Friday, September 18, 2009

Week 2 picks

It's still early on in the season, but Week 2 can be an important week in the NFL schedule. Some teams are looking to prove their Week 1 performance wasn't a mirage, while others are trying to prove just the opposite.

Here goes:

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans: I was high on the Texans coming into the season, however, though it's only been one game, I think Houston looks overhyped. They played with no passion against a Jets team that was young, learning on the go and could have been taken advantage of. Add in the fact that Houston was at home, and it looks even harder to imagine the Texans regaining that swagger against a good Titans team. Go with Tennessee.

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons:
Jake Delhomme bounces back from an awful opener against the Eagles, but the Falcons are a dangerous football team. At home, go with Atlanta.

New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles:
This is an intriguing matchup. Everyone knows the Saints can light up the scoreboard, and the Eagles were picked by many to be among the final teams standing in the NFC playoffs. The loss of McNabb to a rib injury puts a damper on it, and it'll be up to Kevin Kolb to keep things close. He won't, and the Saints will go to 2-0.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions: Everyone wants to get it right when the Lions finally win a game, but they'll have to wait at least one week. Easy win for Minnesota as Adrian Peterson (pictured) rolls again.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs:
Matt Cassel or no Matt Cassel, it won't be enough against an apparently improved Raiders team.

New England Patriots at New York Jets: In-depth pick coming

Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers: Tough loss for the Bungles in Denver. A tough loss turns into the makings of a tough season as the Packers go to 2-0, and the Bengals stay winless.

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins: If there's any team that faces a must-win every week, it's the Redskins. The NFC East is football's toughest division, and it is not unusual to see an 11-5 team win the division and a 10-6 or 9-7 team miss the playoffs. Look for that urgency to settle in for the Skins.

Arizona Cardinals at Jacksonville Jaguars:
The Cards are not a fluke. And after a tough loss to San Francisco (at home, no less), it's time for Arizona to prove it. They will. Take the Cardinals.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills:
Boy, the Bills had better win this game. Awaiting them afterward are the Saints and Dolphins, so Buffalo could be 0-4 and essentially done when the season's a quarter finished. Buffalo clearly has the talent (they're 1-0 nine times out of 10), but whether they can move on from a crushing loss in Foxboro is another. I say they do. Take the Bills, but this could easily go the other way.

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers: Both teams are struggling for the division title that eluded them last year. On one hand, the Seahawks are trying to regain what was annually theirs for most of this decade, and on the other, the Niners are trying to fulfill their promise as a team waiting to break out. Unfortunately for Seattle, 49ers head coach Mike Singletary has this talented bunch under his thumb. San Fran becomes the league's most surprising 2-0 team.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears: Take the Steelers. No Troy Polamalu, no problem - for now.

Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers: It's been a bad week for Philip Rivers. He struggled in the opening victory over Oakland, and then got fined for - surprise, surprise - running his mouth. He had better get the Chargers up and running this week against the always-tough Ravens, or things will go bad very quickly.

Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos: The Broncos are bad, the Browns are bad. The difference is, the Broncos got lucky in Week 1 while the Browns were busy getting stomped on by Minnesota. Look for the Browns to even the score. Both teams move to 1-1.

New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys: The $1.2 billion Cowboys palace opens its doors as two NFC East rivals square off. The G-men have a strong squad, but Dallas appears focused and on top of their game. And this has been a safe selection slate so far. Time to take a chance. Dallas gets the victory and becomes the division's only 2-0 team.

Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins: Many people jumped off the Colt bandwagon once Tony Dungy and Marvin Harrison departed. I don't buy it, and you shouldn't either. The Colts are still tough, still dangerous, and it's because they still have Mr. Manning throwing to Mr. Wayne. Indy wins, and will be busy - once again - clinching playoff berths when November and December roll around.

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