Alright, the first week of football is officially behind us and now we’re finally able to really see what is going on with the teams (since pre-season offers so little insight). Obviously, it’s too early to start talking about trends, so I kind of consider week one the last pre-season game and what is really important is the change between games one and two. I wonder if that’s the argument for an 18 game schedule (I am not in favor of that, incase you were wondering). Anyway, there were some surprise wins (touché Dennis Dixon, touché), so lets see where everyone landed with their predictions – Andrew had 10 correct and 6 wrong, Genesis had 9 right and 7 wrong, and Greg went 8 and 8. Hey, we’re just dusting ourselves off AMIRIGHT JASON CAMPBELL!?
Sunday, Sept. 19 1:00 PM:
Pittsburgh Steelers AT Tennessee Titans – Dennis Dixon had a relatively rough start but was still able to lead the Steelers in four scoring drives – three field goals, and one 50-yard touchdown run by Rashard Mendenhall in overtime. For 26 carries, the Raiders had Chris Johnson frustrated with only 56 yards, but then he broke one for 76 yards and a touchdown. Clearly, Chris Johnson hasn’t lost a step, and the Steelers proved that they can win games without Ben Roethlisberger.
Andrew’s pick – Tennessee Titans. Although the defense remains a strength of the Steelers, the offense only mustered one touchdown, which came in overtime against Atlanta. I think the Steelers will respect the running ability of Chris Johnson and Vince Young and force the Titans to air it out more, however, that won’t have an affect on the outcome of the game.
Greg’s pick – Tennessee Titans. If Pittsburgh can win this game – - they need to stop CJ, which I don’t really know is possible.
Gen’s pick – Tennessee Titans. I think that win by the Steelers’ against the Falcons last week was a fluke. The Ben Stillers’ defense is getting back to where it used to be, but against Chris “Got the Runs” Johnson, who ran for 142 yards last game against the Raiders, I think Pittsburgh will lose this game. Even if the Pitt defense keeps Chris Johnson in check, which they have done in the past, Vince Young threw two TD’s last game, proving they can score through the air. Plus, Dixon threw for over 200 yards last game and was only able to produce an interception. That’s not going to win you games.
Philadelphia Eagles AT Detroit Lions – The Eagles already have a quarterback controversy on their hands after just one game without Donovan McNabb. Kevin Kolb was 5 of 10 for 24 yards before he left at halftime with a concussion, giving Michael Vick his first meaningful snaps for an extended period for the first time in nearly four years (and ran with it!). Detroit got robbed a winning touchdown (that was an actual robbery Dallas fans, not trying to cheat and get away with it). Detroit is out to prove that they can be a winning franchise, even though they lost after causing four turn overs. Their offense definitely still needs some work.
Andrew’s pick – Philadelphia Eagles. Well, after all that Lions talk, I still think that Vick is on a mission to prove he can be and should be the starting quarterback again. I don’t think he will have the same success that he had last week, since Detroit will be able to develop a game plan around him, but Detroit won’t be able to get around the Eagles defense.
Greg’s pick – Philadelphia Eagles. Stafford is out and after a disheartening loss last week, Vick will run rampant. It will be interesting to see if Suh can do anything to slow him down though. But look for the Eagles to roll this week – Vick will have the full playbook, unlike last week where he only had like 10 plays.
Gen’s pick – Philadelphia Eagles. It’s a battle of the backup QB’s! While I would have probably picked the Lions, because Calvin Johnson is just silly, I think having Matthew Stafford out will affect their game a bit (even though that awesome pass last game to Johnson was thrown by Shaun Hill, the Lions’ backup). Also, with Kolb unfortunately losing his marbles for a bit, Michael Vick starts a game for the first time since 2006. Although Andy Reid keeps saying that Kolb is their starter, I’m sure Vick will try to knock their socks off so the Philly coaches will re-consider their decision. Plus, Michael Vick’s performance last week was very impressive. He really made that into a dogfight. What, too soon?
