Hey everyone. Welcome back for my Week 2 NFL Picks. Hope you enjoyed my Night of Champions Preview. If you didn't read it yet, check it out after reading this. Anyways, on to this week's picks!
Last Week & Year to Date Record: 11-5
Kansas City Chiefs vs Detroit Lions
These two teams appear to be headed in opposite directions. The Chiefs were man-handled in every aspect of the game last week against the Bills. Matt Cassel was off, they couldn't get Jamaal Charles going, and the defense couldn't put any pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick. Now the Chiefs go on the road to face a Lions team coming off a strong showing against a 10 win Tampa team. The Lions offense showed what it could do if they stay healthy the whole year. Matt Stafford gave the Lions a few injury scares, but he looked effective. I don't like the Chiefs chances to rebound here. The Detroit crowd should be pumped for this one.
Detroit 27 Kansas City 19
Oakland Raiders vs Buffalo Bills
The Bills surprised the entire sports world with their dominating performance last week against Kansas City. Now they return home to what should be a rabid crowd. The defense will have the task once again of stopping one of the league's best runners in Oakland's Darren McFadden. McFadden ran for 150 yards last Monday night against Denver. The Raiders defensive line is tough and physical, and it will be interesting to see if the Bills O-Line can match their intensity. But if the Bills stop McFadden, the Raiders could be in trouble. They're already down WRs Jacoby Ford and Lois Murphy are out, and WR Darius Hayward-Bey and TE Kevin Boss are questionable. With injuries mounting, and the Raiders traveling across the country on a short week, I'll take the Bills here.
Buffalo 28 Oakland 23
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Minnesota Vikings
That was an ugly game for Donovan McNabb last week. 38 passing yards? Ugh. He better not play that bad this week or the home crowd will already be clamoring for Christian Ponder. The Bucs are coming off a tough home loss to the Lions that saw them fall behind early, which forced them to play catch-up all game. That took the focus away from RB LaGarette Blount. Expect Blount to get more touches this week. I still like the youth on the Buccaneers, and think the QB/WR combo of Josh Freeman and Mike Williams will be enough to overcome a Vikings team that didn't show much last week.
Tampa Bay 21 Minnesota 20
Chicago Bears vs New Orleans Saints
I was quite surprised with the Bears performance last week. I did not expect them to dominate the Falcons like they did. The defense forced Matt Ryan into mistakes, and the offense was built around Matt Forte, which was smart. It will be interesting to see if Bears LB Brian Urlacher plays this week after the death of his mother. The Saints have had ten days to get re-focused after their opening night loss to Green Bay. The defense can't give up early points like they did. If the Saints put pressure on Jay Cutler he's bound to make a few mistakes. I like the Saints here in a tight one, simply because Drew Brees is that good at home.
New Orleans 31 Chicago 28
Baltimore Ravens vs Tennessee Titans
The Ravens curb-stomped their arch-nemesis Pittsburgh Steelers last week. They staked their claim to the AFC North and to possibly being one of the best teams in the NFL. Joe Flacco found his open receivers and Ray Rice found holes against a stout Steelers defense. The Ravens defense forced a very good Steelers offense into 7 turnovers, so Ravens fans should have fun watching the team dominate Titans QB Matt Hasselbeck. Chris Johnson did not get going at all last week, and it will be even tougher for him to get going this week against the Ravens D. The Titans crowd will keep them in it very early, but the game ends being a Ravens blowout.
Baltimore 34 Tennessee 13
Cleveland Browns vs Indianapolis Colts
The Colts can't be that bad right? They looked lost against the Texans. Kerry Collins looked like a rookie QB playing his first game, and the offense could never get going because of it. The Colts defense was put in a bad situation almost every time they were on the field, and that didn't help matters for them. The Browns lost a close game to their Ohio rivals Cincinnati last week. It was a game they were suppose to win considering how young the Bengals are. So who rebounds here? I still think the Colts are a .500 team. So are the Browns, but expect the Colts fans to be supportive of their team this week despite a weak performance last week. Colts win a close one.
Indianapolis 21 Cleveland 19
Jacksonville Jaguars vs New York Jets
The Jags squeaked out a win at home last week in their first game after cutting David Garrard. They almost gave up the lead late but the defense came up with a late interception to seal the victory. The Jets should have lost last week, but they were gift wrapped the game last week by Tony Romo, who fumbled at the goal line and threw a terrible INT late in the 4th quarter. The Jets offense still looked only adequate, and Mark Sanchez couldn't keep a rhythm going. I don't like the Jags chances here with Luke McCown at QB. Maurice Jones-Drew may be able to make some plays, but the Jets overall defensive unit will shut down the Jaguars here.
NY Jets 24 Jacksonville 14
Seattle Seahawks vs Pittsburgh Steelers
This might be the "Lock of the Century." The Steelers are angry after last week's ugly loss at Baltimore and will take out on poor Seattle here. The Seahawks just don't have the offensive fire power necessary to beat the Steelers on the road. Big Ben lights up a week Seattle secondary here, and Pittsburgh makes it known that they are still a force in the AFC.
