Editor Russ Loede’s NFL Picks for Week 3

Anquan Bolden

Last Week: 7-8-1

Season: 11-18-3

Indianapolis (-4.5) over Houston
Indy defense will put on a show this week and Andre Johnson being out will be vital.  Manning and Co. will be too much to handle for an overrated Houston team that is not as good as people think they are.  Wayne and Harrison both go for a score and Addai has a field day, while Schaub throws 3 picks.

San Diego (-5.5) over Green Bay
Tomlinson has a clinic and rebounds after a bad couple of games.  G.B. keeps it close until start of the 4th and then Chargers will breakaway with timely defense and effective Red Zone attack, led by Gates and L.T.  Favre will be hurried all day and the better running game/team prevails easily.

Kansas City (-3) over Minnesota
K.C. showed me something last week by hanging in there with the Bears.  Chiefs Larry Johnson has two short-yardage TD’s as the defense makes a difference.  Chiefs will prove this game to be a no-contest, as the Home Field gets to Minnesota, while Huard is sharp.

Philadelphia (Pick) over Detroit
Eagles get the first win of the year, finally coming through in the clutch, by passing their way by a shaky, roarless Lions secondary.  Westbrook gets the ball more and McNabb throws for 3 scores, as team does not settle for FG’s.  Philly’s defense holds Lions to under 14 points and Eagles control the clock, as they win the key, turnover battle.  They start a long road, to the Super Bowl route towards Glendale.

New England (-14.5) over Buffalo
Patriots go out and whoop Bills to prove to the rest of the NFL they are head and shoulders, far and above, and second to none this season.  Brady throws for 4 TD’s, two again to Moss, while Maroney runs to daylight, exceeding the century mark.  Pats D is stout and holds Buffalo without a touchdown again, while sacking them 9 times.

N.Y. Jets (-3) over Miami
It will not matter who starts at QB (vote for Clemens) for New York because Miami is in total disarray.  Jets showed me they’re still the tough, resilient playoff team from last year.  Vilma and Rhodes lead a defensive onslaught, while passing attack clicks, passing it’s way by a horrible Miami pass D.  Run game adds a short plunge for TD late, sealing game and second place in the AFC East.

Pittsburgh (-8) over 49ers
49ers were the most impressive team last week because of their comeback style of perseverance in a win over St. Louis.  Steelers, on the other hand, were the most dominant, and they’re at home, where they will be too strong for Gore and Co.  Smith will throw 3 int’s and Roethlisberger will go for over 250.  Parker runs for 200 + yards, while Steelers prove that this game is the biggest blowout of the week, making their case for best team in the NFL.

Arizona (+8) over Baltimore
Baltimore is too shaky on offense at QB (whoever plays) and Leinart is coming into his own.  I expect Cards to shock Ravens and win outright, by 10 points or more.  The Arizona Offensive Attack will be too much for a Baltimore defense that is vulnerable to the deep ball/aerial attack.  James will be good enough and Cardinals defense surprises, with a solid effort, leading the way with All-Pro’s Karlos Dansby, Adrian Wilson, and Darnell Dockett making big plays.   Arizona controls the line of scrimmage and set the tempo/tone early in the battle up-front.

St. Louis (+3.5) over Tampa
Tricky game, I don’t like either team here, so I’ll go with a T.B. Bucs win by 3.  Rams cover the spread and take lead, only to lose it to a Matt Bryant FG in the waning seconds of the game.  Contest goes down to the wire and Galloway and Carnell “Coupe deVille” Williams prove to be the difference.  Rams coaching is awful and the Bucs defense is good enough to win, showing me that last week when I picked against ’em.  So it should be a sloppy game (Bucs style) and I expect Tampa to pull it out at home, with St. Louis covering.

