Digital Dads NFL Pre-Game 2012: Week 2

Terrible first week by my standards. I went a horrible 9-7. I don’t think I’ve done that bad since some time last year. I can’t believe that I picked the Chiefs over the Falcons. What was I thinking in that one? I must have been on drugs or something. I wasn’t, but man my head must not have been in the right place. I did say the Niners could upset, but I picked Green Bay and fuck the Cowboys.

So now that we’ve gotten a regular season look at all the teams (if you have NFL RedZone that is) what do we think? We think that the Niners are going to be near unstoppable, the Panthers looked flat and RGIII was very solid in his debut while the other rookie QB’s were a bag of suck. We learned that Manning didn’t lose a step and the Browns and Bills organizations apparently don’t know that they play football. We also learned that the replacement refs make the same stupid mistakes that the regular refs do, with only some time management issues being the glaring mistakes.

So now we’re on to week 2, which starts tonight as the Bears meet the Packers. That’s not too much rest for either of these teams, so we’ll see how they do. Wait, that bit should be in the prediction. I’m aiming for a better week this week, something in the 11 or 12 win range. So without any further fanfare (unlike an Apple press event) on with the picks!

Chicago at Green Bay -4.0
Well, Brandon Marshall was simply amazing. I really regret not drafting him on my fantasy team. Speaking of that, two out of three fantasy team wins this past weekend. Not too shabby. I’m having a little trouble in the league that scores defensive players individually, as I don’t think I picked the right ones. May have to do a trade or something. Anyway, the Bears coasted to an easy win over the Colts, who still looked like they don’t have Peyton Manning. Marshall was there at every turn, giving Cutler a reliable target. I liked the steady pace of the Bears offense, you could tell that Mike Martz was no longer doing shit to muck it up. The Packers NFC dominance is over. I’m calling it. Code! Crash cart! In fact, at this point I’d like to change my prediction and pick the Bears to win the division. I’m going to start here, Bears win on the road.

Kansas City at Buffalo -3.0
Memo to Bills staff: “Considering the state of our organization and the fact that we haven’t won any playoff game in 11 years, we will be cancelling Hawaiian shirt Friday. This may come as a shock to most of you in the front office, but aside from the fact that Chan refuses to button the top three buttons of his shirt, we have no choice but to pick this particular activity to cancel. There will also be no more free cupcakes on Thursdays in the break room, and you’ll have to bring in your own coffee filters. We are also holding open tryouts for the following football positions: QB, WR, LB, OT, DE, TE, SS, CB, RB, K, P, DT. Please apply with Maggie in HR. That is all.” Chiefs to win on the road.

Cleveland at Cincinnati -7.0
The Bengals running game was the only bright spot last week, which is good considering they were playing the Ravens. Green was basically shut down for most of the game and the defense was unable to contain anything including their lunches. The drubbing by the Ravens exposed a lot about this team, mostly that Marvin Lewis (as expected) is a big hairy pussy. There is no will to win in his coaching style. The Browns face a similar situation in Shurmur, just no will to win. The defense was stellar against the Eagles, but that might have been a fluke. The Browns will lose this week, Wheedon will get sacked and hurried and rushed a lot, but I think we’ll learn how bad these two teams are gonna suck this year. Bengals at home.

Minnesota at Indianapolis +5.0
Do I have to pick this game? Does it seem like more teams suck this year than are stellar? I can’t decide if this game is going to be worse than the one above it or the one below it. I’m so confused. The Colts were meh as they were completely outmatched by the Bears. Bright spots; Luck looked okay, Donald Brown looked great on the ground. Brown and his production is going to be the key to this team getting their shit together. The secondary needs to step up if they want to compete against premiere quarterbacks. That’s a real hurt on this team. Marshall smoked them, sometimes in double coverage. The Vikings roll in, fresh off a lucky OT win over the hapless Jags. Ponder looked like warm crap on your tire, but somehow pulled it off by going to the TE route and Peterson as often as possible. I’m going out on a limb here and taking the Colts to upset, again, cause I want to see Luck get his first win.

