An Absoloot Inspiration

If you love Hip Hop, R&B or just flat out great music, then you should have Absoloot's songs in your CD case!  When I first heard of "Absoloot" in the music business, I truly was amazed.  I remember thinking to myself "Wow, rap can be great without the cursing, gun blazing, gangster style that I've been used to listening to since I was 12 years old."  Absoloot absolutely nails it when it comes to great lyrics that invoke a positive message to people of all ages but especially to our youngsters growing up in this crazy place we call earth.

Absoloot has been a hit since he first started spitting lyrics years ago because of the message he was looking to promote from within.  He's since got a label with "As I Am Records" partnered up with Pepsi as a sponsor and developed many incredible relationships with other music artists, pro athletes and celebrities.  He is currently working with 99 Jams which is the Hip Hop station down here in South Florida.  Absoloot has been on a mission not only where he resides in South Florida, but all over the world where people can hear his music which speaks words of wisdom and conveys a positive influence to our youth.

One of his main messages has been about Anti-Bullying and not only created a song around that belief but also a comic book of sorts which has professional drawings and illustrations that goes along with the lyrics to the song.  It's called "Keep Dreaming" and will be out shortly.
Absoloot did the same thing with another one of his many hit tracks in "American Soldier."  You can hear all his songs in the link listed below.  This man is one of the few artists who truly means what he says and it's not a negative aspiration.

I've seen it up close and personal as he has recently been performing at high schools around his community with other artists on the "I Am Respect Tour" that is promoted by former NBA star and current spokesman Keyon Dooling.  They aren't doing this for money!  Keyon and Absoloot have teamed up to speak to our kids and deliver a message that can be nothing but positive.  Most people are out there trying to make a buck by any means possible and I don't knock that.  We all have to survive.  However Absoloot has given countless hours of his time to be able to travel from school to school and let these kids know that they don't have to fight, rob, cheat, steal or kill to get what they want out of life.  Keyon speaks at these events and talks about how he was sexual abused as a child.  Did that stop him from playing 12+ years in the NBA?  Nope!  If anything it inspired him!

Absoloot sees and hears about these kind of things all the time and spends his time writing songs about how to improve the lives of our kids.  You don't believe me?!  Well just listen to any of his songs and I challenge you to find the "F" word on any track.  Absoloot doesn't need to rap about getting high, getting gangsta, getting girls or getting jail time.  No, he avoids that through inspirational rhymes.  Not to mention the beats are amazing as well.  You can listen to his music here https://www.reverbnation.com/absoloot for free and join the other 70,000 plus followers he has on Twitter @Absoloot.  I wouldn't write this article if I didn't feel it needed to be written.  The world is a better place because of people like Absoloot and Keyon Dooling.
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"I Am Respect Tour" For Youth Awareness

We see affluent people or those in the spotlight do good, bad and ugly things every day.  It's the nature of life.  Some millionaires or even billionaires can be the most greedy and cheap people you will ever meet.  Maybe that's why they stay rich!  But are they happy?  Do they ever give back to the community and make others feel happy?  You see money can't buy happiness no matter how many 0's and commas your bank account has.  If you have it in your heart to want to help others and speak to our youth to try and ensure our children's future is better than we can ever dream, then that's something money can't buy.

Former NBA player and spokesman around the league, Keyon Dooling doesn't need his bank account to raise awareness for youth and help them grow from young boys and girls to respectable men and women in the future.  That's what the "I Am Respect Tour" is all about.


The mission of the "Respect Foundation" which was founded by Keyon and his wife Natosha in 2012 is"to provide support, resources, and information to help ensure the safety of children regardless of age, race or sex."  The idea behind this heart felt beautiful event was actually sparked by a terrible past.

You see Keyon Dooling was sexually abused as a child.  He is not afraid to speak about his unfortunate past because he believes by doing so he can raise awareness to this subject and any other kind of abuse a child may be under.  Keyon has hosted and spoke at several events regarding this matter.  I have attended them personally and have got to know the former NBA star in recent years and I can tell you that without a doubt, everything he is doing is for the benefit of others.  Keyon didn't have to create a foundation for youth and he certainly doesn't have to tour various cities around the world to make a buck.  He is a true inspiration and that is evident when you meet the man and see that wide smile across his face as he continues to be an ambassador for good will.

