Nothing made sense in Week 2. I couldn't have picked a winner in a one-team game. Thankfully, though, last week went much more as expected, and a whole lot more games were picked correctly.
Now we are heading into a new phase of the season - the first of the bye weeks. The two teams that get a break this week probably feel very differently about it. The Patriots are running so hot that time off the field is the last thing they want. For Tennessee, though, a week off to work with Marcus Mariota and build on what has been a pretty decent first three weeks of his career will be valued. We don't need to worry about those two teams this week, but that still leaves us with 30 to focus on. Here are the straight up picks for this week:
Baltimore at Pittsburgh: Very tough break for the Steelers losing Big Ben for at least a month. Michael Vick can function within this offense, though, and the Ravens just aren't playing good football in any way right now - with the notable exception of the play of Steve Smith. Take the Steelers.
New York Jets at Miami: I don't know how a team can be as unprepared as the Dolphins looked to be last week. What an embarrassment. The Jets aren't exactly atop my list of favorite teams this year, but they are showing up. Take the Jets.
Jacksonville at Indianapolis: I can't begin to explain all the ways that the Colts have gone from being a Super Bowl favorite to barely holding on in just three weeks. What a mess. Their last win was an emotional one, though, and I am counting on that being a catalyst for stronger play going forward. Take the Colts.
New York Giants at Buffalo: The Giants got a win last week, but it was an incredibly ugly game. Buffalo, meanwhile, has looked tremendous against teams not based in Massachusetts. Last I checked, that includes the Giants. Take the Bills.
Carolina at Tampa Bay: Tampa Bay has shown that they are capable of rising up and surprising - but their overall quality level is not high. Carolina, meanwhile, isn't going to impress anyone on either side of the ball, but they are gritty and do whatever needs to be done. They are going to quietly win a lot of games. Take the Panthers.
Philadelphia at Washington: Do I want to take the borderline incompetent team that is on the verge of self-destruction or the borderline incompetent team on the verge of self-destruction? I love choices like this. The Eagles have more talent, so they get the nod. I guess.
Oakland at Chicago: I am believing in these Raiders through three games - or at least starting to. David Carr is playing great, and his relationship with Amari Cooper is already flourishing. The defense is playing with intensity, and Charles Woodson has been reborn. Chicago, meanwhile, is a tire fire in uniform. Take the Raiders.
Houston at Atlanta: The Texans aren't nearly as far along as I would like them to be in year two with this staff, and they don't have enough good excuses. The Falcons, meanwhile, look like a whole new team under their new regime. Take the Falcons.
Kansas City at Cincinnati: Andy Dalton is playing the best football he has played. Of course, it's still just October, so there is plenty of time left for him to remember that he can't win in the postseason. For now, though, we'll take advantage. Take the Bengals.
Cleveland at San Diego: Don't like either of these teams right now. I expected to like San Diego quite a bit more than I do, though, while Cleveland is about what was expected. I guess that means San Diego has an edge. Take the Chargers.
Green Bay at San Francisco: This one is pretty easy. After the debacle of last week's game for the 49ers, I would pick against them if they were playing 31 teams in the league. Green Bay is one of the best of those 31 teams. No brainer. Take the Packers. Obviously.
St. Louis at Arizona: St. Louis has been a disappointment the last two weeks - I expected them to be further ahead. Arizona has been a surprise - I knew they would be good, but not this good. Mismatch. Take the Cardinals.
Minnesota at Denver: I don't know what to think about this Minnesota team. They lost to San Francisco (!) and then beat up on two weaklings. I don't know what to think about Denver either, though - has any team been less inspiring en route to 3-0? I'll take the Broncos, but I'm not happy about it.
Dallas at New Orleans: We know Tony Romo won't be playing. We don't know about Drew Brees. Both backups were decent last week. New Orleans can't lose them all at home, but the Cowboys are a much better team. This one could go either way. Take the Cowboys by a whisker.
Detroit at Seattle: I quit having faith in the Lions. Their offense is brutal They just can't put it together, and I am starting to think they might never get all things moving in the same direction at the same time. Take the Seahawks.
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