FIWK the NFL: Week 3

Yeah, I did pretty bad last week. I guess I took my own theme of not overreacting just a little too far and ended up underreacting. (Why is overreact a word, but underreact gets the red spell check squiggly?) I may have ended up underreacting all the way back to 2009. So let's try and find a happy middle ground. Let's start considering strength of opponents. The Bills and the Lions are both 2-0, with huge point differentials. But I'm pretty sure that's more an indictment of how bad the Chiefs are (L 41-7 to the Buffalo and L 48-3 to Detroit) than an early proclamation those two teams are going to the playoffs. In fact, I kind of like Royce's early "Always pick against KC and SEA" rule. So, with just the right amount of reaction...

New England (-8.5) over BUFFALO: I don't think New England is going to go undefeated. I think they are going to come up against a team, probably in their own division that runs the ball amazingly well (something like averaging 10 yds/carry, with several home runs) and Brady gets one ball tipped at the line and a defender returns it for a touchdown New England is going to lose a fluky game like that...but not this week. Fitzpatrick could throw for 300 yards and 3 TDs and still lose by 21.

San Francisco (+2.5) over CINCINNATI: SF won a little convincingly in week 1. Well as much as playing the Seahawks and getting two return touchdowns from Ted Ginn (when did he drop the Jr.? Does he still use it?) can be considered 'convincingly'. Andy Dalton would be getting a ton of praise for his efficiency as a rookie QB if not for Cam Newton's craziness. With St. Louis at 0-2 and the NFC West looking worse than last year, I think the 49ers will make the playoffs, while the Bengals finish 4th...with identical 6-10 or 7-9 records. I guess all this is saying that I think these two teams are kind of close and I'm taking the points.

Miami (+2.5) over CLEVELAND: Just like in my season preview, I think these teams are close, and I am taking the points. Brandon Marshall does not lead this game in catches.

TENNESSEE (-6.5) over Denver: Denver looks bad. Not KC/SEA bad, but bad. but they are still right in the middle of that bottom heavy AFC losers group. Remember the seven teams? Denver, Oakland, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Tennessee & Buffalo. I separated those last two because I'm going to bump them up into another group. Maybe even up three groups above the NFC West. In fact, if I was allowed to go back and make changes, I would replace the Jaguars with the Bills and then create a three team AFC South group. Houston, Jacksonville and Tennessee belong together. One of Miami, Cleveland and Buffalo will make the playoffs. Ok, got a little off track there...Tennessee is better than Denver. Chris Johnson gets his first 100 yard game of the season.

Detroit (-3.5) over MINNESOTA: I find it much easier to say that I like Matthew Stafford more than Donovan McNabb than actually expressing my support of the Lions. I'll take them this week, but still take a 'wait and see' approach. Ndomokung Suh has more penalties than Donovan McNabb has passing touchdown.

NEW ORLEANS (-4) over Houston: Not too many teams have a better offense than the Texans. The Saints are one of them. Many, many teams have a better defense than the Texans. The Saints are also one of them...although, the Texans defense is not as bad as it has been in the past. The Chargers do an amazing job of having great coordinators that make poor head coaches (Cam Newton, Wade Phillips, Norv Turner...let's hope Ron Rivera can break this trend) and now that Wade Phillips is back in the defensive coordinator role, he is doing very well.

PHILADELPHIA (Off(0)) over NYG: I'm taking the Eagles even if Kafka plays in place of Philadelphia. The Giants are suffering a lot of injuries and nothing has looked very good about them. The running game is just ok, but still better than their passing game.

Jacksonville (+3.5) over CAROLINA: I like the points a lot more than I like trying to pick one of these teams to win. Does Cam Newton get his first win (remember, despite all the passing yards he is 0-2) or does Jacksonville step up to 2-1 to keep pace in the division?

NYJ (-3.5) over Oakland: The Raiders beat a bad Broncos team then lost to an unknown Bills team. The Jets came back to beat Dallas, then creamed the Jags. I think this game is much closer to last week and they win by at least 17. It won't even be close.

Baltimore (-4) over ST. LOUIS: So one of the stud AFC teams, which beat the Steelers by 28 is playing an NFC West team? I think this is another big mismatch. Ray Rice scores two touchdowns, the Rams only get one.

SAN DIEGO (-14.5) over Kansas City: Always picking against the Chiefs. Now, just for fun, how many points would you need to pick the Chiefs? 17? 21?

Green Bay (-3.5) over CHICAGO: Should be a great game. The Bears might be a little better than I thought. The Packers have given up the most passing yards in the NFL. I feel like people are overlooking this because 1) they are 2-0 2) Their offense is so good their opponents are playing catch up 3) Drew Brees is just that good and maybe Cam Newton is also? I think the Packers win and I would much rather have Green Bay -3, but I wouldn't be surprised if Jay Cutler throws for a lot of yards and keeps the Bears in it.

Arizona (-3.5) over SEATTLE: Always pick against the Seahawks.

