Boys, the third week of the NFL schedule is in the books and we’ll take a look at what was expected and what just blew us away.

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Season Record: 5-4-2 (0 units) 

How did Swinger do in Week 3? 

We bounced back from a rough Week 2 to go 3-1 this past week. Unfortunately, our biggest play (3 units) was on the Bengals where we counted on the arm of newcomer Andy Dalton to continue his affinity for finding rookie A.J. Green in open space. The Niners were travelling across country, and I believed this to be a prime spot for Cincinnati to win by at least a field goal and put some cash in NFL bettors pockets. Unfortunately it was a listless offense that showed up for the Cats and they fell 13-8 in an early season snoozefest.

However, we got well with 2 unit plays on the Dolphins, Raiders and the Chiefs which add up to a grand total of +2.7 units, exactly what we were down going into this week. Therefore, my NFL picks have us sitting even and I have officially accomplished nothing! 

Are they really that good?

Midway through the 2nd quarter the Patriots were up 21-0 and that 7 point spread looked like another grave underestimation of the high octane, silky smooth Patriots offense. Even when the Bills put points on the board and closed to within 4 points in the 3rd quarter it was still a fait accompli in the minds of Pats backers and fans everywhere.

Ryan FitzpatrickBrady will do what Brady always does and that is win games and return home to his Brazilian Glamizon with the long legs and the killer bod. But something happened. The Bills, after mounting a spectacular comeback in Week 2 to defeat the Raiders, decided it was so much fun last week that they’d do it all over again this week.

In one of the most stunning defeats in the Belichick era, the Bills picked off Brady four times and won the game with a field goal as time drained off the clock. The Buffalo Bills… AFC East division champions? I doubt it, but playoff contenders…absolutely!

Another perennial cellar dweller flexing their muscles is the upstart Detroit Lions. Down twenty points at the half and in hostile territory, someone alerted them to the fact that it was indeed Sunday and time to play football. Top draft picks, Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson, roared back and put the Lions on the board.

Kicker Jason Hanson was a perfect 4/4 with 2 extra points to push the Lions to a 26-23 victory and 3-0 to start the season for the first time since 1980. Even the most casual fan knew the Lions would be better this year, but this much better? Ok, so of course you knew but not the rest of us. 

Drew Brees is heavenly for the Saints

Forget about those two picks Drew Brees threw earlier in the game, when it counted in the 4th quarter the guy was money. He tossed three touchdown strikes to three different receivers and led a Saints’ comeback to secure a 40-33 victory over the Texans and sent his adoring fans home happy. Without the stellar effort of a cool Brees, the Saints would have been marching to Jacsonville next week with a 1-2 record. Instead they are 2-1 and poised for another run at the NFC South crown.

It ain’t no fantasy, Vick’s hurt

Fantasy football geeks, I’m talking to you because I’m one of them and I have Vick on virtually all of my fantasy football rosters. He has a broken bone in his non-throwing hand according to reports and his status is questionable for next week but what’s not questionable is his ability to last an entire season without injury.

While that may be a problem for FFL owners who have staked their season on Vick running and tossing for touchdowns, it is cataclysmic for the Eagles and their fans. That’s the price the Eagles knew they would have to pay by dealing Kevin Kolb in the offseason. Unless backup Vince Young experiences a renaissance to his Heisman Trophy caliber days at Texas, Philly is in big trouble. 

The World Champs keep rolling

Green Bay Packers Clay MatthewsAaron Rodgers and the Packers do exactly what Al Davis exhorted his Raiders to do during their halcyon days so many years ago. Just win, baby. Rodgers and his crew went into Soldier Field and defeated the Bears and covered the number. They are now 3-0 and the best team in football. It’s still too early to proclaim a Super Bowl repeat but it’s hard to consider the big game being played in February without the Pack as the NFC entry. 

Survival of the fittest

If you’re in a Survivor Pool chances are you had the Patriots, Chargers or the Steelers to simply survive. Well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad as Meatloaf reminds us. As previously discussed, Tom Terrific and the Patriots melted down like a Popsicle in a steam bath which could not have been a more agonizing way to get bounced from contention.

However, if you had the Chargers or the Steelers, you had to grind your teeth until both heavy favorites won by a field goal. Now if you listened to me, you would have had the Chiefs +14 ½ and not a care in the world as they stood strong against San Diego but ultimately bowed 20-17. 

Bringing up the rear

Sure the Seahawks got well and etched their first victory on the 2011 slate but who’d they beat, the Cardinals? Well, a win is a win but they’re still lousy and we now know the Cards are even worse. Though the Dolphins, Chiefs and Colts all played valiantly they nonetheless greet the new week 0-3.

But how about those Rams? They’ve gotten blown out in all three contests this year and have allowed a league worst 174.3 yards on the ground using the Ole’ school of tackling. Perhaps they should switch names with their hockey team and call themselves the Blues because that’s exactly what their fans are in for this season.

Feel free to join the discussion in my thread in the NFL Handicapping forum.