Submitted by Jim Hurley on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM
MORE NFL WEEK 3 PREVIEWS/FORECASTS AS WE CHECK IN ON RAMS-COWBOYS,LIONS-REDSKINS, PACKERS-BENGALS AND MORE! A QUICKIE LOOK AT THE LEAGUE’S FIELD-GOAL KICKERS AS WE WONDER IF THIS IS THE “GOLDEN AGE” FOR THE NFL’S FIELD-GOAL SPECIALISTS
By Jim Hurley
For as long as we can remember here at the Jim Hurley Network, NFL Week 3 games have been an early-season fork-in-the-road bit for many squads.
In fact, for a long, long time we aspired to the theory that a good/playoff-type team that started out a season at 0-2 SU (straight-up) was well worth a wager and especially if that said 0-2 team was taking points in its Week 3 game.
Now, gotta admit this particular here-and-now NFL Week 3 card can be a confounding menu of games when you consider what’s chucked into the mix:
There’s an 0-and-2 New York Giants team attempting to dig out of their early-season hole with a game at Carolina – and while the G-men are desperate for a “W” there are extenuating circumstances at work here such as the fact head coach Tom Coughlin and his family just suffered a terrible tragic loss this week with the sudden death of his younger (and only) brother. From a pure football standpoint, the Giants’ once-famed pass rush has been silent and the ground game is absolutely horrid – to say nothing of QB Eli Manning’s sloppy and turnover-prone start that already includes a whopping sum total of seven interceptions.
Then there’s the case of the 0-and-2 Pittsburgh Steelers who host the cardiac kids from Chicago in the Sunday Night Game. No doubt the Steelers’ offense has been stuck in neutral all summer/autumn long – remember that Pittsburgh didn’t win a preseason game either, in case that interests you! – and so do you plunk down a bob or two on a Pittsburgh team that’s played in 14 post-season games since the start of the 2004 season or do you look the other way and pass … or kick what could well be a bad Steelers team down here?
The NFL Week 3 card is gonna be a make-or-break time for a batch of teams on this next-to-last September Sunday.
What’s gonna happen to your favorite team … and who’s gonna cash when the chips are down?
I'll get you all the NFL Week 3 winners (see below).
In an earlier-week Jim Sez article, we previewed/forecasted action pertaining to any/all NFL unbeaten teams – that was eight of ‘em in all – and so let’s spend some time here on other high-profile NFL Week 3 games right now.
On Sunday, it’s …
ST. LOUIS (1-1) at DALLAS (1-1) -- 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Tough to ignore some of the rotten pointspread numbers the Cowboys have posted while dating back to the 2010 season as the NFC East crew is 7-22-1 ATS (against the spread) as betting favorites (that’s a ghastly .241 winning percentage) and 7-18 versus the vig at home (a .280 winning rate) during this three-plus year time span … ugh!
If Dallas is gonna win/cover here against a gritty Rams bunch, then somebody – re: RB DeMarco Murray – must perk up the league’s 31st-ranked ground game.
Looks like the Rams’ new-found speed at wide out could haunt the home gang here. Could be upset alert time at “The House That Jerry (Jones) Built”.
DETROIT (1-1) at WASHINGTON (0-2) – 1 p.m. ET, Fox
The word ‘round the nation’s capital is that Redskins’ QB Robert Griffin III will be running the ball more here with his read-option plays, but will RG3 play better in the first half here or will he put up his first-half type numbers thus far (see 11-of-24 passing with 0 TDs and 2 INTs) in those back-to-back losses to Philadelphia and Green Bay?
The Lions are keeping fingers crossed that RB Reggie Bush (left knee) plays here as Motowners may need his 100-plus receiving/rushing yards to give Detroit its first win in Washington ever – that’s 21 straight road losses in this series for the D-town gang.
Now hear this …
My handicappers/bloggers will blast Las Vegas and the off-shore books all weekend long with loads of NCAA Football winners on tap plus a rock-solid NFL Week 3 menu featuring seven undefeated teams facing off with seven non-unbeatens out there – and trust us when we say that we’ll keep winning right through this 2013 campaign!
Check with the Jim Hurley Network right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. ET on week days and any time after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.
Plus get all our down-the-stretch Major-League Baseball winners too! The MLB Playoffs are just days away now!
GREEN BAY (1-1) at CINCINNATI (1-1) – 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Short week for the Cincy Bengals who are fresh off their 20-10 win/cover against archrival Pittsburgh this past Monday Night but will there be enough oomph in their defense to slow down a Packers team averaging an NFL-best 482.5 yards per game?
As you did, we noted how this Las Vegas price move went from Cincinnati being a 1-point home favorite to open up to now where the Pack’s a 2 ½-point road choice – and do keep in mind Green Bay’s 46-27-1 ATS overall the past four years and so this is a sound squad spreadwise with a .630 winning rate vig-wise.
Green Bay wins/covers here if it protects QB Aaron Rodgers, who was sacked four times in last week’s 38-20 win/cover against Washington – keep in mind he’s been sacked now a grand total of 57 times since the start of last season.
So buckle up that chinstrap, Mr. Rodgers!
INDIANAPOLIS (1-1) at SAN FRANCISCO (1-1) – 4:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Plenty of storyline juice for this interconference clash on the left coast as much is being made of the fact Colts’ QB Andrew Luck is going up his old college coach Jim Harbaugh … but then the mid-week bombshell hit the NFL with the trade of RB Trent Richardson from the Cleveland Browns to Indianapolis and don’t sleep on the idea that Richardson could get 20-or-more touches here in his Indy debut.
Still, worth noting that last season – while the mighty 49ers were en route to a Super Bowl – the NFC West crew covered five of their seven games following a pointspread loss and last week’s 29-3 pounding at the hands of arch-nemesis Seattle was more than simply a loss.
It was a coast-to-coast, weather-interrupted, severe butt-kicking.
So, fully expect the Niners to come out smoking here while cutting way back on the turnovers:
San Fran committed five ultra-costly turnovers last Sunday night but look for QB Colin Kaepernick (who committed four of ‘em) to come to the rescue here.
Smells like a 29-14 or 30-17 type win here, give or take.
NFL NEWS & NOTES
Is it us or are the placekickers of today better than they’ve ever been in the National Football League?
We happened to look at the NFL stats page and noticed through the first two weeks of play there are some 17 kickers that have yet to miss a field-goal attempt – granted there’s a handful of guys who are merely 1-of-1 while attempting field goals but go ‘round a bit and here’s some neat stuff:
Dallas PK Dan Bailey already is 6-of-6 in his FG tries and that includes a long of 53 yards;
St. Louis kicker Greg Zuerlein is a perfect 5-of-5 with his FG tries and so won’t that be something when these guys go at it in the above-mentioned Rams-Cowboys game this weekend?
And the likes of the New York Jets’ kicker Nick Folk, Seattle Seahawks’ Steven Hauschka, Miami Dolphins’ Caleb Sturgis, NY Giants’ Josh Brown, Minnesota Vikings’ Blair Walsh and San Diego Chargers’ Nick Novak all are a perfect 4-of-4 with their three-point tries so far this year.
The lone real “loser” on the list?
That’s Houston Texans PK Randy Bullock, who has nailed just 1-of-5 field goals so far – but at least this past week he received a “vote of confidence” from Texans head coach Gary Kubiak who knows all about having his job threatened … right?
NOTE: Catch all our NFL Week 3 wrap-up News & Notes plus a Monday Night Football preview (that’s the Oakland Raiders at the high-flying Denver Broncos) in the next edition of Jim Sez.