By Lance Tominaga, ESPN Honolulu Web Editor.Now that’s more like it. After going 1-5 on my Week 1 “Pick6” selections, I managed to rebound just a bit on Sunday, going 4-2. Things only get better from here, as we’re already starting to see which NFL teams are looking like bona fide playoff contenders and which ones are already anticipating their slots in next year’s Draft.
♦ CHICAGO @ CLEVELAND: With Andy Dalton sidelined with a bruised knee, rookie Justin Fields has been pressed into action sooner than the Bears’ coaches would have liked. Fields struggled on Sunday against Cincinnati, but that was to be expected. He’ll have all week to prepare for the Browns, who feature bookend sack specialists Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clooney. Uh oh. Pick: BROWNS
♦ L.A. CHARGERS @ KANSAS CITY: The AFC West Division rivals both lost winnable games on Sunday – the Chargers to the Cowboys, the Chiefs to the Ravens. I’ve become a big believer in Justin Herbert, who has outshined his fellow second-year QBs Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa. But they’re playing the wrong team at the wrong time. Still smarting from Sunday’s loss, KC will be out for blood. Pick: CHIEFS
♦ ARIZONA @ JACKSONVILLE: The Cardinals were my pick as the league’s surprise team of 2021, and so far they haven’t disappointed. Kyle Murray continues to blossom as a possible MVP candidate, and Arizona’s defense is improving. As for Jacksonville, it’s going to be a long season. If I’m a Jags fan, I’m just hoping that rookie QB Trevor Lawrence goes through the season unscathed. Pick: CARDINALS
♦ TAMPA BAY @ L.A. RAMS: This should be the most intriguing game of Week 3. The Rams still boast one of the NFL’s top defenses, while the Tampa Bay offense is averaging just a hair under 40 points per outing. Matthew Stafford has already proven himself to be an upgrade over Jared Geoff – he was clutch this past Sunday against the Colts – but right now Tom Brady and the Bucs are running on all cylinders. Pick: BUCCANEERS
♦ SEATTLE @ MINNESOTA: Both the Vikings and Seahawks suffered narrow losses on Sunday – Seattle fell to Tennessee in OT while the Vikings lost a thriller to Arizona. Seattle is 0-2 and already two games behind the Rams, Cardinals and 49ers. If receiver DK Metcalf can get untracked – he has inexplicably committed five penalties in the two games – I don’t see the Seahawks letting this one slip away. Pick: SEAHAWKS
♦ GREEN BAY @ SAN FRANCISCO: After his dismal performance in Week 1, Aaron Rodgers responded to his critics with a 4-TD performance this past Monday. Sure, it was against the Lions, but #12 showed that he’s still got plenty of game left in his 37-year-old body. The 49ers, however, are not the Lions, and Jimmy G is playing well enough to keep promising rookie Trey Lance on the bench. Pick: 49ERS
2021 Record: 5-7 (.416)