Is three times really a charm?
As I looked back over the second week of a dramatic season, I discovered that the number three wasn’t a kind one. Take the Washington Redskins for example. Three times the offense got into the red zone. Although the ‘Skins escaped with a 9-7 win over the St. Louis Rams, the scoring came from kicker Shaun Suisham, who not only was the player of the game, but he’s currently the team’s leading scorer. The dreaded number of note also reared its ugly head in the Dallas’ Sunday night loss to the New York Giants, this time in the form of Tony Romo. In what was supposed to be a glorious christening of the new Cowboys Stadium, Romo threw three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Given Romo’s history in December and January, I had to remind myself it was only September, a month in which he normally excels. Now that week three is upon us, the corresponding number will make its presence felt in the action to come. This time, it will effect the league on a broader scale.
Ravens over Browns – Given the shaky play at the quarterback position, and the offensive line allowing 4.5 sacks an outing, Baltimore will give Cleveland its third loss of the season.
Lions over Redskins – Who, right now, is more desperate for a win than Detroit? In two games, the Lions averaged 20 points per game while Washington’s scoring can be mostly attributed to the special teams. Until the offense can succeed in the departments of play calling and player execution, it’s not impossible for Detroit to get its first win since December 2007.
Texans over Jaguars – When Houston’s offense is clicking, it is one of the better, yet underappreciated offenses in the league. On the other hand, Jacksonville is still trying to figure out how to win.
Patriots over Falcons – Despite its many changes since the early 2000s dynasty, I can’t remember the last time New England lost two straight games. Why bet against them now?
Packers over Rams – After a humbling loss to Cincinnati, I’m thinking Green Bay is going to give St. Louis a show that can be likened to the greatest show on turf.
Giants over Buccaneers – If you thought it would take Eli Manning awhile to find a target as reliable as Plaxico Burress, think again. Remember the name Mario Manningham! If you don’t, Tampa Bay’s struggling secondary will.
Titans over Jets – As sure as Bill Belichick will not lose two straight, you can count on Jeff Fisher to coach Tennessee to its first win. Although he hasn’t had a formidable outside threat since Derrick Mason, Fisher will somehow outwit Rex Ryan and force New York into a moment of turbulence.
Eagles over Chiefs – For the first time in three years, Michael Vick will suit up and play in a regular season game. Even in his absence, Philly would still overcome a Kansas City team where the coach isn’t quite sold on Matt Cassel as the premier quarterback.
49ers over Vikings – Minnesota faces its first true test of the season. Brett Favre’s carefulness with the ball is too good to be true. San Francisco will help him revert back to his risky ways which will result in turnovers and a 49er win.
Saints over Bills – To the surprise of many, this will be a shootout. I’ll take New Orleans since its receivers’ hands seem more reliable than Buffalo’s.
Bears over Seahawks – Matt Hasselbeck’s status for this game is uncertain after the rib injury he suffered last week. Why would Jim Mora make him prey to Chicago’s ferocious defense?
Bengals over Steelers – Can Pittsburgh’s offensive line contain a man coming off a five sack game? Also, can the defending champions cover Cincinnati’s deep threats downfield? I’m not too sure they can, especially without Troy Polamalu, so I smell an upset.
Broncos over Raiders – I would’ve picked against Denver for a third week, but JaMarcus Russell’s play suggests otherwise. Robert Gallery is out with a fibula injury, which allow the Broncos’ defense to have its way with Oakland’s backfield.
Dolphins over Chargers – Here is my “Which Way To Go” game of the week. History led me to choose Miami because they haven’t lost to the Chargers in San Diego since 1994, have beaten them seven consecutive times and Chad Pennington is 3-0 lifetime against the Bolts. The winning tradition continues!
Cardinals over Colts – As the receivers flow, so goes Kurt Warner. Arizona’s deep threats have become healthier, which helps Warner regain his mojo. Beware the aerial assault!
Cowboys over Panthers – Given all the pageantry and hoopla that went into the regular season debut of Cowboys stadium, don’t look for Dallas to lose consecutive games in its new digs. The Panthers will put up a fight, but they won’t be able to claw their way out of this loss.
Week two saw a two game decline in the win column, but I kept my head above water at 10-6. For the season, I’m 22-10. Not too shabby considering the parody this game brings. Can I continue my double digit win average? You’ll know next week. Enjoy the games!
Written by Antoine Hoffman