11 September 2012

2012 NFL Week 2 Picks

The Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers have played each other 184 teams over the courses of both franchises' history, first meeting 91 years ago at Wrigley Field. When these two clubs meet, the game always has an added significance but this matchup on Thursday evening carries a lot of meaning, as the Bears look to seize the division crown from Green Bay. Chicago looked strong in a week one blowout of Indianapolis while the Packers struggled and lost to San Francisco. Who will come out on top in this one?

My pick for that matchup and every other game of week 2, after the jump.

Last Week: 8-8
2012: 8-8

Thursday, September 14th
Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers (NFL Network, 8:20)
The Packers certainly started the season on the wrong foot, looking pretty inconsistent and fell to a darn good 49ers club. The Bears looked very good against a mediocre Colts team, with Jay Cutler looking great and his new wideouts, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, looked really good. The Packers are looking for a rebound, the Bears looking to keep up the good work. I have to go with Chicago because here is my reasoning. If the Packers struggle defensively against Alex Smith and get torched in the running game, how will they fare against Cutler and Matt Forte?
Bears 31 Packers 27

Sunday, September 16th
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills (CBS, 1:00)
Man, the Buffalo Bills really disappointed last week in East Rutherford. The new look defensive line got not pressure on Mark Sanchez, the defense got torched by Sanchez, who put up an absurd 9.9 yards per attempt and Ryan Fitzpatrick just looked terrible. Plus, Fred Jackson got hurt and is out for a few weeks. Now while the Chiefs were not incredibly impressive either in a loss to the Falcons, they were in the game save for a couple turnovers. Buffalo is just a mess.
Chiefs 17 Bills 7

Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals (CBS, 1:00)
Brandon Weeden, what a disaster he was last week against the Eagles, with a 5.1 quarterback rating and four interceptions. And yet it was a game, only losing by one and on a late touchdown. Why? Because Cleveland's defense is very good, particularly against the pass, especially Joe Haden, but he was just suspended for four games. That is why Cleveland will be in the game against the Bengals. They won't win because their offense is terrible and I believe Cincinnati is better than the score indicated on Monday night.
Bengals 17 Browns 9

Oakland Raiders vs. Miami Dolphins (CBS, 1:00)
The Dolphins were playing the Texans tough last week, then it all fell apart. Ryan Tannehill really struggled, particularly in the disastrous second quarter, when he threw three consecutive interceptions that all led to Houston points. The only touchdown scored by the club was via a punt return, so the offense did next to nothing. Oakland blew it against the Chargers by having severe problems on their punting unit but overall they looked all right. I think that Carson Palmer will have a big game and Darren McFadden will have a much better game, leading the Raiders to victory.
Raiders 20 Dolphins 6

Houston Texans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (CBS, 1:00)
I tell ya, Blaine Gabbert looked a lot better than he did last season. In fact, he looked like a somewhat competent quarterback against the Vikings. But lucky for him, the Vikings have an awful secondary, while the Texans have a really good one, just ask Ryan Tannehill. Houston will roll for the second week in a row and Arian Foster will have a big game carrying the pigskin.
Texans 28 Jaguars 10

Baltimore Ravens vs. Philadelphia Eagles (CBS, 1:00)
Fortunately, Philadelphia was able to get out of Cleveland, barely, with a win due to Brandon Weeden's 5.1 quarterback rating, although Michael Vick was not much better and nearly lost the game when a pick got dropped by a Cleveland defender. Vick threw a hearty four interceptions as the offense was stagnant all afternoon long. If the Eagles are struggling with the Browns, who do not have an offense, they could really struggle against a Baltimore club that looked really good on Monday night.
Ravens 31 Eagles 20

New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers (FOX, 1:00)
New Orleans and their interim interim coach got scorched by Robert Griffin III early and often last week and it did not help that it appeared that Drew Brees, who sat out offseason drills while in contract talks, was down a cylinder. But I believe that they will respond with a big game against the Panthers, who disappointed while losing to Tampa Bay. Cam Newton should have a big game since the Saints' defense did get smoked by Griffin but I think the Saints have something to prove now.
Saints 38 Panthers 31

Arizona Cardinals vs. New England Patriots (FOX, 1:00)
So even after losing the quarterback battle to John Skelton, Kevin Kolb will be the starter thanks to Skelton's ankle injury. To be fair, Kolb did look impressive leading the game-winning drive against the Seahawks but I think they will have trouble with a New England team that is coming off a complete victory against the Titans. What really has to please Bill Belichick was the much improved defensive play, with both first rounders, Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower, making plays. In fact, the Patriots are my Lock of the Week.
Patriots 38 Cardinals 17

