Watching last week’s games – specifically New Orleans and New England’s losses – made me wonder about parity early in the NFL season. Six teams are currently 2-0, which seemed like a small amount compared to five or ten years ago. After looking it up, it checked out for the most part:
2-0 Teams Entering Week 3
2009-2012: 27 (8 in ’09, 6 in ’10, 7 in ’11, 6 in ’12)
2005-2008: 36 (7 in ’05, 10 in ’06, 9 in ’07, 10 in ’08)
What makes this year’s crop so interesting is that they haven’t all played particularly well. Philadelphia and Arizona are fantastic examples. The Eagles have turned the ball over way too much and won both of their games by a point. Arizona let Seattle hang around until the very end, gifting them passing interference calls, yet somehow pulled out a W. Same against New England, who would be the sixth 2-0 team had Stephen Gostkowski’s kick gone ten miles in the other direction (Seriously. What a shank.).
San Diego and Atlanta have looked good so far as well, but I’m still not entirely sold on either. Luckily they play this week, so we’ll get a better idea of which is the real.
That only leaves Houston and San Francisco. Both have been dominant on both sides of the ball and haven’t shown any signs of slipping up. Hats off to both.
Now let’s pick. Last week I went 9-7, to go with my 7-9 from the week before – I’m .500 so far (18-18).
New York Giants over Carolina
Home or away, Carolina’s primetime record has been very lackluster. A short-handed Giants team embarrassed them Thursday night.
Chicago over St. Louis
This game should be closer than most expect. But Forte and the Bears’ defense should be enough to lift them.
Buffalo over Cleveland
There’s only one prescription: More C.J. Spiller.
Dallas over Tampa Bay
I’m not sold on either team, but I have more confidence in Dallas’s offense.
Detroit over Tennessee
Tennessee’s offense has been pretty abysmal so far, thanks in large part to Chris Johnson. He’ll eventually put it all together, but I don’t see it happening against Detroit’s D.
Indianapolis over Jacksonville
Actually, one of my toughest picks of the day. A battle between two OK teams will do that sometimes.
New York Jets over Miami
Reggie Bush has impressed so far, but the Jets have too much talent on both sides of the ball to lose this one.
San Francisco over Minnesota
There’s a way to beat the San Francisco, but I doubt Minnesota has the answer.
New Orleans over Kansas City
Remember when the Saints started 0-3? Yeah, me neither. They’ll take the first steps toward righting the ship this week.
Cincinnati over Washington
Last week was a better picture of RGIII’s rookie season. Up and down. Makes plays, then mistakes. I expect more of the same today, while Andy Dalton has a great day through the air.
Philadelphia over Arizona
Again, neither should be undefeated, but one of them will be 3-0 at the end of the day. Once Philly cuts out the turnovers, the sky should be the limit.
Atlanta over San Diego
If Atlanta can get Michael Turner going early, the offense should flow pretty well.
Houston over Denver
The stat ESPN’s been abusing about Peyton Manning being 16-2 against the Texans? Worthless. He’s on a new team and the Texans are a different animal.
Pittsburgh over Oakland
Slowly losing confidence in Carson Palmer (while everyone else lost it last season, I still defend him). Pittsburgh’s DBs will be calling for the ball all day.
Baltimore over New England
I could see this one going either way, but Baltimore gets the home team nod.
Green Bay over Seattle
It doesn’t look entertaining on paper, but this is a good MNF matchup. While I don’t expect them to win, Seattle plays pretty well at home.
Record for Week: 9-7
Record for Season: 25-23