Saturday, September 22, 2012

Week 3 NFL Pickapalooza: Road Warriors

Fitzpatrick is not to be trusted with anything besides handing off

Week 3 is hard to figure since so many teams submitted completely different performances than Week 1. I don't think I'll have a handle on this season till about Week Five. And it shows in my picks! I went 8-8 last week and (yikes) 6-9-1 against the spread. Good thing I'm picking a majority of road teams this week, right? That always works out well!!!

New York Giants at Carolina (-2.5)

Full disclosure: I usually write the Thursday night pick before the game happens, but I was totally swamped and didn't have time. But I was absolutely certain that the Panthers would win this game. As my Dad says all the time: the Giants, always f***ing up my picks. My dad and I play in a confidence picks pool (that's 16 points on the team you are most certain will win, 1 on the pick you're least certain on) and I don't think he's picked a Giants game right, ever. This team will infuriate me and my Dad for the rest of time.

Totally wrong pick I made: Panthers win, cover

St. Louis at Chicago (-7)

I like the way the Rams have been playing lately. I think people forgot about Sam Bradford and how this team almost made the playoffs two years ago. It's like a low-level repeat of the 49ers last year, who got a new coach and played up to the standard they had set two years previous. They also got a ton of draft picks by trading their draft pick to the Redskins, so they're set up for long term success. As for the Bears, wow, what a difference a week makes, huh? Jay Culter was atrocious, and his offensive line was even worse. The defense is still fine, but not good enough to win games on their own. Plus, the Bears are playing without Matt Forte, making their offense very one dimensional. Which is a very long way of saying I think the Rams will upset the Bears.

Pick: Rams win, cover

Tampa Bay at Dallas (-8)

Totally schizophrenic performance from the Cowboys over the last two weeks. Impressive win over the Giants in Week One, then blown out by the Seahawks in Week 2. I have no idea what to expect. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers have played good football over the past two weeks, managing to beat the Panthers and stay with the Giants. I think the Cowboys talent will win out, but I'll take the points based on the Bucs' consistency.

Pick: Cowboys win, Buccaneers cover

San Francisco (-7) at Minnesota

The 49ers are the best team in the NFL, and it doesn't even seem close. The defense is too good, and the offense has fixed its glaring weaknesses from last year, actually adding receiving threats and letting Alex Smith throw the ball a little bit. The Vikings couldn't find a way against the Colts last week, and missed a primo opportunity to go 2-0; I don't see much of a chance for the Vikes here.

Pick: 49ers win, cover

Detroit (-3.5) at Tennessee

Detroit hasn't looked great this season, but they put up a fight against the 49ers last week, and still have one of the best offenses in the league. On the other side are the Titans, who look just plain awful. The offense can't get anything going- especially the corpse of Chris Johnson- and the defense has been ineffective at best. The Titans may just be one of the worst teams in the league this year, unless Jake Locker makes some huge steps at quarterback.

Pick: Lions win, cover

Cincinnati at Washington (-3)

Washington looks to be the same team as the Panthers were last year- exciting rookie quarterback (not just saying that because they're both black), good offense, no defense and no depth. A lot of shootouts, but with that a lot of losses. Meanwhile, the Bengals look to be as good as last year- consistently good defense and an offense that will put up at least 20 or so points in a game, against average competition. Washington lost two of their best defensive players last week, which should make this game easier for the Bengals.

Pick: Bengals win, cover

NY Jets (-1) at Miami

No idea on this game. Both teams have shown two completely different sides in their two games. The Dolphins could be a team with a great defense, great running game that hides their rookie quarterback. The Jets saw Mark Sanchez play more like the Sanchez we all know and love- horribly inaccurate- and the defense struggle without Darrelle Revis. Revis is back this Sunday, though, which makes the Jets defense much more dynamic- and I think that will be enough to shut down the Dolphins offense.

Pick: Jets win, cover

Kansas City at New Orleans (-8.5)

Both these teams are 0-2; surprisingly so for the Saints. The Saints defense has been so atrocious that the Saints offense, which has looked maybe 80% as good as last year (and thus, still better than a majority of the league) can't keep up with other teams. And I still, still think the Saints will beat the Chiefs this week. That's how bad the Chiefs looked last week. Romeo Crennel might have been the worst head coaching hire in quite some time.