Baltimore Ravens AT Cincinnati Bengals – The Ravens’ offense proved that they could stand up to a tough defense and prevail. It wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win. Fortunately for the Bengals, the Ravens have historically had a tough time beating the Bengals, especially on the road. A lot of pressure on Joe Flacco again to prove he has what it takes to be an elite quarterback.
Andrew’s pick – Baltimore Ravens. I think this will be a closer game than people expect. Both teams have strong receivers and strong defenses. I would even give the edge to Carson Palmer in the QB category, but I think in terms of complete teams, the Ravens are better.
Greg’s pick – Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals looked out of sync last week and unprepared. I expect them to come out stronger this week against division rivals Baltimore. However, the Ravens are going against a defense weaker than the Jets – one that they can exploit and will be able to pull it off in a great game.
Gen’s pick – Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals’ struggled to score against the Patriots, who are obviously more well known for their offense prowess, not their defensive dominance. So what can the Bengals possibly do against the Ravens who made the Jets’ offense seem irrelevant. Although I do expect both Palmer to rely on passing the ball, the Raven’s secondary will have a repeat performance and nullify T.Ochocinco.
Arizona Cardinals AT Atlanta Falcons – Michael Turner couldn’t run the ball. Matt Ryan struggled to throw downfield (but had a decent completion percentage). Tony Gonzalez caught just two passes. What happened to the Atlanta Falcons!? The Cardinals also seem to be in an off-year as they struggled to beat the Rams. Larry Fitzgerald and Derek Anderson didn’t seem to be on the same page, but Fitzgerald is basing that on his injury.
Andrew’s pick – Arizona Cardinals. This seems like it will be a sloppy game either way, but if the Cardinals can get and remain healthy, then I think they will have the advantage.
Greg’s pick – Atlanta Falcons. I just cannot justify picking the Cardinals here. The Falcons have chemistry on their side and should win this game pretty easily.
Gen’s pick – Atlanta Falcons. Listen, I don’t know what happened against the Steeler’s last week, but I think they’ll pull off a win this time ’round. Atlanta usually plays better at home anyway. I expect Matt Ryan to not suck this game and actually throw some TD’s.
Miami Dolphins AT Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings are not happy with the way they performed in their opening game against New Orleans. That was the game that where Minnesota was going to prove that should have won the NFC championship game, but the offense seemed disjointed and Favre didn’t look liked he cared at all. Luckily, Favre is going against a nervous defense with Miami. Give Mike Nolan some credit though, he held a perpetually rebuilding Bills team to 166 total yards. It’s one thing to hold a lowly offense like the Bills to 10 points, but the Vikings high-powered offense will be another thing.
Andrew’s pick – Minnesota Vikings. I think the Dolphins will be able to trick the Vikings into a couple of points but ultimately Favre will earn his 20 million….and he says it’s not about the money.
Greg’s pick – Minnesota Vikings. Now that Favre has had a week and half to prepare for this game, expect a lot more plays and better timing with his wide receivers. Camarillo should be worked into the offense a bit more this week too which will lead to longer drives. Although Henne looked better last week, the Dolphins are still the Dolphins – and the Vikings have Superbowl or bust on their minds.
Gen’s pick – Minnesota Vikings. Old man river Brett Favre should have had enough time to rest his weary bones by now and possibly work on throwing the ball to his new receivers. His timing was all sorts of off against the Saints. I think their drive to show the NFL community that they should still be considered as a “Championship team” will be motivation enough for them to work harder and get the win.
Kansas City Chiefs AT Cleveland Browns – Heads up! The Kansas City Chiefs (formally known as the New England Patriots) are the sleeper team in the AFC West. Or, at least that’s what everyone else is saying. How much should we read it into that when San Diego also seems to start slow. That’s not to say that a division win isn’t important though. If all these old New England coaches (Weiss, Haley, Crennel, more I’m sure…) can equal one Bill Belichick, then the Chiefs should be a good team this year. The Browns are still bad, coming off a loss against at Tampa Bay, with little hope of getting better with Jake Delhomme injured.
