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Welcome to the blog of The Killer Nacho, known to most mortals as Timothy J. Sharpe, a Computer Science graduate of Messiah College and currently a Systems Analyst for Sunoco Logistics. Within this tome of pages, one will find my innermost thoughts about various things concerning things that I enjoy. These subjects include, but are not limited to, roleplaying, gaming, American Football (the NFL), things to do with computers, philosophy, movies that are awesome, TV shows that are awesome, my own writings and creative works, and dangerous Mexican snacks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

NFL Week 4 2011 Power Rankings and Predictions

Last week in the NFL, some teams answered the challenge, and some teams did not. The NFL this year is filled with so many surprising stories, whether it be positive (like the Buffalo Bills) or negative (the Chiefs or Colts...). Despite everything, its still the game I know and love. Also ... 3-0 in both of my fantasy leagues! That has to be  positive thing. Especially with my own Miami Dolphins giving me such a disappointing season.

Biggest Winner: Cleveland Browns (+7)
Biggest Loser: Philadelphia Eagles (-5)

1. Green Bay Packers (3-0, +1): Despite not having Nick Collins, Green Bay showed the league they are still capable of not only beating, but embarrassing, a top team. The defense stepped up to the challenge, getting pressure on Jay Cutler and limiting Forte to 2 yards on 9 carries (0.2 YPC!!). Aaron Rodgers found Jermichael Finley thrice for a touchdown, a nice sign from the recovering Tight End. Another good game from the league champs. Keep this up, and they have a great chance at repeating.

2. New England Patriots (2-1, -1): Its not a good sign defensively when you're up 21-0 and end up losing. They were able to force a couple turnovers from Fitzpatrick early, but after that, the pass defense broke down and Fred Jackson was able to get started against them. To make matters worse, Tom Brady threw as many interceptions in this game as he did in the entire 2010 season. Maybe I jumped the gun putting this team #1.

3. New Orleans Saints (2-1, +0): While it wasn't pretty defensively, the Saints were able to hold off a very good Texans team coming into town. Drew Brees is playing like a monster this season, and it will only get easier once Marques Colston comes back from injury. The key question I have about the Saints is, will they be able to keep up their winning ways on the road?

4. Baltimore Ravens (2-1, +0): After a disappointing Week 2 loss, the Ravens were able to bounce back in amazing fashion against a beaten up and demoralized Rams team. Can't say I'm shocked, but it certainly shows the Ravens have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball. They can compete with anybody. And really, that's all you need to be a Super Bowl contender.

5. Houston Texans (2-1, +1): Houston's top-ranked defense didn't last too long, being picked apart by Drew Brees. Then again, Drew Brees has picked apart two other top-ranked defenses already this season (Green Bay's and Chicago's), so its hard to really be surpried. Offensively, they played well enough to win. They're still the strong favorites to win the AFC South.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1, -1): The Steelers are one of the teams I am having trouble figuring out this year. First they get slaughtered by the Ravens, then bounce back against the abysmal Seahawks. While they won against the Manningless Colts, it was not nearly as easy as it should have been. The offensive line of the Steelers scares me a lot moving forward. This is not the team they were last season.

7. Detroit Lions (3-0, +3): Despite Minnesota exposing Detroit's soft offensive line, they were able to get another W in overtime against the division rival, who they haven't beaten in Minnesota since ... well, I don't know, but its been a damn while. The thing is, their resume isn't overly impressive. The combined record of their opponents this season is 2-7. They're still in need for a real test.

8. New York Jets (2-1, -1): The Jets rush defense was completely exposed against the Raiders last Sunday. Darren McFadden tore up the Jets D (as well as my fantasy team). To make matters worse, the Jets offense continued to look suspect as they had all season, giving up several turnovers. If they don't improve soon, the Jets could find themselves in a hole, playing in a very tight AFC East.

9. Buffalo Bills (3-0, +4): Buffalo may be the single greatest story this season. Before the season, I thought Buffalo would improve, but I never imagined they would be 3-0 after disposing of two playoff teams last season. Fitzpatrick may be a franchise Quarterback. Chan Gailey is having this entire team fight hard. One thing that worries me though is falling behind early. This is the second straight week they had to fight back from a Halftime deficit. This won't work in most NFL games.

