Who's ahead after week one?
Week two should offer up plenty of excitement, featuring match-ups like Bears-Saints, Chargers-Patriots and Falcons-Eagles. Eli and Molly went 10-6 last week, jumping out to an early lead over Jacob and Langston.
Sunday, Sep. 18
Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers
Wow. My Steelers pick in week one went horribly wrong (like, 35-7, seven turnovers kind of wrong). But they're playing the Seahawks. All Big Ben has to do is hand the ball off to Rashard Mendenhall and make a couple of nice passes to Mike Wallace. I'll go with Pittsburgh at home.
I remember Pittsburgh's nightmare last Sunday in Baltimore, but the Seahawks are not the Ravens. Expect Ben Roethlisberger to have a QB rating higher than 53 and the Steelers to beat Seattle.
The Steelers had seven turnovers and gave up 35 points week one in Baltimore, but against Seattle it will be a very different story. Mendenhall and Roethlisberger will breeze by the defense that gave up 33 points to San Francisco on only 124 passing yards.
The Steelers are out for revenge after getting pulverized by the Baltimore Ravens, and the Seahawks are the perfect team to face for a rebound week. The Steelers will definitely score early and often in this game.
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts
Both of these teams are brutal. I'd probably rather watch an episode of Glee than have to sit down and watch all four quarters of this catastrophe of a game. I'll take Indy in a slopfest.
It's hilarious that I even have to think about this one, but without Peyton Manning last week, the Colts were just awful. As hard as it is to comprehend that a team that lost to the Bengals could beat Indianapolis, that's what's going to happen this Sunday.
Neither team impressed in its first game, but Peyton Hillis should bounce back and run over the Colts. Kerry Collins played just as expected, like a 38-year-old retired quarterback, and the offense in Indy will be hopeless.
Another week without Peyton Manning will prove to be devastating for Indy. Browns take this one by default.
Kansas City Chiefs at Detroit Lions
Like I said last week, Detroit's primed for a big season. All the pieces are in place for a solid squad after years of losing in the motor city. Lions win big.
Matthew Stafford and Detroit came out strong in their opener last week, while Kansas City suffered its worst home loss in 35 years – to the Bills. Now the Chiefs lose their considerable home field advantage, and the Lions will improve to 2-0.
Detroit knocked off a solid Buccaneers team in week one and the Chiefs will be no match for the young and feisty Lions. KC has the most to prove in week 2 after being grounded by Buffalo in its season opener.
Kansas City's defense is in terrible shape especially after last week's performance. Look for Matt Stafford to dominate. Since the Chiefs' offense couldn't even produce against the Bills, there's no hope for this week either.
Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans
Baltimore put up 35 points in week one against a Pittsburgh D that's not known for giving up many scores. Meanwhile, Chris Johnson had nine carries for 24 yards against the Jags, and my fantasy team suffered the consequences. Thanks a lot CJ!
If what happened last week is the norm, the Ravens should be playing in a higher league than the NFL. Chris Johnson's limited touches combined with Baltimore's run defense should neutralize Tennessee's ground attack, and Flacco should pull this one out for B-more.
The Ravens put on a show in week one against the Steelers, giving up just seven points and forcing just as many turnovers -- meanwhile scoring a franchise high 35 points.
The Ravens dominated their season opener, ending the Steelers' streak of eight consecutive season opener wins. They'll destroy the Titans with their defense -- Chris Johnson will be shut down like he was last week. Ravens got it in the bag.
Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills
Buffalo beat up on KC last week, 41-7. Look for Fitzpatrick to air it out early and often to Stevie Johnson and for the Bills to start out the season 2-0 (when's the last time that happened?).
This game is an absolute toss-up for me. Both teams are bad every single year -- but they're coming off impressive week one victories. Although Buffalo was dominant, dropping 41 on the Chiefs at Arrowhead, I don't believe they can play that well again this season. Give this one to Oakland.
