The Degenerate: The Week 3 Recap: Licking the wounds

Licking the wounds.

Well, week 3 is in the books. The picks for Week 3 came in at a sluggish 1-2, so let’s check back and see what happened and what lessons we can take away…

Pick #1: Saints (-4) over Texans
Final Score: Saints 40 Texans 33

When I handicapped this one my big question was “can the Texans defense stop Drew Brees?” That’s basically all I worried about. If they could stop Brees, then the Texans would win (or at least cover). If they couldn’t, then I expected a big game from the Saints. Well, defense from both teams was an afterthought in this one. This game was a old fashioned shoot out. Brees and Schaub put up similar numbers, 370 yards, 3 TD’s. It was back and forth, touchdowns flying. 73 total points in an NFL game? Wow. When the dust settled the Saints got it done with a late comeback to not only win, but cover.

What did we learn:

Saints: Pretty simple, the Saints can score against teams with bad pass defenses. But also expect them to give up alot of points, and they proved in all 3 games so far this season that they will fight to the end to get a win. Maybe the OVER in Saints game is the lean all season.
Texans: Schaub is for real. The offense is powerful, they went into a hostile environment and almost pulled out a win. Andre Johnson is a beast. The pass defense is suspect, rush defense is pretty good. I think the Texans have value as a dog or small favorite.

Pick #2: Teaser: Eagles (+1), Patriots(+1.5) & Steelers(-.5)
Finals: Giants 29 Eagles 16; Bills 34 Patriots 31; Steelers 23 Colts 20

Eagles / Giants: Holy crap, this one was a disaster right from the jump. Before I even finished my first Yuengling the Giants got a 40 yard TD score from Brandon Jacobs. And not soon after that they were in the house again. Down 14-0 just like that.
Basically, Vick got hurt, the defense got picked apart by Eli, and the Giants walked out of the Linc with a W. The winner in all of this? Sportstalk radio. I’m sure Pete from Mayfair couldn’t wait to light up the phone line to talk about how we are doomed, how Juan Castillo is over his head and how Vick is not a Super Bowl QB. The mantra in taverns all through the Delaware Valley was… “Should of kept Kolb.” But let’s move on, I’m getting nauseous thinking about the game.

What did we learn:

Eagles: Despite the gloom and doom in Philadelphia this week, I think the Eagles are going to be ok. Vick looks like he may start this week. Our offense weapons (D-Jax, Maclin, McCoy) are still a threat. I really like our chances this week vs. 49ers even with Kafka at QB. People aren’t hot on the Eagles anymore, so you might get a favorable line. This team is not dead yet.

Giants: Manning looked good, and the coaches game planned well for the Eagles. The RB’s were solid (both had receiving TD’s ) but, besides Cruz, the WR’s weren’t really a factor (Hixon and Manningham didn’t play). The defense caused 3 turnovers, so maybe they weren’t as banged up on D as we thought. Next week is at Arizona (KOLB!), then Seattle at home. Giants could be 4-1 before you know it.

 

Bills / Patriots: I didn’t watch this game but from what I saw it sure seemed like a clusterf*ck at the end when Buffalo kicked the game winning field goal. The questions going into the game were ‘can the Ryan Fitzpatrick score on Belicheck’s defense’ (um, yes, he tore them apart) and ‘will Brady keep his hot hand’ (yes, but it wasn’t enough). Pats jumped out to a 21-0 lead early, but couldn’t hold on. Ryan Fitzpatrick looked great leading the Bills back to win. Maybe the Pats’ Achilles Heel is their pass defense. They’ve been torched a few times this season.

What did we learn:

Patriots: Going forward we need to remember that the Patriots defense (especially pass defense) is not good. Tom Brady is on fire. And that combination makes me lean OVER for Pats games going forward when they play against good QBs.
Bills: Fitzpatrick is good. Real good. Maybe the Bills are for real. They picked off Brady 4 times. Against lower caliber opponents, they should do well. But this win could make them over-valued in the short term.Let’s see if they can keep it up. They’re only a 3 point favorites at Cincinnati this week, so Vegas isn’t sold on then quite yet.

 

Steelers / Colts: So this one was supposed to be a blow out. Pittsburgh was coming off a massacre of the Seahawks and the Colts were stumbling into the game at 0-2 and looking u-g-l-y. Obviously, not having Peyton Manning was the big issue here, and that was the main reason the Colts were 10 point underdogs at home for the first time in over 10 years. Kerry Collins was ok, but he left the game in the 4th with a possible concussion. Despite out-gaining the Colts by almost 2-1 (404-144) and winning the time of possession battle, this game came down to a field goal in the final seconds for the Steelers.

What did we learn:

Colts: The defense looked good. 3 sacks, 3 turnovers, and even a pick 6 INT. QB problems will haunt this team all year. With Collins probably out it looks like Curtis Painter will be the man in charge. Not good news for Colts fans. I don’t really see them being competitive this season. Their lines will be high and 0-16 is a definite possibility. I’m sure they’ll squeak out a win or two along the way but 0-16 is not out of the question. I would bet against the Colts in a teaser when they play good teams and the line is less than 10. They aren’t a good team.
Steelers: Ben looked good in the passing game, he threw for 364 yards. Mike Wallace is very good. Mendenhall had a bad game, but I think the Steelers offense can score with anyone. Their defense is still one of the best. The Steelers are a team to watch, they had a bad game in Week 1 at Baltimore and then this squeaker vs. Indy. I think you will get favorable lines with Pittsburgh as the public tries to figure them out. I’m not jumping off of this bandwagon yet.

Pick #3: Monday Night Football: Cowboys / Redskins
Line: Dallas -3.5
Final Score: Dallas 18 Redskins 16

This one was ugly all around. Romo was gimpy with a rib injury, Rex Grossman was Rex Grossman. Neither team could get it into the endzone and we saw 9 field goals. What a shitty way to spend 3 hours on a Monday Night. Lucky for me I was flipping back and forth between this, the Phillies game and the Red Sox / Orioles game.
Cowboys had plenty of chances to cover the spread, but the problem is that they have this center who sucks. I know, blaming the center is not too common, but if you watched the game you saw this guy misfire shotgun snaps all night. They couldn’t get into a rhythm. Every time they were moving the ball this idiot would snap it early just as Romo was lining up the offense and they would lose 10 yards. I felt bad for the kid. But if you had either kicker in your fantasy league you were happy, otherwise you just wanted to pull your hair out.
And their is nothing more disturbing to an Eagles fan than seeing Jerry Jones celebrating with high fives in the owners box after they kick the game winning field goals. I’m sure Cowboys uber-fan LeBron James was happy with the win.

What did we learn:

Cowboys: We didn’t learn much except their kicker is good, and their center sucks. Romo was hurting and it showed. Felix Jones was pretty impressive, he was banged up and still got 115 yards on the ground but left late in the game, he seemed to aggravate his shoulder injury. The Dallas defense is solid. Sean Lee (PENN STATE!) is an animal. Their front line played great. Remember that for the future when they play a team with a good RB. They can shut down a run game.

Redskins: I don’t know what to think about the Redskins. Rex Grossman doesn’t scare me, the running game doesn’t scare me. I guess it’s Santana Moss and that’s it. You can talk all you want about how the Skins are back and they’re ready to compete in the division. I’m not buying it. Next week they play at St Louis and they are a 1 point favorite. That will be a nice test. The Rams aren’t very good and if the Skins can’t beat the Rams then we know they aren’t ready for prime time yet.

Coming up Thursday: looking ahead to Week 4, plus some playoff baseball odds.

Birds fans, keep the faith, the 49ers are coming to town this week…

 

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