10. Chicago Bears (1-2, -2): After the season started off promising, Chicago is now 1-2, looking up at two 3-0 teams at the top of their division. I really like Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, but the offense will continue to struggle as long as they have these offensive line issues. The receiving corp, which was supposed to improve with the acquisition of Roy Williams, has also looked bad, dropping several passes.

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1, +3): Tampa Bay was able to get the W against the division rival Falcons, and thats all that matters at this point. At 2-1, I can't really say this Bucs team has looked impressive, but they are seriously contending for a wildcard spot. I don't think they will challenge the Saints for the division, however.

12. San Diego Chargers (2-1, +0): The Chargers are a team very difficult to figure out at this point in the season. Both of their wins really were closer than they should have been, and against two 0-3 teams. Their loss against the Pats looks a bit less impressive now that the Bills were able to do what they did. Then again, the Chargers have a knack for starting off slow, so maybe we'll see improvement later in the season. One good sign for them is that RB Ryan Matthews has looked really good in his last two games. Norv Turner has said due to his improvement in pass blocking and carrying, he'll keep up his increased role, taking carries away from Mike Tolbert. We'll see if he can keep this production up against Miami.

13. Atlanta Falcons (1-2, -2): Just what is wrong with the Falcons this year? After a spectacular season last year, the Falcons have struggled in every game this season, only recording a win against an Eagles team without Michael Vick. They'll have chances to turn it around, but they beter figure out their problems quick. They can't afford to start 1-3 in the NFC Wildcard race.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2, -5): The Dream Team is looking far less dreamy now. Michael Vick has faced his second semi-severe injury and two games. Its been rumored he sustained a broken right hand against the Giants last week. Its not his throwing hand, but this may sideline him for awhile, forcing either Vice Young or Mike Kafka to start. Its not entirely Vick's fault, though, as the Eagles Offensive line has not played well. Defensively, linebacker continues to be a weak spot, as the Eagles have struggled against the run.

15. New York Giants (2-1, +1): Eli Manning finally silenced critics against the Eagles, completing nearly 70% of his passes, for 254 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Giants were also finally able to set up a consistent running game against the Eagles poor linebacker corp. Defensively, they abused Vick's injury by maiming Mike Kafka for two picks, pushing them to a 29-16 win. If Manning can keep this up, the Giants could go far.

16. Oakland Raiders (2-1, +4): I made a serious error in judging this team in the off-season, time to give this team some credit. Their only loss has come to a 3-0 Bills team in a close one, and they just beat a very good New York team. Darren McFadden is a monster. As long as the Raiders keep riding the Darren McFadden express, this team could ride it all the way to the playoffs. In the unpredictable AFC West division, why not the Raiders?

17. Dallas Cowboys (2-1, +0): Tony Romo looked really good considering his injury. With multiple offensive line and wide receiver issues Monday night, he was able to lead Dallas to a win, with rookie kicker Dan Bailey scoring six field goals. Obviously there is still a lot of issues with this team, but it should get better when Romo heals and Miles Austin comes back from injury.

18. Washington Redskins (2-1, -3): Given the amount of mistakes the Cowboys made on Monday night, there was really no excuse for the Redskins to lose that game. Rex Grossman had several key turnovers that changed the game, including the fumble on the final drive to end the match. The Redskins have an easy schedule going forward, so they will need to bounce back to stay in the NFC East hunt.

19. Tennessee Titans (2-1, -1): They won, but sustained a key injury in the process. Kenny Britt, who was looking to have a career year, has likely torn his ACL and MCL, according to sources. This injury is obviously season-ending. With Chris Johnson still looking horrible and Kenny Britt out, I wonder how the Titans will outscore many opponents at all. 17 points won't cut it against most teams in the NFL.

20. San Francisco 49ers (2-1, +3): The Niners may have only beaten the Bengals, but never underestimate the difficulty of a West team traveling East to play in a 1:00 game. Its not easy (part of the reason why West teams typically have worse records). The 49ers avoided the upset, and beat the Bengals. How or why doesn't matter. Now, they sit atop the NFC West. Its their division to lose.

