Week 3 NFL
It was a solid week 2, 11 wins with few real surprises or annoyances beyond the Ravens playing dead duck on the road in Nashville. Please find this weeks picks for your perusal and review. Odds are provided by bodog.net via USA Today for entertainment and comparison purposes only, that means you are on your own with no-neck Vinnie if you bet the lines and lose.
Sunday September 25
Patriots (2-0) @ Bills (10-6)
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Patriots by 9
Last Week: Patriots beat Chargers 35-21; Bills beat Raiders 38-35
Fast Fact Patriots QB Tom Brady is 17-1 against the Bills
The Bills have raised a few eyebrows with their strong offensive start, and hopes in Western New York are high. The problem is the that the Pats are the team at the top and show no inclination of stepping aside. Tom Brady is playing out of his mind and one would think that he is showing that reports of his demise are greatly exaggerated. Im expecting the scoreboard to get a work out and a battle between two high scoring teams, I think however the Bills are not really ready for primetime just yet as Brady and company have too many weapons.
Jaguars (1-1) @ Panthers (0-2)
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Panthers by 4
Last Week Jaguars lost to Jets 32-3, Panthers lost to Packers
Fast Fact This is the fifth meeting between the two 1995 expansion teams, the Jags have won three of the four previous meetings
Both teams top QB draft picks will be showcased here as the Panthers Cam Newton continues to impress with another big yardage day albeit tempered by three picks in a loss to the Pack. The Jags grew quickly frustrated with the ineffective play of Luke McCown and are handing the reins to Blaine “Gabby” Gabbert who came along a little quicker than the Jags were expecting him to. Both teams are not very good, but for some reason I see Newton breaking his Panthers through and while Gabbert will likely be a solid pro his first start wont be a win.
49ers (1-1) @ Bengals (1-1)
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Bengals by 3
Last Week 49ers lost to Cowboys 27-24 (ot); Bengals lost to Broncos 24-22
Fast Fact The 49ers have lost their last two trips to Cincinnati after having won in their first three visits.
The Bengals host an uneven Niners team in their home opener. After having tripped the Browns and playing the Broncos tough at home, they are feeling like this season wouldn’t be the death march some predicted. The Niners can score but their defense can fall asleep at the switch. Rookies Andy Dalton and AJ Green (no relation) are showing a lot of promise something Niners QB Alex Smith has yet to fulfill. Something tells me I shouldn’t but the west coast team coming east theory works more often than you would think. Back in the day, you knew the Niners would punk the Bengals now its not a gimme. I think the Bengals young core finds a way to steal it and though most of the players on this Bengals weren’t even born the last time these teams played for Super stakes give the franchise a slight bit of payback.
Dolphins (0-2) @ Browns (1-1)
Browns Stadium, Cleveland 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Browns by 3
Last Week Browns beat Colts 29-17, Dolphins lost to Texans 23-13
Fast Fact The Browns have won the last three meetings to even the overall series at 7 wins apiece
The Browns relished a chance to play the bully, romping over a helpless Colts team while the Dolphins got smacked around at home. The Browns are a hard team to figure. Which team will show up? The team that looked rugged in dominating all phases of the game last week or the team that looked roughshod and a bit confused in a winnable home opener. The Dolphins are a straight mess and Tony Sparano is already on the hot seat. For some reason, I see the Browns trying to make up for the debacle that was their home opener.
Lions (2-0) @ Vikings (0-2)
Venue, City Time (CBS,FOX, ESPN, NBC)
Favorite Lions by 4
Last Week Lions beat Chiefs 48-3, Vikings lost to Bucs 24-20
Fast Fact The Lions have not won in Minnesota since 1993.
The Lions took the Chiefs out back of the woodshed last week and beat them mercilessly in front of a near delirious crowd in their home opener. The Vikings again blew a double digit halftime lead and suffered another late game collapse in their home opener. Matthew Stafford is the real deal, folks and he has a bevy of offensive weapons at his disposal. On the other hand, besides Adrian Peterson the Vikes have few reliable go to guys on offense and are left to wonder has Donovan McNabb fell that far off or what? This is one that I hope and pray that Im wrong but there is one team that looks like its ready to win.
