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Alright, I'll post my thoughts and Week 3 predictions later, but for now, here's my question!
Question of the Week: With the Jaguars defeating the Patriots under Tom Brady for the first time ever, do you think they'll be the new favorite for the AFC?
I mean, they've been really hyped up for most of the offseason, but I do have to say I'm quite impressed with how little relevance they had before last year and are now proceeding to be, well, this. Granted, it's only two games in, but their defense is looking really good so far and pulled them to a double digit point win upset against the team that ruined their Super Bowl hopes. And honestly, I want to see them succeed. Then again, I want the Texans to succeed too.
I don't quite yet know about them being the new favorite but the Jags will certainly be a super bowl contender. The defense being good is a given at this point, but last week's victory does not happen without a good performance on offense, where everything clicked. In previous years I think the potential was there but the team needed really good drafting (I don't think they've had a bust in quite a while), a better coaching regime, and a few key free agents (Calais Campbell, AJ Bouye in particular) to all come together.
Patriots are the AFC favorite every year until one of Brady or Belicheck is gone. Teams like the Chiefs, Steelers, and the aforementioned Jaguars are threats and can potentially steal the AFC, but I think it's likely I predict the Patriots to make the super bowl every year until one of those two are gone, even if I don't think they'll have homefield advantage.
That being said, if Blake Bortles continues outplaying Tom Brady like he did on sunday, they're the best team in the AFC. But even if that is the case the Patriots have been there too many times and have too much experience to not be considered the favorite.
NYJ at CLE So I really think the Browns have a good chance here, so long as their new kicker can actually kick and he's not injured or something. The Browns have a defense that will confuse and hit Sam Darnold all game long.
NO vs ATL So uh did Atlanta really fix its red zone issues last week?
SF vs KC 49ers defense isn't good enough to stop the Chiefs machine, but I think Garoppolo and Co. will get things together so there will be a lot of points scored.
OAK vs MIA Miami's defense has actually played pretty well so far
BUF vs MIN oof
IND vs PHI Wentz won't be 100% but the Colts won't provide enough of a challenge. GB vs WAS Redskins are looking really unpredictable atm
CIN vs CAR Not having Joe Mixon is going to hurt the Bengals
TEN vs JAX I think Gabbert starts. Gabbert is going to be pressured into making a lot more mistakes than in the previous week. If it's Mariota instead I don't see how the Titans will fare any better.
DEN vs BAL Broncos won't have as much success on the road, but defenses should rule this game.
NYG vs HOU Oh boy the offensive lines in this game
LAC vs LAR Rams look unstoppable atm CHI vs ARI The lowest scoring team versus a scary looking defense? rip red birb DAL vs SEA Dallas has personnel that can take advantage of the Seahawks' weaknesses NE vs DET Even if the Lions weren't this bad I'd take Belichick over his former coordinators any day PIT vs TB The way the Bucs are playing, this is a legit tossup. It should be a lot of fun with the amount of points that are put up, though!
Patriots are the AFC favorite every year until one of Brady or Belicheck is gone. Teams like the Chiefs, Steelers, and the aforementioned Jaguars are threats and can potentially steal the AFC, but I think it's likely I predict the Patriots to make the super bowl every year until one of those two are gone, even if I don't think they'll have homefield advantage. One quick point that I do want to make though, is that they did not return to the Super Bowl the year following either of the two times that they lost against the Giants (2008 and 2012). Granted, the former year they were without Brady, but they still did pretty good for the team they had then even without a playoff berth. I don't predict them to go 13-3 again this year, though - I'm sure both the Packers and Vikings will provide a challenge for them, even if I can't per se predict them both to win. And not helping is the Brady/Belichick tension but who knows if that'll really affect them at all.
That being said, if Blake Bortles continues outplaying Tom Brady like he did on sunday, they're the best team in the AFC. But even if that is the case the Patriots have been there too many times and have too much experience to not be considered the favorite. I see why that's the safest bet right now, but as Cleb said, the LII loss could leave a hangover on them even if they'll for sure win the division. Their game against us in London should be a good challenge for both sides and give real implications on what they have to offer.
So, that aside, to name a few highlights, Desean Jackson carried big against his former team, Packers and Vikings playing to an unexpected tie, Watson cracking under pressure at the worst possible moment, Broncos making it down to the wire against the Raiders. And the Browns losing in one of the most Browns ways possible. Again. I already talked about Patriots/Jaguars because it was arguably the most important game of the week, but that'll be it for this quick rundown. Also, fun fact: Tom McCarthy, the TV announcer for most Phillies games (particularly on MSNBC Sports Philly), was the announcer for Bills/Chargers. He also announced Jets/Dolphins in Week 3 last year.