21. Cleveland Browns (2-1, +7): The Madden curse strikes again, perhaps, with Peyton Hillis being sidelined due to strep throat. Still, the Browns have a capable second guy in Montario Hardesty, who likely has stronger upside than Hillis. Their interior defensive line may also be among the best in the NFL with rookie Phil Taylor impressing and a very underrated Aubrayo Franklin. Colt McCoy needs to get better, though. He struggled against a very poor Miami secondary.

22. Minnesota Vikings (0-3, -3): Here's a depressing stat... the Vikings are 0-3 after outscoring opponents 54-7 in the first half. The Vikings have only scored 6 second-half points all season. I don't get it. After getting such a lead at the half, you'd think they'd be able to coast to some wins behind Adrian Peterson but instead they make mistake after mistake thanks to Donovan McNabb. Leslie Frazier must figure out what is causing his team to collapse if they're going to bounce back from 0-3.

23. St. Louis Rams (0-3, -2): The injuries the Rams have sustained has caught up to them. After dropping a game to the Giants where statistically they played very well, they got annhilated at home to the Ravens by an outrageous score of 37-7. The Rams offense was bad, and their defense was bad. There is really no way to defend this team at all, except for the fact they have key injuries. Steven Jackson should be back soon. Maybe in the NFC West he can help this team bounce back.

24. Miami Dolphins (0-3, +0): And, now Miami loses to a team that, by all accounts, they should've beaten. The Miami offense's inability to score in the redzone and the soft defense they play late in games is going to give every team an opportunity to beat them. Sparano is too conservative, using outdated football philosophies. They are not built to play well within their division, or even this league. I fully expect Miami to have a Top 5 pick, which will spark a regime change in the off-season. On a bright note, Dan Thomas has looked very strong in two games.

25. Carolina Panthers (1-2, +1): After throwing for 400+ yards in each of his two losses, Newton finally secures a win, only having to throw 158 yards. Part of the reason was Carolina finally relying on their running game behind Jonathan Stewart, who averaged 5.9 YPC. Another reason was the Jags were not able to get anything going with Blaine Gabbert. Either way, the Panthers finally have a W in the books.

26. Arizona Cardinals (1-2, -4): The season started off promising for Arizona, but losing to one of the NFL's worst teams (besides that team's obvious attempts to lose) is laughable. The Kevin Kolb trade is looking worse and worse, for both teams. Kolb has not shown much in Arizona to show he is their savior, and the Eagles would love to have Kolb back after Vick's recent durability issues. Maybe they should just do a trade-back. It may actually benefit both teams.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-2, -2): Jacksonville has a stout defense, and in a sense, this was a very hard first game for the rookie Blaine Gabbert. I don't completely blame him for his 73.3 Rating performance. He was virtually playing in a hurricane, after all. Maurice Jones-Drew continued to run well, they can win some games. But make no mistake, this is a rebuilding year with Gabbert finally starting.

28. Denver Broncos (1-2, -1): The Broncos defense continues to impress me. For the second straight week, they were able to limit the opponent's rush attack, this time stopping Chris Johnson (then again, who hasn't stopped him this season?). They weren't able to pull off a win, though, pushing them to 1-2. Denver fans will get even more restless with Tebow chants as the season goes on. And no, they aren't chanting for him to play Wide Receiver, John Fox.

29. Cincinnati Bengals (1-2, +0): Lack of offense is going to kill this team. Andy Dalton looked like what I expected him to look like in this one, barely completing 50% of his passes, and throwing two key interceptions in a 13-8 snoozer. Defensively, the Bengals continue to carry the team, limiting Frank Gore to a mere 2.9 yards per carry while limiting big plays in the passing game to a minimum. If Andy Dalton continues his poor play, this team might actually be in the running for Andrew Luck.

