A moment of silence, for the Green Bay Packers’ season…
Never a dull moment!
Cam Newton had as interesting week as any. Watching the cringiest press conference in a long time and then seeing him be near perfect against a Lions defense that had been sneaky good up until now. Cam and the Panthers are real this year.
In a year that’s featured some not very exciting games (up until recently), this week featured some exciting endings and some true upsets.
Carolina bested New England at home, Buffalo has now beaten Denver and Atlanta in back to back weeks, the Rams beat the Cowboys in Jerryworld, and two overtime matches that showed an interesting lack of urgency despite the shortened quarter.
What is happening in the league?
On a weekend where players, coaches, and owners across the league showed solidarity in the face of divisive language, the league decided to throw another curve ball in terms of power rankings.
The Jaguars completely and utterly shut down the Ravens over in London Town; Case Keenum guides the Vikes to an impressive win over the Bucs; The Rams winning the thriller in Santa Clara on Thursday night; Newton self-destructs without his top two targets; Indy and Philly squeak out wins against previously hapless opponents; Jets stun the Fins with an *almost shutout; Bills cruise past the staunch Denver defense; Golden Tate’s touchdown reversed keeps the Falcons perfect for now; Titans get confident win at home versus the troubled Seahawks; Rodgers wins his first overtime game of his career; Cousins is near perfect against the Raiders; and Kareem Hunt continues to dominate.
Not going to lie, it was a rough week for me. In my Week 3 predictions, I went 8-8, because I was on the wrong side of most of those upsets. Guess that’s why they’re called upsets.
I was 20-11 going into this week, which means after week 3, I’m at 28-19. Not as bad as it could’ve been, but not great. It was a rough week for a lot of us predictors, I imagine.
In terms of stats predictions, I was around my average of 1-2 correct every week:
- Antonio Brown did outgain all of Chicago’s wide receivers, because Antonio Brown outgained even Mike Glennon’s passing total. Brown had 110 yards, Chicago wide outs had… 9. One catch, for Deonte Thompson. But hey, Chicago won, so maybe that’s what works for them.
- Philip Rivers did indeed throw more interceptions than Alex Smith threw TDs; although that’s not hard when Kareem Hunt is running for darn near 150 yards a game and can rip a long touchdown run on a moments notice. Rivers had 3 picks, Smith had 2 touchdown passes.
Now, let’s get into the Week 4 predictions:
The hyper defensive league continues into the second week, as offenses across the US, from Cincinnati to Houston, from Buffalo to Carolina, all have trouble scoring more points than Tom Brady can score in one quarter!
Impressive outings by Patriots, by the way, bouncing back from their Week 1 “shocker’ loss, as well as impressive starters by everyone in the AFC West… except the Chargers kicker. Sorry, buddy. It’s not fair, but that’s how the NFL rolls.
Jay Cutler got his belated debut with the Dolphins, doing well enough to secure them a win with all of the chances the Chargers gave them. And Zay Jones just missed the game winning touchdown in the Carolina-Buffalo game. Marshawn danced on the sideline and Stafford took a JPP hand to the eyes!
But that’s all just another week in the NFL.
Last week I went 12-4, a much better outcome than my middling first week of 8-7. That makes me 20-11 on the year.
In terms of statistical predictions:
- I predicted The Tennessee Titans & Jacksonville Jaguars would combine for more than 250 rushing yards; they combined for 278 rushing yards.
- Corey Coleman only had one catch, so it wasn’t hard for Baltimore’s defense to have more sacks (3) than Coleman catches.
- Despite my thinking it would be bold, Jamaal Charles did end up outpacing Ezekiel Elliott; Charles had 52 scrimmage yards to Elliott’s 22. Yikes.
- I was 2/3 correct on my Packers-Falcons prediction; the Packers did outgain the Falcons in passing yards and total yards, mostly because they trailed at kickoff seemingly. Ah well.
Now, on to this week’s picks!
What a wild week one that was!
Alex Smith playing like an All Pro quarterback; the Patriots possible perfect season spoiled; the LA Rams demolishing the Colts; the Ravens shutting out the Bengals; Sam Bradford playing a near perfect opening game; and the Packers defense wreaking havoc on a shoddy Seahawks offensive line.
It was an impressive week, especially for defenses, with six teams being held under 10 points, and only four teams scoring 30 or more.
My personal record for game predictions last week was 8-7, and I was correct on two of my statistical predictions:
- Cooper Kupp led the game with 76 receiving yards, more than any other player in the game
- Aaron Rodgers had 21 rushing yards, far more than Eddie Lacy’s measly 3 yards.
Not great, I’ll admit, so here’s to getting back on track. Let’s get into the picks for this week:
The NFL season is finally upon us!
Another year of epic matchups, crazy finishes, and memories the football world will remember for all of time.
For now, we predict the outcomes of the first week:
*Updated 9/6, with news of Miami/Tampa Bay game being postponed*