Oakland at Miami +3.0 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
Something you don’t ever want to hear in professional football: “bring in the back-up long snapper!” That was doom for the Raiders as kicking mistakes handed the Chargers an easy win. If not for that, the Raiders might have had a chance to come into Miami with a win. As it is, both these teams are looking for their first win, but I don’t think the Dolphins are up to the task. Tannehill was atrocious, probably the worst rookie performance on Sunday. I dunno. I didn’t look at the stats, he just looked bad. The Dolphins are really having trouble adjusting to a new defensive pattern, missing coverages and tackles all over the place. I expect the Raiders to come in with a thirst for blood and I expect them to find some for slurping. Raiders to win on the road.

Arizona at New England -13.0
After last week, do I really have to pick another New England game? I predicted them at 16-0 so I suppose I can save some typing and just say Patriots to win. However, the Cardinals should give them some trouble, if they take Tom Brady’s parking spot. The Cardinals saw Skelton go down and Kolb take over to lead the team past the Seahawks last week, a slight feat considering that division. A two touchdown line is generous. Pats to win. I already said that. Pats to win all season.

Tampa Bay at NY Giants -9.0
What can I say about the team that I hate the most? The Bucs were surprisingly good last week, both on defense and on the ground. Not to mention the rush defense which stifled the Panthers. I did not see that coming. Regardless, now they face a team that has tons of weapons on offense, which will really test the Bucs defense. I think the Bucs defense has made a good turnaround and looks like they could seal some games for the lackluster offense this year, but I’m not placing any major bets. Eli and the Giants are too good for that. But wait, the Giants lost to the Cowboys last week! How did that happen? Well, it happened with bad secondary coverage and Romo looking like the quarterback everyone seems to think he is. The Bucs don’t have that kind of passing game to severely threaten the Giants secondary, but they need to be on their game. Giants to win.

Baltimore at Philadelphia -1.0
Are you kidding me with this fucking line? Did Flacco sustain a head injury that we don’t know about? The Ravens trashed the Bengals last week, while the Eagles struggled against one of the worst teams in the league. Are you oddsmakers telling me that you think Vick will throw any less interceptions against the Ravens superior defense than he did against the Browns? Vick was lucky to get out of there with a win and all his freaking ribs. This is a joke. Ray Rice is a beast and crushed it last week. There is no way that the Eagles defensive line is any better than the Browns. This is a gross miscalculation. Ravens to win.

New Orleans at Carolina +6.5 UPSET SPECIAL!!
I didn’t think that I’d see an 0-1 Saints team meeting up with an 0-1 Panthers team. The Saints were completely surprised by the abject accuracy of RGIII and the lack of Will Smith and Vilma on defense showed. Not to mention the lack of leadership in not having a coach on the field. This team is hurting right now and it was apparent last week. Meanwhile, the Panthers took it in the tailpipe from the Bucs, especially when it came to the running game. The good news for them is that Jonathan Stewart will play against the Saints. This is a tough one to call, but I’m thinking the Panthers are going to rebound before the Saints do. Cam knows what to do. Panthers to upset.

Houston at Jacksonville +7.0
Forget it. Arian Foster proved why he was the top fantasy pick in so many leagues, or if not the top – the first picked running back. When he sees the opportunity to shred a lousy team for tons of yards and touchdowns he does, and he did against the Fins last week. Then you tack on the Shaub to Johnson connection and you can’t beat this team on offense. The Jags defense won’t be able to keep up, even though they contained the game against the Vikings. The Jags are still looking for their offense to click, MJD and Jennings are sharing carries and neither looks like they showed up for training camp. Florida teams are in for a bad year and it sucks to say that the Bucs are the best of the three of them. Texans to win on the road.