30. Indianapolis Colts (0-3, +0): Honestly, I expected to turn off Sunday night's game at halftime after Pittsburgh has a two, maybe three possession lead on the Colts. Instead, the Colts D wrecked some serious havoc against the Pittsburgh offensive line Sunday night. Unfortanutely for them, complete lack of offensive production makes it very difficult to win football games. Side note, with Kerry Collins having a concussion, they will likely have to start Curtis Painter at Quarterback. From what I saw in Sunday night's game, it might actually be the better choice. Painter actually looked like he had the ability to make some explosive plays... unlike a certain Kerry Collins.

31. Seattle Seahawks (1-2, +1): Its hard to determine who failed more in this one. Arizona for losing the game, or Seattle for winning it. Despite Tarvaris Jackson's best attempts to throw the game, the Cardinals could not capitalize. Sidney Rice's return gives this team a chance to win division games. He caught 8 balls for 109 yards in his return. However, for each chance he gives them, the less of a chance they have at landing Andrew Luck. Look for Pete Carroll to injure Sidney Rice again in the coming week.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (0-3, -1): The Chiefs still have a dominating rush attack, even with the loss to Charles, however, that wasn't able to give them the win over San Diego. To make matters worse, you can add Brandon Flowers to the Chiefs' ever-increasing pool of injuries (he'll be out for the year). After losing the top two players in their secondary, the Chiefs will struggle containing any kind of pass attack. All I can say is, it will be interesting to see how Andrew Luck plays for the Chiefs in 2012.

American Football Simulator Rankings

One time only, I think this will be interesting. While the AFS is more complicated than a final number, I've wrote a method to analyze each roster and try to rank them from 1-32. Might be interesting to see how they match up to my rankings. The numbers represent how these are different than my PR above.

NOTE: These rankings include injured players. Which is why the Colts are ranked so high, for example.

Total Overall:
1. Green Bay Packers: 91.23 (+0)
2. New England Patriots: 91.20 (+0)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers: 90.87 (+3)
4. Baltimore Ravens: 90.85 (+0)
5. Chicago Bears: 90.85 (+5)
6. New York Jets: 90.51 (+2)
7. Atlanta Falcons: 90.42 (+6)
8. San Diego Chargers: 90.25 (+4)
9. Philadelphia Eagles: 90.23 (+5)
10. New York Giants: 90.10 (+5)
11. Indianapolis Colts: 90.09 (+19)
12. Houston Texans: 90.00 (-7)
13. New Orleans Saints: 89.95 (-10)
14. Detroit Lions: 89.95 (-7)
15. Miami Dolphins: 89.89 (+9)
16. Minnesota Vikings: 89.68 (+7)
17. Oakland Raiders: 89.62 (-1)
18. Kansas City Chiefs: 89.55 (+14)
19. Dallas Cowboys: 89.54 (-2)
20. Tennessee Titans: 89.53 (-1)
21. Washington Redskins: 89.47 (-3)
22. St Louis Rams: 89.46 (+2)
23. Buffalo Bills: 89.37 (-14)
24. Jacksonville Jaguars: 89.26 (+3)
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 89.26 (-14)
26. Arizona Cardinals: 89.15 (+0)
27. Denver Broncos: 89.14 (+1)
28. Cleveland Browns: 89.10 (-7)
29. San Francisco 49ers: 89.04 (-9)
30. Carolina Panthers: 89.01 (-5)
31. Cincinnati Bengals: 88.90 (-2)
32. Seattle Seahawks: 88.56 (-1)

It has also analyzed each team's offense and defense.

Total Offense:
1. New England Patriots: 92.28
2. Green Bay Packers: 91.58
3. Houston Texans: 91.51
4. San Diego Chargers: 91.44
5. New Orleans Saints: 91.24
6. Philadelphia Eagles: 90.99
7. Indianapolis Colts: 90.99
8. Atlanta Falcons: 90.97
9. Baltimore Ravens: 90.83
10. Pittsburgh Steelers: 90.11
11. New York Giants: 90.06
12. New York Jets: 89.97
13. Detroit Lions: 89.86
14. Dallas Cowboys: 89.82
15. St Louis Rams: 89.78
16. Kansas City Chiefs: 89.72
17. Carolina Panthers: 89.71
18. Tennessee Titans: 89.65
19. Minnesota Vikings: 89.61
20. Miami Dolphins: 89.56
21. Buffalo Bills: 89.51
22. Chicago Bears: 89.49
23. Arizona Cardinals: 89.42
24. Cleveland Browns: 89.39
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 89.16
26. Washington Redskins: 89.12
27. San Francisco 49ers: 89.11
28. Seattle Seahawks: 89.00
29. Denver Broncos: 89.00
30. Jacksonville Jaguars: 88.99
31. Oakland Raiders: 88.93
32. Cincinnati Bengals: 88.77

