The editors and so called “experts”of the NFL at HefferBrew take a gander at the schedule and make their picks.
Week 3 of the NFL season is upon us and their are plenty of teams looking to right the ship, the Raiders are still winless (shocking, we know) but so are the Saints (So, is it too early to still vote Sean Payton Coach of the Year?) Which teams will emerge victorious and can anyone stop the San Francisco 49ers? (No.)
ST. LOUIS RAMS vs. CHICAGO BEARS
Dustin: Rams – Jay Cutler throws interceptions and gets sacked on the regular and that was before he threw a little hissy fit and tried to shove his offensive lineman. I’m hoping this weekend we get to see the Bears o-line pull a “Longest Yard” on him for a little while to prove a point. And I guess the Rams have been a bit impressive so far this season, pushing Detroit to the brink and then dragging the Redskins and RG3 back down to Earth. A revamped defense, particularly in the secondary as well as a healthy and confident Sam Bradford have given the Rams a bit more firepower than anyone expected, look for the shocks to continue. Rams – 21, Bears – 13.
Cameron: Bears – The Rams have been a rather cute story so far and the bears seem to have nothing but trouble in their locker room and on the field with the recent actions of Jay Cutler. This may lead you to ask yourself, “then why the hell are you picking the Bears?” Well, A.) Even though cutler was a little shit to his offensive line that still doesn’t mean that Lovie Smith doesn’t have control of his team. B.) Jay Cutler is still a good quarterback on a decent team with Brandon Marshall as a receiver, and C.)The Rams, although scrappy, are still a bad team and they’re playing in Chicago. After the turd the Bears put up against the Packers I’m saying they have a bounce-back performance and crush the Rams, Bears – 38, Rams – 13.
BUFFALO BILLS vs. CLEVELAND BROWNS
Dustin: Bills – Week 1- The Bills get demolished by the Jets and make me feel like a complete fool for actually having faith in this season and gushing about their offseason spent revamping the defense.
Week 2- They do the demolishing, albeit to the Chiefs, and I start having a bit of a resurgence in confidence because C.J. Spiller is running like his life depends on it and they’re keeping the ball out of Fitzpatrick’s hands unless absolutely necessary.
Week 3- Dustin picks the Bills, fully expecting them to lay an egg against Brandon Wheedon and the Browns because that’s what this team does to hopes and dreams, and when they go up 14-0 early, he’s going to get the same positive feeling he’s gotten watching them before and when they lose 31-14, he’ll just hang his head in shame again. Bills- 14, Browns – 7.
Cameron: Bills – Cleveland is just awful. Take my word for it. Right now, in only two games Brandon Weeden has thrown for 400 yards, two touchdowns and a whopping four interceptions. The Bills probably won’t stop Trent Richardson and the Browns probably won’t stop C.J. Spiller. With that said though the final on this one will be, Bills – 13, Browns – 10. It’s going to be a rushing affair but not an offensive one. Both teams sit in the lower end of the defensive rankings but I’m almost positive that both these teams suck so much that their crappiness will equal each other out.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS vs. DALLAS COWBOYS
Dustin: Buccaneers- I don’t like the Cowboys, I don’t buy Tony Romo as a playoff-winning QB and I just don’t like the Cowboys. The Bucs do have a much-improved team and Josh Freeman looks to be having a bounce-back year after last seasons’ disappointment. Their off-season acquisitions are still getting used to each other and Freeman should develop more chemistry with his receivers as rookie RB Doug Martin continues his growth. If the Bucs can keep the intensity up on both sides of the ball, they stand a good chance to surprise a lot of people. Bucs- 24, Cowboys – 21.