I don't want to hop on the bandwagon but the Bills could be for real. Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrickt hrew for 3,000 yards last year and put up a 133 passer rating in week one.
This will be a close game, but the Raiders will most likely do a little bit more than the Bills to clinch a win.
Arizona Cardinals at Washington Redskins
Tim Hightower carries the load and runs wild on his former team. Brian Orakpo, London Fletcher and Ryan Kerrigan stifle Kevin Kolb and the Arizona offense. Rex Grossman throws for 520 yards, beating Tom Brady's mark set in week one…Ok, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Skins win.
Washington didn't look bad in their defeat of the Giants last week, while the Cardinals' defense allowed Cam Newton to walk all over them in his first NFL game. If Rex Grossman plays even adequately, Washington should advance to 2-0.
Rex Grossman will have a field day against the Cardinals pass protection, Tim Hightower will have a big day against his former team and the Redskins will come out 2-0 for the first time since 2007.
The Redskins have momentum coming off a week one win. Tim Hightower will play well against his former team and Washington will come out on top.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings
I'll go with the Vikes despite how terrible Donovan McNabb played last week (7-15 passing, 39 yards, one TD, one INT). Adrian Peterson ran for 98 yards on just 16 carries against the Chargers – he'll get more looks in week two and lead Minnesota to victory.
I'm banking on the Bucs' running game to bounce back this week and Donovan McNabb to struggle again. Tampa Bay's dominance of the NFC South begins in Week 2.
The fact is Donovan McNabb should no longer be an NFL quarterback. He threw for 39 yards last week and the Bucs' defense is just as good as the Chargers'. If the Bucs can establish the running game that was absent in week one they should blow away the Vikings.
McNabb threw for 39 yards last week, so…Buccaneers. However, look for Adrian Peterson to have an outstanding game.
Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets
Mark Sanchez was the man in New York's Sunday night win over Dallas, throwing for 335 yards and two scores. Plaxico Burress (#PlaxOnPlaxOnPlax) hauled in four balls for 72 yards and a touchdown and appears to be back in football shape. I guess going to jail and coming back even better is the new trend in the NFL (i.e. Michael Vick). Regardless, look for NYJ to improve to 2-0 on the year.
The Jets came out slow at the beginning of their matchup with the Cowboys, but found a way to get the W. Jacksonville also won, but they didn't look too convincing. Jets win their home opener.
Look at the quarterbacks and you get the picture. Sanchez threw for 335 yards against Dallas, while McCown threw for 175 against Tennessee. Now you factor in the Jets D, and there will be no problems for New York at the Meadowlands this Sunday.
Jets' defense continues to deliver and the Jaguars offense will not be able to compete with this playoff bound team. The Jaguars still have uncertainty with their quarterback position, which will produce problems throughout the season.
Chicago Bears at New Orleans Saints
The Bears played extremely well against the Falcons, opening the season with a 30-12 win. But New Orleans is an offensive machine. Drew Brees threw for 419 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to the reigning champs in week one – and don't expect anything different this week.
The Saints put up big numbers last week, and would've won had they been playing against a quarterback not named Aaron Rodgers. Expect Drew Brees to put on a show in New Orleans.
This week's game to watch will be a battle, but the Saints will come out on top. After coming within a yard of overtime with Green Bay in the season opener, Brees is hungry for victory and not even the Bears defense can stop him.
Drew Brees held his own against the Packers last week, and is sure to deliver this week as well. But the Bears have a strong defense so this one won't be easy for New Orleans.
Green Bay Packers at Carolina Panthers
Watch the Packers highlights from week one.
Cam Newton threw for more yards last week, but Aaron Rodgers definitely had the better performance. Look for another high-scoring Packers game, and for Green Bay to hold off the up-and-coming Panthers.
No one expected Cam Newton to throw for 422 yards in his first NFL game, but somehow the Panthers still only managed to score 21 points. On the other hand there were no surprises in Green Bay where Aaron Rodgers threw for 312 yards and the Packers came out with 42 points.
