After a good start to the predictions (at least for me), we continue with out predictions for week 2. Not much else to say, except that read these carefully, and prepare to mock us in several days.
I’m sure that Cole will add his picks shortly. Just gives you more time to digest my (lack of) wisdom.
Seattle 0 – Pittsburgh 24
Well I won’t say no one saw this coming. Even I shorted this Pittsburgh defense by giving Seattle 6 points. Look, as several pundits have pointed out, this isn’t a fix for many of the holes the Ravens showcased week 1, but this defense is not nearly as bad as the first week looked like. Expect more games like this down the road.
- Andy: Pittsburgh rebounds against a team with a pretty ghastly offense. Seattle begins to realize they may not even go 7-9 this season. 27-10 Pittsburgh
- Cole: Poor Seattle. Pittsburgh walked into a hornet’s nest week 1 against Baltimore. Seattle will do the same this week. The Steelers will rebound against a west coast team traveling east. Also, Big Ben moved the ball relatively well against Baltimore, but turned it over at critical times. If he can avoid that, this won’t even be close. 30- 6 Pittsburgh
Oakland 35 – Buffalo 38
It was a close game and featured several big plays late. Hell, 35 points were scored in the 4th quarter alone. How Oakland missed that tight end open in the middle, I may never know, but it did show that these are both teams that will compete the entire game. I have doubts about Oakland’s secondary the rest of this year, but Buffalo really impressed me by storming back. New England will be a real test next week.
- Andy: Oakland could control the clock with their running game, but Buffalo’s passing game is much better than Denver’s, and Oakland just cannot seem to win out of division. Buffalo continues to dream the impossible. 24-14 Buffalo
- Cole: Oakland will run DMC again, while mixing in Michael Bush to keep McFadden fresh. Campbell needs to improve this week if he wants to avoid calls for Terrell Pryor (Yes, Kyle Boller, the fans will not mind skipping you in the rotation). Buffalo is expected to continue its spread attack and Oakland’s secondary is still evolving. This will be a close game, but Fitzpatrick finds a way late. 27-21 Buffalo
Arizona 21 – Washington 22
A very close game that featured very little anything. Grossman picked up another 290 yards, but I can’t say a lot stood out in this game. The Redskins deserved to lose this game at many points, and the Cardinals did lose it by playing prevent late. I still can’t tell much about either of these teams until one of them faces off against a team we know is good. Still 2-0 between the two of us here.
- Andy: A lot of this game runs on if Washington’s defense is really as good as it was in the 2nd half last week. I expect another admirable performance, and with Arizona’s weak secondary it may be enough. 21-17 Washington
- Cole: This is tough to judge. Arizona’s pass defense was simply atrocious last week. I think that they loaded the box attempting to force Newton to throw, and were surprised to find he could. With Washington I’ll expect a more balanced defensive strategy. But its a west coast team heading east and Washington’s defense was excellent week one. 17-14 Washington
Tampa Bay 24 – Minnesota 20
Missed it by that much. Adrian Peterson did what was expected – 120 yards 2 tds – but his defense simply cannot hold any lead. Up 17-0, the once vaunted half of the Vikings allowed the Bucs to storm back to the front. The Buccaneers are clearly the better team, but the degradation of this Viking defense is alarming. We have been concerned about the offenses ability to score points, but it looks more like the defense, which has blown two leads in two weeks, is the more concerning area.
- Andy: The good news for Minnesota is Donovan McNabb will throw for more than 39 yards this week. The bad news is he will still perform poorly. Unless AD has 200 yards, I don’t see how Minnesota can win this week. 21-13 Tampa Bay
- Cole: I almost picked Tampa for my survivor pick this week, but frankly I want to see them play to their potential before calling them anything. Their game plan last week was simply awful. I do expect Adrian Peterson to torch this defensive line, but I’m not quite sure its enough. Still, I think Tampa hasn’t proven anything and Minnesota will find themselves with just enough. 21 – 13 Minnesota
Jacksonville 3 – New York Jets 32
The Jets are simply a much better team than the Jaguars, particularly defensively. So instead, lets talk about how Jack Del Rio has ruined the potential for a decent season by throwing Garrard to the dogs. Luke McCown lasted two weeks before Blaine Gabbert takes over by default. At this point, its a move that needed to be made, but this team needed to decide long ago whether it was committed to the rookie or the veteran.
- Andy: Luke McCown and company face a much better team than the Titans this week. If the Jaguars get more than 7 points, they can walk home with a moral victory. 24-6 New York Jets
- Cole: Rex doesn’t have a pass rush, his run defense was underwhelming last week and his offense inept for large chunks of the game. All that said, they’re much better than the Jaguars. 19 – 3 New York Jets
Chicago 13 – New Orleans 30
Andy’s a bit closer on this selection than I, but with the way Drew Brees threw the ball vs Green Bay, and an extra couple of days to prepare, it looked like the kind of game the Bears would let down some on. The Saints defense was a pleasant surprise though. Rodgers torched this unit and it looked atrocious (I thought that the Packers defense was the better of the two, which I might regret some down the road), but it was much improved against Cutler.
