The Editors at HefferBrew once again give you their week by week picks for the winners and losers of the NFL.
With week three behind us and the promise of the original and more competent refs to come this week the way the proverbial cookie crumbles in the NFL has changed. No longer will you have the comfort of home cooking, we have the Ed Hochulis of the world back, with all their infinite NFL rules wisdom, and beefy biceps. We have to make decisions based on talent and information. It’s not just picking who’s the most favorable underdog, that will yield the most winnings from a sizeable bet. *Cough, Cough* I’m looking at you replacement refs.
CAROLINA PANTHERS vs. ATLANTA FALCONS
Cameron: Falcons – There really isn’t much to say here. The Panthers are who we thought they were and the Falcons are better than what we thought they would be. Matt Ryan continues his push for MVP and this game will probably only add to that case. ‘Matty Ice’ will more than likely pass all over the porous pass defense of the Panthers and Michael Turner will be running like he’s high-tailing it from the police on a DUI charge, too soon? Falcons – 27, Panthers – 13.
Dustin: Falcons – The Falcons are looking pretty terrifying early in the season, coming off a dismantling of the Chargers; they head home to take on Cam Newton and the Panthers. A lot has been made about Newton’s body language being an issue in tough losses, with his seeming preference being sulking and moping instead of rallying his teammates. Newton remains a phenomenal athlete regardless of his body language but the team will only grow as he grows. The Falcons are just out to prove too much this year, they’re playing too well right now, the lessons in victory will have to wait, but the time for composure is now Cam. Falcons – 42, Panthers – 24.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS vs. BUFFALO BILLS
Cameron: Bills – I don’t really know why the hell I’m picking the Bills. Yes, half of it is a homer picks and the other half is me genuinely feeling that the Bills can yet again pull out a stunning early-season upset. Last year the Bills were able to stun the Patriots in week three of last season, much of that came on the legs of Fred Jackson. Rumor has it that Mr. Jackson will be playing this Sunday but the Patriots rush defense is a lot more staunch than they were last year, giving up an average of 80 yards a game this year, the Bills will have to depend upon Ryan Fitzpatrick to pick apart the Patriots lackluster pass defense that is ranked 24th in the league and giving up an average of 262 passing yards a game. Ryan Fitzpatrick sucks though and if the Patriots are able to eliminate the ability of dump passes and short slant routes ran by the Bills the Patriots will more than definitely win. If not, they’re screwed and the Bills will run up and down on them. Bills – 35, Patriots – 27.
Dustin: Bills- The Patriots are 1-2, the Bills 2-1; we’ve entered NFL bizarro-world. All signs point to this being a Patriots bounce-back game where they can right the ship at the expense (again) of the hapless Bills, but this has been a season where nothing has gone as expected. The Bills are at home and after the embarrassment in Week 1 to the Jets, the team has looked about as good as wins against the Chiefs and Browns can make you look. Why not? Bills – 21, Patriots – 17.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS vs. DETROIT LIONS
Cameron: Vikings – Hey, they beat what could be the possible Super Bowl champions and best team in the league last week, the forty-niners. On the other hand, Christian Ponder looks to be a formidable quarterback and the Lions look to be regressing back to what they were, a team in Detroit. Let’s face it, other than the Red Wings and more recently the Tigers, there has to be at least one terrible team in Detroit and guess what? It’s probably the Lions. Vikings – 21, Lions – 17.
Dustin: Lions- The Lions showed a surprising running game last week in the form of Mikel LeShoure even though they ended up losing in OT despite a 4th quarter minute of legend from backup QB Shaun Hill that saw the team score two touchdowns and recover an onside kick to force the OT. The Vikings just scored a huge upset over the 49ers, this is the perfect time for a letdown of sorts, Christian Ponder looked fantastic against them and Adrian Peterson is seemingly not human after returning so fast from injury. This will likely be a shootout between the two offenses and it should be really entertaining. Lions – 45, Vikings – 41.
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS vs. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Cameron: Chargers – Both these teams seem pretty bad. The Chiefs surprised everyone with a stunning against the Saints. The Saints are a neutered team, stripped by the league and the Roger Goddell of their pride and manhood. The Chargers on the other hand still have Norv Tuner as their head coach, but the Chiefs have Romeo Crennell as theirs. This game will probably be a huge shit-show and it really depends on who can be the least incompetent head coach, which I believe will more than likely be Turner. Chargers – 26, Chiefs – 15.
Dustin: Chiefs- Norv Turner’s Chargers don’t usually try until about halfway through October, we got two more weeks. Plus, Phillip Rivers looks like he’s taken a step back this year and the Chiefs have a pretty talented secondary and Jamal Charles is rushing machine, over 200 yards against the Saints last week. Chiefs – 31, Chargers – 17.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS vs. ST. LOUIS RAMS
Cameron: Rams – Something just tells me that the league is going to make sure that the ‘Hawks’ lose a few games. Maybe it was because of what happened on Monday, maybe not. All I’m saying is expect the Seahawks to lose games suspiciously and the Packers to win games in an even more suspicious manner. Rams – 20, Seahawks – 13.
