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Mike Handzelek's NFL Week 3 Analysis/Review/Notes/Power Rankings


By: Point Shaver Handzelek
Date: Sep 28, 2022
   
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Sunday, September 25, 2022 Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: +6/-115 Indianapolis Colts Rating: 9* Mike's NFL Public Missed Perception Play (WIN) Yep, it appears that Kansas City has another cakewalk this week when they take on winless Indianapolis. As you've seen thus far, the first few weeks proceed in a very unusual way where most teams are still experimenting to find the chemistries. The most important chemistries on the Colts' side has to be the anticipated returns of WR's Michael Pittman & Alec Pierce as well as DT DeForest Buckner to the defensive interior. When you look @ the QB stats, this game seems like there's no contest with KC's Patrick Mahomes completing 73% with a perfect 7/0 TD/INT ratio & good for an off-the-charts 127.9 QB rating. He's relied heavily on 3 playmakers like TE Travis Kelce (13 catches for 172 yards), WR Ju Ju Smith-Schuster (9 receptions good for 89 yards) & RB Clyde Edwards-Hilaire (15 rushes, 116 yards with 7 catches for 76 more yards). It looks like no match up against Indy's Matt Ryan whose completed just 60% with a horrible 1/4 TD/INT ratio & 63.9 QB rating. The underlying factor nobody is considering is the KC defense has pretty much been in a base nickel alignment the first few weeks as Arizona (63%) & the L.A. Chargers (67%) passed the ball around for about a 65% average. The fact remains Steve Spagnuolo's "D" hasn't played smash-mouth football yet & are now up against a very desperate team that now has 2 excellent RB's in Jonathan Taylor (215 rushing yards) & Nyheim Hines (team's leading receiver). Let's get into the important analytics. First, trumping the yardage & individual stats is a super-strong 12-2-1 spread mark taking home underdogs who come off a shutout loss. In addition, the Chiefs' defense comes in ranked just 22nd against the pass, 18th in scoring & 19th in total yardage. On the flip side, expect Indianapolis DC Gus Bradley (Colts rank 11th in total "D") to install some new-design packages away from the usual 2-high safety look last week that Jacksonville attacked. The oddsmakers have also put a very HIGH premium on KC that becomes apparent when you witness their 9-17-1 pointspread record the past 27 regular season affairs. Mahomes has definitely shined versus fellow AFC West'ers going 22-3 SU (most wins in 25 divisional starts in 52 years!) & is 13-2 SU in September for his career. However, KC has been over-priced versus the AFC South going just 1-5 ATS & now takes on an Indy squad that's come back strong (6 out of 7 cashes @ the window) after back-to-back divisional roadies. The dagger for us has to be home dogs off a shutout loss have won 10 straight ATS versus .466+ competition. Turnovers are key & I don't see the Colts continuing their 1/5, -4 turnover differential. Remember, these same Chiefs have a Super Bowl revenge meeting in a prime-time Sunday night grudge match with Tom Brady & his Buccaneers @ Raymond James Stadium next week. We're set, ready & rolling into Lucas Oil Stadium in Indiana to play the INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (buying to a key + 7 1/2) as my 9 Star Public Missed Perception Play! New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers (NFL) - 1:00 PM EDT Premium Pick Pick: Point Spread: +2.5/-110 Carolina Panthers Rating: 9* Mike's Intra-Divisional Game Of The Week (WIN + ML WIN) Hey, there's probably nobody sitting on a hotter seat than Carolina HC Matt Rhule (he's 10-25 overall in year 3 of a 7-year contract but actually came up in conversation for the Arizona State job) since the Panthers' losing streak has now hit 9 in a row (won last November 34-10 @ Arizona). I look for that streak to be OVER right here! Why? First, it's because Carolina outgained New Orleans last season 383 to 128 with Sam Darnold @ QB in a 26-7 win @ this field last September (NO only scored 25 points combined in 2 meetings LY). Second, this team is a victim of bad luck as witnessed by losing in consecutive weeks by go-ahead 58-yd & 56-yd FG's. That made them the 1st team IN NFL HISTORY to allow go-ahead 55+ yard FG's in the 4th quarter/OT in consecutive