Silver Chips Online

NFL - Week Two predictions

Will the mayhem continue?

By Andrew Kung, Online Sports Editor and Copy Editor, Pia Nargundkar, Online Editor-in-Chief and Anshul Sood, Online Sports Editor
September 15, 2007
It may only be the second week of the season, but emotions are already running high. The Buffalo Bills are praying that their reserve tight end will walk again, the New England Patriots were found guilty of cheating and lo and behold -- the Redskins won! As for our humble panel of experts, there appears to be no such thing as beginner's luck; Pia has yet to be dethroned. And now without further ado: week two.

Season standings:

Pia 12-4
Andrew 11-5
Anshul 11-5
Nitin 10-6



Sunday September 16, 2007

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis

Andrew says: The Titans looked sharp in a win against the Jags last week, especially on the ground, but Peyton Manning's just a tad bit harder to contain than David Garrard.

Nitin says: Peyton and the Colts will run over Tennessee on their way to a quick 2-0 record. Even though the Titans went for 282 yards on the ground against a tough Jacksonville D, they had difficulty making it the short way from the red to end zone. The Indy offensive machine will score over 30 points again.

Pia says: Indianapolis certainly opened with a bang last week, scoring 41 points in its season opener against the Saints, while Tennessee eeked out a win against Jacksonville. The Colts put to rest questions about its defense after holding the powerful Saints to a mere 10 points; this week will be no different.

Anshul says: The Colts proved last week that they can operate effectively on both sides of the ball. Their defense is a huge improvement from last year and paired up with one of the best offenses in the league, that's going be tough to beat. The Titans just don't have it in them. Sure, they ran well last week, but that was against Jacksonville, a weaker run defense than the new-and-improved Indy defense. Peyton's set for another great game and Vince Young is just going to have to wait.

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
New Orleans New Orleans New Orleans New Orleans

Andrew says: Sean Payton and crew bounce back from a brutal opening-day loss by beating on a 30 year old-plus backfield of Jeff Garcia and Michael Pittman.

Nitin says: Here's the first game of the week where a top tier quarterback will rebound from a poor Week 1 and dominate a weaker team. Drew Brees couldn't get it done last week, but the NFC's most potent offense will have no mercy on a confused Buccaneers squad. Fighting injuries, the Bucs will need a miracle to top the Saints.

Pia says: Okay, so maybe the Saints got crushed by the Colts, but there's no way they are going to get their rears handed to them on a platter by the struggling Buccaneers. The Bucs only capable players, running back "Cadillac" Williams and quarterback Jeff Garcia were both injured in their opener, and Williams is not expected to return for Sunday's game. The Saints should be able to easily avenge themselves and prove to the league that last year's performance was not a fluke.

Anshul says: The Saints are coming off of an old-fashion beating handed down to them by the Colts. They're mad. Sean Payton is mad. Drew Brees is mad. Reggie Bush is mad. You don't want to get those guys fired up, because that is an offensive show just waiting to be put on. Look for the Saints to hand down an offensive beating of their own this week to TB.

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis St. Louis

Andrew says: QB Alex Smith looked shaky last week, and the Niners needed a last-minute drive to down the Cardinals. On the flip side, it's hard to imagine Marc Bulger and S-Jax having back-to-back struggles at home, even without Orlando Pace. Look for a Rams W at the dome.

Nitin says: The small play of the great Steven Jackson no doubt worried some St. Louis fans, but the 49ers don't possess the kind of shut down defense to limit his production. And don't begin to think the Rams' porous D will be able to stop Frank Gore. This one will be close, Alex Smith managed to put together a solid drive to finish off Arizona but Marc Bulger is the kind of QB who doesn't look back at bad games. Two outstanding quarterbacks and two outstanding running backs will highlight this no-defense, all-offense frenzy. The Rams' home advantage wins my pick.

Pia says: Rams' running back Steven Jackson was silenced last week, but he was also a little rusty from not having played a snap in the offseason. Look for an improved Jackson, and a Rams win, on Sunday.

