Just as NFL fans were in a state of shock over the call that ended the Seattle-Green Bay game, the Staffers are in a state of shock over having been defeated for the third straight week. The Readers are quickly jumped out to a 5-game lead in the contest. They gained two games on the Staffers in Week 1, added a third game in Week 2 and now have added two more to take a 26-19 to 21-24 lead in correctly called games. Congratulations to the Readers. This week our reader is that MHR member known as Tomeboy58801. Tomeboy58801writes:
Hey Everyone, my name is Chris Ellis, I live in North Dakota and work as a directional driller in the oilfield up here. I have been a Broncos fan since I was 4 years old, (at least that is what I am told). I just got back from watching the Broncos versus Texans game, I wish we could have gotten a win, but going to a game is always fun. If our offense could play the way they do in the second half of the past two games, we really might have something!
Tomeboy58801 will be competing with Topher Doll. Topher writes:
This is Topher Doll, that cocky, know-it-all, stat nerd formerly known as Maxwell's Demon. Well I grew up in southern Oregon pretty much hating life as a loyal Seahawks fan in the 1990's, but grew to love the Broncos by the mid-90's out of mutual respect since they were division rivals at that point. Now living in Idaho and married to a Chargers fan, I just had a son born who may have split allegiance, which breaks my heart. While I lost my one Staffer vs Reader challenge last season, I'm looking to redeem myself now, hopefully I don't make a fool of myself.
And now, onto the picks
Byes: Indianapolis, Pittsburgh
Tomeboy58801: The Ravens just have too much for the Browns, and it is as simple as that.
Topher: The Browns have a very good defense that will make it hard for the Ravens to just manhandle them, but watching Brandon Weeden likely makes Browns fans wish they had Blaine Gabbert at this point. Weeden, despite his own struggles, does lack weapons, despite having the #1 running back taken in the draft, Trent Richardson, and having some of the faster receivers in the league. Overall the Ravens are just deeper on defense and offense, unless returner Josh Cribbs can get a few huge returns, I don't see any way the Browns can win.
Tomeboy58801: I know the Vikings just beat the 49ers, but its time for a let down game for them.
Topher:This Minnesota team is a good team, they can rush the passer and they have a very efficient offense lead by sophomore quarterback Christian Ponder and star running back Adrian Peterson. The Lions on the other hand are incredible talented at nearly every position on offense and defense. The issue for the Lions has been execution, but on occasion talent just comes together, and this seems to be the game. This will be a close game, and the Vikings are a good team that will compete, but the Lions have a lot to prove.
Tomeboy58801: This defense looked good against the Packers, and if that defense shows up against Sam Bradford, he is in big trouble. The NFL and the officials can say what they want, but we all know the Seahawks lost that game on Monday night!
Topher:This is tough since these are very two similar teams. Tough, physical defenses and offenses that are focused around a strong run game and a quarterback who can guard the ball. To me these teams are on the same level on defense, giving a slight edge to the Seahawks, but I think the Rams have a slightly better offense and I'll take Sam Bradford over Russell Wilson in the face of a good defense.
Tomeboy58801: Both defenses are good, but I like Alex Smith and companys chances against the Jets. Plus they have to be pretty upset with they played last week against the power house that is the Vikings LOL.
Topher:The 49ers are not happy about their last loss and they have enough leadership on that team to get fired up and just go out and crush whoever they faced next. Unfortunately for the Jets, that's them. Now the Jets likely won't be blown out here, but I mean, can lightning strike twice? Can another team come in and beat the 49ers? The 49ers do have to go cross country, but I'm not betting against a team that good.
Tomeboy58801: I hate both of these teams but when you don't want to pick either team, I will just go with the home team. But it could go either way.
Topher:The Chiefs did just beat the Saints, and while the Chargers do have a number of issues, they do have a better defense than the Saints (everyone seems to have a better defense than the Saints) and won't let Jamaal Charles run over them, they will force Cassel to win the game, and really, in a game that pits Rivers vs Cassel, it's not even close.
Tomeboy58801:Most complete team in the NFL this year, and they should roll over the Titans.
Topher:The Titans proved they have some fight in them, but considering Chris Johnson has cost me at least one win in fantasy football, he's also cost the Titans wins as well. Jake Locker and that defense will do their best, but the Texans are just on another level than the Titans, in all three phases.
Tomeboy58801: Looks like Cam Newton is having a sophomore slump and it won't get any easier against this Atlanta defense. Matt Ryan will have a monster day!
Topher:Anytime Cam Newton takes the field, he can win the game, he's that dynamic, but the Panthers defense hasn't improved as much as people expected and with the running backs hurts, Newton will try and do too much, and against a team as talented and well coached as the Falcons, that won't work. We saw what Mike Nolan's defense did to Peyton Manning and the Broncos offense, expect more against the Panthers.
