After picking all the games in Week 1, last week was the first time I limited my predictions to only four games. And after a 2-1-1 Sunday – I’m hot! On fire, really…
The Packers and Bengals were winners in Week 2, while the Raiders (thanks to a backdoor cover by the Rams) were losers and the Redskins (thanks to being jerk-faces and blowing a lead against the Texans) were a push.
Here are my top 4 predictions for Week 3 in the NFL:
Steelers at Buccaneers +1.5, Sunday, 1:00PM ET
This game looks a little too good to be true. The Steelers’ defense has been lights out early in the season and despite their 2-0 record, the Bucs still have plenty of issues offensively. So take the Steelers and lay the measly 1.5 points right? Well first of all, don’t tell me what to do. Second of all, something smells funny to me. For the third week in a row the Steelers will try to run the ball 60 times out of the 60 offensive plays they run and lean on the defense to create turnovers so they can eek out another field goal-riddled victory. The problem is that Tampa is playing with a ton of confidence right now and are catching Pittsburgh at the right time. For starters, Charlie Batch will once again start under center, limiting the Steelers’ effectiveness on offense. This is also the second time in as many weeks that Pittsburgh has to play on the road and also has a huge divisional game coming up next week against Baltimore – which oh-by-the-way is a week before Big Ben returns from his suspension. This is a classic look-ahead game for the Steelers, who get caught with their pants down. (Uh, okay that was probably in poor taste given the Roethlisbathroom situation. My apologizes.)
THE PICK: BUCCANEERS +1.5
Cowboys +2.5 at Texans, Sunday, 1:00PM ET
This is another game people are probably licking their chops at: a 2-0 Texans team playing at home against a pitiful 0-2 Cowboys team? And I only have to lay 2.5 points? Sign me up. The problem is that the Texans are another team (kind of like the Steelers, but even more so) that is due for a letdown. They’re coming off two emotional wins (one over their biggest bully and the second in come-from-behind fashion) and now come home to face a Cowboys team that is reeling. And the problem with reeling teams is that you’re probably going to get their best effort because they’re desperate for a win. There’s no doubt the Cowboys should be focused and with Houston missing left tackle Duane Brown (suspension), it could come this weekend. I don’t expect the Texans to score over 30 points again like they did the last two weeks and DeMarcus Ware could have a huge day pressuring Matt Schaub with Brown out. I like Dallas to get the straight up win.
THE PICK: COWBOYS +2.5
49ers –3 at Chiefs, Sunday, 1:00PM ET
For those of you who believe that the Chiefs are legitimate playoff contenders and this 2-0 start of theirs isn’t a fluke, then by all means – take the points on Sunday……..Kansas City homer. But if you’re like me and you’re of the mindset that the Chiefs are about due to come back to earth, then the Niners are the pick here. San Francisco is still the best team in the NFC West, but it has to get a win this weekend and avoid a 0-3 start. Even though they’re 2-0, the Chiefs have struggled offensively behind Matt Cassel and will continue to struggle against a solid 49er defense. On the other side, Alex Smith gave everyone in San Fran new hope on Monday night by orchestrating a nearly flawless two-minute drill to tie the game. Alas, he and the Niners lost in the end but this is the week they get into the win column.
THE PICK: 49ERS –3
Colts at Broncos +6, Sunday, 4:15PM ET
I admit this pick got a little hairy for me about an hour ago when the Broncos announced that Knowshon Moreno won’t play. But the reasons I like Denver remain intact. There are no such things as “must wins” in Week 2 of the season, but the Colts were as close to a must-win situation in last week against the Giants as they could get. They were coming off an embarrassing loss to the Texans in Week 1 and were playing at home on national TV. Another loss could have planted some seeds of doubt, yet they blew New York out and now Indianapolis can sleep well again. That said, now they have to travel cross-country to play a Denver team that a) has found an offensive playmaker in Demaryius Thomas and b) usually plays tough at home. Given the Colts’ situation, I like the Broncos getting points in Denver this Sunday.
THE PICK: BRONCOS +6
Season Record: 2-1-1