Anshul says: Steven Jackson did not really have the opening performance he was hoping for, but he is a good player. He'll bounce back this week and run the ball downhill hard. Both teams have what it takes on offense, but experience and a decent defense will put the Rams on top.

Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Pittsburgh

Andrew says: Surprisingly, the Bills held their own against the Broncos in Week One, but not without losing two key defensive backs in Ko Simpson and Jason Webster. Kevin Everett has all our prayers, but a win for his Bills is just too much to ask.

Nitin says: Rookie RB Marshawn Lynch brought life to the J.P. Losman/Lee Evans centered offense. I'd really like to see what happens when he doesn't have to run against tough Denver and Pittsburgh defenses. While the Bills would love to win one for their downed soldier Kevin Everett, they won't fare well against the Steelers. Big Ben is riding momentum from a 4 TD warm-up game against the Browns, and the Bills' secondary won't stand a chance against Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes.

Pia says: Buffalo was severely banged up last week, losing three defensive starters to serious injuries and sending reserve tight end Kevin Everett to the hospital with concerns of paralysis. Pittsburgh had a much happier week, trouncing Cleveland 34-7 on the road. While my heart goes out to the Bills' team, the Steelers aren't going to play any easier because of the Bills' troubles.

Anshul says: Quickly, I want to say I hope Kevin Everett will be all right. Now, Ben Roethlisberger (hope I spelled that right), is back and Mike Tomlin has shown he is ready to replace The Chin. Four touchdowns through the air is offense at its best. But don't count the Bills out of this one just yet. Lee Evans is an explosive WR, its just that he's catching from J.P. Losman, someone who has not really proven himself yet in my book. The Steelers also boast a good defense, both on the ground and in the air, and that should be able to give them the edge here.

Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville Jacksonville

Andrew says: The Jags get back on track against the league's new laughingstock. Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor were nothing special last week against Tennessee, but should definitely bounce back against a defense that was torched by Adrian Peterson in week one.

Nitin says: Forget I ever thought the Falcons would put away the Vikings. Jacksonville's defense won't show Joey Harrington any mercy.

Pia says: As much as I despise Michael Vick, I have to say, Atlanta fans, you might want to start writing your letters to Commissioner Roger Godell now. Without their star quarterback, the Falcons' future seems to be spiraling downwards.

Anshul says: I'm still not liking the performance of Joey Harrington and do not think that he can lead this team to even a 7-9 season. Jacksonville has got defense, they got offense, and most importantly, they got a quarterback.

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati

Andrew says: I must say, Chad Johnson's touchdown celebration last week was really lame. He should have ample opportunity to make up for it this week though, as the Bengals thrash their fellow Ohioans.

Nitin says: Ben Roethlisberger drilled the Browns for 4 TDs. What can Carson Palmer do utilizing two of the most talented NFL receivers? I really don't understand why Romeo Crennel would bother waiting another week to give Brady Quinn the "go and save us, thanks." Derek Anderson is stealing snaps he doesn't deserve.

Pia says: While Cincinnati is wondering about playoff possibilities this year, Cleveland is struggling to shrug off the "worst team" label onto Oakland. Next.

Anshul says: Charlie Frye out, Brady Quinn in. Not quite. Romeo still isn't starting Quinn, but keeping him at the number 2 slot behind of Derek Anderson, although he said Quinn may see some action. Anderson didn't do too bad last week, putting up 184 yards in the air along with a score, but he only completed 46% of his passes and had 1 INT. I'm still not sold. Once they put in Quinn, then we'll see. Until then, they can't match the output of Carson Palmer and Ocho Cinco. Speaking of, anyone else disappointed by his touchdown celebration? I was expecting more, and I still am. He needs to do more if he wants to bring sexy back.

Green Bay Packers at New York Giants

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay

Andrew says: By the looks of it, the Giants offense will be led not by Eli Manning and Brandon Jacobs, but by Jared Lorenzen and Derrick Ward, and while I do have an unhealthy affinity for tubby players, I don't see Lorenzen succeeding where Donovan McNabb failed. If Brett Favre can have half the game that Tony Romo did against this D, the game will be over by halftime.

