WEEK THREE NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week"

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    WEEK THREE NFL PICKS and "Game of the Week"

         We Pats' fans need another game! After all, we're still dissecting that ugly 13-10 win over the Jets. On to next Sunday, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and, hopefully, a 3-0 start to the season. I'm leaving on a business trip tomorrow, and will be gone til Saturday. For this reason, I won't be posting for the rest of the work week.

         Here are my picks, with the "Game of the Week" being: 

    1.) (2-0) Houston Texans @ (1-1) Baltimore Ravens (+2): Both teams may be without a top offensive weapon. Texans' WR Andre Johnson will likely miss this game due to concussion symptoms, while Ravens' star RB Ray Rice is "day to day" with a hip injury. Though the Texans' defensive unit is highly touted, led by stars Brian Cushing and A.J. Watt, they have surrendered 55 points in two games, against the Chargers and the Titans. In addition, Houston had to mount two furious fourth quarter rallies to win each of these games. After being embarrassed by "The Horseface" on opening night, the defending SB champs tightened things up considerably on defense, in holding the much less potent Cleveland Browns to just six points. What's particularly intriguing about this game is that long time Raven Ed Reed could face off against his ex-team. The Texans porous secondary is badly in need of a talent infusion, and the leadership that Reed should provide: PICK: Texans;

    2.) (2-0) Kansas City Chiefs (+3) @ (1-1) Philadelphia Eagles: This Thursday night game will mark Andy Reid's return to the City of Brotherly Love. Philly's new fast break offense appears to be a double-edge sword. On one hand, it's a blitzkrieg attack which can pile up yards and points in a hurry. On the other hand, their offense exposes QB Michael Vick to multiple hits, and tends to wear out their offense by halftime. Philly's pass defense has been awful, as it is currently ranked 31st in the league. Their "D" has given up 60 points in two games, against the Redskins and Chargers. If Philly gets off to a fast start, and builds a commanding early lead, the Chiefs don't have the fire-power to come back. Look for Kansas City to try to control the clock with their ground game, to keep the Eagles' offense off the field. You know that Andy Reid wants this one badly: PICK: Chiefs;

    3.) (1-1) San Diego Chargers (+3) @ (1-1) Tennessee Titans: The Titans are kicking themselves for giving one away last week in Houston. The Chargers rallied big-time, and won in OT, after spotting the Eagles an early lead, in Philadelphia. The Titans have a better defense, and the ground game to keep Philip Rivers off the field. Still, the Titans don't score a lot of points. So, this could wind up being a 3 point game, either way. Nonetheless: PICK: Titans;

    4.) (0-2) Cleveland Browns (+5) @ (0-2) Minnesota Vikings: Browns starting QB Brandon Weeden sprained his thumb last week in Baltimore, and likely won't play. He'll be replaced by Jason Campbell. The frustrated Vikings will be licking their chops: PICK: Vikings;

    5.) (0-2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+7) @ (2-0) New England Patriots: Both of these teams are having trouble getting their offenses untracked. Tampa will be without starting DT Derek Landri (knee injury), and are not yet completely healthy on the OL. But hard hitting safety Dashon Goldston has been reinstated, and will play Sunday. Still, the fact that Bucs QB Josh Freeman is not moving the team, and reportedly wants out from Tampa, cannot be doing head coach Greg Schiano any good. Freeman may get his wish, sooner than he thinks. The problems with the Patriots have been well documented here. QB Tom Brady was clearly frustrated last week, as the Pats offense turned in one of their worst performances in years. I don't know if this team is capable of beating anybody by eight or more points. But, I'm still in a bit of a homer mode, so I believe that BB and Brady will get more production out of their injury riddled skilled positions this week: PICK: Patriots;

    6.) (1-1) St. Louis Rams (+4) @ (1-1) Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys could have and should have beaten the Chiefs last week. Their defense appears to be much improved. But, they still haven't shown the ability to establish a rushing attack, to take some of the pressure off QB Tony Romo. Though the Rams appear to be more balanced, the Cowboys appear to be more talented: PICK: Cowboys;

    7.) (1-1) Arizona Cardinals (+7.5) @ (2-0) New Orleans Saints: Loosing OG Jonathan Cooper for most of the season (broken leg) was a bitter pill to swallow for the Cards. Though WR Larry Fitzgerald may play, he may be handicapped by a hamstring injury. The Saints were lucky to beat Tampa last week. It remains to be seen whether their good fortune continues: PICK: Cardinals;

    8.) (1-1) Detroit Lions (+1.5) @ (0-2) Washington Redskins: Has all that controversy over the team name "The Redskins" caused a distraction? Something has, as this team looks awful on offense, and, especially, on defense. But, there is a silver lining to their poor play. If they continue playing as badly as they have, no one will care what they call themselves. Currently, they are pro football's answer to the Washington Generals. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, the Generals were the basketball team that repeatedly got trounced, and were the butt of jokes and pranks by the Halem Globetrotters, year after year. But, I digress. The Lions aren't roaring either...and last weeks' knee injury to Reggie Bush could slow them down even further. But, not enough: PICK: Lions;

