Limbo: Week 2 NFL Picks

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Week 1 of the NFL season has come and gone.  There were quite a few surprises.  Some teams expected to contend looked sluggish and some teams expected to battle for high draft position looked great. When it came to our picks, we pulled a Dennis Erickson and finished 8-8. We, like many NFL teams, are in limbo. Are we good at this? Or do we suck? Maybe we find out this week.

Week 2 is often telling, some teams will fall back to earth, and some will reassert themselves as contenders. One thing is for sure, offensive lines will be poor, and there will be a shortage of good quarterback play. To the picks!

Houston at Cincinnati (-5.5)

Both of these teams got thumped at home last week. Between the two of them, they scored a combined seven points. Bill O'Brien continues to cycle between quarterbacks at his whim.  O'Brien and GM Rick Smith have been content to ride the great Texans defense to the playoffs in the weakest division in football while they continually ruin quarterbacks.  It is hard to justify yanking your starter after three quarters into your first game when he is under siege from an awful offensive line.  Word is rookie Deshaun Watson, who could turn into a very good quarterback if under virtually any other coach, is starting his first game Thursday(start a rookie on a short week, great idea).  The Bengals are slipping. Their offense has been seizing since Hue Jackson left to coach Cleveland and Andy Dalton has a Greg Norman on the last day of 1996 Masters level of yips.  This is the most anyone has written about this terrible matchup, and I kind of hate myself for it. Home team wins, I think. 

Green Bay at Atlanta (-3)

The Packers destroyed the Seahawks "offensive line" in week 1 while the Falcons, as I expected, looked pretty average against Chicago.  Home team gets three points, so Vegas thinks these teams are evenly matched.  I disagree, the Seahawks have always excelled at making Green Bay's defense look better than it is.  I'm not big on the Falcons long term prospects this year, but I like them in this one. 

Minnesota at Pittsburgh (-6)

Apparently the oddsmakers aren't impressed with Sam Bradford dropping dimes downfield on Monday night.  The Vikings defense is a band of surly, physical brutes and I love them for it.  The Steelers plodded to a victory over Cleveland.  I should know better than to pick Bradford on the road, but I'm going to do it anyway. 

Lions at Giants (-4)

This is an interesting game.  The Lions looked explosive against the Cardinals and the Giants, sans OBJ, put up a mere three points on the Cowboys.  The Giants offense isn't that bad, and the Lions offense likely isn't that good. 

New England (-7) at New Orleans 

The surprising thing wasn't that New England lost last week, it was how they lost.  Their defense gave up a ton of big plays in the passing game to an offense that doesn't get big plays in the passing game and the offense struggled to manufacture points in the second half.  Long term of course, the Patriots will fix these things. They will tighten the defense and find a way to compensate for their lack of talent at wideout.  The Saints offense looked like a sports car in need of a tuneup against the Vikings.  I expect the Saints to settle into more of a rhythm offensively this week, their tempo and rotations seemed a tick disjointed all game. Saints cover, but Patriots win.

San Francisco at Seattle (-13.5)

I know Seattle always fillets the 49ers at home, but I don't see it this week.  49ers will struggle to score at all, but the Seahawks offense will fail to develop a rhythm. Seahawks will have the issues ironed out by mid October, but its not mid October yet. Ugly game, 49ers cover, Seahawks win. 

The Rest: 

Titans (-1.5) at Jacksonville

Browns at Ravens (-7.5)

Buffalo at Carolina (-7)

Arizona (-7.5) at Indianapolis

Eagles at Chiefs (-4.5)

Chicago at Tampa Bay (-7)

Jets at Raiders (-14)

Redskins at Rams (-2.5)

Dallas (-2) at Denver

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