'Skins-Cowboys on Monday night headline week three's set of games
Are the Lions for real? It sure looked like it last week, as Detroit obliterated the Chiefs 48-3 thanks to 294 passing yards and four touchdowns from QB Matt Stafford. Superstar runningback Jamaal Charles tore his ACL in that same game, cutting his season short and probably dashing any playoff hopes for Kansas City. Meanwhile, Cam Newton threw for his second straight 400-yard game, but the Panthers couldn't finish the deal, losing 30-23 to the reigning Super Bowl champion Packers. In Atlanta, Michael Vick went down with a concussion against his old team, and as a result the Eagles fell 35-31.
All of our experts did well last week – Eli and Jacob are now out in front with a record of 23-9. Let's see what week three has to offer.
Sunday, Sep. 18
Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints
Arian Foster's status is undetermined for Sunday. Brees was awesome again in week two, throwing for 270 yards and three scores. Same old, same old in week three.
Arian Foster only ran for 33 yards last week, while Drew Brees threw for three touchdowns. Saints win, but this one will be surprisingly close.
The Saints have played the best of the NFC North and fared pretty well coming out 1-1 with a close loss to the defending champs. The Texans have been impressive but Arian Foster has yet to play like last year.
This is the first major test for the Texans new defense, but Drew Brees will find a way to win. He always does. Saints take this one.
New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles
Michael Vick went down with a concussion in a week two loss to the Falcons. Luckily for Philly, he's just been cleared to play on Sunday. The Giants didn't look much better in week two despite grabbing a W against St. Louis. I'll take the Eagles at home.
I've been wrong about both Giants games so far, so New York fans should be happy I'm picking against them. Expect Michael Vick to return strongly in week three.
The Eagles have been humbled and they're coming back with fire. The Giants have not shown much in the first two weeks, with Eli Manning looking pathetic in both games.
Although Michael Vick got a concussion last weekend he will be back and looking for redemption. The Giants let the Rams gain 300 plus yards passing, so the Eagles will take advantage of New York's poor coverage.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton has been playing out of his mind but Carolina hasn't been able to seal the deal. The Panthers will finally get their first W of the season against a mediocre Jags team. Shout out to my man Sean R in the comments section.
Cam Newton throws for his third 400-yard passing game, but also throws at least two interceptions. The Jags will bounce back from last week's less-than-impressive loss to the Jets.
Cam Newton has thrown for 854 yards in two games now but somehow Carolina has yet to come out with a win. Their luck will change week three against Jacksonville. The Jaguars are having serious QB problems and rookie Blaine Gabbert might get some playing time.
Cam Newton is destroying the field and has thrown for more than 400 yards in the past two games, so Panthers will take advantage of the Jaguars lackluster defense.
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills
The Bills are rolling, winners of two straight. But the Pats are on another level right now. Look no further than Tom Brady's stats for proof of that – he's 63 for 88 with 940 yards and seven touchdowns through eight quarters of football. New England stays perfect.
Tom Brady > everyone on the Bills.
No one is stopping Tom Brady anytime soon. It will not be a blowout though – Fitzpatrick will put up big numbers against the Pats D.
Big test for the undefeated Bills, but it's Tom Brady so let's be real.
Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns
I see both of these teams finishing last in their respective divisions this year, so don't expect many fireworks in this low-stakes affair. That said, I see Chad Henne hitting Brandon Marshall for a score or two and Miami coming out on top.
Cleveland managed to give up 19 to the Manningless Colts, while Miami has lost to the Patriots and Texans, two solid teams. I'm picking Miami again this week – go Dolphins!
Miami has a great rushing attack with rookie Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush in the backfield. Miami has played close with two good teams while Cleveland has yet to face a real opponent.
The Dolphins may be 0-2, but they've played some tough games. Playing the Browns is the perfect opportunity to gain a little respect back.
San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton threw for 332 yards and a pair of scores in a two-point loss to Denver last week. I'll go with Cincinnati.
The 49ers are bad, but the Bengals are just awful.
There's not much going for either of these teams, but the 49ers have a good enough defense to stifle Andy Dalton and the Bengals attack. It will be a low scoring game that is not worth anybody's time.
The Bengals pass defense isn't great. Look for Vernon Davis to have a big game after a slow start to the season.
Denver Broncos at Tennessee Titans
Okay, I've almost had it with Chris Johnson. If you've just inked a $53.5 million deal, there's no excuse for you to rush for a combined 77 yards (2.3 per carry) over two games. Even without the CJ we know and love, Tennessee takes this one as long as Matt Hasselbeck keeps finding young stud Nate Britt at wideout.
While the Broncos were busy almost losing to the Bengals, the Titans took down a Ravens team that is poised to go deep in the playoffs. Chris Johnson will break out in this home game for the Titans.
Hasselbeck is looking good with his new team after pulling off an incredible upset against Baltimore. The Broncos have had two close games so far but both games were against weak opponents.
Coming off a big win against the Ravens, the Titans looked sharp and definitely should blow the top off of this weeks match-up. Chris Johnson is off to a slow start due to the time him missed during his holdout. This game should be the perfect opportunity for Johnson to break out and to have the kind of game that we're all used to seeing.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
Check out what I wrote about Detroit in week one. Was I right or was I right?
The NFC North has been turned on its head, and the Lions are for real this year. Detroit advances to 3-0 in Minnesota.
