You can find my Week 3 Survivor Pick here. Now on to the picks!
Locks of the Week:
Cincinnati +3.5 over WASHINGTON
This is the underrated game of the weekend if you like offensive football. The Bengals haven't been able to stop either opponent so far and the Redskins just lost two of the best players in their front seven. Expect a big game from A.J. Green because Washington's secondary sucks. With Pierre Garcon banged up on the offensive side for Washington, they won't be able to muster enough points by the final whistle.
CHICAGO -8.5 over St. Louis
It's been a week since Jay Cutler was yelling at his linemen. St. Louis' pass rush deserves a little respect themselves with Chris Long leading the charge, but the Bears have had time to fix their issues. Look for a run-heavy approach as the Bears grab an early lead and proceed to run and hide. By the way, how great is Smokin' Jay Cutler? That was rhetorical.
Atlanta +3.5 over SAN DIEGOThe Chargers have basically wiped the floor with two crummy opponents so far. They face a steep upgrade in competition when the Falcons come to town. Atlanta's passing game has looked unstoppable in their two games and the Chargers don't present a serious threat to that. Vegas is giving San Diego a little too much love without the Chargers proving anything.
Trap Game of the Week:
N.Y. Jets -3.5 over Miami
I've been back and forth on this game based on what each team delivered last week, but one can't have their vision obscured by only one game. The Jets' defense should pose a considerable issue for young Ryan Tannehill if Darelle Revis back on the field. I'm chalking up Miami's performance last week to an Oakland team kicking off at 10a local time (for them). Don't forget they also traveled east off a short week stemming from the late Monday night game.
Rest of the Picks:
CLEVELAND +3.5 over Buffalo
You have to give Cleveland some respect for how they've played in their first two games. They've shown heart. More importantly, their defense has played well and should keep this home game within reach.
DALLAS -7.5 over Tampa BayDallas will have a chance to respond against a Tampa secondary that was just exposed for 510 yards by Eli Manning. They also have the run defense to force Tampa Bay into a one dimensional attack and the corners to then shut down the passing game. Look for a nice bounce back effort at home after last week's dud in Seattle.
Detroit -3.5 over Tennessee
The switch to Jake Locker was the right move for the franchise, but Tennessee has looked rather awful through two games. Their offensive line will continue to look in need of a makeover against Ndamukong Suh and the boys.
NEW ORLEANS -9.5 over Kansas CityAs I detailed in yesterday's column, the Saints should have a fire lit under their asses this week. The Chiefs are the cure for what ails the Saints' offense.
San Francisco -7.5 over Minnesota
It's pretty fair to say the 49ers look like they haven't lost a step from last year. They're methodically dominating their opponents with a strong defense and a turnover free offense. Adrian Peterson will struggle to run this week against last year's best run defense in football. Vikings' fans are nervous anticipating how bad Christian Ponder could look with the game on his shoulders.
INDIANAPOLIS -2.5 over JacksonvilleIf you didn't think Andrew Luck was advanced for his age then last week's game-winning drive should've put a kibosh on your concerns. The kid moved down the field for a field goal in thirty seconds like he had been doing it for years.
ARIZONA +4.5 over Philadelphia
Somehow Arizona is 2-0 with wins over Seattle (who just bitched the Cowboys) and New England. Philadelphia is liable to lay an egg on the road, so why mess with the Cardinals right now. Their defense is vastly underrated.
Pittsburgh -4.5 over OAKLAND
Oakland’s secondary is incredibly beat up. The Steelers are turning into a pass-heavy offense. This sounds like simple math to me.
Houston +0.5 over DENVER
I’m not convinced Denver can play defense after what I saw against Atlanta last week. Houston will bring tons of pressure on Peyton Manning. After what you saw last week, are you convinced he’s back to 100%?
New England +3.5 over BALTIMORE
Baltimore’s only getting the extra half of a point here because New England lost last week. The last thing you want is a motivated Bill Belichick.
SEATTLE -3.5 over Green Bay
Seattle is one of the toughest places to play in the league. Just ask the Cowboys how it went last week. Green Bay comes to this game without all engines firing, so what says Seattle can’t keep it close and maybe even pull out a victory.
This Week: 1-0
Last Week: 7-7-2