I would’ve loved to enjoy the 49ers destruction of the Rams last night, but the NFL Network kept fizzing out during the second half, not allowing me to get a good look. It’s obviously Time Warner Cable’s fault because that company get anything right these days. The beauty of going to sports bars on Sundays is that you don’t have to put up with Time Warner Cable because the NFL Sunday Ticket is only on DirecTV. (Sorry for the commercial.) I argue with my friends all the time about what’s required in a bar to watch football on Sundays. I have one major requirement. I want “tons of TVs.” That’s not four or six TVs scattered around a room, where you can really only see three of them. I want to be able to turn my head slightly and catch every game. If I wanted to watch only one or two games, I’d stay at home on my couch. And if you’re wondering whether or not I have a sports problem, you do realize you’re about to read my NFL picks column?
Locks of the Week:
Dallas +1.5 over SAN DIEGO
I'm 3-0 picking Cowboys games so far this year so I'm going to continue to ride the wave. San Diego's probably happy to be home after two trips to the East Coast, but their flaws are clearly evident at this point. They don't have a commitment to running the football per usual and their defense seems to give up points whenever the opposing team steps on the gas. They've now lost two games in heartbreaking fashion. Dallas, meanwhile, is going about their business without much drama this season and could easily be 3-0 instead of 2-1.
Reggie’s Pick: San Diego
NEW ORLEANS -6.5 over Miami
Monday Night Football doesn't seem to get good games anymore, but this Monday's tilt between two undefeated teams is definitely intriguing. Miami's defense clamped down on Atlanta in the second half last week, only allowing three points in the last 27 minutes of the game. Playing in the Superdome is a completely different environment, however, and you can't expect the same resolve. The Saints were 8-0 two years ago (I’m pretending last year’s bounty-gate season didn’t happen because Sean Payton wasn’t around) and you’ll see a home record close to that again this year.
Reggie’s Pick: Miami
Pittsburgh +1.5 over MINNESOTA
Matt Cassel is back! That's right, Matt Cassel is back!! And that doesn't even impact Minnesota's already disastrous defense that's now down to three healthy corners with Chris Cook being ruled out this week. This is exactly what Pittsburgh needs to accompany the season debut of Le'Veon Bell. Don’t forget this game’s in London, so the home team thing isn’t really a thing.
Reggie’s Pick: Pittsburgh
Trap Game of the Week:
KANSAS CITY -4.5 over N.Y. Giants
I think most people have given up on the Giants at this point. I know I have. That display by the offensive line last week was pathetic. It won't get any better this week with the Chiefs' front seven known to cause trouble. It's also alarming how confident the Giants players seem right now when they talk about how the team is ready to go for this weekend. Shouldn't that be every weekend?
Reggie’s Pick: Kansas City
Rest of the Picks:
Indianapolis -7.5 over JACKSONVILLE
The Jaguars are 0-3 against the spread this season for a reason. They're fucking terrible and now they welcome back the always incompetent Blaine Gabbert to take over for never much good Chad Henne. I've tried with the Jaguars on a couple occasions this year, but I've given up for now. Their offense has trouble making it to the 50-yard line, let alone the end zone.
Reggie’s Pick: Jacksonville
HOUSTON +3 over Seattle
Everyone is enamored with Seattle, but it's worth noting they went 3-5 on the road last year. They’re a different beast on the road, but the line has built in all their hype so far.
Reggie’s Pick: Seattle
DETROIT -3 over Chicago
The Bears are flying high after winning three straight games to start the season under Marc Trestman. There are still a few flaws, however, that their record has masked. The defense isn't nearly as threatening as its been in years. Charles Tillman is too banged up to shadow Calvin Johnson this week and that's great because Tillman has bottled up Johnson in years past.
Reggie’s Pick: Chicago
CLEVELAND +5 over Cincinnati
Who's getting on the Brian Hoyer bandwagon? (Crickets...) Ok, I'm just kidding, but the Browns aren’t giving up just yet. There’s letdown potential from Cincinnati after last week’s big win. I’m calling for the garbage time backdoor cover here.
Reggie’s Pick: Cleveland
Arizona +2.5 over TAMPA BAY
The Buccaneers have a rookie quarterback and two injured starting wide receivers. I know Arizona laid an egg last week, but they deserve a better line than this.
Reggie’s Pick: Tampa Bay
BUFFALO +3.5 over Baltimore
E.J. Manuel is going to pull together some magic at home again this week. We’re also going to get C.J. Spiller saddling up again because he surely isn’t getting enough carries to use his talent. Baltimore has letdown potential themselves after last week’s blowout of Houston.
Reggie’s Pick: Baltimore
N.Y. Jets +4 over TENNESSEE
I bet you never thought the Jets would have two more wins than the Giants through three weeks. The Jets' defense is playing great through three weeks. They've even found a pass rush, something they didn't have in previous seasons, which accounted for eight sacks last week. Tennessee is playing good football of their own right now, but they're not at the stage where they scare anybody. A field goal seems like the appropriate victory margin here. Whether it's the Titans or the Jets kicking it will come down to whether or not Geno Smith plays better in his second road game than his first.
Reggie’s Pick: Tennessee
OAKLAND +3.5 over Washington
It looks like Matt Flynn will be behind center for Oakland on Sunday. That shouldn't make you feel good given that two teams have acquired him to be their starter and demoted him soon after in the last two seasons. Washington is in disarray right now so Oakland's definitely catching a break. I don't feel good about picking either team, so I'm taking the points.
Reggie’s Pick: Washington
DENVER -12 over Philadelphia
The Eagles’ offense has really slowed down since Week 1. Denver has been able to beat everyone they’ve played by at least 16 points and the Eagles don’t have a good enough defense to hold anyone down.
Reggie’s Pick: Philadelphia
ATLANTA -1.5 over New England
People are talking about how the Patriots' defense has improved this year, but look at their first three opponents: Buffalo, N.Y. Jets, and Tampa Bay. None of those teams remind you of the 1999 XXX St Louis Rams, do they? Atlanta is missing Steven Jackson and Roddy White might as well not be playing, but the Falcons can still bring it better than the Patriots' opponents. Add in the raucous Georgia Dome atmosphere on a Sunday night and you have the recipe for the first loss of New England's season.
Reggie’s Pick: Atlanta
Last Week: 9-7
This Week: 1-0