Chad Pennington is out for the season and in comes the youngster Chad Henne to show everyone he’s better than he played in relief last week. Henne has a better arm and can throw the deep ball better than Chad, but will he play mistake free enough to keep the starting gig? Tyler Thigpen was sent to Miami to be Henne’s back-up, and I truly think that was the Dolphins’ intentions. I think Henne keeps the job and ends up helping out a guy like Ted Ginn Jr…. Darren McFadden fumbled the ball three times, doesn’t see the hole that well, and has 11 guys focused on trying to tackle him as soon as he gets the ball. I’m not saying dump McFadden, in fact, I think you could get the guy for next to nothing and he’s worth the risk, but I don’t think I’d start him unless you are desperate or he does some actual damage (though this week he has a pretty decent match-up if you want to gamble)…. Speaking of JaMarcus Russell, can a guy be any less confident throwing a football than he is? He can’t even seem to connect with Zach Miller anymore. After ending the season on a very high note, winning a couple games, completing a respectable percentage, and throwing 6-2 TD to INT, many thought Russell would take the next step. If the next step was all rotten and dropped off into a hot lava pit, that was right on the button….. Eli Manning has been very good. That’s hard for me to write down, but what more can I say? I thought teams would be able to stack up against the run, but you just can’t do that to Eli anymore. His receivers are better than anyone thought, and maybe he’s worth all that money the Giants invested into him after all. That makes me sick to my stomach, or maybe that’s just the burgers…… Jake Delhomme may be just about done, but I have to blame the play calling for the Panthers’ complete demise. DeAngelo Williams had 11 carries for the love of god. 11. And the Panthers were on top and or tied for quite some time. Not only did he not get the ball enough, but in 11 carries he totaled over 60 yards. That looks good to me. Seems like if you did a lot more of handing him the ball you’d win a game or two….. Aaron Rodgers has not looked good through the first three games. He still has decent fantasy numbers, but for the majority of game time he’s been overthrowing receivers, picking the wrong guy, and just flat out looking rusty. He’ll be fine, don’t worry, but how often does this kind of thing happen? A guy walks through the pre-season completing every pass he throws only to struggle out of the gates. It’s weird….. Game smarts: where have you gone? Seneca Wallace, special teams players, NFL coaches – I feel like the first three games have been an interview for new reality show titled “Dumb is the new Fun”. How can quarterbacks run out of bounds 6 yards behind the line of scrimmage when all you have to do is throw the ball into the freaking stands? How can a kick return guy run out of bounds only to sprint in front of his teammates on a rolling punt and be the first to touch it? How can Jim Mora call a 2 yard out to Julius Jones on 4th and 3 with 29 seconds to go? How can Chad Pennington run a QB sneak for a first down on 3rd and 1 with a minute left in the game when he needs a touchdown to score? These first few weeks have been crazy, but somebody needs to teach these guys some rules. Good lord!….. Matt Forte, ugh. 21 carries for 66 yards, against the Hawks? At least Jay Cutler checked it down to him a couple times, but this was supposed to be the game that Forte stepped up his production. Needless to say, that wasn’t really the case….. LenDale White might not be getting enough carries to be fantasy worthy, but Chris Johnson won’t hold up with 25 touches a game all season. As much as I love Chris’s game, White is going to get an opportunity, and he’s going to run with it. He’s run well despite limited looks. Keep your eye on the big guy….. How does Tampa bench Byron Leftwich? I know they are struggling and 0-3 and young and maybe want to see what one of their young guys can do, but Byron was only good through the first two weeks. The Giants were in his face every snap last Sunday, but Byron’s numbers were goo prior to that. I don’t think Josh Johnson will be as good as Lefty, and Josh Freeman is not ready either. Interesting move, not a good sign if you own Kellen Winslow, Antonio Bryant, or even a running back. Not good if you own Byron either.
Well folks, it is time to get aboard the Lucky Lester Express, which is steamrolling through the NFL season. My super picks were 3-2 and I was 8-5-1 overall this week. This was my third straight week of picking winners and my overall record on the season is 25-18-3. If I had a day job I would quit it!
Now let’s take a closer look at how week 3’s picks played out.
On the winning side:
The Texans (plus 7.5) finally rewarded my loyalty with a stirring outright win on the road against the stumbling Chiefs The Texans kept it close and then outgunned the sorry Chief defense in the final moments for victory.
The Eagles (-4.5) continue their mission of destroying every opponent in sight. McNabb is putting up MVP like numbers every week. The young Lions were simply outclassed at home.
The Jaguars (+6) young defense throttled The Titans passing attack and knocked QB Steve McNair out of the game. Fred Taylor showed signs of getting on track as well which could effect my future considerations.
The Raiders (-3) revamped defense shutdown Tampa Bay’s impotent attack. You know things are bad in Buccaneer land when Bill Shroeder emerges as their leading receiver!
The Saints (+7) rode a strong performance from inconsistent QB Aaron Brooks, to an outright victory on the road against a suddenly old Ram squad. Aaron Stecker, subbing for the injured Deuce Macalister, delivered over a 100 yards rushing.
The Cardinals (+10) hung tough in Atlanta and it took another freaky super human play by Michael Vick to narrowly defeat them. The Cardinals are 0-3 but are 3-0 against the spread.
The Seahawks (-10.5) destroyed the 49ers as I predicted. The Seahawks stingy young defense, 13 points allowed in three games, is a surprise even to me. The Niners were shut out for the first time in 420 regular season games. Way back when Lucky Lester was, well, a heck of a lot younger 34 years ago.
The Steelers (+1) were able to defeat the weapon deprived Dolphins on the road by protecting rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with a hundred yard rushing performance from Duce Staley.
Now let us take a look at what went wrong.
On the losing side:
The Bengals (+3) were unable slow down Jamal Lewis, their offense was overwhelmed by the Raven defenders. Carson Palmer turned the ball over and the Ravens took full advantage.
The Vikings (-9) allowed a late meaningless, for them anyway, touchdown that blew the spread. I wish teams would be a bit more considerate of our wagers! Rex Grossman played a strong game for the Bears before he was injured. Grossman is done for the year. Thomas Jones appears to be the real deal for the Bears at running back.
It was a bitter disappointment that the Packers (+6) injury riddled defense was torched for five first half passing touchdowns by Peyton Manning. Two Packer cornerbacks were announced injured just prior to kickoff. Favre responded with four touchdown tosses but it was not enough in an entertaining shootout in Indianapolis.
The officials stole my money! That is the way I view the Redskins (-1) loss. They were defeated not by the Cowboys but rather by two outrageous bad calls. Time ran out for the Redskins at the Cowboy 20 yard line and they lost by a field goal.
The Browns (+3) were beaten badly by a Giants team that I have severely underestimated. Kurt Warner is born again! He shredded the Brown’s defense with his pinpoint passing.
Finally there are the ties, when the games end right on the number. This is called a Push. This was the case when the Broncos (-10) dominated the Chargers at home. Missed opportunities resulted in the 23-13 victory.
Lucky Lester is enjoying getting rich this season. Hope you are too. After three weeks, trends are emerging and I am excited about my Week Four Picks. Feel free to drop old Lucky a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know of you’re success this football season.
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Lucky Lester – Free Football Picks