    9.) (1-1) Green Bay Packers @ (1-1) Cincinnati Bengals (+1): If the Bengals are to win this game, they must put constant pressure on QB Aaron Rodgers. No so for Green Bay, as they have little to fear from the pedestrian Cincy QB, Andy Dalton: PICK: Packers;

    10.) (0-2) NY Giants (+2) @ (0-2) Carolina Panthers: Carolina gave the Seattle Seahawks all they could handle, before losing they opener, 12-7. A ticky-tack penalty on all-world MLB, "Crazy Luke" Kuechly, costs the Panthers a win last week in Buffalo. The Giants have been a turnover machine this far, "featuring" RB David Wilson fumbles, and QB Eli Manning interceptions (9). Jason Pierre Paul (back injury) is not nearly the player that he once was:  PICK: Panthers;

    11.) (1-1) Atlanta Falcons (+1.5) @ (2-0) Miami Dolphins: The Falcons are hurting, with RB Stephen Jackson likely out, and WRs Roddy While and Julio Jones supposedly playing hurt. Still, after what Jones did last week, one couldn't tell. Miami is playing well on both sides of the ball, and may be the leagues' most improved team: PICK: Dolphins;

    12.) (1-1) Indianapolis Colts (+10.5) @ (1-1) San Francisco 49ers: Jim Harbaugh should know best how to contain his former stud QB during his Stanford days, Andrew Luck. Look for the 49ers to come out smoking, after being pushed around and embarrassed last Sunday night in Seattle: PICK: 49ers;

    13.) (0-2) Jacksonville Jaguars (+19.5) @ (2-0) Seattle Seahawks: The Jaguars may be the worst NFL team since the 2008 Detroit Lions, and the 2007 "Fail Fast First" Miami Dolphins. The Seahawks have the best overall defense in the NFL. But still...19.5 points? Yessir: PICK: Seahawks;

    14.) (1-1) Buffalo Bills (+2.5) @ (1-1) NY Jets: The Jets were lucky to beat the Buccaneers, and, despite catching the Patriots playing one of their worst games offensively in years, still couldn't get the job done. The Bills are a feisty lot. Rookie QB E.J. Manuel is a better QB prospect than Jets' rookie Geno Smith: PICK: Bills;

    15.) (2-0) Chicago Bears @ (0-2) Pittsburgh Steelers (+1.5): The Bears won too very close games against two pretty good teams, while the Steelers look awful. I can't remember a Steeler team that was this weak at running the ball. My condolances to my pal, Steeler Jim. It's looking like an uncharacteristically long season in the Steel City: PICK: Bears;

    16.) (1-1) Oakland Raiders (+14.5) @ (2-0) Denver Broncos: Though the Raiders may have found themselves a QB in Terrelle Pryor, they don't have the weapons or the defense to keep pace with The Horseface: PICK: Broncos.

         BEST BETS: Green Bay, Minnesota, and Buffalo.

         As always, your thoughts and predictions are welcome...particularly with regards to our beloved Boys in Blue! Have a great week! Goodnight!       

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from DanishPastry. Show DanishPastry's posts

    Re: WEEK THREE NFL PICKS and

    Big game for the Dolphins, and interesting as the Patriots play Atlanta the following week. I just think Atlanta will be too much for the Phins.

    I didn't think the Patriots would cover against the Jets, but they will this week against Tampa. Goldson suspended for the game, and Landri out should help. I watched some of Tampas' game vs. NO, and thought they played really well on defense, but s*ucked on offense.

    I expect Ridley to start contributing, Edelman to continue as long as he is healthy, and a breakthrough for one of the rookies (I'm guessing Dobson). Gronk will be eased in during the 2nd half, and be his dominant self. The D will, for the thirds straight game, keep the opposing offense to less than 20 points.

    27-17 Patrios.

    Supra societatem nemo

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Paul_K. Show Paul_K's posts

    Re: WEEK THREE NFL PICKS and

    My own all-numeric week 3 power ratings:

    New England’s rookies need to eat their Wheaties.  The team has plenty of future potential once the rooks get any good, but right now they need lots and lots of practice time.  How about 10 days of practice?  Better than nothing.  Memo to BB, keep the offense on the vanilla side for a while.

    Both Denver and Seattle are out there smacking good teams like they were Jacksonville.  Actually, Denver made the Giants look horrible, far worse than the Jets look. 

