I had an awful start to my season in Week 3 by going 7-9 , but I did get my pick of the week right. Hopefully I can turn it around and pick better than Eric Mangini with his quarterbacks. Home teams in CAPS.
EAGLES (-8.5) over Chiefs
Even without Donovan McNabb, the Eagles may still have the two best quarterbacks playing in Michael Vick and Jeff Garcia, although neither will start. Kevin Kolb looked great with 391 passing yards and two touchdowns, but did throw three picks. The Chiefs on the other have been thoroughly unimpressive and rookie Head Coach Todd Haley is already talking about switching up starting quarterbacks. Quite the vote of confidence.
Packers (-7) over RAMS
The Packers will be angry from the start after losing at home to the lowly Bengals, and watching Chad Ochocinco-Johnson make a Lambeau Leap. Anyways, the Packers are a way better team at every position except running back. But the Packers tough defense can easily put a stop to the one-dimensional Rams offense. So give me a Packer team with a purpose and Aaron Rodgers with 300 yards in the air.
49ers (+7) over VIKINGS
Sure, the Niners only beat the Cardinals and Seahawks, so they may be a misleading 2-0, but those were two tough divisional games, including a win against the NFC Champs. And if you think that San Fran’s 2-0 is misleading, take a look at the Vikings 2-0 record with wins versus Cleveland and Detroit, who likely could be the two worst teams in the league. To make matters worse for the Vikes, Adrian Peterson has a hurt back, so Brett Favre will have to throw down field a lot more. Gunslingers throwing to speedy receivers who don’t always get a handle on the ball often lead to interceptions.
Titans (+2.5) over JETS
The Jets are the young, surprise teams who is off to a 2-0 start, while the veteran Titans who had giant expectations coming into the year are already at 0-2. Remember that this very same Titans team won their first 10 games until the Jets came in and crashed the party. Also remember that Mark Sanchez is a rookie with only one year of experience in college. The Titans need this game more and want revenge. It’ll be one of those games for Sanchez.
PATRIOTS (-4) over Falcons
For those of you over thinking this game and pointing out the Patriots deteriorating defense, remember that this is the Falcons going up to Foxborough. Brady will finally face a soft defense and get back to his 2007-08 form. The Patriots are also 9-0 after losing their previous game. Randy Moss and Wes Welker have yet to catch a touchdown pass, and look for that to change big time as Matt Ryan doesn’t play well enough to win in his New England homecoming.
TEXANS (-3.5) over Jaguars
In a match-up of AFC South teams, the Texans return home to try and climb back into the division race. The Texans are way more talented across the board and are still waiting for second year running back Steve Slaton to return to his rookie form. The Jaguars are that team that you want to pick to win, but when you look closer, you see no reason to like them. Look for a big win in Houston.
Giants (-7) over BUCCANEERS
This line is way to small. The Giants are one of the top five teams in the league and the Bucs are one of the worst five. With the emergence of Mario Manningham and the other Steve Smith as semi-legitimate wide outs, the Giants could really wreak some havoc on Tampa. For the Bucs to have any shot of keeping it even within the spread, they’ll need Kellen Winslow and Antonio Bryant to have huge games, since their trio of running backs won’t have much room to move against the Giants ferocious defensive line.
Redskins (-6.5) over LIONS
This game is becoming a popular pick for the Lions. In case you forgot, the Lions haven’t won a game since December 23, 2007. Brett Favre was still playing for the Packers at that point. The Redskins are loaded with talented players like Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, Albert Haynesworth, and many more. Washington has been underachieving, but they are still head over heels better than the Lions.
RAVENS (-13.5) over Browns
Although the Ravens nearly have a two touchdown spread against the Browns, it is not high enough. The Ravens went into San Diego and beat the Chargers by 5. The Ravens can also score now, not just eat you up on defense. Joe Flacco is emerging as one of the top young QBs in the league, and the combination of Willis McGahee, Ray Rice and Le’Ron McClain is becoming one of the better offenses in the league. Oh, yeah, and the Browns are awful. Completely and utterly awful.
Bears (-2) over SEAHAWKS
The Bears shocked the NFL by going to Pittsburgh and beating the Super Bowl Champs, even without their best defensive player, Brian Urlacher. The Seahawks are a great sleeper team this year, but without Matt Hasselback starting, they aren’t very good. The Bears are solid on defense and have a great quarterback and running back. Look for a big win for Da Bears in Seattle. This is…The Lock of the Week.
Saints (-6) over BILLS
Another popular upset pick, the Saints bring their NFL best scoring offense up to Buffalo. The Saints scored 45 on the Lions and 48 on the Eagles. I can guarantee you that the Bills don’t even compare to the Eagles on defense. The Bills still have their best offensive weapon, Marshawn Lynch, inactive because of his suspension, while Drew Brees and the Saints are in full swing. So if the Saints keep up their scoring, do you really think the Saints are going to score 40 points?
CHARGERS (-6) over Dolphins
Both teams are coming off crushing home games against AFC contenders. The Chargers are without LT for the second straight year, but they still have Darren Sproles and a great receiving corp that includes Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates, and Chris Chambers. The Dolphins are very limited on offense, excluding Ronnie Brown and his Wildcat offense. The Chargers have the single most underrated defense in the league; Shawn Merriman is back and ready to put the lights out on the Dolphins.
Broncos (-1.5) over RAIDERS
The surprisingly good Broncos are off to a 2-0 start, and the Raiders are still abysmal. Through two games this year, JaMarcus Russell has a 35.4 completion percentage. Most NFL experts say that to be a starting quality quarterback, you need to have a 60% completion percentage, and if you don’t complete half of your passes, you don’t belong in the league. That with an improved Denver defense should lead to an easy win for the Broncos to bring them to 3-0.
Steelers (-4) over BENGALS
After the Bengals won at Lambeau, Cincinnati has become yet another upset favorite. But in case someone woke up from a very, very long sleep, the Steelers won the Super Bowl just six months ago and the Bengals haven’t made the playoffs since 2005. Don’t think too hard about this game, it’s gonna be the Steelers.
Colts (+1.5) over CARDINALS
The Colts want to prove that they are still one of the elite teams in the AFC and the Cardinals want to prove that last year wasn’t a fluke. But Peyton Manning is a stud in night games, so why would you ever count against him? Give me the points and give me Peyton.
Panthers (+9) over COWBOYS
To start, this spread is ridiculous. To say that the Cowboys are three field goals better that Carolina, especially after Tony Romo’s Dehlomme-esque implosion Sunday Night versus the Giants, is insane. Here’s a question for the smarter group of football people: if the other Steve Smith tore up the Cowboy’s secondary for 10 catches on 134 yards, how do you think the better Steve Smith will fare? This game means more to the Panthers because if they lose, it is very likely that John Fox will be fired and they will bring in Bill Cowher to coach.
Last Week: 7-9
Lock of the Week: 1-0