WIN $50 IN
NFL PICK’EM


Pick the winners from the games below. Each week you can
ENTER ONLINE BELOW, by fax, or email. Each game right is worth one point. The game with *** is worth 3 points AND is the tiebreaker game. Please enter your guess for total points for that game as well.  Good luck!  Deadline is Sunday’s by Noon. No Thursday games will be on the contest. My picks in ALL CAPS!


SAINTS @ Falcons
49ers @ CHIEFS
Raiders @ DOLPHINS
Bills @ VIKINGS
Colts @ EAGLES
Packers @ REDSKINS
**BENGALS @ Panthers**
Titans @ JAGUARS
Broncos @ RAVENS
Giants @ TEXANS
Chargers @ RAMS
BEARS @ Cardinals
Cowboys @ SEAHAWKS
PATRIOTS @ Lions


LAST TWO WEEK WINNERS
9/9 - Deborah Reynolds
9/16 - Alisa Reinhardt
and Joshua Wright



NFL PLAYOFFS
PREDICTIONS

winners in caps

ROUND 1 - WILD CARD
#6 Jaguars @ #3 Chargers
#5 Ravens @ #4 TEXANS
#6 Vikings @ #3 SAINTS
#5 Falcons @ #4 GIANTS

ROUND 2 - DIVISION
#4 Texans @ #1 PATRIOTS
#5 CHARGERS @ #2 Steelers
#4 Giants @ #1 Packers
#3 SAINTS @ #2 Rams

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND
#5 Chargers @ #1 PATRIOTS
#4 Giants @ #3 SAINTS

SUPER BOWL
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
over New England Patiots


WEEK 3: OVERREACTION TIME

By Kevin Hastings @KevinHastings

Hello football fans! It’s that time of the year again! It’s time for my NFL Super Bowl Power Poll and NFL Pick’em. Each week I eliminate a team from Super Bowl contention and rank the rest of the teams in order of chances to win the title. To be in the Top 12 you must be qualified for the playoffs, so there will be an equal number of teams from the AFC & NFC in the Top 12. Everyone else? Good luck and don’t get eliminated!  Read the article each week online and enter to win $50 online by picking each week’s games online at whatsupshopper.com.

So what can we tell after two weeks? Well a whole lot but also not much. It takes a few weeks for offenses, rookies and coaches to get in a groove. Only three teams have ever started 0-2 and won the Super Bowl. The 93-Cowboys, 01-Patriots & 07-Giants. Since 2007, 91 teams have started 0-2. Only 10 (10.9 percent) of them turned it around to make the playoffs and one of those (the 2008 Chargers) made it with an 8-8 record. Starting 2-0 doesn’t guarantee your team a spot in the playoffs, and this trend has been cooling off in recent seasons. Still, in those 91 cases where teams started 2-0, 52 (57.1 percent) made it to the postseason while 39 missed.

NOW LET’ GET TO THE POLL!
(RANK / TEAM / PREDICTION)

ELIMINATED: Buffalo, Oakland

THIS WEEK’S ELIMINATION:  
Arizona Cardinals (0-2) It shouldn’t or won’t be long before Sam Bradford is benched for Josh Rosen. But it’s not going to matter at all I don’t believe. Time to say goodbye to the Red Birds for 2018.

ON THE CHOPPING BLOCKS

29. Detroit Lions (0-2) There’s not much D in Detroit.  They’ve given up 78 points in just two weeks. While Stafford can sling it, after you pay the QB the defense suffers.

28. Seattle Seahawks (0-2) Now it’s blame Russell Wilson time after trading everyone on defense besides Earl Thomas who actually wanted to be traded to Dallas. Not sure they can get it together this season.

27. Houston Texans (0-2) Speaking of defense, Houston’s isn’t as bad as Detroit but it’s not been good hovering around at league average.  You hate to have to say it, but Watson might not be himself after an ACL injury.

26. New York Giants (0-2)  This team might have the worst offensive line situation in the league. My goodness, Eli had no time at all versus Dallas to throw. Barkley can run, but he can’t do it by himself.

HOLDING ON FOR DEAR LIFE

26. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1-1) LeVeon Bell on one hand can say they’re winless without him. On the other hand, they ain’t winless because his backup is playing bad.

24. Cleveland Browns (0-1-1) The losing streak ended but the winless streak is still on. However, by the time you read this, they might have beaten the Jets on Thursday night without recently traded Josh Gordon. If you can’t say anything about the Cleveland Browns you have to say they keep everyone on their toes. If they had signed Dan Bailey or Dez Bryant, the Dawgs could be 2-0 right now.

UGLY WINNERS & LOSERS

23. Indianapolis Colts (1-1) Before the season I had them at 8-8 because I didn’t know what to do with Luck. This team isn’t ready to compete now, but if gets hot they can win some games.

22. New York Jets (1-1) The problem in the AFC is that none of the teams are good but someone has to win when they play each other. Well maybe not, we’ve already had two ties so far this season.

21. Chicago Bears (1-1) I don’t think Trubinsky is yet up to the challenge of leading an NFL team on a playoff run. However, if he can play like Cam, Dak and Bortles this team can win some games.

20. San Francisco 49ers (1-1) They loss to the Vikings, a good team, and barely beat the Lions, not so good. This team in my opinion is starting at six or seven wins.