Andrew’s pick – Kansas City Chiefs. I don’t know how long the Chiefs will be able to keep winning, but I don’t think the Browns will stop them this time – unless Josh Cribbs has another crazy game like last year.
Greg’s pick – Kansas City Chiefs. Hopefully it’s not raining in this game so Cassel can actually throw the ball down field, but the dual running backs for KC again will rule the day. Plus Romeo Crennel is going against his old team – payback time!
Gen’s pick – Kansas City Chiefs. Wtf was that last game, amiright? I did not see that one coming. I think the Chiefs will continue to use spectacular special teams plays and their running game to get a win here. Josh Cribbs and Jamal Charles, I’m lookin’ at you two.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers AT Carolina Panthers - After years of being smacked around by the Panthers the Buccaneers are looking from some revenge. The last time these two teams met, Josh Freeman threw five interceptions and the Buccaneers were last in the NFL against the run. Not exactly the way you want go against the Panthers. Fortunately for Tampa Bay, Freeman has a full year in the system and the Panthers seem to have some issues at quarterback.
Andrew’s pick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I’m not comfortable with this pick seeing as Tampa Bay has lost 11 of the last 14 games (geeezzz), but they went out to make the right upgrades during the draft and with Carolina’s issues at QB, this game might be right for the taking.
Greg’s pick – Carolina Panthers. The two headed monster of Williams and Stewart will be out in force this game. Tampa Bay was last in the NFL in 2009 in rushing defense, yielding 158.2 average yards per game, 4.8 yards per carry…yikes.
Gen’s pick – Carolina Panthers. You know, they were leading against the Giants after the first half. But then the Giants remembered they were the Giants and soundly beat the Panthers – but that’s not the point. The Panthers were able to put points on the board against a still decent New York Giants team. I just hope the Panthers rely on their running game because sweet baby carrots, Matt Moore loves throwing to the other team.
Buffalo Bills AT Green Bay Packers - The Packers held on to the lead despite Vick’s best efforts to steal it away from them. It might not have been the best, but their offense played well and their defense was solid. If the Packers can improve some weak spots, there will be some celebrating to do in Green Bay. The Bills on the other hand, well… they’re the Bills, and despite picking up CJ Spiller (who got zero fantasy points for Greg last week), Lee Evans is pretty much the only other bright spot on their offense.
Andrew’s pick – Green Bay Packers. I wonder if Aaron Rodgers will even play the whole game?
Greg’s pick – Green Bay Packers. You know, I want CJ Spiller to do well, but he’s going against an extremely tough defense, this one could get ugly…
Gen’s pick – Green Bay Packers. Who’s even on the Bills?
Chicago Bears AT Dallas Cowboys – The Cowboys out gained the Redskins 380 yards to 250. The Cowboys running game averaged 4.7 yards a carry. Tony Romo’s passer rating was 89.1, as he completed 65% of his passes. Dallas held the ball for almost eight minutes longer than the Redskins did. But they lost! This comes down to coaching – 12 penalties for 91 yards and Tony Romo’s decision to flick the ball to Tashard Choice (rather than go down field like it was called) and then Choice’s decision to push for extra yardage when the quarter was over and he still had 60 yards to go – both of these are indicative of poor choaching..I still like Jason Garrett, but he made some questionable decisions, especially to call three consecutive smoke routes, resulting in 1 yard total.
Andrew’s pick – Dallas Cowboys. I don’t this will be a very good game for the Cowboys either, but luckily for them the Bears look even worse despite Jay Culter putting up big numbers. Being on the road will be too much for the Bears to handle.
Greg’s pick – Dallas Cowboys. Maybe they will actually run an offense this week that scores points? The Bears got lucky and squeaked by Detroit last week, I expect Dallas to dominate in their home opener.
Gen’s pick – Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys struggled in their game against Washington. The Cowboys were unable to do much in the red zone and had so many penalties against them. But with Dallas playing at home and the Bears only doing well because they were playing the Lions, I think the Cowboys will look to utilize Austin and “Fez” Bryant and get a win.
