A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
BASN’s NFL Picks: Week Three
NEW HAVEN, Ct. – Can it get any more exciting? Looking back at the NFL’s Week Two, you can make a serious case for calling it “Comeback Weekend”. How so? Chew on these facts.
Three teams — Carolina , Indianapolis and San Francisco — overcame deficits of at least 14 points to win — the first time that many teams have done so since Week 13 of 2006.
When you throw in the pinball-like volleys thrown between Dallas and Philly on Monday night, it just adds to the rising offensive numbers in just two weeks of the season.
Also, Week 2 saw eight teams overcome fourth-quarter deficits to win — the third-most comeback victories ever to take place on a single weekend. Week 5 of the 1990 season and Week 2 of 1997 each featured nine fourth-quarter comebacks.
And folks, we’re just warming up.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
Through Week 2, NFL rookie running backs have totaled 1,197 rush yards — the most through the first two weeks of a season in 29 years (1,306 rush yards in 1979) and have totaled 257 rush attempts — the most through the first two weeks of a season since 1993 (262).
Denver’s Brandon Marshall caught 18 passes against San Diego last week. What player holds the NFL record for the most receptions by a player in his first two games of a season?
A. Andre Rison B. Marshall Faulk C. Rod Smith D. Isaac Bruce
(Answer comes at the end of the story).
LAST WEEK: 11-4 (20-11 overall)
I can’t really complain about a double-digit win week. I felt good about teams like Washington, Indy, and Oakland bouncing back from Week One losses. However, just like a head coach, you remember the losses more than the wins. While Ed Hochuli foiled me in one loss, home teams like Seattle and the Jets really let me down with their mediocre efforts.
STEELERS at EAGLES
For the first time since 1997, the Black and Gold invade the City of Brotherly Love for a game. Both offenses appear to be clicking on all cylinders, however the Iggles are coming off a divisional shootout against Dallas. As for Pittsburgh, Big Ben comes into the game a bit banged up (shoulder injury) after they outlasted the Browns. Surprisingly, the Steelers have lost seven straight to the Eagles on the road since 1965. This one will be close, but I like the Steelers to break the Philly road hex.
CARDINALS at REDSKINS
No, you aren’t hallucinating. That is the unbeaten Cardinals sitting atop the NFC West, albeit two games in the gate. These former NFC East rivals meet in FedEx Field with both coming off resounding wins. The Redskins can now walk the streets of D.C. after they rallied to defeat the Saints in their home opener. Here’s something to think about: Kurt Warner has gone 96-for-145 for 1,227 yards, 10 TDs and two interceptions in Arizona’s last four games. Just a hunch, I think Warner will have another good day, but the Skins will pull out the game.
SAINTS at BRONCOS
There’s no way that I can say this without pissing off a few Denver fans, but here it is. I’m not at all impressed with the 2-0 start of the Broncos. They opened the season by pimp slapping a bad Raider team and had last week’s “game” handed to them on a silver platter by Ed Hochuli. Remember, they did allow 38 points (and several big scoring plays) to the Chargers. Yes, I know the Saints blew a huge lead in D.C. But I can very easily see them exposing the Denver defense.
COWBOYS at PACKERS
The only difference from the last “Game of The Century” meeting between these two teams is that Ol’ No. 4 will be watching it from a hotel room in San Diego and not on the sidelines. To no one’s surprise, both Dallas and the Cheeseheads are 2-0 entering this game. To me, the difference in this game will be who will be able to control its running game. Despite all of the great passing numbers by Rodgers and Romo, look for Marion Barber and Ryan Grant to take center stage in this match up. We’ll give the Cowboys a slight edge in what should be a great game to watch.
JETS at CHARGERS
It didn’t take long for Jet fans to start referring to Eric Mangini with a descriptive 12-letter word that starts with an M (You figure it out, bub!!!). His conservative play calling played a huge role in Gang Green’s teasing loss to the Pats. They now must travel to “classy” San Diego to face a Chargers squad still smarting from a loss that even Norv Turner can be blamed for. I get the feeling that the Bolts will rally to avoid an 0-3 start.
Panthers over Vikes: Gus Ferrotte isn’t the answer or even the damn question for that matter.
Browns over Ravens: My upset special. Just a hunch that something will click with Romeo’s Boys playing away from the not-so-friendly Dog Pound.
Pats over Dolphins: Call me crazy, but if the losses keep mounting, the Tuna will be back on the sidelines.
Giants over Bengals: The Cincinnati Bearcats (1-1) would put up a better fight.
Bills over Raiders: Sorry, Raider Nation……You’re going up against a real offense this week.
Colts over Jags: Indy will miss Sanders, just not this Sunday.
Falcons over Chiefs: Mr. Turner takes advantage of another soft defense.
Bears over Bucs: Believe it or not, this might be a decent game to watch.
49ers over Lions: Even if this was a baseball game, this contest would still suck.
Titans over Texans: Don’t be surprised if Houston keeps this close.
Seahawks over Rams: If they’ve got any pride left, the Birds should put a whupping on St. Louis.
A. In his first two games of the 1994 season with the Atlanta Falcons, Andre Rison had 26 catches. With nine catches this week against New Orleans, Marshall can break Rison’s mark. Ironically, former Bronco Rod Smith is currently second with 23 receptions in the first two games of the 2001 campaign.