by The Pigskin Pundit
One word to describe Week 3 in the NFL: ‘Whahappened??’ It was a crazy week of upsets, both on the scoreboard and along the sidelines as coaches and players continue to grapple with the inconsistency of the replacement refs. One thing is clear at this point, though. If you don’t establish a sizeable margin early, you may not win at all. The league is less predictable than the Stock Market right now. There’s still a lot of sorting out to come. In the meantime, expect the unexpected … not to mention growing unrest on the sidelines. I’m not choosing sides in the referee situation, but if this persists maybe the fans should consider locking the owners out. Brutal week for predicting outcomes, and I only managed an anemic 9-7. I’m 29-18 so far.
Here’s this week’s picks.
Browns @ Ravens – Baltimore stole a game from N.E. Sunday night, but this one amounts to taking candy from a child. Browns go down in crabcake town.
Patriots @ Bills – Buffalo is supposed to be a team on the rise, but they can never seem to put three wins together to convince anyone it’s actually happening. I expect this game to be spirited, but ultimately I see the Bills making more mistakes than the Patriots…unless the refs intervene…….Patriots.
49ers @ Jets – The Jets are always feisty at home, but the Niners are coming off an embarrassing loss to Minnesota at home, and therefore irate and focused, like their intense coach. With Revis out, the Jets will have to retool their secondary. I’m looking for San Fran to get redemption in Gotham.
Seahawks @ Rams – Seattle stole a crazy one Monday night, but to their credit they played the Packers to a standstill all night. Still, I like the Rams at home.
Panthers @ Falcons – Falcons are still soaring. Matt Ryan has that offense purring like a 350 Cleveland engine, and the D is solid. Mike Smith’s boys prevail.
Vikings @ Lions – After the implosion in Tennessee, It’s time for Detroit to roar or meow. The Vikings are ripe for dehorning. Lions eat, Vikings bleat.
Chargers @ Chiefs – Bolts stop into Missouri for a little Kansas City BBQ. The Chiefs haven’t decided whether they’re good this season or not. Chargers will jolt KC’s indecision with another loss.
Titans @ Texans – Not this week, not this team. Houston remains the AFC team to beat after winning this one.
Bengals @ Jaguars – Well, Tigers really are King of the Cats. Jaguars will continue to have a “rebuilding” season, while Cincy moves up.
Raiders @ Broncos – Manning was Manning last week, throwing a major scare into the powerhouse Texans towards the end of the game as he persistently chopped away at their lead, their defense and their confidence. The better team prevailed, but Peyton showed why he is one of the game’s great competitors, and a 60-minute performer. The Raiders are going to find that out as well, when they lose this week in the Rockies. At least the scenery will be beautiful.
Dolphins @ Cardinals – I still expect Phoenix to fall into mediocrity at some point, but they should hold serve in this contest because Miami is already there.
Redskins @ Buccaneers – RG3 is the next big thing, but Tampa’s pirates want respectability. Bucs kick some booty.
Saints @ Packers – What’s it going to take for either of these powerhouses to emerge from Wimpville? If Green Bay can’t establish a win at home, they should think long and hard about what they are doing. By the time the cupcakes show up on their schedule, it may not matter. Pack finally holds Lambeau in a must-win.
Giants @ Eagles – Nothing like a hot divisional rivalry and close geography where both sets of fans can come out in numbers. I give the Giants a slight edge in this battle, but it will be fun to watch!
Bears @ Cowboys – Another bruising NFC matchup! Both of these strong teams are looking for consistency and W’s. Romo looked great last week in spite of his receivers having butterfingers, and we know how Mr. Chicago Cutlery can fillet and skin a defensive secondary. When the Dallas traildust finally settles on this one, look for Blue & Silver to be shining through the haze.
Enjoy the games.
Image courtesy of: U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 3rd Class Ryan C. McGinley; public domain