Wednesday, September 21, 2016

NFL 2016-17 Season Week Three Predictions & MNF Review

Monday Night Football - Philadelphia 29, Chicago 14 - Well, it looks like it is going to be another long season for Bears fans in the Midwest. Quarterback Jay Cutler was injured in his throwing hand, and once again, his future is in question. Will he return to the Bears later this season? Or perhaps, the question should be, will he really ever be the starting quarterback for Chicago ever again? In the meantime, Carson Wentz was impressive once again as he threw for 190 yards and a touchdown, helping Philadelphia to wear down and beat the Chicago Bears 29-14 at Soldier Field on a nationally televised game. The win allows the Eagles to remain as one of the eight teams in the league who are still unbeaten at this point. 

Predictions for Week Three:

(Thursday Night) Houston at New England - This is a tough one to predict. Houston is playing well, but never in their history have they managed to defeat New England! That said, the Patriots not only will not have their regular starting quarterback for this game, but they will have a rookie third string at the helm! The question, then, is how will this impact the game? Last week, the Patriots allowed Miami to get back in it after taking what seemed like a nearly insurmountable lead, and it seems safe to say that the Texans are tougher than Miami. However, New England still has Belichick, and my guess is that he will have something solid designed specifically for this game, which may be the game of the week, even though it is the earliest game. A battle of unbeatens early in the season, but only one team can walk away with a perfect record. My guess is that Belichick will come up with some game plan or other to put New England past Houston. My pick: New England

Baltimore at Jacksonville - The Ravens are not exactly destroying the opposition so far, but they are winning. In the meantime, the Jaguars look eerily reminiscent of the inept teams that have fielded this team's colors in the recent past, and so it is hard to predict anything but a tough Ravens road victory in what is most likely an ugly and low-scoring affair. My pick: Baltimore

Detroit at Green Bay - Last year, the Lions ended a losing streak at Lambeau that was approaching a quarter of a century. Prior to that, they had not won a game in Green Bay since the first President Bush was in office. However, they earned a tough road victory against their longtime tormentors. If they are to do that again, however, they will need to put on their A-game. None of the nonsense that they allowed in that home loss last week to Tennessee. The Packers also need to rebound from a painful loss at Minnesota. The offense has looked sluggish, although they are finally going to get the opportunity to play at home. That alone should help the Pack carry this one. My pick: Green Bay

Washington at NY Giants - The Giants are off to a very good 2-0 start. They enjoyed their first undefeated start with a road opening game since 1999 with a win at Dallas, and they managed to pull it off last weekend at home against New Orleans. Right now, Washington, the defending division champs, are struggling, having been blown out by Pittsburgh and then losing at home again to Dallas. They need a win in the worst way. However, the Giants are playing as well as they can, and if the defense holds Washington's offense in check, I see my G-Men moving up to a superb 3-0 start. My pick: NY Giants

Cleveland at Miami - Two 0-2 teams square off. The Browns flirted with victory last week, but ultimately, could not seal the deal. The Dolphins also came relatively close to victory, fighting their way back from a huge hole to make a game of it up in New England, but just ran out of time. Miami is home in this one, and let's just say it - they are the better team. This game should belong to the Dolphins. My pick: Miami

Denver at Cincinnati - Another very good match-up for Week 2! These were both not only playoff teams, but division winners last season! The Bengals, however, have a history of losing the big games, and right now, there is no bigger game for them than this one. With the Steelers and Ravens both off to hot starts, Cincinnati absolutely is in a must-win situation in order to stay on the heels of those two teams. However, the Broncos still have what sure appears to be the best defense in the league, and they will need to bring their A-game to Ohio to pull this one off. Still, my suspicions are that they will do just that. My pick: Denver

Minnesota at Carolina - The Vikings have surprised quite a few people, including yours truly, with their hot 2-0 start so far. They beat the Titans on the road, and then managed to hold off their toughest division rival on Sunday night. However, going to Carolina presents all sorts of new challenges, and although they have been impressive thus far, this seems like a bit too much for Minnesota to handle, especially given the question marks regarding star running back Adrian Petersen. The Panthers looked like they really caught fire in the second half against San Francisco last week, despite some mistakes. It is hard to imagine that the Panthers will not have enough to get past the Vikings this weekend. My pick: Carolina

Oakland at Tennessee - The Raiders dropped a great chance to raise their record to 2-0 last weekend with a stringing loss to Atlanta, a team that they probably should have beaten. Now, they go up against a rejuvenated Titans team that has to be super charged after an exciting road win at Detroit. Still, Oakland has some weapons, and should keep this game very close, so that this one could be anybody's ball game. Either team could win, although I will go with the home team. My pick: Tennessee

