Jazz: Ah, what can be said about week 3? There’s good news and bad news. The former is that I had another decent week of prognostication, going 5-2 again, bringing my early season total to 12-9. The bad news is that part of my good fortune was picking against Ed’s Steelers. The even worse news was my Jets and an almost equally bad outing, but let’s put that rather unpleasant bit of history behind us and focus on the positive.
Ed: Thanks to another 3-4 week, I’m now underwater for the first time in two seasons at 10-11. For me, last week was more of a bad news/bad news kind of week. The Steelers get stomped, suddenly I’m below .500, and it’s not looking too cheery this week, either. Better news: within the next couple of weeks, I’ll be watching these games in my new sun room. Assuming that doesn’t go underwater, too.
Jazz: The Jets need to find a path to claw their way back from an ugly beating by the Chiefs and they’ll have to do it by hosting the Seattle Seahawks. (1:00 pm, FOX) The Jets are a slim 1.5 pt underdog, but Russell Wilson now has a leg which resembles a pretzel. If Fitz can get his stride back (and I’m betting he can) the Jets will pull out an upset in a defensive battle 17-10. The Steelers play the late game (8:30 pm, NBC) hosting the Chiefs. Pittsburgh is a five point favorite and should be served well in their running game as Kansas City will have trouble figuring out the puzzle of Le’Veon Bell, the league’s most productive running back thus far. I’ll go with the favorite here and pick Pittsburgh 24-21. Finally, the Vikings are the Monday night feature (8:30 pm, ESPN) welcoming the Giants. New York is looking pretty good at 2-1 with both Eli Manning and Victor Cruz back in form, but it won’t be enough to win on the road. The Vikes stay undefeated and beat the Giants 21-15.
Ed: All right, back to business — and hopefully back to winning. Kansas City comes to visit Steeltown, and the good news is that the Steelers are ranked a shade higher than the Chiefs on offense — but KC has a better ranked defense. Nevertheless, Pittsburgh gets Le’Veon Bell back, and are hungry for some redemption. Steelers 21-17 over the Chiefs. Seattle got humiliated by the LA Rams a couple of weeks ago, but they’re playing a bit better now, especially on defense. Seahawks 24-13 over the Jets. Can anyone stop the Vikings these days? They’re playing super-tough D — third in points allowed — while the Giants O scores about as many points as Minnesota’s. Vikings 21-16 over the Giants.
Jazz: We should still get seven games in so here are four more.
- Raiders at Ravens (1:00 pm, CBS) – Baltimore is undefeated and comes into this game a 3.5 point favorite, and the Raiders have to jet lag their way across country. Everything is in the favor of the Ravens, but in a pleasant surprise for Ed, I smell a bad day coming for Joe Flacco. I’ll take Oakland in a closely fought upset 30-27, possibly in O.T.
- Panthers at Falcons (1:00 pm, FOX) – Carolina started slow at 1-2 while Atlanta leads their division at 2-1. Still, that’s more a difference of schedules. The Falcons have posted better offensive performances but this one will come down to the D. I’ll take Carolina in another close match 31-28.
- Lions at Bears (1:00 pm, FOX) – I’m picking this NFC North rivalry just to see who will be the least bad… 1-2 Detroit or 0-3 Chicago. We aren’t even sure who the Bears will have under center, but so much has gone wrong for them I’m feeling sentimental. I’ll cross my fingers and pick Chicago to finally pick up their first win 34-28 in an upset.
- Cowboys at 49ers (4:25 pm, FOX) – The Boys are on a 2 game winning streak and frankly I’d just like to see the 49ers lose. Without much more logic than that I’ll take the Cowboys for a road win 21-17.
- Raiders at Ravens (1:00 pm, CBS) – Oakland scores a lot of points, but gives up a lot, too. Baltimore doesn’t score as often, but their defense is stingier. I gotta root against the Ravens, but … I think defense wins here, especially at home. Ravens 19, Raiders 14 — but I’ll hope to lose that prediction.
- Panthers at Falcons (1:00 pm, FOX) – Atlanta scores the most points in the league with the fifth-worst D on points allowed. Carolina’s D is much stingier, but their offense hasn’t really scored a lot of points. I’ll go with the home team again — Falcons 34-27 in a shootout.
- Lions at Bears (1:00 pm, FOX) – Chicago and Detroit cough up almost the same amount of points per game on defense, but Detroit scores twelve points more a game than Chicago. I’ll skip home-field advantage this time and pick the Lions to win, 27-17.
- Cowboys at 49ers (4:25 pm, FOX) – Dallas edges San Francisco on offense by 1.4 points per game, and their defense is a touchdown better, too. Plus, like Jazz, I’d just like to see the 49ers get beat … if I’d bother to watch their games at all, which I won’t. Cowboys 27-20 over the Whiners.