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Sept. 20, 2013

NFL week three predictions

by Abel Chanyalew, Online Sports Editor, Samuel Popper, Sports Editor, Jacob Popper, Op/Ed Editor and Rohan Oprisko, Sports Editor
Week two brought plenty of action as the Bills, Bears and Chargers all won on last second plays. The Chiefs continued an impressive start so far with a win over the Cowboys and on the other hand the Redskins continued a slow start falling short against the Packers this past week. In the battle of the NFC West, the Seattle Seahawks overtook the favored 49ers, establishing dominance, for now. Looking forward to week three, we will see the Redskins try get in the win column against the Lions (no easy task), a battle of rookie QB's in Geno Smith of the Jets and EJ Manuel of the Bills and of course a well-anticipated potential thriller (not) as the Broncos take on the Raiders on Monday night.

Regarding our fantastic, all-knowing SCO experts Sam Popper continues to widen his lead after another impressive 12-4 week. Rohan again finds himself trailing the rest of the pack after another very average week. The standings go as follows:
Rookie QB EJ Manuel completed a last second drive to pull out a Bills' win last week. Courtesy of bleacherreport.com
Rookie QB EJ Manuel completed a last second drive to pull out a Bills' win last week.

Standings
1. Sam 25-7
2. Abel 22-10
3. Jacob 21-11
4. Rohan 19-13

Chiefs at Eagles
Sam: Eagles
Abel: Eagles
Jacob: Eagles
Rohan: Eagles

Sam says:
Andy Reidís return to Philly will be emotional. But expect Kansas Cityís conservative west coast, offensive scheme to not be enough against Chip Kellyís revolutionary offense that has put up 31.5 points per game this year.
Abel says:
Despite the Eaglesí close loss to the Chargers last week, I still think Chip Kellyís high-octane offense is too much for defenseís to handle. And the Chiefs offense isnít dynamic enough to keep up.
Jacob says:
Chip Kelly will focus on the defense this week in practice and the offense should be able to put enough to thwart Andy Reidís homecoming.
Rohan says:
This is the best game of the week plotting the return to Philadelphia of head coach Andy Reid of the Chiefs. The Eagles are coming off a hard defeat to the Chargers and I believe with work on the defensive side of the game they can pull off the win.

Packers at Bengals
Sam: Packers
Abel: Packers
Jacob: Packers
Rohan: Packers

Sam says:
Even though RB Eddie Lacy will likely be sidelined due to a concussion, the Packers have enough offense with QB Aaron Rodgers to lead the Pack to victory.
Abel says:
The Packers have too many weapons on offense, especially now with the possible rebirth of running back James Starks. And outside of A.J. Green, there is no one I trust on the offensive side of the ball for the Bengals.
Jacob says:
Aaron Rodgers should outlast Andy Dalton in this shootout
Rohan says:
After an impressive victory last week against the Redskins I believe the Packers will continue to win and defeat the Bengals.

Rams at Cowboys
Sam: Rams
Abel: Rams
Jacob: Cowboys
Rohan: Rams

Sam says:
The Rams are quietly becoming an elite passing offense, averaging the fourth most passing yards per game in the NFL. The Cowboys will have trouble keeping up with the injuries to WR Dez Bryant and QB Tony Romo.
Abel says:
I still believe in the Rams, and Iím still very hesitant on the Cowboys. Playing in Dallas' dome, the Rams' speedy playmakers Tavon Austin and Chris Givens should be able to take advantage of the fast track. Hopefully, this Rams defense Iíve been hyping up, especially the front four, will be able to cause problems for a shaky Dallas offensive line.
Jacob says:
Jason Garret will have his troops ready to go after last weekís tight loss to the Chiefs.
Rohan says:
Although the Rams did lose to the Falcons, they put up a fight. With enough work in the week that effort will translate into a victory over the Cowboys with there ever mediocre quarterback Tony Romo.

Chargers at Titans
Sam: Titans
Abel: Titans
Jacob: Titans
Rohan: Chargers

Sam says:
Both these teams have been surprisingly competitive this season. The outcome of the game will be solely dependent on the play of Chargers QB Philip Rivers. In a close game I find the Titans' defense to be just too good.
Abel says:
For the second straight week, the Chargers will be traveling across the country to play a 1 pm ET (10 am PT) game, and that could lead to a slow start. The Titans have impressed me the last two weeks, and I see them squeaking out a win here.
Jacob says:
Those Titans will win it at home at San Diego. Running back Chris Johnson will go on a tear.
Rohan says:
I underestimated the Chargers last week and I apologize to my hometown team and P-riv. That said, I do believe they will win this week after their strong showing and the running of Chris Johnson will not be enough to stop him.

