The Steelers were supposed to return to prominence this season, that hasn't happened. Injuries are partly to blame, but they have a lot of other issues.
After a blazing hot 27-5 start to the season, I fell to the earth with a 7-9 Week 3. I'm still challenging the ESPN Experts for the lead and I plan to take them down.
Early in the season we're still learning about teams, after this week things will really be in focus for a lot of teams in the league.
Here are this weeks picks:
Bears @ Lions - I went against my Lions last week and paid for it. We learned that the Redskins are really bad but the Lions are thin at WR. Well, they're even thinner now with the Pizza Pie accident to NB this week. This will be a good match-up and tell us a lot about both teams. I'm going back to the Lions at home.
Ravens @ Bills - The Ravens surprised me with a win last week. I'm still no on board with what Flacco can do. The Bills are young and building with a QB they like but the Ravens will prove to be too much.
Bengals @ Browns - The Bengals hung around last week and never gave up against the Packers. Their defense is the real deal and they have weapons on offense. The Browns were the shock of the week, winning a game after trading TR. I was shocked that they were able to move the ball and win a game. I like Cameron and Gordon as weapons, can Hoyer do it again? Not this week, Bengals win.
Giants @ Chiefs - I don't know what to say about the Giants. I'm in shock. This team has playmakers, how do they get shut out? This team has to figure out how to block and run the ball. The Chiefs continue to roll and I am not going to stop talking about how I picked them to make the playoffs this year. I love what Smith is doing with this offense and he still hasn't figured out how to get Bowe involved more with the offense. I like the Chiefs to continue to prove me right.
Steelers @ Vikings (London) - I would like to officially apologize to our friends in England. I cannot believe how bad these teams are. The Steelers are shockingly bad, the Vikings don't surprise me too much. Big Ben has no help at RB or with the oline. The Vikings have a bad QB so I'm not surprised they are having trouble winning games. They need to move on from Ponder this off season. Vikings win, because I wont predict a nill-nill tie.
Cardinals @ Buccaneers - Tampa finally moved on from Freeman, not surprised. Hopefully they refocus on the running game and Martin. We'll see what Glennon can do. I like what the Cardinals have building and they should be a solid 8-8 team this year. Cardinals win.
Colts @ Jaguars - The other big surprise last week was the Colts winning in SF as a double digit underdog. I think we learned that the 49ers are overrated and the Colts are underrated. I love TR to the Colts, that is going to prove to be a huge pick-up. The Jaguars are terrible, sign Tebow. Colts win.
Seahawks @ Houston - The Seahawks played a I-AA team last week, so not much to learn from that game. The Texans were terrible last week against the Ravens and really cost me. I was off Foster this summer, even before his injury. This team is getting old and irrelevant fast. They need to trade Foster, ride Tate and move on. Seattle wins.
Jets @ Titans - Well, the Jets are not the worst team in the NFL, I stand corrected. They are putting together an interesting season with a much better than average defense. The Titans just hang around with little to no talent on offense, not impressed but they win this one.
Eagles @ Broncos - Will there be 100 plays for each team in this game? The Eagles started the season with a flash, but they've fizzled out. We're going to find out how good of a coach Chip Kelly is in the next few weeks. The Broncos and Manning are rolling in a historic way. The Broncos were my preseason SB winner, Manning was my top pick in fantasy and I had Welker rated much higher than everyone else. So far, I'm feeling pretty good about those picks. Broncos continue rolling.
Redskins @ Raiders - Where to start on this game. The Redskins were supposed to be an up and coming team. I had them with a few more losses this season, but nohting like this. They need defensive help, cut down turnovers, run the balls, protect RG3, etc, etc. The Raiders lost their only player. Pryor is proving to be a serviceable QB that can survive with subpar talent. However, he's now the poster child for what can happen to running QB's. Redskins better win this one.
Cowboys @ Chargers - This is an interesting match-up. The Chargers are much better than expected but still has trouble closing out games. The Cowboys have to keep putting it together and strike on a down NFC East. If the Cowboys don't win the division this year, they need to blow that thing up and start over, including a new GM. San Diego wins at home.
Patriots @ Falcons - Well, what will we see here? Can Tom Brady finally get things rolling? Rumor is that Gronk will be back. If you add him to this offense will everything be ok? I need to see the Patriots run the ball and set-up play action. Don't count Brady out just yet, he needs to get some weapons back. The Falcons are dealing with plenty of their own injuries, do they have enough talent and leadership to overcome these injuries? I think it's still early and they'll be able to plug the holes they have. Falcons win.
Dolphins @ Saints - This game shockingly matches-up two un-beaten teams. I'm surprised at how well the Dolphins are doing this year. I'm not a huge Tannehill fan, but I give it to him. Hartline is a more consistent receiver than Wallace. The Saints are back at full strength with their head coach back and they are rolling. I picked the Saints to win their division and I like what I see. The Rob Ryan defense has stepped up, keep an eye on this team to make a deep playoff run. Saints win.
Let's hope things are back on track this week.