After a week filled with surprises, what is in store for week two?
A lot happened week one, but the question is what was a predictor of things to come and what was a result of a lot of luck (Kevin Ogletree) or not enough luck (Eli Manning). For one, Robert Griffin III had arguably the best game ever for a rookie quarterback in the season opener as he outdueled Drew Brees and the Saints. Meanwhile, the other four rookie quarterbacks combined for eleven interceptions and a 48.5 completion percentage. Also while the Redskins pulled off a major upset, and the Browns and Rams nearly did as well, four of last year's playoff teams began the season 0-1.Jacob jumped out to an early lead while Jack and Josh just barely stayed above the .500 mark and Michael failed to impress.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
The Packers inability to make any progress against the 49ers came as a surprise for the NFL's top offense, but this week they will leave nothing to chance in another tough matchup.
This divisional showdown has potential to be the game of the week. The Bears looked sharp as they dismantled the Colts last week while the Packers looked like mortals in their crushing loss to San Francisco. Aaron Rodgers had a subpar game by his lofty standards, so look for him to bounce back nicely and return to MVP form. The Bears could easily win this game with the renewed combo of Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler, but look for the Pack to pull out a nail biter in this one.
After seeing the Packers struggle last week I believe their struggles will continue. Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall will be too much for the weak Green Bay defense. Also, the Chicago defense should be good enough to keep their offense in the game.
The Pack are coming off a disappointing loss to San Francisco while the Bears are coming off a dominating win against Indianapolis. But still, Aaron Rodgers will rally the troops and get the offense that struggled mightily into motion for this big game. If Greg Jennings and Donald Driver can improve on their poor games from Sunday, Rodgers will have enough support to down their hated rivals.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins
Both teams are coming off week one losses but they came in very different ways. The Dolphins saw the Texans walk all over them in a 30-10 blowout while the Raiders played it close on Monday Night Football against a strong Chargers team.
Carson Palmer looked solid in the Raiders week one defeat to the Chargers and Dolphins' rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill did not look good in his NFL debut, throwing three picks. The Raiders should take this one.
The Dolphins are likely the worst team in the NFL. The Raiders' defense is improved and they have a few offensive weapons that should get the job done and handle Miami.
If the Raiders could just get a punt off then maybe they would have had a chance to win their Monday night showdown against the Chargers. Luckily the Dolphins won't put up much of a fight against the Raiders and they'll be able to improve on their fundamentals.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars took the Vikings into overtime in week one but I have yet to see proof that Blaine Gabbert can run an NFL offense. Matt Schaub can however, especially with Arian Foster in his backfield.
A much improved Blaine Gabbert should keep this game closer than many would think, but the overwhelming talent of the Texans offense should keep the Jaguars away from the upset.
The Texans have a great QB, RB and WR in Schaub, Foster and Andre Johnson. Expect them to tear up the Jaguars sloppy defense.
Even with Maurice Jones-Drew having a full week of practice the Jaguars really don't stand in the way of the Texans. The Texans could go with T.J. Yates here and probably still win.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
The Browns gave the Eagles all kinds of fits defensively as they nearly pulled out a major upset. If they were able to hold the Eagles offense to 17 points and four picks then the Bengals offense should have serious trouble.
Although they were almost able to pull off a stunning upset against Philly last week, rookie QB Brandon Weeden looked flat out awful. After throwing four picks and having a QB rating of 5.1, Weeden's confidence can't exactly be sky high going into this one. The Bengals will be looking for someone to beat up on after receiving an absolute spanking from the Ravens on Monday night.
I look for Andy Dalton to bounce back and take care of the Browns. The Browns will have a tough season.
While the Bengals got demolished by the Ravens, the Browns were playing the Eagles closely. But still, the Bengals will win in this battle of Ohio. Relying on two rookies in Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson will doom the Browns as Andy Dalton will lead the Bengals to victory.
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills
Baltimore Ravens at Philadelphia Eagles
The Ravens had as good a performance as anybody week one. They were clicking on all cylinders as Joe Flacco put up a 95.1 Quarterback Rating (QBR), Ray Rice ran for two touchdowns and Ray Lewis and Ed Reed combined for 13 tackles, a sack, a pick and a forced fumble.
