NFL Predictions: Week 2


We started out the week 1-0 with the pick of the Jets to cover and Patriots to win, so at least I know that the chance of 0-16 is out the window. Last weeks record was 10-6 SU and 8-8 ATS. We’ll again be using the ESPN pick em lines for the predictions. If you click on the team headers it will take you to the financial matchup for each game. Onto the picks….

FALCONS (-7.5) over Rams– I was surprised that the Falcons failed to win last week. They were certainly close and had Steven Jackson caught a football they would have won the game, but it had to be a disappointing start.  St. Louis had a great come from behind win in which their defense really pressured the QB while Sam Bradford did a quality job in leading the offense to a win. I do think the Rams can hang around for a little while, but the threat of an 0-2 start has to put the Falcons on their “A game”  this week and their best game is far better than the Rams’. Falcons 27 Rams 17

Panthers (-2.5) over BILLS– I had the Panthers to win last week and they probably should have. Their defense played well and it was really the offense that let the team down. Cam Newton can be dynamic but was a bit underwhelming as a game manager last week. I tend to think that had more to do with the Seattle defense than Newton being afraid to the pull the trigger. I don’t believe that happens this week. Bills put up a strong effort against the Patriots but I believe they were also helped by the fact that their new DC was extremely familiar with the Patriots and installing defenses to slow them down. I’m not sure that they can do the same here. Panther 23 Bills 17

BEARS (-6.5) over  Vikings– If you are a Viking fan you had to be tremendously disappointed in what happened last Sunday. Christian Ponder looked terrible and the defense couldn’t contain anyone as the game wore on. Perhaps it was week 1 issues that plague many teams, but that was a bad showing. If they play that way again the Bears will eat them alive turning them over and utilizing Matt Forte out of the backfield on offense. Bears 27 Vikings 20

RAVENS (-6.5) over Browns– The Ravens gassed out against Peyton Manning in week 1and fell into a bad trap of trying to play pass for pass with the Broncos. I understand wanting to show off your newly paid QBs arm and prove that it is 100% his team now, but they need to be more balanced than they were last week and I’d imagine that happens this game. Cleveland is not going to be able to score enough points to keep this close and the Ravens will just pick them apart slowly but surely building up a big lead. Ravens 28 Browns 10

CHIEFS (-2.5) over Cowboys– It took 6 turnovers for Dallas to beat the Giants last week. Defensively the team looked awful. Now this is a very different style of team and maybe the Cowboys match up better  Tony Romo takes a few hits. Nobody knows what to make out of KC yet since they played such a weak opponent in the first game, but they are talented on paper and their stadium can be a difficult place to play when the atmosphere is there, which it clearly will be for this game. Chiefs 17 Cowboys 13

Redskins (+7.5) over PACKERS– The Redskins kind of got caught in a buzzsaw last week when the Eagles tore them apart. The lack of practice time in camp for RGIII was also apparent as he was nowhere near prepared for the game. By the second half I thought they settled down and figured some things out and I’d expect a much better performance this week. Aaron Rodgers will carve the defense up and put up points but I don’t think highly of the Packers defense either. The Packers losing would surprise me but Washington being non-competitive would surprise me even more. Packers 35 Redskins 30

Titans (+9.5) over TEXANS– Much like last week in picking the Titans I just see this spread as way too high for a team that should be able to control the football with their ground game. Now I didn’t think the Titans would beat the Steelers nor do I think they will beat Houston, but unless they decide to just pass up this game and be content with the upset win last weekend they should be in it all the way to the end. Texans 20 Titans 16

Dolphins (+3.5) over COLTS– I think this should be a good game between two pretty evenly matched squads.  I think Miami is the better team and will win the game, but they have to be careful not to cater too much to Mike Wallace’s wants for more targets. They need to let the offense come naturally rather than forced. There are very few WR’s that you can force the ball to and Wallace is not one of them despite the high price tag. The Colts nearly lost to Oakland last week and I would anticipate a better effort this week, but there are too many things I dislike about the team to pick them in what I believe will be a close game. Dolphins 23 Colts 16

