Well I started out the 2012 season decently, 10 wins though a couple did bite me (Yeah, Buffalo and Green Bay I’m talkin’ to you) By and large most of the picks came out the way I figured that they would and I’m never upset about that. This week has a handful of 0-1 teams playing one another and since 1990 a team starting 0-2 has made the NFL playoffs only 12% of the time, so if your team is in that scenario already they might be facing a crucial game and we’re not even officially in fall season. Lines are provided by bodog.net and are for entertainment and comparison purposes only. Which means the only thing I should hear from you is birthday wishes next week, not complaining that you got took on the lines. I don’t pay bookies
NFL SCHEDULE – WEEK 2
Thursday, September 13
Bears (1-0) @ Packers (0-1)
Lambeau Field, Green Bay 8:20 (NFLN)
Favorite Packers by 5
Last Week Packers Lost to 49ers 30-22 Bears beat Colts 41-21
Fast Fact After winning 20 straight home games dating back to 2009, the Pack have lost their last two at Lambeau (You’re almost waiting for the classic clip of Lombardi shouting “What the hell is going on out there?”)
One of the leagues classic rivalries kicks off the week. The Pack looked like a shadow of its 15-1 2011 self as they got pushed around by the Niners while the Bears toyed with the young Colts. The Bears actually look like they have a competent balanced offense and that in itself should be a high worry for other teams. Jay Cutler finally has a solid go-to receiver to complement the efficient running game. These are tools that the Packers suddenly don’t look like they have. Aaron Rodgers is of course his scary efficient self but with a weak running game and an increasingly suspect defense a lot of heads are getting scratched. I picked the Pack last week and hesitate to pick against them at home. But I think the Bears are the better balanced team and I haven’t even mentioned their defense. This is an upset call only because the Pack rarely lose at home and losing 3 straight is near sacrilege
Pick-Chicago (Upset of the Week)
Sunday, September 16
Cardinals (1-0) @ Patriots (1-0)
Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Patriots by 14
Last Week Cards beat Seahawks 20-16; Patriots beat Titans 34-13
Fast Fact The Pats have won the last five meetings to even the all-time series at 6 wins apiece.
The Cards were Sidney Rice dropped pass from having gotten the biggest hose job by the refs last week. but in any case they held off the Seahawks at home and there was actually a Kevin Kolb sighting. The curve gets significantly steeper against the Pats in Foxboro. The Pats slapped around the Titans on the road and look their usual dominant selves; I’ve long maintained that a western team going east for a 1p game is just about dead meat. Though the theory has been occasionally disproved, I can’t see the Cards going into Foxboro and winning.
Pick-New England (Lock of the Week)
Ravens (1-0) @ Eagles (1-0)
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Eagles by 3
Last Week Ravens beat Bengals 44-13; Eagles beat Browns 17-16
Fast Fact The last meeting between these two teams featured a 100 yard play for both teams (100 yard kickoff return by Eagles Quintin Demps, 107 yard interception return by Ed Reed)
Both of these aviary teams are coming off wins, the Ravens much easier than the Eagles. Michael Vick struggled against what has been regarded as a so-so Browns defense one has to wonder how he might fare against an aging but still deadly Ravens defense that fiddled around with the Bengals for a half then pounded them into submission. Is it really time to start giving Joe Flacco his due as one the NFL’s elite QB’s? I’m still not fully sold but he is getting really close in my eyes. The Ravens are a better team in this matchup, but not by much. I think that the Eagles will play to the level of their opponent and this will be another tight matchup
Browns (0-1) @ Bengals (0-1)
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Bengals by 7
Last Week Browns lost to Eagles 17-16, Bengals lost to Ravens 44-13
Fast Fact The Browns have lost their last seven road games.
Both teams come off losses to the combatants in the previous capsule, the Browns in heartbreaking last minute fashion while the Bengals got housed in front of national audience on Monday Night. The Bengals need to get their minds right or be not only 0-2 but 2 games down in their division. Brandon Weeden looked hopelessly overmatched by a freewheeling defense and the Bengals defense will have a much easier time making Weeden squirm. Ol Red Dalton had a decent game against the Ravens save the pick 6 he threw and will likely bounce back strong.
Texans (1-0) @ Jaguars (0-1)
EverBank Field, Jacksonville 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Texans by 7˝
Last Week Texans beat Dolphins 30-10, Jaguars lost to Vikings in OT 26-23
Fast Fact The Texans have won three straight and their 11 wins overall is the most against a single opponent
The Texans looked chillingly crisp in dismantling the Dolphins before a rabid home crowd; they head to Jacksonville to play in front a crowd likely half as big and a team twice as bad as the ones that they faced last week. Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, ArianFoster and company will make it a long day for the Jags home opener and that jump to LA looks more and more promising to the Jags.
