Friday, September 25, 2009

NFL picks, Week 3

Picks for week 3 of the 2009 NFL season...

Green Bay (-7) at St. Louis - I thought, going in, that the Packers were overrated. I did not think that they could lose to the Bengals at home. If they could do that, could they lose to the Rams in St. Louis? I guess it's conceivable, but it sure doesn't seem like the kind of bet that's going to make you money.

Kansas City at Philadelphia (-7) - Is there anyone that could start at quarterback for the Eagles behind whom they would not beat the Chiefs by a touchdown?

Atlanta at New England (-4) - The Falcons are a pretty good team. The Patriots are showing the effects of rust, primarily because their All-Time great QB has played 7 minutes of football in 19 months. The offense is going to get it together, but it may not be this week. The defense is going to grow and synch up and get on the same page and end up being pretty good, but it probably won't be this week. I'm not picking the Falcons, because I just don't ever pick against the Patriots - there's no satisfaction in that for me whatsoever, and I won't do it. And I'm not saying that I'm picking the Patriots despite the fact that I think the Falcons will win, because I don't think the Falcons will win. I think that the Patriots defense will play well enough, and the Patriots offense will play well enough to outscore Atlanta and win the game. It's not inconceivable that I'm wrong, but that's what, as near as I can tell, I truly believe.

Cleveland at Baltimore (-13) - OK, the Ravens are officially scary. (So are the Browns, but pretty much only for Cleveland fans.)

Washington at Detroit (+6) - This is it. The week that the Lions break the streak, upsetting the favored but inconsistent Redskins. Do I really believe this? OK, I'm not sure about that. But they'll do it one of these weeks, and I will have picked them.

Jacksonville at Houston (-3.5) - The cards and letters continue to pour in from the Jaguar faithful1 that I'm underrating them. Here's your chance, Jaguars - I've called you bullies, weaklings, a faux NFL team (and it's only week 3!) - go ahead and prove me wrong.

San Francisco (+7) at Minnesota - If Minnesota is what the consensus suggests they are, then I'm wrong here. Even if I'm right about the Vikings, it's asking a lot of the 49ers to go into the Metrodome and win. I suspect that they aren't quite good enough to do that. But I expect them to be in every game, to be tough and disciplined and hard to beat. So the Viking escape with this one by a field goal.

N.Y. Giants (-7) at Tampa Bay - Yeah, whatever. I hate the Giants. I hated them long before 2007, but that certainly didn't help. Hate 'em or not, they're an order of magnitude better than the Buccaneers right now. This one is not competitive.

Tennessee (+3) at N.Y. Jets - The Jets, pretty full of themselves after almost living up to their week of lip-flapping by beating the Patriots (who played about as badly as they can, certainly worse than they will the next two times they meet), run into a Tennessee team that's already desperate and looking for a little revenge on last year's loss to NY. And the Titans get that revenge.

Chicago (-2.5) at Seattle - As we go through this little exercise every week, you may notice that I'm a lot firmer about my opinions of teams that are lacking or overrated than the converse. And here's another example, as I'm not picking based on the Bears being better than the Seahawks, but on the Seahawks being worse than the Bears.

New Orleans (-6) at Buffalo - I'm undecided, at this point, on the Bills. But I'm not undecided about the Saints. They're going to win for a while, until they run up against a great offensive team. And Buffalo's not it.

Pittsburgh (-4.5) at Cincinnati - If the Bengals play their best game, and the Steelers play their worst, I could see a Cincinnati win. But, as I assume that neither of those conditions will be true, I assume that the Steelers win comfortably.

Denver at Oakland (+2) - Yes, Oakland stinks. But here's the fundamental question driving this pick - is it rational to supposed that the Denver Broncos start the season 3-0? Having asked that, and answered, "No," I have no choice but to take the Raiders.

Miami at San Diego (-6) - It was a long way from 1-15 in 2007 to 11-5 and the playoffs in 2008. I don't think that the Dolphins are going back to 1 win, but I'm pretty sure that they're not going back to the playoffs.

Indianapolis (+2.5) at Arizona - This could go either way. Which Cardinals team shows up? If the Colts defense couldn't get the Dolphins off the field on Monday night, what are they going to do with Arizona's? Whatever the case, my mental conception of the league is still such that the Colts are a powerhouse, the Cardinals aren't, and the very good AFC team beats the good NFC pretty much every week.

Carolina at Dallas (-8.5) - I don't know why this isn't 18.5. It's really hard for me to imagine that this game is going to be competitive.

1 - Well, they might, if any Jaguar faithful actually read any of my postings and cared.

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