As I often suggest, don’t let Week 1 of any NFL season cloud your thinking for the remaining 15 games. If there is one thing we learned during the Thursday night game at Lambeau Field that opened up Week 2, it’s that Week 1 is much closer to preseason than the Super Bowl.
In fact, from now on, always keep this in mind: Preseason is practice and you don’t ever pay a whole lot of attention – outside of major injuries — to what happens in Week 1.
Case in point, Thursday night in Green Bay: The Green Bay Packers sacked Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler seven times, 3 1/2 of them by Clay Mathews, while Tramon Williams had two of four interceptions. The Packers D (read: Tramon Williams) held Brandon Marshall to two catches for 24 yards. Despite the fact Green Bay lost to San Francisco in Week 1 and the Bears ripped up the Indianapolis Colts, all those North American NFL pundits (and there were a boatload of ’em), including my dear friend, Dr. Football, thought that the first games of the season might have some bearing on what happened between Green Bay and Chicago on Thursday night. They didn’t.
Green Bay 23, Chicago 10. I rest my point and I am 1-0 to start Week 2.
That might not mean much. After all, in Week 1, The Coach went 9-7 straight up and 5-11 against the spread while The Doc had to be talked down from the ledge after going a dismal (his word) 7-9 straight up and 3-13 against the spread.
Of course, now that we collected him of said ledge, we’re happy to report that isn’t running away from his assignment this week. Once again The Doc writes our picks and The Coach makes stupid comments. Here are our fearless picks for Week 2:
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1)
Line: Giants by 7.5.
Tampa Bay’s defense played great against Carolina last week, and surprised me because of the success the Panthers had against the Bucs last year. Bucs Mark Barron had a big game, but I thought their offence was marginal. Eli Manning was efficient against the Cowboys, but his receivers let him down big time. That won’t happen again, and the Giants’ front four are going to force the Buccaneers into some turnovers this week. The Coach says, “Tampa did a great job against Carolina’s running game, but because the Giants don’t have much of a running game to speak of, Manning will light up the Bucs D through the air.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE GIANTS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE GIANTS TO WIN AND COVER.
Arizona Cardinals (1-0) at New England Patriots (1-0)
Line: Patriots by 13.5.
Tom Brady vs. Kevin Kolb? At home? Come on. The Coach says: “Hey Doc, that’s all you got? How about adding this: BWAHAHAHAHAHA. Can you spell blow out, kids? I knew you could.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE PATRIOTS TO WIN AND COVER. THIS IS MY SURVIVOR POOL PICK OF THE WEEK AS WELL.
THE COACH: TAKE THE PATRIOTS TO WIN AND COVER.
Minnesota Vikings (1-0) at Indianapolis Colts (0-1)
Line: Vikings by 1.5.
I don’t think the Vikings are quite “there” yet, but they are better that the “work in progress” Colts. Andrew Luck will continue to gel with Reggie Wayne, and the tandem will put together some big plays, but it won’t be enough to get their first win. The Coach says, “The Vikings are horrible, but probably not as horrible as the Colts D. And if the Vikes actually give the ball to A.P. this week, they could roll.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE VIKINGS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE VIKINGS TO WIN AND COVER.
New Orleans Saints (0-1) at Carolina Panthers (0-1)
Line: Saints by 2.5.
The Saints looked bad on both sides of the ball in week 1 when they lost to the Redskins at home. Carolina looked even worse on offence in their loss to the Bucs. I think we are in for a shootout this week, but I can’t see the Saints getting off to a 0-2 start.
THE DOC: TAKE THE SAINTS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE SAINTS TO WIN AND COVER.
Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) at Buffalo Bills (0-1)
Line: Bills by 3.5.
Both of these teams got their butts kicked last week by teams who I think are borderline playoff teams, but not elite teams. Both have brutal defenses. Both of them have mediocre QBs. I can’t separate them at all, so I’m picking the home team. The Coach says, “I hate the Bills this season, but after last week, I hate the Chiefs even more. Fitzpatrick or Cassel? I’ll take Fitzpatrick.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE BILLS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE BILLS TO WIN AND COVER.
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
Line: Eagles by 2.5.
After last Monday’s game, everybody in Baltimore is running around naked thinking this is the Ravens year. Everyone calm down…Baltimore beat the Bengals last week. At home. Last time I checked, the Bengals were blown out in the playoffs last season by T.J. Yates. Michael Vick struggled last week, but a good coach like Andy Reid will not let him throw it as often as he did against the Browns. Look for the Eagles to win at home. The Coach says, “Ahhhh! I’m as nekkid as a jay bird. If Philadelphia was more than a couple hour bus ride from Baltimore, I’d worry about the home field, but it isn’t, so I won’t.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE EAGLES TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE RAVENS TO WIN AND COVER.
