NFL Week Three Preview

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by Eight Thirty Seven

Hey did you guys hear about DraftKings? It’s this really cool site where you can win all sorts of money just by putting down a couple of dollars a week on NFL games. They’re guaranteed to pay out over a billion dollars in winnings this NFL season, even though four years ago they didn’t even exist. You may not have seen the ads, but Draft Kings can make you the King of your own fantasy league but you’ve probably heard that already. Oh, you haven’t heard? Then you must be on Fan Duel. Fan Duel has these new one week fantasy leagues where people in these commercials who totally aren’t actors are winning anywhere from three hundred to two million dollars by not picking Jameis Winston or Drew Brees. They are guaranteed to pay out two billion dollars in winnings this NFL season. This is all harmless fun, and I’m sure there’s no catch to it even though combined these two companies spent $28 million dollars on over seven thousand ads during the week one games. And it’s totally okay to play, because it’s just fantasy football and not gambling even though you lose real money and it costs you wheelbarrows full of your hard-earned cash to get started. So thanks to the fine folks at DraftKings and FanDuel, here at First Order Historians we’re proud to say that we have compiled a hearty preview of games that will lead to you making millions of dollars in pretend internet money. These are the football facts that are gonna turn you into a DraftKing on FanDuel in week three of the FOH DraftKings/FanDuel NFL preview.

Last week was the kind of week we like to call the “paying for knowledge” week. It’s a common phenomena in Week 2, because there’s always those early hunches we all get burned on.  Week 2 was a tough one for bookies and players alike; everybody bled somehow.

The J-Dub bankroll was no exception.  After tabulating the carnage, I essentially gave back last week’s gains, with a little juice to wash down the pain. The final damage was a net loss of $464, making this week’s opening bankroll $2,275.

Having said that, here’s the plays for Week 3.

Washington Redskins (1-1) +4 at New York Giants (0-2)  (43.5)

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Another last minute loss for the Giants? Well, I never…The Giants may actually be in worse shape than the Eagles. It’s a very tight race. They definitely have a dimmer future than Philly does, and are probably going to lose a game that they should easily win under any other circumstances. The Redskins made Las Vegas a metric fuckton of money this past week when they upset the Rams at home, a pick that I was almost sure was a lock. But much like the gender of that prostitute I picked up in Davenport last week, I was wrong and Kirk Cousins looked very good (23/27) against a high quality Rams defense. The Giants are responding to these two last minute losses about the same way you’d expect them to given that their stud defensive end is down to two and a half fingers on his right hand and has had virtually no contact with the team that just paid him a shitload of money. My heart tells me that the Giants can’t possibly lose another game like this, but thankfully I also have a brain that’s telling me “of course they will”. So I’m taking Washington and as a Giants fan I don’t feel the slightest grain of guilt about doing so. What else am I supposed to do? These clowns can’t hang on to the football. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there’s only like five teams in the league that the Giants could beat right now and the Redskins aren’t one of them. I like the Skins here even on the road. Please don’t game on any aspect of this game unless it’s a prop bet for how many times Eli’s receivers drop his passes.

837’s Prediction:  Redskins 23, Giants 20        

J-Dub:  $30 on the NY Giants to cover

Jason from Indiana:  Giants

Cincinnati Bengals (1-1) +2.5 at Baltimore Ravens (0-2)  (44.5)

Baltimore, Md.--11/10/13-- The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Cincinnati Bengals by score of 20 to 17 in overtime at M & T Bank Stadium. Photo by: Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun DSC_4401 sp-ravens-bengals lam

I about shit in my hat when the Bengals beat San Diego week two. I still don’t think they’re the better team, and Andy Dalton isn’t going to get 175 rushing yards out of that backfield every week. But it’s all relative, and the Ravens are not in good shape at all. This is a game that they could very easily lose, and the way that division has shaped up at the end of the year over the past few seasons will tell you that starting 0-3 is going to make it very difficult for any team to win the AFC North. And there are still plenty of games on Baltimore’s schedule that they could lose, and they couldn’t even beat Oakland which spells serious trouble about their ability to close games like that without Terrell Suggs. If they can stop the run here, they might have a chance but Flacco has to have a monster day to make that dream a reality. I say that he does it so I’m taking the Ravens to cover here, but if they can’t do it I’m likely bailing on them in a lot of future games where they don’t play Cleveland.  Stay away from the point total, it’s just too close to call.

