The Boston Irish NFL picks – Week 3
NFL Week 2 results 9-7
Season to date 20-12
Cleveland Browns (0-2) @ Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
Yap, yap, yap. All off-season we had to listen to the talking heads and pundits telling us Joe Flacco is going to ‘join the elite’ this season. Right now, Joe Flacco is bottom-rated in QB rating, at 41.2. If every pass an NFL quarterback attempts clangs to the ground incomplete, he receives a 39.6 rating. Therefore Flacco is barely rating higher than a QB that throws all incompletions. However, what does it tell you about the Browns that Baltimore are a nailed on lock this weekend?
Buffalo Bills (0-2) at New England Patriots (1-1)
This could have been a close game. The Patriots are reeling after a nightmare second half last weekend against the Jets. They themselves are in something of a transition. This could have been the week that the Bills broke the insane streak of 13 straight losses to the Brady Bunch. Instead, Buffalo are making changes at QB and are showcasing a washed up veteran RB instead of riding a healthy young future stud. Lynch is vulturing half Spiller’s carries just so the Bills can get something good in return for a trade from someone desperate for running back help, like Green Bay. Or New England for that matter. Chopping and changing like this the week before traveling to New England is not a recipe for success. Combining the Bills tactics with the Patriots anger from losing last week, with Brady, Welker and Wilfork’s professionalism, with the fact that the game is in New England, with history telling us the Patriots this decade always come back hard after a loss, it’s impossible to see anything but a serious trouncing for the over matched Bills here.
New England 42-13
Atlanta Falcons (1-1) at New Orleans Saints (2-0)
The Saints will have to alter their game plan slightly, with the sad loss of the super talented Reggie Bush, who does so many things for their game plan week to week. The Saints are on a short week, having played Monday night, and have traveled a long distance also. However, their ridiculously passionate home field crowd will not allow them to slip up on their own turf. The Saints may hit a slow patch, however this week isn’t it. A closer one that some will expect probably, but the Saints at home will find a way.
New Orleans 23-20
Tennessee Titans (1-1) at New York Giants (1-1)
The Giants from seven made Joseph Addai look like Barry Sanders last week in a completely pathetic showing for such a highly rated unit. To make things even worse for Giants backers, Chris Johnson is hurting inside after a sub-par performance against an admittedly excellent Steelers defence. It’s all adding up to a massive weekend for Johnson. Couple of things to consider before you write the Giants off. The Titans have issues of their own. They benched their starting QB (Young) in favour of a washed up seventy year old backup, mid game! The Giants will no doubt want to bounce back on their home turf after a sour loss to the Colts. All things considered, just a feeling, the Titans will find a way. Close one though.
Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-2)
Sure, sure, the Panthers are 0-2 and starting rookie Jimmy Clausen for this one, but does that mean you are willing to back The Bungles on the road, in a tough atmosphere, against a hard running team that is better than its 0-2 start is showing? Home field and 0-2 desperation will push the Panthers to an ugly, hard fought, tight win.
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0)
Both teams come into this one playing with house money. Everyone thought Pittsburgh would struggle without Big Ben. However, if you had told them Dennis Dixon was out, and that Charlie Batch was now at the helm and still the Steelers were 2-0, they would have thought you were crazier than the people who voted for that loopy Tea Party lady who admits she's tried witchcraft. Meanwhile, how many people thought Tampa would be 2-0 at this stage?! Josh Freeman, their young QB, looks like the real deal. Pittsburgh has not scored an offensive touchdown this season in regulation time this season. That's horrific. Their 'D' has completely carried them. Just a hunch, but the long journey to face a young, talented and suddenly successful Buccaneers side wears the Steelers 'D' down. Just too many potential 3-and-outs from Charlie Batch and their anemic offense. Tampa to win a big shocker at home, and go into the bye week 3-0!
San Francisco 49ers (0-2) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
When picking NFL games, people often tend to get to wrapped up in details and stats. As Theroux said, 'simplify, simplify'. Kansas hosted a very good San Diego side and beat them, San Fran traveled to a very mediocre Seattle side, and got walloped. Kansas are going to cause a mild shock here, and send the 49ers into freefall. It has never been easy to win at Arrowhead stadium, as the Chargers can tell you.
