The Infallible NFL Week 2 Straight Picks

The week was looking so good even I couldn’t quite believe it. Games were finishing just as I thought they might. Some were alarmingly close and others were never really in doubt even if the scores may indicate a different story. Then all of a sudden, the week came to a screeching halt at the end. Monday night games that could have gone either way, but many expected to go differently, ended in surprise defeats for the two road teams.

Week 1 record 12-4.

Denver at Kansas City. Both coming off wins of different kinds, but each team will look to improve on so-so offensive efforts. The Broncos had trouble getting in the endzone against the Ravens but that might be an on-going theme for the season. CJ Anderson needs to get going this week assuming he’s healthy and starting. Fantasy owners may be very frustrated if Ronnie Hillman becomes the new guy in what has been a very inconsistent backfield the last handful of years. Look for Demauryius Thomas to rebound with a big game as Emmanuel Sanders gets a boatload of targets. Jeremy Maclin had a nice game for the Chiefs but getting the run game going a little more consistently with Jamaal Charles is key for KC. Chiefs 28, Broncos 24

Julio Jones torched the Eagles in Week 1.
Julio Jones torched the Eagles in Week 1.

Atlanta at New York Giants. Two surprising performances for different reasons to open the season for these teams. The Giants went through a rollercoaster ride of a loss in the last few minutes on the road against Dallas. But their offense wasn’t really all that present and defense was supposed to be the problem. Steve Spagnuolo has helped a lot. Still, Odell Beckham will be a key factor all season whether Eli Manning wants to score or not. Matt Ryan had a good showing and Julio Jones looked every bit the best receiver in the game. Looks like a big scoring day with lots of passing. Giants 42, Falcons 31

New England at Buffalo. Tom Brady showed last week just how valuable he is to his team. Even without a reliable or consistent #1 back, the Pats get the most out of their roster. Gronkowski was a beast and Julian Edelman was as solid as ever. This one’s gonna be fun and filled with lots of jawing and big hits. The Bills will supply most of those and Marcell Dareus will be a big help as the defense welcomes him back. After not doing anything with a paltry three targets, Sammy Watkins is due a big game. Or is he? Tyrod Taylor was a great game manager and flashed some talent. Percy Harvin was a threat and LeSean McCoy was okay in his first game. With offense or defense win out in this one? Going against the grain on this one. Bills 20, Patriots 17

Arizona at Chicago. While the Bears played really well against Green Bay last week it’s tough to say if this is a level they can keep up. Matt Forte did decide to put the team on his back. Now it’s just up to someone else step up other than Alshon Jeffery. With Andre Ellington and Carson Palmer the Cards still managed to make the playoffs last year. Their defense is great. So why is there any worry now that Ellington went down again (for at least a month)? Chris Johnson is the backup. Yikes. Cardinals 24, Bears 17

San Diego at Cincinnati. The Bolts had a tough home win against the Lions and the Bengals had a predictable win at Oakland. The winner of this one will depend largely on whose defense will come out on top. Playing without Adam “Pacman” Jones is a legitimate loss for Cincy, but I have faith that they can weather the storm. Now will Andy Dalton put some point on the board with that great rushing attack or will Philip Rivers outplay him like we expect? Bengals 30, Chargers 17

In a surprising first week, Marcus Mariota looked comfortable for the Titans.
In a surprising first week, Marcus Mariota looked comfortable for the Titans.

Tennessee at Cleveland. No one expects the Titans to be world-beaters any time soon regardless of what division they are in. But things are really starting to look up after the maturity Marcus Mariota exhibited in his first career start this past weekend. He will still need some help from a largely inept offense. But the defense looks very capable. And the Browns, what can we say? The defense is solid. Someone needs to step up with the ball in their hands or else. Titans 17, Browns 14

Detroit at Minnesota. Two teams that played on the road last week limp into this one with some bright spots as well as some question marks. The Lions saw a great performance from rookie running back Ameer Abdullah while the Vikes had a solid if unspectacular showing from Teddy Bridgewater. His numbers weren’t amazing but he looked poised in the pocket. Calvin Johnson needs a big showing to get going and that really mostly just starts with Matthew Stafford. Adrian Peterson was not himself in the first week and likely won’t be for another week or two as he gets his legs back. Vikings 27, Lions 24