837’s Prediction:  Ravens 24, Bengals 20       

J-Dub:  $50 on Cincinnati to cover

Jason from Indiana:  Cincinnati

Oakland Raiders (1-1) +3.5 at Cleveland Browns (1-1)  (42)  

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The Browns shocked everyone last week by beating Tennessee, a win that really isn’t all that impressive when you break the Titans down on paper. Oakland on the other hand shocked everybody by running up 37 points against the Ravens, and the more you look at the stat line from that game the more impressive it really looks. Derek Carr can throw for 351 yards? Since when? Michael Crabtree is actually working in an offensive scheme that is relatively new to the point where he can rack up a hundred yards? How long have I been asleep for? And they have another hundred yard a game receiver on that roster? And he’s a rookie? Who the fuck are these people? As for Cleveland, their win last week doesn’t mean a damn thing. They don’t have any solid receivers on that football team, and that’s precisely why they are running the ball so much. I can see Manzeil being a very week-to-week guy during the short amount of time he’ll spend in the NFL, and since he looked somewhat cohesive in his eight completion win over a bad football team I project he’ll be even worse this week. I’m taking the Raiders here, which is a sentence fragment that it is going to take decades for me to get used to if I eventually have to. I’m feeling fruity here too, so why not take the over on the point total?

837’s Prediction:  Raiders 28, Browns 19       

J-Dub:  $50 on Cleveland to cover, $50 Over

Jason from Indiana:  Cleveland

New Orleans Saints (0-2) +3 at Carolina Panthers (2-0)  (45)

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I could understand the Saints losing to the Arizona Cardinals, I really could. But losing at home to Crab Legs Winston in a game where they absolutely had to get back on track? Completely inexcusable. That franchise is about six losses away from a total fire sale, and who will be able to blame them really? Carolina has started 2-0, and is desperately looking to save themselves the ridicule associated with going to the playoffs with a losing record. They are primed to do just that against Luke McCown, who in all reality is more like a Boost Mobile tower as opposed to the Verizon ones he gets paid to stand in front of in their commercials. Home game for the Panthers, Cam Newton gettin’ cocky in front of his people, I like Carolina here a lot. It’s pretty much do or die for the Saints, but I see a whole hell of a lot more do than die out of that camp as of late. As for the odds, I don’t understand where a lot of this unwavering faith in the Saints is coming from. The writing’s on the wall, and they’re floating garbage. Panthers cover and avoid the point total.

837’s Prediction:  Panthers 27, Saints 18       

J-Dub:  $150 on Carolina to cover  

Jason from Indiana:  Carolina

Atlanta Falcons (2-0) EVEN at Dallas Cowboys (2-0)  (44.5)

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I’m expecting this one to be a good one.  Even though Tony Romo fractured his clavicle, collarbone, ovaries – whatever he broke, Dallas is going to be fine here…I’ve heard some crazy talk about potentially getting Robert Griffin the Third from Washington at a discounted price, but that’s not going to happen because the Redskins will want a member of their offensive line. Breaking up that talented group of individuals would be much more detrimental to the franchise than going 3-5 during the time he’s out, so don’t look to see RGIII in a Cowboys uniform anytime soon. Dallas will be A-OK with Brandon Weeden in charge for the time being. If you check out thefutures page at ESPN, all of the Vegas sportsbooks still have the D in fifth place to win the Super Bowl. Everyone in the ATL has to be loving this Falcons team, who can make it three in a row against NFC East teams with a win on Sunday.  I say they do it…Weeden will win a couple of games, but this won’t be one of them.

837’s Prediction:  Falcons         

J-Dub:  $25 on Atlanta straight up

Jason from Indiana:  Falcons 26, Cowboys 24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-1) +7 at Houston Texans (0-2)  (40.5)

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Let’s not all throw a conniption fit about how Jameis Winston had a passer rating north of 85 last week. They won against the Saints, who are going to hell faster than an Uber driver that just picked up Jared Fogle. They still don’t have an elite performing receiver and Doug Martin still can’t rush for over a hundred yards a game. Houston has to win this one, they just have to. The Bucs are a bad football team, and this will be a home game, and for the love of God can these guys have some offensive strategy other than “Make whoever’s starting this week throw the ball 58 times”?  When Kubiak got canned, I understood. The Texans weren’t producing to expectations and a leadership change had to be made. But now I have no idea what to think…I can’t bring myself to understand how a team that should be so much better than this is so bad that they’re losing games to teams like the Panthers and the Chiefs. But holy shit they are bad. They could easily lose ten games this season, and perhaps I’m giving them more credit than they deserve even by saying that. What the hell happened? Even with all that, I can’t possibly imagine that they’ll lose at home to Tampa. The Bucs are putrid and their lone win came against a Saints team that drinks out of the toilet so often they have cup full of straws in the bathroom counter.  Texans to win, but they don’t cover so this a common blunder. No point total bet here either, who the hell knows what these teams are up to on offense? I’m saying the Bucs score four field goals, one touchdown and miss the extra point.