Chiefs (0-1) @ Bills (0-1)
Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Bills by 3
Last Week Chiefs lost to Falcons 41-20, Bills lost to Jets 48-28
Fast Fact Bills have won four of the last five meetings.
Both teams got straight housed in week 1, the Bills looked stunningly bad in getting a beatdown in Gotham while the Chiefs embarrassed themselves in front of sold-out but sullen home crowd. This is a game where you are never quite sure what team on either side will show up, both have decent offenses and defenses that can play well when they want to. The question is which team bounces back after what were demoralizing losses in week 1. I think the Bills play well at home in front of their long suffering but loyal crowd and grinds out a win.
Vikings (1-0) @Colts (0-1)
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Vikings by 1˝
Last Week Vikings beat Jaguars in OT 26-23, Colts lost to Bears 41-21
Fast Fact Vikings were the first team to win under the new expanded regular season OT rules
Your humble scribe is making the trek to Indy for this one. The Vikings are feeling good after outslugging a scrappy Jags team to get an opening day win. The Colts are going through a number of growing pains with the debut of Andrew Luck. Luck has tools and will be a primetime quarterback in this league and soon. Vikes QB Christian Ponder is trying his best to be a good game manager and if Adrian Peterson continues his stunning recovery from his massive knee injury the Vikes will be at least serviceable to watch. This game is for all intents and purposes a real dud. The Colts offense is still a work in progress and the Vikes have little offense beyond Peterson. I think that the Vikes defense forces Luck into a couple mistakes and pulls out another ugly win.
Saints (0-1) @ Panthers (0-1)
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Saints by 3
Last Week Saints lost to Redskins 40-32, Panthers lost to Buccaneers 17-14
Fast Fact Saints QB Drew Brees has completed 70% of his passes with 10 td passes and only 3 interceptions in the last four meetings between these teams, all Saints wins.
The Saints took a shocking punch to the gut as they watched RG3 shred them in a stunning home loss. The Panthers expected a walkover facing the Bucs and instead got walked on. This has the makings of another shootout, since neither team has any real proficiency on the defensive side. Cam Newton’s rookie year was so startling, it’s easy to forget that he is still developing and will have setbacks. I think that Brees will be able to put up his usual complement of points and while Newton will get his, the Saints pull out a high scoring affair.
Oakland (0-1) @ Miami (0-1)
SunLife Stadium, Miami 1:00 (CBS)
Favorite Raiders by 3
Last Week Raiders lost to Chargers 22-14, Dolphins lost to Texans 30-10
Fast Fact Dolphins have won the last five meetings in Miami
The Dolphins looked just about as lost as a team can get, while the Raiders did as much as possible to give away a winnable game at home. Most would say that the west coast team going east is an easy dead meat pick. But the Dolphins are an absolute train wreck and the Raiders while not playing their best are a much better team.
Buccaneers (1-0) @ NY Giants (0-1)
MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 (FOX)
Favorite Giants by 9
Last Week Bucs beat Panthers 17-14; Giants lost Cowboys 24-17
Fast Fact Giants are first defending Super Bowl champs since 1999 Broncos to lose season opener.
Both teams come in to this matchup off relative shockers. The Giants uncharacteristically came apart late in their opener against the Pokes. While the Bucs held firm at home and handled the Panthers. I like the G-Men to bounce back strong against a team I think is inferior to them. Eli and Coughlin would rocket from toast of the town to village idiots if they stumble in this game. I can’t see the G-Men dropping two at home. Manning should be able to exploit what Cam Newton could not and with a marginally better running game
Cowboys (1-0) @ Seahawks (0-1)
Quest Field, Seattle 4:05 (FOX)
Favorite Cowboys by 3
Last Week Cowboys beat Giants 24-17, Seahawks lost to Cardinals 20-16
Fast Fact Cowboys QB Tony Romo has a 111.2 career QB rating against Seattle the highest opponent rating against the Seahawks with a min. of 100 attempts.
The Pokes are feeling quite froggy after beating their nemesis on opening night and have to guard against a letdown when they head to the Pacific Northwest for the Seahawks home opener. The Seahawks are always a tough draw at home and will be amped for a glamour team like the Cowboys coming. I like Russell Wilson and his ability to keep a play going with his fluidity, but the Pokes are too disciplined a defense too fall for those wiles.