Pick: Saints win, cover

Buffalo (-3) at Cleveland

The Bills looked really good last week, thanks to CJ Spiller and the fact they were playing the Chiefs. I'm worried about what happens when Spiller faces eight men in the box, planning specifically to stop him. If Ryan Fitzpatrick can make some throws early, then the Bills will have success. Not sure if I can count on that, seeing as Fitzpatrick was basically taken out of the game plan for the first half last week. The Browns looked a little better last week, but I have a hard time picking them to win; I think they can keep it close, but I don't trust them to win. Well, I trust them less than the Bills. Ah, the Bills: I can never feel safe!

Pick: Bills win, Browns cover

Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-3)

I'd like to sincerely apologize to my friend Ben for totally jinxing the Jaguars. They could not, as I predicted last week, keep it close against the Titans, and Blaine Gabbert struggled again. The Colts, meanwhile, played a lot better in Week 2, as Andrew Luck showed a lot of improvement. Defense still isn't very good, though, and that's why I can't get behind the Colts too much here. The Jags: they might actually stay in THIS one, I swear!

Pick: Colts win, Jaguars cover

Philadelphia (-3) at Arizona 

Arizona is 9-2 over it's past 11 games, and 2-0 this season. This cannot be real. I get it, their defense is great, but the offense has nothing except a terminally frustrated Larry Fitzgerald. It just doesn't make sense. The Eagles are also somehow 2-0, despite leading the league in turnovers. They've won both games by a point. Something has to give in this game, and I think the Eagles talent wins out in this game. But you know what? I can't count out the Cardinals. Somehow, they'll keep it close. Somehow.

Pick: Eagles win, Cardinals cover

Atlanta at San Diego (-3)

Surprised by the line here- San Diego has beaten two bad teams, while the Falcons at least beat the Broncos. Since I haven't seen anything that proves the Chargers are an elite team, I like the Falcons here. They have a better secondary than I expected, and the offense is as ruthlessly efficient as it's ever been.

Pick: Falcons win, cover

Houston (-1.5) at Denver 

Tough to call this one; Peyton Manning crapped the bed against the Falcons early, but then settled down and made a game of it by the end. The Texans haven't played anyone good yet. I like the Texans defense, though, and the consistency of their offense. Still don't know enough about the Broncos.

Pick: Texans win, cover

Pittsburgh (-3.5) at Oakland

The Raiders are spinning their wheels and going nowhere. The return of Darren McFadden has not helped, and Carson Palmer is nothing more than an average quarterback. The Steelers, on the other hand, have a dynamic passing attack and a good (no longer great) defense. Same old, same old for the Steelers.

Pick: Steelers win, cover

New England at Baltimore (-2.5)

This looks to be the best game of the weekend. The Ravens will want revenge after last year's AFC Championship game and a tough loss last weekend; the Patriots will look to recover from their bizarre loss to the Cardinals last week. I like the Ravens in this game because of their defense- if the Patriots struggled against the Cardinals defense, why would they do any better against the Ravens? Add in the now dangerous Ravens offense, and I see Baltimore taking this one.

Pick: Ravens win, cover

Green Bay (-3) at Seattle

The Packers haven't looked great so far, but the Packers still have Aaron Rodgers, which keeps them in any game. If their offensive line figures out their crap, this will be a much better Packers team. As for the Seahawks, they acquitted themselves well in Week 2 after a bad Week 1 loss. They have a sneaky good defense, and when Marshawn Lynch gets going, the offense is tough to stop. I like the Packers overall talent at this point, but I think the Seahawks can stay in it, especially with a hyped up, Monday Night crowd behind them.

Pick: Packers win, Seahawks cover

This week (ATS): 0-1 (0-1)
Last Week (ATS): 8-8 (6-9-1)
Overall: 17-16
Overall ATS: 13-20-1

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

suck it. Big win for my boys. now that we have the monkey off our back, i'm thinking we'll go 14-2 this season. heard it here first