Our 2012 contest kicked off when Reader H-Bizzle faced off against Staffer Kirk Davis. Yes, I DO realize that I'm mixing a hockey expression with a football contest. The competition was fierce early on: both competitors raced out to 3-0 in their predictions, and then tailed off to 3-2. Then H-Bizzle took a lead (5-2 to 4-3). It would prove to be a lead which he would never relinquish. When the final gun of the final game sounded (a controversy-marred ending to the San Diego/Oakland contest), we found that H-Bizzle had predicted 11 out the 15 contests correctly, edging Kirk by 2 games. Thus, at the end of one week of the competition the Readers are leading the Staffers 11-4 to 9-6. Now, on to Week 2.
This week our reader is that MHR member known as Fabio Brazil. Fabio Brazil writes:
Hello MHR... this is Fabio, the most fanatic brazilian fan of the Denver Broncos. I'm a MHR reader for 3 years, and I'm around with posts and comments since the offseason before the '11 season. I call MHR and a few friends I made here as my Orange & Blue family. I've never been to US, but I hope to attend a home Broncos game as soon as I can and have a beer with some of you guys.
I think the readers are going to defeat the staffers again this year and I hope to make my contributions here =)
Fabio Brazil will be competing with Sayre Bedinger. Sayre writes:
My name is Sayre and I have been part of MHR since 2009. I absolutely love the culture and community here, and it has greatly enriched my knowledge of not only the Broncos but football in general. I am a music pastor in South Dakota with a wife and a child on the way! I'm very proud to be part of this awesome community.
And now, onto the picks
Fabio Brazil: Aaron Rodgers and multiple targets. What a dangerous offense even being an unidimensional one... I don't believe on the "crybaby" Cutler and his new targets. Maybe Forte can have a great day, but no way they can put more points on the scoreboard than the Packers. Rivalry game, the Packers are the favorites.
Sayre:Here are my picks for the games in the second week of NFL play. I was on board with the Chicago Bears after their week one performance, and I underestimated the Packers, so I’m 0-1. Chalk that up as a lesson learned.
Fabio Brazil: It's painful to say that, but the Chiefs have a very good football team despite their QBs. I thought the Bills would be a threat this year, but their first game really disappointed me. I don't think they can recover fast enough to beat the Chiefs. They play at home though and this could be a factor with their amazing DL facing the crappy Chiefs OL. I expect a close game with a KC victory unfortunately.
Sayre: I’m maybe overreacting to the Chiefs getting their butts kicked by the Falcons, but I like the Bills here. This is an interesting battle of starting running backs, with the Chiefs’ Jamaal Charles and the Bills’ C.J. Spiller. I think that both teams have mediocre QBs and better than average defenses with playmaking ability. I’m going with the home team.
Fabio Brazil:I really wish I could say Dolphins here ahahaha but no way. I can't say a worse team in the NFL this year than the Dolphins (not named Browns). They have a couple talented players on both sides of the ball, but it's not enough to beat the Raiders and their rushing game. Also the Raiders front-4 can have a great game facing the new OL of the Dolphins (despite of the great pro bowler Long).
Sayre: Ryan Tannehill just looked bad last week, and the Dolphins in general don’t look great. The Raiders need to get that long snapper issue figured out. This could be a very sloppy game.
Fabio Brazil: Michael Vick will have a tough time with the Ravens front-7. They were dominant playing against the Bengals on the first MNF of the season, and I'd be surprised if they don't also dominate the Eagles OL. The Eagles have a heck of a great D, but I think Flacco can put some points to win this game by a very low difference.
Sayre: Boy the Ravens looked good last week. The Eagles? Not so much. This is a tough place to play, and if Mike Vick plays the whole game, I don’t think the Eagles have lost many games. Still, I’m going with the smart money here. Baltimore is looking very good.
Fabio Brazil: After a slow start, the Giants have a good schedule hosting the Buccaneers. I can't figure a way the Buccs can do better than the Giants on any side of the ball. I can't believe the Giants defense can have two awful games in a row and Eli should lead them to the victory.
Sayre: The Bucs got a nice division win against the Panthers last week, and the Giants couldn’t come back against the Dallas Cowboys. I think the Giants get off the schnide this weekend.
Fabio Brazil: Easy call. Does anybody (but Larry's mom) really think the Cardinals can win this game on the road? No way...
Sayre: Kevin Kolb vs. Tom Brady. You tell me.
Fabio Brazil: The Texans have a very good defense while the Jaguars rely solely on MJD, so it's not working. On other side, the Jaguars have a good defense but the Texans are a better team. Andre Johnson is a great football player, Arian Foster adds another dimension to the offense and Schaub is a very good QB.
Sayre: This is a decent divisional matchup. Will Blaine Gabbert continue to make progress? Is Jacksonville going to be on a big time low after losing a heartbreaker to the Vikings last week? I think this game could be oddly close, but don’t bet against the Texans here.
