Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week 3 NFL Picks: A Shocking Outburst Of Profit

Great googly moogly, we had a week here at the old pickatorium. Any number of half point covers, a slam dunk upset grab that the world missed with the Titans taking out the Ravens, and some significant cash. If this sort of thing keeps up, people might actually think I know something. So let's get right to proving that entirely wrong, shall we?

And with that... on to the picks!

* * * * *

NEW ENGLAND at Buffalo (+9)

Oh, it's been a fine year for fantasy point pushers. Between the Lions coming through with late round goodness and the Bills giving top-tier QB play out of the fungible Ryan Fitzpatrick, it's been pinball all over, and this week in Buffalo will be no exception. The Patriots haven't shown any great gain from their highly drafted defense, and the Bills just got gashed by Jason Campbell, for heaven's sake. The 50.5 point over is a cinch, and while the Patriots will miss TE Aaron Hernandez, the skill position talent doesn't matter that much when the line keeps QB Tom Brady clean, and they face little resistance.

Patriots 34, Bills 24

San Francisco at CINCINNATI (-3)

Last week in San Francisco, Niners rookie coach Jim Harbaugh was faced with a short fourth down at the Cowboys 38, up a touchdown in the early part of the fourth quarter. Rolling the dice with new kicker David Akers, he watched his new acquisition drill a career long of 55 yards straight and true for a 10 point lead... only to find laundry on the play. Dallas was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for an illegal launch maneuver to try to block the kick, a 15 yard penalty. At this point, Harbaugh had three options.

1) Take the penalty and restart the drive at the Cowboys 23

2) Keep the points and kick off from midfield, or

3) Stick his thumb up his butt and do a little dance

Harbaugh took option 2, which is to say option 3. Then he watched Tony Romo come off the bench to lead a heroic comeback and overtime win... that would, of course, not had been at all possible if he had taken the penalty and ran more time off the clock.

On the road in Cincy, against a defense that's showing some friskiness and an offense that's not missing Carson Palmer at all, he's going to have to actually manage to win, not lose. It's going to work about as well as that penalty call. And if you don't think that decisions like that can lose the locker room, especially for a franchise that's been down for years and still is trying to wet nurse Alex Smith into a winning experience... well, um, no.

Bengals 24, Niners 16

MIAMI at Cleveland (-3)

Two franchises on the uptick, though you won't know it by the skill positions or won-loss records. I'm going with the road team because I think this is one of those games where Chad Henne doesn't seem totally useless, and the 0-2 team needs it more than the 1-1 team, even on the road. Besides, the Browns have no one who can contain WR Brandon Marshall, which is going to lead to opportunities for WR Davone Bess, too.

Dolphins 24, Browns 20

DENVER at Tennessee (-7)

Just too big of a line for a Titans team that looked awful in Week One, then shocked the world with a stuff job of the slumming Ravens last week. RB Chris Johnson is still struggling, QB Matt Hasselbeck won't have as much time as last week, and WR Kenny Britt won't run roughshod over CB Champ Bailey. Besides, I like WR Brandon Lloyd's chances for a nice bounce-back game against CB Cortland Finnegan, who might be one of the more overrated players in the NFL. The Titans will win, but not cover.

Titans 24, Broncos 20

DETROIT at Minnesota (+4)

The new darlings of the NFC North go to the 0-2 Vikings, who are going through the second year of imported big name fossil QB in the fretful waste of RB Adrian Peterson's prime. Minny might be desperate enough to put forward a good effort, but the Lions' defensive line will get to QB Donovan McNabb early and often, and it's hard right now to see how QB Matthew Stafford isn't going to get to 30+ points, even on the road in a loud dome.

Lions 34, Vikings 20

Houston at NEW ORLEANS (-4)

The Texans have raced off to a 2-0 start and the presumptive lead in the AFC South, but they step up in class in a big way with this road test in the bayou. The Saints roared back to .500 with a dismantling of the Bears, and they'll do much the same to the Texans, who have looked better than they are due to weak competition. And while the Texans are better on defense this year than last (a lot better, actually), they aren't ready for this kind of test yet. Oh, and RB Ben Tate isn't going to sneak up on anyone this week, either.