Cameron: Cowboys – Since last week we got to see the timid loser Dr. Jekyll from Romo and the Cowboys, expect them to be swinging it around in full force this weekend. Tampa has looked promising all year, and their secondary, with the ball hawk tactics of Mark Barron and Ronde Barber has looked downright punishing. Looks can be deceiving though, the Bucs sit last in the standings for total passing yards against. Part of that was because the ass-whomping Eli Manning handed them in the second half of last Sunday’s game, passing for 510 yards. I see Romo having himself a Mr. Hyde type performance with 310 yards passing and three touchdowns. Final, Cowboys – 27, Buccaneers – 17.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS vs. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
Dustin: Colts-Jaguars – I want to pick the Jaguars so bad, screw it, I’m picking the Jaguars. Maurice Jones-Drew, if in well enough shape after his offseason holdout, can run all through the older defensive line of the Colts and QB Blaine Gabbert showed actual poise in Week 1 against the Vikings before running into the Houston Texans buzz saw. Why do I find myself wanting Blaine Gabbert to actually develop? Jaguars – 24, Colts – 21.
Cameron: Colts – I don’t even really feel like spending to much time on this suck-fest. Look, fantasy wise I hope the Colts tear the ass out of the Jaguars and uses them as a winter coat. In all actuality, Luck will do just enough to not piss me off fantasy wise and not piss off Colts’ fans everywhere. Final, Colts – 21 (hopefully all on Luck’s arm), Jaguars – 6.
NEW YORK JETS vs. MIAMI DOLPHINS
Dustin: Dolphins – Brace yourselves, this may be shocking- Reggie Bush is running all over everything right now. I know, I know, take a second and collect yourself. Pittsburgh exposed quite a few flaws in the Jets last week, the Dolphins heavy focus on the run game as rookie QB Ryan Tannehill progresses can likely wear down the front line all day. Fingers crossed that it sends the Jets into a media panic. Dolphins – 35, Jets – 24.
Cameron: Jets – I wanted to go with the Dolphins on this one. I really did. Tanehill looked good last week, Reggie bush looked like he was running from boosters in 2005 again and the Dolphins defense looked damn good too. But, then I remember that A.) It’s the Dolphins and they’ve sucked since Marino left in ’99. And, B.) I totally have a bet on Ryan Tannehill to be the first non-injury related benching of the 2012 season. Behind him in the running is Brandon Weeden and Blaine Gabbert. Gabbert was benched, but official reports had it listed as an injury. I see (hope) that the Jets defense picks off Tannehill five times, two of those being for pick sixes. Final, Jets – 30, Dolphins – 9.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS vs. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
Dustin: 49ers- I don’t really have to explain this one right? 49ers – 42, Vikings – 14.
Cameron: 49ers – I already made a Daniel Plainview comparison with the Niners and they once again “drank the milkshake” of the opposing team last week. This week they draw the ire of the Minnesota Vikings and much like last week I expect them to dominate. Earlier today I thought, “maybe the Niners will trow this one to maybe throw the NFL off the scent of their dominance. Then I thought, “no. Harbaugh seems like the type to not care about people catching on because he keeps it simple and has flat out beasts in the back field and on the defensive end of the ball. He has taken what was once a broken and defeated team and turned it into a bunch of win-hungry animals. It’s almost beautiful to watch. I honestly think they could go 15-1 to 14-2. I don’t know why, but I could honestly also see Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh in the Super Bowl this year.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS vs. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Dustin: Saints – The Saints can’t possibly start the season 0-3, there’s no way. If it comes down to it, I fully expect Drew Brees lining up on defense; the guy hates losing no matter how the league wants to stack the deck. Saints – 35, Chiefs – 21.
Cameron: Saints – Even if the Saints have seemed like a neutered dog doesn’t mean they are shitty enough to lose to the Chiefs. If the Saints don’t win though, expect a forecast of partial-riot in New Orleans. Saints – 38, Chiefs – 6. Like for real though, if the Saints lose this game and it’s a dominant victory for the Chiefs you might as well pack it up and call it a season.
DETROIT LIONS vs. TENNESSEE TITANS
Dustin: Lions – Anyone wanna tell Chris Johnson the season started? 19 carries in 2 games for just 21 yards and this week he came out and blamed everyone on offense not named Chris Johnson for his struggles. On the flip side, the Lions have had a slow start to their season, barely pulling a win out against the Rams and then running into the 49ers buzzsaw last week. However, they did manage to show a lot against the Niners in that loss, their defense looked sturdier than it has before and QB Matthew Stafford is starting to regain his composure from last season. Going against a spotty Titans secondary could be just the thing to get Stafford and Calvin Johnson (no TDs yet) rolling for the rest of the season. Lions – 31, Titans – 17.
