Saints will be the undefeated
of the two come Tuesday.