Silver Chips Online

NFL: Week Two predictions

The chips fall into place

By Pratik Bhandari, Page Editor, Abe Schwadron, Online Managing Editor and Phillip Allen, Online Managing Sports Editor
September 16, 2005
With the exception of Phil, the whole panel had a 9-7 record last week. Not bad considering upsets by Miami over Denver and the 49ers over the Rams. With some more info going into week two, I expect a much better record overall. Anyway, on to the picks.

Pratik 9-7-0
Abe 9-7-0
Phil 6-10-0
Josh 9-7-0

Sunday, September 18, 2005
Baltimore at Tennessee – 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Baltimore Baltimore Baltimore Baltimore


Pratik says: Tennessee looked downright awful against the Steelers last week. What with Willie Parker going off for 161 yards and a couple of touchdowns, Jamal Lewis is probably looking at something close to 200 yards here.

Abe says: The Ravens will bounce back from a tough Sunday Night loss to the Colts, despite the health of quarterback Kyle Boller being in question. Backup Anthony Wright is experienced and has great mobility. Plus, the Ravens limited Peyton Manning and the Colts to just three points in the first half of their week one matchup. Tennessee was steamrolled by Pittsburgh last week, and with a weakened defense, the Titans won't be able to stop the run. Player to watch: Ben Troupe, the Titans tight end, who has the potential to be the next Antonio Gates if QB Steve McNair can get him the ball.

Phil says: Both teams coming off a loss will step up their play in an attempt to claw back to five hundred. In their opening contest with the Colts, the Ravens starting Quarterback Kyle Boller went down with an injury, which should force Baltimore back to their Super Bowl formula of pounding the ball with Jamal Lewis. In the end Baltimore's defense should overpower the Titans leading, the team to victory.

Josh says: A game of stagnant offenses, the Ravens pull it out with a strong defensive effort.

Buffalo at Tampa Bay– 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Buffalo Tampa Bay Buffalo Buffalo


Pratik says: Tampa Bay had a surprising victory last week against the Vikings, but the Bills are a different beast. Unlike Minnesota, the Bills have a premier running back who can keep the Tampa Bay offense off the field and get the defense tired.

Abe says: Tampa Bay burned me last week, and J.P. Losman still scares me with the Bills. The Bucs' offense played surprisingly well in week one against an improved Vikings defense. Rookie RB Cadillac Williams is a speedy guy who broke a 50-yarder in the last two minutes of the fourth quarter when the Bucs were just trying to run out the clock. The Bills defense is scary, but as long as the Cadillac is rolling in TB, I like the Bucs.

Phil says: Buffalo and Tampa Bay shocked me last week - both of them won when I picked them both to lose. Incidentally, I really don't know what to think. The Bucs upset my Super Bowl runner-up and the Bills sat down my AFC sleeper of the year. What I do know is that both teams have a proven defense yet Buffalo gets the edge due to Willis McGahee.

Josh says: Cadillac Williams has another good game for the Bucs, but Willis McGahee wins the running back match up and wills the Bills to a victory.

Detroit at Chicago – 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Detroit Chicago Detroit Detroit


Pratik says: Detroit. Because they're playing Chicago. I mean, the Redskins looked like the superior offensive team last week. Are you serious?

Abe says: That's right, Da Bears! Chicago's defense is one of the best in the league- just ask Joe Gibbs- and rookie quarterback Kyle Orton showed in week one that he can handle the pressures of an NFL game. Plus, the Bears are at home, and Detroit underperformed against a horrible Green Bay team. Muhsin Muhammad needs to step up and prove that he deserved the fat contract that he got. Joey Harrington will buckle under the pressure from Chicago's crowd and its defensive intensity.

Phil says: Chicago lost to a terrible Washington performance. Detroit beat a decent one by Green Bay. Kyle Orton is better than I thought but he's no Joey Harrington. Detroit will win decisively.

Josh says: Chicago proved last week to be a tougher opponent the Redskins expected, but their offense is simply not high powered enough to outscore the potent Detroit offense.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis – 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Indianapolis Indianapolis Indainapolis Indianapolis


Pratik says: Byron Leftwich is a great quarterback, but Peyton Manning is still the best. And in a game of two offensive juggernauts going against each other, you can't bet against the Colts.