Click the link to learn more about this event and others in the future but especially about the book "What's Driving You?" presented by Keyon Dooling and is available on eBook and as a soundtrack.  Don't miss out!  http://shop.whatsdrivingyou.net/
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Chip Fit for Kap Back at Quarterback

San Francisco 49ers fans began to remember the old days when Jim Harbaugh came in to the Bay Area and resurrected this once great franchise back from the depths of the league to Super Bowl contenders.  That era was short lived after 4 years with the former quarterback who helped turn Colin Kaepernick into an NFL superstar.  With Harbaugh gone and a 1 year failed reclamation project in Jim Tomsula, the 49ers went searching for the next coach to try and restore this team back to greatness.  So naturally they hired.....Chip Kelly?

Most pro football personnel and media members had written off Chip Kelly as an NFL head coach and assumed that he and his high powered offense would get an offer from a big time University and become their new head coach.  Yet it appears CEO Jed York and his general manager Trent Baalke see something in coach Kelly and want to give him a shot.  The question is; is Chip a good fit for Kaepernick?

I highly doubt the 49ers will select a quarterback in the first round of the draft coming up in late April despite having the #7 pick overall.  Quite frankly, none of them appear to be worthy of such a high draft pick yet some suspect San Francisco will be looking for a new young quarterback to take the reigns in the Bay.  We have seen so many rookie QB's come into the league and perform at a high level immediately, especially over the past 4 - 5 seasons.  So maybe the Niners go that route.  But they have other holes to fill and we've seen Kaepernick perform at an elite level for a few years.  Yes, he has regressed and that could be due to coaching, personnel changes, a shift in offensive strategy and a variety of other things.  But we have seen him succeed and he's only 28 years old which means he has plenty of time and room for growth.  This seems to be one of the big reasons why the 49ers hired Chip Kelly.

We know Kelly likes to run a fast paced, high tempo, move the ball down the field quickly type of offense.  If you remember when Greg Roman was the O.C. in San Francisco that that's exactly what they did and they did it using the "Pistol" formation which is what Kelly revolves his entire offense around.  It didn't work well with the Philadelphia Eagles because he didn't have a mobile quarterback like Kaepernick who actually poses a threat to run the ball out of the Pistol using the "Read Option."  No defense feared Sam Bradford running the ball so the Eagles were never able to develop a steady rushing attack.  If Carlos Hyde can get healthy and add another RB to spell him and make plays then we can see the 49ers look like they did 2 years ago.

On top of what they have now, the organization has over $40 million to play with in free agency to possibly sign some big time players.  They need help on the offensive line, defensive line and it couldn't hurt to get a top level receiver along with a 3rd down type of back.  They can make good with their first pick by taking a top tier offensive lineman to help out what will be a fast paced, athletic offense that will need to block a bunch of defensive stacked boxes since Kaepernick hasn't proved yet that he can be a successful pocket passer.

But in Chip Kelly's offense, much like when Greg Roman was around, he doesn't have to be a great pocket passer.  It worked before and it can work again!  They will simplify the offense and make it user friendly for Kap and his crew.  Don't be shocked to see Colin Kaepernick return to form in the 2016 season.
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Super Bowl 50: NFL Playoff Predictions

It's playoff time!  We watch 17 weeks of hard hitting, high flying, head smashing football to get from 32 teams to 12 teams in the post season tournament.  The regular season has flown by once again as the final week gave us excitement, nail biting nerves and head scratching moments as we watch our teams make one final push on the field for a playoff spot or post season positioning in hopes of getting home field advantage.  Most fans are disappointed as only 12 teams make the dance and the other 20 NFL teams and their fans prepare for the draft.

The NFL is a tricky league and the only guarantee going into each season is that the New England Patriots will make the playoffs.  This year like any other in this league, was full of surprises including Andrew Luck's absence taking the Colts out of the playoffs for only the third time since Peyton Manning became their QB in 1998.  Kirk Cousins made the Redskins organization look smart for a change as RGIII was benched in favor of the quarterback who was drafted behind the Heisman Trophy winner from 4 years ago.