Cameron: Lions – The Titans suck and the Lions are semi-decent. Last year the Lions shined in the first half and it wasn’t until they were embarrassed by the Niners that everyone realized that they still had a long ways to go. The Titans still suck though. The Lions Run defense does suck, but so does Chris Johnson. Do you see how this is a vicious cycle of suckedrey? Final, Lions – 42, Titans – 10.
CINCINNATI BENGALS vs. WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Dustin: Redskins – RG3 makes his home debut and Washington will be buzzing. The loss of Brian Orakpo on defense should buy Bengals QB Andy Dalton some more time in the pocket. This won’t be a game for fans of defense though, two young quarterbacks with some potent offenses, this could be the most explosive game of the day. Redskins – 42, Bengals – 38.
Cameron: Bengals – “It’s RGIII’s first game at home,” you say. “There’s no way that the Cincinnati Bengals are going to come into RGIII’s house and spoil his welcome home party,” you say. “No way.” And that my friends is exactly how the Redskins and RGIII are thinking right now and you know what? None of that shit matters. Most of Washington’s defense went down in the Rams game last week including game-changing linebacker London Fletcher. With that little tidbit of info the Bengals are a good team. and look for A.J. Green, ‘The Law Firm’ and ‘The Red Rifle’ to spoil RGIII’s coming home party. Bengals – 27, Redskins – 24.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES vs. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Dustin: Eagles – Larry Fitzgerald had 4 yards receiving last Sunday and the Cardinals still beat the Patriots, the Patriots! Even if their offense is stagnant at QB, that ‘Zona defense is playing for keeps. The Eagles are the same way, the defense is finally looking like the freakish talents they were advertised to be and are winning games despite QB Michael Vick’s best efforts otherwise. I think the Eagles D gives Kevin “’Sup Bro?” Kolb fits and seal another victory despite Vick turning the ball over 4 times. This is going to be ugly. Eagles – 20, Cardinals – 17.
Cameron: Cardinals – The Eagles struggled with the likes of the Cleveland Browns in week one and then lucked out in week two against the Ravens; the Cardinals, much like the Eagles have struggled with a crappy team and beat a top contender in the Patriots. One advantage I think the Cardinals have though is Kevin Kolb. Kolb used to play for the Eagles, hell he used to start for the Eagles, and now he has the opportunity, which I believe he may have done last year, to totally call out what defensive and offensive plays the Eagles are running, It’s not like they’ve changed them in the last 13 years. Not only is he playing good football right now, but Kolb has the ultimate opportunity to be the ultimate inside man. Final Cardinals – 24, Eagles – 20.
ATLANTA FALCONS vs. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS
Dustin: Falcons – Prepare yourselves fans, for the battle of the underachievers is upon us! For years now, experts declare the Chargers and Falcons the hot teams to watch, the sexy picks to make the Super Bowl with Rivers and Ryan respectively becoming the league’s newest star. Well, that still hasn’t happened but this year, the Falcons have come into their own with Julio Jones and Roddy White stretching the field for Ryan to show off his accuracy and arm strength. So far, I’m much more convinced the Falcons are closer to that leap than the Chargers and this could be a big statement from them. Falcons – 28, Chargers – 24.
Cameron: Falcons – The Chargers first two games were gifts from the schedule making gods in Tennessee and Oakland. Both those teams are terrible and San Diego didn’t prove much in either of those victories. On the other side of the ball though the Falcons have played one crappy team and one “so called contender” in the Broncos. With that said, the Falcons have looked like a well oiled touchdown scoring machine that may be looking at a solid 3-0 start. ‘Matty Ice’ is having a breakout season and expect him to continue his destructive ways this Sunday. Final Falcons – 37, Chargers – 23.
HOUSTON TEXANS vs. DENVER BRONCOS
Dustin: Broncos – Sigh. 3 first quarter interceptions has to be a fluke right? Right?!!! Broncos – 21, Texans -17.
