Not exactly a showcase game for the NFL last night. Aside from Matt Forte leaving the game with an injury, did anything play to the script? I was expecting a bit more offense. Green Bay is looking unbalanced, and Cutler was flustered all night. Brandon Marshall’s drop in the end zone sealed the Bears’ fate. In a bit of a reverse-Grinch move, one of Jay Cutler’s chins grew back last night. At the very least the game slowed some of the “new Bears offensive juggernaut,” talk for a week or two. I think that’s the biggest challenge of the games this week–identifying what was meaningful from week one and what was just a one week mirage. This is where the pros rely on the lines, and I where I rely on my gut. Let’s pick…
Big Dub, Record: 2-4
Atlanta (-3) over Denver. Peyton can’t quite hang with Ryan in a shootout.
Miami (+2.5) over Oakland. Short week + Long trip = Big Letdown.
Cincinnati (-7) over Cleveland. The Browns are horrible. I don’t care who they play.
Pittsburgh (-5.5) over New York Jets. Could Rex Ryan be more excited about week 1? Epic beatdown at the hands of the Steelers.
Kraft, Record: 2-3
- Witten’s Spleen (-3) over Seattle
- Atlanta (-3) over Denver
- Baltimore (+2.5) over Philadelphia
- St. Louis (+3) over Washington
- Houston (-7) over Jacksonville
JCK, Record: 4-2
- New Orleans (-3) over Carolina
- Pittsburgh (-5.5) over NYJ
- New England (-14) over Arizona
- San Diego (-6) over Tennessee
DC, Record, 2-3
New England (-14) over Arizona. It’s the end of Kevin Kolb’s career as we know it, and I feel fine.
St. Louis (+3) over Washington. I don’t like Washington as a road favorite. Let’s assume in the spirit of magnanimity that Bobby Griffin plays a good game. Even if he does, Washington might have a little trouble getting into the end zone. Al Morris will rush 7 times for 19 yards and get replaced by next week’s “most-added” fantasy player. Maybe Billy Cundiff misses a FG or two. And maybe St. Louis scores 23 points even though no one is quite sure how they did it. Rams 23-16.
Atlanta (-3) over Denver. This line is telling me we’re in for more “Matt Ryan for MVP stories” next week.
Carolina (+3) over New Orleans. To balance out the Ryan stories we’ll need a healthy dose of, “THE SAINTS ARE A MESS AND IT’S ALL ROGER GOODELL’S FAULT,” stories. Saints lose on the road to a team with something to prove, Panthers outright, 31-23.
Tampa Bay (+7.5) over New Jersey Giants. Give me a road dog, the head coach of Rutgers, and a reason to root against the Giants any day.
NICHOLS, Record: 2-4
- Minnesota (-1) @ Indy
- Baltimore (+2.5) @ Philadelphia
- Houston (-7) @ Jacksonville
- New York Jets (+5.5) @ Pittsburgh
Grossy, Record: 3-2
Detroit (+7) over San Francisco. Win one for Schwartzy! Every week that goes by I have to begrudgingly give some respect to the Niners. That damn defense. I nearly took the Packers in week one, but I held off on the spite pick. I can’t do it any longer. The Niners are tough, and they’re probably going to win their division with ease again, but I don’t see them translating into TD favorites against a team that can score some points. Megatron will play and Alex Smith will not cover.
Seattle (+3) over Dallas. There’s no way I’m going to escape the Russell Wilson hype machine this easily. He’s going to do some things from time to time. It starts this week against Dallas. The Cowboys are in love with themselves right now. They feel like Super Bowl favorites. Tony Romo is now elite. But strange things happen on that flight to Seattle, and when teams step on that field they come down to the Seahawks’ level. Expect this game to be a vile, hideous display of football. Seahawks outright.
Houston (-7) over Jacksonville. I’ll continue to ride my Super Bowl pick. The Texans had me nervous last week and then they slowly blew the doors off Miami. I don’t see what’s different in this game. Put it this way, could Blaine Gabbert possibly cover two weeks in a row? Unlikely. Houston’s defense is going to all over the place. I hope this game is blacked out in Jacksonville, because it’s going to get ugly.
Cincinnati (-7) over Cleveland. I think we overvalue the Browns because they hung with the Eagles last week. That was all Philly’s doing. Dalton isn’t going to turn the ball over 46 times. That’s not in the Ginger Code. And I think we got carried away with the Bengals loss last week as well. They got blown out in the end, but weren’t embarrassed. They can still score, they are still a decent team and that’s more than enough against the Browns at home. How many weeks until Matt Barkley declares he won’t play in Cleveland?
Atlanta (-3) over Denver. Way too excited about one Peyton Manning game. I want to take a look at Pittsburgh for a few more weeks before I put any stock in that win. This seems like an awfully popular pick here this week, but there’s still plenty of dumb money on Denver, which eases my mind. Once again, just riding my Super Bowl picks–I actually think Atlanta is good and good teams win these types of games at home. Maybe not the clinic we saw last week, but certainly coverville.