Bobby’s NFL Picks: Week 3September 23rd, 2012 | Posted by in Sports
Last Week: 4-1
Philadelphia (2-0) at Arizona (2-0)
Few thought Kevin Kolb would be the starter for the Cardinals after being beaten out by John Skelton for the job. Even fewer could believe that Kolb would lead Arizona to a 2-0 start against teams that have strong playoffs aspirations. But opportunity can change any situation quickly. Kolb remembers this ever so well going against his former team, where his injury gave Michael Vick the opportunity to shine. Now a few years later, both players try to keep their teams undefeated. The Cardinals have got this far by using an aggressive, playmaking defense to keep opponents off balance while depending on Kolb to manage the game and not turn the ball over. The Eagles have utilized a similar attacking defense but Vick has made big plays to offset a multitude of turnovers. Defensive dominance will decide this game, with Philly putting the pressure on Kolb to force him into turnovers which its offense will not be able to recover from. Arizona may do the same to Vick, but the Eagles will be able to overcome them.
Eagles 24, Cardinals 18
Atlanta (2-0) at San Diego (2-0)
Do you believe in the Falcons or Chargers? Both teams have good but not great quarterbacks, usually go over .500 to make the playoffs, then crash out in spectacular fashion. Now can they take the next step this year? Matty Ice thinks the Falcons can. Atlanta’s new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter has opened up the offense, focusing on the pass and giving Ryan the freedom to call more plays from the no-huddle. This combined with the Falcons’ cornucopia of offensive weapons has Ryan leading the league in passer rating through two games. Philip Rivers is going through his same old story: limited offensive talent with serious injury problems combined with a weak offensive line. Despite this, the Chargers are 2-0 because of Rivers’ leadership and a dominating defense under new coordinator John Pagano. Turmoil surrounding Michael Turner’ DUI, the Falcons traveling across of the country on a short week, and the Chargers’ crushing run D all point in favor of the home team. But I am starting to believe in Matty Ice and the creative scheming of the Falcons’ defense. After Sunday, you might start believing too.
Falcons 27, Chargers 24
Houston (2-0) at Denver (1-1)
It’s hard not to get caught in a little overreaction theater when you watched Peyton Manning get a tremendous victory in week 1 over the Steelers. But if last week showed us anything, one week does not a season make. The rust is still there for Peyton, especially early in games. The Broncos can’t have a slow start if they want to compete against the Texans. Houston is the only NFL team to start the past 3 seasons 2-0, although they have never turned it into 3-0. The Texans have picked up where they left off last year with one of the most dominating defenses and rushing attacks in the league. Now that Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are back from injury, teams can’t focus on the run. While the Texans have been great, they have done it versus weak competition in Miami and Jacksonville. Denver will give them a bigger challenge. Peyton bounces back slightly but will have to do more bouncing up off the ground with the Texans bringing consistent pressure. There is a first for everything, including a 3-0 record to start the season for the best team in the AFC.
Texans 24, Broncos 21
New England (1-1) at Baltimore (1-1)
A rematch of last year’s AFC championship game with both teams coming off heart-breaking losses. This time it was New England that had to bear a late missed field goal, reminiscent of the Billy Cundiff miss that haunted Baltimore’s dreams during the offseason. Both teams are again among the AFC favorites but neither wants to drop to 1-2 after the Sunday night match-up. New England come into the game with a stagnant offense without one of its primary weapons in Aaron Hernandez. The loss stunted the team gameplan, leading the Pats to sign Kellen Winslow as a temporary replacement. Defense let the Ravens down against the Eagles last Sunday. The Ravens allowed 486 yards, the most they have given up since 1998. With 157 yards going to Eagles TE Brent Celek, look out for Rob Gronkowski. Baltimore has held Brady to a 69 passer rating in 6 career games, his lowest rating against any team. That stat, a tough home crowd and better special teams give the Ravens a slight edge.
Ravens 27, Pats 25
Green Bay (1-1) at Seattle (1-1)
The Packers’ grueling schedule continues with a Monday night date in Seattle, where the Seahawks arguably own the best home field advantage in football. Green Bay was able to steady the ship against a tough Bears team, finally unleashing the Clay Matthews-led pass rush that took the Packers to a Super Bowl a few years ago. But Aaron Rodgers has not started in rhythm this year, with Green Bay averaging only 22 points per game. Seattle will not make it any easier with its physical bump-and-run coverages while sitting two safeties back in coverage to prevent the big play. Rodgers will have to focus on short passes. Green Bay will also have its hands full with not letting Marshawn Lynch go into full-out Beast Mode. Despite the Seahawks’ advantages, the difference will be the Packers defense forcing rookie QB Russell Wilson into big mistakes, giving Rodgers a short field to work with. A truly great game to round out week 3.
Packers 21, Seahawks 18