837’s Prediction:  Texans 24, Bucs 18       

J-Dub:  DOG OF THE WEEK: Bet this game, then make a reservation for Monday Morning at the Plasma Center.

Jason from Indiana:  Tampa

Indianapolis Colts (0-2) -3 at Tennessee Titans (1-1)  (45)

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There’s nothing in the NFL more puzzling than the Indianapolis Colts right now. They have a guy who is going to own his conference in five years, and they finally got the running back they are looking for in Frank Gore. They traded to get Andre Johnson from the Texans, who should still be an absolute stud receiver. The defense thing is still a work in progress but with Andrew Luck’s skill set they shouldn’t need to hold teams to ten points to post a winning record. So what the hell is wrong? Besides the turnovers, it’s possible that the Colts simply are not ready yet. Everybody and their brother had them as a lock to win the Super Bowl this year, but the team they are putting on the field right now is miles from any playoff appearance and I honestly mean that. No wonder the fans are booing – if you bought tickets to a home Monday Night football game against the Jets you can pretty much expect that to be a solid W in the books. Unless you’re Tennessee, who got exposed last week by losing to Johnny Come Hardly QBR. If the Colts lose this game, they need to start making moves before the trade deadline because they are in serious trouble. I don’t think that they will, but I’d be willing to say that if the Titans can keep this close Indianapolis may very well still be in serious trouble. I say that doesn’t happen and this is the game where the Colts finally get all of their ducks in a row and win big. I like them to cover what should be an easy spread, and their defense should be able to keep Mariota under wraps. I really like the over on the point total here.

837’s Prediction:  Colts 32, Titans 17       

J-Dub:  $25 on Tennessee to cover, $50 Over

Jason from Indiana:  Tennessee

Jacksonville Jaguars (1-1) +14.5 at New England Patriots (2-0)  (47.5)

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On Sunday New England returns home from a shootout in Buffalo that saw Tom Brady pick apart a very good defense for 466 yards and three touchdowns. There’s nothing to lead me to believe he won’t have another monster weekend in Foxboro against the Jaguars, so if you have this guy in your fantasy league you’re probably going to want to start him. Jacksonville “upset” Miami last week but give me a break…That’s a super short flight and those guys felt at home, never mind the fact that the Dolphins are a little bit overrated and so far the Kenny Stills signing has not paid tremendous dividends to say the very least. The Patriots are in good shape, but if New England gets up early and still has a sizable lead Bill Belichick will pull everybody. Trap game like a motherfucker. After a couple of meaningless late game scores, the Jaguars go back to being the Jaguars – Business as usual.  Love the over here for those reasons

837’s Prediction:  Patriots 33, Jaguars 20       

J-Dub:  TRAP GAME OF THE WEEK: After two big weeks, the Patriots are the classic “let down” team, which spells the classic non-cover win.

Jason from Indiana:  Jacksonville

San Diego Chargers (1-1) +1 at Minnesota Vikings (1-1)  (44.5)

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Don’t you think it’s going to be super interesting watching these two divisions beat the shit out of each other this year? Yeah, neither do I. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Chargers but losing to the Bengals last week was really hard for me to take. The Vikings on the other hand beat Detroit, but then again San Diego did the same thing week one. The Chargers beat them by five points, whereas the Vikings beat them by ten and pretty much owned the whole game. Why am I telling you this? No real reason, because honestly if you’re measuring your strength by how your team has performed against the Lions your priorities are so screwed up as a professional football team that nothing I write here is likely going to make a difference. That Vikings secondary could spell trouble for Philip Rivers, who didn’t have a single receiver top seventy yards last week. But I still have to believe that even on the road the Chargers are more than a point better than the Vikings. Put your money on that, and the under would be solid on the point total because neither of these teams seem to be scoring a lot lately.

