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2014 NFL WEEK 3 – GAMES OF THE WEEK

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The Super Bowl rematch! It’s interesting to think about this game in light of what Philip Rivers just did the Seahawks this past Sunday. If Rivers can look like a 1st ballot Hall-of-Fame QB against the 2014 version of the “Legion of Boom” then what is Peyton Manning going to do? Unfortunately I’m not sure this is a great matchup for the Broncos. Their defense had a horrible time staying off the field last week against Kansas City & while it seems like Manning might be in for a big day, the unfortunate part is that Manning might never be on the field! Throw in the fact that the game is in Seattle & it certainly looks like a Seattle win in the making.
Amazingly enough the Cardinals are in the lead in the NFC West and it’s interesting that Arizona beat the team that beat Seattle when talking about the Chargers. Unfortunately for Arizona they’ll have Drew Stanton as their starting QB instead of Carson Palmer, but that didn’t hurt Arizona against the Giants. The 49ers don’t come without their own set of problems either. The loss to Chicago was epic in regards to meltdowns & I can’t wait to see how Kaepernick recovers from that unmitigated disaster! He’ll have to have a big game if SF wants to pull off the road win because nobody runs on Arizona. A loss here would effectively put the 49ers 3 games behind Arizona!
I think this might be the most fun game of the weekend if only because I think these are the two most surprising teams in the NFL so far this season. Nobody thought Buffalo would beat the Bears at Soldier Field to open up the season & they not only picked up the win, but followed it up with a win over Miami. I don’t think anyone thought the Bolts would upend Seattle but they did & look like a strong playoff team in the AFC. Should be an interesting matchup as well. The Chargers can’t run the ball worth a darn & Buffalo isn’t too bad at pass defense. SD’s defense is shaky against the pass so EJ Manuel might be the guy who determines who wins this game.
The AFC North is a big bundle of mess & even though both of these teams come in 1-1, both are close to being 2-0 squads. Cleveland had Pittsburgh tied up 27-27 until Shaun Suisham kicked a 41yd FG. If the game goes to OT maybe Cleveland wins. Baltimore lost to Cincinnati 23-16 in Week 1 but was up 16-15 midway through the 4th quarter. Cleveland has had major issues stopping anyone defensively & the Ravens could be a bad matchup as Flacco could get hot. What is interesting is that Ray Rice hasn’t been missed. Bernard Pierce & Justin Forsett have rushed for 239yds/1TD/5.1ypc! I like the Ravens but Cleveland won here last year.
A solid NFC North slobber knocker, the Lions definitely have the advantage here because Matthew Stafford & company are heading back to Motown to play in the dome where offensive wonders abound. Early season games can take on more importance than they might otherwise should. Seeing Green Bay get hammered by Seattle & then play the Jets close at Lambeau would indicate something seriously amiss. Then you realize Aaron Rodgers is on pace to throw for over 4000yds & rip off 32TD & you wonder what is going on? The Packers are hurting a bit running the ball & stopping the run so it’ll be interesting to see if Detroit runs despite being in the dome.
I’m really excited to see this matchup. Carolina’s defense has been fantastic this season & the team is +6 in TO margin through the first couple of games. What will be interesting is that Carolina is 4.9ypc to the opposition’s rushing attack which should have the Steelers salivating given how great Le’Veon Bell has ran the ball this year. The Steelers so far this season have been -4 in TO margin so I’m curious if regression is going to make a difference here if Pittsburgh can keep the turnovers in check. This isn’t a good Steelers defense which is out of the ordinary but if they can rely on the run game, they could keep Cam Newton off the field & help the D out. Very interesting here.
The Jets might not be as bad as people think although I’m not convinced Geno Smith is the answer at QB. The Jets almost beat Green Bay last week while the Bears are coming off a HUGE road comeback win over San Francisco. The Bears will be supremely confident going on the road again & I’ve thought Chicago a good team since before the season began. Interestingly enough the Jets can run the football & the Bears can’t stop the run while the Bears can throw the football & the Jets have struggled against the pass. This could be a time of possession game & I wonder if Matt Forte could have a huge impact if he can find a way to run on a superb Jets rush defense?
Could be an interesting game if “good” Tennessee shows up. The Titans have shown a little Jekyl & Hyde act during the first 2 weeks of the season. In Week 1 they went into Kansas City & completely dominated the Chiefs 26-10. Even if you think Kansas City sucks (they don’t), playing at Arrowhead is a TOUGH place to win. Then Tennessee goes home & gets hammered by the Cowboys! They made Dallas’ defense look competent! The Bengals have had 2 really good wins over Atlanta & Baltimore to start the season but they susceptible to the run & I think Tennessee could potentially get some plays there. Which Jake Locker shows up could be key.