Total Defense:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers: 92.37
2. Chicago Bears: 91.52
3. New York Jets: 91.39
4. Green Bay Packers: 91.02
5. Baltimore Ravens: 90.66
6. Miami Dolphins: 90.50
7. New York Giants: 90.46
8. Atlanta Falcons: 90.27
9. Washington Redskins: 90.21
10. Detroit Lions: 90.08
11. New England Patriots: 89.96
12. New Orleans Saints: 89.87
13. Philadelphia Eagles: 89.81
14. Jacksonville Jaguars: 89.71
15. Denver Broncos: 89.62
16. San Diego Chargers: 89.58
17. Dallas Cowboys: 89.58
18. Minnesota Vikings: 89.58
19. Oakland Raiders: 89.54
20. Indianapolis Colts: 89.42
21. Kansas City Chiefs: 89.40
22. St Louis Rams: 89.31
23. Tennessee Titans: 89.16
24. Cincinnati Bengals: 89.15
25. Arizona Cardinals: 89.14
26. Buffalo Bills: 89.03
27. Houston Texans: 89.02
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 89.02
29. Carolina Panthers: 88.90
30. San Francisco 49ers: 88.69
31. Cleveland Browns: 88.52
32. Seattle Seahawks: 88.35

Predictions for Next Week

TKN's accuracy, Week 2: 10-6 (62.50%)
Billy's accuracy, Week 2: 10-6 (62.50%)
AFS's accuracy, Week 2: 11-5 (68.75%)

TKN's Overall 2011 accuracy: 32-16 (66.67%)
Billy's Overall 2011 accuracy: 31-17 (64.58%)
AFS's Overall 2011 accuracy: 29-19 (60.42%)

I struggled with some close games last week (I think we all did), but its still pretty close. Billy's still just a game behind me, and the Simulator made some progress on us last week posting an 11-5 record compared to our 10-6.

Six field goals may not do it against the Lions.
Detroit (3-0) @ Dallas (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: Detroit is on a roll, so I would be foolish to pick against that hype train right now. If they can somehow limit DeMarcus Ware offensively, Stafford should be able to have another strong game. Rob Ryan's defense won't make it easy, though. Defensively, I like Detroit's front four to dominate a Dallas offensive line that has issues, as evidenced by Monday night's game.
Detroit 24, Dallas 21

Billy: Tough, close game. Cowboys offense is not as potent without Miles Austin, and the offensive line will struggle to contain the Lions defensive front. Even if Dallas manages to slow Megatron down, the rest of the offense is just too explosive to be stopped.
Detroit 27, Dallas 23

American Football Simulator:
Detroit 23, Dallas 24

Pittsburgh (2-1) @ Houston (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: Houston would love to finally get some revenge against the Steelers in this one at home. And with the way the Steelers offensive line is playing right now, I think they can do so. I think Wade Phillips will bring the house. Connor Barwin and Mario Williams should get pressure on Big Ben on every play. Defensively, the Steelers are still the Steelers but the Texans are good enough to score points on anyone and the Steelers defense hasn't looked quite as good as it has in the previous few years.
Pittsburgh 16, Houston 24

Billy: Pittsburgh looked lackluster against the lowly Colts, while Houston lost a shootout in New Orleans. Mendenhall found no room to run against a Colts team that can't stop the run, which doesn't bode well in a road contest with one of the leagues most explosive offenses and a good pass rush. Pittsburgh also lacks a defender who can cover Andre, and they are seriously short handed along the offensive line. Texans win, and win big.
Pittsburgh 20, Houston 33

