We went 1-2 with our Week 3 NFL upset calls, correctly calling the Cincinnati Bengals +140 over the Redskins. We nearly went 2-1, but the Dolphins missed a makeable field goal in overtime and went on to lose 23-20 to the Jets. We are looking for much bigger things in Week 4.
UPSET #1: New York Jets (+4) +185 over San Francisco 49ers – While we fully understand that the 49ers figure to bounce back after uncharacteristically committing three turnovers in a shocking 24-13 loss at Minnesota, the Vikings may have found an Achilles Heel in the daunting San Francisco defense with their swing passing game, something that the Jets may try to emulate. Three Minnesota running backs and tight end Kyle Rudolph combined for over 100 receiving yards, and although Percy Harvin is officially a wide receiver, he was also lined up in the backfield while garnering some of his 89 receiving yards.
Now we are not the biggest fans of Tim Tebow, but the Jets should use him more here after watching Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder run for 33 yards on seven carries. Yes the Jets lost Darrelle Revis for the season, but LaRon Landry stepped up last week by returning an interception for a touchdown, and we still expect this to be a low scoring affair, giving the +185 even more value.
UPSET #2: Miami Dolphins (+6) +235 over Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals are the talk of the football world right now, but for that very reason they are starting to become overvalued. Yes, the Arizona defense has been great, but Miami has not been chopped liver on that side of the ball either. Miami ranks third in the NFL in rushing defense and is allowing a minuscule 2.4 yards per rush. After shutting down Arian Foster and Darren McFadden the first two weeks, the Dolphins held the Jets to 88 rushing yards on 33 carries last week (2.7 YPA) in a game Miami should have won, and they should have no trouble containing the mediocre Arizona running backs here.
That means that the Cardinals would need to get something out of quarterback Kevin Kolb, who frankly has done little more than just manage the offense ever since he directed the game-winning drive vs. the Seattle Seahawks back on opening week. As long as Ryan Tannehill protects the football, Miami has a great shot at an upset.
UPSET #3: Washington Redskins (+3) +120 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers - The Redskins are shorthanded on defense right now with no fewer than five regulars out, including Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker being lost for the season, seriously crippling their pass rush. That was a key reason why we took the Bengals to upset Washington last week. In this case however, does Tampa Bay have the firepower to take advantage? The Bucs were disgusting offensively vs. the Dallas Cowboys last week managing a putrid 166 total yards for the game, ultimately dropping them to dead last in the NFL in total offense averaging only 243.7 yards per game.
Now the defense has defended the run well this year, but the Tampa Bay pass defense ranks dead last allowing 353.3 passing yards per game. Look for Robert Griffin III to take advantage as the Skins outscore the Bucs here.