Nice game, T.J. Houshmandzadeh

You got to love when an athlete talks trash leading up to a game and does next to nothing to back it up.

Take Seattle wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh for example.

In the week leading up to the Seahawks’ game with the Bears on Sunday, Houshmandzadeh said that he would win 95 percent of his matchups against Chicago’s secondary. He also proclaimed that he would make Bears’ GM Jerry Angelo regret not signing him when he was a free agent this offseason.

But when the dust settled on Sunday, Housh was targeted nine times, caught just four passes for 35 yards and also had a fumble that led to a Bears’ touchdown.

Nice game, Housh. My guess is that Jerry Angelo won’t get much sleep tonight.

Thanks to Jay Cutler’s 36-yard touchdown pass to Devin Hester with 1:52 remaining, the Bears escaped Seattle with a 25-19 victory. Chicago was far from perfect, but Cutler was outstanding, completing 21 of 27 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns.

Honestly, it was a little surprising that the Bears needed a last-minute touchdown to beat a depleted Seahawks team playing without starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. But wins in the NFL don’t come cheap, especially in Seattle where the Seahawks always play tough.

At the end of the day, the Bears are 2-1 and Cutler has rebounded nicely following his ugly performance in Green Bay. With the Vikings and Packers also winning today, this was a nice victory for Da Bears.

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NFL Week 3 Snapshot Previews

Here are quick-hit previews for all the Week 3 games in the NFL.

Redskins (1-1) at Lions (0-2), 1:00PM ET
Don’t be shocked if the Lions end their massive losing streak today at home against a very average Redskins team. Thanks to Jim Zorn’s conservative play calling, Washington’s offense has become unimaginable and bland. If Matthew Stafford limits the turnovers, the Lions have a shot.

Packers (1-1) at Rams (0-2), 1:00PM ET
St. Louis played well defensively last week and Green Bay has major issues along its offensive line – could this be an upset in the making? Probably not. The Rams’ offense has looked atrocious in the first two weeks of the season and although Dom Capers’ defense looked horrendous last week, the Packers should manage to beat a bad St. Louis team. (Although this game might be tighter than most expect.)

49ers (2-0) at Vikings (2-0), 1:00PM ET
This is the only matchup in Week 3 that features two 2-0 teams. This game will be the Vikings’ first real challenge after earning victories against the lowly Browns and Lions in the first two weeks. The key for the 49ers will be stopping Adrian Peterson, because Brett Favre won’t find much success through the air against San Fran’s solid secondary. Can Shaun Hill make enough plays in the passing game to lead his team to victory once the Williams Wall takes away Frank Gore?

Falcons (2-0) at Patriots (1-1), 1:00PM ET
This game will be a great test for both teams to see where they are at this point in the season. A win for the Falcons and they’ll be viewed as one of the elite teams in the NFC, while a loss for the Patriots means that it could be panic time for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Conversely, if Atlanta loses then everyone will question whether or not the Falcons can beat the top teams in the league, while a win for New England will quiet some of the concerns surrounding the Pats.

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T.J. Houshmandzadeh is a bitter man

Apparently Seahawks wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh is still bitter that the Bears didn’t sign him this offseason and is hell bent on making them pay this weekend when Chicago visits Quest Field.

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

During a conference call with Chicago reporters Wednesday, Houshmandzadeh promised he could beat Bears cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Zack Bowman “95 percent” of the time in this Sunday’s game at Qwest Field.

“I feel like I’m going to get open every play, every time,” Houshmandzadeh said. “But that’s not going to be the case. Those guys get paid well. I feel I’m going to win regardless, but I have to be realistic. I feel I’m going to win 95 percent of the time and they can get the other 5.”

The Bears’ defense is ranked fifth in the NFL with 267 yards allowed per game, and eighth against the pass at 176.5 yards per game. They have a lone turnover, an interception by Tillman.
Houshmandzadeh also had a promise for Bears general manager Jerry Angelo, whom he said ignored him during free agency in March when Chicago was in the market for a wide receiver.

“Jerry Angelo probably didn’t think I could play,” he said. “So I’m going to show him Sunday.”

If Seneca Wallace starts, I’m willing to bet that Houshmandzadeh is complaining to Jim Mora and Greg Knapp by the midway point in the second quarter because he’s not getting the ball enough.

For as productive as Housh is, he’ll become unfocused easily if he’s not a big part of the offense early and often. He was always in the ear of Marvin Lewis when he was in Cincinnati, so hopefully Mora and Knapp have devised a plan to get him the ball as much as possible or else they’re going to have a whiny receiver on their hands.

2009 NFL Picks & Predictions: Week 3

Here are my four predictions for Week 3 in the NFL. Last week I went 3-1 straight up (friggin’ Titans) and 1-3 against the spread so as usual, gamblers should have no qualms about fading. (These are also my season totals since I didn’t make any predictions for Week 1.)

Titans (0-2) at Jets (2-0), Sunday, 1:00PM ET
It would be foolish to pick against a hot team with everything working in their favor right now…right? Well, I’m going to do it anyway. Jeff Fisher’s team is too good to be 0-2 and while I love what Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez have brought to the Jets, the law of averages suggest that a rookie quarterback is going to struggle at some point. Tennessee’s defense has a way of making opposing quarterbacks look bad (save of their performance last week against Matt Schaub, who threw four touchdown passes) and I’m willing to bet Sanchez suffers some growing pains this week. The key for the Titans is whether or not Kerry Collins can avoid turnovers while facing a New York defense that will use multiple fronts and attack him from all angles. Getting Chris Johnson involved in screen and draw plays would be beneficial for Tennessee, especially if the Jets’ defense continues to be aggressive under Ryan. I don’t see the Titans falling to 0-3 and I think Ryan and Sanchez’s come down to earth a bit this week.
Odds: Jets –3.
Prediction: Titans 16, Jets 13.

Falcons (2-0) at Patriots (1-1), 1:00PM ET
This is the most intriguing game on the Week 3 schedule because it will serve as a great indication of where both of these teams are right now. The Falcons are 2-0 after beating two playoff teams from a year ago (the Dolphins and Panthers, respectively) and Matt Ryan is off to a tremendous start (108.5 QB rating). But Atlanta’s defense will be tested this weekend against a New England offense that was held to only nine points a week ago and will no doubt be focused on rebounding. Tom Brady hasn’t looked comfortable on his surgically repaired knee and seemed confused by the amount of looks that the Jets’ defense gave him last week. If the Falcons can get creative with their front seven, they might be able to generate pressure on Brady and come up with a couple of turnovers. If that happens, Ryan has more than enough weapons (Tony Gonzalez, Roddy White, etc.) in the passing game to pick apart a Patriots’ defense that is riddled with holes right now. It’s usually unwise to go against Bill Belichick and the Patriots when they’re pissed off and needing a win, but this isn’t the same New England defense that we’ve seen throughout the years and I think Ryan will lead Atlanta to a huge victory at Foxboro.
Odds: Patriots –4.
Prediction: Falcons 30, Patriots 27.

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