I know I’m originally from Chicago but for 11 years of my life, the City of Brotherly Love has been my home. Our relationship started out rocky and you the fans booed me upon being drafted. Though it was eye-opening to say the least, it actually helped motivate me to give you something at the quarterback position you’ve been waiting for. Now to your credit, I understand you wanted Ricky Williams, I mean who wouldn’t? Since taking my first snap under center, I’ve had a ball being your quarterback. It’s been great making the Philadelphia Eagles a staple in postseason play in the new millennium. My only regret is that I was unable to bring home the richest prize in the business, although many attempts were made. Then again, this is a team sport. Now for the first time since the Eagles organization decided to go in a different direction at the quarterback position, I’m comin’ back to Lincoln Financial Field. Homecoming should always be a great experience for former members of organization/institution. It also gives you a chance to see what’s new in town. I’m ecstatic for Michael Vick and the shot you’re given him to redeem himself. I’m also looking forward to giving you a reminder of the good times that I brought to the City of Brotherly Love. Thank you for the opportunity you gave me and I look forward to being before you once again. Now I’ll step aside and allow Antoine to do what he does week in and week out. Antoine…
Much appreciated Donovan! Your intro served its purpose well, so with that said, here we go:
Jets over Bills– The naming of Ryan Fitzpatrick could bring life to Buffalo’s offense. One thing for sure that changed is CJ Spiller’s contributions. He was more effective on special teams, but he was still involved. The question revolves around the ability of Buffalo’s defense to create turnovers. We shall see!
Browns over Bengals– Last week, I told you Cleveland is tough and they were. This week, I’m takin’ the upset special. Why? A car can only go as fast as its driver wants it to. And now, Carson Palmer has yet to put his foot to the accelerator. At this rate, you can’t help but wonder how much longer Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens will behave under such terms.
Ravens over Steelers– Charlie Batch has stepped in and shown veteran savvy with the movement of the ball. However, Pittsburgh’s greatest nemesis comes to town. I’m looking for Baltimore’s front seven to give the seasoned vet fits.
Titans over Broncos– Denver’s gotta show it can score when given red zone opportunities. I can’t say that a number seven-ranked defense in Tennessee will be the type to all such opportunities to take place.
Packers over Lions– Somewhere in me lies belief that Detroit wants to rid itself of its current stigma. Unfortunately, things just aren’t coming together for this team to completely turn the corner. Coming off a Monday night division loss, I can’t see Green Bay going another game in the hole.
Falcons over 49ers– San Francisco will go into the week with Mike Johnson making his debut as offensive coordinator. I can’ say what he’s going to bring to the table, but I can say he’ll have the misfortune of facing an Atlanta defense fresh off stifling a premier offense in New Orleans.
Saints over Panthers– Speaking of the N.O., it’ll catch a break against a Carolina team trying to establish an identity outside of its concrete running game.
Rams over Seahawks– For me, Seattle is the most difficult team to figure out. Something just jumped out to me that helped me secure my decision. Their pattern thus far has been win-loss-win. Again, look at the pattern. That tells me it’s time for Seattle to lose again. Is St. Louis really as physical as they were a week ago…have the tide turned in the “Show Me State”?
Colts over Jaguars– Indianapolis has some key injuries with Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon and Joseph Addai. At the most, they’re all questionable, which means they can go either way. If for some reason they don’t play, Indy will have the backups to fill the voids and it will be business as usual for the high-octane offense.
Redskins over Eagles– Maybe it’s loyalty, and yes I know my sanity can stand for questioning, but hear me out. Even though I don’t have anything on film or a chalkboard to justify this, it can happen. If Washington was under the stewardship of Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs (Act two) or Jim Zorn, I’d be concerned about this team’s ability to bounce back from the loss of a week ago. Mike Shanahan is the difference maker here. He will make the adjustments needed to assure himself and his team that history will not repeat itself. Besides, did you not hear McNabb’s address to Philadelphia a little earlier? For divisional purposes and pride, Washington bounces back and takes one in Philly.
Oakland over Houston– Yes, it reads as you think its read. Oakland matches up too well with Houston for me not to take this one. The silver and black has the physicality defensively to mimic, if not surpass Dallas’ blueprint from a week ago. Their offense, with Bruce Gradkowski under center and on the back of Darren McFadden is a top ten unit. Houston is in for an unexpected surprise this week.
Chargers over Cardinals– Good new San Diego, your most difficult month is now behind you. Now is the time when things begin to gel together and chemistry flows. Arizona has too many uncertainties to keep the Bolts from opening October on a high note.
Bears over Giants– Chicago, I owe you an apology! Although I liked the move for Julius Peppers, I felt like you didn’t do enough to improve your offensive line and wide receiver positions. Did I learn my lesson this past Monday night? Although a household name wasn’t brought into either section, there is an added element that serves as perfect compensation. His name is Mike Martz. He is one of the brighter offensive coordinators for a reason. He is playing to the strengths of what he has and making it work. Jay Cutler is on pace to becoming 2010’s most improved player.
Dolphins over Patriots– For the second time in its many weeks, Miami will host a game under the bright lights. I called for the ‘Phins to win the AFC East and I have to stick with it. Tom Brady has a nice mix of old and new targets to work with, but the No-Named defense will be a difficult unit to penetrate. On the flip side of the ball, New England’s defense is a work in progress and its 27th ranked status proves it. Look for Miami to make a statement on Monday night.
In week three, I fell two games short of my typical 10-6 mark, going 8-8. For the season, I’m 28-20. I’m still keeping my head above water, so I’m okay but who settles for okay. Watch increase take place as I close out the first quarter of the season. Another week of excitement is down the pike, so buckle up and enjoy.
By Antoine Hoffman