- This week’s lines are brought to you by the legend Kenny Powers!
I can’t quite get to .500 on the season, and By fell just below .500 for the year. It’s always funny to see the games that you weren’t worried about go completely wrong, and the ones that you questioned picking, coming through without a hitch. I guess it just shows you how good those damn odds makers are, and just how much parody there is in the NFL, but they can be beat, and that shouldn’t be an excuse! Even if I’m more indecisive than all these head coaches are with picking a starting QB, it doesn’t mean that I can’t pick a winner, right?!? Now that I’ve completely lost you, I’m going to try to make this week’s picks without bias, ie. I’m not going to pick teams that I want to win! Rule number two for the week; if you see both of us pick the same team in the same game immediately pick the opposite way. We are 0-2 in games we both picked the same team; hopefully the odds will even us out soon.
Like Vernon Davis, I fell flat on my face on the guarantee to win ’em all. I finished a dismal 1-2-2 last week, but honestly, I thought I came out better than that. Philly was up big, and Oakland had St. Louis at home. Those two should have been a lock to cover, but I check the final scores, and both teams let me down. So this week I’m stepping my game up, not only more focused on spotting the winning lines, but I’m picking a career high six games! So I’m giving you the quantity for sure, and perhaps … the … quality? I guess we’ll find out come Sunday. On to the picks!
Week 2 Results (Chap 3-3, By 1-2-2) Overall Results (Chap 5-6-1, By 4-4-1)
Buffalo @ New England (-14.5)
By: New England (-14.5) Two seasons ago it was Detroit, last season it was St. Louis, this season … Buffalo? Obviously, we’re in Week 3, and its premature to jump the gun on Buffalo’s “defeated” season, but does this team give you any indications that they’re capable of winning a single game? We can point to any aspect of Buffalo’s game and find flaws, but let’s start with the most important position, the QB. Inserting a new QB on the road, against a pissed off New England team, basically means you’re waving the white flag before you even step onto the field. The Pats were taken to the woodshed last week, and we all know they’re not going to respond to that lightly. I fully expect the Pats to put on a clinic, and being that this is a Bill Belichick team, they won’t take their foot off the gas pedal. I’m going out on a limb here, but the Pats will cover the spread by the end of the first quarter, and never relinquish there after.
@ Baltimore -10.5 vs. Cleveland
Chappy: Baltimore (-10.5), Baltimore hasn’t been the explosive offense we thought they would be so far, but they’ve had some unlucky breaks and untimely turnovers that didn’t help. I think this week should be their coming out party. Some think the Browns have a good defense, not so sure why. The numbers might back it, but only playing Tampa Bay and Kansas City doesn’t really instill my confidence in this unit. Their offense isn’t anything pretty, and if memory serves me correct, the Ravens defense is above average. If they stop the Browns from blowing them out by two TD’s and having Ray Rice run all over them in the 2nd half, you might make me a believer in the Brownies.
@ Tampa Bay +3 vs. Pittsburgh
Chappy: Pittsburgh -3, I rode Pittsburgh the first two weeks to two wins, and didn’t put them as the 2nd best undefeated team in my rankings for nothing! As I also said the Steelers are 100-0 with Polamalu in the lineup, so this is a lock. Like I said before it doesn’t really matter who is behind center for this team right now, Charlie Batch, Hines Ward, or Mike Tomlin. Their defense can win games for them. They body slammed Vince Young into oblivion. They came through against a good Falcons team in OT. The Bucs had a nice run, but if I was Josh Freeman, I’d be checking the ball down all day long to avoid a concussion.
By: Tampa Bay +3, I know Pittsburgh has been unbelievable on defense again, probably the best in the league thus far, which proves that Troy “Head & Shoulders” Polamalu is not only the most important player on the Steelers, but perhaps a legitimate MVP candidate overall! As of right now, I can’t name another player who impacts the game as much as he does. But, don’t sleep on Tampa Bay and their developing stud at QB, Josh Freeman. Tampa escaped Cleveland in the opener, and beat a pretty woeful Carolina team last week, not anything to write home about, but I like what I’ve seen from them nonetheless. Tampa isn’t going to score much against the vaunted Steelers defense, but the Steelers won’t light up the scoreboard either. Already missing Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers were unfortunate enough to have their second string QB (who obviously was starting in replace of Big Ben), Dennis Dixon go down last week. The Steelers were already struggling on offense, which adds more pressure to their defense to make big plays that influence the outcome of the game. I don’t doubt that they can, but it’s a lot to ask for, every Sunday. I anticipate a slight slip up this week. Not only does Tampa cover the spread, but they win the game, 9-7.
