10 September 2013

2013 NFL Predictions: Week 2

We certainly had ourselves a wild and fun opening week to the 2013 NFL season, with a bunch of surprises across the board and on the whole very competitive football, it certainly set the stage for what just may be a great season. Will the greatness continue in week two? Here are my predictions.

Last Week: 11-5
Locks: 1-0

Thursday, September 12th
New York Jets (1-0) vs. New England Patriots (1-0) - NFL Network, 8:30
So I see that Jets fans are all excited over beating the Buccaneers on Sunday. Couple that with the Giants losing in primetime and this may be the happiest the fans have been in a while. Of course, you cannot forget how incredibly undisciplined Tampa Bay was with committing an absurd 13 penalties, including Lavonte David's incredibly bad late hit on Geno Smith that set up the winning field goal. And let's get real, they still were not all that impressive and Smith is going to have a whale of a team dueling with Tom Brady, whose own club is out to prove that the squeaker win against Buffalo was not a fluke. Even as Brady has a significant amount of receivers out, I like them comfortably.
Patriots 31 Jets 14

Sunday, September 14th
Tennessee Titans (1-0) vs. Houston Texans (1-0) - CBS, 1:00
Man, was Houston's comeback wild or what against San Diego? Of course, San Diego did their fair share to throw that game away down the stretch, but hey, a win is a win. Tennessee may not have pulled off their win in thrilling fashion, and in fact it was an incredibly ugly win over Pittsburgh, but they'll take what they can get. I do have concerns over how much the Titans really struggled to move the ball as Jake Locker was inconsistent and Chris Johnson could not find any running room. It will be difficult to stomach that on the road here.
Texans 20 Titans 10

Miami Dolphins (1-0) vs. Indianapolis Colts (1-0) - CBS, 1:00
Both of these teams pulled out victories in differing fashions in their opener. The Dolphins took advantage of Cleveland struggling to move the ball all day and Ryan Tannehill had himself a solid game. Meanwhile, the Colts had to fight off a game Raiders game until the final minutes when Andrew Luck led another game-winning drive and then Terrelle Pryor was intercepted deep in Indianapolis territory to seal it. This should be another good one although I think that if the Dolphins struggle once again to run the football, that will hurt them. I give a slight edge to Indianapolis.
Colts 24 Dolphins 20

San Diego Chargers (0-1) vs. Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) - CBS, 1:00
I liked how the Chargers kicked off their season last night with a new coach but was disappointed about how badly they collapsed in the fourth quarter to fall to Houston. And now, they will have to play an early start and take on Chip Kelly's offense which stole the show in the early Monday night game, including running an incredible 53 plays in the first half. LeSean McCoy looks to be a perfect fit for Kelly's scheme and Michael Vick looked solid as well. This does not bode well for San Diego.
Eagles 35 Chargers 24

Cleveland Browns (0-1) vs. Baltimore Ravens (0-1) - CBS, 1:00
Baltimore got truly embarrassed by the Broncos in the season opener on Thursday, and while there are some concerns for the defending champs, they are still a strong team and thus with their return home, will be looking to bounce back in a big way. Fortunately, Brandon Weeden is not Peyton Manning and this Browns offense that struggled to move the football will continue to do so against their division rival.
Ravens 28 Browns 12

Dallas Cowboys (1-0) vs. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0) - Fox, 1:00
Kansas City got themselves a pretty nice win in the opening day of Andy Reid's tenure but we have to be honest here, it certainly helped that they played a dreadful Jaguars team that put up a pitiful offensive total of 179 yards. So I think the club will come back to earth a little bit, even while being at home, and fall to the Cowboys, who were able to take advantage of many New York miscues on Sunday night. It will be key if the Chiefs can get Jamaal Charles going.
Cowboys 21 Chiefs 16

Minnesota Vikings (0-1) vs. Chicago Bears (1-0) - Fox, 1:00
We saw some concerns with the Vikings on Sunday that will be prevalent for the club all year. Christian Ponder was hit-or-miss as he threw a trio of interceptions and the pass defense got smoked by Matthew Stafford all day. Therefore, you know that Jay Cutler will look for Brandon Marshall early and often as was perscribed by Marc Trestman during Chicago's comeback win against Cincinnati. Chicago's defense also looked good and they may have a shot to slow down Adrian Peterson.
Bears 31 Vikings 22

Carolina Panthers (0-1) vs. Buffalo Bills (0-1) - Fox, 1:00
Both clubs came very close to pulling off a nice upset in their season openers, but were unable to get it done and seal the wins down the stretch. I was pretty impressed in what I saw from E.J. Manuel against New England but their defense falling apart down the stretch worries me. Cam Newton struggled a little against a rigid Seattle defense and he will get the green light to attack Buffalo vertically. Give me Carolina.
Panthers 30 Bills 23

