There was no shortage of crazy upsets and bizarre endings in NFL games this week, capped by an incredibly controversial finish in Seattle, as the Seahawks beat the Packers 14-12. Week three turned out to be the zaniest and most unpredictable of all so far, but as always, there’s something we can learn from this mess as bettors moving forward into week four. We definitely saw what teams are made of and more importantly, what teams are capable of. Here are the highlights (and lowlights) of week three in case you missed it and what to look in the upset category this week.
Upsets, Upsets and more Upsets
The Saints, the 49ers, the Packers, the Lions, the Eagles and the Steelers; what do all these teams have in common? They were favorites in week three, who lost in upsetting fashion and who probably upset many bettors this weekend.
Although the Saints were 0-2, they were nine point favorites against the 0-2 Chiefs at home, but after blowing an 11 point lead in the fourth quarter, the Saints ended up in overtime and lost on a Ryan Succop field goal 27-24.
Many called the 49ers the NFL’s best team after week two, following impressive wins over Green Bay and Detroit, but a 24-13 loss to Minnesota on Sunday will likely drop them down the power rankings and in standings.
The Packers, the rest of the NFL and basically the entire sports world were stunned at what happened to Green Bay in a 14-12 loss to the Seahawks. We’ll get to this one more a bit later.
The Lions fell in overtime as well and gave up 44 points in a 44-41 loss to the previously winless Titans. A field goal decided the game in OT, and the replacement referees helped the Titans with an egregious error, enforcing a penalty from the wrong spot, which gave the Titans better field position and a shorter distance for the game-winning kick. It wasn’t the only costly ref mishap at the end of a game this week, but again, we’ll touch on that in a bit.
Then the Cardinals wiped the field-turf with the Eagles 27-6. Who knew the Cards would be 3-0? Answer: Nobody except hopeful, optimistic Cardinal fans and there weren’t many of those before the start of the 2012 season.
Like the Saints, the Steelers also suffered a fourth quarter meltdown against a 0-2 team; as the Raiders rallied from 10 down to win 34-31. Sebastian Janikowski knocked the 43-yard game-winning field goal through the posts as time expired in Oakland.
Seahawks “Win” Against Packers
Back to the Monday Night game that had everyone buzzing. The Seahawks benefited most from the referee mistakes that took place this weekend and the Packers suffered the most.
Down 12-7, Seattle was facing fourth down with eight seconds remaining from the Packer 24-yard line. Russell Wilson heaved up a hail-mary pass toward the endzone into a mass of Green Bay defenders. Seattle receiver Golden Tate was also there and at first appeared to come down with the game winning catch and M.D. Jennings, a Green Bay defender also held on to the ball. After some obvious indecision by officials, the play was ruled a TD.
After the replay however, it was clear that it was Jennings who possessed the ball first and that the play would be ruled an interception, resulting in a Packers victory. Tate grabbed onto it after Jennings had already pulled it to his chest. The play was then reviewed and amazingly upheld as a Seattle touchdown.
Green Bay players stormed off the field, initially refusing to participate in the mandatory extra-point, but later returned, if not as the most heated team anyone had ever seen.
We’ll see what the league does, if anything, about these replacement refs and we’ll see if the Packers can put this one behind them as they prepare for New Orleans next week.
Upsets to Look for Next Week
Saints at Packers– And that’s the first game we should look at as an upset alert. Already 1-2, the emotional Packers could easily get more off track with a loss to New Orleans. Even though the Saints are 0-3, we know they talent they possess with Drew Brees and a bevy of great receivers. Don’t be surprised if the Saints win this one in upsetting fashion over the distraught Packers.
Titans at Texans– We certainly saw what the Titans can do on offensive after their 44 point explosion against the Lions. The Texans are 3-0 and are at home, but they could be the next team to go down. Nobody is safe in the NFL and it looks like the Titans are hot. Even still, look for a fairly large spread in favor of the Texans this week and look to take advantage of it by taking the Titans to cover.
Dolphins at Cardinals– I never thought I would be saying this, but the Fins will likely be the underdog in their game against the Cards. However, the Cards have scraped by in two of their wins and frankly, have gotten lucky. Look for their luck to run out and for the Dolphins to restore order this week on the road.