There never fails to be unpredictable finishes in Week 1 of the NFL season.
A tough week for picks is to be expected considering we have no idea how teams are going to look in 2014, and my results were rough. But we live to fight another day, so it’s time to make up some ground.
Here are my Week 2 selections, with the picks in bold. DISCLAIMER: My picks are for entertainment purposes only, with no money being placed on any game.
2014 Record: (4-12)
Thursday Night Football
Pittsburgh Steelers (+3) vs. Baltimore Ravens (Thursday, 7:25 CT on CBS and NFL Network)
I was foolish in taking a road underdog on Thursday night a week ago, but I feel pretty good about this one.
Pittsburgh is the better team, with the fact that the Ravens are at home being the only reason they are favored. I just think the Steelers offense will be able to exploit the Baltimore D, with a mix of weapons such as Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell.
Steelers win outright.
Game of the Week
Atlanta Falcons vs. Cincinnati Bengals (-5) (Sunday, Noon CT on CBS)
This is a debatable selection for my “Game of the Week”, but it’s the game I’m most looking forward to.
The Falcons, led by quarterback Matt Ryan, were magical against the Saints at home, with Ryan filling the stat sheets with 448 yards passing. Their offense features a long list of playmakers, including Devin Hester who has turned into a good receiver who can catch the ball and showcase his speed. I like what Atlanta has to offer.
Obviously, people are going to jump on the Falcons at +5, but I’m not taking the obvious selection.
Cincinnati has a very good defense, and while the Falcons will certainly put up points, I think the Bengals can cool “Hotlanta” down a bit. Look, Ryan isn’t going to have another performance like that this season, and Cincy’s offense is no joke either.
I may regret taking the sexy option here, but give me the Bengals.
Lock of the Week
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos (-13) (Sunday, 3:25 CT on CBS)
If the Tennessee Titans can go into Kansas City and beat the Chiefs by 16, surely the Broncos can do it too, right?
The Kansas City defense is a mess right now with so many significant injuries in the front seven, and they now play the most-talented team in the AFC.
Denver wins. Big.
Miami Dolphins (-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (Sunday, Noon CT on CBS)
Two teams who shouldn’t have won last week now meet in the closest game in terms of odds.
Miami definitely has some promise after their win over the Patriots last week. As for the Bills, I’m not circling the Buffalo bandwagon, despite a win over the Bears who were a seven-point favorite.
If the Dolphins can stop the run and force quarterback E.J. Manual to pass, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t win this game. On offense, keep pounding it with Knowshon Moreno, and for you Ryan Tannehill, just keep taking care of the ball.
Miami in a close game.
“Sneaky Good” Games
New Orleans Saints vs. Cleveland Browns (+7) (Sunday, Noon CT on FOX)
I’m feeling risky.
Here’s another example of an obvious game where the average person would clearly pick the Saints to win by more than a touchdown.
But I’m not the average person, at least in this situation.
Cleveland was down on the Steelers last week and managed to come back and almost win, while the Saints defense is coming off one of the worst performances in their history. The Saints should bounce back here, but the Cleveland defense is better than most will think.
New Orleans wins, but the Browns make it close to lose by less than seven.
Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers (-7) (Sunday, 7:30 CT on NBC)
San Francisco opens Levi’s Stadium against the Bears in a more than “sneaky good” game.
The concern here is, how do the Bears bounce back after being upset by Buffalo? They now play an even better defense on the road, so I don’t think this will be the week where the Chicago offense shines.
The 49ers should be able to walk away with a comfortable win, forcing Chicago to turn the ball over and convert into points against a pretty weak defense.
Dud of the Week
Jacksonville Jaguars (+6) vs. Washington Redskins (Sunday, Noon CT on CBS)
The Redskins looked awful against Houston last week, so surprisingly, the majority of this dud comes from them.
Jacksonville went up 17-0 on Philadelphia, but failed to score the remainder of the game. Still, this is a better Jaguars team, and they’ll likely have another threat in Cecil Shorts back on Sunday.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Jags walk out of D.C. with the win.
Dallas Cowboys (+3.5) vs. Tennessee Titans (Sunday, Noon CT on FOX)
Arizona Cardinals (-3) vs. New York Giants (Sunday, Noon CT on FOX)
New England Patriots (-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings (Sunday, Noon CT on CBS)
Detroit Lions (+3) vs. Carolina Panthers (Sunday, Noon CT on FOX)
St. Louis Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6) (Sunday, 3:05 CT on FOX)
Seattle Seahawks (-6) vs. San Diego Chargers (Sunday, 3:05 CT on FOX)
Houston Texans (-3) vs. Oakland Raiders (Sunday, 3:25 CT on CBS)
New York Jets vs. Green Bay Packers (-8) (Sunday, 3:25 CT on CBS)
Monday Night Football
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Indianapolis Colts (-3) (Monday, 7:30 CT on ESPN)