games. Third, Jameis Winston (3/3 TD/INT) is back on the interception train. He no longer has HC Sean Payton to fall back on so he's OC Pete Carmichael's & QB Coach Ronald Curry's problem now. Lastly, the Black & Old Gold haven't been good in the trenches where they've come in 29th in protecting their QB (13.5% - sacks) & 30th in defensive sacks (1.5%). Backup QB Taysom Hill is actually their leading rusher, not 12-year vet Mark Ingram who has twice as many rushes. Face it, these same "Mardi Gras Boys" should be 0-2 SU if they didn't pull that miracle 27-26 comeback win over the Falcons in Week 1. Even though it looks like ex-Tennessee Vol & RB Alvin Kamara is back in the lineup, is he playing @ 100% coming off his rib injury? In addition, Winston's mechanics aren't too smooth which might be attributed to a knee injury plus the 4 fractures in his back. Defenses know he'll be over-targeting WR Michael Thomas, especially Panthers' CB Jaycee Horn & Company. My bottom line says the Saints are just in a bad situational spot. They're still licking their wounds from a brutal battle last week with their 20-10 home loss to Brady & his Buccaneers. Immediately on deck, they have a long road trip to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the north of London to meet the Minnesota Vikings in an early game @ 9:30. The analytics show Carolina has been a perfect 4-0 SU & ATS the last 4 seasons in Week 3. On the flip side, New Orleans is just 1-3 SU & ATS after their last 4 rivalry games with Tampa Bay AND 2-5 versus the number their last 7 in September. This has clearly been an UNDERDOG series with the dog barking in 12 of the last 16 decisions. I look for another solid game by all-purpose RB Christian McCaffery (235 yards rushing & receiving) as new QB Baker Mayfield gets more acclimated with deep-threat WR's Robby Anderson & D.J. Moore. Let's high-step it into Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte to play the CAROLINA PANTHERS (buying to + 4 1/2) but sprinkling a little pasta on the ML as my 9 Star Intra-Divisional Game of The Week! NOTES/POWER RANKINGS: It was an excellent week as the 2-0 record in the pros capped a perfect 5-0 weekend including CFB! Let's be patient as things start to gel in the NFL & we'll all be there to reap the benefits. Before we start Week 4, let me say their is 4 teams (thus far) that have out-gained each of their opponents by 170+ yards. Those teams are Philadelphia, Buffalo, San Francisco & Cleveland. My Top 10 teams in Power Rankings are as follows: 1) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - Dominated a decent Minnesota team & have looked impressive with 3 quick starts out of the gate. 2) MIAMI DOLPHINS - Excellent start but raising a small red flag on getting out-gained 497 to 212 while letting Buffalo run 90 plays in Week 3. 3) BUFFALO BILLS - The best team on paper (#2 offense & #1 defense) but how far will they fall with multiple defensive injuries? 4) Kansas City Chiefs - Their kicking woes were quite apparent in Indy missing a PAT & a FG. How will they thrive when they take the #4 defense of the Buccaneers this week. 5) GREEN BAY PACKERS - After taking on Minnesota & Tampa Bay, their riding a solid defense ranked 7th overall. 6) BALTIMORE RAVENS - Much improved team offensively with QB Lamar Jackson playing for a contract. 7) LOS ANGELES RAMS - Taking on SF is a wash on offense but I'm giving an edge on defense to San Francisco on MNF. 8) TAMPA BAY - Wow! How the mighty have fallen in such a short time. The Bucs will get more W's when their offense gets healthy again. Hopefully their defense can carry them for a few weeks. 9) MINNESOTA VIKINGS - I'm giving the Vikes a pass on the Philly game since they dominated Green Bay prior. I'm not sure how legit their defense is since their 30th in total "D" but a high 10th in scoring "D"? 10) JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - With his team having a Top 6 offense & defense, let's see how ex-Eagles' HC Doug Pederson does in Philadelphia? I'll be doing a feature on the 72' Dolphins' (only undefeated team in regular season thru the Super Bowl) this week so stay tuned. I'll have an interesting twist on how lucky they were to achieve it. Let's get'em! Mike Handzelek's 2022-23 NFL Overall Record: 4-2 for a not too shabby 67%
 


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