The injury bug around the NFL just seems to be getting worse and worse. After some major injuries in the first couple of weeks, there is an excellent chance that Chad Pennington will be out for the season with a separated shoulder. According to some reports, this might not be a bad thing for the Dolphins, whose back up quarterback, Chad Henne, will be getting a lot of playing time, and they are looking at Henne as their quarterback of the future. Still, the injury hurts the Dolphins, who are still winless and in desperate need of a victory.
Frank Gore also got hurt in week number three, but he is only expected to be sidelined for three weeks. He is the heart and soul of the 49er offense, and the main reason why San Francisco is now playing some games that matter. They can likely get by without his services, but the 49er offense just got a lot easier to stop.
This is also the first week for byes; so four teams have the week off. There are advantages and disadvantages to having it this early, but I think most teams would prefer to have it a little later in the season.
I had a very good week for week number three, going 11-5 against the numbers, but oddly only 10-6 without the spread. That doesn't happen too often. It also doesn't happen too often that I go 11-5 against the numbers. Hopefully I can keep it going.
As always, home team in CAPS.
HOUSTON 9 1/2 Oakland
The Texans might be the most maddening team in the NFL. Just when I think ( and many others ) they are going to go on a roll they lose to a game to a team they have no right losing to. If their defense doesn't get any better soon, it isn't going to matter. As for Oakland, another lousy game last week. I was expecting more against Denver. I am expecting a lot from Houston this week. They need to bounce back.
Tennessee 2 1/2 JACKSONVILLE
I can't imagine that anybody would have thought the Titans were going to be 0-3 after three weeks. They only had three losses all of last year. The Jaguars played a pretty good game last week, but they still aren't very good. There is absolutely no way the Titans go 0-4. But if they don't find a replacement for Kerry Collins, they aren't going to win too many more games.
NEW ENGLAND 2 Baltimore
The Patriots bounced back nicely last week, as they needed a good win to get themselves straightened out a little bit. This week will not be easy though. The Ravens right now might be the best team in the AFC, if not the entire NFL. As good as their defense is, the offense is scoring some points. The Patriots did look better on offense last week, but their red zone scoring has been non existent. I just can't see them beating Baltimore this weekend. If they can find a way to score, than they have a great chance. But I am not sure they are going to find a way.
Cincinnati 5 1/2 CLEVELAND
The poor Browns. They might have the worst offense in the NFL, and their defense isn't much better. The fans and media are calling for Eric Mangini's head. He is not popular with the players right now. If he doesn't get this team somewhat turned around, he is going to be out of a job, possibly before the season ends. The Bengals have been ok, but nothing special. I don't remember the last time they were favored on the road. May be I have a short memory.
New York Giants 9 KANSAS CITY
Talk about two teams going in opposite directions. The Giants are playing great, and the Chiefs are just playing. I am curious as to how long it takes Scott Pioli to realize the huge mistake he made in signing Matt Cassell. The points are very high here on the road, but I don't see any reason to see that the Giants just don't keep rolling along.
CHICAGO 11 Detroit
Finally, after 19 straight losses, the Lions won a game. It really was only a matter of time. But they might not win too many more, but it is already better than last season. The Bears are still playing well, and being at home here I don't see any reason why they won't cover the high point spread. Even though the Lions are better, it is still the Lions.
INDIANAPOLIS 9 Seattle
The Colts looked good Monday Night, and Peyton Manning just continues to find new receivers to play with. The Seahawks haven't looked anything close to spectacular, and now their injuries are starting to pile up again. It could be another long year for the Emerald City. Not so for Indianapolis, whose team just keeps winning.
Buffalo 2 MIAMI
Terrell Owens had his consecutive catch streak snapped last week, and it might only be a matter of time before he snaps completely. The Bills are still struggling a bit, while Miami has really hit the skids. Times are desperate in Miami, and now with Chad Pennington possibly out for the season, it could be a long year. I think they will win here though. I have trouble believing that they will start the season 0-4, and Buffalo at home could be the right time to snag a win.
SAN FRANCISCO 10 St. Louis
The 49ers are without Frank Gore for a few weeks, but it likely won't have any effect here. The Rams are just flat out bad right now, and they can't do anything right on either side of the ball. It is hard to imagine that the 49ers are a double digit favorite over anybody, even at home. But they are playing St. Louis.
DENVER 1 1/2 Dallas
I had to check the standings three times to make sure that I read correctly that Denver was 3-0. Yup, they are. They are one of the worst 3-0 teams in history. The Cowboys are ok, nothing special really. I think they can beat the Broncos here though. I just don't think Denver is all that good. The Cowboys aren't great, but they are definitely the better team here.
PITTSBURGH 6 1/2 San Diego
The Steelers have looked pretty good so far against a tough schedule, while the Chargers have been inconsistent. The Chargers will likely breeze through the AFC West once Denver goes away, but they really need to start playing better if they expect to get far in the playoffs. I think the points are a little high here, but being at home I have to go with Pittsburgh.
MINNESOTA 3 1/2 Green Bay
Brett Favre returns to play his former team! Boy is the media going to eat this one up. I am already getting sick. Favre has one lucky throw and all of a sudden he is the best quarterback in the NFL. I think he is going to need more than one lucky throw this week because his former team is simply better. I am not sold on Minnesota but I do think Green Bay is very good. Good enough to beat Minnesota in their place. Yes I think so.
Game of the Week
NEW ORLEANS 6 1/2 New York Jets
This should be a fun game to watch, and it will be interesting to see if Rex Ryan can somehow slow down Drew Brees. He might be able to slow him down, but whether or not the Jets can pull out a win is another story. I don't see it. I think the Jets will be able to keep it somewhat close most of the game, but I think the Saints' offense will be able to get the job done in the fourth quarter to pull out a win and a cover.
Stinker of the Week
WASHINGTON 7 Tampa
It must have been fun seeing Daniel Snyder's head explode after watching last week's debacle against Detroit. He must be getting ready to fire Jim Zorn. I don't think it is a matter of if, but when. The Bucs right now are a total mess, benching Byron Leftwich to shake things up. They are going to need a lot more than that. This is a tough game to call, but the Redskins at least have SOME talant, and Tampa really doesn't. I have to go with the Redskins here.
Record For Week Three: 11-5 ( 10-6 without the spread )
Record Through Week Three: 27-21 (33-15 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 2-1
Stinker of Week Record: 3-0
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