Saints 31, Texans 20


This one's purely for the brave of heart, as no one knows whether QB Michael Vick will play or not... and I'm taking the home team either way. There's a reason why the G Men are 0-6 in their last half dozen tries against the Birds, and that reason is that they can't cover the wideouts, and haven't been able to generate 60 minutes of defensive pressure. I'm not sure either of these things change regardless of who is behind center, and on the other side of the ball, QB Eli Manning is going to miss TE Kevin Boss and WR Steve Smith something fierce, though they will run the ball well. Oh, and kudos to Green for finally accepting reality and moving LB Jamar Cheney to the middle. He's not that great, but at least he's not an open sieve, either.

Eagles 27, Giants 21

Jacksonville at CAROLINA (-3.5)

Finally a win for QB Cam Newton, who has put up big numbers out of nowhere for the Panthers, who get a winnable home game against an awful Jaguars team that looked completely lost in New York against the Jets. Look for WR Steve Smith to keep up his crushing recovery year, and for RB Maurice Jones-Drew to continue to toil into obsolescence.

Panthers 26, Jaguars 13

NY JETS at Oakland (+3.5)

There's something awful about taking the Jets on the road in Oakland with a backup C against a fierce DL... but eventually the line will get worn down, and then the secondary will look as kitten-soft as they did in that inexcusable second half collapse against the Bills. The Raiders actually match up well with the Jets, and RB Darren McFadden is going to crank up another 120+ yards of combined yards... but this team isn't good enough to beat a playoff team while giving up their usual dozen back-breaking penalties.

Jets 23, Raiders 17

BALTIMORE at St. Louis (+3.5)

Here comes the anger game for Baltimore, who will take advantage of the injury-ravaged Rams offense and inadequate red zone performance for a straight up punking of the reeling Rams. It doesn't hurt at all that the Rams have the short week, and that the Ravens are actually better on a fast track than you might imagine for an AFC North power team. This line might be the bargain of the week; Baltimore won't screw the pooch for two weeks in a row.

Ravens 27, Rams 20

Kansas City at SAN DIEGO (-15)

An immense line for a flawed home favorite, but the Chiefs are just that awful right now, and the Chargers are going to come in angry after last week's loss in New England. As for the Chiefs, if they simply get through 60 minutes without having a player leave on a cart, it'll be their best game of the year.

Chargers 31, Chiefs 10

GREEN BAY at Chicago (+4)

The Packers are 2-0 but with a deficient defense. The Bears are 1-1 and with an offensive line that's going to get their QB killed, and with a QB that many want dead anyway. In a case like this, give me the team with the higher ceiling, and that's the defending Super Bowl champions. But it's high time they showed more of their potential.

Packers 28, Bears 21

ARIZONA at Seattle (+3.5)

This Cardinals team can't stop the pass, which makes playing in Seattle against QB Tarvaris Jackson an absolute godsend. Look for the road team to have another sneaky good line from QB Kevin Kolb, who is settling in quite nicely in the desert, and for the Seahwaks to welcome WR Sidney Rice with 80 yards of well-compensated irrelevance. Oh, Sidney. I just hope you are still good when you finally escape Tarvaris.

Cardinals 31, Seahawks 20

Atlanta at TAMPA BAY (-1)

One of the best games on the docket this week. Give me the home Bucs, just because the Falcons don't travel well, and the Bucs finally got their running game moving last week in Minnesota. But realistically, this game will come down to whatever team avoids the two turnovers that the winning defense will generate.

Buccaneers 26, Falcons 24

Pittsburgh at INDIANAPOLIS (+11)

The SNF game that NBC would love to flex out will actually be a little closer than advertised, simply because the Colts are desperate, with a little more time to get QB Kerry Collins acclimated, and the Steelers might just sleep a little on this game, seeing how the Colts have looked just absolutely feeble so far. It won't be a pretty cover, but it will be a cover nonetheless.

Steelers 19, Colts 10


Oh, dear Lord, are we really going to see the Rex Grossman Redskins go to 3-0, and suffer a week's worth of ESPN twaddle about how he's matured into a winner? Well, yes, because the Skins have a defense, a running game, and the benefit of the Niner defense injuring any number of Cowboy skill players. But even if Mssrs. Romo, Austin and Jones somehow do play and play well, these teams also stay tight... and it's a night game, with a national audience. Don't you like your chances of the Cowboys choking up that kind of game regardless?

Redskins 23, Cowboys 20

Last week: 12-3-1

2011-12: 20-9-3

Career: 427-414-18

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule