The All-Important NFL Picks- Week 2
For some, week one was a great way to start the new football season; for the rest, week two couldn't come soon enough. Last week provided some great games that went down the last second (Bills/Bears, Falcons/Saints, Steelers/Browns) and there were also a few upsets that were suprising, to say the least (Tennessee over Kansas City, Miami over New England, and Houston over Washington). Granted, I tried to throw in a couple of upsets in last week's edition, but I was definitely off on some of them. Hopefully I can redeem myself with these picks for week 2...
Last Week's Picks: 8-8
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) @ Baltimore Ravens (0-1): Thursday, 7:25 PM
With the current Ray Rice scandal all over the news and other media outlets, there will be plenty of question marks for Baltimore in Thursday's match. For example, will they be distracted? Or angry that they were lied to? Or will they be relieved to get away from all of the questions and finally play football? Without a doubt, this has to be a difficult time for the Ravens because one of their leaders is no longer part of the franchise. I'll be safe with this one and pick the Pittsburgh Steelers, not only because of the possible distraction, but because they are overall a better team than Baltimore.
New England Patriots (0-1) @ Minnesota Vikings (1-0): Sunday, 12:00 PM
After leading the Miami Dolphins 20-10 at the end of the half, New England gave up 23 points in the second half to fall 33-20. People are now wondering if Brady and the Pats ran out of gas after halftime, but I think the steamy Miami weather may have had something to with it. Meanwhile, Minnesota took care of business in St. Louis last week to defeat the Rams 34-6. The victory's validity has come into question because of the Rams' current quarterback situation; however, what isn't being questioned is the pure talent and speed of Cordarrelle Patterson, which is really special when paired with Adrian Peterson.
The key matchup, though, will be Vikings (and former Patriots) Quarterback Matt Cassel against New England's defense. With Cassel originally coming from Bill Belichick's back pocket, he will know a few key things about the Pats, but they also know plenty about Cassel. The last time New England went 0-2 was in 2001 (pre-Tom Brady), but I'm going with the upset and picking the Minnesota Vikings.
Atlanta Falcons (1-0) @ Cincinnati Bengals (1-0): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Last week, Atlanta Quarterback Matt Ryan looked outstanding against Rob Ryan's tricky 3-4 defense (no relation) and was able to pull off the upset in overtime. Cincinnati also looked impressive on Sunday as they defeated the Baltimore Ravens; their defense especially stood out in their victory, which has a new defensive coordinator (Paul Guenther) due to Mike Zimmer's departure. I'm picking the Atlanta Falcons because of their high-as-a-kite offense, but thinking of them matched up against the Bengals' D definitely makes it a can't-miss football game.
Chicago Bears (0-1) @ San Francisco 49ers (1-0): Sunday, 7:30 PM
When most people think about today's 49ers, the first thing that pops in their heads is their defense. However, that could change soon if Colin Kaepernick continue to play like he did last week against the Dallas Cowboys; the stats might not be over-the-top, but Kaep has started to look more like a pure passer than a read option quarterback. Chicago may be a tougher opponent than expected, but with this being the opening night of their new home, Levi's Stadium, there's no way the San Francisco 49ers are losing this one.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) @ Indianapolis Colts (0-1): Monday, 7:30 PM
The Colts defense, as some expected, struggled against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos last week. Still, how much should we blame Indianapolis for struggling against Denver, who has one of the best offenses in NFL history? On Monday night, they'll be going against Chip Kelly's fast-paced, no-nonsense Eagles, which has a deadly running back combo of LeSean "only gives .03% tips" McCoy and Darren Sproles. Despite some people questioning Nick Foles's quarterbacking ability, I'm picking the Eagles because they looked nearly unstoppable in the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars (who is an improving team, if I might add). For the Colts to win this one, they might need a little bit of "Luck"... get it?
Anyways, here are the rest of my picks (predicted winners are in bold and underlined):
Miami Dolphins (1-0) @ Buffalo Bills (1-0): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Detroit Lions (1-0) @ Carolina Panthers (1-0): Sunday, 12:00 PM
New Orleans Saints (0-1) @ Cleveland Browns (0-1): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Dallas Cowboys (0-1) @ Tennessee Titans (1-0): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) @ Washington Redskins (0-1): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Arizona Cardinals (1-0) @ New York Giants (0-1): Sunday, 12:00 PM
Seattle Seahawks (1-0) @ San Diego Chargers (0-1): Sunday, 3:05 PM
St. Louis Rams (0-1) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1): Sunday, 3:05 PM
Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) @ Denver Broncos (1-0): Sunday, 3:25 PM
New York Jets (1-0) @ Green Bay Packers (0-1): Sunday, 3:25 PM
Houston Texans (1-0) @ Oakland Raiders (0-1): Sunday, 3:25 PM