10 September 2014

2014 NFL Predictions: Week 2

(Getty)
Well Week 1 of the 2014 NFL season was pretty good, right? After all we had a number of exciting finishes, a pair of matchups going to overtime and one punt returner kicking a punter in the face. Yes, football is back. But now the bigger question is, how will Week 2 top all of this? Here are my predictions.

Last Week: 9-7
2014: 9-7
Locks: 1-0

Thursday, September 11th
Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) vs. Baltimore Ravens (0-1) - CBS/NFL Network, 8:25
The Ravens, and the NFL as well, are deserving of all of the criticism that they are receiving in the wake of their disgraceful mishandling of the Ray Rice situation. Now the players, who really have nothing to do with this situation, have to go out and take the field against a division rival on a short week. These teams always play each other tough and very physical but I think the Steelers on the road will able to nab a road win behind another strong performance from Ben Roethlisberger.
Steelers 25 Ravens 21

Sunday, September 14th
Detroit Lions (1-0) vs. Carolina Panthers (1-0) - Fox, 1:00
It looks like Cam Newton is all ready to start this week after missing the opener with fractured ribs and while the Panthers are coming off a win against the Buccaneers, they may just need all the offense they can get with the Lions coming to town. Nobody's afraid of the Giants but the Lions were able to light up the scoreboard as Matthew Stafford was able to throw downfield seemingly at will. He and his receiving corps should have success against a mediocre cornerbacks corps and get the road win.
Lions 30 Panthers 20

Miami Dolphins (1-0) vs. Buffalo Bills(1-0) - CBS, 1:00

How many folks saw both of these teams sitting here at 1-0 after they took on the Bears and the Patriots, respectively. However of the two, while Buffalo's victory was a little more surprising on the road, I think the Dolphins were more impressive scoring 23 unanswered points in the second half. Tom Brady struggled with his deep ball against Miami and if they can cause Brady to struggle, what could they do to E.J. Manuel?
Dolphins 23 Bills 17

Cincinnati Bengals (1-0) vs. Atlanta Falcons (1-0) - CBS, 1:00
A pair of impressive wins for these two clubs in their openers as the Falcons rallied in the second half to force overtime against the Saints while prevailing on a Matt Bryant field goal after recovering a Marques Colston fumble, and the Bengals took an early lead and then retook the lead on a sensational A.J. Green touchdown late in the fourth quarter. Just like in both of their matchups last week, we should see plenty of the passing game from both clubs and in a shootout, I do give a slight edge to the Falcons.
Falcons 33 Bengals 28

Arizona Cardinals (1-0) vs. New York Giants (0-1) - Fox, 1:00
Both of these clubs are coming off appearances in the Monday Night Football doubleheader but their performances could not have been more different. The Giants struggled to do much of anything offensively and got smoked through the air by Matthew Stafford en route to a blowout loss, while the Cardinals rallied from a 17-6 fourth quarter deficit thanks to some key plays from Carson Palmer, both through other and on the ground, surprisingly. Arizona has a little more of an uphill battle considering it's a 10:00 am local start for them but I think they just are the better club.
Cardinals 20 Giants 16

Dallas Cowboys (0-1) vs. Tennessee Titans (1-0) - Fox, 1:00
The concerns over the Cowboy defense appear to be legitimate but even then, it was the offense that put the team in a big hole against the 49ers with four turnovers in the first half helping to pave the way for a 28-3 halftime deficit. Meanwhile, the Titans looked very sharp in Kansas City and particularly on offense where Jake Locker had a very good day under center. I was more bullish on the Titans than others and I think that will continue this week against a woeful Dallas team.
Titans 22 Cowboys 15

New England Patriots (0-1) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-0) - CBS, 1:00
The Patriots losing to the Dolphins wasn't as surprising as how they did it: scoring 23 points unanswered in the second half as Knowshon Moreno torched the New England defense while Tom Brady struggled struggled with his deep ball. The Pats should be much improved this week, although Minnesota thoroughly dominated the Rams in the Ed Dome. Look for a game that may be closer than some experts, or "experts," think.
Patriots 27 Vikings 24

New Orleans Saints (0-1) vs. Cleveland Browns (0-1) - Fox, 1:00
Which Browns team are we going to get this week? Will it be the team that was completely inept in the first half in Pittsburgh, leading to this fan showing some anger, or the team that rallied hard to tie the game in the second half before the Steelers kicked a late field goal for the win? The correct answer is probably somewhere in the middle, although I think the Steelers were certainly complacent after halftime, and I think they can struggle to move the ball against the Saints, who are looking for a bounce-back performance after blowing a ten-point halftime lead to the Falcons to lose in overtime.
Saints 28 Browns 17