Sunday, Sept. 19 4:05 PM:
Seattle Seahawks AT Denver Broncos - With all the shifts on Seattle’s offensive line, head Coach Pete Carroll pretty much already knows this will be a tough game. Actually, the same pretty much goes for the Broncos. Both teams have patchwork offensive lines but the difference is, Seattle was able to manhandle the defensive-minded 49ers, whereas the Broncos got worked by the Jaguars.
Andrew’s pick – Seattle Seahawks. I think the Broncos really hurt themselves by giving away Brandon Marshall. I don’t know what to expect out of this game, both teams play so inconsistently that it will be a surprise which team actually shows up in this game.
Greg’s pick – Denver Broncos. Don’t trust in Pete Carroll.
Gen’s pick – Denver Broncos. Geez, I don’t know. Seattle won by a huge margin last week, but I still have faith in the BROncos. Kyle Orton threw for more yards than Hasselbeck last game, but “I’m Bringing” Hasselbeck threw more TD’s. I don’t know, I just like Denvers’ receivers more.
St. Louis Rams AT Oakland Raiders – The Oakland Raiders lost their 9th straight opening day game. Despite all the changes to the team (and over the years, the coaching staff), the same problems persist – lack of production from the quarterback, lack of production from the receivers, penalties, turnovers, giving up the big play, and on and on… As Jason Campbell proved in Washington, he cannot win without a solid offensive line.
Andrew’s pick – St. Louis Rams. Oakland’s defense played well and Darren McFadden seems to be settling in well in the backfield, but the issues at offensive line and lack of passing game will haunt them throughout the season. The Rams will win this terrible match up.
Greg’s pick – St. Louis Rams. I said it last week and I’ll say it again. Jason Campbell is a bad quarterback, put back in Gradkowski!
Gen’s pick – St. Louis Rams. Sam Bradford had his share of ups and downs during his opener last week. Campbell also had his up and numerous downs last week too. The main difference? Bradford was more protected. Oakland is just a mess. I’ll continue to feel bad for Jason Campbell when he finds himself sprawled on the ground 85% of the game.
Sunday, Sept. 19 4:15 PM:
Jacksonville Jaguars AT San Diego Chargers – This game is blacked out. I don’t think that has happened in a while for the Chargers, but I suppose that’s what you get for losing to Kansas City. Maybe that’s just what you get for playing the Jaguars, but unfortunately for San Diego that only seems to be the beginning of their problems. The Chargers made it clear that they are in need of hold outs Vincent Jackson and left tackle Marcus McNeill. Jacksonville won its season opener for the first time in four seasons and snapped a four- game overall losing streak that concluded its 2009 campaign. David Garrard quietly had one of the best games of his career against the Broncos, could ths be the start of something?
Andrew’s pick – San Diego Chargers. No.
Greg’s pick – San Diego Chargers. I’ll tell you why this game is blacked out Andrew, the West coast do not appreciate sports and are not real fans. The Chargers will roll in this game though.
Gen’s pick – San Diego Chargers. Listen, it doesn’t rain much in San Diego. They were all confused by the water coming from the sky. The result of that game was quite a…shocker? Ah-thank you. Expect the Chargers to take this game because it’s drier back home.
Houston Texans AT Washington Redskins – The Redskins won despite gaining 130 fewer yards and maintaining possession of the ball 8-minute less than the Cowboys. The Cowboys are generally considered to be an offensive powerhouse, but with the struggles along their offensive line and in the red zone, it’s tough to say if the Redskins defensive scheming was just that good, or if the Cowboys truly aren’t who we think they are. The Texans proved to everyone that they can kill you with the pass game or with Arian Foster.
Andrew’s pick – Houston Texans. If Arian Foster and Mario Williams play like they did against the Colts, then Redskins will be struggling on both sides of the ball. Not that I don’t think the Redskins could pull this off, but I just don’t think the Skins offense is clicking well enough to put up more points than the Texans will.