Oakland Raiders (0-1) at Miami Dolphins (0-1)
Line: Raiders by 2.5.
Eeek. I got burned bad taking the Raiders last week, as they looked brutal on offense, but you know who looked worse? Miami’s Ryan Tannehill looked horrible. But he has a hot wife. Raiders will come out slow as they plated on Monday night, and a game in Miami with a 1pm start is like 10am to them. I still prefer Oakland’s defense and Darren McFadden over what the Dolphins have to offer, though, even on the road. The Coach says,” I am holding my nose.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE RAIDERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE RAIDERS TO WIN AND COVER.
Cleveland Browns (0-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
Line: Bengals by 7.
The Bengals got smoked by the Ravens on MNF while the Browns kept it close against the Eagles in a terrible game. The Browns are young and turn the ball over way too much, but the Bengals didn’t look much better last week as well. This will be a yawner, and don’t expect a lot of points. The Coach says, “Brandon freakin’ Weeden? Spare me.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE BENGALS TO WIN BUT NOT COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE BENGALS TO WIN AND COVER.
Houston Texans (1-0) at Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)
Line: Texans by 7.
There are two questions here: Is Ben Tate is going to see some action this week and will the Texans have a sizable lead by halftime. The Texans are well on their way to securing the top seed in the AFC South and will dominate the Jaguars like they did last year. The Coach says, “Young children should not be permitted to watch this carnage.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE TEXANS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE TEXANS TO WIN AND COVER.
Dallas Cowboys (1-0) at Seattle Seahawks (0-1)
Line: Cowboys by 3
I was impressed by the Cowboys in the season opener last week, and I think they’ll build on that success. The Seahawks looked bad on offence against Arizona and Russell Wilson really played like a rookie last week. He’ll look even worse against the Cowboys defense. The Coach says, “My upset of the week.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE COWBOYS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE SEAHAWKS TO WIN.
Washington Redskins (1-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-1)
Line: Redskins by 3.
I might be drinking the RG3 Kool-Aid, but after watching what the ‘Skins do against the Saints on the road last week, I’m a drinking it! The Rams lost to the Lions, but the reason they scored 23 points was because of turnovers by the Lions. Expect the Redskins to shut down the Rams and win big. The Coach says, “I, too, have consumed the Kool-Aid. Then again, the Rams are not as good as they looked in Detroit in Week 1.”
THE COACH: TAKE THE REDSKINS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE REDSKINS TO WIN AND COVER.
New York Jets (1-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
Line: Steelers by 6.
I wasn’t that impressed with Mark Sanchez’s success last week. The Bills didn’t get any pressure on him at all. He won’t have that much time to throw against the Steelers, who have enough weapons in the passing game to find some matchups to work on against the Jets’ defense. The Coach says, “Would you throw the freakin’ ball, Ben.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE STEELERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE STEELERS TO WIN BUT NOT COVER.
Tennessee Titans (0-1) at San Diego Chargers (1-0)
Line: Chargers by 6.
The Titans and Chris Johnson just couldn’t get anything going last week against New England, and expect more of the same this week. Although San Diego’s Philip Rivers went 24-of-33 for 231 yards and a touchdown, it was them taking advantage of Oakland’s bad defense and mistake-prone special teams that got them a win on the road. Tennessee makes a lot of mistakes too.
THE DOC: TAKE THE CHARGERS TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE CHARGERS TO WIN AND COVER.
Detroit Lions (1-0) at San Francisco 49ers (1-0)
Line: 49ers by 6.5.
The 49ers were impressive at Lambeau last week knocking off the Packers. The Lions, not so much, having barely beat the Rams. Look for the 49ers to dominate the Lions and deliver a big win at home. The Coach says, “Oh, Doc, you know how much I love the Silver, White and Honolulu Blue. This hurts.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE 49ers TO WIN AND COVER.
THE COACH: TAKE THE 49ers TO WIN AND COVER.
Denver Broncos (1-0) at Atlanta Falcons (1-0)
Line: Falcons by 3.
Peyton Manning is back in a big way, and his Broncos just might be a better team than he had most years in Indianapolis, especially looking at the Broncos defense. The Falcons won big on the road last week, but who are we kidding…they beat the Chiefs. I expect this to be a classic back-and-forth game, but I really think the edge goes to Denver as Peyton has something to prove this year. The Coach says, “Meredith, I’d like to call a friend.”
THE DOC: TAKE THE BRONCOS.
THE COACH: TAKE THE FALCONS TO WIN AND COVER.