Dustin: Rams- New rule for the 2012 season- until the Seahawks get a win not served to them on a silver platter, pick against them. Rams – 21, Seahawks – 20.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS vs. NEW YORK JETS
Cameron: Niners – I don’t really have to explain this do I? The Jets are absolutely inept on offense. The Tebow thing isn’t even a national story and Mark Sanchez is just good enough to win some games but not win it all. This will be a very defensive game but nonetheless, the Jets will more than likely get pummeled. Niners – 27, Jets – 12.
Dustin: 49ers- The Jets’ best player (Darrelle Revis) is out for the season so RB Joe McKnight is now being moved to CB to fill in. Also, the 49ers are coming off that stunning loss to the Vikings, this could be the first time I don’t want Tebow to see the field because I don’t want Patrick Willis killing him, he may be the most overrated and self-satisfied athlete ever but no one deserves that…except Mark Sanchez. 49ers – 24, Jets – 10.
TENNESSEE TITANS vs. HOUSTON TEXANS
Cameron: Texans – As long as Chris Johnson is their running back I don’t think any team truly needs to game plan for the Titans. Look for them to pass the ball and that’s pretty much it. Titans’ quarterback, Jake Locker, could play a big role in why the Titans have a chance but when your only option is pass and you aren’t the Steelers, Patriots, Ravens, Packers, or Lions you aren’t looking at a winning game plan. Texans – 17, Titans – 9.
Dusin: Texans- Will Chris Johnson finish with negative yardage this week? The top Texans D seems unfazed by the departure of Mario Williams and the balanced offense of the Texans is going to be too much for the still-growing Jake Locker and the Titans. The only way this goes bad, is if having a part of his ear missing throws off Matt Schaub’s balance and equilibrium, Titans fans, I’m telling you there’s a chance. Texans – 28, Titans – 17.
CINCINNATI BENGALS vs. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
Cameron: Bengals – Last week Blaine Gabbert had a miraculous 80-yard game winning pass as time expired against the Colts. That was the Colts, this is the Bengals. That won’t happen in this game, the Bengals ranking wise sit at 27th and 31st, respectively in rushing and passing defense. But offensively they sit in the top ten for rushing and especially passing. Andy Dalton is having a spectacular season so far, mostly due in part to A.J. Green, the addition of ‘The Law Firm’ Ben-Jarvis Green-Ellis in the running game and the emergence of Jermaine Gresham. Plain and simple, the Bengals are going to win this and handedly. Bengals – 24, Jaguars – 9.
Dustin: Bengals- I really like the Bengals, like, I find myself cheering for them each week. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green are just too cool together, have you seen them do joint interviews? It’s impossible to not want to see them do well together, especially after last season’s success. Oh, and Jacksonville still has Blaine Gabbert, there’s nothing Maurice Jones-Drew can do to offset this fact with the exception of just playing QB himself. Bengals – 41, Jags – 10.
MIAMI DOLPHINS vs. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Cameron: Cardinals – Ryan Tannehill against a defense that stunted Tom Brady, Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy and Marshaun Lynch. Do you really think that the Dolphins will pull off anything near what they did to the Raiders? No, no they won’t. This game is going to be a blood bath. Cardinals – 28, Dolphins – 10.
Dustin: Cardinals- In her office pool at work, my mom chose the Dolphins because she mistakenly thought that was where Peyton Manning had gone. Mental lapse, that didn’t stop me from explaining A) The hotness that is the Cardinals right now and B) The ineptitude that is the Dolphins and Ryan Tannehill. I’m pretty sure she may never pick against the Cardinals the rest of the year now, for better or worse. Cardinals – 24, Dolphins – 7.
OAKLAND RAIDERS vs. DENVER BRONCOS
Cameron: Raiders – The Broncos looked great in week one against the Steelers. In weeks two and three against what could be two of the five best teams in football, in the Texans and the Falcons, they looked absolutely terrible. This may be because of the fact that they’ve faced some of the better teams in football or it could be because Peyton Manning doesn’t really get it going until the fourth quarter which by then it’s too damn late. On top of that his arm looks like a wet noodle and he can’t throw the ball deep whatsoever. Raiders – 27, Broncos – 21.
