The Infallible NFL Week 2 Straight Picks

There were a lot of surprising performances from the first week of the NFL season. There were games that started out one way and finished completely different. And there were last second comebacks that reminded us so much why baseball is no longer America’s game. While I figured I would have done better than I did, things could have been much worse with the surprising outcomes in various games. Here’s how I see things going in the second week of the season.

Week 1. 10-6

Pittsburgh at Baltimore. As a Ravens fan born in Pittsburgh (lived in both cities equal length but lived 20+ years in Maryland), I can’t tell you how distressing the on-going Ray Rice scandal has been. And yet, as far as football is concerned it’s over. I mean, the effects will reverberate through the locker room till someone not named Ed Reed steps up. But it’s still too fresh and this is the wrong game at the wrong time (short rest). There have been only a handful of games in recent memory between these two teams that have been blowouts and we saw last week how close this division will play regardless of talent, but look for Ben Roethlisberger to continue the trend of exposing the weak cornerbacks of the Ravens defense. Le’Veon Bell might even in the endzone in this one. Baltimore will keep it close with a more consistent approach (i.e. not throwing the ball 60 times) but it won’t equal much in the win column. Pittsburgh 20, Baltimore 17

Atlanta at Cincinnati. This is one of those games that looking at a week ahead of time prior to the first game of the season you might have expected an overmatched Falcons team to get beaten down early and often by a physically superior Bengals squad. And that still might happen. But after the way Atlanta showed out against New Orleans you might to take a second look at things. Still, this isn’t in the A and the Saints D is swiss cheese compared to what Cincinnati brings to the table. If the Falcons can get some kind of running game going then this might turn out to be more competitive than I still think, but if not it might be lights out pretty early as Gio Bernard is coming into his own and AJ Green is still pretty unstoppable. Cincinnati 28, Atlanta 20

Miami at Buffalo. Something about the Dolphins’ home win over the Patriots last week doesn’t exactly surprise me. Still, I don’t think we can adorn Miami as anything other than a team that played well for one week at this point. It’s very encouraging though for a younger team with something to prove after last season. Tannehill looks like he has a better command of the offense and the worry about the offensive line seems to have sorted itself out more than anyone could have hoped. If Mike Wallace can have a good year who knows what might have for this team in a traditionally weak division. For some reason I still want to believe that CJ Spiller will be the breakout star he was a few years ago. First, the offense needs to experience some consistency from EJ Manuel, who can’t hide behind being a rookie quarterback this time around. I’ve got my money on the young receivers and a very good Bills defense being the difference. Buffalo 17, Miami 14

New Orleans at Cleveland. I still think the Saints have the best chance of winning their division even after the season-opening loss to the Falcons, but this game isn’t going to be a repeat of what happened last time they played the Browns. Cleveland has some intriguing pieces in the offense but needs Jordan Cameron healthy to be at their best. The defense obviously is top-notch. And it’s likely we will see Josh Gordon back sooner than later. After a big week from rookie Brandin Cooks, look to see more go his way again with Pierre Thomas getting the targets out of the backfield. New Orleans 34, Cleveland 17

Dallas at Tennessee. The Cowboys come into this one in need of a win to get things going. They still have what it takes to win their division as it was evident after the first week that there won’t be much defense played in the NFC East this season. However, falling behind by two games this early in the season isn’t advisable. Dez Bryant will need to step up as will Demarco Murray. On the end of things the Titans had a somewhat surprising win over Kansas City last week. Jake Locker isn’t the stud most thought he would be coming out of Washington, but he fits in well with the offensive scheme in Tennessee. It looks like a running back by committee with Greene getting the most carries followed by either McCluster or Sankey. McCluster is still the x-factor for his playmaking ability though. If the Titans can play defense then Dallas may need a great showing across the board. Dallas 31, Tennessee 13

Detroit at Carolina. The Lions came out firing in the first half this past week. The only problem is, once they got up they got sluggish and complacent. Fortunately for Detroit, they have the most physically-gifted wide receiver to ever play the game (sorry Jerry Rice, but do you disagree?) in Calvin Johnson. A solid running attack will be necessary for both teams, but is likely more important to the Panthers who will look to slow down this game, control it with defense, and let Cam Newton ease his way back into the season. Kelvin Benjamin is an exciting talent and will get the chance to be featured early and often. Both teams have better than average QBs and a running game with potential. Only one team has a good defense. Carolina 16, Detroit 14

New England at Minnesota. Will Tom Brady play like that again? Were the pundits right at the beginning of the season to assume he and his teammates may finally take a step back and not win 10 or more games? Well, we may find out a little more about that in this season game of the season. Miami had high hopes last year and perhaps it just took a year to figure things out after the whole Jonathan Martin ordeal. Meanwhile, the Vikings are coming off a promising start against St. Louis. The first week is always tough to figure out when two teams like that play each other. Is one really that good? Is the other really that bad? Two things we do know about the Vikings: Adrian Peterson is a fucking monster and the offensive gameplan finally looks promising despite their QB issues. New England 24, Minnesota 14

