Friday, September 19, 2008

NFL Predictions: Week Three

(Home team in caps.)

TENNESSEE (-5) over Houston
The Chris Johnson-era (or, maybe even more precisely, the Albert Haynesworth-era) of the Titans would seem to hold a lot more promise than the Vince Young-era. I'd like to see Young back out on the field and doing well. I'm not enjoying his collapse. If Houston can get anything going on the ground with Slaton & Green, this one could prove interesting.

Arizona (+3) over WASHINGTON
It's weird to think, but I actually trust Arizona more than I do Washington. Plus, Boldin is playing out of his mind right now. Go with the hot hand.

Carolina (+3.5) over MINNESOTA
All hail Gus Frerotte and Bernard Berrian, saviors of the Twin Cities! Yeah that makes sense. Remember how I said last week Jacksonville was a formerly underrated team that is now overrated. Minnesota is just instantly overrated. Hope you're in Barry Sanders Five, Adrian Peterson, 'cause he'll be counseling you on putting up amazing numbers for a crappy-to-mediocre team for most of your career.

ATLANTA (-5.5) over Kansas City
I hope there's a good NASCAR race on instead for those of you stuck with this one. Good week to start Turner & Norwood, though, if you have them in your fantasy league. The Chiefs' run defense is non-existent.

NEW ENGLAND (-12.5) over Miami
The Patriots are back, apparently. At least this is what ESPN tells me. My first reaction to this line was, "No fucking way." My second reaction was, "Well, maybe." My third & final reaction, "It is Miami, after all."

Oakland (+9.5) over BUFFALO
I like Buffalo a lot. And I think they win this game. I just think this line is a little inflated. I don't think Buffalo will ever go up enough that Oakland will feel compelled actually to start passing the ball. If they continue to grind it out with Bush and McFadden (I know, it depends on McFadden's health), Oakland should keep this one reasonably close. Enjoy the Raider sideshow, Buffalo -- it'll take your mind off your own issues.

NEW YORK GIANTS (-13.5) over Cincinnati
This week, two friends of mine have been negotiating a trade: Wes Welker for T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Neither are putting up stellar numbers. Despite the fact the Bengals are 0-2, I still see more upside for Housh. Just not this week.

CHICAGO (-3) over Tampa Bay
Brian Griese returns to Soldiers Field. The drama! How did this not make primetime? Fortunately for fantasy owners, Joey Galloway is likely out. So, you won't have to deal with the heartache/headache that is the decision whether he's worth starting.

DENVER(-5.5) over New Orleans
Another fun one in Denver. I really could see this going either way. Possible let-down game for Denver. And who knows what you're ever going to get with New Orleans. Denver's defense is really awful, so Brees & Bush could make enough plays. But Denver's offensive attack is scary. I think they're a little like the Bengals from a few years ago. Watch out your knees, Jay.

SAN FRANCISCO (-4) over Detroit
This game represents, in full, why I want to move away from the Bay Area. Well, that and the $2000 rent. This comes down to the 49ers defense. They can't stop the run: but Detroit has nobody to run. The 49ers have a pretty good pass defense: and Detroit has a trigger-happy QB prone to throwing untimely interceptions. Oh, and while I'm dishing fantasy advice, Gore should have a nice week.

SEATTLE (-9.5) over St. Louis
You really have to feel for Seattle sports fans this year. So many of them hoped this would be a nice send-off year for Mike Holmgren. I never quite understood the optimism, or the random Super Bowl picks by a few national commentators. Their offense's shining star right now is Julius "I peaked way too soon" Jones. The defense should win this one, possibly with another couple of TDs. If you got 'em, start 'em.

Indianapolis (-5) over Jacksonville
One of the hardest games this week to pick. Jacksonville is still without Jerry Porter (surprise, suckers -- a number two receiver, at best, anyway), their remaining wide-receiving corp is comprised mostly of number three receivers, their offensive line is in disarray, and I'm running more on a Sunday than Jones-Drew and Taylor combined. BUT ... Indy's offensive line is possibly in even worse shape, they're without Bob Sanders, and Marvin Harrison couldn't win a footrace with Jeff Saturday. So, I don't know. Indy still has Manning. Manning hates to lose. And I can't imagine they start 0-2 at their new building.

Cleveland (+2.5) over BALTIMORE
I basically see Cleveland's offensive problems being parallel to Cincinnati's -- they can't get much worse, but they could get a lot better. Not necessarily to the heights they've been in the recent past. But to a level they win games they should win. For examples, games against Baltimore. The question I've yet to hear is how much longer before Brady Quinn makes an appearance -- in a game, not on the cover of Out.

PHILADELPHIA (-3.5) over Pittsburgh
Philadelphia is one ugly botched hand-off away from being the most impressive team in the league. More importantly, I'd like to thank the three people who drafted ahead of me for allowing Brian Westbrook to fall into his allotted spot on my fantasy team roster.

GREEN BAY (+3) over Dallas
This is a wonderful way to cap what should be a great Sunday of football. You might not like Dallas, but they put on a hell of a show, don't they? (Not to mention, they make great material for a book.) It didn't hurt them last week, but Ryan Grant's hamstring injury could this week. The euphoria of the moment, playing Dallas at Lambeau during primetime, could be enough though to make a young man forget his pain. That and some of Favre's old painkillers. More than anything else, I'm not sold on Dallas' secondary, and Green Bay still has the best wide receiving corp in the business. Slow T.O. at all, a bit like Philly did in the second half on Monday, and you're golden.

New York Jets (+9) over SAN DIEGO
San Diego is the hard luck story of the first quarter of the season. I know they got screwed, but it's not as though they didn't have a chance to stop the two-point conversion. Of course, San Diego has no defense, so this is obviously asking too much. The worst thing about the Denver game ending the way it did is that for the rest of the week we only heard about the referee, and not Antonio Cromartie. Cotchery, Coles, & Stuckey have to like their chances anytime they find themselves anywhere near him. Hard to see how Favre doesnn't pick San Diego team apart?

Last week: 7-7-1
Season: 17-13-1