Friday, September 18, 2009

NFL Weekend Preview: Week 2

The Ravens and Chargers are just one of the banner match-ups the NFL is giving us this weekend, let us give thanks for the bounty we are about to recieve!

After hardly a peep out of me on this blog for almost a week, I'm back and recharged from vacationing in Seattle and ready to roll with another banner week of predictions. Okay, so picking games straight up is easier than versus the spread, obviously, but I'm feeling pretty good about last week. I went 12-4, and only missed the exact score of the Vikings vs. Browns game by a single point. Here are this week's predictions to aid you in your football knowledge. (Or at least so you can be like me and pretend you know what is going on.) Here are my week 2 guesses on what will happen in the National Football League.

Panthers 20 Falcons 19 - Jake Delhomme can't possibly keep turning the ball over this much can he? After a horrific playoff game last year followed by a horrendous opening week game, I'm going to guess he rebounds to be only slightly below mediocre this week, which I'm also going to guess is enough to win this week. Lots of assumptions here, but I don't think the Falcons are as good as people think, and I don't think the Panthers are as bad as they were last week. Oh, and memo to everyone in the world who is talking about the Panthers quarterback. His last name is pronounced "Del Ohm" not "Del Home" the H is silent. Thank you.

Vikings 38 Lions 16 - The much too easy to be true opening schedule rolls on for the Vikings this week as they face off against Detroit in a game where Minnesota should be far too talented to lose. Detroit remains winless since early December 2007. By the way, did you see that crazy run Adrian Peterson broke off against the Browns last week? He looked like a man against boys, he was toying with the Browns D, it was insane. I loved it!

Packers 33 Bengals 13 - You gotta feel a little bit sorry for Bengals fans, what a crushing way to open the season. By all rights, the Bengals should be 1-0, yet the curse of HBO's Hard Knocks struck a mighty blow in the final thirty seconds of that Broncos game. As for the Packers, Aaron Rodgers looks like he may be a fantasy beast this season, and I am not yet ready to move off of my somewhat offbeat prediction that Green Bay wins the whole shebang.

Texans 17 Titans 16 - Is Week 2 too early for a must win game? Both of these teams lost their opener, the Titans looked okay against the Steelers, and the Texans proved that perhaps the weight of sleeper expectations may be too much for them. I like the Texans to show a little bit better than they did against the Jets, I'm not ready to give up on them just yet, although they did look bad by all accounts.

Raiders 22 Chiefs 19 - So the Raiders proved why they are the Raiders by failing to hold the late lead against the Chargers and the Chiefs played better than expected against the Ravens, so which team will make the most of their momentum from a solid looking loss to even their record at 1-1? Does it make me crazy that I actually think the Raiders may be almost respectable this season? I think they win this game on their way to earning a respectable by Raider standards 7-9 season.

Jets 23 Patriots 20 - I am beginning to believe in Mark Sanchez, and conversely, I'm beginning to get hope that the Pats are not as good as advertised. It's too early to make definitive proclamations, but I am prognosticating with my heart a bit with this pick.

Saints 33 Eagles 28 - So much depends upon the health of Donovan McNabb after that atrocious late hit in the end zone by the Panthers. I don't think Kevin Kolb can out duel Drew Brees and from all accounts Kolb will get the start this Sunday. I might still pick the Saints even if McNabb was playing, but with Kolb seemingly on track to get the start, I like the offensive juggernaut from Louisiana.

Redskins 31 Rams 10 - I'm guessing that the Rams actually score some points this week, but not nearly enough to come close to winning. St. Louis is a very bad football team, and while the Redskins aren't great, they should be good enough to take care of business on Sunday. Plus they have the motivation to avoid a repeat of last year's debacle of losing to the Rams.

Cardinals 20 Jaguars 10 - The NFC Champions really need to get back on track after dropping a game to the 49ers last week, and while the Jags played the Colts very closely, I still don't think they are all that good. The Cards are still probably due for a letdown of a season after the Cinderella act they pulled in last year's playoffs, but I think they can handle the Jags this week.

Seahawks 26 49ers 23 - This game suddenly looks mildly interesting, as the battle for the NFC West lead will be staged in San Francisco this weekend. I was in Seattle this past week, and they are very high on their Seahawks right now. Beating down the Rams is hardly a test of fortitude, but winning on the road against a suddenly game 49ers squad will be a much bigger test of their mettle. Perhaps it's just the residue from hanging out at the Pike Place Market too much over the past few days, but I like the Hawks to win this one.

Bills 13 Buccaneers 9 - I am not sure I could be much less interested in this game. I'll say Bills win just because they gave the Patriots a game, but I'm predicting a boring contest here.

Bears 14 Steelers 10 - Jay Cutler looked rather poor against the Packers Sunday night, and I wonder how badly he is missing the stout Denver Broncos offensive line protection he enjoyed last season. The Bears and Steelers both are trying to win games without having good offensive lines, and I'm going to pick the Bears this week if for no other reason than they are playing at home. Should be a low scoring game, as neither offense lit up the scoreboard a ton in week 1. I'm expecting more of the same as these two teams with similar strengths and similar problems match up on Sunday.

Ravens 24 Chargers 21 - This may be the game of the week. It certainly looks to be an exciting match up between two teams with lofty expectations. The Ravens defense will need to tighten things up, as allowing 24 points to the Chiefs is inexcusable, but the offense was able to carry the load and I am predicting that Flacco and company make it 2-0 versus the AFC West.

Broncos 23 Browns 13 - Yes, I am actually predicting a Broncos victory. Enjoy it, fellow Broncos fans, because I'm not expecting to do this very often this season, but I'm hopeful that the Broncs can ride the momentum of the crazy finish against the Bengals into a home opening victory over a subpar Browns squad and go undefeated against Ohio this season.

Giants 20 Cowboys 13 - These games are always entertaining, and I expect no less when the G-men and the Pokes face off this weekend. Tony Romo showed that he should be able to lead the Dallas offense to a solid showing this season, but I just think the Giants have the Cowboys number for this one. I may be too high on New York, but I truly believe they have the stuff to contend this year and I expect them to show it Sunday night under the spotlight (and also under the gigantic punt magnet of a scoreboard) of the first ever regular season game at the new Cowboys Stadium.

Colts 30 Dolphins 10 - If I were a gambling man, this is the game on which I would place my money. The Colts are only three point favorites, but I expect them to win handily on Monday Night.

My Picks Scorecard:
Last week: 12-4
Season to date: 12-4

(Programming note: The NFL Power Rankings were not posted this week due to my being on vacation in Seattle, but they will return to the blog next week!)

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