Friday, September 23, 2011

NFL Week 3 Predictions

New Season of "The Office" premiered last night! First episode without Michael Scott as the lead guy. That's the second season premier that I've watched this week where the lead guy is no longer around (Charlie Sheen - Two and A Half Men). Times are changing. It's also my good friends birthday today so shout out to Mr. Massimo. A little advice with the birthday candles "don't blow too hard, it gets a little sloppy if you do" -- That's What She Said! See what I did there? Started off with Michael Scott... finished up with a TWSS. I entertain myself. No, but for real, Happy Birthday Boss, wish you nothing but the best. Click for week 3 picks after the jump...

Sunday, September 25th (1:00 ET Kickoffs)
San Francisco 49ers vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-3)
The Bengals will be without WR/Kingpin Jerome Simpson due to 8.5 pounds. Nope, not a baby boy. Just your old run of the mill marijuana dealer. They'll definitely miss him as he's likely supplied the Bengals with some good chronic, but also as a deep threat option. He's racked up 180 receiving yards in the first two games this season and for an offense that is already hurting for playmakers I think that could be the difference. Also, RB Cedric Benson will be suspended for the following three games - just too many off the field distractions for me to put my money on the Bengals. While I'm not happy about backing an NFC West team on the road, I'll be 'rolling' with the 49ers to cover this one.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
What do you know... a battle of two top 10 Quarterbacks in this year's draft. QB Blaine Gabbert makes his first start as a professional for the Jaguars this week. He will be going up against the Rockstar that is Cam Newton. The underlying subplot in this game has to be can Newton throw for his 3rd straight 400 yard game? Well the Jets absolutely embarrassed the Jags last week, but I don't see 400 yards happening for Newton this week and I think the losing streak for Newton continues. I'll be taking the Jags plus the points in this one. 

P.S. - RIP LB Thomas Davis' season. He's the guy that predicted the Panthers would beat the Packers. Out for the season with a torn ACL. Tough break.

Detroit Lions (-3.5) at Minnesota Vikings
I'm going to use a little math on this game and it may not make any sense since it's only week 3. There's a property in mathematics known as the transitive property. Goes like this. If A>B and B>C then A>C. In this equation A = Lions, B = Bucs, C = Vikings. Both the Lions and Vikings have played the Bucs. The Lions won rather convincingly and the Vikings blew a huge first half cushion with another dud of a second half. In this equation A>C therefore, Lions > Vikings. How's that Stat nerds? (Anyone going to see Moneyball this weekend?) I'll take the Lions minus the points in this one.

Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans (-6.5)
I went with the Titans for my Week 3 Survivor Pick. The Broncos get back their WR Brandon Lloyd, RB Knowshon Moreno, and DE Elvis Dumervil this week. That being said, I still believe the Titans are the better team and will be able to control the game much like they did against the Ravens last week. I think the Broncos keep this one close for a bit, but I still like the Titans to win outright and minus the points. 

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns (-2.5)
I'm definitely not going out on a limb, but I'm just not buying what this Browns team has to offer. I look at this matchup and just feel like the Dolphins are the better worse team here. They just simply cannot win a game at home and now find themselves in a 0-2 hole in the AFC East. If they have any plans of turning it around this year and saving jobs in their front office they will need to win this game in Cleveland. I'll take the Dolphins on the road in this one, but Tony Sparano is quickly rocketing up those "First Coach to Get Fired" odds.

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-9)
Vick, or No Vick? I think the Eagles would be smart to rest Vick, and let Kafka take the reigns. I know it's a division game - but Kafka showed that he can run this offense last week in Atlanta. No matter who gets the nod at QB, I think the Eagles passing game will have an absolute monster game against this banged up Giants defense. With Eagles WR Steve Smith making his first start against his former team, I fully expect Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and LeSean McCoy to torch the Giants. Nine points feels like a lot to lay in this one, but I see the Eagles taking back control in this statement game. Take the Eagles at home. 

Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints (-4)
I know that the Texans are 2-0 and boast the "No. 1" defense - but their wins have come against two of the weaker teams in the league (Colts & Dolphins). I know it's not their fault that's who they've played but I think Vegas is being too kind to them here. I could definitely see a high scoring game in this one - I just don't think that the Texans will be able to keep up with this Saints Offense. I'll be marching with the Saints in this one. 

New England Patriots (-8.5) at Buffalo Bills
Brady, Brady, Brady... can anyone stop this machine? He's on pace for something like 7,500 yards this season and I fully expect him to keep track of that pace in this game. Seriously. It's also important to point out that Pats have won the last 15 games against the Bills. Eventually something's gotta give, right? The Bills have gotten me excited this season not because of the 2-0 start, but because they've showed that they actually have a pulse on offense. They don't have a lot of big name playmakers, but they make it work with a collection of 7th round picks and undrafted free agents. Ryan Fitzpatrick has shown extremely good judgment so far this year. He doesn't force the issue and takes care of the ball. All that said, I think the Pats make it 16 in a row - BUT I'll be taking the Bills to cover in this one. Let's go Buff-Alo!

Sunday, September 25th (4:00 ET Kickoffs)
Baltimore Ravens (-4) at St. Louis Rams
Something doesn't feel right about this line - but I've questioned too many lines in my time to know when its a steal, and this to me looks like a steal. Is there a prop bet to take Ray Lewis to rip Sam Bradford's head off after the defense got torched last week by Matt Hasselbeck? I'm in. Give me the Ravens on the road in this one.

New York Jets (-3) at Oakland Raiders
I look for this game to be a low scoring physical game - with both teams trying to dictate the pace by running the ball. The Jets looked better on offense last week at home vs. the Jags in a game that was over as soon as it started. Sanchez didn't have to do much last week besides keep his face pretty for the next GQ shoot. I think it will be an entirely different game this week as the Raiders come home for the first time to the black hole. I'll take the Raiders plus the points at home. 

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (-14.5)
This line could literally be 32 points and I would still take the Chargers. I might not place a wager on the Chiefs all season - nope, not until they show me anything. Take the Chargers in this one.

Green Bay Packers (-3.5) at Chicago Bears
Just when I was starting to come around the Bears go and let me down last week. I just don't know what to make of them. Cutler has already been sacked 11 times this year so chalk up at least one B.J. Raji fumble recovery returned for a touchdown for the Packers D. When it comes down to it, I feel a lot more comfortable with Aaron Rodgers than Jay Cutler. I'll take the Packers minus the points in this one. 

Arizona Cardinals (-3.5) at Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks just demoted their 4th overall pick from 2009 LB Aaron Curry to second string. Not sure that's the problem. How about signing an offense? I'll take the Cardinals to fly over the Seahawks.

Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1.5)
Interesting NFC South matchup here. I came into the season thinking that the Falcons were a much better team and would be the clear cut number 2 seed in the South. After two weeks, I can't say I'm completely sold on this team, especially on the road. The Buccaneers play all four quarters and will be around to keep this one exciting until the end. I'll give the Bucs the edge at home and lay the small number here. 

Sunday night - 8:25 PM EST Start
Pittsburgh Steelers (-10.5) at Indianapolis Colts 
Can the Colts keep this one respectable? In their first of FIVE Prime-Time games the Colts better figure it out and figure it out fast. They got crushed by the Texans in week 1, and handled by the Browns last week thanks to some untimely turnovers by Kerry Collins. At home, on prime-time I think that the Colts have enough experience even without Peyton Manning to at least keep this one respectable. I'll take the Colts plus the points.

Monday night - 8:40 PM EST Start
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) 
Tony Romo has become one of the most polarizing figures in Football. People love to talk about him. So I'll chip in. He's quickly turning into the Peyton Manning pre 2006 Superbowl. "He puts up great numbers, but he's not clutch." "He chokes in the big moments." "I can't wait to see how he blows this game." Well, I'm on record as saying I'm a believer in him and this Cowboys team this year - they just need to stay healthy. It's division games like this one on MNF that will need to set them apart in the NFC. I'll take the Cowboys in what should be another high scoring affair.

Here's to another enjoyable week in the NFL!

Last Week: 8-7-1
Season Record: 20-10-2

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