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Week 3 in the NFL: Giants-Panthers Not a Dandy. Hope the Weekend is Better

 The Coach and The Doc were incorrect on Thursday night. At least, incorrect is one word. “Complete fail,” is a phrase that would work, too.

On Thursday night in Charlotte, N.C., backup runningback Andre Brown carried 20 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns as he led the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants to a 36-7 shellacking of the Carolina Panthers.

Andre Brown runs away from the Panthers.

Yes, both The Coach and The Doc picked Carolina. We not only picked them to win, we picked them to cover the 2.5 points. 36-7!? When you’re wrong, be really, really wrong. However, in defence of The Coach, he did say, “Cam Newton will run the overly-aggressive Giants front seven into the ground. Expect either 80-100 yards from Newton, or a big Giants win.” So in a small, cover-one’s-ass kind of way, The Coach was right. Newton carried six times for six yards and that was a big difference in the outcome.

However, without question, the Giants swarming defence was the story, holding Carolina Newton to virtually nothing. It also proved that New York has a chance to win even with four offensive starters on the shelf.

Still, it’s only Week 3. No need to panic yet.

In Week 2, the Doc was once again dismal (word of the week for the second week in a row) last week going 8-8 (15-17) straight up and 6-10 (9-23) against the spread. The Coach, meanwhile, went 9-7 straight up (18-14) and 8-8 (13-19) against the spread. The Coach isn’t necessarily a smart guy, but right now, he’s the smartest guy on this page.

As usual, The Doc writes our rationalizations while The Coach makes snarky remarks.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON:

Tony Romo

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) at Dallas Cowboys (1-1)
Line: Cowboys by 8

This will be the home opener for the Cowboys and I expect them to rebound big after the loss to Seattle. Tampa Bay lost a tough game to the Giants last week, but they managed to force turnovers, but were also shredded through the air. I do believe that the arrogant Bucs who were in the media all week won’t be focused enough in Texas and will get thumped. The Coach says: “As bad as I think Tampa’s offence really is, I don’t doubt their defence. The Cowboys will win but Tampa will keep it to a converted touchdown.”

THE DOC: TAKE THE COWBOYS TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE COWBOYS TO WIN BUT NOT COVER.

San Francisco 49ers (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (1-1)
Line: 49ers by 6 ½

The 49ers have looked great in the first two weeks of the season against a rough opening schedule and seem to be focused. The Vikings have kept their games close thus far, winning and losing both by a field goal; but the way their defense caved in Indy last week in the last few minutes has to be cause for concern. The 49ers defense should be too much too handle for the Vikings offence. Alex Smith may be the real deal.

THE DOC: TAKE THE 49ers TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE 49ers TO WIN AND COVER.

Calvin Johnson

Detroit Lions (1-1) at Tennessee Titans (0-2)
Line: Lions by 3 ½

The Titans have been horrible on both offence and defense up to this point. Locker has struggled and the Titans haven’t stopped anyone defensively. Now they host a team that looks to get back on track after the Lions were manhandled on Sunday night. The Lions will take out last week’s loss on a hapless Tennessee.

THE DOC: TAKE THE LIONS TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE LIONS TO WIN AND COVER.

St. Louis Rams (1-1) at Chicago Bears (1-1)
Line: Bears by 7 ½.

The Bears looked awful last Thursday in their loss to the Packers, while St. Louis surprised a lot of people with last week’s win over the Redskins. If Sam Bradford can continue to stay away from the mistakes, I think the Rams can keep it close, but the Bears are too tough at home to allow an upset.

THE DOC: TAKE THE BEARS TO WIN BUT NOT COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE BEARS TO WIN BUT NOT COVER.

Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) at Washington Redskins (1-1)
Line: Redskins by 3.

The Redskins’ home opener probably is the most anticipated football game there in years. RG3 has provided a multi-dimensional treat Washington fans haven’t seen in a long time. The Bengals were beat up by the Ravens in Week 1, and struggled to beat the Browns last week, and I don’t believe that they will win on the road.

THE DOC: TAKE THE REDSKINS TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE REDSKINS TO WIN AND COVER.

Ryan Tannehill

New York Jets (1-1) at Miami Dolphins (1-1)
Line: Jets by 3.

The Dolphins aren’t a great team, but at home they play pretty tough. The Jets were terrible last week against the Steelers on the road, two road games in a row always puts a team in a rough spot. Reggie Bush had a strong game against the Raiders and I expect more of the same in this one. The Coach says: “I will hold my nose and take the Jets.”

THE DOC: TAKE THE DOLPHINS IN AN UPSET.

 THE COACH: TAKE THE JETS TO WIN AND COVER.

Kansas City Chiefs (0-2) at New Orleans Saints (0-2)
Line: Saints by 9.

Two of the worst defenses in football meet up in this one. The Saints have a double whammy going as their offense and Drew Brees have been awful so far. The Chiefs’Jamaal Charles has yet to break out because they’ve been blown out early in games to the point where they have to abandoned the ground game. I think this is the week the Saints get back on track, coach or no coach. The Coach says: “Still holding my nose.”

