Week 3 of the NFL had a couple of surprises, with the Bills improving to 3-0 and finally beating the New England for the first time in 16 meetings and the Eagles falling to the Giants at home in Philadelphia. Week 4 gets underway on Sunday, and as always, the experts here at SB Nation Dallas make their fearless picks.
Panthers (1-2) at Bears (1-2) - Cam Newton brings his Panthers into Chicago to take on Brian Urlacher and the Bears. Chicago needs a win on Sunday, as the Lions and Packers could easily be 4-0 after this week.
- KD Drummond: Bears - Chicago just seems so overrated this season. Even still, I'm not buying Carolina on the road.
- Liam Ponting: Bears - Carolina can't one-man-team their way past Chicago in Chicago.
- Charley Code: Bears - Urlacher wins this one. Carolina should forfeit so they don't get hurt.
- Maurice London: Panthers - Remember when I said I might have underestimated the Bears after Week 1? I guess I didn't. And yes, Roy Williams is still awful. -
- Robbie Griffin: Bears - Nothing fancy here, simply taking the better team.
- Brett Perryman: Bears - I have to think that the Bears know how to give Cameron problems.
- JP Starkey: Bears - I could see Carolina pulling off the upset, but not in Chicago.
Bills (3-0) at Bengals (1-2) - Two straight weeks, two big comeback from behind wins for the Bills, as they've beat the Raiders and Patriots at home and now lead the AFC East. Now, Buffalo heads to Cincinnati to take on the rebuilding Bengals.
- Drummond: Bills - Buffalo has lost 10 straight to Cincy. How does that happen with both teams perpetual sucktitude? Streak over.
- Ponting: Bills - Don't buy the Buffalo hype but Cincy's not particularly good.
- Code: Bills - I drank the kook aid. So what.
- London: Bills - Chan Gailey is about to go 4-0. I hope you're happy, America.
- Griffin: Bills - I can't really picture the Bills being 4-0. Going on the road is the perfect time to pick the upset. And yet, I cannot. . .
- Perryman: Bills - The Bills figure to be set up for a letdown, but Fitz-MV-patrick can rally them again.
- Starkey: Bengals - Buffalo won their Super Bowl last week.
- Drummond: Browns - Tennessee would be an easy pick, but Donnie Avery is no Kenny Britt.
- Ponting: Browns - Britt's a big loss and, for some reason, CJ's been incredibly ineffective so far.
- Code: Browns - McCoy to Shipley for the win...oh wait.
- London: Titans - Oh look, it's another Longhorn quarterback who's mediocrity is ignored because he "just wins". Yay.
- Griffin: Browns - Maybe I am overrating Kenny Britt, but I think he's the difference between who I pick in this game.
- Perryman: Browns - We'll see if Matt Hasselbeck keeps it up without Kenny Britt.
- Starkey: Titans - I trust Hasselhoff and CJ2K more than McCoy and Peyton Hillis.
Lions (3-0) at Cowboys (2-1) - The Cowboys could easily be 3-0, but they are pretty banged up as they play host to the 3-0 Lions this week. Rob Ryan will have his work cut out for him trying to stop Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.
- Drummond: Cowboys - The Lions have faced 3 of the 11 worst passing offenses (DVOA) in the league. Shootout coming.
- Ponting: Lions - I don't think this one will be particularly close. This is just a terrible time (if you're a Cowboys fan) for Nick Fairley to make his debut.
- Code: Lions - Detroit looks really good. If you feel like wagering on this one, I am going to make it my play of the week. The Cowboys, who have shown absolutely nothing this year are favored by a point. That’s a ridiculous line. Cowboys lose by at least a touchdown.
- London: Lions - Everybody's worried about Suh ending Romo, but if the Cowboys have any hope of winning on Sunday they're still going to have to stop Stafford to Megatron. Good luck.
- Griffin: Cowboys - I'm going in with low expectations. If the Cowboys win this game, my feelings on this season are immediately and completely changed. Has there ever been a time when you expected the Lions to beat down the Cowboys?
- Perryman: Lions - Visions of Suh snapping Romo in half dance through my head.
- Starkey: Lions - Detroit is going to score a lot of points in this game.
- Drummond: Chiefs - This game will cement the 'watch' status for either Donovan McNabb or Todd Haley. It shouldn't even be close, but Haley staves off the wolves for one more week with his first win.
- Ponting: Chiefs - The Chiefs are broken but Minnesota's reeling from 3 consecutive second-half meltdowns. I'll take the home team.
- Code: Chiefs - That looks nice and all, but who are the Chefs?
- London: Vikings - The Vikings earn their first victory by giving AP 75 carries.
- Griffin: Chiefs - I buy KC as a 2010 fluke, but I don't buy them as outright terrible. They can win a game here and there, and this is one of them.
- Perryman: Vikings - Vikes are on the road, but the Chiefs have problems.
- Starkey: Vikings - I'll take the crappy team with the best player on the field.