Anyway, onto predictions!
NYJ at CLE
NO vs ATL - Hopefully they've straightened out things from Week 1, if their win against the Panthers helped at all.
SF vs KC - Here's one that could be tough to predict, although the 49ers' offense hasn't looked super on fire even with Jimmy G. I think Mahomes will come out on top.
OAK vs MIA - Not seeing as much out of Oakland as I thought I would.
BUF vs MIN - lol.
IND vs PHI - Although Wentz surely won't be back at 100% just yet, the Colts don't have that much and their QB is returning from injury too. They held off the Redskins last week but I think this will go different. GB vs WAS
CIN vs CAR - Battle of the beasts!
TEN vs JAX - Last year Jacksonville lost to them twice, but I don't see that happening this time.
DEN vs BAL
NYG vs HOU - Another game of two teams that are 0-2. The Texans have to get this one or they're gonna be pretty screwed down the road.
LAC vs LAR CHI vs ARI DAL vs SEA - Although I want the Seahawks to win this one, I don't see it happening. They've been playing like garbage recently, and the Cowboys will also have the revenge factor going for them since they were the team that ended their season last year. We'll see. NE vs DET - Oh boy, a team that the refs are over the top in love with against a team that they detest with every fiber of their being? This won't go over badly at all!
PIT vs TB - All things equal, I just think Fitzmagic is too good right now. That being said, this could be really tough to predict given the conditions!
NYJ at CLE Worst case scenario the Jets actually have a kicker, meanwhile Cleveland has some 'Greg Joseph' NO vs ATL Until further notice, I'm taking Atlanta's last week as an outlier
SF vs KC
OAK vs MIA Remember when the Raiders had potential? Thank you money man Gruden for putting them back in the dirt
BUF vs MIN Is this one even needed? IND vs PHI Watson had a long term injury and underperformed on his return, expecting something similar to happen here GB vs WAS CIN vs CAR
TEN vs JAX DEN vs BAL The thing about the Bills currently is that they could make even the worst offense in the league (except for probably their own) look good and aside from the free win, Baltimore has not exactly been convincing so far
NYG vs HOU
LAC vs LAR CHI vs ARI
DAL vs SEA Both teams unremarkable, going with the one who has the better QB NE vs DET
PIT vs TB One team seems to getting one step closer to implosion with each week, the other has a red-hot QB in arguably the best form of his career who will take on a defense that has shown itself to be quite exploitable. Expecting the streak to continue
NYJ at CLE - Rookie QB vs that nasty defense? Oh, no. Should still be close anyway because not like Cleveland's offense can score much off of what their defense creates.
NO vs ATL - This is always a great game. Both teams have looked pretty shaky to start the year, but I think Atlanta has looked shaky against better competition.
SF vs KC
OAK vs MIA
BUF vs MIN
IND vs PHI - This game depends on if Carson Wentz plays like the top 10 qb he is. If not, I think Indy will win, but I expect Wentz to be ballin whne he plays.
GB vs WAS I’m feeling it. CIN vs CAR - I am a believer in Cincinnati, who I think will take a Wild Card spot if they can keep up their solid play. They'll keep it going by winning on the road to go 3-0.
TEN vs JAX
DEN vs BAL - I really have no clue who's going to win this one. I'm going to say that the Ravens lost to a solid team and that Denver barely beat too bad ones as my reasoning?
NYG vs HOU
LAC vs LAR CHI vs ARI DAL vs SEA NE vs DET PIT vs TB - I think Tampa is a pretender, and that the Steelers gotta come out of their slump at some point... it's gotta been ages since they went winless through their first 3 games.
Mostly some pretty easy picks this week, but there were like 4-5 I struggled with picking: I talked about why next to the games I thought harder on.
More surprises this week had in store! Wentz's return was definitely respectable even if not optimal (I can give him a pass though because it was his first game in nine months and it was raining), the Bills blowing out the Vikings out of LITERALLY nowhere, a solid Falcons/Saints shootout even though it didn't go quite as I had hoped, the Cowboys getting schooled by the Seahawks which is good for us, the Browns winning a game, and not so unfortunately, Jimmy G's reign coming to an early end with a torn ACL. And of course, the Lions pulling a GREAT upset against the Patriots thanks to one of their proteges. And Miami is 3-0?! What kind of world do we live in?!
