Wednesday, 18 September 2013

NFL 2013 Week 3 preview

Okay bit late in the season, but I intend to preview every week of the NFL season with some general opinion, fantasy advice and picks:

Chiefs at Eagles
Andy Reid makes his return to Philadelphia with his Chiefs currently 2-0 following their narrow victory over the luckless Dallas Cowboys.  The Eagles lost at home to the San Diego Chargers due to giving a quality quarterback like Philip Rivers too much time. They gave the Chargers just under two minutes to get into field goal range, so maybe Chip Kelly should buy himself a watch instead of a new playbook.
However, I feel the Eagles will bounce back as they will not commit as many penalties as they did on Sunday which chalked off two big touchdowns.  The Chiefs will keep it tight and will rely upon wide receiver play as the Eagles have stopped the run pretty well thus far.
Prediction: Eagles by 3

Packers at Bengals
This could conceivably be the match-up of the weekend as two very highly rated teams will duke it out.  Again it comes down to run defence, can the Packers stop the one-two punch of the LawFirm and Giovanni Bernard which they have done thus far; they stopped Alfred Morris and plugged up Frank Gore in week 1 forcing Kaepernick to throw for 400 yards.
However, the other match-up is which quarterback do you want. Rodgers or Dalton? And if you even bothered reading the second name then you are a Bengals sympathiser.  Rodgers threw for 400 yards and did so easily utilising all of his receivers - Nelson, Cobb, Jones, Finley.
Prediction: Packers by 6

Rams at Cowboys
The Cowboys did some silly mistakes and had their usual mix of bad luck yet Tony Romo could and maybe should have won, however, the defence is still looking good and should do enough against the Rams who went 21-0 down on the road to the Falcons before a late fightback led by Tavon Austin's first touchdown receptions.
Sam Bradford is solid and if he has less turnovers than Romo, then the Rams might run them close. Yet for me home field advantage is the key to this yet it will be close.
Prediction: Cowboys by 2

Chargers at Titans
The Titans are on an upward curve and will wonder how they let a division victory turn into a defeat at the Texans who nabbed them in OT thanks to DeAndre Hopkins. The Chargers bounced back from their own disaster versus the Texans with the impressive road victory versus the Eagles.  So for the right to be named the best team to lose to the Texans this season, we have this intriguing head to head.  The Titans defence may hold the key to this as they have made both Big Ben and Matt Schaub look pretty na├»ve in selection process.  Its also the Titans home opener so for me the Titans should get a big day from Chris Johnson and if you have Kendall Wright in fantasy, seek him out.
Prediction: Titans by 4

Browns at Vikings
It has been announced that Brian Hoyer will start for the Cleveland Browns this Sunday.  Take a breathe and read that. The Browns think they can beat a steady side like the Vikings with a third string quarterback, and a team that cannot defend the run well face the number one running back in the NFL, Adrian Peterson.  Christian Ponder has a deep weapon in Jerome Simpson, but if he does what he does and does not commit turnovers this could be a big win for the Vikings.
Prediction: Vikings by 7

Buccaneers at Patriots
The Bucs are probably the most unlucky 0-2 team in the NFL, and it might not get easier as they travel to Fortress Foxboro to face the undefeated Patriots (I am a New England fan if you didn't know). However, the Patriots barely got past the Jets in a rain-soaked affair with question marks over the receiving core who impressed so much in training camp.  Word is that Rob Gronkowski will be returning this week having trained this week.  The Bucs threw away victory over the Saints at home much like they lost on the road to the Jets.  So the Bucs lost to the Jets, the Jets lost to the Pats. The Pats should beat the Bucs.
Prediction: Pats by 7

Cardinals at Saints
The Saints are 2-0 but not been that convincing, still requiring all the components to click to the greatest effect.  The defence has improved and they can win ugly.  The Cardinals upset the Lions at home and have a lot of highly skilled players, however, they are only individuals and not much of a team at the moment.  Expect the Saints D to bully and hassle Carson Palmer to numerous turnovers.
Prediction: Saints by 9