@ Carolina (+3.5) vs. Cincinnati
By: Cincinnati (-3.5) Cincinnati kicked their way to victory last week, connecting on five field goals for 15 points. Their offense looked dreadful, but then again, so did New York’s (J) offense when they went up against Baltimore. Cincinnati’s defense played a pretty good game, even though it seemed like Joe Flacco thought his team was the one with the stripes on their helmets, because some of those throws were just ridiculous! Regardless, the Bengals got a victory under their belt, and should be looking forward to building some momentum after a cupcake win over Carolina this week. If there ever was a chance to get this whole T.Ocho (that’s my celebrity couple name for Owens & OchoCinco) experience going, now is it. I’d normally say watch out for the team with their backs against the wall (Carolina), but since John Fox made the announcement he’d start rookie Jimmy Clausen this week, I’m not worried for the Bengals. Clausen is a rookie, and he’s going to struggle, and he’s going to throw interceptions, and he’s going to make sure Carolina doesn’t cover the spread. Cincinnati flexes it’s offensive muscles finally, as they’ll win in a blow out, 30-7.
Atlanta @ New Orleans (-4)
By: Atlanta (+4) Atlanta was a lot of people’s sexy pick heading into the season to compete for a playoff spot. After being nearly shut out at Pittsburgh in the opener, and having their doubters return, Atlanta went home and “released the Kracken” on a over-matched Arizona Cardinals team. Many were questioning whether Matt Ryan was truly the promising star he gave glimpses of two seasons ago. After a mediocre 2009, and a suspect beginning to 2010, many were ready to write him off. Well he’s back on the radar after his dismantling of the Cardinals secondary, and another impressive sidenote, Atlanta destroyed Arizona with their backup RB. The Saints continue to find ways to win, but should we be impressed or concerened? I view it as they are slowly revealing chinks in their armor, and sooner or later a team will expose their flaws. The Niners showed you can run down their throat. And if Alex Smith could look like Aaron Rodgers against them, just imagine when a quality QB gets a hold of them. The Saints defense isn’t predicated on stopping anyone, but forcing turnovers in tight situations. Atlanta will be much more disciplined than San Francisco, so the only way the Saints win is by a shootout. Although they’re highly capable of doing so, the subtraction of Reggie Bush to their offense will hurt them much more than they think. Atlanta pulls off the upset in the SuperDome, finally answering the question we’ve all been asking … “Who dat? Who dat g’on beat ‘dem Saints.” Aside from proper spelling and grammar? Atlanta dat.
@ Kansas City (+3) vs. San Francisco
By: San Francisco (-3) Both teams go into this game with an unexpected record. The 49ers are winless, and the Chiefs are one of eight undefeated teams remaining. I still can’t believe the Chiefs are dogs at home! The Chiefs played an impressive game against Super Bowl contenders San Diego, then gutted out a tough win on the road at Cleveland. Meanwhile, the 49ers stunk it up big time in Seattle, then had an inspiring loss to the defending champs on Monday Night. Problem is, they’re the defending champs. If you can’t get up for the defending champs, you have no business in football. So although I believe the 49ers are still the better team, they might lull themselves to sleep again, thinking because they gave away the game to the Saints, that they are good enough to play half ass at Kansas City (the most rockin’-ist crowd right now) and come away with a win. On the Chiefs end, Matt Cassel has not played well at all, which means they rely on big plays too much. A breakaway run from Charles, a return from McCluster, and a pick six from Flowers. Without those plays they’re 0-2. This is a tough one, but I’ll go with San Francisco, simply because their backs are against the wall. Hopefully they play like it. SF over KC, 17-10.
@ Minnesota -11 vs. Detroit
Chappy: Detroit +11, of all the underdogs this weekend, this one really gives me a good feeling. Detroit is a couple of plays away from being 2-0 against what looks like two okay teams in Chicago and Philly. Shaun Hill threw for 352 yards and 2 TD’s (not a typo). Maybe that’s why Alex Smith all of a sudden showed up this week, he didn’t want to get overshadowed by Shaun effing Hill. Anyways, Favre hasn’t looked good this year, and the Lions already have ten sacks this season. Not a comforting feeling for the 40 year old getting the karma kicked out of him. I think Minnesota will win, but it will be closer than two scores. I really like the under(42.5) for this game. Shaun Hill can look good utilizing the young offensive toys named Javid and Megatron, but this Vikings D is legit.
