NFL Week 3: Sunday Picks, Predictions & Colin Cowherd’s Blazin’ 5

Atlanta Falcons @ Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Colts -1.5, O/U: 47.5)

Brissett is off to a great start even though he’s only thrown for 336 yards but he has completed 64% of his passes with 5 TD’s and only 1 pick. TY has been his biggest target, nearly racking up half of those passing yards and 3 of those TD’s. TY is listed as questionable but it’s the Colts’ first home game without Luck so expect that crowd to be very supportive of a 1-1 team looking to beat a solid Falcons team to move above .500. The Falcons looked horrible in Minnesota and barely held off a very banged up Eagles team at home. With essentially no running game, they’ve had to heavily rely on Matty-Ice very early on and he’s been up and down. Ryan has completed 67% of his passes but is 1:1 on the TD/INT ratio (5/5). Take the Colts to cover in the win, in the under, Colts 23-20.

Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Chiefs -5.5, O/U: 52.5)

You can’t crown Lamar Jackson just yet. He’s taken it to the weak Dolphins and barely pushed past the lacking Cardinals. He’s played well, completing 72% of his passes for 596 yards, 7 TD’s and no picks. He’s going to go pass for pass with Mahomes but Mahomes has better weapons. It might not have looked like it but the Chiefs struggled 3 out of 4 quarters against the Raiders. A massive record breaking 2nd quarter pushed Patrick and the Chiefs to a lead they would hold the rest of the game. Back at home, the Chiefs will look to assert their explosiveness again. Take the Chiefs to cover in the win, in the over, Chiefs 34-24.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Buffalo Bills, New Era Field, 1:00 PM, CBS (Bills -6, O/U: 43.5)

I don’t know what to make of the Bengals. Dalton has over 700 yards, 4TD’s/1 INT and completed 66% of his passes. The running game has lacked severely which only has 54 yards between their 2 backs. John Ross has emerged as the top target in Green’s absence. A close lose to the Seahawks on the road but a bad loss at home vs the 49ers has everyone wondering who they really are. The Bills will be without stud rookie running back Devin Singletary. Josh Allen has been grinding through the first 2 games, not playing stellar but efficient enough to win both games on the road. The Bills Mafia will be in full hysteria over a 2-0 start. Take the Bills to win but the Bengals to cover in the under, Bills 20-17.

Denver Broncos @ Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field, 1:00 PM, FOX (Packers -7.5, O/U: 43.5)

The Broncos have had a rough start to the season after an opening night loss to the Raiders and a heartbreaking loss to the Bears last week. Flacco has looked every bit as mediocre as his time in Baltimore but have had good support from the running game with the surprise leading rusher being Royce Freeman. The defense has not been able to record a sack even with star Von Miller. The Packers are off to a fast start even though the first game was very rocky for the new offense but to start 2-0 against a very good Bears and Vikings defenses is a huge start. A big issue with the offense is the sacks allowed and the pressure Rodgers has seen early on. They’ve allowed 7 sacks for negative 55 yards which has contributed to being 7/27 on 3rd downs and 9 three and out drives. The defense has proven how much their improved and that’s really what has helped them stay in games as they continue to get in sync with the new offense. Take the Packers to cover in the win, in the over, Packers 30-21.

Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, 1:00 PM, FOX (Eagles -5.5, O/U: 45.5)

The Lions are coming off a hard fought win against the Chargers at home. Stafford has been very efficient early on as Kerryon Johnson has a slower start to the season than he would like. Stafford has been hooking up with Golladay and rookie tight end sensation TJ Hockenson (even though he only had 1 catch on 3 targets for only 7 yards in week 2). The defense is off to a fast start with 6 sacks and 2 picks. The Eagles are really banged up, so banged up that they had to cancel practice and just do a walk through during the week. No Desean Jackson, Jordan Mailata, or Corey Clement after last weeks rash of injuries. Still banged up but at least probable or questionable to play is Alshon Jeffery and Dallas Goedert. All of whom were injured, most in the 1st quarter of last weeks game. Wentz has been rusty to start and even took a few shots that fans were hoping he’d be ok from but with fast starts with Jackson, Ertz and Agholor, it’s only a matter of time until he is on fire, so long as he can stay healthy. Take the Lions to cover in the win, in the under, Lions 23-21.

Miami Dolphins @ Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium, 1:00 PM, FOX (Cowboys -22, O/U: 46.5)

In my opinion, no analysis is going to persuade you in this one. Take the Cowboys to cover and in the under, Cowboys 30-10.

New York Jets @ New England Patriots, Gillette Stadium, 1:00 PM, CBS (Patriots -21, O/U: 43.5)

I have a similar feeling about the Jets as I do the Dolphins except the Jets have Le’Veon Bell. Like my prediction with the Pats/Dolphins last week, expect the Pats to run up the score on a divisional foe. With Belichick, the uglier the score, the better. Take the Patriots to cover and in the over, Patriots 35-13.

Oakland Raiders @ Minnesota Vikings, U.S. Bank Stadium, 1:00 PM, FOX (Vikings -9, O/U: 43.5)

Take the Raiders to cover but the Vikings to win in the over, Vikings 27-20.

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium, 4:05 PM, FOX (Cardinals -2.5, O/U: 44.5)

Take the Cardinals to cover in the under, Cardinals 23-20.