Sticking with quarterbacks, who would have thought Ryan Fitzpatrick could lead the Jets to the brink of a post season berth?  Andy Dalton was playing at an MVP level until he busted up his thumb on his throwing hand.  Now A.J. McCarron falls under the pressure of getting the Bengals their first playoff victory since 1990.  Big Ben Roethlisberger is in pretty good shape right now and will be the best quarterback playing in the Wild Card Round starting this weekend.  Yes even over Aaron Rodgers who isn't playing his best football.  Quite frankly, his counterpart on Sunday afternoon Kirk Cousins has been playing better than the reigning MVP in Mr. Rodgers.

Alex Smith continues to go under the radar as a solid QB and maintains that "Game Manager" status.  Smith rarely turns over the ball and that will be key in their match up with the Houston Texans who have made the playoffs despite the quarterback carousel under Bill O'Brien.  If Brian Hoyer is healthy then he'll get the start.  If not then it will be Brandon Weeden under center Saturday afternoon in Houston.  Let's just say we shouldn't expect many points scored in this game between Weeden and two stingy defenses.  Take the under!!!

I believe the Seahawks at Vikings could be the best game in the Wild Card Round.  The one thing that can inhibit this from happening takes place even before kickoff and that's the weather.  Temperatures are expected to feel sub zero in Minnesota on Sunday and some players simply don't play as well in freezing temperatures.  In a passing league these teams will likely heavily rely on their stud running backs in Adrian Peterson and Marshawn Lynch who could be back after suffering a week 11 injury to his abdomen.  His back up Thomas Rawls was filling in beautifully until he went down for the remainder of the year due to a fractured ankle  If Lynch can't play then it will be up to Christine Michael.  If you're saying to yourself right now "Who?"Don't worry, you're not alone!

It's prediction time!  The usual suspects are around like Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton and even Alex Smith but their surrounding talent is suspect as injuries accrued and players who seem to be underachieving.

Honestly the only quarterback in the playoffs right now that is good enough to lead a team to the Super Bowl and has a great supporting cast is Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals.  In my opinion, Arizona has the best all around team from offense, to defense to special teams.  And you can include a former coach of the year in Bruce Arians who may take home that honor again in 2015.  The Cardinals have the #2 seed in the NFC and I believe they are more than capable of traveling to Carolina and beating the 15 - 1 Panthers.  Or maybe not.............

2015 NFL Post Season Picks

AFC: 

Wild Card
#5 Kansas City 31 - #4 Houston Texans 13
#6 Pittsburgh Steelers 23 - #3 Cincinnati Bengals 20

Divisional Round
#5 Kansas City Chiefs 27 - #2 New England Patriots 18
#1 Denver Broncos 24 - #6 Pittsburgh Steelers 21

Conference Championship
#1 Denver Broncos 27 - Kansas City Chiefs 17

NFC:

Wild Card
#6 Seattle Seahawks 23 - #3 Minnesota Vikings 10
#4 Washington Redskins 31 - #5 Green Bay Packers 23

Divisional Round
#6 Seattle Seahawks 31 - #1 Carolina Panthers 28
#2 Arizona Cardinals 38 - #4 Washington Redskins 17

Conference Championship
#2 Arizona Cardinals 25 - #6 Seattle Seahawks 19

Super Bowl
Arizona Cardinals 20 - Denver Broncos 17

The Arizona Cardinals wins their first Super Bowl in franchise history:
MVP  - Larry Fitzgerald (119 yards rec, TD)
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NFL Week 9: Power 32

Power 32 has been my segment of the NFL power rankings during the season.  I feel now is an appropriate time to reveal the first edition of "Power 32" as we have reached the midway point of the 2015 season.  Needless to say at this time every year we have teams we expected to be ranked higher and are surprised at how well some of the underdogs are doing halfway through the season.

If I compared my pre-season rankings to my week 9 power rankings, well let's say it doesn't look the same.  There are the obvious teams you know are going to be at or near the top as long as their quarterback stays healthy.  Then you have teams you thought would be on the rise but but have already risen and could be playoff bound.  Let's see what The Sports Prophet thinks about all 32 organizations up until now:

1. New England Patriots - At the ripe old age of 38, Tom Brady is playing as good as ever.  When Gronk is healthy the Pats are the toughest offense in the league to stop.  This season reminds me of the one after "Spygate" when New England went 18 - 1 and Brady broke all kinds of records.  Seems we have the same thing here after "Deflategate" where The Brady Bunch is out for blood.