Redskins (2-1) at Rams (0-3) - Washington was finally handed their first loss of the season against the Cowboys on Monday night, as the NFC East is now locked up in a three way tie at the top. St. Louis desperately needs a win, otherwise their season will start to spiral out of control.
- Drummond: Rams - I think the Rams defense ends the Rex Grossman era in Washington. With Amendola back, The Lou gets their first win.
- Ponting: Redskins - St Louis is still banged up. Washington should be able to take advantage.
- Code: Redskins.
- London: Rams - The Rams benched former #2 pick Jason Smith in their loss to the Ravens. Think they'll do a better job of protecting Bradford this week and get the win.
- Griffin: Rams - The Redskins are one of the easiest teams to find success on the ground against so far. Steven Jackson plays, I think they win. And I think Steven Jackson plays.
- Perryman: Redskins - Stan Kroenke is apparently a curse to his franchises this season.
- Starkey: Rams - St. Louis is having a good week this week. Go Cards.
49ers (2-1) at Eagles (1-2) - Who would have thought the Eagles would start out 1-2? Philadelphia needs a win here, with or without Mike Vick, to avoid panic from setting in.
- Drummond: Eagles - It would be awesome to wake up Monday morning with the Eagles at 1-3, but I don't think the Niners have the fire power. Now if Vick gets hurt again...
- Ponting: Eagles - Guess which new injury Vick sustains this game? I'm going with...calf strain.
- Code: Eagles - If the Eagles don't win this one, people are going to start questioning Vick about dogs again. Plus, my fantasy team is really hinged upon Vick's success, so cross your fingers.
- London: Eagles - I thought the Eagles O-line/LB depth would be problematic- I didn't expect it to be exposed this soon. Of course, with Smith and a gimpy Gore, that shouldn't be a problem this week.
- Griffin: Eagles - Boy, what would happen if the 49ers won this?
- Perryman: Eagles - Could be a little ugly, but come on.
- Starkey: Eagles - I never bought into all the hype surrounding Philadelphia, but they'll beat San Francisco.
Saints (2-1) at Jaguars (1-2) - Seriously, Jack Del Rio is still a coach? The cries for him to be fired might be louder after this week, as the Saints and their high powered offense head into Jacksonville.
- Drummond: Saints - This one should get ugly, really quickly.
- Ponting: Saints - The Saints are just much, much better.
- Code: Saints.
- London: Saints - Did you know that Jack Del Rio has been coaching the Jags since 2003? That's probably coming to an end this year.
- Griffin: Saints - "Jacksonville residents 'no longer aware' of Jaguars."
- Perryman: Saints - Saints on the road bla bla bla, but come on.
- Starkey: Saints - For the sake of the football fans in the Jacksonville market, I hope this game doesn't sell out so this game is blacked out.
Steelers (2-1) at Texans (2-1) - Oddly, this is one of the best games of the season. Houston came fairly close to beating the Saints in New Orleans last week, and the Steelers have been extremely unimpressive so far this season, with wins over Seattle and Indianapolis.
- Drummond: Steelers - I just don't buy Houston against good teams. Schaub threw some horrible picks and near-picks against the Saints.
- Ponting: Steelers - Really tempted to take the Texans, because the Steelers aren't that great and the Texans actually look to be fulfilling their talent...but I can't.
- Code: Texans - I really hope this is the Texans year. I really hope this is the first of a nice long streak of bad years for Pittsburgh. I mean, they should have some bad Karma coming to them, right?
- London: Steelers - Ah, yes. The 4th quarter collapse. A staple of the Wade Phillips defense.
- Griffin: Texans - I don't think Matt Schaub has a happy day, but the Texans are good enough they can probably expect to beat good teams at home now.
- Perryman: Texans - We may get our first sign of whether this is finally the Texans' season.
- Starkey: Texans - Seriously, the Steelers are't good this year. This pick is an indictment of that more than an endorsement of the Texans.
Giants (2-1) at Cardinals (1-2) - Kevin Kolb and Arizona's offense hasn't been as dynamic as expected, as Arizona's offense has just been in the middle of the pack after three games.
- Drummond: Cardinals - The Giants seem to be finding their rhythm, but I predicted them to be below .500 so these are the types of games they need to lose.
- Ponting: Giants - Giants are marginally better. Pretty much a toss-up game.
- Code: Giants - I am hoping the sweet bird of sports mojo takes a dump on the Phoenix Cardinals as well as the St. Louis Cardinals this week.
- London: Cardinals - Really, Cardinals? Tavaris?? This might be the last week I pick you.
- Griffin: Cardinals - I admit to letting Brian Burke's probabilities in the New York Times sway me here because I couldn't decide. And also because I like them.
- Perryman: Giants - I think that this turns out to be a really good game, but Dumb Face and Tom Coughlin Face will have to wait.
- Starkey: Cardinals - They hit Halladay well. Wait.
Falcons (1-2) at Seahawks (1-2) - Atlanta is easily the better team, but headed into Seattle is no picnic. Both teams need a win, though, the Falcons need it more as they can ill afford to fall to 1-3 in the NFC South, whereas seven or eight wins might win the NFC West again.
