Week 3 is here and the Indianapolis Colts will be tasked with very real expectations of pulling out their first victory of the season as they host the Cleveland Browns Sunday in Lucas Oils Stadium. Jacoby Brissett looked serviceable in Week 2 and he, too, is expected to show some signs of development with a full week of practice as the unquestioned starter against the winless Browns.
The Colts secondary will, again, be short a couple of bodies and now the backfield will be without Marlon Mack as well. Similarly, the Browns will be sitting some of their better athletes on the defensive side of the ball and will be starting rookie Deshone Kizer who has struggled and is getting pressured and sacked at a high rate in the first two weeks of the season.
Elsewhere around the league we have our first London game bright and early in the morning. In the typical early games (1 ET) we have a matchup between Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford, a battle between Cam Newton and Drew Brees and a disappointing New York Giants squad trying to put some awful games behind them against the Carson Wentz-led Philadelphia Eagles who are looking to assist Eli Manning in digging their grave.
The late afternoon games offer a little more intrigue with the Tennessee Titans hosting the Seattle Seahawks – who the Colts travel to play next week – and Phillip Rivers trying to beat the odds against the Kansas City Chiefs to tighten up the AFC West before it gets out of hand for the Chargers. The Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins are the nightcap, and for my money (Monopoly money that is) will be a much closer game than most are giving the Redskins credit for. Monday finishes with the Cowboys and Cardinals and, that one, I don’t expect to be a great game if we’re being honest.
Anyhow, let’s get to our Stampede Blue staff picks for this week. This week the following contributors voted on each game: Brett Mock, Matt Danely, Jake Arthur, Chris Blystone, Andrew Aziz, Stephen Reed, Chris Shepherd, Jared Malott and Mark Lowry. Again, our group voted ‘winners’ which have been bolded, with the vote counts in parenthesis and unanimous predictions were noted by an asterisk (*).
Thus far the staff’s numbers are: Faraz Majid – 19/29 | Brett Mock – 19/29 | Chris Blystone – 19/29 | Matt Danely – 18/29 | Andrew Aziz – 18/29 | Jake Arthur – 17/29 | Jared Malott – 17/29 | Stephen Reed – 14/29 | Chris Shepherd – 11/15 | Josh Hudgens – 8/14
As a group in Week 2 the staff went 11-4, and will be trying to improve upon that number this week. You know, choppin’ wood.
Sunday @ 9:30 am ET (London)
Ravens* Vs Jaguars
Sunday @ 1:00 ET
Steelers* @ Bears
Buccaneers* @ Vikings
Dolphins* @ Jets
Falcons (6) @ Lions | Contrarians: Matt Danely, Chris Blystone, Chris Shepherd
Broncos* @ Bills
Saints @ Panthers (5) | Contrarians: Mark Lowry, Jared Malott, Blystone, Shepherd
Browns @ Colts (8) | Contrarian: Andrew Aziz
Texans @ Patriots*
Giants @ Eagles (6) | Contrarians: Brett Mock, Jake Arthur, Lowry
Sunday @ 4:05 ET
Seahawks @ Titans (5) | Contrarians: Stephen Reed, Arthur, Mock, Malott
Sunday @ 4:25 ET
Bengals @ Packers*
Chiefs* @ Chargers
Sunday @ 8:30 ET
Raiders* @ Redskins
Monday @ 8:30 ET
Cowboys* @ Cardinals
Please share your thoughts in the comments to let us know what your picks are for these Week 2 matchups.