I can completely empathize with the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings…I too, was expected to be a powerhouse this season. Unfortunately, my NFL picks and predictions have looked a bit more like a scratch off lottery ticket…a whole lot of hope yet never really coming close. Heading into week three I am just a bit over .500, which puts me square in the middle of the pack at best. I guess that is better than the Vikings and Cowboys at least, as they are finding themselves at rock bottom for the moment. Like them, I know that I will right the ship, and week three is where I make my move. Historically, week three is where I begin to assert myself and figure out trends and team tendencies. This season will be no different.
Here are my week three NFL picks and predictions:
SUN, SEP 26
Tennessee at NY Giants1:00 PM @New Meadowlands Stadium
Both of these teams wore different hats in week two than they did in week one. The Titans looked like world beaters in blowing out the Raiders, while the Giants looked pretty awesome in beating the Panthers. Then they both laid a rotten egg in week two against the Steelers and Colts respectively. The Titans are in a bit of a tougher situation if for no other reason than the fact that Vince Young is faltering again. Eli is fairly solid with the Giants. The Giants are also favored a bit simply because they are at home. This game is decided in the trenches, however, and the Giants are going to be on the high side of that ledger.
Winner: New York Giants
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay1:00 PM @ Raymond James Stadium
Not many people would have expected the Bucs or the Steelers to be 2-0 after week two, but that is where we stand. The Bucs made a believer of me after trouncing the Panthers in week two. Josh Freeman is every bit the budding superstar quarterback that people are saying he is. The Bucs have some defensive problems to fix, but they are much better than people realize. The Steelers are solid but not because they are steady right now. This game is screaming Bucs upset, and do not be surprised when I say I told you so.
Winner: Tampa Bay Bucs
Cincinnati at Carolina1:00 PM @ Bank of America Stadium
Mr. Claussen probably never knew that he would be stepping in so quickly. To be honest, neither did I. I firmly believed that Matt Moore was the quarterback the Panthers had been wanting, and I am still not entirely convinced that he is not. I think the problems in Carolina are a bit deeper than simply the quarterback. The play calling, in particular, leaves some serious question marks virtually every single Sunday. That said, the Bengals are going to be just talented enough to beat the Panthers at home.
Winner: Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland at Baltimore1:00 PM @ M&T Bank Stadium
The Baltimore Ravens are not a team that you want to be playing against when they are coming off of a loss. This is especially true when you are the winless, hapless Cleveland Browns. This one is going to be blood filled and ugly.
Winner: Baltimore Ravens
Dallas at Houston1:00 PM @ Reliant Stadium
Of all the NFL football teams that the Dallas Cowboys could face in week three, the Houston Texans are the worst possible draw. No other team in the NFL is lighting up the scoreboard any more than the Houston Texans and Matt Schaub. The Houston Texans are always extremely fired up to play in this shared state grudge match. Add to that the fact that the Dallas Cowboys can not seem to score, and you quickly understand their dilemma. For the Dallas Cowboys to get well enough to beat the hottest team in the NFL right now, it would probably take a miracle. Considering the game is on Houston’s home turf of Reliant Stadium, I see no miracles forthcoming.
Winner: Houston Texans
San Francisco at Kansas City1:00 PM @ Arrowhead Stadium
Young team+hot running back+home field advantage+insanely loud and raucous crowd+competent quarterbacking+cross country trip for the visiting team=Win for the home team. Any questions?
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs
Detroit at Minnesota1:00 PM @ Metrodome
Finally, the Vikings have a team that they can get better against. Right? Right? Not so fast. These are not the last decade’s Detroit Lions. The Lions have shown in spite of two tough losses that they will not be a joke this season. Even without Matthew Stafford the Lions gave the Eagles all they could handle. Granted the Eagles are not the Vikings so far this season – they have been better really. Do not be surprised to see the Vikings struggle more than expected against this upstart Lions squad. Still, they will win in the end.
Winner: Minnesota Vikings
Buffalo at New England1:00 PM @ Gillette Stadium
Really? Is this even an actual game this week? Expect a very upset New England team to take out some frustrations on the Bills.
Winner: New England Patriots
Atlanta at New Orleans1:00 PM @ Superdome
The Falcons seemed to get better right on time in week two and they had better. I still think they have a shortage of firepower to handle the Saints. More of the same in the NFC South.
Winner: New Orleans Saints
Washington at St. Louis4:05 PM @ Edward Jones Dome
This Redskins team is going to be a power to be reckoned with this season all year long. The Rams will be a power to be reckoned with in a couple of years down the line. This game will be all Redskins.
Winner: Washington Redskins
Philadelphia at Jacksonville4:05 PM @ EverBank Field
This is a very interesting game in that the Eagles are a team in transition. Nobody really knows where they are transitioning to though. Kolb, Vick, Kolb, Vick, Kolb and Vick. Seems to me that Vick is the clear choice whether you like him or not. Somehow the Eagles seem to still be leaning towards Kolb. Go figure. Whatever the case may be, I think their talents will be enough to win in Jacksonville regardless of which one is under center.
Winner: Philadelphia Eagles
Oakland at Arizona4:15 PM @ U of Phoenix Stadium
Now this is a game that only excites the fans of these two teams. Ugly for sure. I think that the Cardinals will win simply because they have a home field advantage. In Oakland, I would likely take the Raiders.
Winner: Arizona Cardinals
San Diego at Seattle4:15 PM @ Qwest Field
The San Diego Chargers are the clear winners in this game. No real comments necessary.
Winner: San Diego Chargers
Indianapolis at Denver4:15 PM @ Invesco Field at Mile High
Peyton Manning is at the top of his game so far this season, and he looked like a surgeon on Sunday night against little brother Eli. I have never seen a quarterback take control and dominate like that with such ease. It was incredible really. Denver will put up a fight, but they have no chance in my view.
Winner: Indianapolis Colts
NY Jets at Miami8:20 PM @ Sun Life Stadium
So who is the real pretender? One of them is, and I think they are residing in the North. The Dolphins are going to be much better at the end of the year, and the Jets are blowing a lot of hot Rex air. This game will show that clearly.
Winner: Miami Dolphins
MON, SEP 27
Green Bay at Chicago8:30 PM @ Soldier Field
This game is one that is always looked forward to, but this season is even more so. The Bears seem to be back in the saddle this year with Cutler slinging touchdowns and that defense starting to look tough as nails. Green Bay is perhaps the NFC version of the Colts on offense. It should be a fun game to watch, and the Bears are going to surprise the Pack on Monday night.
Winner: Chicago Bears
Score – Chicago Bears 28 Green Bay Packers 21
Week Two Record – 9-7 (Assuming Saints Victory over Niners on Monday Night)
Season Record – 17-15