After two solid weeks of picks, Week 3 brought me crashing down to Earth with a disappointing record of 8-8. I whiffed badly on Tennessee, Carolina and Detroit, among others; it dropped me all the way down to 42nd in the standings. Pretty bad, huh? It gets worse.
In the prestigious, super-serious League of Texans Bloggers, my handpicked gridiron warriors coughed up a performance that will surely echo through time.
This is what happens when you draft Colin Kaepernick in the second round, people.
Here's the updated Top 10 for Battle Red Blog's Unofficial Pick 'Em League. STEELBLUE continues his dominance with a comfortable two-point lead. I expect "Blow Schaubs for everybody" to catch up soon if he keeps putting up 11 points a week.
Keep it up, fellas.
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Like the Texans, it was a rough week, but a new week gives us the chance to keep battlin'. Onward to the picks! As a reminder: I've included the spread for convenience but am not picking against it.
BYE WEEK: Green Bay Packers, Carolina Panthers
Both of these defenses have been uncharacteristically soft to start the season, and now that Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis will possibly miss this game, the reigning NFC champions are looking even more vulnerable. Can the Rams capitalize? Like the Seahawks, they've had a lot of success against the 49ers in the past. I think they can get this win at home against a limping team. Winner: Rams
Baltimore Ravens @ Buffalo Bills (+3.5)
Another road team favorite, but I think this one is warranted. Watching my Texans get rolled is still fresh on my mind and while the Bills have certainly impressed, the Ravens have the advantage in talent and are relatively healthy. Winner: Ravens
Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns (+4.5)
Coming off a stunning upset of Green Bay, Cincinnati must be flying high with confidence as they travel to nearby Cleveland, who just beat the underachieving Minnesota Vikings. I certainly didn't think they had what it took to beat the Packers, but that's what turnovers will do. Ultimately, it's about talent, and I'm not seeing too many factors to give Cleveland the edge. Winner: Bengals
Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions (-3)
Matthew Stafford is leading a resurgent Detroit team that came off a big win in Washington. Through three games, Stafford has over 1,000 yards passing with six touchdowns against just two interceptions. Enter the Bears, who specialize in forcing turnovers (+6 turnover ratio). So what will give? I'll go with a bit of history. The Chicago Bears are 3-1 at Detroit since Jay Cutler joined the team; he's thrown seven touchdowns and no picks with a 108.8 rating. Winner: Bears
New York Giants @ Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5)
New York is playing like one of the worst teams in the league. Eli Manning was sacked a staggering seven times against Carolina and the Giants were held to zero points. I think they can right the ship, just not this week. Kansas City is as talented on defense as Carolina and the steady Alex Smith offense should put them over the top. Winner: Chiefs
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Minnesota Vikings (+1.5)
Yet another road favorite. Christian Ponder is catching a lot of heat for his play while Pittsburgh is getting pressure to blow up the team and rebuild. Perhaps they can work out a deal for Roethlisberger after the game? For all its struggles, Pittsburgh still has a strong defense and can certainly key in on Adrian Peterson. Expect backup Matt Cassell to see some time after this week, if not sooner. Winner: Steelers
Arizona Cardinals @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-2.5)
A quarterback change has already happened in the league with rookie Mike Glennon getting the nod over the struggling Josh Freeman. The Cardinals have been swarming against the run through three games, allowing the third lowest yards per game on the ground. This might nullify Doug Martin and put the game squarely on Glennon's shoulders. If that's the case, I'm calling upset. Winner: Cardinals
Blaine Gabbert is healthy and ready to turn this season around for the Jaguars. Winner: Colts
Seattle Seahawks @ Houston Texans (+3)
Sigh. Getting pegged as the underdog at home hurts my feelings, but I can't disagree. After the performance they put up in Baltimore, there's little reason to think the Texans have what it takes to beat a Seattle team giving up an average of nine points per game. Is it getting hot in here?
The Texans certainly can win this game, but it's going to take perfect execution from all three sides of the ball to do it. Clean pockets, running lanes, and a turnover or two. It's certainly possible, but I'm nervous.
May Durga forgive me. Winner: Seahawks
New York Jets @ Tennessee Titans (-3.5)
GO JETS GO! Who knew the Jets would have more wins than the Giants at this point? Geno Smith is raw but has shown some guts in leading a team that everyone wrote off before the season. Rex Ryan is still a defensive guru, and that's the real reason for the team's success. His squad has held teams to 190 yards passing and 79 yards rushing per game on average through three games. I think that gives the edge to the Jets for the upset. Winner: Jets
Philadelphia Eagles @ Denver Broncos (-10.5)
It won't surprise me if Peyton Manning and the Broncos are double digit favorites for the rest of the season. Everything is clicking for them offensively and they are stout defensively even without Von Miller. Chip Kelly's fast-paced offense will only give Peyton more chances to score points. Winner: Broncos
Terrelle Pryor is concussed and might not make it back in time to face Washington, leaving perennial backup superstar Matt Flynn to take over. Pryor's physical talents and improvisation have given the team a bit of a spark on an otherwise lacking roster. I don't think Flynn can match that. Washington has to win eventually, right? Winner: Redskins
Dallas Cowboys @ San Diego Chargers (+2)
A potential shootout between two veteran quarterbacks. Philip Rivers has been surprisingly efficient without much of a running game to back him up, but the Cowboys are more talented overall, methinks. It really is a toss-up for me. Winner: Cowboys
Always bet on Brady? I'm very tempted to, especially if Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola are back. For now, I must operate under the assumption that they won't be. Despite running back Steven ackson being out for this game, I think the Falcons have all the tools and motivation they need to get to 2-2 and beat the New England Patriots. Winner: Falcons
Miami Dolphins @ New Orleans Saints (-6.5)
Two 3-0 teams on Monday Night Football is definitely what I want to see. How "for real" are the Miami Dolphins? Not enough, I'm afraid. I've ridden their coattails for three weeks now, but I'm jumping off against an always-powerful New Orleans offense that is now coupled with a surprisingly dominant defense (5th in points, 4th in yards). Winner: Saints
Survival League Pick: Denver Broncos
Boy, I sure wish I still had the Indianapolis Colts to choose. I'm going with the other slam dunk winner this week in Denver. I wish I could save them for later, but I just don't trust the other matchups (save for New Orleans) this week.
Sayonara to everyone who chose Minnesota over Cleveland. Send your hate mail to Christian Ponder.
That's it for this week. Let me know how bad my picks are in the Comments below or give us an update on yours. Feel free to discuss how your fantasy teams are doing, also. Have at it!