Cameron: Broncos – No reverse jinx this time around. Peyton Manning spent 13 years picking apart the Texans and the rest of the AFC South. I expect Manning to come out on fire if only to make up for that “shitting of the bed” he had last week. Three interceptions in the first quarter, not gonna happen this time around. Final Broncos – 21, Texans – 13.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS vs. OAKLAND RAIDERS
Dustin: Raiders – This is the Steelers third cross-country trip in three weeks and though they looked flat out dominant against the Jets last week, there’s no way the Raiders will no-show like they did against the Dolphins. Plus, the Dolphins are far more stable at RB (Another Shout-Out to Reggie Bush! Who would’ve thought!!?) then the Steelers at this point which means Settled Out of Court Big Ben will have to go to the air more, creating more chances for the talented Raiders secondary to ball hawk. On the other side of the ball, Carson Palmer is a yardage machine, I’m always shocked when I see he has like 320 yards in the third quarter. If they can get Darren McFadden going and take a little pressure out of his interception-prone hands, the Raiders can finally get going. Raiders – 24, Steelers – 21.
Cameron: Steelers – I don’t know if my fellow writer up there got hit in the head prior to writing his pick but here’s a few facts he forgot to mention. 1. The Raiders haven’t had a single interception so I have no idea where the “ball hawk” thing comes from. 2. The Raiders are ranked eighth in passing yards, which is good, and 29th in rushing yards allowed, which is bad. Even if the Steelers are averaging 70 rushing yards a game, that’s against the Broncos and the Jets who have fantastic run defenses. 3. Carson Palmer is a goddamn interception machine, yeah he has one right now, but look for that number to double on Sunday. And finally, 4. The Raiders just suck and the Steelers are a perennial playoff team. ‘Big Ben’ will pass for days on the suck-tastic Raider defense and Carson Palmer will spend most of the day on his back. Final Steelers – 31, Raiders – 19.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS vs. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Dustin: Patriots – Coming off a shocking loss and heading to Baltimore for a rematch from last year’s AFC Championship Game is recipe for another hard Patriots loss but I just see Tom Brady rising to the occasion before Joe Flacco in a high-pressure game. Patriots – 28, Ravens – 27.
*Note- Joe Flacco is my backup fantasy quarterback for the second-straight year and I’ve still got more faith in Brady. Either I’m trying to jinx Brady or I’m a terrible drafter.
Cameron: Ravens – Last week was a fluke loss for the Ravens and they were a blown call away from winning against the Eagles. The Patriots won’t have Aaron Hernandez, and yes they will still have the touchdown-scoring-party-machine known as Rob Gronkowski, but that’s beside my point. The Patriots look like time is finally catching up to them, and maybe last year was the last real chance they had at a Super Bowl. Maybe the Brady era is over? Maybe this could be a transitional game much like how the AFC Championship looked that way last year. Look, if Torrey Smith doesn’t have the ball stripped from his hands by a nobody defender in the final seconds, the Ravens go to the Super Bowl and probably win. The Ravens haven’t been able to catch a break against the Patriots and now looks like the time that that begins to change. Final Ravens – 28, Patriots – 17.
GREEN BAY PACKERS vs. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
Dustin: Packers – The Packers D finally woke up and delivered an ass-whooping to Jay Cutler and the Bears, sacking him seven (7!) times. The Seahawks did just beat down the Cowboys last week and have one of the toughest stadiums to play in for road teams, but the Packers are not the Cowboys and if their D can trouble Russell Wilson like they did Cutler, then things should be good for Team Cheesehead. Packers – 42, Seahawks – 28.
Cameron: Seahawks – I know that the Packers are genuinely a better team, but I’m using the same logic I applied to the Cardinals/Eagles game. The ‘Hawks’ have the Packers backup quarterback, which has to count for something other then a $50-million backup right? All I’m saying is that, Pete Carrol is a piece of work and I wouldn’t put it past him to use a competitive advantage like that. Along with the 12th man the Seahawks’ fans like to boast about the Packers will have trouble running their effective hurry-up offense. The Seahawks actually have decent defense, ranking 13th in passing against and second in rushing. Look for the Seahawks to make the Packers grind this one out for a victory. Final Seahawks – 17, Packers – 13.
Season totals: Dustin: 21-11, Cameron: 19-13.