MIN at LAR - I'm sure the Vikings are pretty hung over by that mind-blowing loss to the Bills, and on a short week they're gonna be pressed on the road.
CIN at ATL TB at CHI DET at DAL - Cowboys are just NOT looking good right now.
BUF at GB - Buffalo might have pulled a crazy fluke in a parallel universe against an elite NFC North team, but there's no way they're doing it twice. PHI at TEN - On one hand, we have Jeffery and more importantly Wentz back, and the Titans haven't been that hot. On the other, quite a few of our big players are questionable right now. Still think we can get this done. I just hope I don't jinx anything here!
HOU at IND - As much as it pains me to do this, my hopes for the Texans are pretty much gone.
MIA at NE - Would love to be proven wrong with this one. I have to say it is pretty interesting seeing the Dolphins atop the AFC East, but that won't last barring otherwordly luck.
NYJ at JAX - Darnold may have put up one good showing, but that's not happening here. CLE at OAK SEA at ARZ
NO at NYG - Ugh I don't want to root for either of these teams but I think the Giants can win at home with Barkley.
SF at LAC - RIP 49ers
BAL at PIT - This may be tough to call. KC at DEN
Week 4 is the point where you really start to see what kind of a team everyone has, what they need to keep doing to get to the playoffs, and what needs to be adjusted if teams start to enter panic mode. And with that...
Question of the Week: With the loss to the Steelers, do you think that Fitzmagic and the Bucs will get brought back to reality in due time? If not, why? (I'll give my answer later but right now it's kinda late)
I am taking Rams for tomorrow. Will edit later.
CIN vs [b]ATL[/b]
TB vs [b]CHI[/b]
[b]DET[/b] vs DAL
BUF vs [b]GB[/b]
[b]PHI[/b] vs TEN
HOU vs [b]IND[/b]
[b]MIA[/b] vs NE
NYJ vs [b]JAX[/b]
[b]CLE[/b] vs OAK
SEA vs [b]ARZ[/b]
[b]NO[/b] vs NYG
SF vs [b]LAC[/b]
[b]BAL[/b] vs PIT
[b]KC[b] vs DEN
MIN at LAR
CIN at ATL TB at CHI DET at DAL
BUF at GB
PHI at TEN HOU at IND MIA at NE
NYJ at JAX CLE at OAK - If there's something for me to take solace on this week, it's this game marking another stop on the Oakland farewell self-destruction tour (thank you money man Gruden, thank you) SEA at ARZ NO at NYG
SF at LAC - Yet I wouldn't be surprised if the chargers somehow managed to screw up this one BAL at PIT - This may be tough to call. KC at DEN - F
MIN at LAR With Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters out, I think Kirk and the Minnesota O has a bounce back game... but the Rams are just TOO good everywhere. So, I begrudgingly pick them.
CIN at ATL Cincy is a pretty dang good team. This is going to be a much better game than people think. Cincy will elevate next week when they get Burfict back until he gets himself suspended again.
TB at CHI Let’s see how Fitzpatrick does against a real defense. Spoiler: not well. DET at DAL Dude... they lost to the seahawks.
BUF at GB Bills are a pretty alright team with Josh Allen. This won’t be a blowout, but I don’t expect that spectacular performance from last week. Green Bay is ANGRY, too. I wouldnmt be surprised if Buffalo won however. I sure hope they do. PHI at TEN I don’t know how Jax lost to Tennessee. It’s their thing I guess.
HOU at IND Indy has looked pretty dang good, don’t believe their 1-2 record. They’ll take care of the 0-3 Texans at home.
MIA at NE I’m not convinced by the Dolphins record. Patriots have looked BAD this year... but I can’t possibly imagine them falling to 1-3. This is a very important prove it game for both teams.
NYJ at JAX Sammy B is talented but he’s still a rookie. Jacksonville will have fun with him. CLE at OAK Let’s go Baker Mayfield.
SEA at ARI Let’s go Josh Rosen. NO at NYG Please be the NO vs NYG from a couple years ago which was one of the best games I’ve ever seen. No, the Saints will beat them in boring fashion.
SF at LAC Will be closer than you’d think! CJ Beathard is mad dece.
BAL at PIT Whoever wins this one loses the next one. Favor goes to home team. KC at DEN I think this will be the most lopsided game of this year. Not counting BAL BUF.