Washington at St. Louis +3.0
Bradford found himself in too much trouble last week to really consider his performance. While he was able to rally the team to keep in the game against the Lions, he was rushed way too much to be able to keep the score up. The Redskins found their offense, finally, after all these years of bad quarterbacks, bad ownership and bad coaching. RGIII is the real deal and was terribly accurate the entire game, finding his way out of pressure and making the right connections. Helu got back into the game, looking better than he has in a few seasons. And did you know, the kids aren’t Tebowing anymore, they are RGIII’ing or something like that. You know when he sat down and raised his hands after that long touchdown pass to Garcon, that. The bad news is Garcon went out after that, not sure if he’s back in this week. Shouldn’t matter, should still be a win. The Redskins are gonna make the NFC East interesting this year. Skins to win on the road.

Dallas at Seattle +5.0
Dallas. Look, Russell Wilson actually looked pretty good against the Cardinals last week, I mean, compared to Wheedon. He made some passes, Sidney Rice caught some balls and they still lost the game. The Seahawks are held together with that clear plastic tape that doesn’t work well for boxes. The Cowboys roll in, fresh off a win over the reigning Super Bowl champs. That’s enough for me. The Cowboys defense was strong, their running game was tight and Romo looked like a bon-a-fide QB. I may have underestimated the Cowboys this season. If they blowout the Hawks, I may have to change my thinking on this team.

NY Jets at Pittsburgh -6.0
It’s really hard to judge the Jets at this point because the Bills are horrible. A win was a no-brainer. Sanchez was passing to every receiver that he had on the field and every time either him or Tebow lined up out of the QB position I grumbled a little bit because it was pretty damn obvious what they were doing. I do like how Tebow came out on the hands team on that Buffalo onside kick and got the ball, that was amusing. Every time the two of them were on the field I just wanted to laugh. I thought I was watching playground football. I didn’t see much of the Pittsburgh loss, I was doing something else, I always am during the Sunday night game, kind of on in the background. All I know is that a quality QB smoked their secondary and an aging RB smoked their run defense. The Jets could be trouble for the Steelers, but I think the Steelers rebound on this one at home and sneak by the Jets. Steelers to win.

Tennessee at San Diego -6.0
Well, Jake Locker was another rookie Qb with another less than stellar debut. He ended up leaving the game a bit early, injured and Hasselbeck came into the game. To that point, it didn’t really matter as they were up against the best offensive team in the league. This week, they come to sunny San Diego, where Rivers and crew is feeling the pinch without a prime reciever after Jackson left. The only reason the Chargers won as because of messed up kicking by the Raiders. So you have the Titans, who aren’t too bad on the run defense and the Chargers who aren’t too great on the run. This is a toss up for me, but I’m taking the home team, Chargers to win.

Detroit at San Francisco -7.0 GAME OF THE WEEK!!
This is my game of the week because while winning over Green Bay was pretty impressive, the Niners need to do it two weeks in a row for me to really crown them the new kings of the NFC. The Packers looked like they hadn’t played football in a while, and if you think about it – their defense hasn’t. Their defense was coasting all year last year because of the offense. Well, the offense sputtered against the Niners and the defense wasn’t ready to step up. The Lions defense is always stepped up, at least for the last year. They have to be. Kevin Smith had a killer game last week, just tearing it up on the ground. I like this guy at RB. But the Niners defense is the bestest! He’ll have trouble finding the holes this week. I’d like to see the Lions make a game of it, but I think the Niners are just too damn good right now. Even Moss is scoring touchdowns. Niners at home.

Denver at Atlanta -3.5
I made a mistake last week picking the Chiefs to beat the Falcons. I don’t know what I was thinking. Matt Ryan is my starting fantasy QB. He had four fucking touchdowns. Four! You can’t bet against that. And now they get their first home game against the Denver Mannings? I dunno. I don’t know how I can pick against Manning. I mean, he played like he had just taken a week off to fold umbrellas or something. He hasn’t lost a step, ran the offense and took care of business against a high class defense. The Falcons defense is good, but I dunno if they are Manning good. This is going to be an offensive shootout. There has got to be some stat about Manning on Monday night, so I’m running with it. Denver to upset.

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Curtis Silver writes about sports here mostly. NFL, Golf, Baseball - whatever. Find him on Twitter @cebsilver, if you've got a bone to pick.

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