Pittsburgh 41 Seattle 16
Arizona Cardinals vs Washington Redskins
The Cardinals were lucky to squeak out a win last week against Carolina. The Cardinals defense looked atrocious, especially in the secondary where the loss of CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie showed. Cam Newton threw all over them. Can Rex Grossman do the same? Why not. Grossman looked effective last week against a banged up Giants defense. I think these two teams are pretty evenly matched, but I like the Cardinals playmakers more than the Redskins. The Cardinals offense shows up and surprises the Redskins at home in this one. I like Larry Fitzgerald to have a big day here.
Arizona 30 Washington 27
Green Bay Packers vs Carolina Panthers
The Packers showed why they have a good chance of repeating as Super Bowl Champs in their opener as the offense looked amazing against the Saints. Aaron Rodgers hasn't missed a beat this off-season and looks great. The defense gave up some late scores that kept the Saints in it, but they also caused some key turnovers and stopped the Saints at the goal line to seal the win. The Panthers showed signs of being an exciting team this season. Cam Newton lived up to the hype in his first NFL game, but can he carry it over to the next game and beyond? One thing is for sure: Don't expect 400+ passing yards from Newton here. I think the Panthers keep it close early, but the Packers show why they're the Champs and pull away late.
Green Bay 35 Carolina 23
Dallas Cowboys vs San Francisco 49ers
Dallas should have won last week. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. They were ahead before Tony Romo blew the game. Now they may be without WR Dez Bryant this week. The Cowboys still have an array of offensive weapons, so that should be a concern for them. Their defensive secondary looked weak again, but don't expect 49ers QB Alex Smith to be able to take advantage of that. The 49ers owe Ted Ginn thanks for winning them the game last week. I expect the Cowboys to rebound here and win one on the road.
Dallas 28 San Francisco 17
San Diego Chargers vs New England Patriots
The Patriots looked like the same old Pats Monday night. Tom Brady absolutely dismantled the Dolphins defense in route to victory. Brady had all day to find open WRs. I don't expect the Chargers to give Brady as much time. But Philip Rivers and company need to have a better start in order for them to hang with the Pats. The Patriots defense showed last week that they can be vulnerable at times, as the Dolphins drove down the field a couple times for scores. They made it look easy on the opening drive before the Pats D tightened up. These two teams always play it close, but I like the Pats here on a last second field goal.
New England 27 San Diego 24
Houston Texans vs Miami Dolphins
The Texans looked great last week against Indy. The offense showed how good they can be, and the defense forced turnovers and didn't look like a joke like last year. Having Wade Phillips in the fold really helps them. The Dolphins hung with the Patriots early before faltering late in the game. The secondary was torched by Brady, and I expect Matt Schaub to do the same here. The Dolphins have lost 10 out of their last 11 at home, might as well make it 11 of their last 12. I expect big things from Andre Johnson this week.
Houston 33 Miami 21
Cincinnati Bengals vs Denver Broncos
The Bengals surprised the Browns last week behind rookie QB Andy Dalton, even though Bruce Gradkowski was the QB when the game ended. Dalton is expected to play this week after suffering a wrist injury. But expect the Bengals to give the Broncos a heavy dose of Cedric Benson. Darren McFadden ran for 150 yards against the Broncos last week. There's no reason Benson shouldn't be able to pound the ball down the Broncos throats. In Denver, Broncos fans are already clamoring for Tim Tebow after one game. It's ridiculous. I'm still not a believer that Tim Tebow can play QB in the NFL. Kyle Orton had one bad opening game. If he keeps it up, then increase the cheers. And unfortunately for Orton and coach John Fox, they hear the Tebow chants again this week as the Broncos are distracted by all of this and get upset by the young Bengals.
Cincinnati 19 Denver 14
Philadelphia Eagles vs Atlanta Falcons
It's the Michael Vick Bowl. The Current Team vs The Former Team. The Eagles got off to a slow start last week but were able to put away the Rams. The Eagles run defense looked bad early before Steven Jackson went out for the Rams. Michael Turner could be a big cause for concern. Matt Ryan's job doesn't get any easier this week. After getting pressured constantly by the Bears, Ryan goes up against one of the best secondaries in the league. Expect a heavy dose of Tony Gonzalez in the passing game. Mike Vick will be out to shut the Falcons fans up. I wouldn't expect a warm reception for him. The Falcons are a better team then they showed last week, and they will be desperate to not start 0-2. They win a close one here.
Atlanta 26 Philadelphia 24
St. Louis Rams vs New York Giants
These are two beat up teams. The Rams are without WR Danny Amendola and probably RB Steven Jackson. Sam Bradford is expected to play after suffering a bruised finger, but his receiving options are limited. The Giants are banged up on defense and it showed last week against Washington. Both of these teams can't afford an 0-2 start, especially the Giants in the NFC East. I like the Rams as a young and up-and-coming team, but the injuries effect them here more than they do the Giants.
NY Giants 23 St. Louis 16
My Vegas $$$ Picks
Last Week: 2-2
Kids I don't encourage gambling, but if you feel the need to put some money down on some NFL games this week, here are my suggestions:
Arizona vs Washington OVER 44: Both teams defenses are just ok, and I think the game is high scoring.
Baltimore -6 at Tennessee: Ravens are a force the Titans can't stop.
Baltimore vs Tennessee OVER 38: Ravens may score over 38 by themselves
Buffalo -3 vs Oakland: Oakland is banged up on offense.
That's all from me this week.
Until next time,
Follow Me on Twitter @JCWonka