18 September 2012

2012 NFL Week 3 Picks

Who is the elite club in the American Football Conference? The Texans like to stake a claim in that question but they have not been challenged at all this season. That will change Sunday afternoon in Denver where they will visit the Broncos. Who will solidify themselves in the AFC? How about the other clubs, who will win in week three?

Last Week: 7-9
2012: 15-17

Thursday, September 20
New York Giants vs. Carolina Panthers (NFL Network, 8:30)
New York put together one hell of a rally last week to defeat the Buccaneers behind the arm of Eli Manning, one that threw for almost 300 yards in the second half, but the serious questions about the Giants' secondary remains as they have been torched for two weeks in a row and the pass rush looked better but still not great. Cam Newton played really well last week in leading the upset of New Orleans and I think he will be able to scorch the Giants through the air.
Panthers 31 Giants 28

Sunday, September 23
Buffalo Bills vs. Cleveland Browns (CBS, 1:00)
So these Buffalo Bills, I do not get it. They got destroyed by the Jets in the opener, look like a disaster, and then turn around and beat the crap out of the Chiefs in Orchard Park. Ryan Fitzpatrick was not great on Sunday but at least he didn't throw any interceptions and left the balance of the offense to C.J. Spiller, who has been great. The Browns did play a lot better against the Bengals, and Brandon Weeden not only looked like a quarterback but a good one too, but I think the Bills will ride Spiller again to victory.
Bills 19 Browns 13

Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Indianapolis Colts (CBS, 1:00)
The Jaguars, what a disgrace on the offensive side of the ball last week. They put up a franchise worst 117 yards total and Blaine Gabbert not only was atrocious, but also left the game with a leg injury. Chad Henne should start this week. Andrew Luck, on the other hand, looked pretty good in his first career victory against Minnesota and I think he should have no worries working through this disappointing Jacksonville defense. Call me crazy, call me maybe, but the Colts are my Lock of the Week.
Colts 14 Jaguars 3

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Washington Redskins (CBS, 1:00)
The Washington Redskins have been moving the ball really well this season as Alfred Morris has looked solid running the football and Robert Griffin III has looked good throwing and running the football. They had a chance to be 2-0 but Josh Morgan...yeah. But I have liked what I have seen, although the losses of Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker will really hurt the defense. I do like them over the Bengals, who could not put the Browns away last week and made Brandon Weeden look like Boomer Esiason.
Redskins 35 Bengals 30

New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins (CBS, 1:00)
We talked about the Bills, how about the team that trounced them in week one? The Jets looked tremendous against Buffalo, Mark Sanchez was great, and everything was great in Florham Park. Then they went to Pittsburgh, the offense looked largely ineffective, they got pushed around and they lost. And the Dolphins looked terrible against the Texans while looking strong in blowing the Raiders out on Sunday. So what gives? I like the Jets because I think they can pressure Ryan Tannehill into making mistakes that will turn the tide just enough to Gang Green. 
Jets 14 Dolphins 10

Kansas City Chiefs vs. New Orleans Saints (CBS, 1:00)
I mean, this is the lead game on CBS, these two 0-2 clubs? I really have been disappointed in both clubs, particularly the Chiefs, who have been awful on defense this year. Then again, so have the Saints but I think Drew Brees and co. will get their crap together this week to avoid an 0-3 start.
Saints 24 Chiefs 14

Detroit Lions vs. Tennessee Titans (FOX, 1:00)
Detroit has looked underwhelming thus far in 2012, coming off a loss to San Francisco and a near loss to the Rams in their home opener. Fortunately, they catch a break in their opponent this week. Jake Locker looked good in the opener against New England but was really inconsistent last week in San Diego and how can somebody ignore how awful Chris Johnson has been this year? I mean, he has just looked terrible and I thought he was due for a big season. Making me look good, as always.
Lions 30 Titans 20

St. Louis Rams vs. Chicago Bears (FOX, 1:00)
You know I could say the Rams would be great if they could play Josh Morgan every week but that would not be fair because they did play really well last week, were leading when Morgan pulled his nonsense, and overall have looked much better this year. Chicago was a mess last week against the Packers and Jay Cutler was a disaster last week. While I think they will play better this week, I'm feeling Jeff Fisher's Rams.
Rams 20 Bears 14