Lions at Redskins
The Redskins are in trouble, RG3 is not the same person or player at the moment.  He is reluctant to run and is not throwing well, with Morris not getting much joy from his running game.  The Lions have the weapons and a lot depends on the presence of Reggie Bush and if he starts this Sunday.  Once Bush, departed the Arizona game on Sunday, that allowed the Cardinals to double team Calvin Johnson without the worry of a backfield presence who could punish them in Bush. The Lions should win this but it could be a high scoring affair due to the number of mistakes possible.
Prediction: Lions by 3

Giants at Panthers
The Panthers are unlucky also, they somehow lost to the Bills (who still can improve), and the Giants are also 0-2.  The Giants have the weapons, yet I remember Cam Newton ripping apart a Giants defence in his rookie year.  Newton has not been able to do that yet this season, we await it with bated breath.  There is no alarm for the Giants just yet, but maybe Tom Coughlin could be on a hotter seat if they succumb to this inferior opponent.  This is a tough one to call for me, my mind says Giants based on player level yet the Panthers could quite well surprise in this one.
Prediction: Panthers by 2

Texans at Ravens
The Ravens may be without Ray Rice (hip) but have a capable replacement in Bernard Pierce and have a receiving core with rookie Marlon Brown looking strong.  The 2-0 Texans have been far from convincing, the defence is stellar but have conceded 20+ points in two games and could be without Andre Johnson (concussion) although DeAndre Hopkins offers hope.
Prediction: Ravens by 5

Falcons at Dolphins
The Dolphins are turning heads, thanks to the consistency of Ryan Tannehill and the defence who shut down Andrew Luck and avoided a fourth quarter comeback from him.  They are also getting plays from rookie Lamar Millar and Clay who had a huge receiving day.  The Falcons will definitely be without Steven Jackson for 4-6 weeks with no obvious back-up and have concerns over Roddy White's high ankle sprain meaning more work for Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez.  The Dolphins are a team I have picked against in both encounters thus far.  Not this time, Dolphins for the upset.
Prediction: Dolphins by 6

Bills at Jets
Both of these teams are better than people thought they would be.  I knew the Bills would be better than thought and were unlucky to not beat the Patriots in week 1; EJ Manuel got the job done versus the Panthers last week.  This week at the Meadowlands will be a running back battle as the Bills' CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson take on the Jets' Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory.  This will be low scoring like both Jets encounters so far, and I think the Jets' upward curve is just that little higher if Geno Smith avoids a bonehead interception when in field goal range as he had last week
Prediciton: Jets by 2

Colts at 49ers
Its the master versus the pupil as for the first time, Jim Harbaugh faces off against Andrew Luck for the first time since they both left Stanford.  Harbaugh has one of the better NFL teams at his disposal and Luck will get there eventually.  The 49ers need to bounce back after the humiliating defeat in Seattle, and need to get back to basics with Kaepernick, hence make him throw from the pocket and run second or scramble.  The Colts will score touchdowns they always do and will always make it close due to their spirit, however I feel the Niners will want to make a statement this week.
Prediction: 49ers by 10

Jaguars at Seahawks
The best team in the NFL versus the worst team in the NFL.  The pitiful Jaguars average 5.5 points through two games and the quarterback has been sacked 11 times total.  Not good statistics when facing the best defence in the league, at home, where they are unbeatable.  There could be an after the Lords Mayor show feel for the 12th man fans but Pete Carroll could easily run up the score against this opposition.  Question: Which will score more fantasy points this week? Russell Wilson or the Seahawks defence
Prediction: Seahawks by 17

Bears at Steelers
Sunday Night on Channel 4, brings us the rampant Bears on the road at the declining Steelers.  Jay Cutler still has turnovers but has won two close games and the defence is doing okay, whereas the Steelers defence is depleted, the D-line cannot stop the run nor pressurise the quarterback.  The Bears have enough weapons in the backfield and downfield to make this sorry Steelers look shameful.
Prediction: Bears by 9

Raiders at Broncos
Who at ESPN thought this would be a good game for Monday Night Football? A divisional battle yes, but the Broncos are rampant and whilst Tyrelle Pryor offers promise at the position, he is nowhere near to the quarterback status of Peyton Manning who has 11 touchdowns already through two games.  Muck like the previous two selections, this could be one way traffic and more than likely another double digit victory for the Broncos.  However, a word of warning, the Super Bowl is won in February not September.
Prediction: Broncos by 12

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