Browns at Vikings
Sam: Vikings
Abel: Vikings
Jacob: Vikings
Rohan: Vikings

Sam says:
With starting QB Brandon Weeden sidelined due to injury and RB Trent Richardson traded to Indianapolis, expect no firepower from Cleveland on Sunday.
Abel says:
The cupboard is pretty bare in Cleveland. Quarterback Brandon Weeden is hurt, Trent Richardson's just been traded, and the Browns have rarely had talent in general the last several years. Although the Browns' defense is fairly stout, the offense is laughable, and I think, unbelievably, that Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder will be the best quarterback on the field.
Jacob says:
Wow, Adrian Peterson vs Trent Richardson, thatís a great matchup! Wait, whatís that you say? Richardson got tradedÖ oh. Awkward.
Rohan says:
After barely losing last week, the Vikings will be able to pull off the victory.

Buccaneers at Patriots
Sam: Patriots
Abel: Patriots
Jacob: Patriots
Rohan: Patriots

Sam says:
After the Buccaneers lost both of their games by a combined 4 points, the Patriots' defense will be the difference maker at home.
Abel says:
With the way the Patriots have looked these last two weeks, they could be on upset alert. But the Buccaneers are just so inept. Quarterback Josh Freeman has continued to struggle, and he has few playmakers around him to exploit a suspect New England secondary. I'll take the Patriots just because of Tom Brady. He will be able to shred a very good Buccaneer secondary with the short passing game.
Jacob says:
New England is just a better team than Tampa Bay. Plus theyíre at home.
Rohan says:
Although the Bucs had a disheartening loss against the Saints last week, they face the always-solid Patriots who should be able to win this one.

Cardinals at Saints
Sam: Saints
Abel: Saints
Jacob: Saints
Rohan: Cardinals

Sam says:
Iím going to say the same thing that Iíve said every week about the Saints. They are flying under the radar and are a scary team to face on your schedule with their new and improved defense allowing just 15.5 points per game.
Abel says:
The better quarterback will win this game, and Saints' QB Drew Brees is top five in the league.
Jacob says:
Brees and the Saints' offense should have a field day at home against Arizona.
Rohan says:
With the Saints winning the last two games at the dying embers, they have appeared to be shaky. This week they will not get lucky and the Cardinals will be able to make that final play to secure them the win.

Lions at Redskins
The Redskins' secondary will have the tough task of dealing with Lions' WR Calvin Johnson this week. Courtesy of USA Today
The Redskins' secondary will have the tough task of dealing with Lions' WR Calvin Johnson this week.

Sam: Lions
Abel: Redskins
Jacob: Lions
Rohan: Lions

Sam says:
The Redskins are in major trouble defensively. They rank last in the NFL in yards per game with a whopping 511.5, and rank 31 in the NFL in points allowed per game with a horrible 35.5 points per game. Who will cover Megatron? Who will stop Reggie Bush? And worst of all, Can RG3 get back on his game? These are all saddening questions for the hometown Skins.
Abel says:
I think this game will be a tight one. While I fully expect Calvin Johnson to embarrass the Redskins' terrible secondary, I'll go with the home team since the game will be so close.
Jacob says:
Itís hard to see the Redskins winning this game against the new offensive trio in the motor city. RGIIIís rust is also still apparent.
Rohan says:
With RGIII still looking like he is scared to even throw the ball in the pocket, the Lions will dispatch of the Redskins pretty easily in this one.

Giants at Panthers
Sam: Giants
Abel: Giants
Jacob: Giants
Rohan: Panthers

Sam says:
A troubling loss last week against the Bills sent the Panthers back far. I canít see the Giants going 0-3; Eli Manning wonít allow it.
Abel says:
The Panthers have shown over the past few years that they are quite adept at blowing leads at the end of games. Their offense is inconsistent, and I canít trust them, so Iím picking the Giants by default.
Jacob says:
Eli and big blue have got to get off the slide, and Tom Coughlin knows it.
Rohan says:
I have to say sorry to Giants fans in advance but I just canít pick a team with a quarterback who threw 4 interceptions the week before. The Panthers should be able to win this one.

