UPDATE #3: There is some reverse line movement with PHI at -2.5 and SD at -5. I wouldn't read too much into this yet, but I would jump on PHI at -2.5 now and keep an eye on the SD line over the next day to see if you can get it at -4.5.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Jacksonville Jaguars: PHI -3
Vick has a ton of weapons at his disposal and look for this offense to continue putting up a lot of points. McCoy will continue to break out in his 2nd year as defenders will be forced to protect the backside with Vick in the pocket. What should concern the Eagles more is their defense. They had trouble containing Best all day and folded like a house of cards in the final five minutes of the game. It will continue to be a work in progress as the year goes on, but enough pieces are in place to hold Jacksonville in check this week.
The Jaguars will play better at home than they did against the Chargers in week 2. Everything that could have gone wrong did as they turned the ball over six times in a forgettable game. MJD will get his yards in this game, but to win the game they will need Garrard to return to the mistake-free football. They switched QB's vs SD, but McCown suffered an injury and has been put on IR. Garrard will be the guy whether Del Rio wants him to be or not. He looked horrible on 2 of his 4 interceptions and was passing into bad coverage on a third. Their defense is also supposed to be better this year, but everyone is asking, "when?". They have been dismal against the pass and run this year and now they will be forced to be disciplined and sound fundamentally against a dynamic PHI offense. That is asking a lot from a team that has an identity crisis. Prediction: Bank PHI -3.
Cincinnati Bengals vs Carolina Panthers: CIN -3
The Panthers will need all the help they can get from their kick return game because that might be one of the only advantages they have in this game. Really what more can be said about this team? Fox is on the hot-seat and has already abandoned the Matt Moore experiment. I didn't think that would work out before the season started, but I also thought his leash was longer than this. Clausen will have his hands full against a tough CIN defense and look for them to grind out the clock with their running game to keep this close. They have started two rookies ahead of WR Jarret and Smith continues to be their only down-field threat. Even as teams double-team him, his supporting cast cannot capitalize on the favorable matchups. The team's true bread and butter, the running game, has also been disappointing so far. It's still early in the season and it's far too early to write anybody off entirely, but this ship has leaks all over the place and everyone is standing around wondering who is going to fix it. They say they don't miss Peppers, but one sack in two games (from a LB) isn't going to help win many ball games. I never give more weight to a pick or say a game is a lock, but this game is probably the closest your going to get. Prediction: Bank CIN -3.
Washington Redskins vs St Louis Rams: WSH-3.5
Meanwhile the Rams are still posting bulletin board material that emphasizes the silver lining instead of the results. Bradford might be the QB of the future, but this game is happening now. S-Jax will always be a supreme threat in the backfield as long as he is healthy, but it's sad to see him stuck on a cellar-dweller year after year. The Rams continue to be their own worst enemy taking too many personal foul penalties and not finding ways to keep drives alive. The season is still a lot of 'if this' or 'if that', but they aren't kidding anybody - they are building around what they hope is a franchise quarterback. Brighter days are ahead, but it won't be on Sunday. Prediction: Bank WSH -3.5.
Indianapolis Colts vs Denver Broncos: IND -5
This is a game that Denver wishes they had Elvis Dumervil. Getting pressure on Manning is critical to success and if they can't get to him consistently it won't matter how good their secondary is. Now DEN will have to worry about stopping the run and that will create mismatches all over the field for Manning to exploit - especially if they have to commit a linebacker on Clark. They also better hope that Bailey's foot injury is 100% this week because without him they might as well just forfeit the game entirely. Moreno is a promising back, but he could be irrelevant by halftime if the Broncos can't keep this within 7 points. To make matters worse, the organization is dealing with another tragedy as Kenny McKinley was found dead from an apparent suicide. It's unknown how this will effect the team on Sunday, but it's not exactly a good situation in Mile High. Orton has looked good so far, but it's asking a lot of him to keep up with the QB on the other side of the field. The win over the Seahawks must be taken with a grain of salt. They didn't run the ball well once again and they won the turnover battle 4-0. They won't be that fortunate against Peyton. Prediction: Bank IND -5.
San Diego Chargers vs Seattle Seahawks: SD -5.5
The Hawks are still licking their wounds after getting man-handled in the Mile High city. The team came crashing back down to earth after upsetting the 49ers on opening day. Golden Tate has been placed as the permanent punt returner, but if they can't get Rivers off the field it won't mean much in this game. Some people are already getting impatient with Hasselbeck so they can start the Charlie Whitehurst experiement, but Pete Carrol is sticking with Matt for now. Who knows how long that lasts though because Hasselbeck did nothing to prove he's still a bona-fide number one guy on Sunday. So which SEA team is going to show up in week 3? Let's not kid ourselves, this team is rebuilding and it will be a while before they are a real threat. Don't be surprised if the 12th man take their neon signs and try to beat traffic early. Prediction: Bank SD -5.5.
Green Bay Packers vs Chicago Bears: GB -3
Rodgers will get all of the national headlines, but the real story after two weeks for the Packers is their defense. Mathews has been an unstoppable force and is easily among the top 5 ends in the NFL right now. Back-to-back 3 sack games will get a lot of attention from CHI, but he's not the only one they should be worried about. A.J. Hawk returned to the field last week and put up a team leading 9 tackles and had two quarterback hits. LT continues to be a big question mark and they will certainly be giving help to keep Peppers in check. The Bears have offensive line issues of their own so look for a few passes to be up for grabs as Culter is much more inclined to force some throws than Rodgers. I expect the Bears to put up a good fight and they appear to be headed in the right direction, but they will realize how much more they need to improve before they can consider themselves serious contenders. At the end of the day the Packers will prove superior on both sides of the ball and come out with a victory. Prediction: Bank GB -3.