The Crystal Ball - Week 3
Despite a few upsets last week we went 11 – 5 straight up making the season record to 21 – 11 straight up. Against the spread the week was a very good 10 – 5 – 1 giving a good looking 18 – 12 – 2 going into week three. Some teams showed big swings between their performance between weeks one and two. Now we will try to find the teams that will be doing that this week.
I participate in a pick’em league and these choices reflect the picks I make there; for that league I can make changes until the first game kicks off and will (rarely) based on last minute injury information. These picks are for amusement value only; please do not confuse these choices with the real picks made on this site by those who are focusing on the best choices available as they see them. The line used is a line in effect when I picked the game (usually the day prior to the line being posted).
Cleveland at Baltimore – Cleveland is rebuilding and improving but has very little depth, the passing game is particularly limited. Baltimore has a more talent and offense than has been seen this season, until now at least, Ravens win 24 – 10.
Cincinnati at Carolina – The quarterback play of the Panthers has been inconsistent; the normally reliable running game has not been productive either. Cincinnati has been playing very good defense while the offense seems to be improving, Bengals win, 24 – 13.
Dallas at Houston – Dallas has issues along the offensive line and the secondary is exposed when the pass rush is not effective. Houston is a good offensive team and has more weapons than most teams can stop, Texans win 28 – 21.
San Francisco at Kansas City – The Chief defense is better than anticipated thus far in the season but the offense has been misfiring. San Francisco has a decent defense but the offense needs to set the game tempo and control the clock, forty-niners win 24 – 14.
Detroit at Minnesota – Detroit is clearly an improving team, they are headed the right direction but they lack depth and the defensive secondary is a problem. The Vikings are not nearly as good as most people were thinking but good enough for this week, Vikings win 24 – 17.
Atlanta at New Orleans – Atlanta has been up and down, the offense is capable but depends on the running game. New Orleans will be on a short week, the offense is potent the defense will be challenged this week in what should be an interesting match up, Saints win 28 – 27.
Tennessee at New York Giants – Tennessee has a very good defense but overall is limited by their one-dimensional offense. The Giants offense has multiple weapons and big play capability, the defense is solid for the most part, Giants win 24 – 20.
Buffalo at New England – The Bills have a poor offensive line and quarterback issues, which make winning a challenge, this week it is going to be near impossible. New England is not happy about last week and will be anxious to put that loss behind them, Patriots win 35 – 14.
Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay – Tampa Bay is undefeated and playing well, the offense is not very dynamic but the defense has been sound. In Pittsburgh it is does not seem to matter who the quarterback is, the defense has everything under control, Steelers win 17 – 10.
Philadelphia at Jacksonville – The running game of the Jaguars has been less effective than usual and the defense is marginal. The Eagle defense had some problems last week even though they won, and will be looking for redemption, Eagles win 24 – 14.
Washington at St Louis – The Rams are still developing as a team, the offense is a work in progress but is showing improvement, the defense not so much. Washington has a solid defense; McNabb helps an otherwise average offense, Redskins win 20 – 14.
Oakland at Arizona – Oakland will need to figure out how to play more consistently but Gradkowski is not a long term or probably even a short-term answer. Arizona will struggle, Anderson is too random the rest of the offensive talent deserves better, Cardinals win 27 – 20.
Indianapolis at Denver – The Broncos have played solid if somewhat unspectacular offense, the defense has not been severely tested, this week it will be. The Indianapolis defense showed up last week, if they stay around this becomes a very scary team, Colts win 28 – 17.
San Diego at Seattle – The Seahawks have shown some different looks early in the season, on both sides of the ball with mixed success. San Diego is has some defensive issues and the offensive line play mediocre but it is enough to get them by this week, Chargers win 24 – 21.
New York Jets at Miami – The Dolphins are playing very good defense, the offense has been inconsistent and will need to play error free. The Jets have to be concerned with a let down after two difficult games and be careful not to underestimate this opponent, Jets win 20 – 14.
Green Bay at Chicago – Chicago has adapted to the Martz offense but they are still learning, the defense will be challenged to keep up with this opponent. Green Bay has shown a versatile offense attack, the defense has yet to be really tested, Packers win 31 – 24.