San Francisco 49ers vs. Minnesota Vikings (FOX, 1:00)
The 49ers, I tell ya, have looked absolutely great this year, so good that some goons are already thinking 16-0. Now that is nonsense after two games but with how this team has looked so far, particularly how great Alex Smith has played, they look like the elite team in the NFC, maybe the NFL. The Vikings have looked all right this year, a couple breaks away from being 2-0, but also a couple breaks from being 0-2. Give me San Fran in the Twin Cities on Sunday.
49ers 28 Vikings 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Dallas Cowboys (FOX, 1:00)
Classic Cowboys following up a big win with a nice let-down blowout loss to Seattle last week on the road. Tony Romo was inconsistent and the running game was nonexistent as a solid Seahawk defense shut them down. I was thinking about going with Tampa Bay after they should have beaten the Giants, and then got under their skin by actually playing the QB kneel, but the way their secondary collapsed down the stretch makes me think that Romo will rebound this week with a solid performance.
Cowboys 27 Buccaneers 24

Atlanta Falcons vs. San Diego Chargers (FOX, 4:05)
The Falcons are playing this season the way I thought they would play last season, when I picked them to win the Super Bowl, and they have been playing great, most recently forcing Peyton Manning to throw a troika of first quarter interceptions. San Diego has looked damn impressive in their own right and this should be a quality affair. I am going with the Falcons because of how well they did forcing Manning to throw picks and Phillip Rivers has shown tendencies to throw picks before.
Falcons 34 Chargers 28

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Arizona Cardinals (FOX, 4:05)
Who thought the Cardinals would be 2-0 at this juncture? Well I liked Arizona coming into this season, unlike most people, but not even I think they would get as lucky as they did Sunday in Foxborough (kinda like my prom, except the exact opposite). Their defense has been very, very good and I think they will give the Eagles all they can handle this week but I think that the Cardinals will not be able to move the ball well enough to give them the edge.
Eagles 21 Cardinals 17

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders (CBS, 4:25)
The Raiders have looked like a mess, particularly as star back Darren McFadden was been completely missing this season, leaving a lot of pressure on Carson Palmer to move the offense, he did have a big performance last week in terms of yardage but only led the club to 13 points in a blowout loss to Miami. Plus the defense has been a disaster. Pittsburgh is riding high after an impressive victory over the Jets so they should coast against Oakland.
Steelers 28 Raiders 12

Houston Texans vs. Denver Broncos (CBS, 4:25)
So is Peyton Manning really back completely? Those three interceptions seem to cast some doubt about how good he really is, although they could certainly be a fluke. I do think he could make some mistakes against an excellent Texans defense, one that does a great job pressuring the passer and Denver's offensive is inconsistent. Speaking of the Texans, how about end J.J. Watt? That guy is amazing I tell you. Anyways, I think this will be a tight ballgame but Houston has the edge, in my opinion.
Texans 28 Broncos 24

New England Patriots vs. Baltimore Ravens (NBC, 8:25)
Both of these clubs looked really impressive in big opening week victories while both also came back to Earth on Sunday with losses. I do have to lean Baltimore here because while I do feel that the Patriots loss was largely a fluke (even though I do like Arizona), the way they were not able to move the football, particularly once Aaron Hernandez was injured and thus they could not use their patented two-tight end offense (although the signing of Kellen Winslow could prove beneficial in the short term) and I think his loss could hurt them trying to move the football against a good Ravens defense.
Ravens 25 Patriots 20

Monday, September 24
Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks (ESPN, 8:30)
The Packers got a much needed win last Thursday night against Chicago but I have yet to see their offense put together a really strong effort and I do not believe that will happen this week since the Seahawks have an underrated defensive unit. I do think the Packers will have the advantage when they are on defense since there are questions with Seattle left tackle Russell Okung, who did not play in the Dallas victory, and his health plus Clay Matthews III has been brilliant thus far. I think Green Bay will force Russell Wilson to make mistakes, throwing a pair of interceptions is what I would expect.
Packers 21 Seahawks 13

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