2. Cincinnati Bengals - These are regular season rankings, not playoff rankings!  And right now the Bengals are playing great football on both sides of the line of scrimmage.  They've proven they can score a bunch of points on a good defense like when they racked up 36 against Kansas City.  They've proven they can shut down a top offense like the Steelers and have even been able to come back against the reigning two time NFC conference champs in the Seahawks when Cincy scored 17 in the 4th quarter comeback.  Let's see if their fortune turns for the better in 2015 and Andy Dalton can finally come through in a playoff game.

3. Denver Broncos - It's hard for me to put the Broncos at #3 but after what their defense did to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers I simply have no choice.  I never thought a team led by Peyton Manning would be winning despite his poor play in the first half.  It's mind boggling that the Broncos are undefeated but you have to give them credit.  If Peyton can improve, and that's basically all he can do after his horrific start, then Denver can beat anyone, anywhere...

4. Green Bay Packers - Speaking of the devil, just because they got thumped at Mile High last weekend doesn't mean the Packers aren't one of, if not the best team in the NFC.  The defense has played much better than expected and Rodgers is still perhaps the best player in the entire league.  They may not be undefeated anymore but that won't matter if they can grab home field advantage in the post season.

5. Carolina Panthers - Many would argue that Carolina should be ranked ahead of Green Bay.  Not in my opinion.  I give the Panthers great respect for beating Seattle but so did the Packers.  The Panthers defense is the reason why Carolina sits on top the NFC South with a perfect 7 - 0 record.  Oh yea and there's that Cam Newton guy who seems to put the offense on his back every game and has become an MVP candidate in the process.

6. Arizona Cardinals - You may have them ranked a bit higher but I'm not completely sold.  True they have a top 3 defense and an offense that has come alive since Carson Palmer came back.  Nobody was happier about his return than Larry Fitzgerald who has rejuvenated his career as well.  This team has talent all over the place and are a legit contender in the NFC.  They even have great Special Teams play!  Nobody is gonna want to play this team come the post season.

7.  Atlanta Falcons - This team started fast and will need to finish fast with the Panthers holding the lead in the division.  The Falcons at least seem Wild Card bound for the playoffs.  Matt Ryan to Julio Jones may be the best 1 -2 combo in the league.  Now they've added a legit running game with Devante Freeman and a defense that has woken up under the tutelage of new head coach Dan Quinn who masterminded those great Seahawks defenses over the past few years.

8. New York Jets - What?  Yup!  This defense is excellent!  Granted they just went on a west coast trip to Oakland and got crushed but we see that all the time when an east coast team goes west and vice verse.  Not to mention that the Raiders aren't your older brothers Raiders anymore.  Oakland is a legit team but so are the Jets.  Here's the problem though.....what's going to happen at quarterback?  If it's gonna be Geno Smith then I have no doubt that the Jets will be out of the top five by next Tuesday.

9. St. Louis Rams - Whoa look who cracked the top ten!  Letterman would be proud!  Why do I rank this team 9th overall?  Glad you asked!  Maybe you've seen this rookie named Todd Gurley.  They're already giving him the Rookie of the Year award.  However, Amari Cooper may have something to say about that.  Experts are already calling Gurley one of the best RB's in the NFL.  This makes Nick Foles job much easier and be able to get the ball in their other play-makers hands in Tavon Austin who reminds me of Percy Harvin.  We all know the defense can get to the QB and cause turnovers.  They have the old school combination of a tough run game and a solid defense.  That's a pretty sweet formula.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers - Rounding out my top 10 is the Pittsburgh Steelers.  They fell short in Big Ben's return vs. the Bengals last Sunday and even worse lost part of their 3 headed monster in LeVeon Bell, who many say is the best running back in the league.  I know DeAngelo Williams is no LeVeon Bell but Williams fit in very nicely in Bell's absence earlier this season.  The Steelers still have a top notch passing game between Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant.  Surprisingly the defense is playing better than expected and this team has plenty of experience.  I'm a big fan of Mike Tomlin and I believe he'll rally the troops for a playoff run.