Tampa Bay was somewhat of an intriguing team before the season began because they have some pieces that look pretty good & they had to be an improving team over the 2013 version. Throw in a decent coach like Lovie Smith & the Bucs were bound to be a better team. The first 2 weeks have shown mostly lost opportunity. Tampa has opened up with 2 games at home and have lost both in close fashion with a TO margin of -3. Bobby Rainey has done a good job rushing the football but Smith’s belief in Josh McCown at QB could prove detrimental. I think this could be a game to show us either how awful the Bucs are or if they can be a player in the NFC South.
Just when you think Dallas is going to rip off a 3-13 season, they go & have an impressive road win over the Titans! DeMarco Murray is on pace for 2280 rushing yds & 16TD while Dez Bryant is on pace for 112rec/1264yds/8TD & that’s with Tony Romo playing poorly. This is bad news for St. Louis whose defense has been fairly awful against the run & who has Austin Davis playing QB while Zac Stacy has struggled to get anything going on the ground. This is a great story for whichever team wins because they’ll be an unlikely 2-1. As a Cowboys fan I think Dallas wins just so the fanbase has to be stuck with Jason Garrett for the foreseeable future.
I don’t really expect this to be much of a game, but there are some interesting trends. For one thing, the Eagles simply haven’t played well at home under Chip Kelly. They were 4-4 last year at home & this season started off at home down 17-0 to the Jaguars before coming alive. It’s interesting though that since Philly lost their first 4 home games, they haven’t lost one since so maybe that trend is out the door. The other interesting aspect is Washington QB Kirk Cousins. Cousins gives Washington the best chance to win & he’s a good fit in Jay Gruden’s system, and Philly could be vulnerable to the pass. I think Philly wins but a road win here solidifies Cousins.
Both teams are 0-2 in the AFC South, but Indianapolis’ 0-2 is a might different than Jacksonville. Both teams were beaten by Philadelphia but Indianapolis probably should have beaten the Eagles while Jax was beaten by 17 points. The Colts had a good shot at pulling off a stunner in Denver against the defending AFC Champions while Jax got destroyed by the Redskins. If you want to argue that Denver is the best team in the AFC then the Colts can’t be worse than 3rd or maybe 4th. If Philly is a top-5 team then you have to believe the Colts are a top-10 team. The schedule eases up a bit & I think the Colts finally get on the board with a win here.
A brutal matchup for the Raiders. Oakland has rushed the ball just 32 times compared tot he 74 passing attempts. That’s 70% passing & the Patriots arguably have the best passing defense in the league. So far this year New England has allowed opposing QBs to complete just 54.4% of their passes & have picked off 5 balls! This week they are going against a rookie QB in Derek Carr who plays in an offense that loves to put him in passing plays. The only way Oakland could potentially show any grit in this game is to commit to the run which they aren’t likely to do. This all adds up to New England bringing tremendous pain to Raider Nation.
At 0-2, the Saints go back to the Superdome where they simply don’t lose. Considering they are taking on a Vikings team who is missing their best player, it’s safe to say that this weekend could be a game where the Saints finally take a step in the right direction. New Orleans’ two losses have come by a combined 5 points. They 3pt loss to Atlanta came in OT while the 2-pt loss to Cleveland came on a last second FG. NO’s defense has been downright awful & Drew Brees hasn’t been great. I think those two things turn around & the Saints start to paste teams. Rob Ryan is too good a DC & Brees is too good a QB. New Orleans wins big. VERY BIG.
The 2-0 Texans against the 0-2 Giants! Oddly enough these teams are fairly similar defensively as they both do well against the pass but struggle quite a bit against the run. Where the teams differ is offensively where Houston runs the ball extremely well while the Giants don’t really do anything well offensively. The big issue here to me is wondering if the Giants are really THIS BAD!? They’ve been outscored 60-28 in their first two games. Eli Manning is awful. There is absolutely no running game & you have to wonder if Tom Coughlin is in his final season. The bad part is if the Giants lose this game they could easily start the season 0-10!
Led by Knowshon Moreno, the Dolphins rode their rusher to a big win over New England 33-20. The following week Miami lost Moreno early & Miami went down to Buffalo last week. The Chiefs were embarrassed by the Titans in Week 1 but then came back and almost beat the Broncos last week! Although I find this the least interesting game of the week, it does have some consequences. Miami needs the win to stay even in the AFC East considering the Patriots are likely to win. The Chiefs need to win if only to avoid an 0-3 start and potentially move into a tie for 2nd place with San Diego only a game behind Denver should Denver lose.
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September 19, 2014 - Posted by | Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Big Games, Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Must See Games, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Week 3

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