Years ago one of my favorite weekly posts was "The Guru Predicts...". I enjoyed making my weekly picks, and enjoyed the feedback - positive and negative - to those picks. As the site grew bigger, we combined it into a weekly staff prediction contest, and now into a Member vs. Staff weekly contest. A natural evolution to be sure, but I still missed my weekly stab at prognostication. That's why, this week, I have brought back "The Guru Predicts..." and look forward to doing it each and every Thursday for the rest of the season.
First off, a little update on the MHR Pick'em League. After Week 1, we have a tie at the top with four entries going 13-3. This group includes Zach Eckels of the MHR Staff. You can follow the action by clicking the link above. We are still working out the details, but prizes will be available for the winners.
As for me, Week 1 has always been a challenge. You know there are going to be some upsets, and this past weekend was no different. I kept my head above water, however, going 11-5. My losers - Giants, Saints, Packers and Seahawks and Bills. Is Buffalo that bad? Can the Saints figure out how to play defense? Let's find out:
|BEARS @ PACKERS
||Everyone is jumping on the Packers bandwagon. I mean, can this team really go 0-2. both losses at home? They can, and they will.|
|CHIEFS @ BILLS||Both teams got crushed in Week 1. The decision is, which will bounce back? The Bills are at home, which gives them an advantage. I think both teams were over-hyped in the off-season, but someone has to win. Mario Williams is taking plenty of heat for his comments after the loss to New York. He's going to make like difficult for Matt Cassel.|
|BROWNS @ BENGALS||The Bengals are eager to forget about the beatdown they received at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. Lucky for them, Cleveland comes to town. The Browns did everything possible to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and unlike Andy Dalton last season, Brandon Weeden looks completely overwhelmed.|
|VIKINGS @ COLTS||Andrew Luck is the real deal. Sure, he struggle a bit in his first start against the Bears, but he got better as the game wore on. As for the Vikings, they let Blaine Gabbert look good. 'Nuf said.|
|RAIDERS @ DOLPHINS||Much like Broncos fans everywhere, NFL schedule makers must not like the Raiders. After having them play late into Monday evening, the Raider must travel all the way to the east coast, on a short week, and face the Dolphins in an early Sunday matchup. Never an easy thing to do. Lucky for the Raiders that Miami is one of the two worst teams in football.|
|CARDINALS @ PATRIOTS||Tom Brady was Tom Brady, but the Patriots running game and defense were on display last week against Tennessee. If they can get after quarterbacks like that all year, watch out!|
|BUCS @ GIANTS||The Giants became the first Super Bowl Champ to lose their home opener the next season since the Broncos did it in 1999. Tom Coughlin - and the Giants players - seem to react better when people begin to count them out. Fall to 0-2, and they may be out in the tough NFC East.|
|RAVENS @ EAGLES||Joe Flacco looked the part on Monday night, but the Bengals were only down 17-13 midway through the 3rd quarter. Then all hell broke loose. Michale Vick, on the other hand, did everything possible to lose to the Browns. In a game featuring Eagles and Ravens, it will be Boo-Birds out early if Vick struggles.|
|SAINTS @ PANTHERS||If there was one game you'd think the Saints would be ready for it was last week. The energy of the crowd, the circle-the-wagons mentality after bounty gate, overcoming a hurricane. What New Orleans found out, however, is the Sean Peyton is that good, and the Saints need him back.|
|TEXANS @ JAGUARS||My Eliminator pick from Week 1 was Houston and they did little to disappoint. People forget that they gave Baltimore everything they could handle in the Playoffs last year without their best players on offense and defense. Now that Matt Schaub is healthy, the Texans are primed for a deep playoff run. Historically it has been the Texans that gave the Jags fits when the roles were reversed. Can J-ville curtail the Texans?|
|REDSKINS @ RAMS||Mike Shanahan knows how to start a season. Despite his shortcomings, give Shanny 5 months to prepare for anyone and he's going to get it done. Now can the Redskins handle some success? The Rams nearly had the Lions beat on the road, and may have done it if not for a clock error by replacement officials. They won't make things easy for RGIII and the boys.|
|COWBOYS @ SEAHAWKS||I guess you could say this is my upset of the week. Truth is, I don't trust Dallas to handle their success very well. Seattle is as tough as it gets in terms of home field advantage, and Tony Romo needs to prove to me that his can go into a hostile environment and win - be it in the regular season or playoffs.|
|JETS @ STEELERS||The Jets got fat against Buffalo while the Steelers lost to the Broncos. Mark Sanchez is no Peyton Manning, however, and word on the street is James Harrison and Rashard Mendenhall will play on Sunday. The specter of Tim Tebow is always hanging around the Jets.|
|TITANS @ CHARGERS||The Chargers defense looked young, fast and hungry. Playing the unfamiliar role as the AFC West team NOT expected to win could be a powerful motivator for coaches and players alike. It's tough to win on the road in the AFC West and the Chargers already have one under their belt. They'll go to 2-0 on Sunday.|
|LIONS @ NINERS||Last year the Niners traveled to Detroit to face an undefeated Lions team as virtual unknowns. After beating the Lions - and Jim Harbaugh assaulting Jim Schwartz during the post-game handshake - the Niners are anonymous no more. Detroit didn't look great against the Rams, but they got the win. Is revenge on their mind? Maybe, but the Niners look like the class of the NFC.|
|BRONCOS @ FALCONS||Peyton Manning has brought big-boy football back to Denver. Their impossible schedule continues with a trip to Atlanta to face the Falcons. While Matt Ryan is a solid quarterback, Atlanta isn't a great pro-sports town. The Georgia Dome simply isn't a huge advantage. Matt Ryan doesn't lose many at home, however, but the Broncos have done it to him in the past. Manning is on a mission, and the Broncos are right behind him.|
There you have it, my picks for Week 2. Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!