Texans at Ravens
Sam: Texans
Abel: Texans
Jacob: Ravens
Rohan: Texans

Sam says:
The Ravens' troubles this season have not been from the defense, but from the offense. Ray Riceís injury does not help this problem. The Texans' defense will have a big day against the Ravens.
Abel says:
The Texans have been through some close calls the last couple weeks, winning in the final seconds or in overtime. But the Ravens have looked very unimpressive, especially last week when they let the BROWNS hang around almost all game. And for the third straight week Iím asking: who else is catching passes for the Ravens?
Jacob says:
Look for Baltimoreís defense to come up with some big stops down the stretch.
Rohan says:
Iíll be the first one to admit that my pick against the Ravens last week was not the smartest, but in my defense sometimes you just have a feeling and apparently its was way off. Iím still going to have to pick against the Ravens in this one. The Texans somehow found a way to win last week even with a terrible throw from Matt Schaub. The Texans wonít find it easy, but they will win.

Falcons at Dolphins
Sam: Falcons
Abel: Falcons
Jacob: Falcons
Rohan: Falcons

Sam says:
The Dolphins have impressed on defense this season. But can they do it again against the firepower from the Falcons? Not yet.
Abel says:
The Falcons held on last week against the Rams while the Dolphins have played well and have gotten off to a nice 2-0 start. Still, in an offensive-minded league, I trust Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. The Dolphins just donít have the firepower to keep up.
Jacob says:
Give me the Falcons explosive aerial attack against a weak Miami D.
Rohan says:
After a breakout game from Julio Jones, the Falcons will ride the wave they are creating for themselves and cruise to victory.

Bills at Jets
Sam: Jets
Abel: Bills
Jacob: Bills
Rohan: Bills

Sam says:
Iím missing my Jets magic from Week 1, so Iím going back to them this week at home against an overconfident Bills team.
Abel says:
I like the Bills' offensive skill players better than the Jets'. Defensive end Mario Williams is coming off a 4.5 sack performance and could have another big day pursuing the Jets' rookie QB Geno Smith.
Jacob says:
EJ Manuel hasnít been terrible and I think that the Bills can control the clock with CJ Spiller.
Rohan says:
After being the only one to pick them last week, I have some confidence in the Bills and believe they can win this one too.

Colts at 49ers
Sam: 49ers
Abel: 49ers
Jacob: 49ers
Rohan: 49ers

Sam says:
The Niners were flat out embarrassed by a division rival last week. They are an angry team and unfortunately for the Colts, they will face that anger and they will struggle.
Abel says:
It won't be as lopsided as the Seahawks game, but the 49ers are clearly the better team in nearly every way.
Jacob says:
The arrival of Trent Richardson will be a big help for the Colts this season, but unfortunately the leagueís best run defense should bottle him up this week.
Rohan says:
After a torrid time in Seattle, the 49ers will bounce back and win this one.

Jaguars at Seahawks
Sam: Seahawks
Abel: Seahawks
Jacob: Seahawks
Rohan: Seahawks

Sam says:
The Jacksonville TV station formally apologized for televising this gameÖ
Abel says:
You're really asking me why? You're joking right?
Jacob says:
Probably the most lopsided matchup of the season.
Rohan says:
Is there a game Jacksonville can win? The Seahawks are coming off a win and look to repeat that feat.

Bears at Steelers
Sam: Steelers
Abel: Bears
Jacob: Bears
Rohan: Bears

Sam says:
In an upset pick, I like the matchups that the Steelers get on defense, CB Ike Taylor against Bears' WR Brandon Marshall, and I like LB Jarvis Jones against Bears' TE Martellus Bennett. The Steelers offense is shaky, but Iím giving them some love. Also, itís a must-win for Pittsburgh.
Abel says:
The Steelers are becoming a laughing stock, both on and off the field. The Bears should roll.
Jacob says:
The Steelers havenít been too impressive this season and the Bears should be riding high after their last minute win last week.
Rohan says:
Although the Steelers are getting back Heath Miller for this one, they have barely generated any offense and Big Ben and his receivers do not seem to be on the same page. I believe the Bears will win this one.

Raiders at Broncos
Sam: Broncos
Abel: Broncos
Jacob: Broncos
Rohan: Raiders

Sam says:
Raiders' QB Terrelle Pryor could make this game interesting with his ability to run, but this game is a blowout. Period.
Abel says:
If the Raiders win, I may consider quitting NFL predictions.
Jacob says:
Probably the second most lopsided matchup of the season.
Rohan says:
I donít know why but Iím going with my gut and picking the Raiders in this one.




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