Well, so much for that Tampa Bay Buccaneers preseason hype machine. It got dismantled big time on Thursday Night Football. Meanwhile, I'll be picking the Atlanta Falcons at home no matter who they play this season. It's just too bad they didn't run up the score and break some real records that night. As it stands, I am in a four way tie for third place in the 40 member Yahoo Pick'em group, blowing three pick changes last Sunday that would have put me in the money for the second straight week. I hate failing.
- Last Week: 8-8
- Season: 20-13
It never fails to have a few major surprises to start a season. The biggest for me so far is how the New Orleans Saints are losing those close games, be it against quality opponents like the Falcons or bottom feeders like the Cleveland Browns. Then you have the Buffalo Bills who went into Chicago and dropped the Bears and followed it up with a manhandling of the Miami Dolphins.
Let's get on with it. Here are my picks this week, tell us yours in the comments!
San Diego Chargers at Buffalo Bills
People may take my pick here as a validation of the Buffalo Bills, but I still don't trust them, however, this is the kind of game that Philip Rivers and the Chargers tend to lose. Coming off a huge upset victory and traveling across country for a road game, the Chargers almost always lose. I was hoping more Yahoo users would be pounding the Chargers bandwagon after beating the defending Super Bowl Champs, but only 60% took them. Still, at least I'll have a chance to put down a big chunk if I called this right. Prediction: Bills 23, Chargers 14.
Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals
Andy Dalton and the Bengals have started the season very strong and have even topped the power rankings for many pundits this week. I suspect they are peaking early, much like the 2013 Broncos and teams will begin to figure them out late. Still, this game shouldn't even be close as the Titans are barely a .500 team if they are lucky, while the Bengals might actually win a playoff game this year. Prediction: Bengals 35, Titans 10.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Nothing like a good divisional game to show the world that Brian Hoyer isn't leading the Cleveland Browns to the playoffs any time soon. Even with how well the Browns played the Saints last week, I am convinced the AFC North is a two horse race between the Ravens and Bengals. It would be fun to see Johnny Manziel flop though at some point this season. Prediction: Ravens 23, Browns 16.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions
I love overreactions. Sometimes I get burned by them, but most often its easy pickin's. This is going to be one of those times, I think. With Matthew Stafford and the Lions getting dominated down in Carolina and the Packers putting together a heroic comeback over the lolJets at home. So with this being a home game for the Lions and given they were embarrassed the week before, I'm going to have to go with the Yahoo user underdog. Prediction: Lions 31, Packers 20.
Dallas Cowboys at St. Louis Rams
If the Dallas Cowboys are one of the worst teams in the league, then I have the Rams just below that. The Rams somehow eeked out a win last week against a Buccaneers team that allowed 56 points a few days ago, so that about tells me what I need to know about the Rams. They are one point better than the Bucs. Meanwhile, the Cowboys at least have a potent offense with Tony Romo and company. It should be a win for America's second team. Prediction: Cowboys 31, Rams 17.
Oakland Raiders at New England Patriots
Oh man, this game should get out of hand early and often. The Raiders are neck and neck with the Jaguars as the worst teams in the NFL today, meanwhile the Patriots are chasing the Bills for the AFC East lead(no, I did not type that last part with a straight face). If the Texans can blowout the Raiders in Oakland, then I am fairly sure Tom Brady and the Patriots will also have their way with them in Gillette Stadium. Prediction: Patriots 45, Raiders 17.
Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees and the Saints will finally get into the win column this week at their home opener. Losing to the Browns, even in Cleveland, is unacceptable for any team with Super Bowl aspirations. My opinion of the Saints has been downgraded significantly. Meanwhile, the Vikings have a sideshow of their own to deal with and the distraction is likely to prove to be too much of a distraction. They had a chance too, but Adrian Peterson couldn't help brutalizing his own four year old son. Roger Goodell will shoulder the blame for everything though, I'm sure. Logic. Prediction Saints 34, Vikings 21.
Houston Texans at New York Giants
This was the second most difficult pick I made this week, because I really do believe Tom Couglin is one of the best head coaches in the NFL and another 0-6 start can possibly be in the cards for the Giants. Eli Manning has streaks of his former great self, but mostly is just awful. I just can't see him moving the football against the smothering defense of the Texans. J.J. Watt is on his way to being NFL MVP this year if you ask me. All that said, I give the Giants a chance for the upset, but I have to pick the Texans based on actual play so far this season. Prediction: Texans 17, Giants 13.
Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
And here we go with the most difficult pick of the week for me. Though they are 2-0, I have been mostly unimpressed with the quality and consistency of their play so far this season and the Redskins have a surprisingly good defense. With Kirk Cousins back there, I think its a game changer for the 2014 Redskins and this game just has upset written all over it for me. I'm going to join 11% of Yahoo users who went with the Redskins here for the huge upset over the Eagles to take control of the NFC East. Prediction: Redskins 30, Eagles 27.
Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars
After two consecutive last minute fails to start the season 0-2, Andrew Luck and the Colts will be desperate to right the ship immediately. They are set up perfectly to do just that against the hapless Jaguars who after a 17-0 lead over the Eagles at halftime in their first game have been simply dominated in every way since. The difference between these two winless teams is that one is probably going to make the playoffs still. Prediction: Colts 34, Jaguars 13.