Dustin: Broncos- I mistakenly oversold the daylights out of the Raiders secondary last week as they went against the Steelers, they got the win, but it wasn’t a defensive affair. Apparently, I let the Madden ’13 Raiders secondary seep into my mind and I just thought that it was the real team, if only. This week I’m here to tell you the Raiders have both of their top CBs out this week and Peyton Manning in a division rivalry. The Broncos D is going to force so many Palmer Picks that it’s impossible for Manning to squander them all, regardless of how lame or duck-ish his passes are at first. Broncos – 27, Raiders – 24.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS vs. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Cameron: Packers – I wholeheartedly think that the Packers will get at least 3-4 wins completely based on the fact that they got screwed by the replacement refs on Monday Night. I’m talking crazy erroneous calls that will go the Packers way and will more than likely win them the game. What better way to start this conspiracy then against the team that Goddell is dead set on making an example of. I’m not saying the Packers wins won’t be legitimate, I’m just saying, that much like the NBA, expect superstar calls to start going Aaron Rodgers way, if only to keep him from bitching like he did after Monday Night. Packers – 35, Saints 33.
Side Note: I don’t know about you, but, all credibility as a “good guy” that Aaron Rodgers has had went out the window after Monday night. After that game he was a sniffling little girl, he shoved a cameraman that was just trying to do his job, you know, film a nationally televised game and he acted like a sore loser because not everything went his way. I’m sorry Rodgers, but this is sports buddy and you were lucky to even have the success you had in 2010, yes the Packers were the best regular season team last year but that didn’t equate to another Super Bowl Championship did it? No. All I’m saying is that this is sports and to act like that is just ridiculous, I don’t care if you feel you got screwed, act like a goddamn professional.
Dustin: Packers- The Saints are starting the year 0-4, their defense has been stripped of manhood like Eli after Daniel Plainview drinks his milkshake (I couldn’t let Cameron be the only one with the There Will Be Blood references) and the Packers just got screwed by the call that stopped the world and are looking for vengeance. This week, Aaron Rodgers and offense explode against the beaten-down Saints D and my heart breaks more with each shot of Drew Brees on the sideline. Packers – 35, Saints – 24.
WASHINTON REDSKINS vs. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Cameron: Redskins – The Redskins have a great offense, but a terrible defense. The Buccaneers have a great defense and a deplorable offense. In today’s NFL though, offense reigns supreme and defense is just something in the way of offenses scoring upwards of 40 points a game. Pretty obvious shit. RGIII and the Redskins have kept their own on offense so far and the emergence of Alfred Morris has been a welcome addition to the revolving door that is known as the running back situation in Washington. The Redskins will win, but much like there last three games it will be close. Redskins – 27, Bucs – 24.
Dustin: Bucs- The Washington D has given up yardage by the barrel these last few weeks, a Bengals WR threw a 73-yard TD against them. Josh Freeman and Vincent Jackson are in line for big days as RG3 continues to thrill yet come up short. Bucs – 31, Redskins – 27.
NEW YORK GIANTS vs. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Cameron: Giants – The Eagles are awful. I don’t expect Andy Reid to even make it through the year at this point. They skated by the skin of their teeth in their two wins and we got to see the real Eagles against the Cardinals on Sunday in a 27-6 drubbing by the Cardinals. The giants have a fantastic defense with what could be the No. 1 pass rush in the NFL and the Eagles can’t seem to keep Michael Vick off his back. The Eagles Defense is suspect and their offense is a mess. They have one of the top-tier running backs in the NFL and they’re giving Michael Vick an average of 40 attempts per game. It doesn’t make any sense in Philadelphia right now and it’s not going to start this Sunday. Giants – 38, Eagles – 17.
Dustin: Giants- Michael Vick is a turnover machine this season and the Giants fans are debating painting the Meadowlands to look like another team’s stadium given their dominance on the road. Unless their road record is cancelled out by the thought of choking in a prime-time game, the Giants can likely add to the woes of the Eagles offense, sending Philly into even more panic. Giants -24, Eagles – 21.
CHICAGO BEARS vs. DALLAS COWBOYS
Cameron: Cowboys – I really wanted to hold out hope for the whole Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall hook up, I mean I really did. At one point in his career, Marshall even said that Cut was his favorite quarterback. Something those two are finding out, and very quickly I might add, is that having only one option at receiver is like a point guard and a shooting guard being the only components on a basketball team. There’s still three guys that are needed, well in this case a whole nine more guys needed, but either way, offensively the Bears are not a good team. They can run the ball, yeah, but on Monday, they may score a few points with the run, but other than that, they are screwed. It’s going to be an ugly game from both teams. The only thing we can hope for is a botched call at the end like last week will send most of the media and fans in a tailspin of “Wait, weren’t the old refs supposed to be better than the old refs? They are, but did they really just screw up like the old refs?” I don’t see this happening unfortunately. Cowboys – 25, Bears – 13.
Dustin: Bears- This is entirely on the Bears D plaguing Tony Romo into bumbling mistakes that annoy the home fans and lead to countless shots of Jerry Jones looking really upset. Bears – 23, Cowboys – 17.