- Andy: Great game for Chicago week 1. Doesn’t play out the same way in the New Orleans, with the Saints looking for redemption for their own week 1 loss. 30-17 New Orleans
- Cole: Chicago surprised Atlanta, but New Orleans won’t let that happen. The Saints will value a win here much more knowing that the Falcons still have the Packers to play later. 34 – 21 New Orleans
Green Bay 30 – Carolina 23
The bar in which we watched this game had a selection of Green Bay fans who were very much surprised by the actions of their team for most of this game. I guess when you’re quarterback comes out week 1 and completes his first 10 passes, you come to expect some very impressive numbers every week. Rodgers was still pretty sharp, and his deep ball to Greg Jennings was beautiful to watch. More impressive, was the Cam Newton, who took a defense I considered very talented and marched up and down the field on them. Newton is also the Panther’s leading rusher, which is the symptom of the struggles of this team. Without a running attack, the Panther’s probably won’t be able to finish games.
- Andy: Cam Newton sees his first elite defense. Cam Newton gets pounded by his first elite defense. Rookies have to start somewhere. 27-13 Green Bay
- Cole: Honeymoon’s over Cam. Green Bay will zone blitz all night and Aaron Rodgers won’t take pity on a vulnerable Panthers team. 34 – 10 Green Bay
Baltimore 13 – Tennessee 26
Well here’s a surprise. I expected a let down from Baltimore, but figured they were talented enough and could motivate themselves for at least a quarter. They were flat the entire day. Hasselbeck was particularly impressive, finding Kenny Britt repeatedly. He had a quick release which took out the Ravens pass rush, and the Ravens secondary looked lost. CJ2K was a non-factor again.
- Andy: The Ravens can play half as well as they did last week and beat a Titans team considerably worse than the Steelers. Matt Hasselbeck cannot carry this team to victory, and Ravens run D will keep CJ2K in check. 23-13 Baltimore
- Cole: The Ravens run defense hasn’t been tested, but CJ2K is still shaking off the rust. Nothing really scares you from the Titans pass offense other than Hasselbeck’s experience. I think the Ravens will be hungover from their emotional win against Pittsburgh, but only for a half. They’ll finish the job late in semi-dramatic fashion. 17-10 Baltimore
Kansas City 3 – Detroit 48
Hold the phone, Detroit’s got a football team. And frankly, Kansas City does not. Jamaal Charles being out is a massive nail in their coffin. Expect Ricky Stanzi to make some appearances down the road. The Chiefs just look woefully unprepared for this season and haven’t made any significant adjustments from last season. Charlie Weis’ departure looks like a brutal hit for this team. The Lions continue to roll while Mr. Glass stays intact.
- Andy: If Kansas City was manhandled by the Buffalo offense of Ryan Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson, what are Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson going to do to them? 31-14 Detroit
- Cole: Kansas City will run the ball. I guarantee it. Whether it works is another matter. Anyone else hear the fear in Coach Todd Haley’s voice this week talking about Suh? 24 – 10 Detroit
Cleveland 27 – Indianapolis 19
Colt McCoy was much better this week than last, more efficient and poised. It certainly helps to be facing a Colts defense without a lead. It’s tough to really think either of these teams will be contenders. Cleveland has a long way to go before proving to me that they’re much better than last season, while Indianapolis is a shadow of their former selves.
- Andy: I know Cleveland performed terribly last week, but so did Indianapolis. A Colts team without Peyton Manning is one team with very little room for improvement. Expect a heavy dose of Peyton Hillis. 17-10 Cleveland
- Cole: Two teams that looked pretty bad last week. The Colts looked far worse however, and without Peyton don’t feature much star power. There will be a Peyton on display though. Peyton Hillis runs downhill 24-13 Cleveland
Dallas 27 – San Francisco 24
What a performance by Tony Romo. As one of our readers pointed out, by coming back in hurt he’s only furthering his Favre’ like resemblance. Romo made some spectacular throws late and Miles Austin was phenomenal. The 49ers defense was equally atrocious late. Alex Smith turned in a slightly better performance, but I’m beginning to suspect that like the last 3 years, he’s the starter only because there’s nothing behind him. The numerous injuries associated with the Cowboys are going to drag this team down, however. Felix Jones, Miles Austin, and most of their secondary look likely to miss this next week.