- Drummond: Falcons - Every year, playoff participants churn, yet no one saw the downturn of the uber-lucky Falcons and Chiefs? Regardless, Seahawks suck.
- Ponting: Falcons - Atlanta's not this bad. Seattle is exactly this bad.
- Code: Seahawks - Who cares.
- London: Falcons - Maybe start protecting Matt Ryan, Falcons? The Seahawks are 3rd in pass defense. At Seattle..this is probably a lot closer then people think.
- Griffin: Falcons - Immediately after looking up the NY/Ari probabilities, I see he has Seattle at 59%. If that's actually true I'm just going to quit doing my own homework from now on. The Falcons can't have been that flukey last year, right?
- Perryman: Falcons - I don't have a ton of faith in the Falcons in Seattle, but come on.
- Starkey: Falcons - As much as I want to pick Seattle for the upset, I can't.
Broncos (1-2) at Packers (3-0) - Another Super Bowl rematch, and this one is almost as boring as Kansas City/Minnesota. At least this game has FIGJAM involved.
- Drummond: Packers - Yes, they are 3-0. Yes, they unleashed Jermichael Finley. No, I don't think they are that much better than the league, but they can beat the Ortons.
- Ponting: Packers - Mismaaaaatch.
- Code: Packers - Invisible sports belt point strikes again. Denver sucks too.
- London: Packers - The first Lions/Packers game is in Week 12? I want my bowl of blood now!!!
- Griffin: Packers - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (watch the Broncos win now).
- Perryman: Packers - It's a FIGJAM-JMike style beatdown.
- Starkey: Packers - Tim Tebow will never be FIGJAM, and he won't be able to will the Broncos to a win as the inactive QB, either.
Patriots (2-1) at Raiders (2-1) - So, the Patriots lost a game and everybody is freaking out. We'll see how focused Bill Belichick has his team this weekend, as Tom Brady takes his now cut locks into the black hole to take on the Raiders and their track team.
- Drummond: Raiders - Panic time in Boston? Cool!
- Ponting: Patriots - This is a pretty tough rebound game for the Pats. Long roadtrip to Northern California against a Raider team that can run the hell out of the ball. Brady and crew eek it out in the end though.
- Code: Raiders - I am excited for some more New England entitlement turmoil. I'm really sick of Boston and their stupidity.
- London: Patriots - Tom Brady cut his hair. It's really on now.
- Griffin: Patriots - Another strong running back against the Patriots, another shot at an upset. I'm not picking the win, but I'd take the Raiders to beat the spread.
- Perryman: Patriots - Pats are pissed.
- Starkey: Patriots - Seriously, you guys. New England doesn't lose back to back games.
- Drummond: Chargers - Quiet as kept, Phillip Rivers is a turnover machine so far in 2011. The Dolphins hope that Steve Slaton answers their RB problems. Exactly.
- Ponting: Chargers - SD generally feasts on these types of games.
- Code: Chargers - Reggie Bush likes white chicks with big butts.
- London: Chargers - Rivers has a big bounce back game. And we've had a Ryan Matthews sighting this season. That's nice.
- Griffin: Chargers - I like how the attempt at making Reggie Bush an every down back lasted a couple weeks before Steve Slaton was brought in.
- Perryman: Chargers - Another fantastic chance for the Chargers to put up a bafflingly disappointing outing early in the season, as is tradition.
- Starkey: Chargers - Phillip Rivers will have a good game and convince people he's actually an elite quarterback. He's not.
Jets (2-1) at Ravens (2-1) - Possibly the best game of the week, as Mark Sanchez and the Jets head to Baltimore to take on Joe Flacco and the Ravens. Both teams are 2-1, and both teams are likely playoff teams. Should be some good Sunday Night Football.
- Drummond: Ravens - Wait til Joe Namath gets a whiskey and a microphone after this one.
- Ponting: Ravens - I have no faith in Sanchez against the Ravens defense.
- Code: Ravens - Flacco is much cooler than Dirty Sanchez. Look it up.
- London: Ravens - The Jets continue to show everybody how spare they are.
- Griffin: Ravens - Flacco's deep pass vs. the Jets' pass rush and corners is what I'm most excited to watch in week four. Seriously.
- Perryman: Ravens - The Ravens hold it together at home and knock Sanchize around.
- Starkey: Ravens - The Jets are frauds.
- Drummond: Colts - Upset special, Colts get their first win as the team with no home field advantage falls back to .500
- Ponting: Bucs - I have less faith in Curtis Painter against any defense.
- Code: Bucs - Yuck. I hope I don't have to watch the Colts ever again.
- London: Bucs - Curtis Painter is starting and Reggie Wayne is happy. 3 weeks in and he's already lost it without Peyton...poor thing.
- Griffin: Bucs - Hey Maurice, you will notice the Bucs are playing the Colts, and Josh Freeman is the best QB on the field. Yep.
- Perryman: Bucs - Nope, not this week.
- Starkey: Bucs - At least we have playoff baseball on Monday.