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2006 Week 3 picks: Home Sweet Dome

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The undefeated Saints finally come home, plus more in Week 3!

New Orleans Saints v Green Bay Packers
New QB Drew Brees game-planning in Lambeau last week.
Photo by Rob Tringali/Sportschrome/Getty Images

Two weeks in the books, with two road victories for the New Orleans Saints. The Saints will now finally come back home to host the Atlanta Falcons in the most anticipated game in the 40-year history of the Saints franchise. Both teams come into this one undefeated and look to move to 3-0 for the season. With the win, the Saints have the golden opportunity to stand alone in first place in the NFC South, and sorry Atlanta, in the words of America’s new favorite movie character Ricky Bobby, “If you're not first, you're last!”. Don’t sleep on the Saints this season, they have a better chance to be this year’s surprise hit than Snakes on a Plane! Now let’s take a look at an interesting slate of games in Week 3.

Teams on bye week: Dallas, Kansas City, Oakland, and San Diego

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WEEK 3

Sunday, September 24th, 2006

Jaguars(1-1) at Colts(2-0)

Indy QB Peyton Manning is having another fantastic start to a season, but will this “ringless wonder” ever figure it out when it really counts? C’mon Peyton, we’re all waiting. The clock is ticking.

Pick: Colts

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Panthers(0-2) at Buccaneers(0-2)

Carolina’s Jake Delhomme faces Tampa Bay’s Chris Simms in an interesting matchup. Simms, being the son of Hall of Famer Phil Simms, must have a wealth of football knowledge in him. In fact, once Chris Simms’ storied career is over, I’m sure he’ll again follow in his father’s footsteps and become a broadcasting legend.

Pick: Panthers

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Bengals(2-0) at Steelers(1-1)

The defending Super Bowl Champion Steelers looked abysmal in last week’s shutout loss in Jacksonville. They looked as bad as this summer’s X-Men: The Last Stand. Thankfully we’ll never again see such a terrible adaptation of the Dark Phoenix saga on the big screen.

Pick: Steelers

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Bears(2-0) at Vikings(2-0)

How on Earth is Rex Grossman undefeated? REX GROSSMAN?!!! One thing’s for sure, that chump will never get Chicago to the Super Bowl.

Pick: Vikings

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Titans(0-2) at Dolphins(0-2)

Daunte Culpepper is now 0-2 as the starter for Miami. Are they sure that’s the guy they wanted over Drew Brees?! If this keeps up, Nick Saban will be begging LSU to take him back!

Pick: Titans

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Redskins(0-2) at Texans(0-2)

Boy, Mark Brunell is looking OLD in Washington. How much longer can this guy play in the league?

Pick: Texans

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Jets(1-1) at Bills(1-1)

Tulane’s own J.P. Losman looks to have a breakout season for Buffalo, who hasn't been to the playoffs in seven years. The wait can’t get much longer, I imagine. Losman will have to lookout for last year’s league leader in tackles, linebacker Jonathan Vilma. That dude is special!

Pick: Bills

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Packers(0-2) at Lions(0-2)

Even being winless, and with Green Bay’s selection of Aaron Rodgers in last year’s draft, Brett Favre has nothing to worry about under center. Imagine how completely preposterous the thought of Favre in another teams uniform is. Could you picture Favre as say a Jet, or even a Viking?! Laughable!

Pick: Packers

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Ravens(2-0) at Browns(0-2)

Baltimore finally has their guy, in picking up Steve McNair this offseason, but does Cleveland have their guy in second-year QB Charlie Frye? Let’s go with sure, why not, they’ve waited long enough to find a franchise quarterback.

Pick: Ravens

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Rams(1-1) at Cardinals(1-1)

Marc Bulger faces Kurt Warner in a showdown of St. Louis’ star quarterbacks, past and present. Arizona head coach Dennis Green will make sure his team doesn't let St. Louis off the hook.

Pick: Cardinals

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Eagles(1-1) at 49ers(1-1)

Last year’s #1 overall draft pick, Alex Smith looks to prove he’s truly the top quarterback in that draft and not just an overpicked game manager. Philly head coach Andy Reid looks to prove he can do better than Alex Smith with a more dynamic quarterback on his sideline. Andy just can’t win the “big one” but he’ll win this one.

Pick: Eagles

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Giants(1-1) at Seahawks(2-0)

Another ringless Manning brother takes the field in this one. I’m certainly not expecting Eli to figure it out if his more heralded brother can’t. Let me put it this way, the Fast and the Furious trilogy has a better shot of spawning a worldwide theatrical juggernaut than Manning has at winning a ring.

Pick: Seahawks

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Sunday Night Football

Broncos(1-1) at Patriots(2-0)

The new kid in town, NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” enters its third week on the air as Jake “The Snake” Plummer faces Tom “Three Rings” Brady. New England is still very good, but if they could just add some savvy vets on defense and a big time target at receiver, they could be nearly unbeatable.

Pick: Patriots

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Monday, September 25th, 2006 - Monday Night Football - Game of the Week

Falcons(2-0) at Saints(2-0)

At long last, the New Orleans Saints finally come home to the Louisiana Superdome. For a time, it seemed like the day would never come, but thankfully, that day is nearly here. It is only fitting that the team they face on this occasion is their most hated rival in the Atlanta Falcons. But let’s be honest, this game, this moment, has nothing to do with the Falcons, and they will only stand as the helpless foil that the Saints will conquer in this, their greatest moment.

New Orleans has waited so long to see their Saints again, but these aren't the same Saints they last saw in the Dome. Rookie head coach Sean Payton comes in with a new quarterback in former San Diego signal-caller Drew Brees and many other new faces in Black and Gold, most notably, Heisman Trophy winner, Reggie Bush. The #2 overall pick, Bush comes in as perhaps the most heralded and anticipated Saints prospect of all-time. New Orleans cant wait to see their new superstar break records for years to come!

Whether Brees has completely moved past his catastrophic injury and can take the steps to be a Pro Bowl-level quarterback, whether Bush will go down as the greatest of all-time, whether Payton is the right hire to lead the Saints to the playoffs, will all be interesting to see. Now they finally come home, to bring the excitement, hope, and joy back to the Louisiana Superdome. The fans in the Dome will be ready, the fans all throughout New Orleans and the Gulf South will be ready, in fact, the world will be ready to witness this event.

As for the game itself, it’s simple. If the Saints can just make a big play early, like a return on special teams, or forcing at turnover for points, something, they can really take over and put the Falcons on their heels. With a potentially once-in-a-lifetime crowd at their back, like the strongest possible wind in their sails, the Saints could easily boat race Atlanta out of the Dome. I’ll say Saints win 28-3, I don't know why but that score just feels lucky to me.

Pick: Saints

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That’s how I think these games will go, tell us how you think Week 3 plays out. The Saints’ return to the Dome will definitely be huge for New Orleans. It’ll be as huge as Apple’s rumored cell phone. In fact, folks may need to buy some stock in anticipation. Anyone here plan on investing at the steep price of $11 a share? Anyway, here’s to the Saints going to 3-0! WHO DAT!