BASN NFL Picks: Week Three

By Tony McClean
Updated: September 22, 2006
NEW HAVEN, Ct.— The dictionary defines the word “statement” as a communication or declaration in speech or writing, setting forth facts, particulars, etc. The old scholars didn’t know it, but they probably were talking about this week’s NFL schedule.
This Sunday, several unbeaten teams will attempt to make a “declaration” of their early status on the field. This group includes many win less teams looking to avoid dropping to 0-3.
However, recent history shows that 0-2 teams advance to the playoffs more often than people might think. Since 1990, 17 teams have begun 0-2 and still qualified for the postseason.
The 0-2 Dallas Cowboys in 1993 won Super Bowl XXVIII, the 0-2 New England Patriots of 1996 played in Super Bowl XXXI, and in 2001, the 0-2 Patriots won Super Bowl
The Falcons rushed for 306 yards last week against Tampa Bay, one week after rushing for 252 yards against Carolina. Atlanta is only the third team in history to open a season with consecutive 250-yard rushing games. They can join the 1975 Buffalo Bills as the only clubs to rush for 250 yards in the first three games of a season.
Who was the last tight end in Chicago Bears history to have three touchdown receptions in a game?
A. Mike Ditka
B. Greg Latta
C. John Gilmore
D. Desmond Clark
(The answer comes at the bottom of the column)
LAST WEEK: 14-2 (Overall: 24-7)
Only the Eagles’ meltdown and Buffalo’s upset of the Dolphins kept us from that elusive perfect week. We warned you about the 49ers, Saints, and Jags. If you didn’t listen, shame on you. Ya can’t blame that one on me.
Da Bears are doing what all dominate teams are supposed to do. That is, make dog meat out of inferior teams in their division. Going to the Metrodome will be a little tougher than what they’ve had to do so far. The Vikings pulled out a great win against Carolina and the Purple Gang appear to be still riding the momentum of last year’s late playoff push. Another Chicago win will put them 3-0 overall and most importantly, 3-0 in the NFC North. While I like what Lovie is doing, I think Minnesota may be able to pull this off at home.
Pick: Vikings.
Big Blue returns to the scene of one of its major nightmares from 2005. In last year’s meeting, Giant kicker Jay Feely missed three field goals (including two in OT) as the Birds prevailed in the extra session. Two things to ponder: Seattle has won 10 straight at home, but the Giants are 14-3 in games played the week before a bye. So far, the Seahawks running game (i.e. Shaun Alexander) has yet to get on track. I’ll take a chance on the revenge factor and go with the Jints on the road.
Pick: Giants.
Even after their 9-0 punking of the Steelers on Monday Night, Jacksonville critics still say that they aren’t impressed. They say beat the Colts at the dome and then maybe we’ll be believe. The Jags have played the Horseshoes close over the years, including a win at Indy in 2004. Peyton and the boys are coming off the first of their two yearly spankings of the Texans and should be up for the game. But again, I’ll stick my neck out and go with the road dog in a close contest.
Pick: Jaguars.
This date has been marked on every Bengal player and fans calendar since the schedule was released in April. It’s the first meeting since the infamous Carson Palmer injury during last year’s AFC Wild Card contest at “The Jungle”. Just a few weeks before that playoff game, Cincy went into Pittsburgh and won at the Ketchup place. Ironically, the Black and Gold was just coming off a Monday Night loss as well. This looks like a Yogi Berra special as in “It’s Deja Vu All Over Again”.
Pick: Bengals.
In another playoff rematch, the offensively challenged Broncos go up against a New England squad that had to hold off the Jets last Sunday. In last year’s Divisional Playoff at Mile High, Denver forced five turnovers that led to 24 points in their playoff win. The Broncs had also defeated the Pats 28-20 last year in a regular season meeting in October. In fact, Coach Shanahan holds a 8-3 edge against New England (4-1 against them since 2001). However, the recent offensive woes by Denver may wind up being the difference here.
Pick: Patriots.
This is much more than an NFC South battle between two undefeated teams. For the people of New Orleans, it’s the return of their native sons. The Saints play their first home game at the Superdome since the devastating events of Hurricane Katrina forced the team to become road warriors for over a year. While this should be an excellent contest, Monday night will more about how the folks of the Bayou are still trying to get their lives back from the destruction. Here’s hoping that this game will be something to take their minds away from the tragedies for a few hours. As for the game, I’ll go with the home team.
Pick: Saints.
Panthers over Bucs: Somehow I don’t think the loser of this game will want to here the phrase “Best 0-3 team in the league”.
Lions over Packers: I’m staying true to may bargain with the Boys from Motown. Now watch them go and lose to the Cheeseheads.
Redskins over Texans: With or without Portis, the Skins should have their way with Houston.
Dolphins over Titans: Now if they can’t beat Tennessee, well……..
Ravens over Browns: For those of you still wondering…….No, Romeo has yet to return my calls. Thanks for asking.
Cardinals over Rams: This has the makings of a 35-30 shootout.
Eagles over 49ers: Frisco is getting better, but they just won’t beat Philly.
BYES: Cowboys, Chiefs, Raiders (thank goodness), Chargers.
TRIVIA ANSWER: B. On December 21, 1975, Greg Latta caught three touchdowns passes in a 42-17 win vs. the Saints at the Superdome.