It was another tough week for the City of Champions staff picks. Matt Shetler, Zac Weiss and myself all went 7-8 while Matt Gajtka was one pick behind us.
It has been a strange start to the season for many. The Saints are 0-3 while the Cardinals are enjoying a 3-0 start. The Patriots, Steelers and Packers are all 1-2 as well. The first week of byes will give the Colts and the Steelers a week off. Maybe the return of the NFL union referees will bring us some better luck with our picks.
The seasons pick standings are:
Carolina at Atlanta
Matt Ryan is the hottest quarterback in the NFL right now. He has a 72 percent completion rate with 8 TDs and 1 INT. On the other side is Cam Newton who is struggling early this season. The lack of a running game has only added pressure to Newton’s struggles.
Falcons: Gajtka, Shetler, Weiss, Harding
New England at Buffalo
This is a pivotal game in the AFC East early in the season. The Pats are 1-2 while the Bills are enjoying a strong 2-1 start. C.J. Spiller has been the big story in Buffalo so far this season. He has a 9.3 yards-per-carry average after the first three games. Tom Brady on has four touchdowns, considered a slow start for the pro-bowler.
Patriots: Gajtka, Shetler, Harding
Minnesota at Detroit
No one expected the Vikings to be 2-1 while the Lions are 1-2 going into this game. Matt Stafford has had the work load put on his back due to a non-existing run game. On the other sideline Christian Ponder has done a great job of taking care of the football. A healthy Adrian Peterson is regaining his form as the season progresses.
Lions: Gajtka, Shetler, Harding
San Diego at Kansas City
These two quarterbacks have seven interceptions on the season combined. Luckily for Matt Cassel he has Jamal Charles to lean on. Charles has 323 yards in three games. This game will test the Chiefs O-Line as the Chargers have only allowed 67 yards per game on the ground.
Chiefs: Gajtka, Shetler, Harding
Seattle at St. Louis
A hotly debated referee’s call has the Seahawks coming off arguably Pete Carroll’s biggest win. The Hawks defensive pass rush was nothing short of stellar a week ago. More pressure will be applied to Sam Bradford and company this week in St. Louis. Seattle has won the last three match-ups in a row against the Rams.
Seahawks: Gajtka, Weiss, Harding
San Francisco at New York Jets
Darrelle Revis’ injury is the biggest injury in the NFL. While the Jets defense may struggle the 49ers defense is playing to their expectations. Mark Sanchez continues to struggle, only leading to more questions of when Tebow’s time will begin.
49ers: Shetler, Weiss, Harding
Tennessee at Houston
In many opinions the Texans are the best team in the league. They are averaging 150 yards per game on the ground while the Titans defense is currently allowing 150 yards per game on the ground. The Titans offensive run game is still non-existent as Jake Locker is still their leading rusher. Surprising considering how well the O-Line protects Locker.
Texans: Gajtka, Shetler, Weiss, Harding
Oakland at Denver
Both teams have one win coming into this game and both are against the Steelers. The Broncos played Atlanta and Houston in back to back weeks, two of the top teams in the NFL right now. The Raiders will look to build off of a big win at home on a Sebastian Janikowski 43-yard field goal.
Broncos: Gajtka, Shetler, Harding
Miami at Arizona
Ryan Tannehill has endured his share of growing pains and this week will be no different. The rookie has just 1 TD to 4 INTs. The Cardinals defense has been their guiding rail to success for a 3-0 start. The Cardinals will eventually have to get their running game going to remain undefeated.
Cardinals: Gajtka, Shetler, Weiss, Harding
Cincinnati at Jacksonville
Blaine Gabbert is just over 50 percent in completions, but has not thrown an interception yet this year. Maurice Jones-Drew is off to a fast start despite his preseason holdout. Both teams have been struggling on defense and will need to regain some confidence this week.
Bengals: Gajtka, Shetler, Weiss, Harding
New Orleans at Green Bay
Who would have thought the Saints would be 0-3 and the Packers would be 1-2 going into this game? Regardless of records this is still a monumental game for both teams. Both teams have elite quarterbacks, but have been lacking success in the run game. Green Bay will need to find a way to keep Aaron Rodgers on his feet to find success.
Packers: Gajtka, Shetler, Weiss
Washington at Tampa Bay
This may be the Bucs opportunity to get the offensive side of the ball rolling. They have struggled throwing the ball where the Redskins have allowed a league-high 10 TD passes. This could be an offensive shoot out as Robert Griffin III has used his legs as a big weapon for the Skins.
Bucs: Shetler, Weiss, Harding
New York Giants at Philadelphia
The Giants can’t afford to start the season 0-2 in the NFC East, but play a tough Philly team on the road. Michael Vick has played as I expected, but he always plays tough against division opponents. As if this game needed more fuel to the fire LeSean McCoy and Osi Umenyiora have some things to work out.
Eagles: Gajtka, Harding
Giants: Shetler, Weiss
Chicago at Dallas
Jay Cutler has been below par for any veteran quarterback. This week doesn’t get any easier for him as the Cowboys defense has been stout against the pass. If Tony Romo can possess the ball it’s the Cowboys’ game to lose on prime time.
Cowboys: Gajtka, Shetler, Weiss, Harding