NFL Office Pool Picks Week 3
Last week was a weird week of NFL action. I wound up with a respectable enough 11 wins, but it didn't come smoothly. I was wrong in four of the first five games that wrapped up and was sure that I was in a lot of trouble. But from then on, only the Pittsburgh loss, caused as much by the early Big Ben injury as anything, went the wrong way for me. It could have been better, but it sure felt like it was going to go much, much worse. Here's hoping that this week of action is a bit more straightforward early on - and that it stays that way. Here's how I see the games playing out straight up to help you dominate your NFL office pools.
Tennessee at Jacksonville: I was impressed by the Titans in their opener. But then I was frustrated by them last week. And the problem is that the second performance was a little closer to what I was expecting heading into the season. But the Jags have been disappointing in both games. And though Gardner Minshew is a great story, they have QB questions for sure. Take the Titans.
Baltimore at Kansas City: The Ravens are playing well right now and are easy to respect on both sides of the ball. And the QB matchup here is one we should get used to because it is the future - and the present. But Kansas City is just so scary right now. And they are at home. Take the Chiefs.
New York Jets at New England: If the Jets were starting Sam Darnold and were completely healthy and dialed in, this would still be an easy pick. New England is just dialed in to a ridiculous extent. The offense is on a tear and has plenty of weapons. The defense is rolling. And the Jets have plenty of issues. Take the Patriots.
Cincinnati at Buffalo: The Bills aren't winning pretty, but their toughness and grit is getting it done. The Bengals aren't nearly as tough or as good. Buffalo should be able to keep it rolling at home. Take the Bills.
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Oakland at Minnesota: Minnesota is a very good team crippled right now by awful quarterback play. Kirk Cousins is technically capable, but just can't seem to do what really matters - win. That's what a Michigan State education gets you, I guess. But at home, they are still solidly the better team here. Oakland is a team without a real focus. Take the Vikings.
Denver at Green Bay: I still don't trust the Packers that much, but they have two division wins already, which is just huge. And while Denver can play some defense, their offense keeps getting in their own way - and there is no reason to feel like that will change in any hurry. Take the Packers.
Detroit at Philadelphia: I will admit that I didn't see that Detroit win over the Chargers coming. At all. They haven't lost yet, but they still feel like a bit of an illusion. Philadelphia has some health concerns, though, and seem out of sorts so far. Tough game, but I'll take the Eagles at home.
Atlanta at Indianapolis: The Falcons got a win last week, but they needed a shocking number of injuries from the Eagles to get it. I don't trust them. I don't really trust Indianapolis, either, but they are at home, and they get the nod just for that. Take the Colts.
Miami at Dallas: There is more of a chance that I am the next starting quarterback for the Steelers or the Saints than there is that the Dolphins win this one. And I have never played a down of organized football and am not much younger than Adam Vinatieri. Take the Cowboys. Obviously.
Carolina at Arizona: The Panthers were a team that I liked coming into the season. But they have dropped two in a row, and Cam Newton looks like he has a mess of problems. A big mess. It feels like a bit of a gamble, but I like the heart the Cardinals have shown late in their games, and I look for them to put together a more complete effort. Kick on the Panthers when they are down, and take the Cardinals.
New York Giants at Tampa Bay: I don't love the Bucs, but they have put together solid enough efforts and are clearly much improved under this coaching staff. And the Giants are just what we thought they would be - a bad team relying too much on one offensive weapon while being handicapped by a rookie QB who will make his first start. Take the Bucs.
Houston at L.A. Chargers: The Chargers should be incredibly angry in this one after losing a game they had no business losing in Detroit. The Texans cannot protect their QB, and that will be a problem here. Take the Chargers.
New Orleans at Seattle: The Teddy Bridgewater era begins in New Orleans. That isn't as much of a problem as it could be for other teams that have lost their superstar QB, but it still isn't ideal. The Seahawks are tough, and they are at home. That makes them the pick. Take Seattle.
Pittsburgh at San Francisco: The bombshell news that Ben Roethlisberger was lost for the season on Sunday really changes this game. The Steelers were going to be tough to love against a San Francisco team that is playing well anyway, but now the pick is clear. Take the Niners.
L.A. Rams at Cleveland: The Rams are the better team, and they have an extra day to get ready for this one. This is a good test for the Browns. And though they won't embarrass themselves, they aren't going to pass, either. Take the Rams.
Chicago at Washington: The Bears have a big Mitch Trubisky problem right now, and it appears that they know it. But they are clearly the better team here, and Washington is really going to struggle to score against this Chicago defense. Take the Bears.
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