Texans (2-0) @ Saints (1-1)
Venue, City Time (CBS)
Favorite Saints by 3½
Last Week Texans beat Dolphins 23-13, Saints beat Bears 30-13
Fast Fact Though these teams are relatively close geographically this is only their third ever meeting.
If ever there was a time and place for the Texans to open some eyes and turn heads its this game. Many naysayers have poo-poohed their 2-0 start beating a weakened Colts and a Dolphins team that cant win at home impressed few, but beating a top notch Saints team in their own crib would be a feat in itself. The Saints shook off their opening night shootout loss to thump the Bears. If Arian Fosters hammy is still hurting it will put a serious crimp in the Texans ball control plans, that’s what it would take to slow down a machine gun like offense that is the Saints. Everytime I think “This is where the Texans finally make that step, they fall on their face.” They’ll of course make a liar out of me when I pick against them.
Giants @ Eagles (1-1)
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Eagles by 8
Last Week Giants beat Rams 28-16, Eagles lost to Falcons 35-31
Fast Fact The Eagles have won the last six meetings, its longest win streak over the Giants since winning 12 in a row from 1975-81.
Eagles fans are breathing a sigh of relief as Michael Vick was cleared to play after taking a nasty hit last Sunday and leaving the game with a concussion and spitting blood. The G-Men slogged not slugged their way to a sloppy win over the sorry Rams and have the NFL annoyed at them with their “on field injuries” With the Eagles in better shape on both sides of the ball, I like them to put a tight win out at home against a bitter divisional rival.
Broncos (1-1) @ Titans (1-1)
LP Field, Nashville 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Titans by 7
Last Week Broncos defeated Bengals 24-22, Titans beat Ravens 26-13
Fast Fact This is the Titans third attempt to get their first win over the Broncos in Nashville
The Broncos tried their best to give another home game away, but hung on. The Titans stunned many by thumping the Ravens despite the lack of contribution by Chris Johnson. This is a tough game to call because both teams are still trying to find themselves. I will bet that Matt Hasselbeck will continue to play good enough to keep the Titans in the game and Johnson is way overdue for a breakout game, the Broncos soft run defense might just be the kickstart he needs
NY Jets (2-0) @ Raiders (1-1)
Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland 4:05 (CBS)
Favorite Jets by 3½
Last Week Jets defeated Jaguars 32-3, Raiders lost to Bills 38-35
Fast Fact The Jets have started 2-0 for the fifth straight year
An old school AFL matchup is the first of the late games, the Jets are brimming with confidence after a pair of home wins, while the Raiders split their opening road games with a field goal margin in both games. I have a hard time believing that the Raiders are anything more than a middle of the road team. The Jets are the better team on both sides of the ball and have been handling playing the favorite well. I see no real reason to see why they cant pull a road win out.
Pick-New York Jets
Ravens (1-1) @ Rams (0-2)
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 4:05 (CBS)
Favorite Ravens by 3½
Last Week Ravens lost to Titans 26-13, Rams lost to Giants 28-16
Fast Fact The two teams have split their four meetings, each team winning at home twice.
Pity the poor Rams, they always seem to catch a team at the exact wrong time. They lead off against the Eagles who wanted to get off to a high-flying start, they then faced a sullen Giants team who wanted to erase the bad memory of a bad loss and now they get an angry Ravens team that came out flat and got manhandled by the Titans. The Rams are a good young team and their high speed offense hearkens back to the old days where the Rams could light up a scoreboard. But they are still young and learning. To ask them to face a tough Ravens defense that is hell bent to take it out on someone and put points up is asking too much.
Chiefs (0-2) @ Chargers (1-1)
Quallcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:05 (CBS)
Favorite Chargers by 15
Last Week Chiefs lost the Lions 48-3, Chargers lost to Patriots 35-21
Fast Fact The Chiefs have given up 89 points in the seasons first two weeks, a dubious NFL record.