Arizona at New York Giants. Was anyone worse in the first week than the New York Giants? Wow. Eli Manning might still have the talent buried deep down somewhere but the bozos surrounding him that he calls teammates are horrible. Yes, there’s been losses on the offensive and defensive lines. But that’s no excuse to only have one throw to your best wide receiver (Victor Cruz) late into the third quarter when you’ve been down the whole game. The problem isn’t the players. The problem is Tom Coughlin. When the Giants were last thinking about firing Coughlin he won a Super Bowl. That shit isn’t happening this time around. Oh yeah, the Cardinals. I forgot all about them. I was sad to see a limited Andre Ellington, but he will be back to full strength in no time. Also, Carson Palmer is good enough and having a stellar group of receivers doesn’t hurt. Arizona 37 New York Giants 21

Jacksonville at Washington. Did any expect Jacksonville to compete against the Eagles? Probably not. Hell, it seemed like the Jags didn’t either. As soon is the game got real Philadelphia stepped up and took control. But they did a solid job and have a nice defense to work with. Expect a game with a lot of running from Toby Gerhart and Alfred Morris with the occasional “wow” play from Desean Jackson. Not much else to talk about here. Hopefully Washington shows up for this one. Washington 28, Jacksonville 24

St. Louis at Tampa Bay. I feel for St. Louis, I really do. They have no idea what to do at QB and the rest of their offense isn’t really sure what’s going on. Well, at least they have a great defense. If they hope to win, that’s who’s gonna win it for them.  Still, I think the Bucs have too many good things going on to lose this one. Now if only Josh McCown works on his timing this week. Tampa Bay 24, St. Louis 10

Seattle at San Diego. I hate to say it, but the Seahawks look very good again. Now, if history has taught us anything it’s not the best team at the beginning of the season or even the best at the end of the regular season. So there’s no expectation of going undefeated on my end of things. San Diego looked like last year’s team some and also looked like the team of two years ago some. Which team shows up this week? If it’s last year’s team then this game could honestly be pretty close. Seattle 21, San Diego 17

Kansas City at Denver. Not sure what the hell happened in KC last week. Definitely thought they would be a little better. The defense didn’t have a great showing and Jamaal Charles just never got going. On the flipside, Denver got another tough game from Indy before coming away with the W. If Demauryius Thomas plays better than last week this game may officially be over by halftime. Denver 41, Kansas City 24

New York Jets at Green Bay. The Jets got a solid game from Geno Smith and the running game. If Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory can play like that throughout the season, then New York may be in more games than anyone could have previously hoped. Green Bay meanwhile had the bad luck of playing Seattle in the opening game of the season. The Packers just didn’t look in sync and it didn’t help that they lost Eddie Lacy to a slight concussion before they could really get anything going. There needs to be a running game and Randall Cobb needs to get the ball in space. If those two things happen the Jets will have to rely on an underwhelming passing attack to keep up. Green Bay 33, New York Jets 13

Houston at Oakland. It’s not all that surprising that the Texans have a good chance of winning their first two games. Nobody is saying anything about the games after. Still, the home game against the Redskins was pretty impressive. Arian Foster looked better than expected and the passing attack didn’t look all that bad either. Hopefully Jadeveon Clowney isn’t too hurt for this week’s game, but with JJ Watt on the line it might not even matter. This is one guy who is totally worth 100 million bucks. The Raiders are going to struggle. Houston 27, Oakland 10

Chicago at San Francisco. Da Bears are the Cowboys of the Midwest. They have a great offense and a terrible defense. Even in this version of the NFL, Chicago can’t merely rely on a high-powered passing attack to waltz through games. Nor can they rest their hopes on the powerful legs of Matt Forte. This is the wrong opponent at the wrong time. The 49ers aren’t even close to the level they will be at the end of the season but their constant is defense, so it doesn’t really matter. San Francisco wasn’t overly impressive, but they got the job done against the exact same type of team, except they were on the road. Playing at home will only make it easier. San Francisco 35, Chicago 24

Philadelphia at Indianapolis. This is shaping up to be a fun game if both teams come to play. Who knows what the defenses will or won’t do. Indy has Reggie Wayne back and healthy while the Eagles have Jeremy Maclin back at full strength. If this game were being played in Philly it would be an easy choice to say that the Eagles would come through on a strong running game and several dumpoff passes to McCoy and Sproles, but that’s not the case. Andrew Luck is the difference. Indianapolis 38, Philadelphia 35

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