St. Louis at Washington. Who besides me saw this coming? The Rams win a big one at home against Seattle and the Skins lose a tough one at home against Miami. At least we know Washington won’t get blown out every week. The Rams have a tough defense and running the ball might not be as easy this time around. If St. Louis can find offense from somewhere like they did on special teams with Tavon Austin, there’s a chance they will be able to pull this one out. Not looking good for Washington if they are 0-2 to begin the season with both games being played at home. Rams 16, Redskins 10

Tampa Bay at New Orleans. The Titans busted gaping holes through the Tampa defense and Jameis Winston struggled with early turnovers. Mike Evans was out but that doesn’t help a pathetic run game. The Saints are going to be at home and hopefully closer to full strength this week as they attempt to figure out some sort of identity going forward. Expect this one to be closer than you might think. Saints 24, Buccaneers 23

A big day for Carlos Hyde this past Sunday.
A big day for Carlos Hyde this past Sunday.

San Francisco at Pittsburgh. Two tough games the first two weeks of the season for these teams (or certainly Pittsburgh) will make one of these teams viable for the playoffs later on. The Steelers weren’t bad to open the season, New England was just better. With DeAngelo Williams running hard and everyone else stepping up the offense should be fine. Now about that defense. Carlos Hyde had a huge game on Monday Night and will look to continue his success. He has to though because Colin Kaepernick looked pretty bad in terms of accuracy and the 49ers are going to need to move the ball to keep this one close. Steelers 27, 49ers 20

Houston at Carolina. It’s tough to take much from playing against Jags, but the Panthers have a great defense like we all expected. Cam Newton has a lot to be responsible for this year. It’s going to be tough with a decent defense in Houston. I’m thinking DeAndre Hopkins continues to go off this week and the Texans steal one in Carolina. Texans 23, Panthers 14

Baltimore at Oakland. This is a bad week for the Raiders to be playing the Ravens. Baltimore did next to nothing on offense last week and the defense is not happy after losing team leader Terrell Suggs for the year (and maybe ever). Add to that a week without starting quarterback Derek Carr and Oakland is lucky they are at home. Ravens 31, Raiders 17

Miami at Jacksonville. In a battle of teams from the Sunshine State, the Dolphins look to keep their good fortune going against a team with little to take from a bad loss to Carolina. Blake Bortles needs to find someone to throw to and the run game might eventually find itself looking to last year’s late-season starter Denard Robinson for guidance. Jarvis Landry had a big return and a good amount of catches this past week. If the Fins can get Lamar Miller more involved this one will get out of hand early. Dolphins 28, Jaguars 14

Dallas at Philadelphia. Another tough division battle for Dallas after losing Dez Bryant for over a month makes this one really tough. A loss by Philly at Atlanta after a mediocre performance by last year’s star running back on the other team, DeMarco Murray, makes it even tough. Oh yeah, and it’s in Philadelphia. Divisional games in the NFL are always tough. So don’t count out the Cowboys just because Dez isn’t there. Remember, they got the jump done down the stretch without him last week. Eagles 30, Cowboys 21

Seattle at Green Bay. What was more of a surprise last week? Seattle losing on the road to a tough St. Louis team or Green Bay struggling on the road at the Chicago Bears? Eddie Lacy will get things going this week even though the matchup will be tougher and Rodgers will find a way to get in the endzone. I have tough time betting that the Seahawks will be winless after two weeks but we’ve seen what they have done with bad (or average) starts before, so let’s see them crawl out of this hole. Packers 28, Seahawks 21

New York Jets at Indianapolis. No one expected the result in the Indy-Buffalo game last week. Andrew Luck managed to have a decent game despite the score. This week will be even tougher from the outset given TY Hilton will be out. I’d expect the Colts will lean on the run a little more this week as the Jets aren’t as daunted as they once were on the defensive line. New York had a good game from new receiver Brandon Marshall and a good showing from Chris Ivory. Assuming those two remain constants it’s possible this game could remain close beyond the second quarter. Colts 31, Jets 13

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