A rookie expert emerges ahead of the pack
Last week, we saw David take down Goliath, as the Buffalo Bills (Yeah, you read that correctly – the Bills) beat the Patriots 38-35 on a game-winning field goal. The following night, Redskins fans lamented a brutal 18-16 loss to the Cowboys.
Meanwhile, our SCO predictions are starting to heat up. Jacob now has sole possession of first place heading into week four with an overall record of 32-16. However, the rest of our experts are in close pursuit and looking to improve after another set of sixteen games coming your way this Sunday.
Sunday, Oct. 2
Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys
Detroit fell behind 20-0 against the Vikings last week and still managed to come back and stay undefeated. Calvin Johnson isn't bad.
Accept it - the Lions are for real. Detroit is 3-0 for the first time since 1980, and that record so far has been no fluke. Matthew Stafford's passer rating, at 110.7, trails only Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, and he's getting support from the other side of the ball as well – the Lions rank sixth in team defense. This year, the Lions should win their division and have the potential to go deep in the playoffs. Real deep.
It's been a while since the Lions were 3-0 but its also been a while since they've had a QB like Matthew Stafford. He is fifth in the NFL in passing yards and third in passer rating behind only Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Detroit will go 4-0.
The Lions have been on fire recently, and even after a pathetic win against the Redskins, the Cowboys won't be able to steal this one from Detroit.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans
Houston nearly took down the Saints at the Superdome last week. Pittsburgh's defense has looked shaky thus far – expect Matt Schaub to have another big game and for the Texans to improve to 3-1.
So far this year, Pittsburgh has struggled uncharacteristically in defending the run. Ben Tate should fare well, and Houston will continue its surprise season.
There are no two teams in the NFL less like each other with the Steelers' tough D but lackadaisical offense and the Texans' powerful offense but weak defense. Offense will prevail as the Texans overrun the Steelers' D.
Seeing that the Steelers almost lost to Indy, you kind of have to laugh at the idea of the Steelers beating the Texans. Since the Texans are at home they're even more likely to dominate with their explosive offense and revamped defense.
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears
I'm feelin' Carolina. Don't ask me why, I just am. Let's go Cam.
Even after having thrown for 854 yards through his first two games, I'm still not convinced that Cam Newton can carry this team to a winning record. Chicago evens its record at home.
Cam Newton throws for 400 yards in back to back games and the Panthers lose both. He then throws for 150, and they win. If they will beat the Bears they will have to put it all together.
Chicago is just a better team; it's that simple.
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns
Matt Hasselbeck is good again? Is this real life? The Titans are on a roll even with Chris Johnson stinking up the joint. Tennessee beats up on Cleveland.
Chris Johnson is "probable” to play on Sunday, but he could get almost as many yards sitting on the bench as he does when he plays. Even with his struggles, though, Tennessee has still managed to beat the Ravens and Broncos, and will be fine in Cleveland.
To everybody's surprise both of these teams are 2-1, but the Browns have shown no reason to be, while the Titans are playing very well. The Browns have been outscored on the year while the Titans just took down the Ravens.
Titans just lost Kenny Britt, their lead receiver, and Chris Johnson hasn't been playing up to par. The constantly improving Browns take this one.
Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo proved they can play with the big boys after dethroning the Pats from atop the AFC East in week 3. The Bengals should be a piece of cake.
I would like to publicly apologize to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills. Last week I said "Tom Brady > everyone on the Bills.” My bad. Buffalo will roll past hapless Cincinnati and remain undefeated.
After their late win against New England, the Bills are feeling good, and the Bengals are not about to stand in their way.
If you watched the game last week, then you would never doubt the Bills again either.
New Orleans Saints at Jacksonville Jaguars
New Orleans beat the Texans in a 40-33 shootout in week four. Brees should continue his offensive dominance vs. the Jags on Sunday.
I picked the Jaguars last week, and won't make that mistake again.
The Saints may have the best offense and the worst defense in the NFL, but the Jaguars will not be able to capitalize. Brees will continue his dominance and the Saints will blow by the Jags.
This is a n0-brainer. Saints are taking this one.
Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs
Donovan McNabb is 0-3 to start the season and that makes me extremely happy. Good thing the 'Skins got rid of that guy… Luckily for Minnesota, the Chiefs are just as bad if not worse. Vikes win.
Don't expect much defense in this game. I don't see the Chiefs giving up 36.3 points per game all season, and I don't expect Donovan McNabb to put up a crooked number against any defense, but Minnesota will have enough to squeak by the Chiefs for their first win of the season.
Minnesota has lost by one score every game while Kansas City has been getting blown out. Without Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs will simply not be able to score points and the Vikings will come out on top.
The Chiefs seem to be stuck in suckville, and although the Vikings aren't having the best season I still have to say they're the better team. Vikings take this one.
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles
Weren't the Eagles supposed to be some sort of super team? Why are they at the bottom of the division? Luckily for Vick & crew, they face the Niners and should be able to take care of business in front of a home crowd.
If Michael Vick can last the entire game, Philadelphia wins.
Although the 49ers may be 2-1 and the Eagles 1-2, the 49ers wins have come against Seattle and Cincinnati, while the Eagles have lost to the Giants and the Falcons. The Eagles may not be as good as expected, but the 49ers are worse.