Fabio Brazil: Cam Newton had a great rookie year, but for me time plays against him since the coaches are getting used to him and game planning better for him. The Saints defense is not a great one, but enough to keep the Panthers with less points than the stellar offense they have with Brees at the helm. The LBs corp of the Panthers are amazing, but can they cover Graham? I don't think so.
Sayre:The Saints suffered a big opening week loss, but I don’t think Drew Brees is going to lose two in a row very often. This has the look of a trap game, but I think the Saints can make it happen.
Fabio Brazil: The Browns are probably the worst team in NFL currently and the Bengals are a young team with plenty of talent on both sides of the ball. Andy Dalton looks cool behind his pocket and has a fast and explosive target on AJ Green. Their defense is not the best of the world, but will stop the Browns.
Sayre: The Bengals looked pretty bad against the Ravens, but there is a huge gap beteween those two teams this year. I think the Browns are in for a very long season, and Cincy is not an easy place to play.
Fabio Brazil: A great prospect at QB facing an awful secondary. This might be the key of the game if the Colts can capitalize on that. They need to gameplan to stop Allen and target Wayne all over the field for the whole day. He struggled a lot on their season opener, but he faced a very good defense and it's always tough to debut in the NFL. I think his calm and accuracy will be enough to to win this game. They should stack the box to stuff Peterson and trust Ponder can't hit Harvin deep.
Sayre: Will this be the week Andrew Luck gets his first win, at home in front of thousands of rowdy fans? I say, why not? However, Indy is going to have to be able to stop Adrian Peterson, and I’m not sure they can make that happen. This will be another tough test for Luck, going up against Jared Allen.
Fabio Brazil: I thought RGIII would be a good football player, but not that soon! He really impressed me last week and I expect him to have another great game. I can't figure any reason why the Rams could dominate any side of the ball or how they can game plan to win this game. I like Shany and I'm happy for him since this time he has a good team to work.
Sayre: The Rams are playing at home, but that has already been proven to not phase Robert Griffin III.
Fabio Brazil: I was willing to say Seahawks here, but after losing to their division rivals (Cardinals) I don't think anymore they can defeat the Cowboys even playing at home. Dallas made a great season debut and until the mid of the season they are expect to play fine. Once they establish their pass rushing, the rookie QB Wilson will face tough decisions trying to make some plays.
Sayre: Seattle could really struggle with this new-look Dallas D. I think DeMarcus Ware is more than capable of chasing down Russell Wilson, but don’t discredit the 12th man in Seattle, that is one of the best home field advantages in the NFL.
Fabio Brazil: If the J-e-t-s want to win this game, they need to put Tebow to pass the ball LOL. Just kidding. It's a game of defenses and as a tie-breaker I think the Steelers have more weapons. Maybe Mendenhall is back at that point but even if he doesn't big Ben is a tough and smart QB. He can hit Wallace and Brown (any who is playing opposite to Revis) and explore the blitz packages of the Jets. I can't believe Greene and co. can establish their ground attack and I don't trust Sanchez passing the football.
Sayre: The Jets looked very good against the Bills in week one. This is an entirely different road contest as well as a very different opposing offense. Plus, they don’t have Darrelle Revis.
Fabio Brazil: Chargers at home... Titans with Locker playing with his non-thworing shoulder deslocated and Nate Washington is hurt. Kenny Britt is coming back from an ACL. I wanted them to kill San Diego, but I don't think it's gonna happen. The Chargers have a few very taletend players and a good (despite being a crybaby) quarterback who can make some plays and win the game.
Sayre: Philip Rivers and the Chargers managed to win a sloppy one on Monday night, and the Titans are rolling with Jake Locker at less than 100 percent.
Fabio Brazil: This is a game I'm going to watch for sure. If not live, at least in reprise during the week. A great defense (SF) facing a great offense (DET) and a good offense (SF) facing a good defense (DET). To play at home may be a factor, but so is a huge factor to have Calvin Johnson. A tough pick to make here, I'm going with the 49ers but anything can happen imo.
Sayre: This game has the potential to be an NFC Playoffs preview. The Niners looked great against Green Bay in the first week, and if Detroit makes the same mistakes this week as they did last week, they are in big trouble
What Denver Must Do to Win
Fabio Brazil: The key to this game is to pressure Matt Ryan. Our base formation on the defense against the Steelers was a nickel 3-3-5 and we rushed 3 covering 8 several times, since Big Ben was taking advantage of our blitz packages. I don't think Ryan can do the same and he should be must more vulnerable to edge rushers. If we can reach him with consistence, he is done. On the other side of the ball, the key is to establish our ground attack. This way he can take off the pressure from Manning and let him use his terrific game inteligence to lead us to another victory. He plays great in domes, and I'm confident he can win if our defense stops the combo White/Jones/Gonzales.
Sayre: This is one of the hardest places for any team to play in the NFL. Peyton Manning doesn’t care about another team’s home record. He is a home wrecker.
Good Luck to both of our Contestants.