Ace Picks: Week 3

Last week was a crazy one for picks as several teams fell back to earth after good Week 1 starts (Tennessee, Miami), and as teams that were supposed to bounce back didn’t quite do that (Indianapolis, Philadelphia). Pittsburgh took care of business to equal its record at 1-1, and the 49ers proved they are who we thought they were to drop theirs to 1-1. Adrian Peterson had a million touches and the Vikings won, while Tampa Bay took out the Saints in the Big Easy.

Wow, yeah, so what do these teams do for an encore? Here are my picks for Week 3…


Philadelphia @ NY Jets – Did you see how horrible the Eagles looked through 2 weeks? And yet the point differential was only 2 in the first game, and 10 in the second. That’s only 12 points away from at least having two ties, with an inept offense that did virtually nothing. Imagine what will happen when they wake up? And it happens here, in a must win, in New Jersey. Eagles take a stunner. Pick: PHILADELPHIA

Cincinnati @ Baltimore – I still don’t know if I can trust those Bengals, even though they helped me stay perfect in Survival Football last week, but I know I can’t trust the Ravens defense. They looked good against a bumbling Denver offense, and then looked horrible against the Raiders. The Bengals have been consistent on both sides of the ball to this point. Consistency wins, even though they’re playing in Baltimore. Pick: CINCINNATI

New Orleans @ Carolina – Luke McCown is starting for the Saints. And I think he’ll play well, especially since the Panthers haven’t had too much time to plan for him. It will help that he’s going to be handing off quite a lot to Mark Ingram and company. What won’t help is that the Saints don’t have the personnel to contain Cam Newton, who will exploit them in this one. Panthers win a surprisingly close one. Pick: CAROLINA

Oakland @ Cleveland – Oakland surprised most everyone by taking it to Baltimore last week, but that Cleveland defense has done a fine job so far this year. I think it keeps up here, and I think even with Josh McCown starting that Travis Benjamin will have another big catch or 2 for major points. This one won’t even be close. Pick: CLEVELAND

Atlanta @ Dallas – Rumors about the demise of the Cowboys are a bit premature. Sure, they’ve lost Romo for a huge chunk of time, and Dez Bryant won’t be returning anytime soon either, but they have the next man up mentality, and Brandon Weeden didn’t look totally horrible last week. Except that Atlanta comes into Dallas also 2-0 on the season, and they’re not nearly as banged up. I trust Matt Ryan more against that Cowboys defense than I do Weeden vs. the Falcons. Pick: ATLANTA

Tampa Bay @ Houston – This is honestly a tossup to me, and usually in a tossup I go with the home team. That vaunted Houston defense hasn’t been so high and mighty through 2 games, and I don’t think they’re great here either. Of course they don’t have to be, because with any rookie quarterback there are going to be ups and downs, and I think Winston takes a downtick after that emotional win in New Orleans last week. Pick: HOUSTON

San Diego @ Minnesota – For some reason I like San Diego in this spot. Rivers has been playing well, and Melvin Gordon will have room to run against that Minnesota defensive front that allowed a ton of yardage to Carlos Hyde in Week 1. The only question is if the Chargers can slow down Adrian Peterson, and I think they will do it enough to take this game in a squeaker. Pick: SAN DIEGO

Jacksonville @ New England – I don’t care that the Jaguars shocked the world in handling the Dolphins last week. This New England team isn’t the one from Miami, and they’re playing at home. While it may not be the huge blowout most experts are expecting, it won’t have to be. The Patriots go to 3-0. Pick: NEW ENGLAND

Pittsburgh @ St. Louis – This Rams team is difficult to pin down, but one thing I know through 2 games is that their defense — like the Texans’ — is not nearly as good as we were led to believe. After giving up over 30 points to the Seahawks they let the Redskins steamroll them in Week 2. With that dynamic Pittsburgh offense coming to town I don’t see a way the Rams keep it close. Pick: PITTSBURGH

Indianapolis @ Tennessee – That Colts offense has to come around sometime, right? And this would seem to be the right matchup after tilts with two tough defenses. But something isn’t quite right with the offensive line in Indy, and I don’t see them taking advantage of the matchup. Throw in there a defense that hasn’t done nearly enough to limit opponents, and a rookie quarterback who has impressed through 2 weeks. Colts fall to 0-3, and the real questions begin. Pick: TENNESSEE

San Francisco @ Arizona – Even when San Francisco was at full strength a couple of years ago they had trouble with the Cardinals. It’s the essence of these divisional rivalries. But because it’s a divisional rivalry I wouldn’t count the 49ers out in this one. The key is for them to get the running game going, and that means Hyde needs to play. If he’s out then it all falls to Kaepernick, and by himself I don’t see him getting it done. If Hyde is in it will be close, but I still think the Cardinals take it. Pick: ARIZONA

Buffalo @ Miami – Tannehill didn’t look great in the loss to the Redskins last week, but neither did the Bills in being dismantled by the Patriots. This is a divisional rivalry, and Miami is playing at home, but I don’t think home really matters here. What I think will matters is which defense comes out to play, and Buffalo has shown more consistency against teams that don’t have dynamic offenses. Miami fits that category. Pick: BUFFALO

Chicago @ Seattle – I have two words for you — Jimmy Clausen. And while I don’t think he’s as miserable as it might seem, where they’re playing is as miserable as it seems for other teams. Seattle is the most dangerous 0-2 team of all time, and it’s time to start bouncing back. Pick: SEATTLE

Denver @ Detroit – Denver’s offense hasn’t looked great through 2 games, but that defense is for real, and against an ailing quarterback in Matthew Stafford they will causes turnovers. That should be enough to push the Broncos to 3-0, and I see that defense tearing up the league all season long. Pick: DENVER


Kansas City @ Green Bay – Yes they’re playing in Green Bay, but unlike most experts I don’t see the Packers being invincible at home. And I think that if there is a team that can take them out at Lambeau Field it’s the Chiefs. They’re built on picking apart defenses piece by piece. They have a dynamic running game. They can keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers’ hands. But they weren’t able to finish off the game against Denver last week, and that will continue here. Pick: GREEN BAY


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