American Football Simulator:
Pittsburgh 24, Houston 23

San Francisco (2-1) @ Philadelphia (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: I think the Eagles can rebound here. For one thing, West teams playing in Eastern 1:00 games are always at a disadvantage. While Vick is unlikely to start, I believe in Vince Young's ability to win games. If Kafka gets the start, the Eagles should be able to coast with LeSean McCoy and company for a close win. The 49ers offense isn't good enough to score many points, but look for Vernon Davis and Frank Gore to have good games.
San Francisco 13, Philadelphia 20

Billy: Michael Vick wants to rebound after two straight losses, and the 49ers are just the team to do it against. Though they sport a 2-1 record, all three games have been close and sloppy, and they could just as easily be 3-0 as they could be 0-3. Frank Gore is starting to slow down, and if he doesn't preform this week, Kendall Hunter my surpass him on the depth chart. If the run game doesn't come alive, Alex Smith will have to throw, and he will be eaten alive by Trent Cole and Jason Babin.
San Francisco 17, Philadelphia 26

American Football Simulator:
San Francisco 23, Philadelphia 29

Minnesota (0-3) @ Kansas City (0-3)
TheKillerNacho: Oh my, two 0-3 teams going at it. The good news for the Vikings is that they ought to be able to get off to an early lead against the depleted and demoralized Chiefs. The bad news is, once they do, they'll need to hold it. I'll take the Vikings here, if only due to the fact they're the better team. Kansas City can run the ball, but I don't see him running well now that Kevin Williams is back in the lineup. Having said that, I don't really trust either team here...
Minnesota 23, Kansas City 17

Billy: Ugly game. Flipped a coin to pick the winner. Honestly. A tie is not out of the question.
Minnesota 4, Kansas City 3

American Football Simulator:
Minnesota 22, Kansas City 21

Washington (2-1) @ St. Louis (0-3)
TheKillerNacho: Washington has played good football this season. St. Louis, just the opposite. To be fair, though, this has been the Rams' best chance to get a W all season... their opening schedule has been just brutal, playing only playoff contenders. Unluckily for them, Washington's also a contender. Hopefully for them, Steven Jackson will be ready to go. But I still think I'm leaning towards Washington.
Washington 20, St. Louis 17

Billy: Redskins over power the Rams in a clear overmatch. Bradford is in a sophomore slump, and the defense has regressed.
Washington 28, St. Louis 12

American Football Simulator:
Washington 20, St. Louis 24

The Bills found a keeper in Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Buffalo (3-0) @ Cincinnati (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: I think its safe to say that it would be unwise to bet against the Bills anytime soon, and it would be unwise to bet on the Bengals anytime soon. Putting two and two together, it would be very unwise to pick the Bengals over the Bills, so I'm not gonna do that. While the Bengals may provide some difficulty to Freddie Jackson, the Bills have more than enough offensive weapons in the passing game to overwhelm the Bengals.
Buffalo 28, Cincinnati 13

Billy: Bills powerful offense rolls through the Bengals defense, and the Bills take care of the less than explosive Bengal offense.
Buffalo 34, Cincinnati 23

American Football Simulator:
Buffalo 24, Cincinnati 22

Tennessee (2-1) @ Cleveland (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: Both of these teams I consider to be over-performing franchises. Without Kenny Britt, though, I severely doubt the Titans' ability to score points, though, so I'm going to go with the Browns. Chris Johnson faces another nightmare with Cleveland's Phil Taylor and Aubrayo Franklin... don't look for Johnson to break out in this game. Browns win it, but it'll probably be closer than it should be.
Tennessee 14, Cleveland 17

Billy: Both Cleveland and Tennessee have rebounded well after losing the season opener. Losing Kenny Britt is a big loss, and Joe Haden should be able to handle Nate Washington and thus slow down the Titans. Chris Johnson needs to find his groove, but if he does, Kenny Britt won't be missed as much.
Tennessee 13, Cleveland 19

