Saturday, September 25, 2010

NFL 2010: Week 3

Two weeks into the 2010 NFL season are now complete. Are any stories emerging yet?

The following teams are 2-0. Miami, Pittsburgh (without Ben Roethlisberger with two of his four game suspension served), Houston, and Kansas City in the AFC.

The Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns are 0-2, hardly a surprise. All the rest are at 1-1.

Meanwhile in the NFC, the 2-0 teams are from the north and south divisions: Chicago, Green Bay, Tampa Bay, and New Orleans. Six teams are winless: Dallas, Minnesota, Detroit, Carolina, San Francisco, and St. Louis.

Pittsburgh will once again struggle with injuries to their backups at QB, but a 2-0 start is surely beyond expectations given their situation. They’ll test Tampa Bay this week to see if they are for real, then they have only Baltimore to keep them from a 4-0 start. With a week 5 bye, they’ll be positioned well to overcome being without Roethlisberger and perhaps be right in the thick of the fight with Baltimore and Cincinnati who had the Ravens’ number last week.

Houston now looks like a mature, playoff ready team. Beating the Colts in week one set the stage but Washington held them to only a three point victory.

The real surprise so far is Kansas City. Having clobbered San Diego in their first game, a rainy mess on Monday Night Football then beating the slightly favored Browns has the Chiefs looking strong as they host the winless 49er’s.

No one should be surprised that Buffalo and Cleveland are winless. Both have a long ways to go to gain respectability.

The NFC situation is more interesting. Green Bay and New Orleans would surely be expected to do well, but Tampa Bay and Chicago were written off to finish dead last by most going into the season.

Dallas had visions of hosting and playing in the Super Bowl at season’s end. They look horrendous with pretty boy quarterback, Tony Romo, looking dazed and confused. The Minnesota Vikings suddenly have a quarterback who looks and acts his age with a horribly depleted receiving corps. San Francisco has looked sloppy and confused so far. They were the clear choice to win the West this season. The remaining teams should not be much of a surprise. Carolina is now in rebuild mode. St. Louis is far from stabilized and the Lions – say no more – but aren’t they a better team than they were two years ago?

Reality check, there are fourteen games left, but teams starting 0-2 aren’t likely to win championships. Yes, it is panic time in Dallas and Minnesota. The 49er’s are still a work in progress.

This week’s picks:
Cleveland @ Baltimore (-10 ½)
Pick Baltimore. It’s time for Joe Flacco to enjoy his new weapons.

Cincinnati (-3) @ Carolina
Cincinnati will win the Pussy Bowl. Let’s hope it’s not show time for their clowns Ochocinco and T.O.

Buffalo @ New England (-14)
More people will be talking about Tom Brady’s new hairdo than the game. New England wins big.

San Francisco (-2 ½) @ Kansas City
Go with the 2-0 Chiefs to pull the upset.

Tennessee @ New York Giants (-3)
The Titans should upset the disorganized Giants.

Pittsburgh (-3) @ Tampa Bay
Let’s see if the Tampa Bay Bucs can keep the good times rolling. The temp QB will do in Pittsburgh in sunny Florida. There will probably be more fans in the stands than have attended Rays games all year and they are playoff bound!!!

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-4)
The home advantage should be enough to put the Saints ahead. Atlanta was picked by many to take the helm in the NFC south. Not yet.

Detroit @ Minnesota (-11)
Brett Favre will finally win one, but keep an eye on the spread.

Dallas @ Houston (-3)
The Cowboys travel south to move to 0-3 in the battle for Texas.

Philadelphia (-2 ½) @ Jacksonville
The dog-killer will be the cat-killer in a big empty stadium in north Florida.

Washington (-3 ½) @ St. Louis
Hail to the Redskins.

Indianapolis (-5 ½) @ Denver
Peyton and his pals will make week one look like a distant bad dream after winning this one.

Oakland (-4) @ Arizona
How the Cardinals have fallen. Oakland should have enough mojo to beat a team in decline.

San Diego (5 ½) @ Seattle
Here’s a good test for Pete Carroll. Can he upset the Bolts? Probably not.

New York Jets @ Miami (2 ½)
The bold start for the Fins stops here. The Jets are ready to show off what they can do.


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