Well, that was no fun! I made four picks in this space for Week 2 of the NFL season and didn't get a single one right. I should have known better than to trust the Buffalo Bills against New England. I need to stop listening to Rex Ryan bloviate!
And I'm already off the Philadelphia Eagles bandwagon. I am stunned Chip Kelly's offense struggled so much in Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys. And what is up with DeMarco Murray? What a crazy bust he has been thus far, rushing 21 times overall for 11 yards.
Also missed on the Titans covering at Cleveland as I didn't expect much out of Browns QB Johnny Manziel, but he actually looked pretty good at times. He got his first career win as a starter and so did Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston. That marked the first time in NFL history two Heisman-winning quarterbacks each earned his first career win on the same day. There's no way that Browns coach Mike Pettine can't start Manziel now this week against Oakland. Even if Josh McCown is cleared from his concussion. Pettine isn't tipping his hand yet.
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Here are some Week 3 games and opening lines that caught my eye. As usual, I will not touch on the Thursday game, my featured Sunday game (Falcons-Cowboys this week, so I will deal with Tony Romo's injury there) or the Monday night game.
Bears at Seahawks (-14, TBA): My how the Bears have fallen, I can't remember the last time Chicago was a two-touchdown underdog. And that line might get bigger if Jay Cutler can't play. He left Sunday's 48-23 loss to Arizona with a hamstring injury. On Monday, Coach John Fox says it's a strain and not overly severe, but Cutler's status for this week certainly is in question. Jimmy Clausen would start if he can't go. Think Seattle might be a little angry for this one at 0-2 (first time since 2011)? Don't be shocked if there's a resolution to Kam Chancellor's holdout this week because that defense badly misses him. The Seahawks' defense ranks 29th in the NFL in points allowed after two games (ahead of only Chicago and Oakland) after leading the entire NFL for three straight seasons. No QB had a rating of 100 or better vs. Seattle last year but both Nick Foles and Aaron Rodgers have thus far in 2015. Key trend: Seattle is 10-0 SU in past 10 as home favorite of at least 10 points (6-4 against the spread). The pick: Seahawks in home opener whether Cutler plays or not. I expect a shutout if it's Clausen.
Broncos at Lions (+3. TBA): This line and total are going to be in flux because of the status of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. He had X-rays on his chest and ribs following Detroit's 26-16 loss to Minnesota on Sunday, but Coach Jim Caldwell would not say what the results of the X-rays were or if the quarterback has anything broken. Caldwell only would say that Stafford is "very, very sore" and he was unsure if Stafford would be available vs. Denver. The Broncos had the craziest win of Week 2, 31-24 in Kansas City (at least I took the points on that one!) last Thursday. It was Denver's 13th straight division road win, breaking a tie with the San Francisco 49ers (1987-90) for most in NFL history. Key trend: Detroit is 6-4 ATS in past 10 as home dog. The pick: Lions if Stafford plays. Denver if not as Stafford's backup is the forgettable Dan Orlovsky (and go "under" whatever number if it's Orlovsky).
Jaguars at Patriots (-13.5, 47.5): Trap game anyone? Sure looks like one potentially with New England off its big division win in Buffalo and then going on the bye in Week 4. Your early-season NFL MVP thus far has to be Tom Brady. He has thrown for 754 yards and seven touchdowns without a pick in two games. He joins Peyton Manning (2013) as the only players in NFL history to pass for at least 750 yards and seven touchdowns with no interceptions in the first two games of a season. Manning won his last MVP that year. The Jaguars caught another team in a trap/letdown game this past Sunday as the Dolphins lost 23-20 in Jacksonville. The Jaguars allowed no sacks after giving up at least four in eight consecutive games. When Blake Bortles has time to throw, he looks like a very good QB. Key trend: Jacksonville 4-5-1 ATS in past 10 as road dog of at least 10 points. The pick: Jaguars cover.
Bengals at Ravens (-2.5, 44.5): Has any team in the AFC been more disappointing than Baltimore? Here's guessing many of you were knocked out of your Survivor Pools when the Ravens were upset in Oakland on Sunday, 37-33. A week earlier, the Raiders didn't cross midfield until the first play of the fourth quarter in a 33-14 loss to the Bengals. John Harbaugh admitted the Ravens were "outcoached" by his Oakland counterparts, and that's not something you hear often about the Raiders. This is the first Harbaugh team to start 0-2. It's the fourth time the Ravens have started 0-2 in team history. The difference is those other teams (1999, 2002, 2005) had Scott Mitchell/Stoney Case, Chris Redman and Kyle Boller as their quarterbacks. Joe Flacco is a bit better than they are. Since 1990, only 12 percent of NFL teams that were winless in their first two games qualified for the postseason. Key trend: Baltimore 4-5-1 ATS in past 10 as home favorite in series. The pick: Ravens in home opener.
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