837’s Prediction:  Chargers 20, Vikings 16       

J-Dub:  $75 on San Diego to cover

Jason from Indiana:  Minnesota

Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) +1 at New York Jets (2-0)  (47)

New York Jets' Bart Scott (57) knocks off the helmet of Philadelphia Eagles' Josh Gaines (65) as the 2 teams get into it on the 1st series at the New York Jets vs Philadelphia Eagles in a preseason game at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ 9/3/09 (William Perlman-The Star-Ledger)

The Eagles are a fucking complete mess and I couldn’t be any happier. But really, what did they think was going to happen? You trade Nick Foles for Sam Bradford, then he attempts to execute Chip Kelly’s moronic offensive strategy and it doesn’t work? Who knew? There’s something going on inside of that locker room we aren’t fully aware of yet, and it’s tearing apart a team that suffers from having drastically high expectations for some reason I don’t really understand. And what the hell is going on with DeMarco Murray? I thought he was supposed to be the X factor on this offense. They certainly paid him X-Factor type money, and 2 yards on thirteen carries is not going to move the chains in any league I watch. We might need to hold off on being blown away by the Jets: They beat two teams who were very different, but both have similar identity and turnover issues. There’s no way in hell they win the AFC East and if they do I will print out this article and eat it with boysenberry syrup on top. and I hate boysenberry syrup. I do not envy the individuals that had to handicap this game, I mean…what do you even do here? How do you go about setting the line? Nevertheless, somebody did it and if this game was on a neutral site believe it on not the Eagles would be favorites. I like the Jets here though…They’ve been forcing turnovers so the Eagles are ripe for the picking and stripping. New York covers but don’t you dare touch the over/under. After all, your kids are going to have to go to community college someday.

837’s Prediction:  Jets 27, Eagles 21       

J-Dub:  DISASTER GAME OF THE WEEK:  Two teams who can’t score, and one who can play defense. $50 Under

Jason from Indiana:  Philadelphia

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) -1 at St. Louis Rams (1-1)  (47.5)

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The Rams-Steelers game is a throwback to Super Bowl XIV when Terry Bradshaw threw for three interceptions, but still beat a very bad and overachieving Rams team. I probably celebrated that game by shitting myself, not because it was a good game but because I was two and a half months old. (Thought I’d get through this article without another “Up with People” reference?  Think again…) This is going to be a great matchup, but I just can’t get past how the Rams blew an excellent opportunity to start the year 2-0 by losing to the Redskins last week. They aren’t a Super Bowl caliber team, but only 217 yards on offense against Washington? That could potentially spell trouble…Pittsburgh has proven to be very strong so far, and only lacked a killer instinct at rare moments against a very angry Patriots team that was probably going to beat them no matter what. They match up quite well against the Rams, but with a weak defense when responding to mid-range yardage plays this could be the big one from Foles we’ve been waiting to see. I really like the Steelers to keep winning until a major injury pops up though. I realize I was jocking the Rams pretty hard a week ago but the hope crushing reality that is the modern-day NFL is trying to tell me I may have jumped the gun on that one a bit. They’ll keep this game close, but I still have them losing it. Total’s too close to call.

837’s Prediction:  Steelers 25, Rams 22       

J-Dub:  $100 on Pittsburgh to cover

Jason from Indiana:  St. Louis

San Francisco 49ers (1-1) +7 at Arizona Cardinals (2-0) (43.5)

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The 49ers opened up at home against a very unprepared Minnesota team, and then flew to Pittsburgh on a short week to get curb-stomped by the Steelers. So all is temporarily right with the world, perhaps more so than usual in some cases. One of those instances would have to be the fact that with both Seattle and St. Louis losing this past week, the Arizona Cardinals are in perfect position to step forward on the rest of this division by taking out the Niners at home on Sunday. This game likely won’t get a lot of press as it’s a West Coast matchup, and that’s a goddamn shame because it is going to be awesome. I still don’t see anything out of San Francisco that proves to me they’re a playoff team. Last week was obvious proof that Colin Kaepernick is clearly intimidated standing opposite of the league’s elite quarterbacks. Every time he faces a guy in that wheelhouse, he plays like a bitch and those wannabe thug tats ain’t foolin’ me into thinkin’ otherwise. I hope the 49ers get the shit kicked out of them so bad in this game. The Cardinals came very close to scoring 50 points last week against the Bears? I hope they score sixty in this one. I hope Kaepernick can’t hit anybody all day and they leave him in there to suffer until he finishes six for forty-one. Arizona’s defense right now is less forgiving and more ruthless than juvenile diabetes. They will cover in a big way and the Niners will look like last year’s team again. No touchy total-y, if you get my drift.