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) vs. Washington (0-1) - CBS, 1:00
Who wasn't surprised when the Jaguars jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead against the Eagles? However they came back to Earth, and then some, in allowing Philadelphia to score 34 points unanswered in the second half (albeit the final score was on a fumble return touchdown). They will host a Washington team that looked really sloppy offensively, even as Robert Griffin III was not that bad throwing the ball, as they turned the ball over a couple of times with lost fumbles. I do think that Jacksonville's early lead was a fluke and that the home team will get their first win today.
Washington 23 Jaguars 18

Seattle Seahawks (1-0) vs. San Diego Chargers (0-1) - Fox, 4:05
I have noted multiple times of late in various mediums how hard it is for any team to repeat as Super Bowl champions but that said, Seattle looked incredibly sharp in their smacking of the Packers last Thursday night. Of course it is only one game, and at home, but even then it's not like the Packers are some JV team. It is going to be very tough for anyone to knock off the Seahawks this year, even for a solid Chargers club that came close, but not close enough, to getting a win in their opener in Glendale.
Seahawks 32 Chargers 25

St. Louis Rams (0-1) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1) - Fox, 4:05
The Rams greatly struggled offensively last week against the Vikings as Shaun Hill struggled in the first half before being pulled due to injury and his replacement, Austin Davis, couldn't do much better in the second half. They couldn't run the ball much and the defense struggled to get off the field. Tampa Bay disappointed against a Cam Newton-less Panthers squad but even so, they looked significantly better than their opponents this week did.
Buccaneers 20 Rams 9

Houston Texans (1-0) vs. Oakland Raiders (0-1) - CBS, 4:25
Oakland was downright putrid offensively in East Rutherford, totaling a hearty 158 yards in their loss to the Jets. And while the Jets have a very good defensive line, their back seven isn't all that fearsome. I think the Raiders' offensive concerns are legitimate and I think the Texans, who were able to blow up almost everything Washington did offensively last week, will get the win in Oakland.
Texans 17 Raiders 6

Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) vs. Denver Broncos (1-0) - CBS, 4:25
All of those folks expecting the Chiefs to take a step back from their surprise 11 win season of a year ago were somewhat justified by a bad performance at home against the Titans. The flaws of the offense were exposed as Jamaal Charles was ineffective and Alex Smith threw a trio of interceptions while the defense allowed Jake Locker to have a field day in the passing game. I highly doubt that things are going to get much better in Denver. In fact, the Broncos are my Lock of the Week.
Broncos 35 Chiefs 14

New York Jets (1-0) vs. Green Bay Packers (0-1) - CBS, 4:25
The Jets allowed a Raiders team that couldn't move the ball whatsoever to hang around at home but they took advantage of a big Chris Ivory touchdown run in the fourth quarter and an efficient Geno Smith performance to get the win. Meanwhile, the Packers got pounded by the Seahawks in Seattle as they largely struggled to run the ball, with Eddie Lacy suffering a concussion late, and Aaron Rodgers couldn't push the ball down the field much. That said, he goes from facing an awesome secondary to a much weaker one, particularly on the edges, and they return to the friendly confines of Lambeau Field. The Pack get a big bounce-back win.
Packers 31 Jets 13

Chicago Bears (0-1) vs. San Francisco 49ers (1-0) - NBC, 8:20
We will see the debut of the brand spanking new home of the 49ers, Levi's Stadium, on Sunday night. That alone will give the Niners plenty of motivation but they are also coming off a very impressive win at Dallas in which their defense forced Tony Romo and the Cowboys into many first half mistakes. I think they will christen their new home in Santa Clara with a nice win against a Chicago that disappointed last week against the Bills.
49ers 27 Bears 23

Monday, September 9th
Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) vs. Indianapolis Colts (0-1) - ESPN, 8:30
Andrew Luck almost did it again in rallying the Colts from a 24-point deficit in the first half but what the real headline is that the Indianapolis defense once again put the team in a major deficit and needed to be almost bailed out by the offense. If the defense doesn't improve, it could be the Eagles that put up that sizable lead. I do worry about how it took the Eagles so long for their offense to show up against the Jaguars and I think the Indianapolis defense will improve to even up their record with a home win.
Colts 35 Eagles 30

7 comments:

  1. The JAX/WSH game is in DC.

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    Replies
    1. So if you still believe the road team will get their first win in that game, perhaps you need to change the score to Jacksonville 23 and Redskins 18? I know that I would.

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  2. Bengals will beat Falcons in a close one!!

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  3. Miami at Buffalo and Atlanta at Cincinnati too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must've misread the NFL schedule when I made the post, thanks.

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  4. I appreciate the Washington boycott. Don't let anyone talk you out of that.

    ReplyDelete