19. Tennessee Titans (1-1) With Marcus Mariota not healthy I don’t like this team at all with Blaine Gabbert leading the way. That’s just not going to work. I also can’t decide whether or not I like these blue Titans helmets.

18. Dallas Cowboys (1-1)  In 127 starts Romo only had 12 games where he threw for under 200 yards. Now in 34 starts Dak has done that 11 times. When Zeke is in the lineup, Dak’s passer rating is 111 and when he’s out 78. Not counting the 64-yard touchdown pass to Austin, Dak was 15-25 for 94 yards passing against the Giants. The defense needs to be legendary to win games. So far they’ve given up 13 & 16, ranking 3rd in the league right now.

17. Carolina Panthers (1-1) When Cam Newton’s passer rating is better than 100, his record is 27-2. When he doesn’t he’s 36-44-1. Not good. Cam’s actually playing pretty decent this season. However, he still hasn’t learned touch and is firing the ball at receivers when they get open instead of throwing them open with catchable passes. As usual this team will go as far as Luke Kuechley’s concussion problems take them. If he can stay on the field they will be in most games.

16. Washington Redskins (1-1) While everyone’s busy talking about Alex Smith and Adrien Peterson, which is understandable. Don’t look now but Washington is ranked 2nd in scoring defense. In fact, all four NFC East teams are ranked in the Top 10 in defense.

15. Los Angeles Chargers (1-1) The offense has been average so far and the defense horrible ranking near the bottom of the league in points. This could lead to another season where the Bolts just barely miss the playoffs again.

14. Baltimore Ravens (1-1) Look great against Buffalo. Check. Look like the old Joe Flacco versus the Bengals? Check. Watch out for the Ravens defense though. When Joe plays well, they should win.

13. Atlanta Falcons (1-1) The Falcons offense looks like it’s ready to play with anyone. The defense again looks like it’s ready to blow a 28-3 lead at anytime. They almost choked away the game against Carolina. They get too complacent for some reason and don’t finish games. I would put that on the coaching staff.


IN THE PLAYOFFS, FOR NOW

12. Cincinnatti Bengals (2-0) Every season we basically have no idea what to think about this team. If they don’t make the playoffs I do hope this is the season they get rid of Marvin Lewis so we can stop speculating. This week they roll into Carolina, which might be a must win for the Panthers.

11. Denver Broncos (2-0) They’ve barely beaten the Seahawks and the Raiders. While being 2-0 is nice and gets a good start towards a playoff berth, they’re going to have to do better than just slipping by some teams that they should pound into the ground.

10. Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) So this is probably the one I’m going to miss on the most. I thought their offense could be explosive it Mahomes can get the ball to the playmakers. The defense is ranked 29th in scoring, so 2-0 may be an outlier right now.

THE STATE OF FLORIDA

9. Miami Dolphins (2-0) Raise your hand if you had the Miami Dolphins going undefeated after two weeks of the season. Now raise your hand if you had the whole state of Florida going 6-0!  Yeah put your hand down you liars! While the defense is currently ranked 4th in scoring, they’ve beaten a rookie in New York and Blaine Gabbert. The 1972 Dolphins have nothing to worry about.

8. Tampa Bay Bucs (2-0) Fitz-magic is back baby! Ryan Fitzpatrick now has more career touchdown passes than Troy Aikman and Joe Namath. He has the most fantasy points after two weeks in the last 15 years! I’m not sure Jameis is getting his job back.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-0) Blake Bortles is 3rd all-time in rushing average ahead of Cam Newton, Randall Cunningham and Donovan McNabb. The defense is pretty good too.

CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDERS

6. Minnesota Vikings (1-0-1) The Vikings might have the best overall team talent in the league. After tieing the Packers, they cut the kicker and signed free agent Dan Bailey to continue to the season. I don’t think this team will lose too many games.

5. Green Bay Packers (1-0-1) As always with Green Bay is whether or not the defense can keep up with the offense and whether or not they can keep Rodgers upright. While they can beat almost any team any week, I don’t think they’ll beat every team.

4. Philadelphia Eagles (1-1) All Nick Foles does is win, win, win! FLy Eagles Fly! Now Wentz is back and the Eagles are dumping the Super Bowl MVP. While they might believe that’s the best coaching decision, the football gods will not be happy with this decision. If the Eagles start free-falling, you heard it here first.
3. New Orleans Saints (1-1) The Saints ugly 1-1 start is the best record they’ve had since 2013. Right now they are having problems stopping the run and running the ball without Mark Ingram. That’s not a good combination for winning football games but they have the most accurate quarterback in NFL history on the roster. If the defense can get it together, this team won’t lose too many games at all.

2. Los Angeles Rams (2-0) Probably the real #1 right now in terms of play but as you will read with the next team, #1 is the Patriots spot until someone knocks them out of the playoffs. We’ve seen them lose and struggle early in the season before. As for the Rams the defense can play with anyone and the offense has some explosive weapons. Their ego and confidence might be their biggest weakness. It would be neat though if the Patriots dynasy came full circle with a loss to the Rams in the Super Bowl.

1. New England Patriots (1-1) Same old, same old for 15 years. Until they’re eliminated from the playoffs we might as well leave them right here at #1. Now they’ve added Josh Gordon to the roster and if he can play, they’ll be impossible to guard with him and Gronk running around.






 NFL Pick'em & Power Poll

BY @KEVINHASTINGS