Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some Picks: NFL Week 3

I'm gonna keep plugging away at the ol' picks. I know they're going to get good at some point. One change I will make: no more shots at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, since they are the 2-0 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I won't make fun of them anymore. Until they finally start losing.

Kansas City (+2.5) over San Francisco
I really shouldn't be picking the 49ers to go 0-3, because they're better than that. But I'm still not over how well the crowd did at the Chiefs' last home game. Sigh. I wish the spread was bigger, so I could pick the Chiefs without having to believe they would win.

Detroit (+11) over Minnesota
I hope, although I do not believe, that the Lions will win this game. I'm plain old sure they'll keep it closer than 11 points, though.

New England (-14) over Buffalo
It remains a good idea to pick the Bills to lose by two touchdowns.

New Orleans (-4) over Atlanta
I can't dig up a qualm to feel about this one.

New York Giants (-3) over Tennessee
I don't think any of us knows how good either of these teams are. Each has had one dominant win and one embarrassing loss. The Giants are the more stable team (although I think pulling Vince Young last week reflects more on Jeff Fisher than on Vince) and they're at home, so let's assume they'll get it done.

Pittsburgh (-2.5) over Tampa Bay
Here's a matchup of extremely unlikely 2-0 teams. I didn't expect Pittsburgh to beat Atlanta or Tennessee; I didn't expect Tampa to beat Cleveland or Carolina. Even so--before the season, I expected the Steelers to beat the Bucs, and I'm going to stick with it.

Cincinnati (-3) over Carolina
Apparently, the Panthers are just bad. The Bengals aren't as good as they should be, but they're not as bad as Carolina (especially a Carolina starting a rookie QB).

Cleveland (+10.5) over Baltimore
I'd fall right over if the Browns won this game, but the Ravens do not seem to be a team built for blowouts. Also, Joe Flacco: not actually good? Discuss.

Houston (-3) over Dallas
Besides the Colts, I can't think of another team the Texans would want to beat more than the Cowboys. I mean, you'd want to beat the Cowboys if you were the Texans, right? That and Dallas's two abysmal performances outweigh Dallas's terrible desperation to win a game.

Washington (-3.5) over St. Louis
I'm not going to start buying Sam Bradford, Franchise Savior until and unless I absolutely have to. Also, I know the Redskins haven't looked great getting to 1-1, but isn't that spread pretty small?

Philadelphia (-3) over Jacksonville
I'm probably underestimating Jacksonville because I get them confused with Carolina. I really can't keep those teams straight. It's a real problem.

Indianapolis (-5.5) over Denver
Indy is still good; they just lost their first game to a team that cared much more than they did. (And is also good.) Denver is, at best, mediocre.

Oakland (+4) over Arizona
We officially have to put Jason Campbell in the Matt Leinart drawer, don't we? I had thought he had some untapped potential, maybe just needed to build some confidence--but no. The Raiders look to get a little better by starting Gradkowski, and I truly believe the Cardinals are terrible. I am not giving up on the Raiders, at least not this week.

Seattle (+5.5) over San Diego
Here I go again, putting a lot of stock in a really good Week 1 home performance. It's not just that, though--San Diego still has more losses to go to have one of their trademark bad beginnings of the season. I think it's in Norv's contract or something.

New York Jets (+2.5) over Miami
This is another hard one to get a feel for. It's equally easy to imagine the Jets playing sharply and the Jets falling on their faces (because we've seen both happen already this season). Miami, meanwhile, has won both their games--on the road--but not by impressive margins. I think the Jets have higher potential, though.

Chicago (+3) over Green Bay
As a Packer fan, I am super super nervous about this game, and the pick reflects that. My reasons for taking Chicago/points: the Packers, despite their obvious strengths, also have obvious weaknesses (the o-line and the run game), and the Bears have enough game tape to realize that. This new Chicago offense is still riding high, and while I think they'll crash/burn sooner or later, it will probably at least be later than Week 3. Finally, the Packers started last season badly, and I've been worried overall that they'll be shaky for the first several weeks of this season. Even a close win by the Packers will be hard on already frayed football nerves, so I hope this pick is wrong. (Looking at my record, the odds of that are good!)

Last week's record: 6-9-1
Season to date: 13-15-4

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