The Crystal Ball - Week 3
Week two gives us a better look at who these teams are the straight up picks went 13 -3 making the record for the season 24 – 8 while the packs versus the spread for the week 7 – 8 – 1 leaving the record there at 13 – 18 – 1. This week is a bit odd in that the NFC has two inter-division games where the quarterbacks may not be available and at this point in the week things are not clear (and may not be until game time). If Romo and Vick do suit up the question then becomes can they finish the games against two pretty good pass rushes? For the record my choices assume these players are starting, I am somewhat less certain that they will finish their respective games though.
My disclaimer goes like this. These picks are for amusement value only; not to be confused with the recommended picks of the site. I participate in a pick ‘em league and these represent my view of the weekly games for that league though I occasionally modify my picks there as injury news becomes clearer later in the week. My versus the spread results are against the line at the time I made the pick, usually the Tuesday before the games are played; I try to get these posted no later than Wednesday after seeing the practice reports.
Denver at Tennessee – Denver has a number of injury issues on offense that are still up in the air at this point; the defense is limited. Tennessee can run the ball and will use that to bring the defense up so they can make plays over the top in the passing game, Titans win 28 – 20.
Detroit at Minnesota – The Vikings have real issues on both sides of the ball, the running game is all Peterson but they have little else going for them. Detroit is playing well offensively; the defense is suspect in the secondary but the defensive line is strong, Lions win 28 – 17.
Houston at New Orleans – Houston has a very good offense with a number of weapons and a very good line, the defense has improved but is still learning. New Orleans probably has the most varied offensive scheme in the league, the defense has the home field advantage this week, Saints win 28 – 24.
Jacksonville at Carolina – The Jaguars have very little offensive punch at this point, the passing game is largely non-existent, and the defense is average. Carolina has been featuring their rookie quarterback and he has responded well; expect some fall off there, Panthers win 24 – 17.
Miami at Cleveland – Cleveland has improved but has limited resources; the offensive line certainly misses Steinbach. Miami is a good team but they are not designed to come from behind and have lost to two offensive power houses, this week is easier, Dolphins win 28 – 17.
New England at Buffalo – The Bills are playing good basic football, Fitzpatrick has been solid and the offense balanced. New England continues to present a variety of offensive weapons and can seemingly score at will; the defense is less reliable but good enough, Patriots win 31 – 21.
NY Giants at Philadelphia – New York may have the most significant set of injuries of any team in the league right now, a bad week to be understrength. Philadelphia has some real weaknesses on defense and will need to improve the run defense, assuming Vick plays, Eagles win 24 – 20
San Francisco at Cincinnati – The Forty-niners offensive line is not very effective; this leads to the defense which is not bad being on the field too long. Cincinnati is rebuilding but they are getting very good play from their rookie skill players, Bengals win 21 – 17.
Baltimore at St. Louis – St Louis has a short week and a number of injury concerns, they are young and showing it by making too many mistakes. Baltimore was outplayed last week but was also flat; something not likely to happen two weeks in a row, Ravens win 28 – 17.
Kansas City at San Diego – The Chiefs lost their primary offensive weapon and the offense has no rhythm so far this season, the defense has been shredded the past two weeks. San Diego has a number of offensive weapons; the defense is solid and getting better, Chargers win 31 – 14.
NY Jets at Oakland – Oakland has played well considering their patchwork offensive line, the running game is potent, and while the defense is solid up front it is subject to breakdowns. The New York defense is living up to its billing and the offense is versatile, Jets win 27 – 17.
Arizona at Seattle – The Seahawks are not very good in any aspect of the game at this point though they have historically played better at home. Arizona has some offensive potential though the offensive line is mediocre; the defense is not good, but probably good enough this week, Cardinals win 24 – 20.
Atlanta at Tampa Bay – Tampa Bay can struggle offensively and is best in games where they can control the tempo and play with a lead, not the likely scenario for this week. Atlanta has been up and down the last two weeks but the level of play overall is on the rise, Falcons win 28 – 24.
Green Bay at Chicago – The Bears are built around their defense, the offense is inconsistent though and the offensive line is inconsistent at best. Green Bay stumbled a bit last week but should be focused here; the offense can make big plays seemingly at will, Packers win 28 – 21.
Pittsburgh at Indianapolis – Indianapolis is learning how to play offensive football without Manning and it looks to be a very slow process. Pittsburgh has reasserted themselves defensively, the offensive line is not particularly good at this point of the season but not an issue this week, Steelers win 28 – 10.
Washington at Dallas – Washington has started well but has limited weapons available and the play at quarterback can be somewhat erratic. Dallas has injury issues but the surprise here has been the play of the defense which is coming along quickly, Cowboys 24 – 20.