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Quick Hits from Week 3:
I finally got an upset pick correct. The Giants, the defense especially, played terrific and inspired against the Eagles. The key was they got pressure on Vick and knocked him around, legally or illegally-the hit that knocked him out was debatable, and they were able to keep Vick from running free. Offensively, Eli played a terrific game, and the key was zero turnovers. Victor Cruz what a game, twice victimizing Nnamdi Asomugha.
Anyway…here we go with this week’s picks. As always, picks are in bold.
Pittsburgh @ Houston 27-24
The offensive line is a huge concern for the Steelers. It’s not only the pass protection that suffers (Ben was getting killed against the Colts), but the more troubling part is their inability to run block. Mendenhall, as talented as he is, has nowhere to run. Houston’s defense may be the difference in this one. They played a hell of a three quarters last week against the Saints.
Minnesota @ Kansas City 23-20
Two teams in complete disarray. One of these teams has to win, why not the home team? I trust the Vikings to find a way to lose this game, Christian Ponder anyone?
Detroit @ Dallas 30-17
No Miles Austin, a limited Dez Bryant, a mediocre running game, and a banged up Tony Romo, against a hot Lions team and an aggressive front four. There are major concerns in the secondary as well. Did I mention the Lions have now won 11 straight (including the pre-season).
Carolina @ Chicago 24-13
First win for Cam Newton in horrific conditions last week. Statistically, the numbers weren’t great, but he made enough plays to win the game. The difference between the Bears defense and the Jags defense is night and day though.
Washington @ St. Louis 27-23
It’s gut check time for the Rams: they can’t really be this bad, can they? The schedule after this game (@GB, @Dallas, and home versus NO), is disastrous. If they lose this game they will probably be looking at 0-7. I think they realize this and play just well enough to get a W.
Tennessee @ Cleveland 19-13
Let’s see… no Kenny Britt, on the road, against a focused Browns team; this isn’t exactly a recipe for success. I understand that opponents are stacking the box and his offensive line is blocking poorly, but at what point do we start worrying about Chris Johnson?
San Francisco @ Philadelphia 24-9
Mike Vick, Mike Kafka, Vince Young, it doesn’t really matter who starts, the Eagles are not losing this game. Vick needs to stop complaining about him not getting calls. Does he get fewer calls than say Peyton Manning or Tom Brady? He probably does, but coming from Vick it just sounds whiny since he gets no sympathy from anyone. Do you see Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Ryan, or Eli Manning complaining after they get pummeled most Sundays? No.
Atlanta @ Seattle 17-6
Matt Ryan is getting killed. I think they’re problem is they’re trying to force the ball down the field now that they have Julio Jones. There is no rhythm to their offense.
New York Giants @Arizona 23-17
Would anyone be surprised if the Giants lost this game? Really, they’re a team capable of winning or losing any game.
Denver @ Green Bay 27-13
Now that Jermichael Finley is back and playing at a high level, it’s almost not fair. As if Aaron Rodgers needs any more receivers to throw to.
New England @ Oakland 34-28
Can I see New England losing two in a row? Highly unlikely. Can I see the Raiders pulling up two upsets in a row? Highly unlikely. What they will do though is run the ball right down New England’s throats. I could see an upset had the Patriots won last week, but coming off a loss, there will be too much Brady and Wes Welker.
Miami @ San Diego 24-14
Something is just not right with the Chargers. It was a big statement game for Ryan Matthews last week though. Look for Matthews to take up a much larger role in the offense going forward.
Indianapolis @ Tampa Bay 20-12
Valiant effort by the Colts defense, and good game by Joseph Addai Sunday night, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get a W. They showed they’re not going to roll over like they did Week 1. Big divisional win by the Bucs on Sunday, they need to keep the train rolling. Will that Week 1 lost to the Lions loom large come playoff time?
New Orleans @ Jacksonville 31-10
What a comeback by the Saints last week. If the Saints want to win the Super Bowl, their defense needs to improve. They can’t expect Brees to rescue them every week.
Buffalo @ Cincinnati 20-17
Coming off a huge emotional win for the Bills last week they’re bound to be a letdown. The Bills are definitely a better team but in the NFL the better team doesn’t always win, like last weekend versus the Patriots. The thing I like about the Bengals in this game is they have a defense good enough to make the Bills one-dimensional. The Patriots defense couldn’t stop the pass nor the run.
New York Jets @ Baltimore 24-23
Which Ravens team is going to show up? The Week 1 and 3 team that looked dominant or the Week 2 team that looked anemic offensively? Which Jets team will show up? The Week 1 and 3 team that looked atrocious against the Raiders and fortunate against the Cowboys? Or the Week 2 team that looked dominant versus an inept Jaguars team? At this point, we don’t know much about both teams. I must have switched my pick at least 10 times in the course of the week. If in doubt, take the home team.