It wasn’t a bad week for your favorite prognosticators last week. We didn’t set the world on fire, but 11-5 (by Eagle One) and 10-6 (by myself) are good opening performances.
This week we’ve got some awesome games on the docket, starting tonight in Chi Town and all the way into Monday Night. Ol’ Matty and I see the slate similarly, for the most part, but there’s a few games that we differ on.
Last week was a great one for our friend Mr. Unmarked Car. He not only beat me here, but also won his fantasy football game in our league, while I lost my opener. He’s feeling pretty good about himself right now, sitting really high on that horse. I’m hoping he’s knocked down a little bit, although I admit, his fantasy team looks pretty good. Mine’s okay, if they ever score any touchdowns. Onto the week 2 slate, while we dream of giving tickets to troopers.
Rich’s Record: 10-6 (.625)
Matt’s Record: 11-5 (.687)
- Packers at Bears: At this writing, game time is close, and me and old Eagle One are going opposite directions on this one. Matty Boy is taking the Packers, me I’m leaning towards the Bears, and here’s why. One, the game’s in Chicago, and that’s a tough place to play on the road. Two, no Greg Jennings means that Aaron Rodgers is without one of his favorite targets. Three, the Packers can’t run the ball at all, which means that the Bears, a good defensive team, don’t have to respect that aspect of the offense and can put pressure on Rodgers at will. Would you respect the play-action game with Ced Benson doing the heavy lifting from the RB spot? I wouldn’t.
Rich’s pick: Bears, 31-24
Matt’s Pick: Packers
Sunday, 1 PM Games
- Chiefs at Bills: For two quarters the Chiefs looked pretty good against the Falcons last week, but they weren’t built to play a shootout. The Bills, on the other hand, couldn’t do anything at all against the Jets when it mattered and ended up getting trounced. Fred Jackson and David Nelson are out, which doesn’t bode well for the Bills, and Ryan Fitzpatrick’s Harvard degree is looking like it might come in handy sooner rather than later the way he’s been throwing the football. I respect the Buffalo home field advantage, but the Bills looked clueless last week and KC looked okay. Even though they’re on the road, and not a ton better, I’m going with the Chiefs.
Rich’s Pick: Chiefs, 21-16
Matt’s Pick: Chiefs
- New Orleans at Carolina: Are the Saints really that bad? They open up, at home, and get beaten up by a rookie QB making his first-ever start. Each year it seems that at least one playoff team falls from grace, and it looks like this year it might be the Saints. SuperCam was grounded last week on the road, but I think he’ll be better this week against the Saints, whose defense is not nearly as good as Tampa’s. I’m hesitant, but taking the Panthers.
Rich’s Pick: Panthers, 33-31
Matt’s Pick: Saints
- Cleveland at Cincy: Branden Weeden’s highlight last week against the Eagles was getting stuck under the oversized American Flag before the start of the game. After that he went out and threw four picks and looked laughable. The Bengals are better than they looked against Baltimore, and I expect a big game from the Law Firm here. Cincy gets on the board with their first win.
Rich’s Pick: Bengals, 27-14
Matt’s Pick: Bengals
- Minnesota at Indianapolis: The Andrew Luck era did not get off to a smashing start, but he should be better at home this week. I harken back to the first year of Peyton Manning, though, and remember that even though he was regarded as one of the best quarterback prospects of all-time, those Colts were horrendous that first season. This is that all over.
Rich’s Pick: Vikings, 24-10
Matt’s Pick: Vikings
- Houston at Jacksonville: Oh so close the Jags came to pulling it off last week in OT. What a fun game that was to watch, down to the wire, overtime, the whole kit and kaboodle. Yeah, none of that this week. The Texans are darn good, and they’ll win with ease.
Rich’s Pick: Texans, 34-17
Matt’s Pick: Texans
- Oakland at Miami: Normally I don’t like the whole west coast team going east to play at 1 PM. Then again, the Dolphins are probably the 31st best team in the league, ahead of just the Colts. Miami is hapless and the Raiders will pull out an ugly one, despite any snapping problems.
