- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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A 4-0 record for NFC West teams in Week 2 nearly matched up with my seemingly optimistic predictions.
The Arizona Cardinals' victory at New England came as the lone revelation here in the land of conquering heroes. Having picked against the Cardinals twice and paid for it, it's time to give them their proper due.
Let's dive right into Week 3:
San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m. ET: I'm dismissing the letdown factor simply because accomplished defensive players should relish the opportunity to face Adrian Peterson, one of the great backs of his generation. Justin Smith, NaVorro Bowman, Patrick Willis and Dashon Goldson should be on notice. So should Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder. Sando's best guess: 49ers 24, Vikings 9.
St. Louis Rams at Chicago Bears, 1: The Rams aren't supposed to win at Chicago because ... because why again? Oh, because they're not very good? Let's see, they led at Detroit in the final seconds, and they defeated 1-0 Washington. I'll trust Sam Bradford over Jay Cutler while manually overriding the alarm bells going off as I make this pick. Sando's best guess: Rams 19, Bears 17.
Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals, 4:05: Both teams appear fantastic on defense. The Eagles have been much more careless with the football. That could cost them in this matchup. The Cardinals' Ryan Williams has lost two fumbles on 18 carries, a concern. He lost only two on 403 carries at Virginia Tech, according to ESPN Stats & Information. No more, young man. Might this be the week we hear from Williams and the Cardinals' ground game? Sando's best guess: Cardinals 20, Eagles 17.
Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks, Monday, 8:20: Pass protection against the Packers' blitzes should concern the Seahawks. The offense had trouble against Arizona's pressure schemes. Seattle must run the ball and I don't think that will be a problem. Besides, there is no turning back at this point. I will settle for nothing less than another 4-0 week from the West. Sando's best guess: Seahawks 27, Packers 20.