Abe says: The Colts should get TE Dallas Clark back this week, and the extra option he gives to Manning is undervalued. Colts RB Edgerrin James had a nice game against the Ravens and is underrated as a blocker. The Jags impressed me in week one, but I'm skeptical of their burst of offense. One last thing: Mr. Byron Leftwich, please meet Mr. Dwight Freeney, you'll be seeing a lot of him.

Phil says: Though Jacksonville is coming off a solid win against Seattle. This still doesn't change the fact that Peyton Manning's Colts are going to the Championship. No contest.

Josh says: One of the best games this week. In a tough game, the Colts offense is too much for the better than average Jag defense. The Colts showed signs of an improved defense last week, and look for them to build on that performance.

Minnesota at Cincinnati – 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota


Pratik says: I'll close my eyes real tight and pretend that that stinker Culpepper threw up last week was simply an aberration. I mean, he had an MVP-type year last year. Moss going away can't have that much of an effect can it?

Abe says: In one of the best matchups of the week, I'm picking Daunte Culpepper and the Vikings to bounce back after an embarrassing loss to Tampa Bay in which Culpepper turned the ball over five times (3 intereceptions, two fumbles), and the Vikings offense looked terrible. Rudi Johnson, the Bengals running back, had a big day against the Browns, but I'm skeptical of Cincinnati's defense. Player to Watch: Vikes' wideout Nate Burleson, who despite a bad game in week one has the potential to be one of the top receivers in the game.

Phil says: Minnesota will bounce back from the embarrassing loss to Tampa Bay, or my pre-season picks are doomed!

Josh says: A strong effort by Carson Palmer and the Bengals' offense won't be enough to stop the vengeance of Minnesota, after a week 1 loss.

New England at Carolina – 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
New England New England New England New England


Pratik says: New England is like the Roger Federer of football. They don't make mistakes, they aren't flashy; they're simply dominant. They come and go and leve a trail of broken dreams in their wake. Carolina is good, but how can you beat this relentless machine that has robotic efficiency? New England wins on a Vinatieri kick in the final two minutes. Because they always win this way…

Abe says: The Panthers, who many (including Sports Illustrated) like to win the Super Bowl, lost last week in dramatic fashion to the NFL's new feel-good story, the New Orleans Saints. Carolina was exposed for their lack of offensive spark and shaky spots on defense. New England is in mid-season form and will roll into Carolina and ride RB Corey Dillon to a decisive victory.

Phil says: The Patriots shut down a prolific offense in the season-opener, and Carolina fell to a last second field goal. The Panthers are getting ripped having to play a team the whole country was cheering for and now the Super Bowl champs. New England will roll on.

Josh says: Carolina put themselves in a hole by losing to the Saints in week 1 and this week they will not have a chance to dig themselves out. Carolina faces the indomitable Patriots. How can anyone pick against New England and Tom Brady?

Pittsburgh at Houston – 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh PIttsburgh


Pratik says: Um…what I meant by the Pittsburgh offense being in trouble was…uh…yeah; Willie Parker is good. But more importantly the Steelers offensive line is too dominant. As McGahee had 117 yards rushing last week, I expect nothing less than 130 for Parker this week. And that Pittsburgh defense isn't too bad either…

Abe says: The offensive triplets in Houston (David Carr, Domanick Davis and Andre Johnson) face a huge challenge in week two. The Steelers' defense proved its playmaking and blitzing ability against an overmatched Titans squad and will look to do the same against Houston. The real problem for the Texans in this game is their defense, which will be on the field for extended drives. RB Willie Parker had perhaps the best statistical day of any NFL player in week one, look for a repeat against the Texans.

Phil says: Houston gave up 152 rushing yards in their opener to the Bills and now has to face Pittsburgh emerging star, Willie Parker, who gained 161 in his first game as a the starter. The Steelers will run the Texans over; I'm calling the blow out.

Josh says: Willie Parker won't have as strong a game as last week but the Steelers still use their running game to beat the Domanick-Davis-led Texans.

San Francisco at Philadelphia – 1:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia Philadelphia


Pratik says: Hmmmm…Mike Nolan is a good coach. So is Andy Reid. In terms of talent however, there's no competition; Philly will move on to 1-1. Good luck to Donovan though, that hit he took was pretty bad…

Abe says: San Francisco pulled off an upset win against St. Louis, but Philly won't lose twice in a row, especially with the return of Jeremiah Trotter, who was thrown out before the Monday Night game against Atlanta. The linebacker will be hyped to get back on the field. I like young San Fran RB Frank Gore, but the Eagles' defense is just too good.
Phil says: Unlike St. Louis, Philadelphia actually has a defensive secondary and won't be shocked by San Francisco. Both teams will even out.