Cam Newton had a played great in his first ever NFL game against the Cardinals, but it will be hard to compete with the former Super Bowl champions. Especially after losing Jon Beason, arguably the Panthers' best defensive player.
Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers
As much as I hate to pick Dallas no matter who they're playing, I think they'll beat the Niners on the road – as long as Romo can score early and build a solid lead. But if the game's close and it comes down to the Cowboy QB to win the game in the clutch…San Fran moves to 2-0.
The 49ers' defense and special teams somehow got my fantasy team 28 points, but San Francisco only managed 209 yards of total offense against the Seahawks. Tony Romo and the Cowboys played well against a very good Jets team, and seem poised to bounce back for a win on Sunday.
The Cowboys came out strong against the Jets but when it came down to it they were unable to close it out. Romo is coming off a great game in New York and he'll keep it up against San Francisco.
It's difficult to choose the Cowboys, but they did put up points against the Jets' defense, so I wouldn't expect a close game. Tony Romo has to step up, and this game will help him regain his confidence.
Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos
Kyle Orton threw for 304 yards in the loss to Oakland. The Broncos will turn it around this week and move to 1-1 on the year.
Yeah, I know the Bengals won last week. They're still terrible.
Neither team looked good in week one but the Bengals came out with the W. These teams' fortunes will be reversed this week.
This is the hardest game to choose this week, but since the Bengals seemed to have improved a small amount from last year, and the Broncos don't seem to show any improvement from last year's disappointing season, I'll go with Cincy.
San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots
In case you had forgotten, last week's 517-yard show reminded you what Tom Brady can do with a football. The Chargers beat a Vikings team which accumulated just 39 passing yards. The San Diego defense will have a little more work to do this game.
The Chargers gave up 39 passing yards week one and only won by a score. They will have no chance against New England who won commandingly Monday night.
Tom Brady threw for 500 yards last week. He's clearly in mid-season form, and he'll light up the scoreboard. This will be a high scoring game because both offenses are solid. I expect the Patriots to outscore the Chargers in the fourth quarter and bring home the W.
Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins
Houston demolished the Manning-less Colts 34-7 in week one. Miami played well offensively in the loss to New England. Texans grab the W in a close one.
Don't overestimate the Texans – anyone could have beaten the Colts last week. Arian Foster's return will give the Texans a considerable boost, but Chad Henne and Reggie Bush will lead Miami to victory.
An offensive showdown in Miami will be highlighted by the return of Arian Foster and a passing showcase by Matt Schaub.
The Texan defense has improved since the beginning of pre-season play, and Houston's overall dominance against Indy last week shows the Dolphins will not match up.
Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons
My upset of the week. Matt Ryan struggled in week one but I have a feeling he has a big game in the works even against a tough Philly D.
Close call. Both teams look prepared to go deep in the playoffs, but until the Philly 'Dream Team' loses, I'm not hopping off the bandwagon.
It's time for the super team to be grounded and Atlanta is the team to do just that. Matt Ryan will sort out his week one problems and return to last season's form.
Michael Vick's playing against his old team, which will make for an exciting game, especially since the Falcons came off a 30-12 loss against the Bears last week. But Vick's running game will bring the Eagles another win.
Monday, Sep. 19
Saint Louis Rams at New York Giants
I came so close to taking the Rams. Eli Manning doesn't impress me, and the G-Men didn't look good at all against the ‘Skins. Nevertheless, I'll take New York against a young St. Louis team that showed glimpses but couldn't hang in against the Eagles.
Rams QB Sam Bradford's finger appears to have healed, and I anticipate him and the rest of St. Louis to hand New York its second loss in a row. Rams win.
Even without Steven Jackson, the Rams running game is stellar and Sam Bradford is an improving quarterback. Eli Manning has not yet played up to his career expectations and his break-out time is dwindling.
The Rams lost Steven Jackson to injury, and since the Giants aren't the worst team in the world, they're most likely going to beat the Rams. St. Louis has yet to prove itself and this week will be no different.
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