Detroit Lions (0-2) at Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
There's something brewing in Detroit. They are very patiently building an extremely talented, young squad, full of high draft picks. Meanwhile, the Vikings are reeling, injuries and poor play have results in a disastrous 0-2 start. The temptation here is to go for a big upset. However, honourable as Detroit's two losses have been, they are still 'L's in the win-loss column, and they lost at home to a Eagles team that's not exactly world beaters. A combination of home field and 0-2 desperation to see the Vikings home, but don't go anywhere near that ridiculous point spread. The Lions can keep it close.
Dallas Cowboys (0-2) at Houston Texans (2-0)
Some day people are going to look at Dallas and say 'Look! The emperor has no clothes!' The Cowboys are as toothless as they are inept, and the truth is, despite the constant adulation from certain quarters of the media, they have been for a long time. Ask yourself, when's the last time you were truly impressed by a Cowboys win? You think they are going to come out and beat a Texans team dripping with talent on both sides of the ball? On the road? Exactly. Not going to happen. Cowboys get punched in the mouth, and, as always, act confused and shocked.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1)
The Jaguars are quietly slipping towards complete NFL anominity. Michael Vick will lead his dog pound to an easy road victory in front of a half empty Jaguars stadium, and, will anyone care?
Washington Redskins (1-1) at St. Louis Rams (0-2)
The Skins let one slip against the Texans, but get it much easier this weekend against a feisty but rebuilding team. McNabb understands what is required here, he hasn't thrown many TDs yet but has a high completion rate and has hit the ground running in Washington.
Indianapolis Colts (1-1) at Denver Broncos (1-1)
Wait a second, before you pencil this in for a Colts win. How awful did the Colts look on the road in week one? How often have you seen teams go into the Mile High stadium and come out wondering what just happened? Kyle Orton is quietly making people forget Tim Tebow is on the sideline, and that's a shock in itself. He is throwing very accurately (46 complete out of 68) and has two really nice weapons in Eddie Royal and the hyper talented Demaryius Thomas. This time last week people were asking were the Colts washed up. Not many are going to agree with me, but a trip to Mile High against a highly emotional Denver team, who just smashed Seattle all over the park, will get people asking again, what's up with the Colts?!
Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Arizona Cardinals (1-1)
Goodness me, can we flip a coin? The Raiders do seem to have a little moxy on the defensive side of the ball. If you had to pick one team to be on the upward trend, it would be Oakland. If this was a cross country trip, I would think twice, but against a brutal Arizona side, Oakland can battle to a big road win.
San Diego Chargers (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
The schedule makers did not cut the Chargers any favours with their two opening road games. On the road at Arrowhead (lost) and now up against a Seattle side that are almost unrecognizable at home in front of their incredibly raucous fans. Seattle laid a stinker last week at the Mile High while the Chargers beat a really, really brutal Jaguars team. But wait, Seattle took advantage of some really pathetic play on the 49ers part in week one. San Diego are no schmucks, and are more talented on all sides of the ball. They can sneak out of here with a nail biter of a win.
San Diego 27-26
New York Jets (1-1) at Miami Dolphins (2-0)
They should hand out Advil just for the people watching this one. Not for the feint hearted, for sure. Just last season, Miami swept the Jets, beating them twice and slapping a whopping 61 points on them. With the self anointed greatest DB of all time out after getting posterized by Randy Moss, and with more distractions than Lindsay Lohan’s average Friday night, the Jets will come back down to earth with a bang. Plus, they just won their Superbowl, right? Isn’t that where they were calling it just a year ago when they played the Patriots, their Superbowl? Miami to quietly and efficiently get the job done.
Monday, Sept. 27
Green Bay Packers (2-0) at Chicago Bears (2-0)
You had to admire the way Mike Martz, Cutler and the Bears adjusted beautifully in-game to the Cowboys relentless blitzing last weekend. Their quick, effortless and efficient adjustment to short, quick passes and two RB protection was a joy to watch, as they ripped the Cowboys secondary to shreds on the road, no less. Meanwhile, the Packers running game got ‘found out’ a little last week. Brandon Jackson was a back-up for a reason, apparently. The Bears are going to be talked about a lot after this one. They will be 3-0 and definitely will not be 33-1 to win the Superbowl (their current odds). You shouldn’t be too shocked. They have a powerful, athletic and stifling ‘D’ with an all pro linebacker in Brian Urlacher. Matt Forte continues to run hard, and whether you like him or not, Jay Cutler is a fantastically talented QB. Best game of the week, should be a beauty
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