Tomeboy58801: Tom Brady and company will not lose two games in a row, watch out Buffalo this game is going to get ugly!
Topher:The Patriots and Bill Belicheck are angry, and when they get angry they prepare, and no coach prepares better than than Belicheck. Brady has a lot to prove, so does the defense, in the end, this is a team that is looking for a team to kill, and while the Bills are better this season than in 2011, they are in front of a team that wants to just go out and win, not even "just win" they want this to be a blowout.
Tomeboy58801: Bengals are the better team, and I am not a fan of Blaine Gabbert. Nuff Said
Topher:Jacksonville is improved, Blaine Gabbert is improved and the defense is better, but they still aren't a good team. The Bengals are a good team, lead by a strong offense, they are looking to improve their lead over the Steelers and keep pace with the Ravens. While the Bengals defense hasn't lived up to it's talent level, the lack of offense by the Jags mean that even if this is a shootout, I'm going to take the Bengals.
Tomeboy58801: Still not a believer in the Cardinals but I hope and think they do have enough to get by the Dolphins
Topher:I am not on the Cardinals bandwagon, but with a very weak Miami team coming into town, they will likely stay undefeated. The Cards defense is top tier and while their offense is pretty horrible, it's not nearly as bad the Miami offense lead by struggling rookie quarterback Ryan "Next Marino" Tannehill. The 'Phins do have Reggie Bush, who is coming off a great year and has played well so far, but he isn't enough to carry this team.
Tomeboy58801: Not sure why I like the Bucs here but I do, I think they have just enough to get by the Redskins, still not sure about this game and it could be a bad pick on my part.
Topher:While there is a lot of hype around Robert Griffin, people forget this is a team that lacks talent and is coached by one of the most inconsistent coaches in the NFL, Mike Shanahan. Tampa Bay has been in every game they've played so far and seem to be hungry. While the offense has been conservative, they do have the talent to open up the game if they want to, as we saw them do against the Giants. With two good running backs in Martin and Blount and some serious talent at wide receiver with Jackson and Williams, I don't see Washington keeping up, especially against a good pass rush from the Bucs.
Tomeboy58801:Sorry Saints fans I do not think you will get your first win of the season this week, I think the Packers will have something to prove this week.
Topher:These are two teams living on hype. Neither has looked like their old selves and both quarterbacks, while being good, haven't been nearly as good as their names suggest. The biggest thing here is that the Packers have a very good defense whereas the Saints have a sieve they call a defense. Look for Brees to struggle and Rodgers to look like his old self as he tries to redeem himself.
Tomeboy58801: Vick has like 9 turovers in 3 games and the Giants defensive line have to be pumped to see Vick this week. After this game is over there may be a real QB controversary in Philedelphia.
Topher:The Giants are the better team, and if this was any other week, I'd take the Eagles, but at home, fighting for his job (at least according to the Philly media) Andy Reid knows how to prepare a game plan. When Reid sets his mind to something, he usually accomplishes it, and with a QB that needs motivation and a defense that needs to get it's head on straight, Reid will send a message with this game, don't forget the Eagles.
Tomeboy58801: I think the offensive line for the Bears should step aside and let Cutler get slammed to the ground a few times, for calling them out last week during the game.
Topher:This largely depends on if Matt Forte plays, but if he does, the Bears will just stomp the Cowboys. While the Cowboys are easily among the most talented teams in the league, they are terribly coached, and that is what is holding them back. The Bears have a fantastic defense, again, and are healthy on offense, for once. I don't trust Cutler, but with Matt Forte at running back, it's a safe bet.
What Denver Must Do to Win
Tomeboy58801: I think the Broncos will get a win this week. They must shut down Darren Mcfadden, if they do that they will win the game. He is the only person on that offense that scares me. When we are on offense we have got keep the Raiders front four out of our backfield, they have some good players on that line, but I think we can handle them. Its Raider week and I am Raider Hater, so lets get it done........GO Broncos!!
Topher: They need to run the ball, and even if it's not successful, keep doing it. It's fine to be creative and use unexpected play calling, but if the Broncos become one dimensional, the Raiders have the talent on defense to just smother Manning. The Broncos defense will have to be careful since it will be tough not to focus on just one aspect of the Raiders offense, so expect the Raiders to run it right at the weaknesses in this front seven, Elvis Dumervil and Keith Brooking. Brooking is filling in for Mays, but lacks Mays' speed and physicality and while Doom can rush the passer, he isn't really a quality run stopper. Hopefully the that side of the line can hold up in the nickel defense, and if it can, McFadden can be contained and the game shouldn't be too difficult.
Good Luck to both of our Contestants.