Week 2 looked promising on paper before the games started, but that wasn’t the case for most of our picks. Matt Gajtka had a good week picking home dogs for a 10-5 week (20-10). Matt Shetler finished last week 8-7 (19-11). Zac Weiss was 7-8 in Week 2 (17-13). I trail in last place for the week and season totals with a 6-9 (16-14).
No one ever said picking the NFL was easy, as our records will show it is not.
Here are Week 3’s picks:
St. Louis at Chicago
Jay Cutler didn’t hesitate to call out his offensive line last Thursday in the loss to the Packers. How they respond will be the big question. Sam Bradford has completed nearly 72 percent of his passes this season and Danny Amendola already has 20 receptions on the season.
Bears: Shetler, Gajtka, Weiss, Harding
Buffalo at Cleveland
Two weeks into the season and it’s C.J. Spiller leading the NFL in rushing with 292 yards. The Bills defense made a great stride in the right direction last week with five sacks against the Chiefs. Cleveland has played two close games, but will have to rely on Brandon Weeden to continue to build on his last performance.
Bills: Shetler, Weiss, Harding
Tampa Bay at Dallas
I love the fight that Greg Schiano brings to One Buc. Tom Coughlin may not have been a fan, but that’s part of the game. That said, it doesn’t provide an immediate solution to a not-so-good defense. Tony Romo will look to pick apart that unit that gave up 25 points in the fourth quarter, a coach’s nightmare.
Dallas: Shetler, Gajtka, Weiss, Harding
NY Jets at Miami
A defining week comes early to Ryan Tannehill’s rookie season against the division rival Jets. Last week the Fins killed parlays all across the country. Tannehill threw for 200 yards, didn’t turn the ball over and Reggie Bush ran for 172 yards. The Jets, on the other hand, are coming off a crushing loss to the Steelers. Last week New York was 4 for 12 on third down. Tebow time?
Jets: Weiss, Harding
Dolphins: Shetler, Gajtka
San Francisco at Minnesota
The 49ers arguably just beat the two toughest teams on their schedule in the first two weeks. Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman are just on a different level right now. They played Aaron Rodgers then Matthew Stafford and now Christian Ponder. Ponder currently leads the league with nearly a 76 percent completion rate.
49ers: Shetler, Weiss, Harding
Kansas City at New Orleans
Would anyone have guessed both of these teams would start 0-2? Both teams have given up a league high 75 points through two games. Steve Spagnuolo and the Saints will be relieved to see a pocket passer again after playing RGIII and Cam Newton. However, the Chiefs averaged 6.3 yards per carry last week and will make the run game a focal point.
Saints: Shetler, Gajtka, Weiss, Harding
Cincinnati at Washington
You have to respect what both teams are trying to accomplish in this game. Both teams have young quarterbacks with a good receiving core around them. The Bengals defense has yet to come close to their expectations for this season. They have allowed an average of 435 yards per game so far. For the Skins defense more trouble came on Tuesday when they were forced to place Brian Orakpo on the IR.
Bengals: Shetler, Weiss
Redskins: Gajtka, Harding
Detroit at Tennessee
Fun fact: Jake Locker leads the team with 32 rushing yards. Chris Johnson’s 1.1 yards per carry average has nowhere to go but up. The bigger story is the fact that Detroit is hungry. They took one on the chin from the 49ers and need a big bounce-back win. Titus Young only has two receptions on the season; he will get more touches very soon.
Lions: Shetler, Gajtka, Weiss, Harding
Jacksonville at Indianapolis
Andrew Luck is on pace to throw for over 4,000 yards. I know, it’s only two games into the season, but Indy fans need to be excited for something. The Jags offense was held to a mere 117 total yards against the Texans last week. Blaine Gabbert’s time to play up or play out is coming in the near future after finishing with only 53 yards last week.
Colts: Shetler, Gajtka, Weiss, Harding
Philadelphia at Arizona
Both of these teams are 2-0 and not many would have predicted that based on their schedules. The Eagles have nine turnovers in two games, which they won by one point each. The Cardinals defense has nine sacks on the season and the Eagles just lost Jason Kelce with a knee injury for the season.
Eagles: Shetler, Gajtka, Harding
Atlanta at San Diego
Matt Ryan has been nothing short of spectacular to start the season, with 518 yards, 5 TDs and no INTs. The Falcons are committed to the pass game which should make Michael Turner more effective, but he is only averaging 2.6 yards per carry. Philip Rivers is right behind Ponder in completion rate at 74 percent. The run game will be the deciding factor in this one.
Falcons: Shetler, Weiss, Harding
Houston at Denver
No team in the NFL runs the zone-blocking scheme as well as the Texans. The combination of Ben Tate and Arian Foster are unlike any other currently on any roster. This will be a great test for the Broncos defense that faltered a week ago in Atlanta. Peyton Manning’s bounce back will be crucial as well as the Broncos pass rush.
Texans: Shetler, Gajtka, Harding
Pittsburgh at Oakland
Both coaches stressed their disappointment in their ability to run the ball so far this season. The focus will be in the trenches for both teams. The Steelers are still without Harrison and Polamalu, but played very well last week against the Jets. The Raiders secondary will need to play at their best as they are banged up too.
Steelers: Shetler, Gajtka, Weiss, Harding
New England at Baltimore
Both of these teams are coming off of tough loses last week. They both know how to bounce back, especially with the importance of this game. The Ravens need to find a way to get Torrey Smith more touches as he has a 27-yard per reception average. The Patriots have to keep hammering the ball with Stevan Ridley to open the Ravens secondary. Ridley has a 5.0 yards per carry average.
Patriots: Gajtka, Weiss
Ravens: Shetler, Harding
Green Bay at Seattle
The Packers came off a tough loss to the 49ers with a strong showing against the Bears on a short week. Green Bay will need to slow down Marshawn Lynch to put more pressure on rookie QB Russell Wilson. The Seahawks defense has allowed only 46 rushing yards per game, giving them the versatility to play more nickel against Aaron Rodgers.
Packers: Shetler, Weiss, Harding