If Eagles QB Mike Vick threw 4 picks against the Browns, then what will he do against the stout Ravens D? Look for the Ravens to overwhelm the Eagles in the battle of the birds.
With all of the Eagles' problems going back to last season, the Ravens will dominate this game. The Ravens' offense has a lot of firepower and their defense still gets the job done.
If Michael Vick continues to turn the ball over even half as much as he did on Sunday then the Eagles season will be a long one. After having thirteen tackles on Monday night, Ray Lewis will wreck havoc on Vick and show once again that father time isn't something that affects him.
Minnesota Vikings at Indianapolis Colts
Luck struggled in his season opener and the Colts defense left much to be desired in a 41-21 drubbing at the hands of the Bears. Meanwhile the Vikings pulled out an overtime win on the back of a healthy Adrian Peterson.
The Colts and super rookie Andrew Luck were blown out in their season opener against the Bears. With A.P. looking strong in his return from injury the Vikings should be able to hold on for the win.
With Adrian Peterson back in action the Minnesota offense is greatly improved. The Colts defense does not have enough to stop them and Andrew Luck is not yet reliable running the offense.
Here comes Andrew Luck's first career win. Luck played a solid game against the Bears, but turned the ball over way too much. Luck will learn from his mistakes and be able to adjust as the Vikings defense isn't nearly as intimidating as the Bears. Luck will get the game ball as he leads the Colts on a late rally to beat a healthy Adrian Peterson and the Vikings.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants
Neither team will score much in a battle of good defenses and terrible offenses but the Giants have the stronger wide receiver corps and a more accomplished running back which will give them the advantage while Josh Freeman fails yet again to show any sign of his 2010 self.
I just can't go against the Giants in this one. Although they are notoriously slow starters, this game is a must have for them as they go on the road to face the Panthers and Eagles in the next two weeks respectively. Eli Manning will right the ship and show the world why the Giants are the reigning Super Bowl champs.
Look for the Giants to bounce back after their week one loss to the Cowboys. As long as Eli Manning and the offense is focused they should take care of the Bucs.
There's just no way the defending Super Bowl Champs start off the season 0-2. The Giants dropped too many good passes to win the game against the Cowboys, but after some extra practices and time to yell, Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning will have the receiving corp whipped into shape and ready to win.
New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers
RG3 came into New Orleans and absolutely unleashed on the defense and Cam Newton will have similar success against the Saints' D. But Drew Brees is not about to start the season 0-2, regardless of what his defense does.
Both teams were upset last week. The Saints let RG3 walk all over them while Cam Newton and the Panthers were not able to do much on offense against the Bucs. It's hard to believe, but the Saints will start the season 0-2 as Cam Newton will bounce back strongly from his lackluster performance last week and return to his form of last season.
The Panthers got dominated last week and I think Drew Brees will be back at the top of his game. I like the Saints to win this game.
The Saints will get into their second shootout of the season as Cam Newton and the Panthers will revive their big play offense that they lost last game. Drew Brees vs. Cam Newton. Expect lots of yards and points racked up here.
Arizona Cardinals at New England Patriots
The Patriots are the best team in the league. The defense is much better than in years past, the running game may finally come alive and Tom Brady is still Tom Brady. The Cardinals, with Kevin Kolb or John Skelton at quarterback, do not stand a chance.
Lets be honest. The Cardinals are going to get flat out Gronked.
Although Kevin Kolb led his team to victory last week he can't keep up with the high octane Patriot offense and Tom Brady. The Patriots should take this one relatively easily.
Is there really any doubt with this one?
Washington Redskins at St. Louis Rams
Both of these teams were week one surprises but the Redskins managed to squeak out the win while the Rams got beat on a late score by the Lions. RG3 will not have as easy going as he did against the Saints, but he is ready to show us what more he can do.
The Rams were shockingly able to compete with the heavily favored Lions, losing on a last second touchdown pass by Matt Stafford. Although RG3 and the Redskins looked great in the season opener against New Orleans, expect the Rams to play them tough all the way through and eke out a close one.