Here's the remaining rankings:

11. Seattle Seahawks
12. New York Giants
13. Oakland Raiders
14. Minnesota Vikings
15. New Orleans Saints
16. Miami Dolphins
17. Buffalo Bills
18. Indianapolis Colts
19. Kansas City Chiefs
20. Philadelphia Eagles
21. Houston Texans
22. Dallas Cowboys
23. San Diego Chargers
24. Baltimore Ravens
25. Tampa Bay Bucs
26. Washington Redskins
27. San Francisco 49ers
28. Cleveland Browns
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Chicago Bears
31. Tennessee Titans
32. Detroit Lions
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Rugby Great Andy Goode Announces Retirement

Andy Goode has just announced his retirement after a plague of injuries has prevented him from continuing his professional rugby career.

Goode, who played for Wasps Rugby Football Club, ends his career with London Irish, having played seventeen tests for the England national team. It was announced in February that Goode would join London Irish at the end of the season on a one year contract, but sadly his spell at the club will end much sooner than expected, commenting, “they have a fantastic Training facility at Hazelwood and I wish them every success in the future under their new coaches and leadership”.

In a statement made by Goode, he said, "I'm really disappointed I can't continue my career at London Irish and I've really enjoyed my short period with them”. The news comes as Goode struggled to recover from persistent injuries, which he sought surgery to correct in the summer, but sadly full recovery was not made. At 35 Goode leaves a great mark on English rugby. Aside from being a professional rugby player, Andy Goode is available for public appearances, and brand opportunities through the London based MN2S, a celebrity talent booking agency. 

Reflecting on his professional career, he said, “I can honestly say I've loved playing for every team and I feel immensely proud to have achieved what I have at each club". In an emotional retirement announcement, he went on to say, “It’s with a heavy heart that I have to announce my retirement from rugby, after 17 years of playing the game I love, my mind is willing, my body, after two operations in the summer, unfortunately isn’t. Rugby has been unbelievable to me over my career and I’ve enjoyed some incredible highs and always tried to play, train, talk and live it with a smile on my face.

The first of a veritable plethora of accomplishments is the impressive feat of being the second highest scorer in rugby Premiership history. Goode’s seventeen year career first began with Leicester Tigers, where he made a major contribution to four successive Premiership titles and two European Cup triumphs, amassing 199 appearances between 1998 and 2008.

Goode won seventeen caps with the England national team, making his debut in 2005 in the Six Nations, where he scored against Italy. The former England no.10 appeared again in the 2009 Six Nations, scoring the opening try and sixteen points overall.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, after announcing his retirement, Goode reflected on his career, saying, “To represent England seventeen times is such an honour and something I'll look back on with pride,' said Goode. Winning the Premiership five times, the Heineken Cup twice and the Anglo Welsh Cup, were more than I could ever have wished for”.

As well as being a great rugby professional, Andy Goode is also a dedicated and established celebrity speaker, available for booking at corporate entertainment events or as a guest after dinner speaker. If you are interested in booking Andy, please contact one of MN2S’s experienced talent agents.
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NFL Week 3 Predictions

The picture is not yet painted as to which teams are the contenders and which are the pretenders.  Are the Jets, Panthers and Falcons early season flukes at (2 - 0)?  Can the Cowboys sustain their perfect record much longer without their two best players in Tony Romo and Dez Bryant?

How about a popular Super Bowl pick by many with the Colts and Seahawks both at (0 - 2) going into week 3!  Nobody saw this coming and if either were to fall to (0 - 3) then the season could end before October begins.  We're still waiting to see if Chip Kelly can get his offense moving forward in Philly.  The Eagles are off to a miserable start and the only upside is that their is no downside.  It can't get worse on the field for the Eagles so the arrow can only point up.

I think after a quarter of the season has past is a reasonable time to put out legit power rankings.  So I'll wait til after week 4 before The Sports Prophet reveals his "Power 32" weekly rankings.  For now, The Prophet must make his predictions.  As I stop writing in 3rd person, here are your winners for week 3 in the National Football League.

