NFL Week 3: Texans at Saints

I had a complaint last week from a not-true fan that my picks have been pretty good (75% so far) because I make them during the game and then change the time of the post to one that is earlier… well I’ve iced my face ¬†and am going to start posting these at around 9:00 a.m. on the day of the games!

Saints beat down the Bears last week and are at home once again this week (in their ugly kick-back black jerseys…), hosting the Houston Texans (the team everyone is rooting for down in the AFC South now that the Colts have spontaneously combusted). The Texans have a good offense and a pretty good defense (pass rush especially).

They’re 2-0 so far, but they’ve beaten nobody teams (Colts and Dolphins) and I don’t think they’re quite ready for the big stage. They’ll undoubtedly win the AFC South this season and go on and play in the playoffs, but they’ll get their first loss of the season down in New Orleans today.

Texan star-running back Arian Foster is out again for this game (missed the opener against the Colts because of a hamstring injury and left early last week against the Dolphins), but Ben Tate has had a pair of 100-yard games already this season. However, the Saints held the Matt Forte of the Bears to under 50 yards last week, and that without heartthrob Will Smith at defensive end (Saints also managed six sacks last week without him). Smith returns today and will definitely clog up the line.

With the return of Will, the Saints may be able to get more players into coverage, maybe double-cover Texan star-receiver Andre Johnson, who had a touchdown in both of his games so far. Saints’ corners aren’t too great (yet again) with Tracy Porter probably out again and this week Jonathan Vilma questionable, the Saints secondary will have to try extra hard to keep the Texan offense at bay.

I won’t even discuss the Saints’ top-5 offense because we all know they’ll dominate. Even though Colston is out, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, Jimmy Graham, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles and Mark Ingram are doing more than enough to fill up the void. Saints just have to make sure not to play from behind and the game will be theirs. I’m predicting a two touchdown victory, folks. So you might want to watch a more exciting Patriots at Bills game or Giants at Eagles. My TV will be glued to Saints of course, on the 5th anniversary of the Super Dome opening after Katrina, but you can decide what you want to watch.

As for the rest of the picks, I let my heart do more choosing today than my brain. But thankfully I chose the Patriots over the Bills. This, we all hope, is going to be a close game, but it’s a beautiful 75 degrees up in Buffalo and Tom Brady will surely pick apart that Bills defense.

Cam Newton will get his first win down in Jacksonville as the Jaguars start their own rookie quarterback and the Lions will finally win in Minnesota (Lions are going places folks… I have them playing the Saints in the second round of the playoffs!)

I will probably be wrong on my Niners pick, since I picked with my heart. People are in love with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton of the Bengals, but I don’t buy him nor his red hair. Another dangerous pick I’m making this week is the Raiders beating the Jets… I have faith in this Oakland team. They’re fast on defense and I think they will keep Mark Sanchez to 0 TDs today (and 2 INTs). As long as their runners can keep up on offense, they’ll win. And another hopeful pick is the Seahawks over the Cardinals. I can almost guarantee the Seahawks will not beat the Cardinals… but I’m still picking them. Go figure. My love for Pete Carroll is to blame.

As for the rivalry games, I’m picking the Packers over the Bears (with 20 Cutler sacks), smarter Falcons over the Bucs, and bionic man Cowboys over the Redskins. So that about does it. I better get more than 12-4 this week… but I can see myself going 6-10. Who knows. Take care everyone. see u.

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