I've picked the Lions 11 times in the past two seasons. I'm 0-11 picking them. So naturally, I picked them again this week.
After last week’s 11-5 triumph for yours truly, I realize that I am bound to follow it up with something slightly less spectacular. It’s the law of averages, really. After two decent to above average weeks in a row, I have to come back to Earth…or do I? Maybe I’ve finally found the right formula in picking games. OK, probably not, but I’ve been lucky so far and avoided disaster, so let’s see if I can keep it going in Week 3. (Picks in Bold, Home Team listed 2nd):
Redskins at Lions (+6): A week after finally realizing the error of my ways by picking Detroit, I am going right back to the one team that fails me the most. Honestly, I have been so uninspired by the ‘Skins in their first two games that it wouldn’t shock me to see the Lions find their way to a stunning victory, which would be their first since December 2007. Look for Calvin Johnson to come up big against this Washington secondary.
Packers (-7) at Rams: Green Bay is going to come out firing on all cylinders after last week’s embarrassment against the Bengals in Lambeau. This is bad news for a Rams team that has managed to score a grand total of 7 points in its first 2 games of the 2009 campaign.
49ers (+7) at Vikings: I like the Vikings to win this game, although it wouldn’t shock me to see either team win it, which is why I struggle to see this one be a victory of 7 points or more. This is a game that will be won on the ground and in the trenches by Frank Gore or Adrian Peterson. That adds up to a low-scoring affair in Minneapolis on Sunday.
Falcons at Patriots (-5): Bad news for Matt Ryan & Co. The Patriots haven’t lost back-to-back games in almost 3 full seasons. Worse for Atlanta, New England is still mad about losing to the Jets last week and they are looking to take it out on someone. I think the Pats will dominate a pretty good Falcons team at Gillette Stadium.
Titans (+3) at Jets: Good news for Kerry Collins & Co. The Jets haven’t stopped talking about last week’s win over the Patriots, clearly a sign of a team that is not prepared to take the field against a desperate 0-2 Tennessee side. The Titans, behind Chris Johnson, are going to take it to the overconfident and unaware New York defense all game in this one.
Chiefs at Eagles (-9): Donovan McNabb might not be playing in this one, but if the Chiefs show up and play the way they did last week at home against the Raiders, then Kevin Kolb might look like Joe Montana out there on Sunday. The Eagles’ D will also be thankful to be facing a much more pedestrian offense after getting torched by the Saints last week.
Giants (-7) at Buccaneers: The Giants are looking really good after going in and grabbing the W in Dallas last weekend. The Bucs have looked awful in their first two games of the season, losing to Dallas and Buffalo. I expect the G-Men to go into Raymond James Stadium and win this one much easier than last week’s game.
Browns at Ravens (-14): Under normal circumstances, I would always take the points here. However, after seeing Baltimore’s offense put up big numbers against a solid San Diego defense and seeing the Browns get smacked 27-6 by a Broncos team that I really don’t think is that good, it’s hard to see the Ravens not annihilate them in Baltimore.
Jaguars at Texans (-4): Last week we saw both of these teams play the way I expected them to in Week 1. The Texans’ offense was nothing short of explosive against the Titans in Nashville while the Jaguars looked like a team that would struggle to fill its stadium because everyone knows they’re not good enough to compete this year. The Texans will build on last week’s momentum and crush Jacksonville to make up for losing their home opener.
Bears (-3) at Seahawks: At first I almost picked Seattle. Then I had flashbacks to last season when Seneca Wallace had to step in for the oft-injured Matt Hasselbeck…it wasn’t a pretty sight. The Bears will get the job done, and the misery will begin for the Seahawks and their fans.
Saints (-7) at Bills: It’s very hard not to expect New Orleans to explode for 40+ points, especially against a defense that isn’t even close to as good as the unit they faced last week. Drew Brees has made this entire offense better than anyone ever thought it could be, and he will continue his great start in Ralph Wilson Stadium against a Bills team that should be 2-0 going into this game.
Steelers (-4) at Bengals: Pittsburgh owns Cincinnati on the road much like the Patriots owned the Jets on the road. However, this does not mean that the Bungles will get the same result as the Jets this year. I think that Chad Ochocinco will have a big game against a depleted Steelers’ secondary, but at the end of the day, Big Ben will push his team to a 7 point victory, 24-17 is my guess.
Broncos (+2) at Raiders: I have absolutely no clue how or why the Raiders are a favorite in any game. I understand that they won last week in their pillow fight with the Chiefs, but have you seen their offense? If the Broncos can score 17 points, they’ll win this game and I will continue to give them no respect for their quick start purely based upon beating the Bungles, Browns, and Raiders. I wish that my Jets had this schedule to open the season.
Dolphins (+6) at Chargers: The Dolphins’ offense is basically designed to keep games close by milking the clock as much as humanly possible, kind of like what they did against the Colts on Monday Night. If they can accomplish that feat again, they’ll lose in a very similar way, which means they won’t get blown out.
Colts at Cardinals (-3): In what will most likely be one of the highest-scoring games in Sunday Night Football history, I like Arizona to manage to outlast a depleted Indy team in a game that fits exactly into Kurt Warner’s style: Arena Football (Note: I was trying for about 20 minutes to think of a way to make a joke about bagging groceries, but I failed. If you can think of a way to fit it into this, send it to me and I will give you all the credit. If it doesn’t make sense, I will post the comment and mock you publicly for the dozens of readers on this blog to see.)
Panthers (+9) at Cowboys: Dallas should be able to control this game fairly easily, but their secondary should be having nightmares about Steve Smith right now. Smith has been limited in his first two games, but it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out of his shell. Against Dallas’ mediocre secondary, expect Smith to go for a couple of big plays, to at least keep it close.