By Doug Halberstadt
I know we only just wrapped up the second week of a 17-week NFL regular season. I also know there are loads of games left to be played. I don’t know if I can withstand another week like I had in week two. With only the Monday night game left to be played at press time, I was 6-9. I took the Colts over the Eagles in that contest.
Much like a quarterback who throws an interception, I need to have a short memory and forget about the errors and come out throwing again this week. Without further ado, here are my picks for week three …
In tomorrow night’s game (Thursday, Sept. 18), I like the Falcons (1-1) over the Buccaneers (0-2) in Atlanta. Buffalo (2-0) is at home against the Chargers (1-1). San Diego is fresh off an upset win over the Seahawks. I think they’ll ride that momentum wave and hand the Bills their first loss of the season.
In Sunday’s (Sept. 21) games, the Bengals (2-0) are at home against the Titans (1-1). I think Cincinnati will remain undefeated and drop the Titans to 1-2. A pair of 1-1 teams face one another in Baltimore as the Ravens host the Cleveland Browns. I’m taking the Ravens.
Green Bay (1-1) and Detroit (1-1) will try to get an edge up in the NFC North when they meet up in the Motor City. I’m giving the edge to the Pack. Another team looking for any type of edge is the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2). They will be at home against the Indianapolis Colts (0-1). The Jags will stay in the winless column.
Joining the Jags in that winless category will be the Oakland Raiders (0-2). They have the unfortunate task of traveling to Foxboro, Massachusetts, to take on the resurgent Patriots (1-1). Look for the Raiders to fall to 0-3.
The New Orleans Saints (0-2) are also looking at a goose egg in the win column. That should change this week. They are home against the Minnesota Vikings (1-1). I look for Drew Brees and the Saints to win.
Houston (2-0) will visit the New York Giants (0-2). The Texans seem to be heading in the right direction riding the tails of running back Arian Foster. The Giants seem to be heading in the wrong direction. Several people are blaming quarterback Eli Manning for the troubles in New York. I look for both teams to maintain their headings. The Giants will fall to 0-3, while Houston improves to 3-0.
Robert Griffin III dislocated his ankle and left the game last week. His replacement, Kirk Cousins, led the team to a 31-point win over the Jags. I like Cousins’ stage presence and look for a repeat performance from him against Philadelphia (1-0) this week. The game is in Philly.
Dallas and St. Louis are both 1-1. They meet one another in St. Louis this week. Dallas has more talent at the skill positions. That should translate to a road win for the Cowboys.
The 49ers (1-1) and the Arizona Cardinals (2-0) will kick off the later games Sunday. Arizona will be looking to improve to 3-0. I like their chances. The 49ers had a huge letdown against Chicago last week. I don’t see them bouncing back from that on the road. They will fall to 1-2.
Kansas City (0-2) will go in search of their first win of the year against the Miami Dolphins (1-1). I’m going with the Chiefs in a mild upset. Both teams should be 1-2 when this one is done.
What should be the game of the week has the Denver Broncos (2-0) traveling up north to try and do the near impossible — beat the Seahawks (1-1) in Seattle. The Broncos have held on to early leads for both of their wins this season. I don’t think that formula will work against Seattle. I’m taking the home team, and look for both teams to finish the game with 2-1 records.
The Sunday night game features the Steelers (1-1) going up against the Panthers (2-0) in Carolina. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton appears to be operating at 100 percent. He’s having success throwing to his favorite target, tight end Greg Olson. I look for them to have a big game against Pittsburgh. Put the Panthers down for 3-0 and drop the Steelers to 1-2.
Finally, we get to the Monday night game. The Bears (1-1) will be in the Big Apple to face the Jets (1-1). The Bears were impressive in their win over the 49ers in last Sunday night’s game. Despite some key injuries, I like their resolve. Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall was almost unstoppable. If they can keep up their chemistry, the Jets won’t be able to prevent them from getting into the end zone. The Bears will need this game to keep pace in their division. Look for them to improve to 2-1.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Sept. 17-23, 2014, issue