Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NFL Week 3 wrapup

Week 3 in the NFL...

  • The Patriots are not clicking yet, but they beat a pretty good Atlanta team by 16. They allowed the Falcons only 19 plays and less than 7 minutes of possession time in the second half. They've been extremely inefficient in the red zone, settling for field goals far too often. And certainly the defense has done nothing to create a feeling of dominance. But they've had massive time-of-possession advantages in two of their three games, and a small one in the third. I maintain my optimism for what they're going to be when it's all said and done, and my uncertainty as to when they're really going to present.

  • Congratulations to the Detroit Lions. It was a long, long time coming. Here's a prediction - the next one will come a lot quicker than this one did.

  • Note to NBC executives: The presence of Keith Olbermann drives many who would be interested in Football Night in America away from that program. Some of us don't make it back for the game. Whatever your ratings are, it is difficult for me to imagine that they wouldn't be higher without him.

  • In trouble:
    • Miami, 0-3. Their reign at the top of the AFC East was a short one.
    • Tennessee, 0-3. They lost three games out of 16 last year, matched that in 3 games this year. Already three games behind the Colts.
    • Washington, 1-2. They're already two games out in a division with three better teams, and there probably isn't a coach in football with a hotter seat than Jim Zorn's after they became the first team to fall to the Lions in nearly two calendar years.

  • Should have been in trouble: Denver. OK, their schedule has been, well, "weak" (to be charitable) thus far, but 3-0 is 3-0. 3-13 wouldn't have shocked me from this Bronco team. One suspects that Josh McDaniel has bought himself some credibility in that lockerroom.

  • I proclaimed the Ravens "scary" last week after their win in San Diego. I may rescind that. Yes, they've won three, two of them easily. But the Browns may be the worst team in football, and the Chiefs aren't much better. With the way that the Chargers have struggled against Oakland and Miami, that Baltimore win in week 2 may not have been what it looked like at the time.

  • Obvious pick: Giants over Tampa Bay, Packers over Rams

  • Obvious Pick which was dead wrong: Pittburgh over Cincinnati

  • Somewhere in this world, there's a man that picked Denver to start the season 3-0. I'd like to have him managing my stock portfolio.

  • Evidence that you should be listening carefully to what I say (and there's LOTS of it this week):

    Washington at Detroit - "This is it. The week that the Lions break the streak, upsetting the favored but inconsistent Redskins."

    NY Giants 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."

    San Francisco 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."

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

  • Evidence that you should be listening carefully to what I say (and betting the opposite):

    Jacksonville at Houston - "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."

    Tennessee at NY 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."

  • For the week:
    Winners: 12-4
    ATS: 12-4-0

  • For the season:
    Winners: 32-16
    ATS: 26-22-0

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