Arizona at Buffalo - The Bills are 0-2, and really would like to avoid falling to 0-3. They need this game, and they do have home field advantage. However, the Cardinals are an excellent team, and this game is being played in the warmth of September, and not the frigid Buffalo winter in a few months. Plus, the Cardinals are still stinging a bit from the New England loss, and need to try and jump ahead of the rest of the NFC West. All of that means bad news for the Bills, who likely will not generate much offense against Arizona's tough defense. My pick: Arizona

Los Angeles at Tampa Bay - The Rams started off the season with a huge disappointment by laying an egg up in San Francisco, but they pulled off a huge victory against Seattle in the first regular season game in Los Angles in over two decades. So, which Rams team will show up in Tampa Bay? For that matter, the Bucs also have been as inconsistent as a team can be after two weeks, beating the Falcons in Atlanta, then getting absolutely crushed in Arizona. Another tough game that is too close to call going in, although I will go ahead and say the Rams will manage to do it. My pick: Los Angeles

San Francisco at Seattle - The Seahawks have looked like anything but the elite team that they are still supposed to be. They really had to hang on at home against the Dolphins, and then got beat down offensively in Los Angeles. Seattle has only allowed 19 points defensively (although they had a big lapse late in the fourth against Miami), but the Seahawks also have only managed to score 15 points thus far. But something tells me that they are about to remedy that at home against San Francisco. The 49ers had a very impressive win to start, and they have scored a lot of points thus far, but this will be their toughest test offensively. My pick: Seattle

San Diego at Indianapolis - The Colts are really struggling so far, while San Diego is soaring, having very nearly pulled off an upset up in Kansas City, and then absolutely crushing Jacksonville last week. That makes this yet another difficult game to predict. The Colts surely are better than their 0-2 record suggests, although the Chargers have been playing some lights out football. Then again, this game is at Indy, and the Colts need home field advantage for this one. Would not be surprised no matter who wins this one. Still, I am going with the hotter team. My pick: San Diego 

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia - The battle of the Pennsylvania teams. The Steelers are red hot, and their offense in particular is on fire. As for the Eagles, this was supposed to be a rebuilding season, but they have already surprised quite a few people with their impressive 2-0 start. However, Philly beat Cleveland and Chicago, neither of which are real powerhouses in the league. Pittsburgh, in the meantime, looks like a very legitimate contender, which has to make them to favorite to take this cross-state rivalry for this season. My pick: Pittsburgh

NY Jets at Kansas City - The Jets got their first victory of the season at Buffalo last week, and have had an extra bit of rest to prepare for this weekend in KC. In the meantime, the Chiefs are not looking nearly as good as many (myself included) expected. Still, Arrowhead Stadium remains one of the toughest places to play, so it will be a tall order for New York to pull off the upset. My guess is that the Chiefs defense will stifle the Jets offense, and Kansas City will eke out another win. My pick: Kansas City

Chicago at Dallas - The Bears are off to an awful start, while the Cowboys are looking to build on last week's win at Washington - only their second win without Romo at the helm in the last three years or so. With the uncertainty concerning Chicago's quarterback position, mixed with the generally poor play of the Bears thus far, this is a golden opportunity for Dallas to take advantage and earn a winning record. For their sake, they had better not miss this one. My pick: Dallas

MNF - Atlanta at New Orleans - The Falcons are about to enter a stretch of very tough games, so they need all of the victories that they can get. The Saints, however, are at home, have lost two close games, and need this victory themselves. Plus, they have a history of beating the Falcons in important games in recent years. Brees may not be what he once was, but he still can be dangerous, and so I will predict a tight game, with the Saints pulling it off in the end for their first victory of this season. My pick - New Orleans


  1. The Jets defeat K.C. by the slimmest of margins, pulling off a 21-20 upset of the Chiefs at Arrowhead. You heard it here first. I'm so confident of this that I'm willing to bet the entirety of S├ębastien's allowance (previous and future earnings combined) on it.

  2. Tough crowd... But I'm actually serious about thinking the Jets have a real shot at beating K.C.

  3. I believe that they can, as well. The Chiefs have looked vulnerable this season, and do not look much like the dangerous team that won 11 in a row and then gave the Patriots all that they could handle in New England in the playoffs. But the Jets have to give it their A game to win. Tough road game nonetheless.