Saturday, September 18, 2010

NFL Picks: Week 2

The first week in the NFL gave us a glimpse at Houston Texans' overnight-star Arian Foster running all over a disinterested Colts squad. We saw New York Jets' running back Shonn Green go all-Steve Slaton on us and my fantasy team. And, if there were any such awards, I'd like to give the nod to the Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins for the AFC and NFC home field advantage/fan-inspired victory award, respectively.

Week 1 Results:

Against the spread: 8-5-3

Straight up: 11-5

Okay, onto week 2...

Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons (-6.5)

Did Kurt Warner really make that much difference in Arizona? It seems that way. New starting quarterback Derek Anderson had trouble with the Rams, and the playoff-hopeful Falcons are coming off a tough overtime loss in Pittsburgh. Atlanta should dominate the battle of the birds.

Against the spread: Falcons

Straight up: Falcons

Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5)

I'm not sure what to make of Brett Favre's health (or lack there of) at this point, but until he has someone to throw the ball to, it really doesn't matter. Miami failed the 'can you beat the Bills by double-digits' test last week, so I (kind of) like the Vikings.

Against the spread: Vikings

Straight up: Vikings

Buffalo Bills at Green Bay Packers (-13)

I know, because of the NFL's schedule system, that the Bills have to face the Packers once every four years, but can't we make an exception just this once? The spread could be 13 or 31, I'm betting hard Green Bay.

Against the spread: Packers

Straight up: Packers

Baltimore Ravens (-3) at Cincinatti Bengals

The Ravens should be delighted to know they won't have to face the Jets' defense again this season - at least in the regular season. Joe Flacco and co. should have much more room to work in Cincy this week. Also, since 2007, these two teams have alternated sweeping season series on eachother. If the trend continues, Baltimore should come out on top in this one.

Against the spread: Ravens

Straight up: Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans (-5.5)

This game should be a smash-mouth, old school style matchup. Both teams love to run the ball and play defense. The difference-maker could be Vince Young, who may be ready to be taken seriously as an NFL quarterback.

Against the spread: Steelers

Straight up: Titans

Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) at Detroit Lions

Both the Eagles and Lions lost their starting quarterbacks en route to defeats in week one. Only Philly, with Michael Vick now at the helm, will benefit from the injury. Vick brought an all but dead Eagles' offense to life last week and made it interesting against the Packers after the game looked to be a blowout. The Lions, a team dying for confidence, lost to the Bears in a heartbreaker on a controversial call at the end. This week they'll remind us why that call really doesn't matter.

Against the spread: Eagles

Straight up: Eagles

Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys (-7)

I think I liked Tony Romo better when he was dating Jessica Simpson. At least then he had an excuse for underachieving. The Bears stole one from Detroit last week, and Jay Cutler should even things a bit by throwing one to the Cowboys defense late in this one.

Against the spread: Bears

Straight up: Cowboys

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers (-3)

I'd like to think that former Grandview High School star Josh Freeman can get the Bucs off to a 2-0 start, but I'm hard-pressed for logical reasons why and how. The Panthers are slightly better at almost everything football-related, and that isn't saying much. Carolina's at home and their coach's job is on the line. They'll win big.

Against the spread: Panthers

Straight up: Panthers

Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns (-3)

You know your team is in trouble when an upcoming opponent's fanbase is wishing your starting quarterback wasn't hurt. With Jake Delhomme listed as doubtful, Seneca Wallace is scheduled to start the game for the Browns, which has Chiefs fans worried sick. Luckily, head coach Todd Haley saw plenty of Wallace during his days in Arizona. What's not so lucky, for Chiefs fans at least, is that they may still not have an answer for (who?) Jerome Harrison, who rushed for 286 yards in Kansas City last season.

Against the spread: Chiefs

Straight up: Chiefs

St. Louis Rams at Oakland Raiders (-3.5)

What's great about this game is that the point spread and over/under could very well be the same number. Let's just hope Fox doesn't decide, for some strange reason, that I'll want this star-studded affair to air on my television. Come on, networks. I do not care that the Raiders are in the same division as the Chiefs. Unless Oakland is playing KC, the intrigue level of their games is about as high as a Royals game in September. Spare me.

Against the spread: Raiders

Straight up: Raiders

Seattle Seahawks at Denver Broncos (-3.5)

Were you able to catch Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll going crazy and running on the field after the team made a big play in their game against the 49ers last week? The refs had to stop Carroll and remind him he wasn't coaching in the college ranks anymore. It was golden. Anyway, I can only come up with three things about this matchup: The Broncos aren't very good, the Seahawks are probably even worse, and it's never any fun being a visitor in Mile High.

Against the spread: Broncos

Straight up: Broncos

Houston Texans (-3) at Washington Redskins

In past seasons, I'd be extremely wary of how the Texans would respond after a big victory like they had last week. Not this year, though. Houston is for real, and Washington - their fans aside - is not.

Against the spread: Texans

Straight up: Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers (-7)

This game, the home-opener for the Chargers, has been blacked out in San Diego because of the team's failure to sell the game out. I understand ticket prices are absurb these days, but we're talking about a team here that has won their division four straight years. When the Chiefs went on a similar run in the AFC West in the 90s, landing a ticket to a game was something similar to winning the lottery. Maybe the Padres' pennant race is butting in on the Chargers' attendance totals, but now we're just reaching.

Against the spread: Chargers

Straight up: Chargers

New England Patriots (-3) at New York Jets

Jets' standout cornerback Darrelle Revis has been very outspoken in the last year about his ability to blanket Patriots' receiver Randy Moss when the teams square off, going as far as calling Moss a 'slouch'. Moss had an underwhelming game last week in Cincinatti and hasn't yet gotten the best of Revis in their matchups together. He's bound to go off sometime.

Against the spread: Patriots

Straight up: Patriots

New York Giants at Indianapolis Colts (-5)

Houston ran all over the Colt defense last week, and they'll be without safety Bob Sanders for the rest of the season. The Colts' offensive line is depleted so the Giants, much like the Texans, shouldn't have much trouble putting pressure on Peyton Manning. Still, Indy is at home and they still have the best quarterback in the league. Peyton knows 0-2 can't be an option.

Against the spread: Giants

Straight up: Colts

New Orleans Saints (-6) at San Francisco 49ers

Even before the season began, an NFC West division title seemed to be a foregone conclusion in San Francisco. That was until they were jolted by an underwhelming Seattle team. Did we overestimate the potential in San Fran, or was last week just a result of a rejuvenated Matt Hasselbeck taking advantage of a young team's mistakes? The answer is probably somewhere in-between, which isn't good news for anyone involved.

Against the spread: Saints

Straight up: Saints

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