I had a much better week in Week 3, going 11-5, but dropping several games I probably shouldn’t have. First and foremost is the Bears game, where they should have never given up the fourth quarter lead to the Buccaneers. Secondly, who would have thought Miami would have upset New England? It wasn’t exactly a common pick. And finally, it took a game-winning drive by the Jaguars to beat the Colts with a 51-yard field goal. That’s not going to happen 9 times out of 10, unfortunately it happened this one time.
Hopefully I can continue my hot streak from last week.
Last Week: 11-5
This Week: 8-5
San Francisco (2-1) at New Orleans (1-2)
Any time New Orleans plays, you can expect two things: a lot of offense and very little defense. I don’t like the 49ers chances of keeping up in this one.
Prediction: New Orleans 27, San Francisco 21
Actual Score: New Orleans 31, San Francisco 17
Green Bay (2-1) at Tampa Bay (2-1)
Could this be the week that we see if Green Bay is for real or not? The first two weeks, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers looked strong going up against two of the worst pass defenses, and teams in general. Last week, they played a team that was out of their league in Dallas. This week, it’s harder to predict, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt because we saw the Buccaneers last week and they are very beatable.
Prediction: Green Bay 30, Tampa Bay 24
Actual Score: Tampa Bay 30, Green Bay 21
Houston (0-2) at Jacksonville (1-2)
I think after struggling early, the Jaguars might be on the road back to respectability. The Texans are struggling to get things going this year and are going to get road fatigue awfully quickly due to Hurricane Ike displacing them.
Prediction: Jacksonville 17, Houston 14
Actual Score: Jacksonville 30, Houston 27
Cleveland (0-3) at Cincinnati (0-3)
This is always an interesting game to watch and a tough one to predict. The Browns and Bengals have had their share of shootouts the past few years, including a 100-point game. I don’t think we’ll see anywhere close to that this week and I have to give the edge to the home team in this one.
Prediction: Cincinnati 27, Cleveland 20
Actual Score: Cleveland 20, Cincinnati 12
Atlanta (2-1) at Carolina (2-1)
It’s hard to believe the Falcons are 2-1 at this point, but I don’t see them storming into Carolina and sneaking away with a victory. The Panthers will control the clock with their run game.
Prediction: Carolina 20, Atlanta 17
Actual Score: Carolina 24, Atlanta 9
Arizona (2-1) at NY Jets (1-2)
I don’t know what to make of the Cardinals. I gave them the benefit of the doubt last week against Washington even though my gut said go with the Redskins. Brett Favre is banged up, but is expected to start for the Jets. The key to this game is what the Jets can do on the ground because both of these quarterbacks can air it out.
Prediction: NY Jets 20, Arizona 17
Actual Score: NY Jets 56, Arizona 35
Minnesota (1-2) at Tennessee (3-0)
The Vikings have struggled to run the ball this year, they’ve had difficulty passing it, and they’ve had troubles defending the pass. The Titans, meanwhile, are third in total defense and sixth in the league at rushing the football. I don’t see how the Vikings have much of a chance on the road here.
Prediction: Tennessee 24, Minnesota 17
Actual Score: Tennessee 30, Minnesota 17
Denver (3-0) at Kansas City (0-3)
The Broncos are second in the league in passing and the Chiefs are fourth in the league at defending it. Denver is 3-0 and Kansas City is 0-3. It’s interesting to see which one of these trends will break. I like Denver’s chances and I think the tiebreaker is that the Chiefs’ run defense is second-to-last in the league.
Prediction: Denver 28, Kansas City 14
Actual Score: Kansas City 33, Denver 19
San Diego (1-2) at Oakland (1-2)
Another big AFC West rivalry, the Chargers appear to be picking up speed after two heartbreaking losses to open the season. San Diego has played well enough to be 3-0 at this point but a breakdown on a 2-minute drive in Game 1 and a costly officiating call in Game 2 prevented that. I think Oakland can keep it close at home, but for how long remains the question.
Prediction: San Diego 24, Oakland 20
Actual Score: San Diego 28, Oakland 18
Buffalo (3-0) at St. Louis (0-3)
It’s hard to believe the Bills can be 4-0 for the first time since Jim Kelly was under center. The Rams have played terrible this year and have no direction or guidance under Scott Linehan. It’s not a matter of if, but when he gets fired. If this game were a home game for the Bills, I’d say the Rams have no chance. Since it’s in St. Louis… they have very little chance.
Prediction: Buffalo 26, St. Louis 17
Actual Score: Buffalo 31, St. Louis 14
Washington (2-1) at Dallas (3-0)
This will be billed as a must-see NFC East showdown, but I don’t think the Redskins have enough offensive firepower to keep up with the Cowboys.
Prediction: Dallas 31, Washington 20
Actual Score: Washington 26, Dallas 24
Philadelphia (2-1) at Chicago (1-2)
This is one of those games in which Chicago thrives. It’s a prime time game, at home, and they’re the underdog, not supposed to even have a chance at winning. For that reason, and because Brian Westbrook is banged up and questionable for the Eagles, I think the Bears keep it close. I just can’t predict them to win after seeing the Eagles’ firepower this year and the Bears’ collapse defensively. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t think they can win.
Prediction: Philadelphia 27, Chicago 23
Actual Score: Chicago 24, Philadelphia 20
Baltimore (2-0) at Pittsburgh (2-1)
If it wasn’t bad enough for the Steelers that Willie Parker is out for this game with an injury, it’s even worse that Parker’s replacement, rookie Rashard Mendenhall, sent a text message to his buddy, Ray Rice of the Ravens, that ended up in the hands of the Ravens’ defense. The message: Mendenhall said he was going to have a big game. It’s hard enough to get anything going against the Ravens’ defense. Even tougher when you tick them off. Unfortunately for the Ravens, they have Joe Flacco flailing around behind center.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 17, Baltimore 13
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 23, Baltimore 20