Chargers (+7.5) over EAGLES– This line is over reaction to the explosion in the first half that had as much to do with the Redskins turnovers as anything else. The Eagles offense is built on the speed of three players and they have to protect each of them if they want to compete this year. Mike Vick took some big hits last week and I don’t know if he can survive the offense. Without him I can’t imagine it working. San Diego looked good last Monday until the fourth quarter. I do think if they were playing on the West coast this week they would win, but I’m going to hedge my bets because they are on a short week and travelling East for a 1 PM game. Eagles 24 Chargers 21

Cardinals (+0.5) over LIONS– Arizona let one slip away last week and I would be a little worried about Larry Fitzgerald this week if he is not healthy, but in 4 years Jim Schwartz’ Lions have produced 9 road wins so I’m not a believer in them away from home.  I do think the Cardinals are a bit underrated defensively and will not have the same breakdowns that Minnesota had last week trying to contain Reggie Bush, which should push the Cardinals over the top. Cardinals 20 Lions 13

Saints (-3.5) over Buccaneers– Team only meetings after 1 game?  That is a sign of a team that has no faith in its head coach and is trying to come together to say we need to do this ourselves. That is a recipe for disaster. Tampa looked awful last week against the Jets and needs to quickly get moving on offense to compete with a team like the Saints. New Orleans played better than I thought they would on defense last week. I don’t think that means they are a good defensive team by any means, but they will take advantage of self inflicted wounds of which Tampa could have many. I don’t think this will even be close. Saints 30 Buccaneers 13

Broncos (-5.5) over GIANTS– The battle of the Manning’s could make for a high scoring contest if the Giants can find a way to not turn the ball over so many times. The Giants should be able to keep this close for 3 quarters but I don’t believe their defense is going to be able to deal with the pace of the game. Peyton is great at eliminating defensive substitutions and the Giants offense is so feast or famine that I don’t think they will even give them the rest that they need to stay strong late. Broncos pull away late. Broncos 37 Giants 27

RAIDERS (-6.5) over Jaguars– I’d be curious to hear what the TV rating is for this game. It won’t be blacked out in Oakland so two markets will get to watch rather than just one, but the game, on paper, is one of the least appealing games of probably the last 10 years that was not a week 17 contest. Last week I said the Raiders were the worst in the NFL. I think I may have to amend that to the Jaguars. Blaine Gabbert is hurt for Jacksonville which should mean an upgrade at the QB position but I don’t even think that will be enough. Raiders played with heart last week the Jaguars have none. Raiders 13 Jaguars 3

SEAHAWKS (-2.5) over 49ers– San Francisco looked ready for the season while Seattle did not, but Seattle may have already been looking ahead to this big matchup while matching up with someone they felt was inferior in Carolina. Last year Seattle I thought really had the 49ers number and I cant see why that would really have changed this year. They are one of the few teams in the NFL that can out-physical the 49ers at the point of attack. The secondary is athletic and good enough to let the front stay home and box Colin Kaepernick in while they take his deep passes away. Seattle always has a tremendous home field which also plays a role. The winner of this game is likely going to be crowned as the dominant team in the league. I’m not sure that’s fair but the way both played last season they have probably earned that praise for now. Seahawks 24 49ers 16

Steelers (+7.5) over BENGALS– Pittsburgh looked awful last week and lost 3 starters for the season plus their kicker for the next few weeks. Still I can’t believe that they are as inept as they looked on opening weekend. They need to play more to Ben Roethlisberger’s strengths to jumpstart the offense this week. The Steelers usually play well against the Bengals and have won their last three games in Cincinnati. Too much will be made about the team losing this game being 0-2, but with everyone in the division having lost in week 1 and either the Browns or Ravens guaranteed to be winless  it won’t be that damaging.  Maybe I’ll soon be changing my opinion of Pittsburgh, but I’ll give them one more shot this week. Steelers 20 Bengals 17