So, did you get past the first “rivalry week”? If you are here
again, which I am happy that you are, then let’s take a look at
what the NFL has in store for us before next week’s big showdown
at “The Razor” when Tom
Brady returns to the stadium, and fans that loved him for
It seems the NFL schedule makers have offered up more than one
slam dunk in Week 3. There in lies the problem. Many Survival
Pools have been fleeced by the major upset of the week that after
the fact, should’ve been seen by most if not all players.
Upset Special: Chicago at Cleveland
The Browns gave everyone a nice scare letting the Texans hang
around 14-14 at half last week. Had Tyrod
Taylor not gone down to an injury, he and Brandin
Cooks may have singlehandedly crushed many Survival Pools.
This week Cleveland hosts another team that will have its backup
QB under center. But instead of coming off the bench, Justin
Fields will start his first NFL game in Cleveland about two
hours from where he played his college ball (OSU). Combined with
a Bears defense that is built to stop the run and create turnovers,
the Browns may find it difficult to cover the point spread, let
alone win the game. Baker
Mayfield won’t have Jarvis
Landry who landed on IR for the first time since 2014, but
Jr. will return for the first time in a year to try and take
the pressure off the running game.
Fields was drafted to be the franchise quarterback and this week
is a great opportunity for the rookie to prove his worth without
fear of being benched for a mistake. The formula is there for
the upset and makes this is very dangerous pick. If the Bears
coaching staff is smart, they are game planning to mimic Tyrod
Taylor’s Week 2 performance with a faster, more mobile, more accurate
and younger quarterback giving the Bears a win on the road.
#3: Arizona at Jacksonville: (1-1: buf, TB)
Kyler Murray has the Cardinals firing on all cylinders. In two
weeks, they are the second ranked offense both in total yards
and scoring and this week go up against a Jaguars team that is
in the bottom 5 in all defensive categories. Meanwhile, the Trevor Lawrence era is off to a rocky start and should have hard time
keeping up with the explosive Arizona offense. Barring a game
scripts where 2020 undrafted sensation James Robinson can run
the ball 25-30 times and Lawrence can manage the game, the Cardinals
should be able to fly in and fly out. But buyer beware. Last year,
this same team was 2-0 and lost the next two to Detroit and Carolina,
killing their post season chances. With last year’s loses
fresh in Kyler Murray’s mind, he is reminding his teammates
that they can’t let that happen again. As such, put this
one in pen.
#2: Denver over NY Jets: (2-0: TB, GB)
Welcome to the NFL Zach Wilson, and Gang Green. After two games,
the BYU rookie QB is having as much luck as Sam Darnold did with
this team. Unfortunately for Wilson, it feels like the whole team
is learning how to play together – at a much slower pace
than the rest of the NFL. The QB’s stat line is
Zach Wilson - 2021
Not overly impressive. The Jets offense is second to last in
average points scored (10) turnovers (5), and 26th in total yards.
With Wilson doing his best Shane Falco impression, it would seem
that the top 5 Broncos defense should feast on the rookie. Barring
the home team getting altitude sickness, or all of them going
on the COVID restricted list, this is the game that you should
be taking if you are reading this column Friday or later.
#1: Carolina at Houston: (2-0: SF, CLE)
There are a few times during the season that you will look over
the weekly schedule and say, yep, this one is the no-brainer.
Panthers / Texans Comparison
T AWAYS/T OVERS
What do you see when you look at the stats for Carolina above?
Number one in total yards allowed, passing and rushing yards allowed.
And most importantly, the fewest points allowed. Combine that
with the injury to Tyrod Taylor who is being replaced by rookie
Davis Mills, and you have the perfect formula for the Lock of
Meanwhile, Sam Darnold is completing 68 percent of his passes
and assuming he continues to manage the game and allows his defense
to terrorize opposing quarterbacks; this game should be over before