After 3 weeks of 'wtf' and '%$^%#$', the NFL has decided to replace the replacement refs with the original refs. Though with the new change, hopefully now the pick'ems will prove to be better. Last week, wet an abysmal 4-12 though 2 games were 'blown' by the refs and the other 4, the teams just didn't show up to play. Hopefully things will be different during this week.
That being said, let's get things started.
Thursday Night 8:20 p.m.
Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens
It's basically Art Modell's new team vs. the team he pissed all over. To be honest, this is an easy one. Ravens have won 13 straight at home and coming off a big Sunday night win against the Pats. If Josh Weeden thought the Bills defense was tough last week, he's in for a surprise.
Sunday 1:00 p.m.
San Francisco 49ers @ New York Jets
Jets have only one advantage: home field. Other than that, their offense is shaky at best. On defensive side of the ball, they lost one of their better players in Revis for the season due to injury. Expect Crabtree, Moss, Davis, and even Manningham to contribute in this one for the 49ers.
Bonus Pick: After this week, Tebow will be starting
San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs were able to go into New Orleans and snatch up a 27-24 OT win. RB Jamaal Charles went wild, running for 233 yards on 33 carries. He'll be going up against a Chargers' run defense that allowed Michael Turner (who averaged lass than 3.0 ypc in his first two games) to rush for an average of 5.7 ypc. Oh, and the Chiefs are currently on a 2-game winning streak against the Chargers at home in Arrowhead Stadium.
Seattle Seahawks @ St. Louis Rams
Lost in the controversy of that Monday night game was the fact that the Seahawks defense held the Packers offense to a mere 12 points and sacked Aaron Rodgers 8 times. Rams' offense was held to a total of 160 yards and QB Sam Bradford was sacked 6 times in a blowout loss against the Chicago Bears. Expect Seattle to get after Bradford all day.
Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions
Vikings have received good news in the form that WR Jerome Simpson has finished his 3-game suspension for violating the NFL substance abuse policy. This will give Christian Ponder, who is already having a very efficient year (104.9 QB rating), the explosive weapon he's been missing so far. With Lions' QB Matt Stafford banged up and their secondary in dire straits, expect the Vikings to pillage another upset victory.
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills
In the off-season, the Bills retooled their defense. They went out and got pass rushing DEs (Mario Williams and Mark Anderson) and drafted CBs (Stephen Gilmore and Ron Brooks). Now this will be their first big test, going up against a high-powered Patriots passing attack. Fortunately for the Bills, they're also going up against a Patriots defense who couldn't lay a hand on Flacco and can't stop a passing attack even if they had 8 guys in the secondary.
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans
The Texans defense has given up an average of 67.0 ypg on the ground in the early goings of the season. The Titans' Chris Johnson has 45 yards on 33 yards so far this season. You can see where this going now...
Carolina Panthers @ Atlanta Falcons
Last week, the Panthers secondary could not contain the Giants 4th-string WR Ramses Barden. This week they'll be asked to defend Rodney White and Julio Jones. Combined with the fact that there might be some tension between Cam Newton and WR Steve Smith stemming from that Thursday night loss. Yeah....it's not going to be pretty.
Sunday 4:05 & 4:25
Cincinnati Bengals @ Jacksonville Jaguars
A cat fight that a fox could care less about. But the Bengals still got more firepower compared to the Colts offense, especially with the emergence of WR Andrew Hawkins as a good complimentary to A.J. Green. Also a Bengal tiger is bigger than a Jaguar.
Oakland Raiders @ Denver Broncos
Normally this would have been a classic AFC-West rivalry game. Now...not so much. Peyton Manning has too many offensive weapons with Decker, Thomas, Tamme, and now Stokely, at his disposal. So....
Bonus: Al Davis comes back from the dead to fire HC Dennis Allen and regain control of the Raiders for another 50 years
New Orleans Saints @ Green Bay Packers
A must win for the Saints unless they want to drop to 0-4 for the first time since 2007. However when you have the worst defense overall and give up close to 480 ypg, you won't be winning that much. Though Aaron Rodgers is having a poor start, compared to last year, expect him to rebound back into 2011 form and torch the Saints secondary.
Bonus: At halftime, vendors will be giving out 'Aints' paper backs at $5 per bag, $3 for barf bags.
Washington Redskins @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ahem. FUCK YOU SCHIANO. That is all.
Miami Dolphins @ Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals' defense is definitely making some people turn their heads and take note. They held the Patriots to 18 points in week 2 and then made a mockery of the Eagles in a 27-6 blowout last week. After 3 games, they're 10th in overall defense (316.0 ypg), 2nd in points allowed (13.3), and tied for 2nd in sacks (12.0). Against a Miami offense that lost its only prolific star (RB Reggie Bush) to injury, expect these birds to be chirping about being 4-0.
Sunday Night 8:20 p.m.
New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles
Classic NFC East rivalry that sometimes you don't know what's going to happen. That being said, the Eagles have flown really close to the ground in terms of offense. With 12 turnovers in 3 games already, including Michael Vick with 9 of them (6 INT, 3 FUM), having a porous offensive line, as well as a defense that couldn't stop a Kolb-led Cardinals offense, this spells disaster. One can argue that the Giants are hurting in the secondary with CB Corey Webster having a broken bone in his hand and FS Antrelle Rolle knee laceration. But with an explosive and deep offense that's getting back 2 starters (WR Hakeem Nicks and RB Amhad Bradshaw) as well as a pass rush starting to wake up, you'll see why the Giants are the reigning champs.
Pick: Even Stevie Wonder can see who I'm going to pick. Giants
Monday Night 8:30 p.m.
Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys
Not even Mike Ditka can help save this Bears team. Forte is still questionable, Cutler's leadership is coming under fire, and not to mention their offensive line has allowed him to be sacked 11 times already. Though everybody likes to talk about the Cowboys being inconsistent, the only consistent thing about them is the fact that DE/LB DeMarcus Ware is going to make a mockery of Bears OT Jordan Webb all night long.
Bonus: The over/under line of John Gruden's idiotic quotes during the broadcast is at over 50.
Teams on Bye: Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Weeks Record: 4-12
Season Record: 22-26
-Ryan L. Fox
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