I see no reason why RGIII can't repeat his performance. The Rams played the Lions tough week one so look for it to be close but I give the edge to the Skins'.
RG3 proved to the world that he's ready to win. Now. And Alfred Morris looks like a running back that fits Shannahan's system pretty well. Even the Redskins pass rush played up to its potential. Jeff Fisher will have to wait another week before getting his first win as a Ram.
The Cowboys took down the Giants on opening night and now they will take down the Seahawks. Russell Wilson may have a bright future ahead of him, but right now he still has a lot to learn and it will not be easy going against the Cowboys.
Even a "put the team on the back though" performance from Mr. determination won't stop the big D from blowing past the Seahawks in week two.
Tony Romo lit it up last week against the Giants and expect him to do so again. The Cowboys have a chip on their shoulder after last season's disappointments.
Kevin Ogletree probably won't break the decade mark this game, but Romo should be able to utilize enough weapons at his disposal to put the ‘Boys up big. One the other side of the ball Rob Ryan has the Cowboys' D playing well. Not sure if Russell Wilson can keep up in this game.
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers
Ryan Mathews is expected to play and Phillip Rivers is working his way back to his 2010 form. The Titans don't stand a chance.
Philip Rivers and the Chargers should be able to improve to 2-0 and win their home opener against the Titans, who were flattened in their season opener against the Patriots.
After being practically blanked in week one I think Chris Johnson will be back for revenge and run all over the San Diego defense. The Chargers offense also does not have the same explosive offense as they have had in the past.
Phillip Rivers has a chance to finally win a few games before December and not have to rally the team to make a final push. Instead Rivers may have the team motivated and ready to win now. The Titans aren't the best measuring stick, but we'll still see how the Chargers play.
New York Jets at Pittsburgh Steelers
Tebow had nothing to do with it, but the Jets won big. Mark Sanchez had the best game of his career as they demolished the revamped Bills defense. A repeat of last week for Sanchez is unlikely but the Jets are a contender once again.
The Steelers will be out for blood after losing a Sunday night showdown with Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Expect them to respond to this loss nicely in their home opener and shut down the Jets.
The Jets looked really good last week. I don't see any reason why they can't outscore the very mediocre Pittsburgh offense.
There's just simply no way that Mark Sanchez throws for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns in back to back games. Especially now with an angry Steelers team ready to rebound from a loss. Look for the Steelers to take out their anger on the Jets.
Detroit Lions at San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers did everything right against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers and Matthew Stafford was way too mistake prone. The 49ers' defense will be too much for him to handle as they continue just where they left off at the end of last year.
This game could go either way, but I have to say, the 49ers look like the team to beat after knocking off Green Bay at Lambeau last week. Look for Alex Smith and the crew to stay hot and knock off Megatron and the Lions.
Alex Smith is one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the league. He should torch the Lions' weak defense. The 49ers defense can take care of the Lions' potent offense.
It's the rematch of the handshaking scandal of 2011. Who cares about the match up between two great defenses and young quarterbacks? Make sure to watch the post-game shake.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons
This will be the best matchup of week two. Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning were on top of their games week one and both teams have great wide receivers to help them out. Defensively the Falcons have the advantage but with Peyton Manning in his groove it will not be enough to stop Denver.
Peyton Manning had the Broncos' no huddle offense clicking on all cylinders Sunday night against Pittsburgh. Look for Manning to keep the Broncos rolling and take down a very good Falcons team.
Matt Ryan, "Matty Ice," was exceptional for the Falcons last week. Atlanta also perhaps has the best offensive trio in Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White. Although the Broncos defense is tough, the Falcons' offense is too explosive.
Peyton Manning proved last week that he's healthy and gunning for a title. His supporting cast is one of the best he's ever had. One the flip side Matt Ryan proved he's elite and gunning for a title. His supporting cast is one of the best he's ever had. The difference here is the Broncos defense. People like Von Miller, Elvis Dumervil, Tracy Porter and Champ Bailey help down Atlanta.
Jack Estrin. More »
Michael Gerbasi. More »
Jacob Buchholz. More »
Josh Schmidt. A swell fellow. More »