So lat week I went 12-4 with my picks, missing on the Vikings over the Bucs, Raiders over the Bills, Ravens over the Titans, and Eagles over the Falcons. Still, I'll take 12-4 for a week 2. Anyway, here are my week 3 picks.
San Francisco 49ers @ Cincinnati Bengals - This is a game that could go either way but the 49ers have the better roster. If San Francisco want any chance of winning their division this is a game they will have to win.
I'm taking the 49ers on the road.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Carolina Panthers - A battle of the two 1995 expansion teams that almost got to the Super Bowl in 1996. Neither franchise has a chance at going to the Super Bowl in 2011, and this is one of the hardest games to pick this week. The Panthers have fought hard in two straight weeks and in what will be a battle between rookie QB's Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton, I'm going to have to side with the Heisman/BCS national championship quarterback here.
I'm taking the Panthers at home.
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings - The Lions are 2-0 and one of the hottest teams in the league, a win this week would cement their status as contenders. The Vikings on the other hand are 0-2 and a loss this week would pretty much end their season and give Coach Frazier no reason to stick with McNabb. The Vikings have played two close games, both of which included the Vikings blowing leads late in the game. I think the desperate Vikings will take this one.
I'm taking the Vikings at home.
Denver Broncos @ Tennessee Titans - After a disappointing week one, the Titans really came out and shut up their critics last week. This week Tennessee is home against a Broncos team coming off of a big win. This is another hard game to pick, but in games like this I often like the home team.
I'm taking the Titans at home.
Miami Dolphins @ Cleveland Browns - The Browns got embarrassed week one by losing to the Bengals, while the Dolphins had perhaps the two toughest games to start the season in the league versus the Patriots and Texans. The Dolphins are notoriously better on the road than they are at home.
I'm taking the Dolphins on the road.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles - We still don't know for certain if Michael Vick will play, but let's assume he does. I think this game will be closer than a lot of people think, and I believe that the Giants will come out to play for this one, but they simply have too many injuries. Until the Giants get healthy I can't expect them to go into Philadelphia and win.
I'm taking the Eagles at home.
Houston Texans @ New Orleans Saints - This is definitely the early game of the week. If the Texans want to make a statement and put themselves in contention for a championship, this is the game to win. Meanwhile for the Saints, this is just another tough home game that the Saints are going to need to win if they want to get that first round bye. I can see this game being close, I can also see it being a blow out. Either way I see the Saints winning.
I'm taking the Saints at home.
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills - For years the Patriots have had the luxury of being surrounded by a division of incompetent opponents. The past three years the Jets have come on, the Dolphins continue to flounder, but it seems as though the Bills are finally starting to turn the corner from UFL team to NFL team. It'll be good for the league if the Bills are relevant again, but they're not relevant enough to beat the Patriots, not yet.
I'm taking the Patriots on the road.
Baltimore Ravens @ St. Louis Rams - A match up of Super Bowl XXXIV and XXXV winners that a lot of people would have loved to see in 2001. The 99 Rams vs the 00 Ravens would be one of those all time classic games. I'd take the Rams, though. As for the 2011 Ravens vs the 2011 Rams, neither team is as good as their decade-ago-selves, but the 2011 Ravens should probably end the 2011 Rams season on Sunday. Maybe not totally end it since the Rams play in the NFC west, but an 0-3 start will be hard to comeback from, even in that division.
I'm taking the Ravens on the road.
New York Jets @ Oakland Raiders - The Heidi Bowl. The Raiders suffered heartbreak last week, and this could be a trap game for the Jets who now have to travel across the country to Oakland. This game will be a tougher win for the Jets than the Jaguars game, and I wholeheartedly believe that the Jets can lose this one. I just don't have the guts to call it.
I'm taking the Jets on the road.
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers - Nothing cleans off the stain of a tough loss versus a conference rival better than a home game against the worst team in the league. If the Chargers lose this one then they're in trouble.
I'm taking the Chargers at home.
Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears - The Packers have squeaked by two weeks in a row. This week the Packers head to Chicago to take on their arch-nemesis lead by Jay Cutler. This is a game that can go either way, but I'm smelling upset. The Bears are home coming off of a tough loss. The Packers offense is great, but they don't put up points on defenses like the Bears the way they put up points on the Saints. The Bears need this game. If Cutler can limit his mistakes to one, and the rest of the team can make zero, the Bears will win.
I'm taking the Bears at home.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks - This is a big game in the NFC West picture, and I think it's curtains for the Seahawks. Pete Carroll's defending division champions just don't have the identity or leadership that they had last year in Matt Hasselbeck. The Cardinals have a superior offense, and the defenses aren't that far apart.
I'm taking the Cardinals on the road.
Atlanta Falcons @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers - One of these two teams are going to take a big step forward in proclaiming that they're for real. The Falcons have had a tough start to the season, but they probably would be 0-2 right now if it wasn't for a Michael Vick concussion. The Bucs are coming off of an emotional comeback last week. I like the team riding the bigger emotional high, especially at home.
I'm taking the Buccaneers at home.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Indianapolis Colts - Like the Chargers vs the Chiefs, if the Steelers lose this one than they have bigger problems than we anticipated. I think the national spotlight could help the Colts keep it interesting for a half.
I'm taking the Steelers on the road.
Washington Redskins @ Dallas Cowboys - The surprise 2-0 Redskins head to Dallas to take on a beat up team that could easily be 2-0 as well. It's the sort of game that if the Redskins win than they instantly become contenders in the NFC. Unfortunately for the 'skins I can't see that happening this week.
I'm taking the Cowboys at home.