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Gonzo's Fearless Football Forecast: Week 3

Week 1 was pretty good.  Week 2?  Not so much.

Week 2 Straight Up:  8-8
Week 2 Against the Spread:  5-10-1
Overall Straight Up:  18-14
Overall Against the Spread:  12-17-3

Like I said, I'm glad I don't gamble.  Which reminds me. . .

Standard Disclaimer:  These picks are intended to be used for entertainment purposes only.  If you take Gonzo's picks, use them for gambling purposes and proceed to lose a bunch of money, you really have nobody to blame but yourself.  Of course, if you win, it's because Gonzo is a freaking genius, and as a result you owe half of any profit made to Gonzo.  Mailing address for cashiers checks and money orders will be provided at a later time.

This week's numbers are provided by Danny Sheridan of USA Today.

Indianapolis (-6) at Houston

Both of these teams are 2-0.  Both of these teams have looked impressive on both offense and defense in their two victories.  However, one of these teams comes into this game relatively healthy, while the other is going to be without (arguably) their best offensive player for the next 4-5 weeks.  I was wrong to pick against the Texans last week, but I'm confident that the Colts can win this one against the young upstarts.

Colts 31, Texans 17 (Colts to win and cover)

San Diego (-4.5) at Green Bay

Green Bay's running game is still terrible, and the Chargers are NOT the defense to be without a running game against.  Brett Favre is on track to set the all-time interception record next week at the Metrodome, and the Chargers will give him a gentle nudge in that direction on Sunday.  Those of you fantasy owners that took LaDanian Tomlinson #1 overall and are probably sitting at 0-2 right now?  This is the week you've been waiting for.

Chargers 24, Packers 13 (Chargers to win and cover)

Detroit at Philadelphia (-6)

At the beginning of the season, we expected this to be a matchup of a 2-0 team against an 0-2 team.  We just expected the roles to be reversed.  But, the Lions are undefeated and headed to the Linc to take on the Eagles, and I just can't see the Eagles dropping to 0-3.  This one's going to be close, but in the end I think that Philly gets that first victory and avoids the dreaded 0-3 start.

Eagles 27, Lions 24 (Eagles win, Lions cover)

Buffalo at New England (-16.5)

The Bills are banged up, the Patriots are playing great football, Tom Brady is crazy good, and Randy Moss looks like Randy Moss again.  Not a good combination of variables if you're a Buffalo fan.

Patriots 34, Bills 10 (Patriots to win and, yes, cover that massive spread)

Miami at New York Jets (-3)

Two 0-2 AFC East combatants do battle in the Meadowlands in this one.  Neither of these teams have looked particularly good on offense in the first two games. . .haven't looked particularly good on defense, either.  Games like this (and KC/Minnesota) are why Sunday Ticket was invented. . .to be able to watch games like this, because they sure as heck wouldn't willingly show this game anywhere else.

Dolphins 20, Jets 17 (Dolphins win outright)

San Francisco at Pittsburgh (-8.5)

The Niners' offense is dead last in the NFL, at least in terms of yardage (they rank 19th in terms of points scored).  You might be able to get away with that kind of production against teams like Arizona and St. Louis.  You won't get away with it at Heinz Field.  Mike Tomlin has his team playing outstanding football thus far, and I just don't think the Niners can hang with a team of this caliber on the road.  Alex Smith is going to have to have a BIG game for the Niners to have a chance.

Steelers 23, Niners 10 (Steelers to win and cover)

Arizona at Baltimore (-7.5)

The Cardinals head to Baltimore to take on a beaten up Ravens' team.  Jonathan Ogden will more than likely miss this one, as will Trevor Pryce.  Despite Pryce's absence, I'd still expect Edgerrin James to have a tough time against the Ravens' run defense (#2 in the NFL), but the Arizona defense will still more than likely be able to move the ball between the 20s.  However, I see them having to settle for too many field goals to pull out a victory here.

Ravens 20, Cardinals 16 (Ravens win, Cardinals cover)

St. Louis at Tampa Bay (-3.5)

The Greatest Show on Turf has been. . .well, not so great thus far.  The loss of Orlando Pace for the Rams' offense can't possibly be overstated.  Throw in that the Rams aren't nearly as good away from the Saint Louis Speedway™ and the Bucs are a better team at The Big Sombrero™, and it's not looking promising for St. Louis.

Bucs 23, Rams 16 (Bucs to win and cover)

Jacksonville at Denver (-3)

Dear Jack Del Rio,

Nice offense you've got there.

Sincerely,
Byron Leftwich

Broncos 23, Jaguars 10 (Broncos to win and cover)

Cincinnati at Seattle (-3.5)

The Bengals defense is. . .well, they don't stop the pass, they don't stop the run, and they don't stop the other team from scoring.  Other than that, they're fine.  The Bengals will put up their share of points on Sunday, but they'll find slightly tougher sledding against the Seahawks' defense than they did against Cleveland last week.  Play all your Seahawks in your fantasy leagues.

Seahawks 34, Bengals 27 (Seahawks to win and cover)

Cleveland at Oakland (-3)

You know that thing I said about Sunday Ticket earlier?  It applies here, too.  Only Browns fans, Raiders fans, and degenerate gamblers will be watching this one, and with good reason.  The Raiders continue to play Josh McCown at quarterback for reasons I'm not sure of.  Maybe another home loss will help them figure out that the guy sucks.

Browns 20, Raiders 17 (Browns win outright)

Carolina (-4) at Atlanta

Let me check here. . .yes, the Falcons are still the worst team in the NFL.  The Falcons have allowed 13 sacks in the first two games, and it doesn't look to get any prettier for Joey Harrington this week, as he gets to look across the line and see Julius Peppers and company looking back at them.  Is this the week the Falcons score double-digit points?  I wouldn't count on it.

Panthers 24, Falcons 7 (Panthers to win and cover)

New York Football Giants at Washington (-3.5)

The Giants' secondary is a mess.  A complete, utter, absolute mess.  And what's worse is hearing from sideline reporters like Pam Oliver (during last week's early game) that the defensive players on the Giants' sidelines "didn't care."  I think that Tiki Barber has been an arrogant ass during his time at NBC. . .but after two weeks of seeing the Giants, you have to wonder if he isn't an arrogant ass that was on to something.  I don't see them going into FedEx Field and winning this week.

Redskins 27, Giants 17 (Redskins to win and cover)

Dallas at Chicago (-3)

The Cowboys have, easily, the best offense in the NFC to this point  Tony Romo has been outstanding, and eventually someone in Dallas is going to realize that Marion Barber III is infinitely better than Julius Jones.  The Bears, on the other hand?  They didn't exactly look dominant against a Kansas City team that they were supposed to roll over, and they have even fewer offensive touchdowns than the Vikings.  Yes, their offense has been THAT bad.  I know the Cowboys' defense has been struggling a bit to this point. . .but if you're a struggling defense, Rex Grossman is good for what ails you.

Cowboys 24, Bears 13 (Cowboys win outright)

Tennessee at New Orleans (-4.5)

The 2007 Saints, so far, have looked like what everyone expected the 2006 Saints to look like.  The offense is totally out of sync, and they might only have the second best defense in the state of Louisiana (behind these guys).  Say what you will about Vince Young, but the man gives his team a chance to win.  It might not always be pretty, but his team usually isn't out of it until the end.  Young, along with the combination of Chris Brown and LenDale White, will slowly wear the Saints down and drop last year's Cinderellas to ugly stepsister status.

Titans 24, Saints 20 (Titans win outright)

And there they are, folks. . .as always, the Vikings/Chiefs prediction will be placed in the Open Thread tomorrow morning.