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Week 3 NFL Picks: Mustard Style
Week 3 NFL Picks: Mustard Style
Week 3 NFL Picks: Mustard Style
By Eric Horowitz, SI.com
This was supposed to be Joey Harrington's year. He finally had a secure starting job in a low pressure situation.
Then the season started.
Two weeks later, the Falcons have signed Byron Leftwich and Harrington appears ready to resume his role as an NFL punchline.
But before that happens, I want to make sure Harrington gets the respect he deserves. You see, despite his lack of success, old Joey "Heisman" still plays an important role in the NFL quarterback circle of life. Like a dead insect that fertilizes a plant, his repeated failures continue to create new life for others.
In Detroit, Harrington's demise opened up a door for Jon Kitna. In Miami, his 68.2 passer rating paved the way for the Dolphins to give an aging Trent Green another chance. This year it's Leftwich, who is the beneficiary of Harrington's struggles. Without Harrington, it might have been years before Leftwich got another chance to start, and by then his skills might have completely eroded. Instead, Leftwich now has a real opportunity to finally become the quarterback the Jaguars always hoped he would be.
So before we resort to making jokes about how Harrington is a terrible quarterback (and I mean really terrible), let's take a moment to appreciate all that he has done. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady may be more successful in the conventional sense, but Harrington is no less important than them to the NFL quarterback ecosystem. And now, onward with the picks.
Indianapolis at Houston (+6): I know there are a lot of panicked Texans fans out there, but there's no need to worry. Yom Kippur is on Saturday, and so the great Sage Rosenfels will be able to play this week.
San Diego at Green Bay (+5):Brett Favre is leading his team to the top of their division, Norv Turner is running a talented team into the ground, and O.J. Simpson is in some serious legal trouble. What is this, 1995? Let's just hope Hootie and the Blowfish don't get popular again.
Pick: San Diego
Detroit at Philadelphia (-6): Last week, the hand of God healed Kitna and gave him the strength to lead the Lions to victory. Did you hear that, Eagles fans? There's no point in praying for a victory this Sunday. The man upstairs is squarely in the Lions corner, and this week he's even going to provide them with a running game.
Buffalo at New England (-16.5): Like Donovan McNabb, Bills quarterback J.P. Losman has felt the prejudice that's directed toward certain NFL quarterbacks. According to Losman, quarterbacks like him, who lose most of their games, have to face much more criticism than quarterbacks who win.
Minnesota at Kansas City (-3): Chiefs defensive end Jared Allen will return to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for driving under the influence of alcohol. Ironically, that's exactly what the Chiefs' offense looked like it was doing when it attempted to move the ball against the Bears' defense last week.
Miami at New York Jets (-3): The good news for Miami is that after losing two straight games to NFC East teams, they now get to play a team from a different division. The bad news? The rest of the NFL is much better than the NFC East.
Pick: New York Jets
St. Louis at Tampa Bay (-3.5): It's been a big week for the city of Tampa Bay. Not only did the Bucs destroy a favored Saints team, on Wednesday the Lightning opened their preseason with a thrilling overtime win against the Stars.
Pick: Tampa Bay
San Francisco at Pittsburgh (-9.5): In the Steelers' two wins this year, the team has been extremely dominant on both sides of the ball. In the 49ers' two wins this year, the team has ... um ... well ... they've scored more points than their opponents.
Arizona at Baltimore (-9):Matt Leinart will face the Ravens' swarming defense for the first time in his career, but it shouldn't be a problem for him. Leinart's experience facing similar defensive schemes in the Pac-10 should make scoring 50 points a piece of cake.
Jacksonville at Denver (-3): The Broncos are 2-0 thanks to the game-saving timeout that iced Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski. The ploy worked so well that this week Mike Shanahan plans to use a timeout to ice Jaguars kicker John Carney before the opening kickoff.
Cincinnati at Seattle (-3.5): It would be ill-advised for Chad Johnson to recreate last week's leaping-into-the-stands touchdown celebration in Seattle. Instead of ending up with some cold beer on his jersey, Johnson could get burned by scalding hot double mocha chai lattes.
Cleveland at Oakland (-3):Jamal Lewis ran for over 200 yards in last week's victory over the Bengals. It was the first time Lewis had been allowed to run free like that since he had outdoor time in prison. Meanwhile, some people around the NFL suspect that Bill Belichick was stealing the Bengals' defensive signals and sending them to the Browns.
Carolina at Atlanta (+3.5): Is anybody else extremely excited about Morten Anderson's return spawning a single-bar facemask renaissance? Just one day after Anderson signing, the Browns brought back single-bar devotee Scott Player. Now we just need somebody to bring back the ultra-thick Joel Steed facemask.
New York Giants at Washington (-3.5): The Redskins are off to a fast start, but it's probably not going to last. Joe Gibbs tends to get a little distracted this time of year because of all the excitement surrounding NASCAR's Chase for the Cup.
Dallas at Chicago (-3): Although he wasn't elected a captain by his teammates, Terrell Owens announced he is now a self-appointed captain. I guess that means we can add "democracy" to the list of things Owens has no regard for. The team just better hope he doesn't make Tank Johnson his weapons sergeant.
Tennessee at New Orleans (-4): Today the Saints will hold a pep rally in the hope of firing up the team for Sunday's home opener. As of right now, Reggie Bush and Drew Brees are neck and neck in the race to be crowned homecoming king.
Last Week: 9-6-1