The Chargers stood toe to toe with the high powered Pats offense but ran out of steam late, they return home to get well against a Chiefs team that cant score and let other teams move the ball at will. The Chargers have a better offense than either the Bills or Lions, they might just call the mercy rule here.
Pick-San Diego (Lock of the Week)
Packers (2-0) @ Bears (1-1)
Soldier Field, Chicago 4:15 (FOX)
Favorite Packers by 4
Last Week Packers beat the Panthers, Bears lost to the Saints 30-13
Fast Fact The Bears have allowed a league high 11 sacks this season
This is another old-school rivalry at its finest. The Packers took a few punches from a gutsy Panthers team but methodically wore them down. They will take on the Bears without defensive stalwart Nick Collins who suffered a frightening neck injury last week. The Bears got slapped around in the Big Easy and have returned to their maddeningly inconsistent ways. Everything says that the Packers are the better team and should win convincingly…so why does this look like an upset in the making?
Pick-Chicago (Upset of the Week)
Cardinals (1-1) @ Seahawks (0-2)
Qwest Field, Seattle 4:15 (FOX)
Favorite Cardinals by 3½
Last Week Cardinals lost to the Redskins 22-21, Seahawks lost to the Steelers 24-0
Fast Fact The Seahawks have yet to score in the first half, getting outscored 33-0 in their first two games.
Hard to tell which way either of these teams are going, if they pay anywhere except the west coast they take a beating. Though the Cards slugged it out with the Skins and lost a tight one. I think the Cards are the much better team and the Seahawks are already having buyers remorse about Tarvaris Jackson at QB. The Vikings are giggling to themselves that the Seahawks bet their future on him.
Falcons (1-1) @ Buccaneers (1-1)
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa 4:15 (FOX)
Favorite Buccaneers by 1
Last Week Falcons beat the Eagles 35-31, Buccaneers beat Vikings 24-20
Fast Fact The Falcons have won the last five meetings
The Falcons were all but left for dead as late as the 3rdquarter of the Sunday night game, but instead they knocked Mike Vick out of the game and proceeded to slug their way to a win. The Bucs were down 17-0 on the road in a venue that they have never fared well in yet clobbered their way to a late rally for the win. The question will be now which team will show up. I like the Bucs at home though Im seriously wary of the Falcons and their offense.
Steelers (1-1) @ Colts (0-2)
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 8:20 (NBC)
Favorite Steelers by 11
Last Week Steelers beat the Seahawks 24-0, Colts lost to the Browns 29-17
Fast Fact This is the Colts first 0-2 start since 1998
You thought the Seahawks were crying last week, the Colts are screaming crush before the game kicks off. Don’t you think that NBC wishes that they could flex into the best matchup every week and not the last six weeks. You can be sure that they would flex out of this obvious mismatch. The Colts offense is mind numbingly stagnant without Peyton Manning and their defense never good to begin with has been shockingly exposed as worse than ever. Look for the Steelers to pound the Colts with no mercy and the faith of the proud Colts fans to be sorely tested. This might be another game where the mercy rule might be on standby
Monday, September 26
Redskins (2-0) @ Cowboys (1-1)
Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, TX (ESPN)
Favorite Cowboys by 6
Last Week Cowboys beat the Niners 27-24 (ot), Redskins beat the Cardinals 22-21
Fast Fact The Cowboys are 0-2 in their home openers since moving to their new stadium
Two teams with little love lost for one another close out the week. Tony Romo shut a few critics up and gave fuel to his admirers as he led the Pokes with an impressive rally to beat the Niners. in spite of a busted rib and punctured lung. Its anyones guess if he will play this week. No one can be sure if Rex Grossman is the real deal this year or is Wreck waiting in the wings. This makes this an extremely difficult game to call. Im betting that Romo will try to write his name among the legendary Cowboys signal callers and gut it out. But for reasons I cant explain, I think he falls short and the Skins pull the upset.
Last Week: 11-5 (Lock Correct, Upset Incorrect)
Musings from the Hoodwood comes at you on Tuesday. Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!