Denver (-3) over Jacksonville
Denver, being the least impressive of the 2-0 teams, squares off against the worst, and very unimpressive 1-1 team.  Broncos show their “true” selves, by reeling in a big win over a punch-less Jags squad.  Broncos run their way to over 200 yards and Cutler rebounds with a spectactular performance.  Denver is a Super Bowl Contender and Jacksonville is a contender for a Top 5 Draft pick.  I expect Jags to be without a touchdown and Denver to score at least 24 points.  This is a total mismatch on the field, if I ever saw one before.

Cincinnati (+3) over Seattle
Both of the teams let games slip away at the end, so I’m going against my “gut” feeling, which has got me in some trouble before, and I’m taking Carson Palmer’s Bengals.  Seattle lacks a killer instinct, as shown last week, and Cincy rebounds and gets the running game on track, while T.J. Houshmandzadeh (no need to Spell Check) scores and hands the ball to the ref’s – the professional/right way.

Oakland (-3) over Cleveland
Raiders get a win for the first time in ’07, while LaMont Jordan goes bananas (slipped in there…)  Oakland’s tough pass defense is good enough, as Culpepper relieves McCown to a comeback win by 7.  Oakland has the blueprint to win this game, attacking Cleveland early and often, keeping the ball, with a big T.O.P. (Time of Possession) advantage.  Edge goes to Oakland because they will be too hungry to let this one get away from them, responding to the home crowd for the first, last, and only time this year, Sorry Cleveland fans!

Carolina (-4) over Atlanta
Enamored by this game only if Leftwich is signed and plays…   Intriguing because I do not like Panthers (except for Julius Peppers, Chris Gamble, and Chris Harris) team and chances this year.  Getting blown out at home, giving up 34 unanswered, to another overrated squad, is too funny…  Running game is very inconsistent and Delhomme is too erratic (Bring in David Carr!), game can go either way if the “good” and aggressive Atlanta defense shows up to play.  Though, in the end, Steve Smith and the best defensive player in the game, Julius Peppers, (tremendous play – 3 sacks, 2 FF’s and a TD) will keep team in line to result in a win, proving to be the difference.   Atlanta’s only chance (too easy), like I expressed it last week is:
Jerious Norwood.

Washington (Pick) over New York
Washington is better than most people think and their defense will give N.Y. and QB Eli Manning fits.  Giants run game went to sleep early last week and Washington will be more effective, led by a strong passing attack/connection of Jason Campbell (emerging) to Cooley and Santana Moss.  ‘Skins take this game by the middle of the 3rd and pour it on.  Washington’s run game controls/eats up clock and wins by 17 or more.  New York scores only once and ‘Skins are 3-0, atop the NFC East.  Game opens many eyes as this defense is one of the best.

Dallas (+3) over Chicago
I should’ve picked against my BEARS last week (that’s why I don’t like Picks), but I just could not vs. K.C.  If I did and they wiped ’em out, that would’ve been really bad to stomach.  I have a feeling and overall awareness/sense of this match-up because I know the Bears offense is at a very low, while the Dallas offensive attack is at its best, the highest of highs right now, maybe unstoppable, especially with the lead.  Edge goes to ‘boys because of their style of play, balance, and they’re on a roll, period (plain and simple).  Bears keep game close until the 4th, losing at home Sunday Nite in SOLDIER Field.  Barber, Romo, Owens, Witten, and DeMarcus Ware prove to be too much for Chicago, winning by 10.  Check out more about this game, with my insight and analysis, for the preview of this showdown, and for why I choose who I chose ~

New Orleans (-5) over Tennessee
I loved the TITANS play/effort last week, as they just missed beating the defending SB Champs.  Tennessee has a lot to look foward here – look for Vince Young to have a very strong, gutsy performance, both rushing (over 100 and TD) and passing the ball (over 200 and a TD), but it will not be enough for the Superdomers.  McAllister gets the ball more and Bush gets on-track, while Brees goes for over 350 and 4 TD’s.  Saints are brilliant at home and Titans cannot match that type of offensive firepower just yet.  Look for a great battle and it’s a Must-See/Watch Game of the Year, in terms of Offense and points.  N.O. by 13 or more points in this contest.

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