The NFL 2009 season is moving along as Week 3 is already upon us. It looks like a much different season as usual than the previous season. We are already seeing new powerhouses, new fantasy football studs, and some offenses are starting to come alive. It is now that you will truly begin to see who the contenders and pretenders are.
Either Mark Sanchez is the next coming of God in New York or someone has played a cruel joke on Jets fans. This kid is for real. I was convinced in the Titans game he was for real no matter what happened last week. He didn’t put up huge numbers, but once again he was money on third down. Give me a quarterback who can keep cool under that kind of pressure than a fantasy football hero who chokes in the big one or as I like to call it, a “Romo.”
The Jets are once again in the spotlight this week. The Tennessee Titans come to New York/Jersey in what has to be the AFC Game of the Week. The Titans started last season 10-0 and were sure locks to get to the AFC title game. Oh how things can change in one season (just ask Dolphins fans.) The Titans are now 0-2 and are done if they lose to the Jets. The way the schedule breaks down, the Titans are playing for their season in Week 3 on Sunday.
The Jets gave the Titans their first loss season. The Titans are obviously struggling without Hayneworth and a new defensive coordinator. The irony of it all is that the offense is playing much better thus far than they did last year. The Jets are in a tough position here. The Jets just came off of their Super Bowl beating the Patriots last week at home. This could be a bit of a letdown game for the team. That and the Titans desperation are pushing me towards the direction of a Titans win.
Fun NFL Week 3 Camelclutchblog.com Fact- No 0-3 NFL team has ever gone to the Super Bowl. It has been 11 years since any 0-3 NFL team has even made the playoffs.
Speaking of trap games, I am scared to death as an Eagles fan of the Kansas City Chiefs game coming to town. The 0-2 Chiefs come to Lincoln Financial Field to take on the 1-1 Eagles. The Eagles were embarrassed last week by the Saints at home. I can’t remember a home loss that bad since Indy came to town a few years back and Peyton torched us for four quarters. Matt Cassel isn’t torching anyone, but there aren’t too many weapons left to carry the flame for the Eagles either.
In addition to all of the injuries leading up to the regular season, the Eagles are faced with missing Brian Westbrook, Donovan cNabb, and DeSean Jackson. Yes, only the three most important offensive components to the team may not play. Kevin Kolb is likely to get the start once again in place of McNabb. Oh but don’t worry Philly fans, we get Michael Vick and the Wild Cat!
I see disaster written all over this game for the Eagles. There are just too many new players on offense that are bound to make mistakes. As for Vick, did anyone watch that Jets pre season game? Maybe Vick gets back to form by the end of the season, but his legs and his arm just aren’t there. Unless he swallowed the Michael Vick 2004 pill in the last three weeks, I can’t see anything being different in just a few weeks.
A fun game to watch this weekend will likely be the Indianapolis Colts vs. Arizona Cardinals. Peyton showed up everyone including his little brother’s Sunday heroics with his performance on Monday night. It’s one thing for Drew Brees to throw up 5 touchdowns every week, but it is another to do it coming from behind. Manning just makes it look so easy, including opening up the game last Monday with an 11-second, 1-play scoring drive. Manning put on a show in Miami and is bound to do the same thing in Arizona.
Arizona is 1-1 and the Cards far from the offensive machine that they were last year. There are grumblings about Fitzgerald being upset with Warner, Boldin is always crying, and their running game is once again in doubt. Kurt Warner just doesn’t seem like himself this year. Warner admitted not being 100% going into the season. Obviously he is still hurting on Sundays. Warner’s dinks and dunks aren’t going to be enough to get it done against the Colts. The Colts showed their weakness against the run Monday, but the Cardinals don’t have a strong enough running game to take advantage of it.
An interesting game to keep an eye on is the rival game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals showed me a lot last week by coming back after that heart breaker in Denver. Opening up on the road is never easy in the NFL. Playing your first two games in Denver and Green Bay is damn near torture. The Bengals came away 1-1 and have a chance to take a big step on Sunday against the Steelers.
The Steelers are a really hard team to read. Their rushing defense will probably be the best in the NFL this season. Yet, they had a real hard time stopping Jay Cutler in the air last week. They are playing arguably the best quarterback they have played all season. The Steelers are also going to see a re-born Cedric Benson who tore it up for 141 last week. The Steelers may be without safety Tyrone Carter in addition to Troy Polamalu this Sunday. If the Bengals are for real, they will show it this Sunday in their home-opener.
It must be Christmas, because I get the Dallas Cowboys in prime time for a second week in a row. The only thing better than watching Tony Romo choke is having all eyes on the game with no other games being played. The Cowboys Carnival is open for business once again on Monday as the Carolina Panthers come to town. I don’t think there is anybody else playing this weekend that has more pressure on them than Tony Romo or Wade Phillips.
The Panthers lost last week, but bounced back from a terrible opener against the Eagles. Jake Delhomme put up some numbers last week with 300-plus on the Falcons. Yet once again for Panthers fans, Jake throws a crucial interception on fourth down. DeAngelo Williams seems to be running fine, but their quarterback is killing them. The Panthers defense also played a part in the loss last week. The Falcons were able to convert two critical fourth down plays on the Carolina defense. This game on Monday night is purely a toss up.
Fantasy Fix - Ride the hot hand and keep Matt Schaub in the game. I panicked last week and cost myself about 30 points by sitting him. All reports indicate he is either fully or close to over the ankle injury. The Texans have the Jacksonville Jaguars who have one of the worst passing defenses in the league.
You saw what Dallas Clark did to the Miami defense on Monday night. Antonio Gates gets the same defense this Sunday. I know
Gates has started out slow, but you can’t ask for a better matchup to get your star tight end back on track.
Greg Jennings is another guy bound to have a great day on Sunday. Jason Campbell had opportunities against the Rams and so will Aaron Rogers. I see a big day out of that Packers offense specifically Jennings, Don Driver, and Aaron Rogers.
Fantasy Sleeper - There are some great sleeper wide receivers out there on the waiver wire. I tend to believe that Mario Manningham is more than a one-week wonder. The Giants are just waiting for one of their receivers to step up. Eli has been looking for that one guy to lock in since Burress left. Until he blows a big play, I believe that Manningham is that guy. On top of that, you couldn’t ask for a better matchup than the Tampa Bay defense.
If you are a gambler, I like Pierre Garcon on the Colts this Sunday. Peyton has a great matchup with the Arizona defense. Arizona is a team on the verge of an implosion if you read the Arizona papers. Manning is bound to have a big game and Garcon is likely to see some looks this Sunday.
Finally, I am loving me some Ricky Williams off of the waiver wire. Ricky isn’t a starter, but if you have L.T. or another back on the shelf and are desperate, Ricky isn’t a bad pickup. After watching that game Monday night, it is obvious that Ricky will get his touches.
Hey, I may have had Schaub wrong last week but I was right on Larry Johnson, Trent Edwards, Jeremy Shockey, and Joe Flacco.
I broke even last week with an overall 8-8 week on my picks. I am 20-12 overall on the season straight-up. Now for the Week 3 Picks (Picks in BOLD) -
Washington Redskins at Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers at St. Louis Rams
San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots
Tennessee Titans at NY Jets
Kansas City Chiefs at Philadelphia Eagles
NY Giants at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans
New Orleans Saints at Buffalo Bills
Chicago Bears at Seattle Seahawks
Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
Indianapolis Colts at Arizona Cardinals
Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys
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