Josh says: The 49ers surprised everyone with a win in week one, but their fortunes will reverse against one of the NFL's most well rounded teams.

Atlanta at Seattle – 4:05 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Atlanta Atlanta Atlanta Atlanta


Pratik says: Atlanta will win because they can run. And run. And keep on running. And then run some more. And by the time they stop running, there'll be 30-some points for Atlanta and maybe 10 for Seattle. And there will be much rejoicing in A-Town with all the homies up in the hood….no. Sorry.

Abe says: Seattle should play better at home, and RB Shaun Alexander will look to rebound from a sub-75 yard performance against the Jaguars. But the Seahawks face a tough task in one of the NFL's best defenses, and will have a hard time stopping Atlanta's three-headed running attack- QB Michael Vick and RBs T.J. Duckett and Warrick Dunn. Atlanta will have a highly successful season as long as their DVD (Dunn, Vick and Duckett) keeps running.

Phil says: Atlanta averaged 5.1 yards per carry last season and five in the season opener. If they keep running they will keep winning. If Michel Vick settles down and completes a few more passes the Falcons will be heading to the Super Bowl.

Josh says: Atlanta rides their incredible running trio of Michael Vick, Warrick Dunn, and TJ Duckett to a week two win over a weak defense.

St. Louis at Arizona – 4:05 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
St. Louis Arizona St. Louis St. Louis


Pratik says:Both of these teams looked really ugly last week, but the Cardinals got absolutely blown away by the Giants. That portends badly for their matchup with the Rams and their plethora of offensive threats.

Abe says: St. Louis will go on the road again, and lose again, to another less-talented team. The Rams turnover problems in crunch time and inability to put teams away make the Cardinals the sexy pick in this matchup. The Cards' defense had trouble with Eli Manning, but will bounce back at home. Arizona is also stacked at wide receiver, with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, who will face a depleted Rams secondary.

Phil says: St. Louis and Arizona both got beat by bad football teams. The difference is that at least St. Louis has an offense. Marc Bulger and Steven Jackson will score some points and lead the Rams to a win.

Josh says: Marc Bulger's passing attack is too much for an Arizona team that needed a huge game from Larry Fitzgerald in week one to score 19 points.

Cleveland at Green Bay – 4:15 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Green Bay Cleveland Green Bay Green Bay


Pratik says: Ugh…Green Bay. Because they're playing the Browns…

Abe says: I have absolutely no confidence in Green Bay. No disrespect to Brett Favre, but there just ain't that much left in the tank, and G.B.'s defense is susceptible to speed receivers, like the Browns' Braylon Edwards and Frisman Jackson. Jackson went off for 128 yards against the Bengals. Green Bay is in the end of an era, while the Browns are young and fearless.

Phil says: There are games in the NFL that don't matter. Neither of these teams is going to the playoffs. In fact neither of these teams is getting to .500. That said, Brett Favre and Ahman Green are great players, a commodity lacking in Cleveland. Green Bay will win ugly.

Josh says: Who cares? Green Bay pulls this one out in a game of two sub par teams only because they have the leadership of Brett Favre to make up for their Swiss cheese defense.

Miami at New York Jets - 4:15 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Miami New York New York Miami


Pratik says: Name Pennington's backup...give up? It's the wonderful Jay Fiedler And that's why the Jets will lose.

Abe says: Everything tells me to pick Miami- the Dolphins scored 34 points on a good Denver defense, the Jets were nearly shut out in Kansas City, and new head coach Nick Saban has his team motivated- which is why I'll defy logic and take the Jets. Something tells me Chad Pennington will prove himself in week two, and hopefully not go on a fumbling spree like last week, when he coughed it up six times.

Phil says: The Jets QB Chad Pennington turned the ball over - count them - six times in week one and Nick Saban's team looked great. Unfortunately for Miami, this can't last. The Jets will work out the kinks and beat the motivated but starless Dolphins.

Josh says: Miami rides their week one win and veteran quarterback Gus Frerotte, to beat a Jets team that had eight fumbles last week including a record-tying six by quarterback Chad Pennington.