TAKE THE SAINTS TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE SAINTS TO WIN AND COVER.

Trent Richardson

Buffalo Bills (1-1) at Cleveland Browns (0-2)
Line: Bills by 3.

Buffalo hasn’t won a road game since last year’s opener in Kansas City and have lost eight away from home, and have been outscored 241-98 during that time. Compounding this fact is that you never know which Ryan Fitzpatrick will show up for the Bills week to week. The Browns are one of those teams that can’t seem to get a break. I think this will be another heart-breaker for the Browns in a close game. The Coach says, “Still holding.”

THE DOC: TAKE THE BILLS TO WIN BUT NOT COVER.

 THE COACH: TAKE THE BROWNS IN OUR UPSET OF THE WEEK.

Reggie Wayne

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) at Indianapolis Colts (1-1)
Line: Colts by 3.

The Colts’ were able to hold on last week to beat Minnesota and it looks like Andrew Luck is starting to settle in nicely With Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery and Coby Fleener, Luck has a more trustworthy receiving corps than Blaine Gabbert has, not that he strikes fear in anyone’s heart. If Indy can shut down their arch rival Maurice Jones-Drew, they will be able to possess a winning record for the first time in nearly 2 years. The Coach says: “What’s that smell?”

THE DOC: TAKE THE COLTS TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE COLTS TO WIN AND COVER.

Philadelphia Eagles (2-0) at Arizona Cardinals (2-0)
Line: Eagles by 4.

So far this season, I’ve picked the Cardinals to lose twice and they’ve won, but I can’t see any way they can this one…but I’ve been wrong before…a lot. Seriously, the Eagles’ offense won’t win this game for them. They’ve been less than sharp so far this season, but Michael Vick has been able to do enough not to lose. Most pundits think the Eagles’ defense will be good enough to force Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb into a few mistakes.

THE DOC: TAKE THE EAGLES TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE EAGLES TO WIN BUT NOT COVER.

Antonio Gates

Atlanta Falcons (2-0) at San Diego Chargers (2-0)
Line: Chargers by 3

A big battle of 2-0 teams. Philip Rivers has looked good picking apart the Raiders and Titans, two pretty weak teams, but no quarterback has looked more impressive than the Falcons’ Matt Ryan. Simply put, Ryan’s receivers are healthier and more reliable than San Diego’s, starting with Tony Gonzalez over Antonio Gates. But there’s this little fact that the Falcons’ never seem to live up to expectations away from the cozy confines of the Georgia Dome…but that being said I think this is Matt Ryan’s year. The Coach says, “This should be the game of the week.”

THE DOC: TAKE THE FALCONS IN AN UPSET.

THE COACH: TAKE THE CHARGERS TO WIN AND COVER.

Houston Texans (2-0) at Denver Broncos (1-1)
Line: Texans by 2

The Texans first true test of the season became easier as the Falcons basically handed them a blueprint for success against Peyton Manning on Monday night; play the safeties up and dare Manning to throw deep. Peyton may think he knows the Texans defense well from his success a few years ago with the Colts, but that was then and this is now.

THE DOC: TAKE THE TEXANS TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE TEXANS TO WIN AND COVER.

Carson Palmer

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) at Oakland Raiders (0-2)
Line: Steelers by 4.

Pittsburgh regrouped after losing to the Broncos and they won big beating the Jets. The Steelers are desperate to get their running game going, and this game provides a good opportunity to set up Ben Roethlisberger for big plays to Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown against a weak Raiders defense. Pittsburgh’s swarming defense will force Carson Palmer into making a lot of mistakes. Look for the Steelers to win easily.

 THE DOCTAKE THE STEELERS TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE STEELERS TO WIN AND COVER.

SUNDAY NIGHT:

New England Patriots (1-1) at Baltimore Ravens (1-1)
Line: Ravens by 3.

Kinda hard to believe that one of these teams is going to be 1-2 after the Sunday nighter. New England will be without Aaron Hernandez and Wes Welker seems to have been forgotten so far this year, are we seeing an end of an era? The Ravens lost a tough one last week and this week they will find a way to get in Tom Brady’s face by rattling his pass protection. Joe Flacco wants to be considered an elite QB, and finishing business vs. Brady and the Patriots is a good step in that direction.

THE DOC: TAKE THE RAVENS TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE RAVENS TO WIN AND COVER.

Clay Matthews

MONDAY NIGHT:

Green Bay Packers (1-1) at Seattle Seahawks (1-1)
Line: Packers by 3.

The Packers play their first road game of the season in a very tough place for visiting teams, but they have had a long time to prepare since seeing their last action on September 13 in a big win against the Bears. Aaron Rodgers vs. Russell Wilson? Come on. Clay Matthews is licking his chops right now.

THE DOC: TAKE THE PACKERS TO WIN AND COVER.

THE COACH: TAKE THE PACKERS TO WIN AND COVER.

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