To put it simply, my picks last week were good. I’m talking brink of 16-0 good. Here is my recap of those games (15 of which I predicted correctly), then I’ll try to duplicate that success with my Week 3 picks.
HOU 13 – CIN 9. The Bengals offense continued to struggle, and that was my main factor in picking Houston to win on the road. A lot of people started the week 0-1 with this one, but I had confidence that Watson would do just enough. And that TD run looked pretty impressive.
CAR 9 – BUF 3. Speaking of struggling offenses, the Panthers just pulled out a win here. Their offense obviously wasn’t too hot, but their defense dominated Buffalo and San Francisco (as they should). Next week against the Saints should be a real test for the Panthers D.
TB 29 – CHI 7. Does John Fox honestly think Mike Glennon gives this team the “best chance to win”? If they keep Glennon in, this is likely what will happen to Chicago whenever they play good teams.
PIT 26 – MIN 9. Sam Bradford was back to Earth after having a monster game against the Saints defense. Pittsburgh’s offense did more than enough, and picking the Steelers was pretty easy here.
ARI 16 – IND 13 (OT). Here was where my perfection streak may have stopped, and it may have stopped quite early. The Colts got up 10-0 in the first quarter, then held a 10-3 lead for much of the game. However, the Cardinals managed to force OT, and then Jacoby Brissett threw a pick to set the Cards up with a game-winning FG. I knew I couldn’t trust the Luck-less Colts.
NE 36 – NO 20. I thought after the Patriots lackluster performance in Week One, that the Saints would’ve kept this a little closer against them. But no, Brady absolutely picked their defense apart for 447 yards and 3 TDs. Brady is back to doing Brady things.
BAL 24 – CLE 10. The Ravens defense is legit, and the Browns didn’t quite compete in this one like they did against the Steelers. Next week, I might be picking Cleveland though. More on that later.
KC 27 – PHI 20. A few people wanted Philly to upset on the road here. But I knew that with the way Kansas City looked in Week One (plus their home field advantage) meant that they would pull it off. Though the Eagles recovered an onside kick and almost sent it to OT at the end (that was kinda crazy).
TEN 37 – JAC 16. I’m looking on the scoring summary on ESPN for this game. The Titans cashed in on 31, 49, and 25-yard drives. Must be Blake Bortles back at it again with those interceptions. He stinks.
OAK 45 – NYJ 20. We knew this was gonna happen.
MIA 19 – LAC 17. Here was another game where my perfection streak could’ve been snapped. I was watching the Broncos-Cowboys game, and towards the bottom of the screen I saw “MIA vs. LAC” pop up. The Chargers were about to attempt a 44-yard field goal, and I thought “There goes my streak… they can’t screw this up again. Can they?”. Evidently, yes they could.
DEN 42 – DAL 17. This is another game that got a lot of people here. This was on the road for Dallas though, and that Broncos defense is ferocious. But I don’t think anyone saw Trevor Siemian throwing 4 TDs, so props to him.
SEA 12 – SF 9. Jeez, this could’ve been an L for just about everybody. But as I was saying before the season, Seattle’s days as an NFC powerhouse could be over. Almost losing to San Fran kinda helps my case there.
WAS 27 – LA 20. The Rams had an awesome Week One win, but I thought playing against a relatively talented Washington roster would lead them to a close L. I was right.
ATL 34 – GB 23. Picking the Falcons to win this game, I thought my streak might have ended when they were up 34-10. I was thinking “don’t blow this one” for a while, but Atlanta held on while debuting their new stadium.
DET 24 – NYG 10. And HERE is where the streak ended. You know what makes this worse? It ended in the last game of the week. You know what makes it even worse? The Giants are my favorite team, and so I have to begin a rant here (feel free to skip over it if you want). Most Giants fans have 3 culprits for why the Giants have started off so bad, Ereck Flowers (obviously), Ben McAdoo, and Jerry Reese for not replacing Flowers or doing anything to upgrade that o-line. Some blame Eli, but I think the three things I mentioned before are far more concerning. However, the turning point to me in Monday Night’s game was Brandon Marshall making a huge drop. The Giants were down 17-10, and Marshall made a terrible drop that could’ve been an enormous gain. That forced the Giants to punt, and said punt was returned for a touchdown. Marshall’s drop could’ve been the difference between a 17-17 deadlock and a 24-10 deficit. In spite of that, the Giants probably would’ve lost this game anyway. Ben McAdoo’s play calling was terrible, so props to the fans for doing the right thing and booing him. Rant over. Congrats to the 2-0 Lions, as I think Stafford was well worth the payday.