Raiders vs Browns (-4.5) - As of now the Browns are prone to turnovers and are forced to leave their defense on the field too much too often due to those turnovers and 3 & outs.  The Raiders have a young offense that has some pop between Derek Carr improving and weapons like Murray, Crabtree and rookie sensation Amari Cooper.  Oakland doesn't exactly have a top notch defense but they won't need it against a confused Cleveland offense.  Raiders 23 - Browns 14

Bengals vs Ravens (-1.5) - It's simple right!  The Ravens wings have been cut off to start the season win less and motionless while Cincinnati looks impressive on both sides of the ball and lead the AFC North at (2 - 0).  Well it's not so simple when it's a division game and one that has very early season implications as Baltimore seeks their first victory.  John Harbaugh is a heck of a coach and will not allow his team to lose at home and go (0 - 3).  He may need to bring in Ray Lewis for some emotional inspiration.  But look for Flacco to have a nice day throwing the ball and the defense taking advantage of Andy Dalton's mediocrity.  Ravens 26 - Bengals 23

Jaguars vs Patriots (-14) - This one is simple.  No strings attached in this match up.  It's basically the best team in football vs the worst.  Can the Patriots cover 14 points though?  Oh yea!  Remember after "Spy Gate" when the Patriots were accused of video taping opponents practices and other violations!  Yea well the next season New England went (18 - 0) until losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl, but Tom Brady and Bill Belichick went college style while piling up the points on their opponents by throwing the ball in the 4th quarter with 2 minutes left having a 35 point lead.  The organization was angry from top to bottom and I believe we have that same thing happening again.  The Patriots will blow out Jacksonville.  Patriots 49 - Jaguars 16

Bucs vs Texans (-4) - The Texans have quarterback problems and although they have amazing individual players on defense like J.J. Watt, they aren't a cohesive unit.  The team can't score, can't figure out who their QB is and until Arian Foster comes back healthy this team won't go anywhere.  I do like the Bucs this season.  People were premature about Tampa last year but this team is different.  And their QB situation is very stable.  No controversy here as Jameis Winston is showing early signs of promise and if you saw him play in college you know he gets better as the games and the season overall progress.  I'll put my money on the road team here because they are better coached and have many more weapons.  Bucs 18 - Texans 13

Steelers vs Rams (+1.5) - I don't like going against home dogs.  Especially those who have an excellent defense and sneaky good special teams.  Le'Veon Bell does return today for Pittsburgh and that's huge as he's one of the most dynamic players in football.  Pittsburgh wins games on offense with Big Ben, Bell and the amazing Antonio Brown.  This is one heck of a trio and they have other players to help them.  Their issue is defense.  No Dick LeBeau, no good!  The Rams are no offensive juggernaut but I see them making enough plays with guys like Tavon Austin and a healthier backfield coming through today as Tre Mason returns and Todd Gurley makes his NFL debut.  Rams 22 - Steelers 21

Eagles vs Jets (+2.5) - The odds on this game are very odd to say the least!  You have an undefeated home team in the Jets against a defeated road Eagles team that can't score going against one of the leagues top defense.  So what does Vegas know that we don't?  Is it that the Eagles have an offensive line that can pick up the Jets various blitzes?  Do the wise guys know that DeMarco Murray is going to have a 100 yard rushing game or somehow miraculously DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are back on the squad?!  If I were a betting man I may want to stay away from this game, but logic tells me that the team that's playing well with the home crowd behind them against a team that can't get out of their own way will reign victorious.  But take the points.  Jets 14 - Eagles 13

Colts vs Titans (+5) - While the Colts haven't found their groove yet, I do understand this line and it makes sense.  People believe the Colts offense can get it done and Andrew Luck will get back to normal.  Nobody knows what Tennessee is yet but they do show promise.  It's never a good thing to bet against a home underdog but if there is a game to do it then it's this one.  Look for Indy to take control sometime in the 2nd quarter and not look back.  Colts 45 - Titans 21