- Andy: Tony Romo can’t choke if Alex Smith can’t score. He was mediocre against Seattle, will be worse against Dallas. Jim Harbaugh is in for a rude awakening. 24-10 Dallas
- Cole: San Francisco seems like a team that will try to keep games close and eek them out late. I don’t expect Dez Bryant to play, or at least not contribute much, but even without him they have too many weapons for San Francisco to cover. 26 – 16 Dallas
Cincinnati 22 – Denver 24
Another sound performance by Andy Dalton was marred by the Broncos figuring out that Willis McGahee is a better running back that Moreno. The Bengal defense still continues to look porous against the run, but their offense looks like it is on the right track after years of treading water. The Broncos looked remarkably better than their last game, looking almost like they had a game plan not organized by Josh McDaniels.
- Andy: I’d pick Denver, but it seems as if they have lost almost every good player they have for this week. Losing Dumervil and Champ Bailey will hurt a lot. 24-20 Cincinnati
- Cole: Wow, I have no idea where to go with this. We all thought John Fox would come out with a power run game he featured at Carolina, but I think that Josh McDaniels may simply be renting a John Fox suit and wearing it on the sidelines. Their pass happy attack was almost appalling to watch. Cincinnati is a tough team and will keep Dalton out of trouble. As much as I fear predicting it… 16 – 9 Cincinnati
San Diego 21 – New England 35
It’s hard for me to see this as a win by San Diego. Their defense, like many defenses in the NFL, couldn’t stop the Patriots most of the night. They made several bad turnovers (which Rivers seems to think they can avoid in the future), but offensively looked good. New England looks as poised as they were going undefeated a couple of years back. There’s really no signs of weakness in this offense, or of defenses catching up to them.
- Andy: Fun fact…Philip Rivers has never beaten Tom Brady. I don’t think it will start while playing in Massachusetts against an obviously hot passing game. 27-20 New England
- Cole: Fun Fact…. Tom Brady is really, really good. The Chargers will put up points, but I don’t expect San Diego to be able to counter everything New England brings to the table. 30 – 21 New England
Houston 23 – Miami 13
Houston wasn’t as dominating as they were against Indianapolis, but they were sound again. It looks like Arian Foster is grounded for a while, as Ben Tate continued to run well. Schuab and Johnson were on point as well. Defensively, the Texans looked pretty sound, but against this Dolphin offense it’s hard to tell if they’ve made significant improvements or not. Henne was fairly miserable, but Daniel Thomas finally saw some time on the field and performed well.
- Andy: Houston continues rolling. Big day for Arian Foster (or Ben Tate). Chad Henne won’t perform at the same level he did his last week. 31-21 Houston
- Cole: Miami won some moral victories against New England last week. No, the 99 yard TD to Welker was not one of them. This week, they face a more traditional aerial attack, but one that they will have trouble with nonetheless. 24 – 10 Houston
Sunday Night Football
Philadelphia 31 – Atlanta 35
This was the game of the week. I maintain that Philadelphia wins this game with Vick in, but his fragility came in to play early. It was not his best game by any stretch of the imagination. The Eagles found ways to creatively turn the ball over in crucial situations, and the weak line protection finally burnt them in the end. Still, Kafka should have completed a 4th down pass and kept the drive moving. Atlanta, on the other hand, took a long time to finally get moving. They benefited from some lucky breaks early to keep it close, but Matt Ryan struggled to get going. He didn’t have 100 yards passing until well into the 3rd quarter. He did convert red zone opportunities when he had to, and Michael Turner sealed the deal with a big time run late.
- Andy: Michael Vick cannot throw like he did last week and win this game. Expect a heavy dose of Michael Turner to keep the Eagles modest. 21-17 Atlanta
- Cole: Atlanta struggled to get pressure effectively last week and I think Philadelphia’s line is a bit better than Chicago’s. Also, Atlanta is not a blitz happy team. Vick struggles when under pressure. I think Vick comes out and lights it up this week. Matt Ryan won’t go down like last week, but if he wants to win this one he’ll need a much better performance. 24 – 20 Philadelphia
Monday Night Football
St. Louis Rams 16 – New York Giants 28
This was a game that didn’t bring much to the table. The Giants gave up a lot of yards, but didn’t allow those to translate into a lot of points through consistent pressure of Bradford. The Giants managed to minimize mistakes. Neither team really played well, as with the Redskins v Arizona. Neither of these teams has shown me that they’re contenders yet, but both should have opportunities next week to make their cases.
- Andy: Sam Bradford playing is good news for the Rams…Steven Jackson on the bench is not. Despite a depleted Giants secondary, the Rams cannot stay competitive with the Giants through the second half. 27-14 New York Giants
- Cole: A very ho-hum card for the Monday Night Game this week. With Bradford hurt, Steven Jackson likely out, and a Giants offense that looked anemic last week, this could be a brutal game to watch. Expect the Giants to test the Rams’ run defense early and expect the Rams to try airing it out against a weak Giants secondary. I don’t have much of a favorite here… 17-14 St. Louis
Record This Week:
Andy : 14 – 2
Cole : 11 – 5
Record So Far:
Andy : 24 – 8
Cole : 20 – 12