By Tony McClean
Updated: September 22, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Ct. — It usually takes a few week’s before I get bitten in the butt by my friend, Upset, the Wonder Dog. Unfortunately, after a 6-10 week, he’s roaming around again. Whether it was the Cheeseheads and Tuna Helpers falling at home or the Chargers and Falcons doing the same on the road, Week Two wasn’t fun for me.
But as always, we look at Week Three as a way to bounce back and hope that we can keep Ol’ Upset in his doghouse and keep me out of the one I created for myself.
Among some of the top games this week: An AFC title rematch in Pittsburgh, another road test for the Chiefs on Monday Night Football, and a return “home” for Eli Manning at Qualcomm Stadium.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
In the past three years, 12 clubs began the season at 2-0 and failed to make the playoffs. In that time, three teams started 0-2 and advanced to the playoffs. Four years ago, New England began 0-2 and won Super Bowl XXXVI.
Which player scored the first regular season touchdown in New Orleans Saints’ history?
A. John Gilliam
B. Billy Kilmer
C. Danny Abramowicz
D. Jim Taylor
LAST WEEK’S ANSWER
St. Louis’ Marc Bulger has the second highest winning percentage (27-11, .510) among active quarterbacks with at least 16 career starts.
LAST WEEK: 6-10 (15-17 overall)
I probably went with too many road upsets last week. Teams like the Lions, Dolphins, and Saints just couldn’t hack it. Yeah, I know it was a “home” game for New Orleans. There were probably too many “Saints” fans disguised as fans of Big Blue. I’d also like to thank the Tuna Helpers for playing a great 57 minutes and 15 seconds. Unfortunately, it’s the last 2:15 that killed me.
PATRIOTS at STEELERS
For the second straight week, New England faces another grudge match on the road. This time it’s at Heinz Field where just a few months ago they dismissed Big Ben and the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game. While the Brady Bunch struggled in a loss at Carolina, the Black Gold sent the Texans (and ex-offensive coordinator Chris Palmer) to their rooms. Did you know that these two clubs that have won a combined 32 of 36 regular season games the past two seasons? While it may be a bit early to call this a playoff preview, the winner of this game will set themselves up pretty well down the road.
BENGALS at BEARS
No, you’re not dreaming. That really is the Bengals ranked No. 1 in the league in offense. It’s the first time they’ve held that distinction since their Super Bowl season of 1988. The Lewis Gang put a major whuppin on the Vikings last week, while Da Bears had their way with the Boys from Motown. Both teams are also doing it on the other side of the ball as well: Cincy has allowed just 21 points, Chicago just 10. This will probably come down to the QBs. Just on experience alone we’ve gotta stick with the Bengals.
BROWNS at COLTS
It’s only been two games, but all of us who have been ragging Tony Dungy’s defense may have to eat our words by mid-season if this keeps up. The Horseshoes are coming off a six sack performance against Jacksonville and have allowed only 10 points all year. Romeo Crennel got his first NFL win last week as the Brownies went to Lambeau and stole one from the Packers. I know I said earlier I probably went with too many road underdogs last week, but (sniff, sniff) I smell an upset here.
GIANTS at CHARGERS
Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! That will be the most prominent thing Little Eli will be hearing from Charger fans come Sunday night. Needless to say, but San Diego fans have been girding for this game since the schedule was posted in April. But after an 0-2 start, it takes on even more meaning. Especially with Big Blue coming in at 2-0. You don’t like to call Week 3 games crucial, but the Bolts are desperate for a win. What a better way to greet Ol’ No. 10 by handing him his first loss of the season?
CHIEFS at BRONCOS
K.C. has arguably been the most impressive team in the league with their 2-0 start. We always knew the offense was great, now it appears that the defense has finally caught up. The Chiefs get a chance to open some early separation in the AFC West if they can pull off this divisional road win. But don’t think that the Broncos will just lay down and die at home on Monday night. The difference will be which defense can make a big play late. Knowing that Jake Plummer is usually just an interception waiting to happen, we’ll go with K.C. and await another weeping by Coach Vermeil.
Falcons over Bills: Vick says he’s playing. That’s good enough for me.
Bucs over Packers: Just like a Cadillac driving over some stale cheese and bratewurst.
Panthers over Dolphins: Mr. Frerotte meet Mr. Peppers (POW!!!!).
Vikings over Saints: Daunte becomes Daunte again while Mr. Mike keeps his job for another week.
Jets over Jaguars: This is what I get for making Reverend Herm mad at me.
Eagles over Raiders: This is becoming a tired rerun: Randy scores, Raiders get beat.
Titans over Rams: Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if Air McNair scores the game-winner on a QB sneak with no time left on the clock?
Cowboys over 49ers: They may only need to play 30 or 40 minutes to win this one.
Seahawks over Cardinals: The noise you hear in the background is Coach Green gnawing at his teeth.