837’s Prediction:  Cardinals 27, 49ers 13       

J-Dub:  $25 on Arizona to cover

Jason from Indiana:  Arizona

Buffalo Bills (1-1) +2.5 at Miami Dolphins (1-1)   (44) 

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The Bills scored a couple of late touchdowns at home against New England last week, making the 40-32 final score of that game not nearly an accurate representation of how badly Tom Brady picked apart that defense that the media won’t stop stroking. But Ryan Tannehill is hardly Tom Brady (try to type that without laughing hysterically) and this will be much different. Even though I like the Bills to cover this thin line at home and I love the under on this one, something doesn’t feel right about the way Buffalo is getting is balls piped by ESPN. It almost feels like we’ve been sold on this idea that for the past five years Rex Ryan is this unbelievably talented coach that has just had a string of bad players. I say that’s bullshit. I think his ego and persona are the only thing keeping him afloat in that horrid Buffalo market, and that he didn’t do a serviceable job in New York over the past four years. There isn’t a single thing in the league that has occurred during this time period which is any more of a lock to be true. Oh hey look at that, the fucking Dolphins are .500 again.

837’s Prediction:  Bills 20, Dolphins 14       

J-Dub:  LOCK OF THE WEEK: $500 on Buffalo to cover

Jason from Indiana:  Buffalo

Chicago Bears (0-2) +16 at Seattle Seahawks (0-2)  (44)

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A lot of people are freaking out about the Seahawks starting 0-2, but pump the brakes on that shit for a second. Even though their offensive coordinator might be one of the stupidest human beings on the face of the earth, they still have eight home games left and they are going to be just fine. They lost to two very good football teams on the road, and they might end up beating one or both of those teams by the time the postseason rolls around. Now they’re headed home to the most dangerous stadium in the league pissed off as all hell against the Chicago Bears. This has all of the ingredients for a blowout, but hold the phone a second…The Bad News Buffoons did end up throwing up another twenty-three spot, this time against a very good Arizona Cardinals defense. Jimmy Clausen starting might be the best thing that could have happened to Chicago right now. Still, I can’t foresee any scenario where the Seahawks don’t come out and unleash their wrath on the Bears. Seriously, check this stat out about how bad their defense is:  Last week they played Arizona and gave up 48 points in three hours. The Cardinals scored 52 points in all of December last year with essentially the same team and no bye week. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

837’s Prediction:         

J-Dub:  $25 Under

Jason from Indiana:  Chicago

Denver Broncos (2-0) at Detroit Lions (0-2)   (   )

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The Broncos have benefited from quite a bit of errant play so far on the part of the Ravens and the Chiefs through the first two weeks. Peyton Manning busted his ass for that win in KC, but he got quite a bit of help. One of the few things I’ve been right about so far this season is the downfall of the Detroit Lions, who have struggled against teams that we’ve been sold on not being better than them. So it’s very possible that the Lions’ success last season may be a freak accident. It’s very possible that Matthew Stafford is never going to be in the “elite” conversation at all, a conversation which annually includes Peyton Manning. I know this is a road game, but I really can’t see any way that the Broncos win those first two and blow this one. It’s simply too much of an early-regular season freebie for Manning to choke away, and with the glow of an unreal victory last Thursday still fresh in their heads, it shouldn’t be too difficult for them to make waste of the Lions. Denver covers here on the road, but no need to mess with the total. Seems like I’ve been saying that a lot as of late.

837’s Prediction:  Broncos 31, Lions 16       

J-Dub:  $30 on Denver to Cover

Jason from Indiana:  Detroit

Kansas City Chiefs (1-1) +7.5 at Green Bay Packers (2-0)  (48.5)

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The Chiefs are in some serious trouble here. They threw away the Denver game at home, meaning they now have to beat the Broncos in the Mile High City in order to even the annual series. They’re also a game back, because of a serious of stupid mistakes on both ends of the football at the end of last week’s Thursday night game. I saw a lot of polls this week that said “Which of the following early season divisional losses was more devastating…The Giants in week one or the Chiefs in week two?”…To me, it’s not even really close – it’s KC. The Giants weren’t going to make the postseason anyway, and for a team with high expectations such as the Chiefs I would have to think that loss could destroy the remainder of their year. Things won’t get any easier for them as they head to Wisconsin to face Green Bay who looked awfully good in that Seattle game. Aaron Rodgers is hot right now and it’s become very apparent Randall Cobb is going to be targeted quite a bit in this game. It won’t be easy, and I’m not saying they cover the spread here as Kansas City will have a sense of urgency present enough to keep things snug.

837’s Prediction:  Packers 23, Chiefs 19        

J-Dub:  $25 on Green Bay to cover

Jason from Indiana:  Green Bay

Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content.

Eight Thirty Seven

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