New York Giants @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raymond James Stadium, 4:05 PM, FOX (Buccs -6, O/U: 47.5)

Take the Giants to cover in the win, in the under, Giants 24-20.

Houston Texans @ Los Angeles Chargers, StubHub Center, 4:25 PM, CBS (Chargers -3 O/U: 49.5)

Take the Chargers to cover in the over, Chargers 28-24.

New Orleans Saints @ Seattle Seahawks, CenturyLink Field, 4:25 PM, CBS (Seahawks -4.5, O/U: 45.5)

Take the Seahawks to cover in the under, Seahawks 27-17.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Francisco 49ers, Levi’s Stadium, 4:25 PM, CBS (49ers -6.5, O/U: 44.5)

Take the 49ers to win but the Steelers to cover in the under, 49ers 27-21.

Los Angeles Rams @ Cleveland Browns, FirstEnergy Stadium, 8:20 PM, NBC (Browns +3, O/U: 47.5)

Take the Rams to cover in the over, Rams 31-24.

Colin Cowherd’s Blazing 5:

  • Baltimore at Kansas City – Kansas City (-5)
  • Detroit at Philadelphia – Detroit (+6)
  • NY Giants at Tampa Bay – NY Giants (+6)
  • Pittsburgh at San Francisco – Pittsburgh (+6.5)
  • LA Rams at Cleveland – LA Rams (-3.5)

Robinson to Emmert, “Come Take My Wins!”

Long before Michael Robinson had won a Super Bowl as a fullback, he was once the starting quarterback for the 2005 Big 10 conference champion, Penn State Nittany Lions. During his senior year he threw the 5th best season by a PSU QB at that time (now 8th). His only full year as the starter at PSU, he lead the Nittany Lions to an 11-1 record, 3rd ranking in the AP Polls, a share of the Big 10 title with Ohio State, an Orange Bowl victory against Florida State and finished 5th in the Heisman Trophy voting. He helped Penn State and JoePa accumulate 27 wins in his four years and their first bowl win and double digit win season since 1999.

Insert the Jerry Sandusky scandal with the consequences in 2011 handed down by NCAA President, Mark Emmert. Penn State had numerous sanctions placed against it as well as bowl bans, probation, scholarship reductions for the football program and a hefty fine, not to mention 10 or so corrective actions the University had to implement.

Former players from all eras weighed in on the sanctions and the end of JoePa’s tenure, being fired during the investigation. Nine former players including the JoePa estate and several Penn State trustees last year, filled a lawsuit against the sanctions delivered by the NCAA calling them a rush to conclusion in the Freeh report. The report states that the NCAA, Emmert and then chair of the NCAA’s executive committee Edward Ray “acted in clear and direct violation of the organization’s own rules based on a flawed report by former FBI director Louis Freeh”. Freeh led the university’s internal investigation into the scandal, arriving at scathing findings that pointed blame in part on Paterno and three former school officials. The suit hopes to reverse the sanctions levied due to Sandusky’s actions.

At the John Travers Memorial Golf Tournament on May 9 at Blue Ridge Country Club, Robinson auctioned off a specially signed picture of himself as the beloved PSU QB. The picture was auctioned for $325 which was inscribed with a distinct message for the NCAA President, “Dear Mr. Emmert, Come take my wins! – Michael Robinson 12”

There is no doubt that what Sandusky had done is completely disgusting, monstrous and absolutely not what any of the victims parents/families thought their child was being subjected to. This was supposed to be a man who was out to help their child through their rough patches, guide them to success and groom them to be good citizens. His sentence is what it is and has been worked through the justice system. The day the sanctions were enforced on the university caused much debate as to whether the NCAA follows their own rules in handing down punishments on universities in the wake of scandals.

Through the years of coverage on the scandal and the countless interviews of former players, fans and college sports analysts, the monetary sanctions levied on the university seem just, since it will go to help the youth affected by such horrendous acts. The other sanctions however seem unjust as it punishes other innocent people, specifically the student athletes that took part and are prideful of the 112 wins taken from the program. It also punished the potential future student athletes that were turned away from a chance at a scholarship from the football team due to the reduction of available scholarships the program could use. The reason as explained by Mark Emmert was that no one man or program is above the university and must be punished.

Mike Robinson’s signed photo statement to Emmert seems to be a mini jab at the NCAA President however there is deeper meaning that all former PSU players have voiced on the sanctions. It was tough enough for the current players at the time to have to play to the end of the season under the media microscope of the investigation. Why further punish the current student athletes in the football program, potential future student athletes of the football program and the former student athletes from those 1998-2011 football programs? What was taken from the victims can never be replaced, but for whatever reasons that Mark Emmert had come to a conclusion back in late 2011-early 2012, common sense was not used and the situation in Happy Valley worsened.

The 27 wins meant the building of character to Mike Robinson. It meant the four years of tutelage under JoePa and the many lessons on growing up and being responsible, even lessons on how to treat a lady. There is no question from the alumni players, how much JoePa meant and still means to them and how much he would always have their best interests in mind. Maybe this is the time for them to be here for him since he had passed shortly after leaving the program. The alumni players have stood firm for what kind of man JoePa was and what he stood for. They’ve all tried to make sure that for the good JoePa had done in his lifetime at PSU, people still remember him for it. For Mike Robison, his part is standing up for those 27 wins.

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