Each week our gambling addicts, Brooke Costello and Stefan Tornquist give their NFL prognostications.
For some teams the mantra “Any Given Sunday” is a myth; the equivalent of telling a classroom of first graders “You can be anything you set your mind to.” It just ain’t true. Entering week three there are really three kinds of teams 1) “The More Than Any Given Sunday Bunch” 2) “The Any Given Sunday Bunch” 5) “The Maybe Never Bunch.”
The first group includes (In alphabetical order) Atlanta, Baltimore, Indianapolis, New York Giants, and New Orleans. With the New York Jets a win from joining the group. The bottom group includes (In no order): St. Louis, Detroit, Tampa, Cleveland, and K.C. With Oakland and Washington putting downward pressure on these teams.
Atl @ NE (-4, 44.5)
You have to love how much shit Brady is taking these days. A little over a calendar year ago he was as close to being the perfect Homos Americanus as possible. He was mack daddy to one hottie’s baby, and engaged to and even more hot hottie, being feted by stars and politicians alike, and, most importantly for some, he was the grand poo-baa of NFL QB’s. Who wouldn’t have changed places with him? And then pop goes his knee, pop goes a pistol at his wedding, pop goes his defense and pop goes his perfect timing. In comes the young gun and talk of the league Matt Ryan ready to send the Pats to a 1-2 start (Oh So Close To 0-3.). Brady digs deep this week, but I don’t think it will be enough to cover. (ATL ATS, Under)
I’m getting the feeling that Fortuna’s Wheel has made its turn, and New England sports are headed back to where they’re supposed to be; long periods of gut wrenching penultimation, punctuated by equal parts brilliance and abject failure. This winning everything all the time stuff just wasn’t us. Tom Brady will get better this year, but last week in the Meadowlands he couldn’t hit a landfill if he was standing in it. Meanwhile, the D is still asking each other their names. Tease Atlanta with Tennessee or the Under in this one. Straight pick, sigh…Atlanta.
Tenn @ Jets (-3, 37)
The apple does not fall far from the tree. Rex Ryan gets his guys up and angry in a way that does Buddy proud. Rex is going to dust off his Ravens vs. Titans playoff game plan and bring the heat. As strange as it is to say after hanging up 30 against the Texans the Titans are becoming a bad red zone offense. They left a lot of points on the field last week and the week before against the Steelers. Jeff Fisher needs to rediscover his sack of ball tricks before 2009 is over for him. The deciding factor for me is the Titans are the only good team facing a must-win week three, and I think they pull it out. (Tenn ATS and the Under)
Basic logic would dictate that if the Jets throttle Houston at home, and Houston outguns Tennessee in Nashville clearly then the Jets would handle the Titans at home. Usually basic logic will get you poorer on Sunday. This really is a must win for the Titans, and the Jets can’t quite believe their luck. Tease the Titans with the Under…they ain’t losing by more than 8 points.
S.F. @ Minny (-7, 40.5)
The great thing about the NFC West is no team sitting at 2-0 at this point of the season can be seen as a good team. A win here, at Minny, would do wonders for S.F’s rep. If Patrick Wills is the second coming of M. Singeltary he will have to slow the A-Train down enough to make Favre make some throws. Minny’s run D has been solid for years and I think they won’t let Frank Gore them. I see this as 20-14 for the team in Purple. (SF ATS and the Under)
Minny hasn’t had their mettle tested, and the 9ers are feeling their oats, excited to see themselves on SportCenter (SF).
NO @ Buff (+6, 52)
The New Orleans offense is a machine, and unlike super potent offenses of the past they don’t have any superstars outside of Brees. Everybody on that side of the ball is good, but there is no Holt/Bruce/Faulk, Harrison/Wayne/James, Thomas/Reed/Lofton or even a Rice, a Moss etc etc. The biggest names other than Brees are Shockey and Bush and neither have ever been what they were cracked up to be. The lack of stars means that everybody should just be happy to be there on the other end of those truffles Brees passes out ever week, and it also makes the team that much harder to defend. On the other side the Bills could be on to something with the pound Jackson and throw deep game plan. If they don’t turn it over they should get to 30 for the second straight week. (NO ATS, Bills and Over tease, Over)
Fun, fun stuff. Somehow I’ve watched more minutes of Bills football than my Pats, and one thing I can tell you is this…they’ll get their shit together for a few drives. They’ll lose, but put up some points, especially against a defense that feels like it can slack today, the Boss is at a convention. Tease the Over with anything you like, and don’t accept Brooke’s offer to do a shot everytime there’s a touchdown. Oh, and New Orleans straight. The Bills will put up 2 points for every 3 by NO, on their way to a 36-24 score, and a loser on the Tease.
Indy @ Zona (-2, 47.5)
Last year Zona was horrible on the road and great at home. This year they have started with a road win and a home loss. I’ll be prepared to call it a trend in a month. For now count on the Cards to bring their A-game. At age 37 Warner is thinking Hall Of Fame and one more great season might just get him there. Out-dueling Manning would not hurt his chances either. Manning, I have decided, is the best regular season quarterback ever. What he did in 15 minutes against Miami was more than J.P. Losman did in a lifetime, and there has been zero drop off in Peyton’s game since he first peaked. Enjoy him while he lasts. (Zona ATS, Tease Indy and the Under)
Peyton Manning saved my wallet beer last Monday night. (Indy).
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