Nitin says: I can't get over the fact that Plaxico Burress will be receiving passes thrown by a 285 pound quarterback (before you think JaMarcus Russell, think Pillsbury dough boy). Green Bay's defense will bail out the Packers even with Brett Favre running low on fuel.

Pia says: The Packers surprised most everyone with their win against the NFC East Champion Eagles last week. It might have been a one-time performance, but with Giants' quarterback Eli Manning questionable for Sunday's game, the possibilities for the Pack are wide open.

Anshul says: So maybe Brett Favre made a good choice coming back after the win last week over the powerhouse Eagles. The Giants looked good last week, but now Manning may not even play and they'll have to rely on one of the largest quarterbacks I have ever seen in Jared Lorenzen. Win for the Giants? Not going to happen.

Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Carolina Carolina Carolina Carolina

Andrew says: The Texans looked sharp a week ago, but so did the Panthers, against a vastly superior opponent I might add. This game will probably be closer than most people think, and if Houston can pull out a win on the road, then I'll be convinced that they're for real. Until then though, I'll play it safe and pick the Panthers.

Nitin says: Both Matt Schaub and Jake Delhomme had pleasantly surprising games last week. David Carr is watching his NFL dreams float slowly and painfully down the drain, but at least he'll see a win as Carolina's defense trumps anything Houston can put up.

Pia says: There's no doubt that Houston will be an improved team this year. Yet a win against Kansas City hasn't really proven anything in my mind. Carolina has a strong defense (they held St. Louis's Steven Jackson to 58 rushing yards, three receiving yards and two fumbles last week) and a confident offense led by Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith. It's the Panthers game to lose.

Anshul says: Houston came to play last week and shut down the Chief's offense, but then again the Chiefs don't really have a proven quarterback yet. Maybe they should get Byron Leftwich ... Just a thought. Nonetheless, Carolina looked impressive last week taking down Steven Jackson and an efficient Rams offense.

Dallas Cowboys at Miami Dolphins

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Miami Dallas Dallas Dallas

Andrew says: Week two and I'm already lobbing Hail Marys. Maybe its just my disdain for Dallas, but i thought the Cowboys severely overachieved last week. Though their offense was nothing short of explosive, their defense was incredibly porous, especially with Terence Newman and Jason Ferguson out. Trent Green showed a great rapport with Chris Chambers in week one, who can have a Plaxico Burress-like game on Sunday. Who knows, maybe TO will be too busy partying it up in South Beach to show up for the game...

Nitin says: After Tony Romo's shootout with Eli Manning last week, Dallas is ready to go on offense. Without CB Terence Newman in action though, the Cowboys' defense looked sluggish and out of sync. Fortunately for them, that weakness won't be exploited again until they play St. Louis in Week 4. Miami looked awful against the Skins, its lone bright spot being Trent Green's success passing to WR Chris Chambers.

Pia says: Dallas's Tony Romo was in full force last week against the Giants, completing 15 of 24 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns. Miami's Trent Green, on the other hand, was sacked twice in a far from stellar performance against the Redskins. And when both teams' defenses lack, it's all up to the offense.

Anshul says: Romo was impressive in his first start of the season. He showed great mobility in the pocket, great vision, and a good arm. He put up 4 touchdowns with only 1 turnover. He's bounced back from the heart-breaking ending to his season in 2006. Trent Green on the other hand has not quite adjusted to Miami just yet. Their game against the Redskins showed he made some bad decisions, although sometimes his passes were dropped (including one by Fred Smoot). Dallas should walk away with this one as Miami loses again to the NFC East.

Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Detroit Minnesota Minnesota Minnesota

Andrew says: While the Vikings' run D led by Fat Pat Williams is quite stout (in more ways than one), their secondary is still exploitable, something Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson will be glad to demonstrate. And before you worship at the altar of Adrian "Purple Jesus" Peterson (kudos to KSK for the awesome nickname), remember that he's still an injury-prone rookie taking handoffs from one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league.

