Thursday, September 16, 2010

NFL 2010: Week 2 Picks

Great first week of football, uh? It had a little bit of everything. A couple of upsets (Texans bt Colts and Chiefs bt Chargers; which I called in my last week's picks, by the way). A few anemic offenses (Dallas, Washington, Falcons, Jets and Ravens etc); falling face down after all the thrash talk (Jets); a couple of choke jobs (Jake Delhomme and the 49ers as a team); a team robbed of victory because of stupid nuances / unclear interpretation of the rule book (the Calvin Johnson catch).

Week 1 also had some dreaded injury blows which always is a bummer. Of the myriads of injuries a few notable ones are Ryan Grant of the Packers, Kris Jenkins of the Jets and Bob Sanders of the Colts. The ghastly sight of Leonard Weaver's leg bending the way it shouldn't naturally and Stewart Bradley trying to stay on his feet before going down were scary moments. And a couple high profile QBs Kevin Kolb (concussion) and Matt Stafford (shoulder) were knocked out of their games (and possibly more).

But hey, football is underway and here are my Week 2 Picks:

Arizona Cardinals (+6.5) at Atlanta Falcons
I don't know what to make out of both these teams after their performances on Week1. The Cardinals did beat the Rams, but Derek Anderson looked awful. If the Rams aren't really that good, which seems to be the general consensus, it does not put the Cardinals in good light. The Falcons struggled on offense against the Steelers. Given, the Steelers D is formidable with Palamalu in there, still the Falcons could not eek out a win against the Big Ben less Steelers.
Outright Win:  Falcons
v/s the Spread:  Falcons (-6.5)

Kansas City Chiefs (+2) at Cleveland Browns
The Chiefs had an emotional win against the Chargers are now on the road. A let down is very likely. The Browns learned the hard way not to trust Jake Delhomme throwing the ball a lot. The Browns have got to trust their running game with Peyton Hillis and Harrison. Why Jerome Harrison does not get more touches than Hillis, I will never know. The last 3-4 weeks of the 2009 seasons are probably blacked out of coach Mangini's head.
Outright Win: Browns
v/s the Spread: Browns (+2)

Chicago Bears (+7.5) at Dallas Cowboys
The catch that wasn't
The Bears were lucky to steal a victory from the Lions last week, thanks to the murky rules and the arguable interpretation of the rule by the refs. The worrying thing about the Bears is that the players seemed happy with their performance, patting themselves on their backs. Not a good sign. The Cowboys have their own problems. They seemed to be lost on offense; was it their own ineptitude or are the Redskins that good on defense? One thing is for sure. The Cowboys D is going to give a tough time for Cutler and his boys.
Outright Win:  Cowboys
v/s the Spread:  Cowboys (-7.5)

Philadelphia Eagles (-6) at Detroit Lions
Both teams lost their QBs for Week 2, at least. Eagles are lucky to have a starter-level backup in Vick. He could well be the starter in Philly by mid-season. But that's a whole another story. The Lions, too bad, have Drew Stanton and Shaun Hill as their backup QBs. To me its a toss up, but Shaun Hill will probably start. Watch out for the Eagles D to blitz the crap out of Detroit. The Lions D line is real improved, but unfortunately, they have a bad match-up with Vick as the Eagles QB (assuming he decides to take off on his feet a few times). His threat as a runner will force Detroit to be more conservative on their pass rush, especially off the edges.
Outright Win: Eagles
v/s the Spread: Eagles (-6)

Pittsburgh Steelers (+5) at Tennessee Titans
The Steelers are back, atleast on defense. That Palamalu INT at the end of the 4th quarter is not talked about enough in the media. It was one of those big impact game changing plays that should have been running 24x7 on sportcenter. This week will be a different challenge. CJ is a more shifty back than Turner and quite frankly a better RB. And the Titans D is no slouch either. Watch out Dennis Dixon!
Outright Win: Titans
v/s the Spread: Titans (-5)

Miami Dolphins (+5.5) at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings had a tough offensive outing against the Saints. But its one extra week since Brett has been practicing. He might not be in 2009 regular season form. But, he sure will be better than last Thursday Night. Watch out for him to throw a few towards Greg Camarillo. Important to also note that the Vikings were undefeated at home last year and lost games only on the road. The Dolphins are still trying to figure out their identity: should they keep pounding the ball or go pass wacky.
Outright Win: Vikings
v/s the Spread:  Vikings (-5.5)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+2.5) at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers gave a tough fight to the NY Giants, but could not keep up with the onslaught for the full sixty minutes. This week will be different. Matt Moore will be fit to play after suffering a concussion last week. Look for the Panthers to pound the ball with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart all game long. I like the Panthers, unless of course Matt Moore decides to pull a "Jake".
Outright Win:  Panthers
v/s the Spread:  Panthers (-2.5)

