Well I went a paltry 8-8 last week. Not bad considering it was the first week of the regular season. Some games where I said they could go either way – went the other way. My upset pick (Carolina) was dead wrong while my almost upset pick (KC) would have been right. So it was that kind of week. Plus, the stinking Buccaneers won. Whatever.
It’s a new week, which means new match-ups. Now that the first week is done, I’ve got a better feel for how teams should be performing (thanks to the NFL RedZone channel, which is freaking awesome.) Such as the Redskins looking good in their opener against the Cowboys, while the Ravens & Jets both looked great on defense, not so much on offense. It’s going to be a good week of football, so without further fanfare – this weeks picks. Remember, these are predictions by someone who does not have a crystal ball or a forwards / backwards time machine in his possession. Plus, the whole “any given Sunday” thing.
Giants at Colts Line: -6.0
It’s only a matter of time that this game is the Superbowl. Too bad it’s not going to happen this year, I don’t see the Giants coming on that strong. However, last week they came out strong against Carolina and I regretted not picking up Eli as my fantasy QB (as I have since he entered the league.) That’s what I get. The passing game was crazy good, so the question is – without Bob Sanders in the backfield for the Colts, will their secondary be able to keep up with the Giants receivers? No matter what Peyton does, it’s going to be up to the defense to stop the high scoring offense of the Giants. Considering that the offense of the Colts sputtered against the Texans last week, that’s two strikes against the Colts. The only strike against the Giants is that they are playing in Indy, on Sunday night – where Peyton tends to shine. This is going to be a close one, but I’m taking the Colts at home. My gut is to take the Giants though, just because of their performance last week. Let’s compromise and take the Giants to beat the spread.
Tailgate City (the Rest):
Cardinals at Falcons Line: -7.0
Even after their tough loss to the Steelers last week, the Falcons looked good defensively. Perhaps it was the defense of the Steelers that made their offense look unimpressive. With the only scoring by the Falcons being field goals it’s a wonder they were able to hold the Steelers. They open at home against the Cardinals, coming off a close win against the Rams. What? Close win? Yeah, the Rams defense got through the offensive line and pressured Anderson the whole game. The Rams. You read that right. Based on that alone, I have to take the Falcons to win at home, but I think the Cardinals should keep it close.
Ravens at Bengals Line: +2.0
Well, the line on this one should say it all. The Ravens go into Cincinnati after fighting the Jets tooth and nail for a win that was all defense. Hopefully the defense took a couple days off to relax, and the offense took a couple days off from the beating they took by the Jets. Anquan Boldin had seven catches for 110 yards and a TD as he burned the Jets secondary. Meanwhile the defense held the Jets to 176 yards. Strong. The Bengals weren’t so lucky, getting drubbed by the Patriots offense. Where was the defense? Watching Welker beat them on the inside slants? Yeah, Ochocinco and Owens combined for 212 yards and a TD, but who gives a shit if you don’t win? Taking the Ravens on the road, with the points.
Chiefs at Browns Line: -0.0
Any other week, this would be my crapfest of the week. Considering how the Chiefs played on Monday night against the Chargers, this isn’t that week. Not only did they beat the Chargers, but they looked good doing it. Not to mention it was special teams and defense, with a 94 yard punt return for a TD and a goal line stand that saved the game. These aren’t the Chiefs of the last decade, this is a brand new team. Maybe. The Browns are no test of that theory, as while they have some hot receivers, they lost to the Buccaneers and that’s just sad. Chiefs on the road.
Bears at Cowboys Line: -9.0
The Bears should have lost to the Lions. They really should have, but they didn’t. Cutler through for 372 yards, including the game winning TD to Forte. That would be an impressive stat but it was against the Lions defense, who really still hasn’t improved. The Bears travel to Dallas to face a much tougher defense in the Cowboys. Romo had 282 yards passing, but was unable to make the last one count. The Cowboys offense isn’t going to take another week to start clicking. They will win at home, with points to spare.
Eagles at Detroit Line: +6.0
Is there a quarterback controversy brewing in Philadelphia? After Kolb left with a concussion against the Packers, Vick took over and ran for over 100 yards in the 27-20 loss. Eh. I don’t think there is a controversy. If Kolb is healthy, he’ll start. Meanwhile, Matt Stafford is out 4-6 weeks with a shoulder injury. Ouch. Shaun Hill comes in to replace him, can’t say he could do any worse really. The bright spot on the Lions offense is Jahvid Best, who only ran for 20 yards, but had 2 TD’s. Fantasy owners were happy with that. This is a prove it or lose it game for the Lions – yes, already. The Eagles will prevail though, because they’ll stick Vick in and the Lions defense will have no answer for him. Eagles with the points.
Bills at Packers Line: -14.0
Forget it. The highlights from the Bills / Miami game were very few on the Buffalo side. The one highlight was a 31 yard TD pass to Roscoe Parrish from Trent Edwards. Even with Chan Gailey at the helm, the Bills still looked conservative and scared. The Packers are the complete opposite of that – confident and kicking ass. Rodgers only went 118 yards against the Eagles, but he looked good doing it. Even with Ryan Grant out for the season, the Packers will still be dominant. Especially against the Bills. I’m taking them to win, but I hate 14 point spreads, so no points. Of course, that’s saying the Bills will beat the spread. Eh.