Redskins (1-0) @ Rams (0-1)
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis 4:05 (FOX)
Favorite Redskins by 3
Last Week Redskins beat Saints 40-32, Rams lost to Lions 27-23
Fast Fact Redskins QB Robert Griffin III became the first rookie QB ever to win player of the week in week 1.
RG3 made a spectacular splash in his debut throwing for better than 300 yards and showing breathtaking poise and accuracy in leading the Skins to a stunning win over the Saints in New Orleans. He can further burnish that image as he faces a Rams team that while showing signs of improvement is still a long way from being respectable, they took a fall from ahead loss to the Lions and while Jeff Fisher seems to have the Rams moving in the right direction, but there is a lot of work to be done. Many skeptics are not in the RG3 believer camp, I’ve already set my super huge tent right in the middle.
NY Jets (1-0) @ Steelers (0-1)
Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 4:25 (CBS)
Last Week Jets beat Bills 48-28, Steelers lost to Broncos 31-19
Fast Fact The Jets are 4-17 all-time against the Steelers and 1-8 in Pittsburgh
The Jets are um, flying high after a rollicking rout of the Bills last weekend while the Steelers are starting to feel that they have sort of a Mile High jinx. As much as I root for Mark Sanchez to do well to keep that other guy rusting on the bench, I can’t see him going in to Pittsburgh and getting the win. The Steelers are not a team to face after they are coming off a tough loss and definitely not going into Heinz Field. The Steelers pedestrian run game may grow to become an increasing worry among the faithful and Big Ben has looked tentative at times, but I’m still confident that they can grind their way to a win. An 0-2 start would make Steeler Nation incredibly insufferable.
Titans (0-1) @ Chargers (1-0)
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:25 (CBS)
Favorite Chargers by 6
Last Week Titans lost to Patriots 34-13, Chargers beat Raiders 22-14
Fast Fact The Chargers will be retiring the number 55 of Junior Seau who died this past summer.
The Titans got spanked at home and head west to face a Charger team quietly confident after grinding out an ugly win against their hated upstate rivals. Where has
Chris Johnson gone? Once a force, he has faded to an afterthought with an embarrassing 4 yards in the season opener. The Chargers look like a team that can win
ugly, and while Philip Rivers has a great complement of receivers at his disposal, his team’s lack of a running game is not a good sign either as they wait for Ryan Mathews to get healthy enough to play. The Chargers will be emotionally charged (pun intended) to honor their fallen legend with a win and I think that they can get it.
Lions (1-0) @ 49ers (1-0)
Candlestick Park, San Francisco 8:20 (NBC)
Favorite Niners by 7
Last Week Lions beat Rams 27-23; Niners beat Packers 30-22
Fast Fact Lions ageless kicker Jason Hanson is the only player on either roster alive the last time the Lions won in Candlestick…which was 1975.
The Sunday night game is a good one with the Lions going to the bay to face a solid Niners squad. The Lions dawdled with the sad sack Rams for way to long before rallying for the win. That kind of nonsense against the Niners will get them housed badly. The Niners are looking like a real for real squad as Alex Smith is quietly coming into his own as a top notch QB. He has a solid core of wideouts and was that a Randy Moss (Is he still in this league?) sighting in Green Bay last week? I like Matthew Stafford and I’m a big Calvin “Megatron” Johnson fan, but I’m really leery of the Lions at times stepping up in big games. And I think the Niners are chomping at the bit for a rematch of the hard fought game from last year. This will be a good one start to finish but I think the Niners defense gives them the edge.
Monday, September 17
Broncos (1-0) @ Falcons (1-0)
Georgia Dome, Atlanta 8:30 (ESPN)
Favorite Falcons by 3
Last Week Broncos beat Steelers 31-19; Falcons beat Chiefs 40-24
Fast Fact Broncos have 7 of the past 8 meetings
An interesting old school-new school battle finishes the week as the grizzled vet Peyton Manning faces off against young buck Matt Ryan. Both teams come in off of solid wins with both QB’s having solid performances. With both defenses marginal at best this has the makings of a high scoring shootout. I have went back and forth with which team to back on this game, but I think the Falcons secondary losing ace cornerback Brent Grimes will be a serious detriment. Asante Samuel coming in to replace might not be up to full speed and you really don’t need to give Peyton Manning anything extra to exploit. I think the Broncos win a thriller.
Last Week & Overall: 10-6 (Lock Correct, Upset Incorrect)
Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!