Frank Gore may sit this one out. If he does, the Eagles are going to tear apart the Niners' defense apart.
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams
Let's not mention last week. It hurts too much. Washington rebounds in week four.
Which Rex will show up this week? I'm betting on the one that is just good enough to beat St. Louis.
Let it be known that I am not a Redskins fan and I am not jumping on their bandwagon, but the Rams are absolutely pathetic. Only the Chiefs have been outscored by more points on the season than the Rams, who are averaging just 12 points a game offensively.
Redskins will be looking for blood after falling to rival Dallas by just a few points. Redskins will find redemption against St. Louis, especially since the Rams haven't been performing well as of late.
Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks
The Falcons are a puzzling team. They got ripped apart by the Bears in week one, looked great in a week two win over Philly, and then couldn't get anything going offensively in a 16-13 loss to the Bucs last week. They've gone loss, win, loss through three weeks, so this one should be a win, right?
The Falcons' start this year hasn't been great, but playing Seattle should be a confidence-booster.
The Falcons have not been consistent so far while the Seahawks have been consistently terrible. Atlanta has scored twice as many points as Seattle, and this week will be no different.
Atlanta has a lot of weapons on offense, and the Seahawks continue to be unimpressive.
New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals
Eli Manning had a good game last week, I'll give him that. But until he can prove he's able to string a few solid weeks together, I can't give the Giants the benefit of the doubt. I'll take Arizona in my gutsy call of the week.
After being wrong for three weeks in a row, I'm considering the possibility of me not correctly picking a Giants game this year. Eli Manning and Victor Cruz hooked up for a couple of deep touchdown passes last week in Philadelphia, and I think the healthy Manning will continue his impressive aerial game. I say that New York wins this week, which is probably bad news for Giants fans.
The Giants are playing well in the competitive NFC East while the Cardinals have been playing badly in the awful NFC West.
The Giants seem to have a good team this year, and seeing that they just embarrassed the Eagles last week, they won't have an issue picking apart Arizona come Sunday afternoon.
Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns last week (no surprise there) in a 27-17 win over Chicago. The Pack should have no problem dismantling the struggling Broncos.
In the Packers' last home game, Aaron Rodgers was on fire, and his return to Lambeau can only mean bad things for the Broncos. Fantasy owners, rejoice.
The Pack is back. They have yet to lose and the Broncos can't make it happen.
Get ready Cheeseheads, because it looks like the mighty Packers are headed for another Super Bowl.
Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers
San Diego escaped with a 20-17 win over the lowly Chiefs last week. The Chargers face the winless Dolphins this week and should cruise to their third victory on the year. Big game for Phillip Rivers.
Why is Miami 0-3? What happened to Reggie Bush? How is San Diego winning at the beginning of the season? At least Phillip Rivers' play has been consistent.
The Chargers have not shown any level of consistency but the Dolphins are 0-3 and in the cellar of the AFC East. It might be close, but San Diego will win.
The Chargers may be considered overrated, but they will pull out a win against the unimpressive Dolphins.
New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders
Week three was a reality check for New England. They'll come back strong against an Oakland team that's been playing well for a change.
Oakland doesn't want its momentum to stop after knocking down the Jets last week, and Darren McFadden doesn't want to stop running. But the Pats will be extra-motivated to get this win, thanks to last week's loss to the Buffalo Bills. Oh yeah, and Tom Brady's still pretty good, too.
Tom Brady has learned his lesson after throwing four picks last week, and as a result the Patriots will bounce back. Darren McFadden has been exceptional for Oakland but they can't keep up with the Patriot offense.
After a loss to the Bills last week, New England's defense has to realize they can't just rely on Tom Brady all the time. They'll use the Raiders as a rebound.
New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens
The line for this game is Baltimore by four, but I'll go with New York on the road. I'm banking on the Jets defense getting back on track. NYJ win in a low-scoring affair.
Game of the week! Ex-Ravens Rex Ryan and Bart Scott visit their former home, while Baltimore attempts to build on last week's handling of the Rams. Ray Rice won't torch the Jets for as many yards as Run-DMC did last week, and I doubt rookie Torrey Smith can repeat his historic week three performance, but the Ravens will pull this one out.
Definitely the game of the week, every time these teams play it's exciting to watch. Both teams are 2-1, they both lost to mediocre teams, and they have both blown out at least one team. Regardless, the Ravens have played better on both sides of the ball and they will come out on top.
Although both teams have strong defenses, Joe Flacco will put points on the scoreboard and lead his team to victory.
Monday, Oct. 3
Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Curtis Painter is starting for the Colts. ‘Ya hate to see that!
I'm starting to feel sorry for the Colts. Without Peyton Manning, they just won't get anywhere anytime soon. It'll be a nice night in Tampa for Falcons fans.
The Bucs are on top of a great division right now and the Colts have yet to win. Without Manning, the Colts are lost and the young Bucs will take control early and keep it.
Curtis Painter takes over for Kerry Collins, another quarterback casualty for Indy. Because Painter doesn't have the best arm in the NFL, and he just started practicing with the team this week, I give this one to the Buccaneers by default.
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