St. Louis Rams (1-0) vs. Atlanta Falcons (0-1) - Fox, 1:00
The Rams had to rally late to defeat their divisional rivals from Glendale, scoring 14 unanswered in the 4th quarter and winning it on a Greg Zuerlein field goal with less than a minute to go. Meanwhile, the Falcons were able to put up a lot of yards in the air and Steven Jackson was running pretty well (averaging seven yards a carry on only 11 carries) but they were not as strong offensively as the Saints were and thus lost. Look for Jackson to have a bigger role as he returns to his original club and the Falcons should overpower a Rams club that does not have the guns to keep up.
Falcons 35 Rams 24

Washington Redskins (0-1) vs. Green Bay Packers (0-1) - Fox, 1:00
There is no question that the Packers still had problems slowing down Colin Kaepernick as they got torched in the air, although they did a better job against the run, and one may think that that could lead to them to struggle against Robert Griffin, III. Personally, I'm not buying it as the 49ers are much more varied offensively than the Skins are, and the Packers should be able to torch a worrisome Washington defense that struggled greatly with the Eagles on Monday night.
Packers 38 Redskins 28

Detroit Lions (1-0) vs. Arizona Cardinals (0-1) - Fox, 4:05
I liked a lot of what the Lions did in their opener against Minnesota, forcing four turnovers, throwing the ball all over the yard and letting Reggie Bush showcase his playmaking skills in the middle of the field. If they play like that all year, they just may be able to save Jim Schwartz's job. And yet I am going to go with Arizona for one big reason, Patrick Peterson. Peterson has developed into an upper-echelon corner and he has the skills to slow down Calvin Johnson, causing a big blow to Detroit's gameplan. Carson Palmer will hit some bombs down the field and the Cards will have a nice win.
Cardinals 33 Lions 28

New Orleans Saints (1-0) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) - Fox, 4:05
As I alluded to early, the Buccaneers were a complete undisciplined mess in the Meadowlands on Sunday and that absolutely reflects poorly on Greg Schiano and his coaching staff, ironic considering that Schiano is known for being a disciplinarian. They look lost and made the Jets, of all teams, look like a competent club. And while they should have a chance to slow down Drew Brees as Darrelle Revis will lock down one side of the field, plus New Orleans is not a great team on the road, they will really have to get their act together to pull off a win on Sunday.
Saints 34 Buccaneers 21

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) vs. Oakland Raiders (1-0) - CBS, 4:25
I must say, I cannot find anybody that was not surprised with how well the Raiders played to kick off their 2013, a season widely thought to be a disaster. Now it may still be a disaster, but Terrelle Pryor showed a lot of life in his legs and while he is still pretty unrefined as a passer, he was able to move the football and make big plays. And while many thought that Jacksonville would be pretty bad, their offense was so pitiful against Kansas City, I'm tempted to make a crazy call that will likely backfire badly. Oakland is my Lock of the Week.
Raiders 21 Jaguars 6

Denver Broncos (1-0) vs. New York Giants (0-1) - CBS, 4:25
Saying the Giants were sloppy with the football is a little bit like like saying Leonard Part 6 is awful, one must need not say more. Saying that Peyton Manning was sensational last week is a bit like saying that Ghost Dad is awful, one must need not say more (sorry for the Bill Cosby hate). I do think that the Giants have a real concern as the running game was miserable and Eli Manning tried to do too much. They should look better, and the Broncos will come back down to earth, but not enough to take out Denver.
Broncos 31 Giants 24

San Francisco 49ers (1-0) vs. Seattle Seahawks (1-0) - NBC, 8:30
This, my friends, should be the game of the week and I know that personally, I am very excited for this ballgame between quite possibly the two top teams in the NFC. That said, while both won on Sunday, they did so in different fashions. Seattle won an ugly game in Charlotte that wasn't decided until the end while the Niners won a great game against Green Bay. But we all know how good the Seahawks are at home and I think they will send a strong message with a nice win.
Seahawks 28 49ers 25

Monday, September 15th
Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (0-1) - ESPN, 8:30
The Steelers had already lost against the Titans early in the first quarter when star center Maurkice Pouncey went down with what was announced as a torn ACL and MCL, ending his season. Pouncey is the top player on the Pittsburgh line and without him, the offense struggled greatly to move the football all day as Ben Roethlisberger was under pressure all day and the team could not move the ball on the ground at all. Against an even stronger defense as that of the Bengals, it will be only harder.
Bengals 20 Steelers 7

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