Nitin says: Minnesota's talent on both sides of the ball puts them in a position to become a force in the NFC North again. Even with Chester Taylor sustaining an injury in the first quarter, the Vikings' game looked steady with rookie Adrian Peterson going for 163 total yards and a TD. Jon Kitna will find it hard to replicate his stats from last week against the Vikings.

Pia says: Neither team should be too excited with their opening wins. Detroit allowed Oakland to make up 17 points before pulling ahead, and Minnesota trounced an Atlanta team struggling to adapt to a new quarterback. With the game a toss-up, I went with precedent - Minnesota's 5-0 at Detroit.

Anshul says: Two of the best rookies face off here with Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson, both who proved themselves last week. But still, with the Lions' defense allowing such a close game to the Oakland offense, the Vikings got this game covered.

Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Arizona Seattle Seattle Seattle

Andrew says: Despite starting the season with a loss, Arizona's still a team I really like. Edgerrin James is back with a vengeance, and the defense looked better than advertised last week, holding Frank Gore and crew in check for most of the game. Seattle is a good team no question, but there's just something in the Cards (haha, haha...sorry).

Nitin says: If it wasn't for Shaun Alexander I would be tempted to pick Arizona. Running back Edgerrin James looked on form against the 49ers, but will face his first true test this weekend.

Pia says: With Seahawks' running back Shaun Alexander healthy and ready to go, and their defense shaping up as well, the already shaky Cardinals don't have much to go on.

Anshul says: This is actually a closer game to call than people are thinking. The Cardinals didn't look too bad last week and could put up a good fight, but again, a healthy Shaun Alexander is too much for the Cardinal defense to handle.

Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Denver Denver Denver Denver

Andrew says: The Oakland offense showed signs of life last week, granted they still lost to the Lions. Whoever's behind center for the Silver and Black, may it be Josh McCown or Daunte Culpepper, will have his hands full looking for holes against Champ Bailey and Dre Bly.

Nitin says: Josh McCown had the Oakland-equivalent of a field day in a Week 1 loss, but Denver will bring the silver and black back to reality, reminding them that the once-interesting rivalry is far from back. Good news in Cali though: JaMarcus Russell inked the biggest rookie deal in history, so fans can be sure to see him play sometime this year.

Pia says: Sure Oakland made up a 17-0 deficit last week, but let's not get ahead of ourselves -- it was against the Detroit Lions, and Oakland still ended up losing. Not that the Broncos fared much better last week, with an unusual two missed field goals from Jason Elam. But when it comes down to it, there's more evidence to show that Denver's performance was a fluke and Oakland's was a sign of things to come.

Anshul says: I'm still liking the Bronco's defense. They did well to limit Lee Evans, a huge deep-threat, and the entire Bills. Not only that, but Jay Cutler showed that he can take this team places, perhaps even into the playoffs. But it's too early for that. The Raiders still aren't showing consistency on offense, especially at receiver where running back LaMont Jordon got their second most receptions and reception yards. They just need to find the QB that works for them, and they got quite a few. Josh McCown, Daunte Culpepper, and the newly signed JaMarcus Russell. But it's most likely going to be Culpepper this week.

Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Chicago Chicago Chicago Chicago

Andrew says: Both of these teams managed just three points apiece last week. The difference? Chicago fell to a Super Bowl contender, while KC was stifled by a team with zero winning seasons in team history. Hmmm... I'm going out on a limb here and predicting a W for Da Bears.

Nitin says: I'll give LJ a break for last week; his limited carries didn't really allow for any momentum. But Damon Huard has no excuse and Chicago isn't the kind of team to let weak quarterbacks slide. Not even Rex can screw this one up.

Pia says: Chicago's defense held up last week against the league's best offense, holding San Diego to zero points in the first half. They slipped a little in the second half, but somehow, I feel they won't have the same trouble against KC. Maybe it's because last week Kansas City handed Houston its first win in an opener since 2003...