Seattle Seahawks (+3.5) at Denver Broncos
The Seahawks are hard to figure out at the moment. I never expect them to beat the 49ers, let alone lay down a beating like they did. I still think they are pretenders and will land hard on the ground this week. The Broncos aren't all that better. But I think Josh McDaniels' offensive scheme can make Orton look good. Remember Matt Cassel in NE? Good enough to pull this one off.
Outright Win: Broncos
v/s the Spread: Broncos (-3.5)

St Louis Rams (+3.5) at Oakland Raiders
The Raiders knew they had a tough task at hand facing the Titans on the road. But they did not expect to get blown away like that. They will have their heads straight for their home opener. The Rams do not stand a chance if they let Sam Bradford throw 50+ times, like he did against the Cardinals. They have a work horse in Steven Jackson. Just use him, will you?
Outright Win: Raiders
v/s the Spread: Raiders (-3.5)

New England Patriots (-3) at New York Jets
The Jets had only 6 first downs the whole game against the Ravens. I repeat. Just 6 first downs! With an offense like that, they think they can beat the Patriots (who have a healthy Brady and a miracle recovery kid Wes Welker). The Jets might just begin the season 0-2, that too at home. The only weakness the Patriots have on defense is the secondary, and no way is Mark Sanchez going to be exploiting that. Heck, Carson Palmer struggled to do that.
Outright Win: Patriots
v/s the Spread: Patriots (-3)

Jacksonville Jaguars (+7) at San Diego Chargers
Are the Chargers going to pick up their slack and come play with a sense of emergency? Or are they just going to help themselves fall into a early season hole s they always seem to do, the last few years? Lucky for them, the Jaguars have no threat that would worry the Chargers other than MJD.
Outright Win: Chargers
v/s the Spread: Chargers (-7)

Houston Texans (-3) at Washington Redskins
Both teams are coming off an high after beating their division foes. The way in which they each did it was very contrasting though. The Texans just obliterated the Colts with a strong running game. The Redskins pulled and clawed their way to a win against the Cowboys. Texans will have to overcome a lot to win this week though. FedEx Field is a tough place to go win a game.
Outright Win: Texans
v/s the Spread: Texans (-3)

New York Giants (+5) at Indianapolis Colts
Manning Bowl! NBC will bore you to death with the "Manning brothers" angle all Sunday. I will stay away from that. But, this is an important game for the Colts. They cannot afford to go 0-2 in their division with the Titans and Texans looking strong.
Outright Win: Colts
v/s the Spread: Giants (+5)

New Orleans Saints (-6) at San Francisco 49ers
This could be a tricky game for the Saints. The 49ers are better than how they looked against the Seahawks. Coach Singletary will have them mentally ready to play. And if a few things go their way, the Saints could be looking at a tough night in San Francisco.
Outright Win: Saints
v/s the Spread: Saints (+6)

Upset Special of the Week

Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
The Ravens have so many weapons on offense. But it is often forgotten that their QB is Joe Flacco. He did show lot of potential through his first 2 years in the league. But he still plays like a rookie, still showing that potential. He has not matured into that elite-level QB, at least not yet. Tough task for the Ravens to go and win at Cincinnati after just humbling the Jets at the Meadowlands. The Bengals too will come hard. They were a playoff team last year, with Palmer handling their offense and with their defense under the eyes of Mike Zimmer and Marvin Lewis, I think they will come back hard this week.
Outright Win: Bengals
v/s the Spread: Bengals (+2.5)

Homer Pick of the Week

Buffalo Bills (+13) at Green Bay Packers
The Packers took a big blow with the Grant injury. It may not affect them this game against the Bills. They would just hope Brandon Jackson will be serviceable enough to keep defenses honest. Of course, they get rookie James Stark from the PUP (physically unable to perform) list after Week 6, but Stark has missed all of the off-season training. Who knows what shape he is in and/or if he can even play in the NFL? They might end up depending on Dmitri Nance as a backup all season, with John Kuhn taking some 3rd down duties. All the rumors this week about a trade with the Bills to bring in Marshawn Lynch were all shot down. But I still hold hope that that might go through, just after the Packers are done playing the Bills this Sunday.
Outright Win: Packers
v/s the Spread: Packers (-13)

Last Week:
Outright Win Record: 11-5
v/s the Spread Record: 10-5-1

Year to Date:
Outright Win Record: 11-5
v/s the Spread Record: 10-5-1

1 comment: