Week Two Picks

It’s that time of the week again where this Sundays games are on the horizon, and I’ll once again attempt to predict what will happen once the teams step onto the field. It’s only the second week of the season but already some teams are desperate for a victory, whilst others are intent upon building on a good start. It’s only a 16 game season, remember, so two games actually represents one-eighth of the entire yearly schedule. Without further ado, here’s what I think the scores will be in the weeks 15 remaining fixtures.

Kansas City @ Buffalo
Both of these outfits suffered disappointing defeats in week one, and with a further loss in week two will fear their season is already over. Mario Williams had a poor debut against the Jets for Buffalo and the entire defense struggled, but they should have a much better chance of success against Matt Cassel and the Chiefs. However Ryan Fitzpatrick was poor in New York, and Fred Jackson has been ruled out of this contest with an injury so whether Buffalo can put many points on the board is another question. I’m going for Cassel and the Chiefs in this toss up. Chiefs 20, Bills 13

New Orleans @ Carolina
Another match up of two teams without a win one week into the season, this game features two divisional rivals desperate to get on the board in the win column. Drew Brees and the Saints offense was fairly good last week against Washington, however the defense was sieve like and that’ll need to change against Cam Newton, the Panthers dual-threat quarterback. Saying this, Newton himself had his problems against Tampa Bay last week and threw two picks against just one touchdown with only 10 rushing yards mixed in. This game has all the makings of an offensive shoot-out, and I’m going with an upset for the home team. Saints 31, Panthers 35

Cleveland @ Cincinnati
Once again we have two teams yet to register a win, but there’s a clear disparity in the quality of these two sides. Cleveland have a decent defense but Brandon Weeden is simply not a capable NFL quarterback at this point whilst Andy Dalton has the potential to become a franchise player for the Bengals. If Dalton and A.J Green can hook up in the passing game the Bengals should able to generate enough offense to win this AFC north showdown. Browns 13, Bengals 27

Minnesota @ Indianapolis
Andrew Luck makes his first home start for Indie at the Lucas Oil Stadium, and he has a genuine shot at picking up victory number one against the Vikings. If Adrian Peterson is healthy then the Vikes may be able to control the clock, and he’s really the only star offensive player on either side. However I think Luck will have enough about him to put up enough points to win this one, even if Jared Allen is a constant pass rushing threat. Colts, just. Vikings 20, Colts 23

Houston @ Jacksonville
The Texans go on to road to face a rebuilding Jaguars team, who’ll hope Maurice Jones-Drew is fully up to speed following his off-season holdout, particularly now his back up Rashard Jennings is injured and unavailable for this game. Houston looks like the real deal, however, and it’s hard to look past a convincing victory for Gary Kubiak and his team. Texans 27, Jaguars 17

Oakland @ Miami
Neither of these teams impressed in the opening weekend, although the Raiders were the bigger disappointment as they were expected to give San Diego a competitive game on Monday Night Football. Carson Palmer looked OK though, and that’s a real positive sign going forward as Oakland would love to have a competent passing game to complement a potentially explosive running game centred around Darren McFadden. Expect the Raiders to overcome the Dolphins, whose offense just isn’t potent enough to put up points consistently in the NFL right now. Raiders 30, Dolphins 17

Arizona @ New England
Arizona had a feel good win over the Seahawks in week one with Kevin Kolb coming off the bench to lead a game winning drive, but the Patriots will be on a different plane of opposition entirely. Tom Brady at home almost always means one thing: Patriots win. This game should be no different, and Kolb should come crashing back to earth against an improved Pats D. Cardinals 19, Patriots 41

Tampa Bay @ New York Giants
These two teams head into this contrast after contrasting results in week one; the Buccaneers upset Carolina whilst the Giants didn’t perform in the seasons curtain raiser at home to Dallas. Expect Eli Manning to bounce back against an average Tampa defense, and Victor Cruz/Hakeem Nicks et al. to step up their game after a drop plagued performance against the Cowboys. Josh Freeman played well last week and managed the game well for Tampa Bay, but that “shouldn’t” be enough in New York against the Giants. Buccaneers 18, New York 27

Baltimore @ Philadelphia
Joe Flacco looked excellent against the Bengals last week whilst Michael Vick was atrocious against Cleveland on the road. If we’re in for a repeat performance there’s no question who wins this game, but it’s hard to imagine Vick being that bad again and the Eagles pass rush will give Flacco a much harder time than he experienced last week. The key is if the Eagles can stop Ray Rice, and force Flacco to win the game for the Ravens with an average receiving cast. I’m going with the Ravens just because I don’t trust Vick to be error free. Ravens 24, Eagles 17

Dallas @ Seattle
The last time Tony RomoSeahawks continue to bed in rookie Russell Wilson at QB. Added to the offensive weapons at Romo’s disposal and this one should be comfortable for the ‘boys. Cowboys 31, Seahawks 16

Washington @ St. Louis
Can Robert Griffin III repeat last weeks performance? It might not matter against the Rams, although they did nearly upset Detroit at Ford Field last week. Jeff Fisher has obviously had an immediate impact in St. Louis but with Washington riding the momentum last weeks upset in New Orleans created it’s difficult to envision them losing this one, providing RG III remains healthy. John Madden said in the week Griffin was like “a Tebow who could throw”; I prefer to compare him to Michael Vick with pocket presence. Redskins 23, Rams 17

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh
After last weeks offensive explosion against the Bills the Jets will face a much tougher task against a stout Steelers defense, although they don’t have the quality of Pittsburgh units from the past decade. Big Ben played well last week even in defeat, but he’ll need Mike Wallace at the peak of his game if he’s to test Darrell Revis and Antonio Cromartie at cornerback for New York. At this moment in time, I’d pick the Jets defense over the Steelers and for that reason I see the Jets improving to 2-0 while Pittsburgh slip to 0-2. Jets 17, Steelers 16

Tennessee @ San Diego
Phillip Rivers played well last week on MNF, and although the Titans have a competent defense they look set to struggle again this season if Chris Johnson can’t regain his 2010 form. Last week the Patriots shut down CJ and it doesn’t get any easier this week in San Diego against a promising Chargers team, especially with Jake Locker out injured. All signs point towards a San Diego home win. Titans 18, Chargers 25

I’ll return with my picks for Sunday and Monday night football later this evening, but for now that’s how I see this afternoons games unfolding. Enjoy your NFL Sunday!


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