Greg’s pick – Houston Texans. Good luck stopping that offense! But this game should be close – I could see a drop off from the huge win last week against division rivals Colts. And that Redskins offense is just awful.
Gen’s pick – Washington Redskins. LET’S GO UPSET! *clap* *clap* *clap**clap**clap* I think this game will be very difficult for the Redskins, but our defense looked pretty solid against the Cowboys last week. Yes, the offense needs some a lot of work, but I’m going to rely on defense this game. They key is to keep Arian Foster in check. If the defense can do that, I think Washington’s field goals will be enough to win.
New England Patriots AT New York Jets – In their opening game against the Ravens, the Jets’ defense forced three turnovers in the first half, providing their offense field position that would go squandered again and again. It’s hard to win games when an offense goes 1 for 11 on third down conversions and produces 6 points. Worse coaching than the Cowboys, the Jets had the most penalties the organization has seen in two decades - 14 for 125 yards.
Andrew’s pick – New England Patriots. God the Jets offense is just terrible. Sanchez had 74 yards, a total of 10 completions, and finished with a 56.4 QB rating. Even with a tough defense, if Wes Welker has the career game he had against them last year, the Patriots will be moving onward and upwards.
Greg’s pick – New England Patriots. The Pats just have too many weapons on offense to be stopped (maybe slowed down, but not stopped). Plus Moss is pretty upset Revis called him a “slouch” – PUT THAT ON THE BULLETIN BOARD AND PLEASE CRUSH THE JETS!! Oh yeah, and Sanchez is awful.
Gen’s pick – New York Jets. You know what, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the Jets take this one. These two teams started their seasons on opposite ends of the offense spectrum. The Patriots put on an offensive clinic, while the Jets struggled to get up the field. Although I don’t expect Sandcheese to have a good game, I do expect the Jets’ defense and Rex Ryans anger to get the surprising upset.
Sunday, Sept. 19 8:20 PM:
New York Giants AT Indianapolis Colts – A growing concern for the Colts has been the ability to protect Peyton Manning better and find a better balance on offense, too. The Giants defensive front will provide another big-time test for both of Indianapolis’ weaknesses. Once the Colts realize they needs to switch back over to throwing the ball, the
Andrew’s pick - New York Giants. I’m going to go with the Giant’s running game on this on. I mean if Arian Foster could do it, then I think big man Brandon Jacobs an Amhad Bradshaw can find a way to get it done between them. Family rivalries!
Greg’s pick – Indianapolis Colts. Really, I’m the only one to pick the Colts? No way Peyton goes 0-2 to start the year.
Gen’s pick – New York Giants. Although I think Payton is the better of the two Mannings, the Colts will lose because they’ll be run over again and they won’t be able to protect their QB. The Giants will rely on their own running game to win this game. And even if the Colts worked on shutting down the run, Eli is more than capable of throwing the ball. But God, he still looks like an idiot.
Monday, Sept. 20 8:30 PM:
New Orleans Saints AT San Francisco 49ers – The New Orleans Saint came out of the gates swinging in their home opener against the Vikings, methodically picking apart Minnesota’s defense for a quick score. However, after that, the Vikings defense stiffened up and it was a low scoring affair. I think this proves two things, the Saints still have it on offense, and the Vikings defense should be pretty good this year. Both are these are bad news for the 49ers whose defense isn’t as good as the Vikings and whose offense is struggling. Alex Smith still hasn’t turned into the number one draft they were hoping for, but it seems like for now, they don’t have any one else.
Andrew’s pick – New Orleans Saints. I just don’t really see the 49ers pulling an upset in this game, even when the Saints are on the road – do you?
Greg’s pick – San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are going to come out with so much energy and will want to show the country what they have been doing out there. Singletary will have them focused and ready to roll. 49ers in a close one.
Gen’s pick – New Orleans Saints. The Saints looked less than excellent during their game against the Vikings, but that doesn’t mean they’re not an amazing team. The Saints have a better passing game, a better running game, and are just a better team in general. Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? Not the 49ers. Move along now.