While the Baltimore Ravens cooperated with my picks for week three, a few too many other teams did not. The New England Patriots blew their game, losing to the Buffalo Bills off of an unforeseen four picks of Tom Brady, who threw four interceptions ALL of last year. The Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins all lost easily win-able games to leave me barely above .500 for the week, a far cry from my previous torrid start of the 2011 NFL season. Let's right the ship in week four, and I will post my pick & pan, including the score of the Ravens-Jets prime time match-up on Sunday Night Football.
Texans over Steelers: I'm sure so many people are disappointed to see me picking Houston, who has a very difficult offense to stop, led by the best WR in football (Andre Johnson). Also, the Texans defense is vastly improved even though they lost to a tough New Orleans Saints team last week on the road. Pittsburgh is no slouch, but they will have a tough time keeping up in this track meet.
Titans over Browns: Since this game is actually considered a "pick-em," I can't use it as an "Upset Special." However, Tennessee proved to the Ravens that they are not a bad team While Cleveland, despite it's two wins, has not proved it is a good team.
Cowboys over Lions: I know Detroit is the hot team in the NFL but don't expect them to go undefeated much longer as they had to overcome a 20 point deficit last week against a Minnesota Vikings team that is not as good as Dallas is. My only concern is the Dallas offensive line keeping the Lions defensive line off of Tony Romo's chest.
Bears over Panthers: Carolina QB Cam Newton has been amazing so far but to expect him to go into Chicago and beat the angry Bears is a bit too much even for this pure athlete, as QB Jay Cutler rebounds with a solid game.
Vikings over Chiefs: This would be a good time for Minnesota to finally hold and actually keep a halftime lead, but then again, it would also be a good time for Kansas City to finally win a game. I'll take the Vikes.
Bills over Bengals: If my predictions come true this weekend, Buffalo will be the lone undefeated team and could actually have a two-game lead in the AFC East. Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is both smart (Harvard grad) and accurate (65% completion rate) while Cincinnati's eight points at home last week doesn't give cause for hope.
Redskins over Rams: St. Louis' woes continue as Washington's defense will continue the pounding that Rams QB Sam Bradford suffered last week at the hands of the Ravens. The Redskins offense will not explode like Baltimore's did, but they won't have to in order to still get the win on the road.
Eagles over 49ers: If San Francisco could only muster 13 points in their win over the Bengals, it seems doubtful that they can do much better in Philadelphia, regardless how well, or even how long Michael Vick actually plays.
Saints over Jaguars: Think Jacksonville rookie QB Blaine Gabbert has had a tough start to his NFL career? Playing in a driving rainstorm in his first game and then facing New Orleans in his second will definitely harden him to the rigors of the NFL, but certainly not to his win total, as expect the Saints to keep "marching in" to the end zone.
Seahawks over Falcons: Here we go with my first "Upset Special Pick of the Week," as I have just not been impressed with Atlanta in 2011 and Seattle might be a wee bit better than most people think. Tavares Jackson will never be confused with Matt Ryan, but his scrambling ability should give the Falcons defense fits.
Cardinals over Giants: this game actually counts as an "Upset Special" as New York is favored by a point on the road and the "road" part is why I like Arizona to exploit their secondary with the Kevin Kolb to Larry Fitzgerald combination.
Raiders over Patriots: Am I serious? New England is going on a two-game losing streak, much less in Oakland? The Patriots should definitely have won in Buffalo but didn't and the Raiders almost won at the Bills a week before. Oakland is a pretty tough home team and is one of the fastest in the NFL. I may be wrong on this one, but I live on the edge, so I'm going (and hoping) for Raider Nation to be celebrating late Sunday afternoon.
Chargers over Dolphins: Miami is supposed to be a better team on the road than at home, but if they lost at Cleveland, something tells me they have little to no chance in San Diego and keep 'fins head coach Tony Sparano on the proverbial "hot seat."
Buccaneers over Colts (Monday Night Football): while I approve of Indianapolis' change to QB Curtis Painter, that shouldn't be the catalyst to the Colts first 2011 win. Tampa Bay gets a chance to look good on national TV, although they haven't seemed as good as they were in 2010.
Last Week: 9-7
Season Record: 32-16