Pewter Planks' Week 3 Picks

This will now be a weekly column that I do on the PewterPlank before I read the all too influential Bill Simmons!

Cleveland @ Baltimore

  • While divisional games normally yield closer results than some might think (see Oak, SD week 1 as well as Buffalo, NE week 1), the Browns are inept and the Ravens are studly.  This has a chance to be a real route.
  • Prediction  - Ravens 30 Browns 3
  • Line – Baltimore -13, O/U 38.5

Washington @ Detroit

  • A lot of pundits are picking this for the first win for the Lions since two years ago, and I tend to agree with them.  The Skins have looked horrible on offense through the first two weeks of the year.  Matthew Stafford showed a glimpse of why he was the number one selection in the 2009 NFL Draft last week. If he can keep the ball headed towards Calvin Johnson and Kevin Smith can produce a reasonable rushing attack, there is no reason this Lions team can’t win.
  • Prediction – Lions 17 Redskins 14
  • Line – Washington -6.5, O/U 39.0

Jacksonville @ Houston

  • Our 2nd divisional game thusfar and a game featuring two teams headed in separate directions.  This will be Jack Del Rio’s last year in Jville (should have been last) and as the season progresses, my guess is that the Jags get worse as every player comes to realize this.  Houston’s offense went nuts last week as Matt Schaub realized that just like Calvin Johnson, if you just continuously throw the ball to Andre Johnson, your team has a better chance of winning.
  • Prediction – Texans 24 Jags 13
  • Line – Houston -3.5, O/U 47.0

Atlanta @ New England

  • My favorite game of the week.  Atlanta’s squad under Mike Smith reminds me so much of a Steeler oriented attack.  They are efficient, they are tough, and they are well coached.  My only problem with ATL is that their secondary is still a weak spot. The Jets sure gave the blueprint last week though for getting into Tom Brady’s head.  Expect Smith to send John Abraham at Brady all day.  Brady will get the best of the secondary though that is not anywhere near the caliber of the Jets.
  • Prediction – Pats 24 Falcons 21
  • Line – New England -4.0, O/U 47.0

Green Bay @ St Louis

  • My preseason NFC Champs pick, the Green Bay Packers lost an embarrassing home game last week to the Cincinnati Bengals.  That won’t happen this week though, even in St Louis as the Rams have looked like one of the 5 worst teams in football through 2 games.  GM Billy Devaney this week made some quotes that would have to have lit a fire under his players, but I don’t know that they have the talent to keep up with the Pack, especially in the secondary.  The Rams might be able to put up some points against an injured Pack D though.
  • Prediction – Packers 31 Rams 14
  • Line – Green Bay -6.5, O/U 41.0

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Unfortunately, I have to witness what I think is a slaughter in the making this Sunday.  Never do I want to go to RayJay and watch us get killed, but I have very low hopes heading into this Sundays tilt vs the Giants.  I will have a better preview for you guys tomorrow night, so for now I’ll just give you the prediction.
  • Prediction – Giants 35 Bucs 14
  • Line – Giants -6.5, O/U 44.5

Tennessee @ New York Jets

  • My 2nd favorite game on the tilt this week.  The Jets are coming off of a huge organizational building block win against the New England Patriots last week (if you missed this, please come out of your cave this week).  I think the emotions from last weeks game could run over into this Sunday though, and not in a good way.  I think the Pats game was so built up in all the players minds that, they might have a tendency on Sunday to go off track.  I’m sure that was Rex Ryan’s focus all week, the mental makeup of his players.  The Titans are a great 0-2 team, but their defense looked real questionable last week against the Texans.  This could be a higher scoring affair than most people think…By the way, I have a mancrush on Mark Sanchez…but not like that though, I am married!
  • Prediction – Jets 21 Titans 17
  • Line – Jets -1, O/U 37.0

Kansas City @ Philadelphia

  • Everyone has been waiting for the return of Michael Vick, and this week we finally get to see it.  Everyone on ESPN keeps acting like the Eagles shouldn’t rush Vick back into action, I call boooooooo.   You don’t bring the guy in, deal with all the distractions and then let him sit on the bench.  I’m guessing around 20 snaps from the Wildcat, Qb and WR spots for Vick.  Kevin Kolb looked pretty solid last week even though he threw 3 picks.  I expect this to be a shootout, with close to 900 yards of total offense between the 2 teams.
  • Prediction – Eagles 35 Chiefs 21
  • Line – Eagles -9, O/U 40.5

San Francisco @ Minnesota

  • The Niners are the media darlings of the league right now.  They have certainly shown an improved style and discipline on the field under head coach Mike Singletary.  This game features 2 of the 3 top rushing backs through 2 weeks, Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson (my 2nd man crush…that run against the Browns, favorite of all time).   I was a little surprised last week how well Kevin Smith ran on the Vikings D and the Williams’ Wall.  If they let Gore run the same way they let Smith run, the Vike are in trouble.  Brett Favre was as efficient as it gets last week vs the Lions, delegating winning games to their best player, AP.  This should be a real good game, and I might have to find a Direct TV bar so that I can watch it.
  • Prediction – Vikings 24 Niners 17
  • Line – Vikings -6.5, O/U 39.0

New Orleans @ Buffalo

  • I love the way the Bills have played through 2 weeks, but this is a tough matchup. At least working for the Bills is the play of their 2 excellent corners in Terence McGee and Leodis McKelvin, because right now Drew Brees is going bonkers.  I think he has 48 or 49 touchdowns through 2 games.  Ok 11, but still, there offense is averaging 40 something points a game.  The Bills might have to rely heavily on an offensive attack that has looked quite efficient the first two weeks.   The Saints are bad on the road under Sean Payton, and are not even sure who there running back is going to be this week. Upset Alert in Buffalo, home of the delicious Anchor Bar.
  • Prediction – Buffalo 42 Saints 34
  • Line – New Orleans -6.0, O/U 51.5

Chicago @ Seattle

  • For all the Bears fans out there who were throwing a conniption fit after week 1, just calmmmmmmm down.  Jay Cutler showed you last week why you gave up multiple first round picks for him.  Any reader of this site knows how I feel about Jay’s ability to be a top tier QB in this league, so I’ll spare the Cutler party right now.  They played a great game last week vs the Steelers, a tough team to play anywhere, home or the road.   The Seahawks looked bad last week, much to my chagrin (and the futures bet that sits in my pockets’ chagrin) and Matt Hasselbeck is still questionable due to his broken rib. Seneca Wallace is a more than capable backup, but they need Matt to win.
  • Prediction w/Hasselbeck Seahawks 17 Bears 14
  • Prediction w/o Hasselbeck Bears 21 Seahawks 10
  • Line – Chicago -1, O/U 37.0

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnatti

  • The Bengals are fired up about this game, and rightfully so, this is their main nemesis and the team that altered the upward course of this team a few years ago by breaking Carson Palmer.  Cedric Benson has been a huge pickup for the Bengals, but we saw what the Steelers did to Matt Forte and to Chris Johnson. Expect the Steelers to get back to some Steelers style football and pound Rashard Mendenhall all game.  Should be a hard fought divisional game that will be closer than people think.
  • Prediction – Steelers 21 Bengals 14
  • Line – Pittsburgh -4, O/U 37.0

Denver @ Oakland

  • When the hell are the Raiders going to realize that Jamarcus Russell is just not very good.   He was 7 for 24 last week and 19 of 54 on the season, for a 35% completion percentage, no good.   At least they have Pro Bowl Punter Shane Lechler though, who is averaging 53.9 yards/p/punt, which is almost hilarious it is so good.  The Raiders allowed a ton of yards last week to the Chiefs, but only allowed 10 total points, which is the ultimate barometer of the D.  The Broncos are a surprising 2 and 0, but won a fluke game in week 1 and beat the hell out of the worst team in the league last week.  This is a chance for an average at best team to get to 3-0 on the road against their arch rivals.  A gross unwatchable game.
  • Prediction – Raiders 12 Broncos 7
  • Line – Denver -1, O/U 36.5

Miami @ San Diego

  • I thought that the Dolphins looked fantastic on Monday night, they just couldn’t stop number 18 on a final drive when it mattered the most.   The Chargers D has been underwhelming at best thusfar and the loss of Jamal Williams is a huge one in the middle of their normally tenacious 3-4 defense.  Expect the Wildcat to run loose this week against the Chargers.  Rivers will throw for a copious amount of yards once again, but the Chargers will lose (Rivers actually throws for a much higher ypg in Chargers losses).
  • Prediction – Miami 28 Chargers 24
  • Line – San Diego -6.0, O/U 44.0

Indianapolis @ Arizona

  • Third best game on this weekends docket.  The Cards lost week one to a surprising Niners team, and than won handedly last week against the sorry Jags. This is a real barometer game for the Super Bowl losers from 2009.   Indy didn’t look particularly good last week on Monday night, but they do have one of the best players ever to play the game in Peyton Manning, and when the game is on the line, you can expect magic from number 18.    The Colts are allowing the fewest passing yards per game through 2 games, but they did play David Garrard and then a team that uses a running formation for 10% of the game.  I don’t think either teams pass defenses are that good, so expect 600 or so combined yards between old man Warner and number 18.
  • Prediction – Cardinals 31 Colts 24
  • Line – Arizona -2.5, O/U 48.0

Carolina @ Dallas

  • There is trouble in Panther town, whether anyone in Charlotte wants to admit or not.  John Fox is on the hot seat, Jake Delhomey is on the seat and the  Panthers are 0-2.  They also lead the league in point differential at -36.  Not a good stat to be the league leader in.   Right now, the run defense is horrid, and the offense is horrid.  They can defend the pass well, so they might be able to limit Tony Romo a bit on Monday night.  Felix Jones is about to run wild for the Cowboys though, who look to come off of a humiliating defeat against their arch rivals, the New York Giants.
  • Prediction – Cowboys 27 Panthers 17
  • Line – Dallas -9, O/U 47.5

If You Know…Betting Were Legal

  • Ravens -13
  • Lions +6.5
  • Texans -3.5
  • Green Bay -6.5
  • Giants -6.5
  • Eagles/Chiefs Over 40.5
  • Bills +6
  • Bills/Saints Over 51.5
  • Raiders/Broncos under 36.5
  • Dolphins +6.0
  • Dolphins/Chargers Over 44.0
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