Locks and Shocks: Week 3
Each week Dan Barber, Fergus Head, Reece Mowlem and Owen Turner pick one team who is a lock and certain to win their game and one team who will cause a shock and win their game despite being the underdog. Below are this week's picks.
Lock: STEELERS over Bears
The Steelers are only getting started this year and haven't had too much to do in the first couple of games, beating the Browns and a Bradford-less Vikings. I don't expect much to change in this game against a team that got shredded by the Buccaneers last week. The Steelers are my lock.
Shock: SAINTS over Panthers
I found it difficult to choose a shock this week, but I've eventually settled for the Saints getting their season back on track over the Panthers. There's been a lot of talk of late about the strength of the Panthers defence, but we're yet to see them compete against an actually decent offence - the 49ers and Bills are hardly lighting the league up this year. I'm calling for Drew Brees and Co to gradually slice through the Panthers defence and come away with a victory. With Cam Newton still struggling through an injury, and having lost Greg Olsen for an extended period of time, I can't see the Panthers putting up much of a fight on offence, even against a shoddy Saints defence.
Lock: RAIDERS over Redskins
Raiders continue their versatile offensive play against a very mediocre D.C. They show again in week 3 that they are up for the chase this year, with an extremely mature Derek Carr leading the way. A 24-9 win, sealed by Beast Mode running out the clock in the fourth and breaking 100 yards.
Shock: TITANS over Seahawks
Titans show up a Seahawks team that has stalled so far this year. Derrick Henry proves himself as the starting running back, taking more than 60% of the handoffs over the ageing Demarco Murray. Mariota proves himself as the real deal against a still strong Seahawks defence and the 'Hawks die an ugly death at the hands of some real smashmouth football.
Lock: EAGLES over Giants
My absolute confidence in the Eagles getting a win against the Giants all comes to down to one matchup; the Eagles defensive line against the Giants offensive line. Philly's front seven has been one of the best over the first two weeks of the season and fully expect them to wreak havoc against one of the worst O-Lines in the league. Add to this that Wentz and the offence also look to be in full flow, it should be a comfortable victory for Philadelphia.
Shock: JAGUARS over Ravens
The Jags have made Wembley their second home these past few years and despite a poor second half performance against the Titans last week, I'm tipping Jacksonville to bounce back and get a win in London.
Lock: PACKERS over Bengals
After the total 'shock' defeat for Green Bay in Atlanta, they will be looking to bounce back on home turf. The offense looked lost without Jordy Nelson (no comment on the fantasy outcomes due to that injury) but it's good to see he's back in full participation at practice. The Bengals on the other hand, they've been total garbage, sorry Ferg... Dalton looks baffled by everything he sees and the offense has been too predictable. Maybe the change of offensive coordinator will help but that will probably take time. Can't see a team that has been that bad in the first two games, both at home it's worth noting, beating this Green Bay squad on the road. Pack bounce back.
Shock: BEARS over Steelers
I'm 2-0 on my shock predictions, at least something I'm doing is going well! Forget all the technical c**p about being lower in one blokes opinion on NFL.com, we want a shock to make you say DAMN... Was gonna go for Jets over Dolphins here to ram home a point, but sometimes we can go too far. Supporting the Jets, ewww... Anyway I've gone for the Bears not for the Bears, but because of the Steelers (am going to town on your teams here guys, sorry). Every damn year we hear, 'the Steelers are going to challenge the Patriots', or 'this offense can't be stopped'. Never works out... This year they've managed to two wins against a Minnesota team at home without Sam Bradford, and scrape a win against a Browns team without... Well... It's the Browns so it doesn't matter if they had a full contingent anyway. Been unimpressed so far and the Bears, at home, who looked good against the Falcons a few weeks ago, may pull out the shock here. And I use shock correctly, not just as a rhyme.
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Mowlem is a sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).