So, let’s get into my Week 3 picks, where I probably won’t go 15-1 again.
LA @ SF. I must digress for a second, why are these teams on prime time? This is why you’re losing ratings, NFL. Anyway, picking a road team to win on TNF worked for me last time, and I think the Rams’ defense will be too much for the 49ers to handle. L.A. kept it close against the team with Kirk Cousins, they can definitely beat the team that wants Kirk Cousins, by a score of 21-13.
BAL @ JAC (London). This is a neutral site, so it’s really just an argument of who has the better team. And that would be the Ravens. Their defense will be way too much for a QB like Blake Bortles to handle. Baltimore wins 27-10.
DEN @ BUF. The Broncos look great, and they aren’t going to let a team like Buffalo get in their way. I made a bold prediction before the season started that the Broncos would start the season 5-0, with 4 out of their first 5 games at home, and their one game on the road, well… here. I’m sticking to that prediction, and they make easy work of the Bills in a 30-17 win.
PIT @ CHI. I have to pick another road team here, as the Steelers are simply a good team, and the Bears simply aren’t. Chicago isn’t going anywhere with Mike Glennon, and they find themselves in the same awkward situation the Rams were in last season. Only they aren’t starting the season hot, and facing the Steelers doesn’t help. They lose 27-20.
NO @ CAR. The Saints have recently become notorious for getting off to poor starts, and here they are again, at 0-2. They will start 0-3 for the 3rd year in a row, as Cam Newton can pick apart what has consistently been one of the league’s worst defenses. Carolina wins 30-24.
TB @ MIN. Dang, this one could really go either way. I don’t like picking too many road teams though, and I think the Vikings defense on the road will be a bit too much for a great Bucs offense to handle. Minnesota wins a close one, 24-20.
CLE @ IND. Speaking of picking road teams to win, here I am doing it again, and it’s the Browns I’m picking! However, with Andrew Luck out again in Week 3, a talented young Browns D should be able to exploit Jacoby Brissett. Additionally, Deshone Kizer is facing a much less talented defense than he did last week, so I got the Browns winning 23-21.
MIA @ NYJ. The Jets showed last week that they don’t plan on contending, something we all knew. Miami has a perfect opportunity to start off 2-0, and they will do just that in a 28-17 win. This is my lock of the week, mostly because they’re playing the Jets.
HOU @ NE. The Pats seemed to prove that Week One was a bit of a fluke, as they tore up the Saints last week. In a QB matchup of Brady vs. Watson, give me Brady, especially at home. The Pats win 30-21.
ATL @ DET. In what should be an intriguing matchup, give me the team with home field advantage, as the Falcons barely got past the Bears when they played them on the road. The Lions are a much better team than Chicago, and Matthew Stafford is looking like he wants to play for a championship. Detroit wins 30-27, and they star off 3-0.
NYG @ PHI. Sigh. I’ve got to hedge my bets as a Giants fan at this point, and pick the Eagles to win. They’ve owned New York in recent memory, especially when the Giants play on the road. I’ve witnessed the Giants beat Philly on the road twice in my years as a New York Giants fan, and that will probably stay that way with the way the offense is playing. Philly wins 20-17.
SEA @ TEN. Seattle’s offense looked bad last week against the 49ers, as their o-line continues to be a concern. The Titans are playing at home, and they proved last week that they can be a legit AFC contender. Tennessee will win 29-24 (weird score, why not).
KC @ LAC. The Chiefs have looked like an elite team the first two weeks, and the Chargers looked liked a team that loses games with special teams miscues. The Chiefs are just a better team than the Bolts, as they have explosive weapons on offense and an elite defense. They win 30-21.
CIN @ GB. The Packers may have looked bad last week, but they’re heading back to Lambeau, and are facing a team with offensive issues akin to my Giants. Green Bay gets a 27-17 win against a struggling Cincinnati team.
OAK @ WAS. Upset of the week alert! I’ve kept my picks mostly safe this week, but I like Washington’s chances at home to beat the Raiders, who are three-point favorites. I think a talented QB like Kirk Cousins can exploit the Raiders defense, and the Skins will win it 31-28.
DAL @ ARI. I’ve got the Cards getting the W here, as the Cowboys will still be recovering from their beating last week. I know David Johnson is injured, and I know this Cards defense isn’t as good as the Broncos. But the Cardinals will win a close one, 27-23.
My Pick Record This Season: 22-9
My Lock of the Week, A.K.A. “Survivor Pick” Record: 2-0
My Upset of the Week Record: 1-1