Thursday, November 27, 2014
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Week 3 NFL picks

Chiefs at Eagles

Week 3 NFL picks

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. (Tom Uhlman/AP)
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. (Tom Uhlman/AP)

Chiefs at Eagles

Andy Reid is getting a lot of kudos for his 2-0 start in Kansas City, and deservedly so. However, they've done it with their defense. For the most part, the offense has sputtered. Some Chiefs offensive stats:

 

  • 26th ranked offense (yards), at 302.5 per game.
  • 23rd in yards per play, at 4.8.
  • 23rd in first downs per game, at 18.
  • 27th in passing yards, at 185.
  • 23rd in pass plays of over 20 yards, with 5. 
  • One of 9 teams with no pass plays of over 40 yards.
  • The Chiefs have 6 scoring drives this season. 3 of them have begun inside their opponents' 32 yard line. They have 3 drives of longer than 50 yards on the entire season. 

 

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So the question then becomes, will the Chiefs offense "get well" against the Eagles bad defense, or will the Eagles defense "get well" against the Chiefs' sluggish offense? I think it will fall somewhere in between.

Meanwhile, I think the Eagles can score on anybody, and I think they'll outscore the Chiefs in another fun one.

Packers at Bengals

With so much attention being paid to the Niners and Seahawks in the NFC West, this Packers team is almost kind of flying under the radar. But this is a great team that employs the best player in the league, who has a great WR trio in Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones. Those three guys are right there among the best WR corps in the NFL, and will be a matchup nightmare all season long.

I also really like this Bengals team, but they're not yet on the level of the Packers.

Rams at Cowboys

For me, the logic on this one is pretty simple. The Rams are a better team, and the Cowboys' home field advantage is non-existent. Look for the Rams' front four to dominate the line of scrimmage and pressure Tony Romo all day.

Chargers at Titans

Here is the Chargers' travel schedule Weeks 2 and 3:

 

  • San Diego to Philly - 2363 miles
  • Philly to San Diego - 2363 miles
  • San Diego to Nashville - 1566 miles
  • Total travel - 6292 miles

 

That's not easy, and I don't expect the Titans' defense to be the sieve that Philly's was a week ago.

Browns at Vikings

Allow me to take this opportunity to opine on the Trent Richardson trade, which people seem to think is some sort of awful decision by the Browns...

Trent Richardson is a former #3 overall pick, but is he really that good? In his rookie season, Richardson had 2 carries of over 20 yards, and none over 40. His career yards per carry is 3.5. And while the passing game wasn't very good in Cleveland, Richardson did have the benefit of running behind a very good offensive line.

I hate the logic that "he'll be good on a better Colts offense." Why? Is he suddenly going to shave 0.2 off his 40 time? Richardson looked slow his rookie season, and it's not as if he was breaking tackles like Christian Okoye in Tecmo Bowl. I'm actually kind of surprised they were able to get a first round pick for him. I don't think he's worth it.

If the Browns sign Willis McGahee as they're expected to do, I'm willing to bet he'll run for better than 3.5 yards per carry.

Even with the Browns benching Brandon Weeden in favor of Brian Hoyer, I'm tempted to take the Browns anyway because I just don't think much of the Vikings at all. But I'll play it safe.

Buccaneers at Patriots

With his best targets out, Tom Brady seems to have little trust in his receivers, but for at least another week that won't matter as the awful Bucs come to town.

Cardinals at Saints

If you're in a suicide pool and you don't want to use the Seahawks yet, I think there might be some temptation to take the Saints here. I would advise against that. The Cardinals will not be an easy out all season, and both of the Saints games have come down to the final play.

Lions at Redskins

Wow, this is matchup of two teams I don't respect. Very tough call. The Lions are the undisciplined mess that the Redskins need to see right about now, but at the same time, who on the Redskins defense is going to cover/tackle Calvin Johnson? It's really hard to put any faith at all in the Redskins at this point, who have looked like the worst team in the NFC through the first two weeks. The collapse continues.

Giants at Panthers

The Giants are still a formidable team who are currently playing like crap. Still, they have major weapons in the passing game. Meanwhile, the Panthers' secondary is extremely banged up. The Giants get the Panthers at the right time, and throw all over them.

Texans at Ravens

With the way they've played the first two weeks, Baltimore looks like they might be the second consecutive Super Bowl winner not to make the playoffs the next season.

Falcons at Dolphins

So far on the season, my picks record is 24-8. I've gotten both Dolphins games wrong so far (the Eagles too, for that matter), and I still haven't watched the Phins play yet. So please don't make any decisions on this pick, but I'll continue to doubt that they're a major player for now.

Bills at Jets

Wait.. the Jets are favored in this game? I mean.. their DL has looked good and they hung in there with the Patriots and all, but... they still can't score, right? Meanwhile, E.J. Manuel looks like the real deal, and the Bills' fast-paced offense is fun to watch. 

Colts at 49ers

The Colts' trade for Trent Richardson makes no sense to me. For one, as noted above, Richardson just isn't that good, or at least he isn't very good 17 games into his NFL career. Secondly, the Colts still have plenty of issues on their defense and along their offensive line. They're not nearly as close to Super Bowl contention as they think they are, and they're trading a 1 for an underachieving running back? And people are praising this?

The Niners are coming off an embarrassing offensive performance against the Seahawks. I expect them to steamroll a wildly overrated Colts team this week.

Jaguars at Seahawks

Next.

Bears at Steelers

LeSean McCoy has outgained the Steelers on the ground 237-75. The Steelers' leading rusher is Felix Jones, who was clearly the Eagles' 5th best RB in training camp with a big gap between #4 and #5. The Steelers are the surprise awful team in 2013. Somehow the Bears are only 2.5 point favorites in this one, probably because there's the instinct to pick the Steelers when you see that logo, and you're just used to them winning. Not this year. This team will be picking in the top 10 next May.

Raiders at Broncos

Um... Denver.

Last week: 13-3

Season: 24-8

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