Chargers vs Vikings (-2) - This has potential to be one of the better match ups of the weekend.  To me it comes down to Adrian Peterson vs Phillip Rivers.  I expect Peterson to return to form and have a 100 yard rushing day with a TD or two.  If Rivers can control the football and use the game clock to his advantage then I believe San Diego can win this one because they can simply score quicker and easier given the weapons around Rivers.  Bridgewater is a good player with plenty of potential but he and the Vikings offense haven't found their identity yet.  Chargers 33 - Vikings 23

Falcons vs Cowboys (PICK) - This is a tough game to pick.  People immediately say Atlanta since they're a healthy (2 - 0) as opposed to the Cowboys who don't have the deadly combination of Romo and Dez.  I doubt Brandon Weedon can step in this week and out-duel Matt Ryan in the passing game.  If Dallas has any shot to win then they'll have to run for about 150 yards and control the game clock.  Expect Dan Quinn's defense to stack the box and apply pressure to the running game and Weedon in the pocket.  Falcons 27 - Cowboys 12

Saints vs Panthers (-3.5) - Without Drew Brees the Saints basically have no shot to go into Carolina against that tough Panthers defense and come out with a win.  Just not going to happen.  Honestly I'm not quite sure they'd win if they had Brees right now.  The Saints defense is miserable and Cam Newton is going to eat them alive.  If you need a fantasy QB this week and Cam is available then you better start him because he's gonna run, he's gonna throw and touchdowns will be plentiful.  Panthers 31 - Saints 6

49ers vs Cardinals (-6) - The Cardinals picked up where they left off before Carson Palmer went down for the season last year.  He's actually one of the top fantasy QB's in the NFL.  We all know the Cards defense is one of the best in the game but with their offense playing the way it is, you have to call Arizona legitimate contenders.  However, 6 points is too much against a 49er team that is very familiar with them and can match their toughness.  The Niners aren't whole yet as they are recovering from injuries, trades, retirements, players being released and a coaching change.  But they are good enough to keep this game close.  I see Arizona winning with a late field goal.  Cardinals 26 - 49ers 23

Bills vs Dolphins (-2.5) - This is a pretty even game considering the home team automatically gets 3 points on the betting line.  The Phins are guilty of playing to the level of their competition.  This explains the embarrassing loss to Jacksonville last week.  Buffalo is none too happy either as the Patriots embarrassed them in their own stadium.  Both teams are looking to come back strong after bad losses in week 2 but only one can prevail.  If the Bills get a pass rush on Tannehill then forget about it.  Buffalo will get defensive touchdowns all over the place.  The Dolphins only chance to win this game is to be able to run the ball successfully and keep the Bills defense guessing.  And when it comes down to it, Buffalo has the better D and more talent on offense although it's close.  This could be LeSean McCoy's breakout game if he's healthy enough.  I like the Bills to win outright.  Bills 24 - Dolphins 20

Bears vs Seahawks (-14) - That's a huge line and a scary one for an (0 - 2) team.  Oh yea the Bears haven't won yet either and they have looked awful.  Now Jay Cutler is down and Jimmy Clausen is up.  Nobody in Chicago is excited for the Bears.  Thank goodness for the Cubs.  My how things have changed.  Chicago's defense is absolutely pathetic and John Fox's presence hasn't helped one bit.  The two time defending NFC champs are angry and the Lord of the Seahawks is shedding tears in rainy Seattle.  Whether the field is wet or dry, it will be covered in the Bears blood because Kam Chancellor is back and he's looking to put the Legion of Boom on those Bears skilled players.  This game will be a complete blowout.  Don't bother watching.  Seahawks 38 - Bears 13

Broncos vs Lions (+2.5) - Detroit hasn't won yet.  They will tonight!  The Lions aren't that good but neither is Denver.  They got outplayed in both their games this season despite them being (2 - 0).  The Lions are (0 - 2) but they are better than that.  Stafford needs to get Golden Tate going and find a running game to compliment Megatron and others.  The Lions have the weapons but they aren't being used properly.  I believe they make those adjustments tonight.  I will say that it's going to be a tough task because the Broncos defense has stepped up and whenever Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are catching wobbling passes from Peyton Manning then they'll be in good shape.  Although if you read my pre-season predictions than you know I don't think highly of Denver.  They get a taste of their own medicine tonight.  Lions 31 - Broncos 28
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