Minnesota Vikings vs. Indianapolis Colts (FOX, 1:00)
You know what? I thought Andrew Luck had a pretty solid debut against the Bears. Of course he made mistakes and Chicago took advantage and won big. But let's be fair to Luck, his surrounding cast is awful. The line sucks, there is no running game and the defense is a mess. But I think Luck will lead the Colts to victory over the Vikings. Minnesota's secondary is really, really bad and I think Luck will chew them up through the air. I do think Adrian Peterson will have a big game and I was impressed by Christian Ponder last week but I am feeling the Colts getting Luck's first career win.
Colts 20 Vikings 16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants (FOX, 1:00)
Greg Schiano has a successful opener, upsetting the Panthers at home. They were not great statistically but they did a really good job on defense (check out Mark Barron's huge hit on Steve Smith) in forcing Cam Newton into some mistakes. But it was also clear that they were overachieving, which is certainly not a bad thing, but I am doubtful that that will work against a Giants team with something to prove after losing last Wednesday night.
Giants 20 Buccaneers 12

Washington Redskins vs. St. Louis Rams (FOX, 4:05)
I think this could be a very intriguing game because St. Louis played pretty well in just losing to the Lions late while Robert Griffin III was brilliant in his debut against the Saints. The Rams' secondary played very well against the Lions, forcing Matt Stafford to throw three picks and did a pretty good job on Calvin Johnson, even though he ended up with over 100 yards receiving. The tag-team of Cortland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins could very well force Griffin's first interception of his career. But why will I go with Washington? I still have zero confidence in the Rams' offensive line and I think both Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan could force Sam Bradford into mistakes. But it will be closer than you will think.
Redskins 21 Rams 17

Dallas Cowboys vs. Seattle Seahawks (FOX, 4:05)
A lot of folks were really buying into the Seahawks and Russell Wilson. Personally I was not as sold and I looked smart for one of the few times in my life as Wilson was mediocre against the Cardinals in Glendale and the team gave up a game-winning drive to Kevin Kolb. Not even an extra timeout could save them late. Dallas looked impressive on Wednesday night against the Giants and looked like they could take a step forward this season. It is always tough to play in Seattle but Dallas will take the cake.
Cowboys 27 Seahawks 17

Tennessee Titans vs. San Diego Chargers (CBS, 4:25)
Jake Locker looked solid against the Patriots, despite the blowout loss, but he did separate his non-throwing shoulder and it is not certain whether or not he will play this Sunday. I think that gives the Chargers the advantage Sunday afternoon because likely Locker will not be 100% or Matt Hasselbeck will start and he is over the hill. Philip Rivers will be able to put up good numbers against this inconsistent Titans defense and will give the Super Chargers the edge.
Chargers 17 Titans 15

New York Jets vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS, 4:25)
Damn, the Jets looked really impressive against the Buffalo Bills. Mark Sanchez was great, like I mentioned before he had a tremendous 9.9 yards per attempt, Stephen Hill looked really good and the team was great scoring on defense and special teams. But I am not buying fully into the Jets yet, if they can replicate that performance this week, I will be on board. Darrelle Revis may not play on Sunday due to a mild concussion and I want to see how the team performs a much better Steelers defense. 
Steelers 24 Jets 20

Detroit Lions vs. San Francisco 49ers (NBC, 8:20)
Have to give the Rams a lot of credit but the Lions looked really shaky against St. Louis on Sunday, only taking the lead late in the game. What was really surprising was how careless Matt Stafford seemed to be with the football, throwing three picks and forcing many a pass into coverage. That kind of stuff will really hurt against the 49ers, who are coming off a really impressive victory over Green Bay on Sunday.
49ers 28 Lions 20

Monday, September 17th
Denver Broncos vs. Atlanta Falcons (ESPN, 8:30)
I am pretty excited for this game as both clubs looked pretty darn good in their season openers, making this pick tough. Neither team was able to run the football much at all but both quarterbacks (Peyton Manning for Denver, Matt Ryan for Atlanta) looked really good against the Steelers and Chiefs, respectively. I think the difference for this game will be the Broncos' pass rush. Denver sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times and I think they will be able to pressure Ryan and push the action defensively just enough to get an edge. 
Broncos 30 Falcons 28

1 comment:

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