American Football Simulator:
Tennessee 22, Cleveland 24

New Orleans (2-1) @ Jacksonville (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: The Saints defense has not looked spectacular vs the Pass, but they will provide some serious problems to rookie Blaine Gabbert. This is Gabbert's first home game, though, so he will want to look his best. I will pick the Saints, but doing so worries me considering the Saints seem to look completely different on the road as they do at home, but it is a game they should win. Jacksonville's defense is stout vs the run, but I don't see their secondary being able to stop Drew Brees.
New Orleans 27, Jacksonville 20

Billy: Saints are rolling and Jags are falling. Since the opener, the Saints have looked spectacular, while Jacksonville has failed to follow up on a solid week 1 win. The Jaguars defense is not good, and Drew Brees will pick it apart, and the Saints defense has gotten better the last two weeks, and gets to face a rookie QB in his 2nd start.
New Orleans 41, Jacksonville 16

American Football Simulator:
New Orleans 25, Jacksonville 24

Urlacher & the Bears D look to give trouble to the rookie, Newton.
Carolina (1-2) @ Chicago (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: Chicago is obviously the better team right now and with Carolina struggling with pass rush this season, I think Jay Cutler may finally find some time in that pocket to make throws. Newton won't likely reach the 400 yard mark in this affair, since the Bears defense excels at limiting big plays and stopping the run. The Bears ought to jump back to 2-2. This is as close to a "must win" as one gets early in the season... they can't afford to drop to 1-3 with the Pack and Lions in their division.
Carolina 13, Chicago 21

Billy: Bears have been on a downward slope after starting so well against Atlanta, and Cam Newton got his first win with a less than spectacular showing after lighting it up the first two weeks. I don't believe Carolina will be able to handle the Bears in Chicago, and Jay Cutler may finally get a bit of a breather this week, but only a little.
Carolina 16, Chicago 24

American Football Simulator:
Carolina 21, Chicago 29

Atlanta (1-2) @ Seattle (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: Seattle provided the Steelers a bounce back win in Week 2, and I expect much of the same for the Falcons in this matchup. The Falcons are afraid of going 1-3 in the NFC South, and they are playing a team they should easily win against (Heck, one could argue the Seahawks WANT to lose). I think the Falcons will be able to climb back to 500.
Atlanta 26, Seattle 17

Billy: The Falcons have looked the opposite of what some believed they would before the season. Atlanta is a total mess, but they have a nice chance for a rebound against the lowly Seahawks. Seattle is pedestrian on offense and defense, and should be a nice “tune-up” game if you will.
Atlanta 24, Seattle 12

American Football Simulator:
Atlanta 27, Seattle 21

New York G (2-1) @ Arizona (1-2)
TheKillerNacho: Arizona has shown they can lose to anybody. However, if there is one team that Kolb knows well, it may be the Giants. However, I'm liking Eli's matchup vs the Cardinals this week. This is his chance to get back to back good weeks, as the Cardinals secondary is suspect.
New York G 24, Arizona 20

Billy: So, with only 1 starting WR, and facing Nnamdi, Asante, and DRC, Eli went out and proved why he is a Top 10 Quarterback. With Manningham coming back, and the Cards next, he should have another good day. Kevin Kolb should be under pressure from start to finish, especially if Osi plays, but could still easily reach 300 yards passing.
New York G 31, Arizona 21

American Football Simulator:
New York G 25, Arizona 22

Denver (1-2) @ Green Bay (3-0)
TheKillerNacho: I don't want to say there is ever an easy win in the NFL, but this is as easy as it gets. Denver may have an improved defense, but their offense is amung the NFL's worst. The Pack was able to contain the run easily against the Bears, and this should continue against Knowshon Moreno of the Broncos. And Kyle Orton isn't the type of Quarterback that will win you many games.
Denver 14, Green Bay 30

Billy: Close game? Doubtful. Packers are unstoppable so far, and Morgan Burnett has filled in nicely for Nick Collins. Kyle Orton has been very stoppable, and the Denver defense has not stepped up. Look for Rodgers to hit 300 yards, if only because he won't handoff the ball.
Denver 10, Green Bay 44

