By Alex V
Lots of teams start off 2-0 and then don’t end up virtually doing crap the rest of the season. Take the 49ers from last year for instance; they began last season a promising 2-0, and then proceeded to, dare I say, “rip” off eight great losses thereafter before finishing their season 4-12. So let’s find out who this year’s 2-0’s are last year’s 49ers, and who looks to get it goin to 3-0 when all is said and done this coming Sunday.
The first team on the docket is the 2-0 Arizona Cardinals. They are coming off a convincing
victory over Miami last weekend, when, perhaps, the new Greatest Show on Turf (Boldin, Fitzgerald and Warner) blasted the Dolphins for a 31-10 final, and a rocky start but strong finish in week one against… you guessed it, San Francisco! They won that game 23-13. Their opponent, the Washington Redskins, found some life this weekend pulling out a come-from-behind win against the Saints while putting up 29 points. But the Cardinals with a healthy Kurt Warner are looking like locks against the lower-tier teams. However, Washington has seemed to have this team’s number, even since the days when they used to be in the same division. Plus beating the Saints kinda takes them to that level between lower-tier and competitive. I’ll go with the Redskins to continue that tradition for at least one more match up since they play at home, and the Cardinals beat two teams that finished a combined 5-28 last season.
The next match up to go over is New England against Miami. They play at home against Miami… I honestly do no want to say anything else about this game, but for the sake of professionalism, I’ll utter a few words. Miami does not look like they’re rebuilding with Chad Pennington, and New England is too savvy, minus the inexperienced, if not promising, Matt Cassel, to let one slip against the Dolphins. New England moves to 3-0.
The New York Giants are looking great overall as a team with every phase being above average; the passing game is spreading the ball around, running game is getting great yardage out of its starter in Brandon Jacobs, as well as Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward, plus the defense is stopping the run, and disrupting the opponents passing game while the special teams
New York Giants look Tough this year.
play is solid. The Bengals offense has managed to produce 17 points in two games culminating to an average of less than ten per outing. Their defense has been average, which isn’t terrible, but when you aren’t scoring because your run game doesn’t scare anyone, and your Quarterback plays like he knows his team stinks, well then it’s hard to win games. But that’s not even it. The Bengals just flat out don’t even look like they care. Giants win and remain undefeated. Plus they’re at home this weekend… ‘nuff said.
Houston is at 2-0 Tennessee this weekend. Houston has played one game, and lost. Tennessee has played two games, and won them both. Although Tennessee and Houston are both looking to improve from promise they showed last year, the Titans showed higher promise finishing 10-6 and making the playoffs, while the Texans finished 8-8. This game could be close because of the obvious division rivalry, but I give the edge to the Titans who will remain unbeaten.
Carolina has been pulling off last minute victories the past two weeks like it’s their damn job. They’re becoming the “Cardiac Cats” of their 2003 Super Bowl run once again. This weekend they play against the Vikings in Minnesota. Although you shouldn’t overlook the Vikings (if you’re a smart football enthusiast) because of their hard-fought losses versus Green Bay in week one and Indianapolis last week, I still gotta go with the Panthers experience and return of Steve Smith. They are on the road, but aside from getting to Minnesota, they’ll get to 3-0 as well. What a sweet destination that is!
The Buffalo Bills are 2-0 as well and have the privilege of facing the Oakland Raiders at home this weekend. The Raiders actually looked like a little like a football team last week in smashing the Chiefs 23-8. But… Jamarcus Russell was a dismal 6 for 17 passing with only 55 yards. The Bills have improved enough to where a loss to the Raiders this weekend would look to be an upset. Bills go to 3-0.
The Broncos snuck a win out against the Chargers with that bullshit no-call on the fumble by
Jay Cutler, but a win is a win. The Saints must prove not to be the Aints. But, they’re going a
Denver and Jay Cutler look great.
mile higher into Denver. I gotta pick the Broncos, and not cause they’re at home, but because with Cutler in the line-up they’ve improved steadily from last year up until this point. The Saints have been up and down since the beginning of last season and now 2008 as well.
Pittsburgh is 2-0. Philly scored like crazy on Monday Night Football putting up 30 points on offense (with the other seven coming off a Tony Romo fumble that turned into a recovery in the End zone by the Eagles). The Steelers have to go into Philadelphia to remain 3-0. When it comes to evading tackles and chucking the ball for big gains and/or crucial 3rd down conversions, the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger and the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb are two of the best. But, the Steelers are more consistent with their running game, and are usually un-phased on the road (scrap any indication of their 3-5 road record from last season meaning anything for this season. As far as I am concerned, they lost four actual meaningful road games as their fifth road loss came in week 17 against the Ravens when the Steelers had locked up a playoff spot and were playing for nothing. The Steelers did what playoff teams do… win at home, where they were 7-1, and perform decently on the road.). Donovan McNabb is, at times, flustered when playing against a 3-4 defense, so I give the edge to the Steelers to improve to 3-0.
The last teams with a chance to go undefeated are the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. This is one of the toughest games of the week to call. It would be a lot easier for me to call if it were at 1:00pm or even one of the 4 o’clock games. If that were the case I would pick Dallas as they have everything Green Bay does; solid defense, playmakers in the running game and passing game, except… Romo is a more proven quarterback than Aaron Rodgers. However, due to the fact that this game is on Sunday Night Football in Green Bay, I go with the Packers to be 3-0 and the Cowboys to be 2-1. But there is one more reason I have to go with Green Bay; Aaron Rodgers has been playing with a chip on his shoulder in the two games this season so far. I have no doubt in my mind he knows that losing this game, or at least a bad performance, could quickly raise any doubts that he had erased with his wonderful performances in weeks 1 and 2. That psyche is enough for me to say that the Packers will win again this weekend.
So there you have my predictions for who will remain undefeated after week 3. There are 10 teams with the chance to improve to 3-0, and two of them, the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, barring a tie, are guaranteed to lose. The interesting thing is that based on the match ups, many of them could remain unbeaten. Can’t wait to see what happens!