San Diego at Denver - 4:15 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
San Diego San Diego San Diego San Diego


Pratik says: Antonio Gates is going to return with a vengeance after his absence probably led to the close loss in Dallas last week. Expect a steady diet of LT with a sprinkle of McCardell and Gates. Denver will definitely be reeling after this one. On an interesting side note, I am now starting to believe in the Jerry Rice curse. Every team that he leaves is just horrid afterwards. Look at San Francisco, then Oakland, then Seattle and now Denver. It's happened way too many times to be simply coincidence anymore, right?

Abe says: Both of these teams are coming off of losses to underdogs, with the Chargers losing at home to the Cowboys and the Broncos falling to the Dolphins on the road. The key to San Diego's victory in this one? Antonio Gates, the game's top receiving tight end, who will burn the Broncs' D. Plus, Mike Anderson and the rest of the running game in Denver has been unimpressive.

Phil says: Denver was upset in week one by a terrible Miami team and San Diego's actually good. The Chargers will dominate.

Josh says: Diego quarterback Drew Brees leads his team to a nail biting win over a worthy opponent.

Kansas City at Oakland - 8:30 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Kansas City Kansas City Kansas City Oakland


Pratik says: Kansas City looked scary on offense, defense and special teams against the Jets. I said that I wouldn't trust in their D until I saw it out on the field, making plays. Well, they had three takeaways in last week's game and made Pennington and Co. look like crap. And that offense isn't going to slow down anytime soon.

Abe says: Kansas City's offense is sick; any team who can put RB Larry Johnson out on the field as a backup deserves my pick. Backing up Priest Holmes (85 yards and one touchdown), Johnson rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. I fear for Oakland's defense, which will be pounded up the gut all game.

Phil says: Kansas City finally seems to have a defense after forcing six turnovers in week one. This along with the spectacular rushing of Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson is a winning formula. Oakland's lack of a defense will be their downfall in week two.

Josh says: Oakland showed flashes of brilliance in their season opening loss to the Patriots, and this week Randy Moss gets his first win in the black hole.

Monday, September 19, 2005
New York Giants at New Orleans – 7:30 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
New Orleans New Orleans New York New York


Pratik says: You can't bet against New Orleans nowadays. There's too much fan support and the players are actually playing with a purpose. No one knows when the ride will end, but here's betting it doesn't end yet…

Abe says: The Giants put on an offensive show last week and the Saints are playing this supposed "home" game in New York, but I like the Saints. Coming off an emotional win, New Orleans now has the heart and the momentum to go on a run. The Giants' defense will be pushed around by physical receivers Joe Horn and Donte' Stallworth. Tight end Ernie Conwell had a big game against the Panthers, who the Saints beat in impressive fashion. The Saints proved their worth by beating a legitimate Super Bowl contender in week one.

Phil says: The Saints are getting ripped having to play anther away game even if it is on national television. It's a shame but their winning streak is going to end at one. The Giants one-two punch of Eli Manning and Tiki Barber will put away this sad New Orleans squad.

Josh says: Eli Manning's new found efficiency combined with their running game propels the Giants past the inspirational Saints.

Washington at Dallas – 9:00 p.m.

Pratik's Pick Abe's Pick Phil's Pick Josh's Pick
Dallas Washington Washington Washington


Pratik says: Wasn't last year punishment enough for Redskins faithful as they had to suffer through the three-step dropback, throw out of bounds routine Brunell perfected? Gibbs is an idiot for starting Brunell after playing Ramsey FOR ALL OF THREE SERIES! The Redskins better start looking for ways to get Gibbs out and promote Gregg Williams. And Ramsey needs to go somewhere else. He obviously isn't appreciated at all in Washington and there's no way he can progress at all in this godforsaken wasteland of football. I really feel sorry for every other player on the team. This could legitimately be a playoff team if only they could fix the quarterback position. Gibbs is the only coach to have won with three different quarterbacks in the Super Bowl; there's no way that he gets four…

Abe says: I just couldn't bring myself to pick the Cowboys over the 'Skins. Clinton Portis should be able to handle Dallas' defense, and Washington's defense will keep QB Drew Bledsoe on his back all night. If Mark Brunell can just not turn the ball over, the Redskins should pull out a tough one, led by CP.


Phil says: History says Dallas will win. Ability says Dallas will win. Statistics say Dallas will win. I just can't do it. Please 'Skins pull this one out.

Josh says: New starting quarterback Mark Brunell and Clinton Portis put the Redskins in the win column for the second week in a row, and making the legendary rivalry a fun game to watch.

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