Posted by Jack Tumen
Another fascinating weekend of NFL games. Basically the entire league is 1-1 which is great for competition in the standings from week to week. I went 7-9 on my picks last week; not great, but I’m looking to bounce back in week three.
Buccaneers @ Falcons: Tampa Bay has been playing down to its competition through the first two weeks of play. Out of a Lovie-Smith-coached team, I expect better. They lost on a stupid 10-second runoff to the hapless Rams that started Austin Davis at quarterback. Atlanta looked lost in Cinci, but they’ve never been a good road team. The Falcons get it done under the dome on Thursday night. Josh McCown’s best football is behind him.
ATL 26, TB 20
Chargers @ Bills: San Diego just set the blueprint for how to beat the best team in the world; control the ball for 45+ minutes of the game. The Bills are currently atop the AFC East standings at 2-0. How much longer will that last? I’ll give it another week. I’m a firm believer in the big game hangover and San Diego is primed for a let down against a sneaky-good Bills defense. Playing at 1 PM on the east coast is a perennial challenge for west coast teams as well.
BUF 20, SD 16
Ravens @ Browns: Cleveland pulled a stunner at home, dropping the Saints to 0-2 while securing the first win of the Mike Pettine era. Baltimore showed that it can still focus on playing Ravenesque football even in the midst of the biggest media crisis in recent memory. Baltimore’s defense isn’t as porous as NOLA’s and I expect it to be business as usual for John Harbaugh’s squad. The big game hangover is in effect for the Browns.
BAL 24, CLE 13
Titans @ Bengals: When you can only put up 10 points against the Cowboys’ defense, it’s time to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Tennessee played like the leader-less team I envisioned them being this year and they’ve been dealt a tough hand this week, traveling to Paul Brown Stadium where the visitor hasn’t been victorious since week 14 of the 2012 season. Demarco Murray slashed the Titans defense for 167 yards so expect Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill to do much of the same. Even without A.J. Green, the Bengals are simply the better team.
CIN 22, TEN 16
Cowboys @ Rams: This is a game the Cowboys could easily lose. The Rams defense did a fine job of holding Tampa Bay in check and some weird things are bound to happen. Having said that, Dez Bryant > Rams secondary.
DAL 24, STL 17
Packers @ Lions: Detroit hit a roadblock against the stout Panthers’ D while Green Bay – despite some help from the Jets – found its stride in week two. Both defenses in this matchup are subpar and I expect a high-scoring affair. I also expect Rodgers and co. to start a little winning streak in the Motor City.
GB 34, DET 27
Texans @ Giants: Houston started 2-0 last year as well…then proceeded to lose its final 14 contests. However, New York might be the worst team in the league right now and the Texans’ schedule is looking mighty easy. Eli Manning can’t get a grip on this offense. J.J. Watt will have fun in this one.
HOU 21, NYG 13
Colts @ Jaguars: Andrew Luck just lost consecutive games for the first time in his career; you can be sure he won’t lose a third. Jacksonville surrendered 41 points to Kirk Cousins…yeah.
IND 27, JAX 20
Vikings @ Saints: Both teams are coming off tough losses. This will be New Orleans’ home opener and there’s no shot Drew Brees loses a third straight game. Minnesota is still looking for its glasses after getting whooped by the Pats and will prepare to continue its season without Adrian Peterson. This could be the week we see Teddy.
NO 31, MIN 16
Raiders @ Patriots: This has the potential to be one of the ugliest games of the year. Chandler Jones is very much looking forward to dodging Donald Penn at the punch table and greeting Derek Carr.
NE 41, OAK 6
Redskins @ Eagles: Washington is simply a better team with Kirk Cousins at the helm, so they have a chance against a weaker Eagles defense. Washington’s defense has only allowed 27 points this season; they might just allow that much in this game. But in the NFC East, anything goes. I’ve got plenty of Eagles fans breathing down my neck…and I say, to hell with ya!
WAS 26, PHI 21
49ers @ Cardinals: If Carson Palmer misses extended time, it could be tougher sledding for ‘Zona than most thought. However, Bruce Arians is a mastermind and can make do with Drew Stanton for a few weeks. His team is sitting alone atop the NFC West for a reason…for now. San Fran let da Bears claw back in primetime as the nation watched them reel. It’ll sting for a bit; depleting losses often lead to more losses. They let a divisional opponent get the best of them.
ARI 21, SF 14
Broncos @ Seahawks: Thar she blows; a mid-season Super Bowl. This will be a real treat. I’m seriously pumped as hell for this game. Denver let KC hang around a little too long last week. Seattle can take a breath and not worry about perfection (albeit, even after week one) and get down to business. The winner of this game will be the Super Bowl favorite going forward. CenturyLink Field is about to move some tectonic plates. I picked Denver back in February…I won’t be making that mistake again.
SEA 27, DEN 23
Chiefs @ Dolphins: This isn’t a very enticing matchup. Kansas City might be without its best player in Jamaal Charles which would not bode well against an above-average Dolphins’ defense. Miami got dominated by the Bills up in Buffalo and lost Knowshon Moreno in the process. That week one win over New England? Just a divisional mirage.
KC 19, MIA 13
Steelers @ Panthers: Pittsburgh looked flat on a short week last Thursday. All that rest should do them well, even against a tough Carolina defense that shut down Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson. I don’t think either of these teams will be particularly good in the long-run – but I’m giving Carolina the edge at home. Baby steps for Cam Newton.
CAR 16, PIT 14
Bears @ Jets: Despite the infamous timeout, the Jets showed that they can compete with any team in this league – and maybe beat some upper-echelon teams if they quit shooting themselves in the foot. Geno Smith is clearly a better quarterback than he was a year ago but if Eric Decker can’t go, it might be tough sledding for the Jets’ offense on Monday night, even against a weak Bears’ defense that’s now missing Charles Tillman. Chicago reminded everyone why they had the second-best offense in the league last year. Marshall and Jeffery have a dream matchup against New York’s secondary…but Rex is a man with a plan. I got a feeling about this one.
NYJ 23, CHI 20 – OT