    # / Team / power rating (out of 16 regular season victories) /last week’s rank

    1   den   15.3   (last wk. 2)

    2   sea   15.2   (last wk. 1)

    3   gb   13.0   (last wk. 5)

    4   sf   12.1   (last wk. 3)

    5   atl   11.0   (last wk. 7)

    6   ne   10.6   (last wk. 4)

    7   no   10.3   (last wk. 10)

    8   mia   10.2   (last wk. 8)

    9   hou   9.7   (last wk. 6)

    10   min   9.3   (last wk. 15)

    11   car   9.1   (last wk. 12)

    12   cin   8.9   (last wk. 9)

    13   chi   8.3   (last wk. 11)

    14   sd   8.2   (last wk. 21)

    15   ten   7.8   (last wk. 23)

    16   bal   7.8   (last wk. 14)

    17   det   7.7   (last wk. 16)

    18   az   7.4   (last wk. 20)

    19   stl   7.4   (last wk. 17)

    20   nyj   7.3   (last wk. 26)

    21   dal   7.1   (last wk. 13)

    22   tb   7.1   (last wk. 24)

    23   buf   6.9   (last wk. 19)

    24   ind   6.4   (last wk. 25)

    25   phi   5.7   (last wk. 18)

    26   pit   5.6   (last wk. 27)

    27   kc   5.5   (last wk. 28)

    28   oak   5.0   (last wk. 30)

    29   cle   4.9   (last wk. 31)

    30   nyg   4.7   (last wk. 22)

    31   was   2.3   (last wk. 29)

    32   jac   -1.8   (last wk. 32)

    My own point spreads:

    Visitor/home/ my points / the gambling public’s points / difference

    kc   phi    2.2   4.5   -2.3

    az   no    10.0   7.5   2.5

    gb   cin    -1.7   0   -1.7

    stl   dal    2.6   4   -1.4

    cle   min    9.9   5   4.9

    sd   ten    6.6   4   2.6

    tb   ne    9.2   8   1.2

    det   was    -4.6   1.5   -6.1

    nyg   car    7.4   2   5.4

    hou   bal    3.9   -3   6.9

    atl   mia    1.4   1.5   -0.1

    buf   nyj    4.3   2.5   1.8

    ind   sf    17.0   10   7.0

    jac   sea    31.5   19.5   12.0

    chi   pit    -0.1   -2   1.9

    oak   den    16.7   14.5   2.2

    My week 2 game of the week, Green Bay to squash Washington by 17 points, was so easy!  GB actually squashed Washington by 18 points.  I’m 2-0 on the year.  I aim for a 70% success rate against the spread from here through week 16*

    * Understand that I may occasionally have nothing for one week.  Week 17 is full of meaningless rest-your-starters games.  Quitter games, where one team used to strive for a playoff berth but now they have no realistic hope of making the playoffs and give up on the field, get going around week 15.  Gambling is for people who don’t understand mathematics.

    For my week 3 game of the week I have choices.  The big murder takes place in Seattle and my numbers say that, for once in possibly a lifetime, a 19.5 point spread isn’t even close.  Normally I shy away from big overdog picks, especially with Houston coming up for Seattle in week 4 making this somewhat of a trap game, although Houston is an AFC team so it’s in no way a tiebreaker game for Seattle.  However, loathsome Jacksonville and Seattle (plus Denver) are responsible for shrinking my entire power rankings a bit toward the middle, so that my 31.5 point estimated margin of victory might even be a bit conservative.  Also, the Indy / SF game has the same overdog problem and not half the point difference.  I just don’t like Baltimore as an overdog because lately they’ve been staying afloat like the Costa Concordia -- the old reef was holding the leaky boat up and Baltimore’s playoff run rep is holding the 2013 team’s reputation up a bit.  So, let’s go for the big murder.  Seattle on top of all those points.

    jac   sea    31.5   19.5   12.0

    I’ll name the other three picks.  Baltimore at least put up a fight for one half in Denver, at least they beat Cleveland, and they love their home games.  Houston has struggled twice against so-so teams.  What’s wrong with Houston?

    hou   bal    3.9   -3   6.9

    San Fran is chewing on crow right now, which helps their disposition for next week, and they’re a great team.  Next week, home cooking, which they love.

    ind   sf    17.0   10   7.0

    Washington is no good at all right now!

    det   was    -4.6   1.5   -6.1

    Leaners:

    Whatever is wrong with the Giants will probably stay wrong for another week.  They really miss Pierre-Paul.  Carolina with the points.

    nyg   car    7.4   2   5.4

    Minnesota got up and played some real football last week.  I don’t care about big names, I care about deeds. 

    cle   min    9.9   5   4.9

    My numbers lean only one smidgen toward New England, not much.  Yes, I included points on the New England side for the 10-day layover.

    tb   ne    9.2   8   1.2

     
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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: WEEK THREE NFL PICKS and

    In response to DontQuestionBB's comment:

    If the Dolphins beat Atlanta, they have to be considered contenders and not pretenders anymore.



    Yes...particularly considering the way that the Patriots have been playing offensively.

     

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