Antigonish - September 22, 2011 - Pigskin picks went four for five again, keeping the percentage at a respectable 80% for the season. While it is a long season, we are certainly getting some glimpses into which teams seem to be heading towards the playoffs and which are trending downwards. That brings us to Week Three, where some teams are thinking playoffs, and others are looking down the long painful path to an early pick in the NFL draft, and the right to pick potential franchise Stanford QB Andrew Luck.
Lock of the Week: Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis -It hurts me to do this, but the 2011 Peyton Manning-less Colts have the look of a team that is destined for a high draft pick (Andrew Luck anyone?). Pittsburgh, meanwhile, seems to have put their Week One disaster behind them, and with a powerful running game and strong defence, should have little trouble dispatching the Colts, who have been exposed often and early this season. Yes, it is obvious that Peyton was more than deserving of those MVP awards! Pittsburgh wins.
San Diego @ KC - the other team in the running for the Andrew Luck sweepstakes, ie, the #1 pick in the 2012 NFL draft, is KC. Having lost both all pro RB Jamaal Charles, and all pro safety Eric Berry for the season, KC should be easy pickings for QB Philip Rivers and the high flying Chargers. Look for an 0-3 start for KC, and the first rumblings of a potential coaching change in the 2011-2 season! San Diego wins.
Baltimore Vs St Louis The Ravens fell back to earth in Week Two, but they will use that as motivation against an injury depleted St Louis squad that is likely minus star RB Steven Jackson. While the Rams, led by QB Sam Bradford, are a team on the rise, they will likely be biting off more than they can chew against a Ravens defence that has historically eaten young QB’s for breakfast. Ravens win.
Arizona @ Seattle -The Kevin Kolb to Larry Fitzgerald connection is starting to click, and the Cardinals finally have RB Beanie Wells running with authority. While the Cardinal defense is still a work in progress, Arizona should not face much of a challenge in the Seahawks, whose weak passing game and virtually non-existent running game scare no-one other than possibly Mr. Luck. Arizona wins.
Green Bay @ Chicago - Picking against colleague Chris Savard's Bears three weeks in a row may seem unfair, but it is more accurate to say that I am picking for Green Bay, who look like a strong bet to start the season 3-0 vs a surprisingly strong Bears team. While Bears QB Jay Cutler has thrown well so far, and RB Matt Forte looks every inch a Pro Bowler, the Bears O-line has struggled to protect Cutler, and is now missing rookie lineman Gabe Carimi. The Packers are a balance team with no weak-spots. Look for them to prevail against a Bears team that will struggle to keep Cutler upright for the season. Green Bay wins.
Pigskin Picks at 8 for 10 (80%) for the season.