American Football Simulator:
Denver 17, Green Bay 28

The way McFadden is running now, its hard to see anyone containing him.
New England (2-1) @ Oakland (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: I'm going to pick the Patriots here since I consider them one of the league's best teams still, but with their upset loss and the Raiders' upset win, I'm a bit scared. I like Darren McFadden to have another big game despite Wilfork and Haynesworth, running to the outside seems to work against this Patriots team. When it comes down to it, though, Oakland's defense has declined since last season, and Tom Brady is, well, Tom Brady.
New England 31, Oakland 27

Billy: The Patriots defense has been awful, like last in the league awful. Brady also threw 4 picks last week, the 6th time in his career that has happened. That being said, the Patriots are 4 – 1 following a 4 interception game from Tom Brady, and as bad as their defense has been, the offense is well equipped and very capable of overcoming such shortcomings. Look for Darren McFadden to reach close to 200 yards on the ground.
New England 34, Oakland 30

American Football Simulator:
New England 26, Oakland 21

Miami (0-3) @ San Diego Chargers (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: San Diego has not looked great early into this season, but Miami has looked even worse. Philip Rivers must be looking forward to abusing all of his weapons in this one. Miami cannot cover Tight ends, and the Chargers have one of the best in Antonio Gates. Rivers will spread it out, and systematically pick apart Miami's defense. Defensively, I think Miami should be able to move the ball vs San Diego, but struggle in the redzone as always this season.
Miami 20, San Diego 27

Billy: Philip Rivers has been spotty so far this year, throwing a league-leading 6 INTs, while completing 68.3% of his passes. Chad Henne has been inconsistent as well, lighting it up in week 1, then dropping off week 2, and then nearly leading his team to a win in Cleveland, only to throw the game losing interception. Expect a good number of passing yards, interceptions, and a few touchdowns.
Miami 20, San Diego 30

American Football Simulator:
Miami 21, San Diego 26

New York J (2-1) @ Baltimore (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: At 2-1, both of these teams want to remain over .500, facing serious competition from within their division. This matchup may also have significant Wildcard implications, as both of these teams will be Wildcard contenders if they don't win the division. Overall, I think Baltimore is the better team so I'm going to pick them at home. Ray Rice may be able to emulate McFadden, and if that happens, the Jets are screwed. Baltimore actually has a defense, unlike Oakland.
New York J 20, Baltimore 23

Billy: This looks to be a defensive struggle on paper, but only one of these teams has actually played great defense...Baltimore. The Jets looked weak on defense against Dallas and Oakland, and even though they demolished the Jaguars, it was Luke McCown, so it only means so much. I foresee lots of yards, and a game decided on the final drive.
New York J 22, Baltimore 28

American Football Simulator:
New York J 21, Baltimore 25

Indianapolis (0-3) @ Tampa Bay (2-1)
TheKillerNacho: Another primetime matchup for the Manningless Colts... how boring. At least this will give me an opportunity to (hopefully) watch Curtis Painter again.. he showed some promise. Unfortanutely for the Colts, though, the Colts defense doesn't play nearly as good on the road as it does at home, so I think this is a fairly solid Tampa Bay win on Monday night.
Indianapolis 17, Tampa Bay 27

Billy: This Colts team finally played with heart last week, and they showed that they do have enough talent to compete, but not quite enough to win. And if Curtis Painter does in fact start, they are in big trouble. Tampa Bay should win this one easily.
Indianapolis 10, Tampa Bay 20

American Football Simulator:
Indianapolis 22, Tampa Bay 27

Question of the Week

Last week, I asked my readers "Which team will win the Andrew Luck sweepstates (by posting the worst overall record in 2011)?" between the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, or Other (please comment). Kansas City won the poll with 60% of the vote. I guess their poor play in the first two weeks convinced everyone of their ineptitude. The Seahawks and the Colts tied for 2nd, with 30% each.

As I said in the introduction, this season has several surprising stories. Therefore, the question becomes, "Which team is the greatest story this season (for better or for worse)?" between the Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, or Houston Texans. I had a feeling the Chiefs were going to regress from last year, and to be honest, I don't think its a shocker the Manningless Colts are 0-3. I also said in my preseason rankings that I thought both Buffalo and Detroit would be much improved, but the Bills are the team that really surpassed my expectations, so I'm going with them. Vote on the right-side of my blog!

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