Rich’s Pick: Raiders, 20-10
Matt’s Pick: Raiders
- Arizona at New England: Not going to waste a lot of time here. The Pats will win, and win big.
Rich’s Pick: Patriots, 37-17
Matt’s Pick: Patriots
- Tampa Bay at New York Giants: Josh Freeman could be back, maybe. Still, the defending Super Bowl champs are not going to start out 0-2 with a pair of home losses. It’s hard to call any game a must-win this early, but the Giants desperately need this one and I’m taking them to get it done.
Rich’s Pick: Giants, 24-20
Matt’s Pick: Giants
- Baltimore at Philadelphia: This is the game of the week if you ask me. It’s a marquee matchup and we’re going to learn a lot here. Philly should have lost last week and looked sloppy as heck. I think they’ll clean things up, but not nearly enough. Baltimore might be the best AFC team, it’s a 3-team race between them, NE and Houston. Joe Flacco might be the player that makes The Leap this year and I’m banking on him getting it done in Philly.
Rich’s Pick: Ravens, 23-20
Matt’s Pick: Ravens
- Dallas at Seattle: The Seahawks should have won their opener last week, but Doug Baldwin dropped the game-winning TD. The Cowboys played a superb road game, but they won’t do it two weeks in a row. Seattle is one of the toughest places to play, period. The Seahawks, believe it or not, were 7-1 at home last season. That trend continues and we have a mild upset.
Rich’s Pick: Seahawks, 17-13
Matt’s Pick: Cowboys
- Washington at St. Louis: RG3 is 1-0 on the road in domes, that’s a fact Jack. He’ll be 2-0 after this week, because of his defense. The Skins kept New Orleans in check for most of the game, until the fourth quarter, and the St. Louis O-line is beat up. I like the Redskins to have sole possession of first place in the NFC East on Monday morning.
Rich’s Pick: Redskins, 30-20
Matt’s Pick: Redskins
- NY Jets at Pittsburgh: Like the Giants, the Steelers have a must-win game here against the Jets. I still don’t know who the Jets are. Were they playing possum in the preseason, and actually have an offensive clue? Or, were the Bills just that bad? The Steelers D is good enough to limit Sanchez/Tebow and Big Ben will keep enough plays alive to put some points on the board at home.
Rich’s Pick: Steelers, 23-17
Matt’s Pick: Steelers
- Tennessee at San Diego: I just don’t like the Titans chances here. They’re going with a backup QB, albeit a good one, and Chris Johnson looks like he’s running behind a bad high school offensive line. The Chargers are a good home team and that’s enough for me.
Rich’s Pick: Chargers, 31-17
Matt’s Pick: Chargers
- Detroit at San Francisco: Whoa, the 49ers looked pretty legit last week against the Pack. This week they’re playing a team with a similar style, only this time at home. I still don’t love Alex Smith, but he finds a way week-in and week-out and that defense is awesome. San Fran is the NFC favorite in my eyes right now, and somewhere my boy Easy E is nodding his head in agreement.
Rich’s Pick: 49ers, 27-21
Matt’s Pick: 49ers
- Denver at Atlanta: I bought into the hype and was rooting on Peyton to have a big game last Sunday night, because who doesn’t love a good comeback story? Truthfully, though, his defense won that game. They were on the field constantly, but didn’t let the Steelers pull away, and then Demarius Thomas turned a quick out into 80-something yards and a TD and then Porter had a pick-six and the rest is history. Peyton was just okay, border line good, but really nothing too special. This week he’ll have to be better, and I don’t think he’ll have enough. The Falcons are rock solid at home and will turn this into a track meet. It’s going to be a fun game to watch, but America’s sweetheart will go home with a heartache.
Rich’s Pick: Falcons, 38-31
Matt’s Pick: Broncos