RossCode Picks - NFL Week III

posted on 2005-09-22 at 23:04:49 by Joel Ross

This is such an up and down season so far - I didn't expect it to start out like this. But now, teams seem to be settling down a little bit, and we should be able to predict a little better. I guess we'll see, huh?

  • Atlanta vs. Buffalo (-2.5) (37 O/U): I'm taking Atlanta. I think it'll be a low scoring game, so I'll take the under. Buffalo is running into growing pains with their rookie quarterback, and that's going to cause the Atlanta defense to crowd the line to 1. blitz, and 2. stop McGahee. For last week's results, I stressed that you need to establish the run to get a passing attack going, but for Buffalo, they are in a situation where they need to complete a few passes to get defenses to back away from the line a little bit. That, and get McGahee to be more decisive with his runs. Atlanta, on the other hand, is dead in the water if Vick doesn't play, which is why I think he will.
  • Carolina (-3) vs. Miami (36.5 O/U): Just basing my pick on a running game, Carolina tends to run the ball more than Miami. Throw in Carolina's defense, and I don't think Miami has much of a chance.
  • Cincinnati (-3) vs. Chicago (40 O/U): Cincinnati is playing very well, and playing another hapless NFC North team helps them. The schedule definitely helps them. That's a nice way to get Palmer comfortable in his second year. Chicago will rely again heavily on?a running game - Orton is doing OK, but Cincy's defense had 5 INTs last week. I expect a high dose of Thomas Jones, who had a great game last week, and Cedric Benson, but it won't be enough.
  • Cleveland vs. Indianapolis (-13.5) (46.5 O/U): I usually don't like to pick teams that are favored by more than ten points, but it's Cleveland. Combine that with Indy's improved defense, add in the inevitable breakout game from Manning, and you have blowout written all over this one.
  • Jacksonville vs. New York Jets (-2.5) (33.5 O/U): Jacksonville lost strong safety Donovin Darius for the season, but they still have a solid defense. The Jets are hurting right now. Pennington is still recovering from off-season shoulder surgery - yes, he says there's no pain, but he's not throwing like he used to - and, while Martin is expected to play, he'll still be hurting a little bit.
  • New Orleans vs. Minnesota (-4) (44.5 O/U): Minnesota has to bounce back at some point, right? They can't really be that bad? Culpepper was deemed to be the second best fantasy quaterback behind Manning (how are his fantasy numbers?), and that hasn't quite happened. He's thrown 8 picks - it took him until week 13 last season to throw that many! New Orleans probably will have trouble focusing after a week that's focused on their "home" loss. Combine that with playing a real road game, and New Orleans is ready to lapse back to where everyone thought they would be before the hurricane hit.
  • Oakland vs. Philadelphia (-7.5) (46.5 O/U): Did the oddsmakers watch McNabb shred the 49ers D last wee? Oakland isn't a solid defensive team either, and their offense is too pass happy - yes, Moss is good, but when you can focus on him, he won't be as effective.
  • Tampa Bay (-3.5) vs. Green Bay (37.5 O/U): I'm sold on Tampa Bay, and Green Bay is reeling this year, especially with the loss of Walker in week one. Their defense isn't any better. Of course, haven't they started the past two years poorly only to finish strong? This is a much stronger Tampa Bay team, especially defensively. Offensively, they seem to be much more solid - which is a wierd way to word it, but that's what I see. They aren't great, but they are consistent.
  • Tennessee vs. St. Louis (-6.5) (45.5 O/U): I'm reversing my thoughts on St. Louis - I know it's early, but they definitely aren't playing very good right now. Tennessee isn't great, bu they did beat up on Baltimore (another bad team). I'll take them this week, at least.
  • Arizona vs. Seattle (-6) (41.5 O/U): Arizona is bad. No running game. An washed-up quarterback. At least they have good receivers. Wait - is this the Lions of the west?
  • Dallas (-6.5) vs. San Francisco (41 O/U): Dallas is coming off a disappointing loss to Washington, and that'll factor into the game. But, on the other hand, it's San Francisco! Despite Julian Peterson's guarantee, Dallas will win this one.
  • New England vs. Pittsburgh (-3) (42 O/U): Pittsburgh is dominating games right now. Parker is playing awesome, and that's only opening up the passing game for Roethlisberger. Their defense isn't quite the Iron Curtain of the 70s, but their still good. New England, while still good, had their weakness exposed.
  • New York Giants vs. San Diego (-6) (42 O/U): This week, we'll learn how Eli Manning responds to pressure. Not the New York media type pressure, but the loud booing and yelling pressure. Remember, Eli Manning refused to play for the Chargers if drafted by them last year, and I'm guessing San Diego fans may remember that. The Chargers have to start playing better - 0-2? That'll change this weekend.
  • Kansas City vs. Denver (-3) (48 O/U): This should be a pretty good Monday night game. K.C.s defense is better than anyone thought they would be, and the combo of Holmes and Johnson is deadly. Denver, though, outplays what I expect from them. The running system they employ is tremendous. They can turn anyone into a 1000 yard rusher. But still, it won't be enough against an improved Chief defense.

Another week of picks. The bright side is that I can't get much worse!

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