Anshul says: Chicago's defense, despite the final scoreboard, did well in limiting the high-powered Chargers offense. Kansas City still needs a good quarterback (Byron Leftwich is still out there, still a thought) and they need LJ to show up ready to carry the team. But that is too much. One running back is not enough to carry a team past the defending NFC champions, even if it is Larry Johnson.

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Baltimore Baltimore Baltimore Baltimore

Andrew says: Both the Jets and the Ravens are in disarray after sloppy, injury-filled openers. Willis McGahee's history against the Jets (137.5 yards/game in 2006) and home-field advantage tips the scales in favor of Baltimore.

Nitin says: Chad Pennington was booed when he sprained his ankle. That kind of ungratefulness will come to haunt Jets fans when backup Kellen Clemens tries to put a dent in Baltimore's steel shell. True, the Ravens don't have their starting QB fit to play, but since when was Steve McNair a passing god anyway?

Pia says: News doesn't look good for either team. Both lost the game and their starting quarterbacks in last week's season openers. While Baltimore has a veteran quarterback to fall back on, as well as its stellar defense, the Jets are left with a second-stringer who's never started a game and a questionable defense that allowed 38 points last week. The Ravens were 7-1 at home last year, and will have hopefully tightened up their team after last week's six turnovers.

Anshul says: It doesn't look like either team will have there starting quarterback ready for the game. I personally am not a fan of Kyle Boller, but six turnovers in one game warrants change. With the majority of the Ravens defense healthy and likely to start, including Ray Lewis, Jets backup Kellen Clemens is going to need a tremendous performance, which I don't see him delivering. The Ravens lost their first game by what in my opinion was a highly questionable offensive pass interference call in the endzone, so they're hungry for a win.

San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
New England New England San Diego New England

Andrew says: No, I'm not picking the Pats here just to spite Pia (that's only part of it). New England won't need video cameras to know that Quentin Jammer is no match for Randy Moss, and that Dreamboat Brady's a lot better than Sexy Rexy.

Nitin says: Videotapes or not, Tom Brady is an outstanding quarterback, the Patriot receivers are gold and the defense formidable. The Chargers can try to contain Randy Moss (183 yards receiving, 1 TD in Week 1) but they'll meet Donte' Stallworth, Wes Welker, Ben Watson and the other numerous Brady-targets in a grand style. With LT and Antonio Gates, of course, anything can happen. But if you ask me, the Chargers defense won't get into Brady's head like they did to Rex Grossman.

Pia says: This is revenge time for San Diego. It was the Patriots who ended San Diego's Super Bowl hopes last year in the division round of the playoffs, and there's nothing like the possibility of redemption that breeds good performance. LT proved his versatility last week against Chicago, when he was stifled on the ground and instead threw for a touchdown. Too bad the Patriots won't be able to videotape LT running all over them.

Anshul says: The Pats got off easy for cheating, but that's beside the point. New England is too good of a team on both sides of the ball. Tom Brady have far too many offensive weapons for the questionable Charger's pass-defense to handle. Don't get me wrong, LT can change the outcome of this game, but I don't see Philip Rivers leading this team to a win through the air.


Monday, Sept. 17, 2007

Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles

Andrew Nitin Pia Anshul
Philadelphia Philadelphia Washington Washington

Andrew says: Sure, we won last week, but I'll say it again: the Skins still aren't very good. D-Mac has a game under his belt (albeit an ugly one), and should be able to have his way against a secondary that seemed to be at the mercy of Trent Green at times. Primetime coverage, and more importantly, Brian Dawkins and the Philly D, will not be kind to Jason Campbell.

Nitin says: I hate picking against the Skins. I really do. But McNabb is ready to vent his anger and he has his Philly fans around him this time.

Pia says: I'm still buying into the hype. Plus, after the Eagles dismal performance and loss to the Packers last week, a Washington win doesn't sound so crazy anymore.

Anshul says: Still riding the home pride. But seriously, the 'Skins have a really good chance in this game. Green Bay showed that the Eagles aren't playing as explosively as they can be, and Washington has a good offense and defense and should come away with a win.

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