Atlanta (+1.5) over TAMPA BAY: The Falcons are the noticeably better team, right? I meanthe Bucs are a nice 'up and coming' story, but the Falcons are still better? What am I missing here? I'd take the Falcons and give points, but I'll be happy to take the points.

Pittsburgh (-10.5) over INDIANAPOLIS: I think the Colts are dangerously close to 'always pick against them' territory. The Steelers have one game where they lost 7 (SEVEN!!) turnovers and then shutout the Seahawks. At the very least, we don't know where they are yet. But more likely, they are as good as we thought before the season and Peyton Manning continues to roam the sidelines in a polo shirt tucked into jeans with an ear piece under his ballcap.

DALLAS (Off(0)) over Washington: So apparently Tony Romo's punctured lung was the least severe punctured lung possible? He had a punctured lung, took an imprecise x-ray, then went back into an NFL game. Punctured lung!! NFL!! But it really does sound to be mild. They aren't doing any kind of procedure, going to let it heal on its own and may have already done so. Even with Jon Kitna instead of Tony Romo, I would still pick the Cowboys. But with Felix Jones, Miles Austin and Dez Bryant injured (only Miles is definitely out), the Cowboys look a lot less explosive. The best compliment I can think of for the Redskins is that Rex Grossman and Tim Hightower don't suck.

MANCHESTER CITY over Everton: I really got into a groove there, but ran out of games to talk about, so we took a little hop across the pond to take a look at the other football. Tim Howard, keeper for the US National team, is the keeper for Everton and this game is going to be on ESPN 2 for his family and native country to see. To bad he's going to be completely embarrassed by Manchester City. Another interesting note, apparently Everton just signed another white, bald American keeper. How many white, bald American keepers have there been now? 8? 37?


  1. Woah a ninja EPL pick at the end! To quote Luke Wilson's character from Anchorman, I did NOT see that coming!

    I was actually able to find betting lines for this week's EPL matches, which has made for a very entertaining half hour of browsing. But I'll get back to those in a future comment.

    On to the NFL picks! I am going to bet a fictional $100 on each of the following:

    NYJ -3.5
    Baltimore -4
    Atlanta +1.5

    I think in a few weeks we are all going to look back and laugh at how hilarious these lines are, especially the Jets only 3.5 favorites at home over the Raiders.

    The biggest mystery of the week is easily Tony Romo's 'punctured lung'. How does that work? Can't you not breathe properly with a punctured lung? I mean, if it's punctured, doesn't it like deflate? I'm so confused.

  2. Royce, we have a $1000 budget. You just spent 30% in week 3. Are you ok with that?

  3. If I win I get it back right? And double? So I win all 3 bets I'm at $1,300?

    If so then yes I'm fine with that... we'll see how it goes after this week.

  4. Correct. And if you lose all three you're at $700.

  5. I need to make a correction. NYJ is capitalized because I only used initials. Oakland is actually at home. It should read "NYJ(-3.5) over OAKLAND"

    Still want to put $100 on them?

  6. Hahaha. I like the strategy Royce.

    I'll drop $20 on the following:

    Vikings +3.5: all day goes off for a 30-point fatasy performance and the Vikings win, followed by everyone jumping off the Lions bandwagon just in time to see them get spanked by the Cowboys next week.

    Panthers -3.5: Cam Newton! Cam Newton! Cam Newton!

    Jets -3.5: the Raiders keep this closer than you think but don't have it in them to squeak out a cover, let alone a win.

    Chargers -14.5: I'd need 24 to take the Chiefs and even then I'd probably avoid the game.

  7. I lost both the NYJ bet and the Atlanta bet. The Raiders ran super well, so whatever, but I'm really surprised by the Falcons. Maybe we overreacted to them beating the Eagles last week?

    I'm now down to $800.

  8. I'm actually glad I forgot to come back and make some $ picks. I'll put $40 on the Steelers.

  9. This season seems destined to lump everyone in the middle, but not in a way that you can take the underdog and the points; more in a way that you have absolutely no idea who will even win, regardless of the spread.

    Ravens cream the Steelers, then lose to Tennessee? Are the Steelers the team that lost to Baltimore or who shut out the Seahawks? The Patriots lost to the 3-0 Bills. The Packers, Redskins, Lions and Bills are the only undefeated teams.

  10. The only winning records that make sense to me are the 2-1 Chargers*, the 2-1 Saints, 3-0 Packers, 2-1 Giants and 2-1 49ers.

    *The Chiefs lose by an average of 257 points to the Lions and Bills, then get within 3 of the Chargers? Are the Bills and Lions better than the Chargers?

  11. Well, I just don't know how to feel about the Steelers now. Their offensive line play in particular seemed pathetic. I thought we were going to learn more about them this weekend? Maybe we learned that they're mediocre, and the Seahawks are plain terrible?

  12. This weekend definitely left me with more questions than answers.

  13. I was all ready to comment that the Colts defense led them to victory over the Steelers as part of a longer "crazy things that have happened through three weeks in the NFL" thought.

  14. ...stuck at $990...

    Such a great start with Carolina covering, Minny looking to win outright, and the Jets getting up early. I should have jumped on KC once I saw how quickly it turned around on em.