Antigonish - September 30, 2011 - For the third consecutive week PP has gone four for five, with a season average of 80%. As a colleague pointed out, if nothing else I am consistent! To add to the mix a bit, starting this week I will be adding an “Upset of the Week” pick. Here goes:
Lock of the Week - Denver @ Green Bay - What more can I say about the Packers? They have been nothing short of dominant - and will certainly be in the middle of the NFC playoff picture. As for Denver, well, poor QB play by Kyle Orton has fans clamouring for Tim Tebow, but he is likely to remain planted on the bench. That is probably the safest place to be in Green Bay facing this defense! Green Bay wins.
Indy @ Tampa Bay - The Colts put up a brave fight against Pittsburgh last week, but look to start Curtis Painter with Kerry Collins concussion. Painter should be in tough against a young and talented Tampa defence, while the Colts are simply too beat up to win, having lost starters Melvin Bullitt and Gary Brackett to IR, losses that as significant as they are, pale next to the loss of franchise player Peyton Manning. Tampa Bay wins.
New Orleans @ Jacksonville The Saints continue to roll since their Week One loss, and it is not likely that new starting QB Blaine Gabbert will do anything to stop the bleeding for the Jags. The Saints have too explosive an offence, with Drew Brees and the passing game finally having a solid running game, led by rookie Mark Ingram and the dangerous Darren Sproles. Saints win.
Buffalo @ Cincinatti - The Bengals are a mess, with erstwhile starter Carson Palmer still AWOL, and star RB Benson facing suspension. The Bills, and QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, meanwhile are the darlings of the NFL with a 3-0 start, and their huge win over New England last week has to have them feeling pretty good about their chances to return to the playoffs in what seems like a lifetime. Bills win.
Upset of the Week - Detroit @ Dallas - While some may or may not see this as an upset, the Cowboys are favoured, and if anyone had said otherwise prior to the season, they might have been referred for a check-up. The Lions though, have been playing inspired football, and with an offence clicking on all cylinders with Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson seeming unstoppable, their chances of going 4-0 seem all too real. Make no mistake, the Cowboys are a formidable opponent, but with QB Tony Romo and RB Felix Jones banged up, and facing a defence that has been dominant against the run, (A dose of Suh anyone?) the Cowboys may be in for a letdown in Week 4! Lions win!