Steelers at Titans Line: -5.5
The Titans played the Raiders, so no surprise that they trashed them 38-13. Johnson smoked the Raiders for 142 yards and 2 TD’s. He won’t be so lucky against the Steelers strong run defense, who only allowed a mild 42 yards to Michael Turner of the Falcons last week. Their pass defense wasn’t that great. So the Titans will be relying on Young to carry the team through an air attack. It’s possible with the Titans, but their strong point is their running game. This one is going to be close, so I’m taking the Steelers to cover the points and lose by like one or two.
Dolphins at Vikings Line: -6.0
The Dolphins pulled off a win against the Bills, but these two teams play each other tough every year. After watching some of the few highlights, I’m not real convinced that the Dolphins are playoff caliber – yet. This game is going to be the test of that. The Vikings are coming off another tough loss in New Orleans. They just can’t seem to get it done in the dome. Favre was throwing off his back foot the whole game, into the hands of Saints cornerbacks. This week he should get back to form as the Vikings take the Dolphins down a notch, with the points.
Buccaneers at Panthers Line: -0.0
The Panthers, who routed the Giants last season, got spanked in the second half by them this season. Moore threw three picks and only one TD. The Panthers looked defeated by the end of the third quarter. The Bucs, managed to beat Cleveland. Wow. Give them a freaking cookie. They beat the crappy Browns. Young Josh Freeman tossed 2 TD’s in their comeback (that’s right, they had to come back against the Browns) but it was old man Barber with his 65 yard pick-off return that made the difference. Still, refuse to ever pick the Bucs to win. I might be wrong, what, three times? Worth it. Taking Carolina to win.
Seahawks at Broncos Line: -3.5
Kyle Orton threw for nearly 300 yards in the Broncos loss to the Jags last week. Tebow also saw his first action of the season, unfortunately no one else did since no one watches Jags games. In this game, the Broncos were simply out coached (whatever the hell that means) and out played. Jones-Drew only put 98 yards on them, but that was because Garrard was busy throwing touchdowns. I’m taking the Seahawks to win, even though they blew out the Niners last week and not a good team. Taking them with the points too. In Denver. That’s right. Eat it Denver.
Rams at Raiders Line: -3.5 CRAPFEST OF THE WEEK!!
What can I say about these two teams that is positive? Let’s see, the Rams defense didn’t look halfway terrible against the Cardinals. Sam Bradford had a pretty good debut, passing for almost 300 yards. Anything good I can say about the Raiders? No, they suck. Bad. I mean, Jason Williams didn’t do a horrible job running away from the pass rushers, kind of fleet of foot. No contest, taking the Rams to win.
Patriots at Jets Line: +2.5 UPSET SPECIAL OF THE WEEK!!
The Jets engaged the Ravens in a strong defensive outing, but were unable to prevail in the end. Sanchez was rushed, bullied and flushed out of the pocket. The Patriots were busy smacking the hell out of the Bengals. However, I don’t care. Just to piss off @bigguyd I’m going to pick this game as my upset special of the week. The Jets are going to break in the new stadium with a huge win over their division rivals. The best way to do this is constant pressure on Brady and cutting off the slants to Welker. But I’m not going to tell them how to play, just that I think they’ll win.
Jaguars at Chargers Line: -7.0
The Chargers, coming off a loss against a very impressive Chiefs team, is looking to rebound in their home opener against the visiting Jaguars. The Jags racked up three passing touchdowns by David Garrard against the visiting Broncos, established via the ground game of Jones-Drew. The Chargers run defense wasn’t too spectacular against the Chiefs, and facing Jones-Drew could be quite a challenge. The guy can move lines and wear down defenses. I’m looking at the Jags to keep this one close, not because of defense, just keeping up in score. Taking the Chargers to win, but the Jags to beat the one TD spread.
Texans at Redskins Line: +3.0
Amazing. These two teams almost seemed destined to meet in week two after their upset wins in week one. The Texans took the Colts to task and solidly got that monkey off their back. The Redskins played a crushing defensive game with the Cowboys, prevailing in off a fumble return by DeAngelo Hall. McNabb stuck in there and wasn’t pressured (mentally) by a Cowboys defense he’s seen plenty of times. The Texans Arian Foster (who?) ran for 231 yards and 3 TD’s. But the Texans also gave up 433 yards and 3 TD’s passing to Manning. That’s a lot of passing yards to just give away. Their win was less their offense than it was the Colts run defense. However, they will continue their winning streak by beating the Redskins.
Saints at 49′ers Line: +6.0
Why do the Niners suck so bad? Why does such a storied franchise have such trouble winning? They took the biggest beating last week, getting smacked around by the Seahawks. There wasn’t much going on with the defense, not much going on with the offense. So what do they hope to do against the Superbowl champion Saints? Lose. Big. On Monday night, for the first time in a long time. Why are they on Monday night? I have no idea. Why is the line only six points? I have no idea. The Saints are going to DESTROY the Niners.
That’s it. Week two in the books. A quick note about Monday Night Football on ESPN – it stinks. The match-ups stink, the late start stinks, there is nothing good about it anymore. The best game of the week tends to be on NBC on Sunday night and that is due to shrewd negotiating by NBC. Later in the season – they get to choose their game and shift the schedule. That makes for some great match-ups being televised. This is key when you live in a shit market like mine, where Bucs games are the standard. Thank the gods (Zeus and friends) for the NFL RedZone. Stay tuned next week for Week 3! Leave some comments! Drink beer and grill things! Toss the football with the kids!