RINE: NFL Week 3 Picks
N.Y. Giants 31, Carolina 20
Eli Manning once again came through in the clutch for the Giants last week, throwing for 510 yards to make up for his own first-half mistakes in a victory against the Buccaneers. All the Panthers did was knock the Saints down to 0-2. The big question here is the health of Steve Smith’s knee.
Dallas 24, Tampa Bay 21
Both are coming off terribly disappointing efforts and could use a bit of redemption to get their season back on track. Which team is more mentally tough isn’t that certain, but the Cowboys are easily the more talented of the two teams. Don’t sleep on Bucs RB Doug Martin, though.
Chicago 28, St. Louis 20
For the first time in a long time, Sam Bradford looked like a No. 1 overall pick as he rallied the Rams with a 300-yard effort. It should be a good deal more difficult to do the same against a tough Bears defense. Chicago though, has a QB with an attitude problem (Jay Cutler) and a RB that’s banged up (Matt Forte) which should keep it close.
San Francisco 30, Minnesota 6
The 49ers have already handled Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford, so what do you think they are going to do against Christian Ponder? What is being overlooked thanks to that defense, is the emergence of Alex Smith who had his second straight strong start.
Detroit 34, Tennessee 23
The Lions are awfully close to being 0-2, having barely escaped the Rams in the opener. The easy solution is to stop turning the ball over so much. Once again Chris Johnson gave the Titans (and one of my fantasy teams) absolutely nothing last week.
New Orleans 27, Kansas City 14
The Chiefs seem intent on being the worst team in the NFL, and right now it’s a three-horse race between them, the Browns and the Jaguars. The Saints aren’t a bad team, but they are also winless after two weeks. On a hunch, I’ll go New Orleans.
Washington 17, Cincinnati 13
Andy Dalton and the Bungles took home the “Battle of Ohio,” even if was nothing more than a pillow fight. The Redskins took one on the chin, but RGIII played well again. Home team rates the nod.
N.Y. Jets 7, Miami 6
Hard to believe there were those out there who actually believed the Jets offense was going to be a scoring machine. Playing Buffalo cures a lot of ills, but facing Pittsburgh creates even more. That “great” defense has also allowed more than 50 points in two games.
Buffalo 26, Cleveland 12
There’s one team in the AFC North that has not won a game and it shouldn’t be too hard to guess who that is. The Browns did seem to get their running game going with rookie Trent Richardson, but I don’t see any way Cleveland doesn’t start 0-3.
Andre Luck looked more Peyton Manning than rookie as he lead the Colts to his first pro victory. The Jaguars are coming off a beatdown at the hands of the Texans and don’t have much of anything going for them right now.
Arizona 22, Philadelphia 21
The Cardinals at 3-0? What world am I living in? Though these certainly aren’t the Patriots of the early part of this decade, that was a good victory for an Arizona team that generally struggles after flying across the country. The Eagles are undefeated, but have won twice by a point.
Atlanta 30, San Diego 29
There might be a lot of passing yards in this one as Matt Ryan takes the high-flying Falcons west to face Philip Rivers and the Chargers. Usually in games like this it ends up being a running back that makes the difference. With Ryan Matthews banged up …
Pittsburgh 32, Oakland 3
This is going to get U-G-L-Y in a hurry, and that’s from my buddy Dave Coffield, a diehard Raiders fan. Oakland hasn’t done much defensively and it has accomplished even less when it has the football. Look for Isaac Redman to have a big afternoon.
Houston 36, Denver 13
Are the Texans for real? They sure are and there’s nothing Peyton Manning can do to stop that. Houston is arguably the most balanced team in all of football. I don’t trust any team that has Willis McGahee as its featured runner.
New England 23, Baltimore 20
Maybe if this was a fight to the death, I could handle watching it. Of course, we all know Ray Lewis’ team would win if that happened. Anyway, I can’t see Tom Brady having two off days in a row. Joe Flacco blames the replacement refs again.
Monday, Sept. 24
Green Bay 30, Seattle 15
The Seahawks raised some eyebrows with a demolition of the Cowboys, but it’s highly unlikely they will have a repeat performance. Rodgers hasn’t been himself, but this looks like a good place to break out.
Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at Rine@theintelligencer.net