Saturday, September 22, 2012

Week 3 Predictions

     Six seconds left in the game. Stephen Gostowski lines up for a potential game winning kick. There's no way he misses. The Patriots kicker was 4 for 4 on the day, the largest contributor to the Patriots offense against Arizona. Leading up to this kick, Cardinals running back Ryan Williams fumbled the football with less than 1:10 left to play. Then, Danny Woodhead rushed into the end zone, with what appeared to be the game winner. However, a holding call on Gronk cost them the touchdown. So now, it came down to Gostowski's kick. The ball was snapped and.....he missed! A tragic loss has the potential to put New England at 1-2 by the end of Week 3, as they play the Baltimore Ravens. This rematch of last year's AFC Championship is just one of many spectacular games to take place this weekend, and The NFL Report has got you covered.

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Game to Watch: Patriots @ Ravens: Last Sunday's game was one of the most sloppiest performances witnessed by Patriot fans in recent memory. Tom Brady struggled to put points on the board against Arizona, and his messy play forced Gostowski to make all of his kicks. Sadly, the one kick he missed was with no time left on the clock. Their Week 3 match-up is against a very talented Ravens team, who is also coming off of a Week 2 loss. Similar to Brady, Joe Flacco was not the same quarterback who showed up to play in Week 1. Both teams are highly regarded when it comes to this year's playoff race, but only one can exit Week 3 with a winning record.
New England Patriots: Three and a half quarters went by before the Patriots were even able to score a touchdown. The Patriots, a team with one of the most lethal passing games in the NFL, was unable to score more than one touchdown in Sunday's game, which put a lot of pressure on their kicker. Last week's performance made Arizona's defense look like one found in San Francisco or Baltimore. Compared to Brady's 2011 start (2 games, 940 passing yards, 7 TDs), the Patriots' quarterback has not yet found his groove, but it is expected he succeeds later on in the season. Baltimore will truly test this offense, and if prove to us if Brady can overcome such a talented squad. A division title is almost expected from New England, but I doubt they wish to start the year 1-2.
Baltimore Ravens: After an impressive victory over Cincinnati in Week 1, Baltimore fell short of the 2-0 mark by losing to Philly on the road. Baltimore had multiple chances to win the game, whether it be a 10 point lead, a controversial incomplete pass, or an overturned 4th quarter touchdown, the Ravens seemed like the better team throughout the duration of the game. Joe Flacco is projected to dominate this Patriots defense, as is Pro-Bowl running back Ray Rice. Baltimore's motivation will overpower the Patriots team as a whole.
Ravens over Patriots 17-10

Stand Out Performance: RB CJ Spiller: This year's breakout player, running back CJ Spiller of Buffalo, is projected to have another great game against Cleveland. His speed and elusiveness resembles that of CJ2K (or I should say the CJ2K seen in 2009), as does his stat line. 292 rushing yards in 2 games gives him a yards per carry of 10.1, by far the best in the league. The three rushing touchdowns to go along with it makes him a valuable player in fantasy football. Fred Jackson is not excepted to play this week, so the touchdowns will keep on coming. Cleveland's defense has allowed the fourth highest rushing yards per game in 2012, and those numbers are bound to be increased by the end of Week 3. The question is, by how much?
CJ Spiller: 85 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD, 1 receiving TD

Player to Watch: OLB Clay Matthews: Just a year after defensive end Jared Allen sacked the quarterback 22 times, 1 away from breaking the league record, linebacker Clay Matthews is on track to trump this record with flying colors. His six sacks in two games came against two relatively weak offensive lines, especially when talking about the Chicago Bears. Last year was a relatively disappointing stat line for Matthews considering his spectacular performance in 2010. However, Clay Matthews sent a message to the league when sacking Jay Cutler 3.5 times. It will extremely difficult for him to maintain such a fabulous stat line over the course of the season, for the double and triple teams are expected. However, the Seattle Seahawks had a sub-par offensive line in 2011, and not much as changed in 2012. Keep an eye out for Matthews, as he fights for the single season sack record.
Clay Matthews: 6 tackles, 1 sack

Week 3 Predictions:

Giants over Panthers

Bears over Rams

Bills over Browns (OT)

Buccaneers over Cowboys

Colts over Jaguars

Dolphins over Jets

49ers over Vikings

Saints over Chiefs

Lions over Titans

Redskins over Bengals

Eagles over Cardinals

Falcons over Chargers

Broncos over Texans

Steelers over Raiders

Ravens over Patriots

Packers over Seahawks

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