@ Houston (-3) vs. Dallas
By: Houston (-3) Houston has been that pick for the past three years or so, but it looks like 2010 is finally the year for them. Shaub was unbelievable last week in the Nation’s Capital (PS – thank you for the 30 fantasy points) and Andre Johnson has emerged as the top receiver in the NFL. The sudden arrival of Arian Foster completes the three-headed monster attack of the Texans, reminiscent of the days of Aikman, Irving and Smith. Well what a coincidence, the Cowboys come to town, 0-2, and dreadful. It’s funny that these Cowboys get to see first hand what a real Texas team is supposed to look like, and not only that, they’re doing it with the Cowboys’ blueprint to success. Lock down the three skill positions, compliment them with a underrated tight end, and you’ll be unstoppable on offense. As far as the Cowboys are concerned, Tony Chokemo is still their QB, and they still haven’t established a jogging game let alone running game. The Cowboys gave up a ton of points to the Bears at home, and now their task is to slow down the Texans? Fat chance. I thought the Texans would be at least 6 point favorites on this one, but three? I’m taking Houston, 31-20.
@ Denver +5.5 vs. Indianpolis
Chappy: Indianapolis -5.5, Indy came out inspired last week to put a stomping on the Giants Sunday night. That’s all I really needed to convince me to pick them this week. Peyton should have plenty of options open with Champ Bailey on sidelines nursing an injury. He’ll also have plenty of time since Denver doesn’t have their sack master, Elvis Dumerville, and as a squad have only notched two sacks this young season. The Colts were already humbled in week 1, so they should be focused and taking everyone serious until they secure a playoff spot. I was surprised how well they ran the ball last week, but we could see some more of that against a Denver team that isn’t really good at anything in particular. Also, I’m thinking the loss of yet another teammate (Kenny McKinley) in an apparent suicide will just be too much for Denver to overcome. I’m wondering if Ron Artest should give the money he makes from auctioning off his championship ring to the Broncos psychological staff.
@ Arizona -4.5 vs. Oakland
Chappy: Oakland +4.5, I usually don’t bet on my team, but this line keeps going up. We just named Gradkowski the starter, and after fans chanted Bruuuce throughout the first half, Cable listened to Hue Jackson and threw him in the mix. When Bruce was out there, he could do no wrong. I never understood why he didn’t get his fare shot at the starting gig in the preseason since he did so well when they benched Jamarcus last year, but this is his shot now. If he keeps winning, he keeps playing. Arizona isn’t threatening with Derek Anderson behind center. If Nmandi can shut down Fitz, then the Raiders will at least cover in this road game. I still want someone to find me a better suplex than the one Rolando McClain busted out last week.
@ Seattle (+6) vs. San Diego
By: San Diego (-6) Let’s not get it twisted, Seattle’s win over San Francisco in the opener was a fluke. It was more the 49ers falling apart, than Seattle being the better team. Evidence of that was Seattle’s performance in Denver last week. They weren’t impressive in any aspect, and there wasn’t any glimmer of light to build upon. They played like the projected last place team Chappy and I predicted. I give the Seattle crowd credit, they can influence a game like no other, but as brash, temperamental and scumbaggy as Philip Rivers seems, he’s a great QB. He’s not Alex Smith, and he won’t let a weaker team like Seattle get the best of him or his Chargers. Remember, he played great in the opener despite the circumstances he was constantly placed in. I’d get frustrated too if my center couldn’t snap me the ball half the time. And if two of his receivers don’t slip as he’s passing them the ball in crucial moments, who knows what happens in KC. Nonetheless, he came back strong to lead a his team to victory at home last week. They lose Ryan Matthews, but he wasn’t doing much anyway (sorry to all you fantasy guys who used your first pick on him), and the combination of Sproles and Tolbert might give them a better balance in the backfield, ala Tomlinson and Turner a few years back. San Diego’s just good. They don’t need Tomlinson, they don’t need Vincent Jackson, and they just keep plugging along. San Diego dominates the Seahawks, 28-6.
@ Chicago +3 vs. Green Bay
Chappy: Green Bay -3, I said at the beginning of the year it’s going to be impossible for me not to pick the Packers every week this season. Even on the road against a coming out of hibernation Bears offense they will win this game handily. The Bears are lucky to be 2-0. Detroit The refs gave them one in week 1 with Megatron’s catch drop. In week two they took advantage of a lackluster Cowboys team, so the way I see it this is their first real opponent, and it just happens to be one of the best teams in the league. I think Matt Forte might have a big game, but I don’t see Cutler being able to spread it around as well as he did against his past couple opponents. Clay Matthews is going to eat some people alive in this game I hear!