There has been a flip in the NFC North where Detroit is 2-0 and Minnesota is 0-2. After this week it will be 3-0 and 0-3.
Matthew Stafford is off to a tremendous start and the Lions seem to be on a roll that will continue straight through Minnesota.
Baltimore Ravens at St. Louis Rams
After looking unstoppable against Pittsburgh in week one, the Ravens took a step back when they fell 26-13 vs. Tennessee. Baltimore should still be able to outplay a struggling Rams team on the road.
The Ravens have too much talent not to bounce back and beat the Rams. It's time for Joe Flacco to establish himself as one of the premiere quarterbacks in the NFL.
The Ravens are looking for a bounceback and St. Louis is just the team to do that against. The Rams have been completely inconsistent so far, showing shades of both excellence and mediocrity.
As a devoted Ravens fan, I know that Baltimore will be looking for redemption after last week's loss to the Titans. The Rams don't stand a chance.
New York Jets at Oakland Raiders
New York beat up on Jacksonville 32-3 last week. Meanwhile, the silver and black fell to the Bills despite 323 yards and two touchdowns from Jason Campbell (why couldn't he do that when he was on the 'Skins?). The Jets and their stellar defense improve to 3-0 on the year.
Jason Campbell had a very good game against the Bills in Week 2, but the Raiders still lost. Jets advance to 3-0 on the road.
The Jets put it all together last week, winning 32-3. Darren McFadden has been excellent but he'll have trouble against the Jets D.
After letting the Bills come back last week, the Raiders have let me down. The Jets defense will hold the Raiders back throughout the game.
Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are coming off a loss but it was against a terrifying New England offense. Jamaal Charles is done for the season with a torn ACL and the Chiefs are not the same team they were in 2010-11. Phillip Rivers puts up big numbers and San Diego wins big at home.
Last week, San Diego was defeated at the hands of the almighty Tom Brady, while Kansas City got steamrolled by the Lions Express. Given that the Chiefs have given up 89 points in two games, Phillip Rivers should be licking his chops. San Diego hands KC its third bad loss to start the year.
2011 Season: Chiefs 10 - Opponents 89.
Easiest pick of the week. After losing Jamaal Charles last week for the season (I wonder if the Lions mascot is doing okay), the Chiefs are done.
Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks
The Cards put up a solid fight against the ‘Skins and they'll have no problem taking down a Seattle team that got obliterated 24-0 by the Steelers.
In this battle of the bottom feeders, only one team can remain winless. The Cardinals don't really have an offensive option other than Larry Fitzgerald. Seattle avoids 0-3.
Seattle is pathetic in every aspect of the game. Arizona is just a little less pathetic.
The poor Seahawks don't stand a chance next to the constantly improving Cardinals.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Atlanta beat Philly's "super team" in week two, 35-31. Matt Ryan threw for four touchdowns on just 195 yards, and Michael Turner rushed for a buck 14 and a score. The Falcons will move to 2-1 after a win over their NFC South rival Bucs on Sunday afternoon.
I'd expected more than 84 yards from Falcons wide out Roddy White in his first two games, and I expect more this week, too. Atlanta will come out ready to play after their come-from-behind win over the Eagles.
The Falcons looked great against Philly and they are on top of their game right now. Tampa Bay is still struggling to establish a real running game and Josh Freeman cannot carry the team alone.
Matt Ryan didn't have his best game last week, yet he threw for four touchdowns against an impressive Eagles secondary. The running game of the Falcons also didn't disappoint, so I'm going with the Falcons this week.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
The Pack didn't even play all that well in week three and yet they still managed to put up 30 points. Aaron Rodgers is good for at least 300 yards and two touchdowns every week – and that's on a bad day. Chicago falls to 1-2 and Green Bay stays undefeated.
I'm looking forward to this game, one of two exciting NFC North match-ups this weekend, but mostly because Aaron Rodgers will light it up again.
The Pack have shown significant defensive problems, but Jay Cutler is not good enough to exploit them. Meanwhile Aaron Rodgers is on the top of his game and he has the best receivers in the NFL at his disposal.
The Saints destroyed the Bears, the Packers beat the Saints; therefore, the Packers will win against the Bears.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Indianapolis Colts
Pittsburgh turned things around in a big way, steamrolling Seattle 24-0 last week. The Colts are nothing without Peyton Manning.
One day, the Colts will be able to win without Peyton Manning. That day is not this Sunday.
The Colts without Manning are sad. The Steelers are still recovering from being manhandled week one but a game against Indy should be just the medicine they need.
Peyton Manning is letting everyone down, and the Steelers defense will tear Kerry Collins' offense to shreds.
Monday, Sep. 19
Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
Oh baby. Dallas and Washington on Monday night – can't get any better than that. And my 'Skins are 2-0? Let's go. Look for Fred Davis to have another big game and for Washington's two-headed monster, Tim Hightower and Roy Helu, to combine for close to 200 yards rushing. Grab your popcorn people, this should be a good one.
Awww yeaaah, Washington-Dallas! I may be wrong, but there's no way I can pick the Cowboys here.
'Skins against the 'Boys in a Monday Night showdown and Rex Grossman is the man for the job. Tony Romo is questionable which would be a huge loss for the Cowboys.
The Redskins seem to be on a roll, and Tony Romo is questionable for Monday night, which leaves the Cowboy offense very vulnerable. The Redskins got this one.
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