Week 3 showed solid improvement, and if not for 3 games that I am pretty confident no one else predicted (though loyal folks in Detroit, Buffalo, and Tennessee probably suggest otherwise), an almost flawless week. Regardless, I will take 11-5 without flinching.
Survivor Pool Pick of the Week: Los Angeles Chargers
Playing without their starting QB for the remainder of the season, I am dubious as to how many games the Niners may win the rest of the way. Jimmy G made that O put points up to the tune of 27 ppg. Beathard, if he is in fact the starter come Sunday, was not at all effective last year and will surely bring sadness back to the Bay Area, as they await the return of greener pastures with the Golden State Warriors coming to defend its title.
#DoNotBelieveTheHype: demise of the longest reigning NFL Empire (the Patriots)
I also believe the Patriots are a lock this week, as 3 game losing streaks are NOT something Hoodie and Brady do. Further, I am a clear disbeliever in the commentary (perhaps more so league-wide and fan-wide hope) that the end is finally upon us; been there, heard it, lived (I mean suffered) through it repeatedly: please allow history to be a reminder. It is early, and the Patriots will be just fine (my only footnote as always is the easy one, injuries – can’t lose Gronk or Brady obviously). Also, a quick peak of the Dolphins opposition in their 3-0 start is not the most inspirational set of teams to give me the level of confidence I need to think the Pats could do the unthinkable and lose a third straight. People are writing about how competitive they played the Pats last year – whatever. 1-2, back at home, time for the Pats to start to be the Pats. Here comes the dreaded winning streak that clinches the Pats another AFC East title by the end of October (fine, that may be a slight exaggeration, but not that much either, sadly).
While the Bills pulled an upset in Week 3 on the road against an NFC Super Bowl hopeful, I do NOT see a repeat, as they head to Lambeau Field for an inevitable loss. Rodgers will light up Buffalo and hopefully get an early day off (no saying he will, but the Packers need to get him more rest if they want to compete this season come playoff time). Not sure what to make of the Vikings and Rams, but I will opt for the Rams since they are at home, but I imagine that the Vikings will come out with more energy than they showed this past weekend. (and yes, I am STILL not completely sold on Cousins as a Top 5 QB in this league – those types CANNOT lose at home to the Bills, bottom line). The defending Super Bowl champs welcomes back Wentz and found themselves a week 3 victory over the Colts; the going will get tougher n the road against a game Titans team – I believe the lack of a running game will hurt the Eagles here, and Wentz is still finding his way after missing almost a year and not having the practice reps and time with the starting unit. My toss-up of the week is the MNF game in Denver; coming off a tough loss at Baltimore, I think the Broncos come home and take it to the Chiefs and hand them their first loss of the season. Mahomes has played too well and the Broncos have some players on D that can give the Chiefs trouble – I see Von and squad dialing up a solid D effort and forcing Mahomes into a couple of turnovers that swing this one.
Looking at spreads (new addition to the predictions sure to fail), I see a couple of serious PUSH potential opportunities with the Bears, Steelers, Patriots and Seahawks. The Steelers/Ravens rivalry is awesome, and tends to end in a tight final scores. The Bears offense (or lack thereof) is the only reason I am light on confidence and all the more concerned about a push here. Several of my picks come with high spreads (Packers, Jaguars, Chargers) – I am least concerned with the Packers of the 3, and then the Chargers. That Jets/Jags game however – this is the one that gives me pause (no, not due to my Jets fandom) – that Jaguar D is stacked and in all likelihood too much for Darnold to handle, much less succeed against. But the only other time there were NO expectations, he actually played well. We are back to 0 expectations – hence my moment for pause. I will go Jags by at least 10-11 point margin of victory in my mind, but this one just leaves me with little confidence (and my confidence index is only for the Straight Up picks for the moment)
BYE WEEK: Washington Redskins, Carolina Panthers
SU = Straight Up, ATS = Against the Spread
|Atul (SU)||Confidence (SU)||Atul (ATS)|
|Minnesota Vikings (1-1-1) at Los Angeles Rams (3-0)||Rams||11||Rams (-6.5)|
|Buffalo Bills (1-2) at Green Bay Packers (1-1-1)||Packers||14||Packers (-9.5)|
|New York Jets (1-2) at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1)||Jaguars||13||Jaguars (-7.5)|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) at Chicago Bears (2-1)||Bears||4||Bears (-3)|
|Philadelphia Eagles (2-1) at Tennessee Titans (2-1)||Titans||2||Titans (+4)|
|Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2)||Falcons||6||Falcons (-5.5)|
|Houston Texans (0-3) at Indianapolis Colts (1-2)||Colts||7||Colts (-1)|
|Detroit Lions (1-2) at Dallas Cowboys (1-2)||Lions||3||Lions (+3)|
|Miami Dolphins (3-0) at New England Patriots (1-2)||Patriots||12||Patriots (-7)|
|Seattle Seahawks (1-2) at Arizona Cardinals (0-3)||Seahawks||10||Seahawks (-3)|
|Cleveland Browns (1-2) at Oakland Raiders (0-3)||Raiders||1||Raiders (-2.5)|
|New Orleans Saints (2-1) at New York Giants (1-2)||Saints||9||Saints (-3.5)|
|San Francisco 49ers (1-2) at Los Angeles Chargers (1-2)||Chargers||15||Chargers (-10.5)|
|Baltimore Ravens (2-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1-1)||Steelers||5||Steelers (-3)|
|Kansas City Chiefs (3-0) at Denver Broncos (2-1)||Broncos||8||Broncos (+4.5)|