Sunday, September 16, 2012

NFL Week 2 Picks: Time for the Saints to Rebound

Don’t overreact.

Week 1 was the first real action of the 2012 season any of us saw, obviously. And while we can finally begin to really judge teams and players and get an idea of what trends to look out for it still is only one game.

Sometimes players are still shaking off the early season rust. Sometimes teams and schemes still need to gel. Other times teams could just get a bad draw.

That’s why some teams may have played poorly last weekend or not gotten the result they wanted but there’s still a possibility things can turn out much differently in Week 2, like they did for the Packers.

Chicago (1-0) at Green Bay (0-1)

On Twitter I picked the Packers to win.

Kansas City (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1)

Both teams got trounced in Week 1. This could be an ugly game of football.

But what we could see is two good running backs at work.

Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles had a nice little comeback last week, his first game since Week 2 last season due to injury. He ran for 87 yards on 16 carries, working his way back to prominence.

Even more impressive was the Bills’ C.J. Spiller. Coming on in relief of the injured Fred Jackson, Spiller rushed for a league-high 169 yards last week on only 14 carries to go along with a touchdown. It was truly a special performance, especially because everyone has been waiting for him to have a breakout game since being drafted out of Clemson in 2010.

Ryan Fitzpatrick desperately needs to cut down on his turnovers and Mario Williams needs to get past the offensive lineman covering him but at home with Spiller acting as a spark plug this could be the Bills’ day.

Buffalo wins.

Cleveland (0-1) at Cincinnati (0-1)

The Bengals had a rough outing against the Ravens but this Cleveland team is not nearly as talented.

The Browns defense got to Michael Vick often yet they still lost by a point.

Cincinnati's offensive line isn't as bad and BenJarvus Green-Ellis was a bright spot despite the blowout.

Cincinnati wins.

Minnesota (1-0) at Indianapolis (0-1)

The Vikings barely got past a lackluster Jaguars team at home. But they did win.

While the Colts were completely blown away by the Chicago Bears, it was the start of a new era with Andre Luck at quarterback.

Luck only completed 51.1 percent of his passes and threw three interceptions but he did throw for a touchdown and 309 yards. He got a real taste of what this league is like.

This is a winnable game for the Colts and at home the fans will be ready to get behind Luck.

Indianapolis wins.

New Orleans (0-1) at Carolina (0-1)

At home against the Redskins did anyone think Drew Brees and the Saints would go down like they did?

Time to bounce back against a division rival.

The Panthers managed a whopping 10 yards on the ground last week against the Buccaneers and that’s with Cam Newton, who is supposed to be one of the best, if not the best, running quarterbacks in the game. Newton also threw two interceptions.

The Saints need to get a lot more from their running game but Carolina still has a lot of pieces they need to put together in order to be a successful team.

New Orleans wins.

Houston (1-0) at Jacksonville (0-1)

Houston dismantled an overmatched Miami Dolphins team in Week 1. The Texans should have just as good a game against a possibly even weaker Jaguars team, even though they’re on the road.

Houston wins.

Oakland (0-1) at Miami (0-1)

The Raiders had the late Monday night game and will have to travel cross-country to play the Dolphins in the 1 p.m. game. That never bodes well.

The Dolphins looked bad last week and looks to be focusing on the future, but they are winners of six of their past seven games against Oakland and have home-field advantage.

Miami wins.

Arizona (1-0) at New England (1-0)

Coming off the bench last week Kevin Kolb went 6 for 8 for 66 yards and a touchdown in a four-point win for the Cardinals. Not too shabby.

But the Patriots looked too good last week and their defense looked much improved to go against them taking on what seems to be an inferior Arizona team.

New England wins.

Tampa Bay (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1)

Rookie head coach Greg Schiano takes his Buccaneers team to New Jersey, where he did a pretty good job as the head coach of Rutgers University. His team held on and put together a gutsy win against the Panthers in Week 1 thanks in part to a very stout rush defense.

The Giants did not play well at all against the Cowboys and their secondary continues to get thinner and thinner.

But Tampa Bay didn’t overpower the Panthers by throwing the ball, so it’s hard to imagine they’d be able to take full advantage of the Giants’ most glaring weakness. The Giants tend to fluctuate in consistency but after losing last week they could very well turn it on this week.

New York Giants win.

Baltimore (1-0) at Philadelphia (1-0)

The Ravens beat a 2011 playoff team by 31 points in Week 1. The Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns—a team that was 4-12 last year and starting rookies at quarterback and wide receiver in Week 1—by one point in a game that the offensive line was absolutely manhandled and Michael Vick threw four interceptions.

Yet the Eagles are favored in this game. Home-field advantage cannot be worth that much can it?

The Baltimore defense was very strong against Cincinnati and they should be able to take full advantage of an Eagles offense with a porous front-line, an injury-prone quarterback and its top two-wide receivers (DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin) already banged up with injuries.

Baltimore wins.

Washington (1-0) at St. Louis (0-1)

Robert Griffin III was the first player in NFL history to earn Player of the Week after his first NFL game. Everyone loves him. Seriously, have you heard anyone say anything negative about him?

The Rams didn't look too bad last week, but they lost and the Redskins mojo right now is the highest it's been in at least the past decade.

Washington wins.

Dallas (1-0) at Seattle (0-1)

When the Seahawks play at home they generally do pretty well. They always have a great crowd behind them.

In terms of play though, they did struggle against the Cardinals pass defense. They could struggle even more against a Cowboys pass defense that did pretty well against the Giants offense last week.

Tony Romo has long been on the cusp of good and great in the NFL. He will need to continue to put together similar performances throughout the season but he had as good a start as possible.

Dallas wins.

New York Jets (1-0) at Pittsburgh (0-1)

The defenses for both teams feature some big injuries. Darrelle Revis out for the Jets while James Harrison and Troy Polomalu could be out for the Steelers.

Despite different outcomes a week ago this game could be an ugly slugfest and at home, it's usually the type of game Ben Roethlisberger comes out on top in.

Pittsburgh wins.

Tennessee (0-1) at San Diego (1-0)

The Chargers did a poor job of getting their running game going last week against the Raiders, gaining only 32 yards on the ground.

Chris Johnson had an awful showing in Week 1 with 11 carries for only four yards Tennessee. But on the bright side the Titans do get Kenny Britt back this week after missing the first game due to a suspension in Week 1 and a season-ending injury last year.

The Chargers have always been a pass-first team, but with the addition of Britt Tennessee could do some damage this weekend. There’s also greater potential for Johnson to shake out of his funk as opposed to any of the Chargers’ backs.

Tennessee wins.

Detroit (1-0) at San Francisco (1-0)

The 49ers put together a very impressive performance beating the Packers on the road last weekend. The defense got the job done and the team's new stable of wide receivers came through for them.

The Lions barely slipped past the Rams and Matthew Stafford was not very sharp.

San Francisco wins.

Denver (1-0) at Atlanta (1-0)

Both teams put up impressive victories in Week 1.

What wasn't impressive was the Falcons running game. They ran for 84 yards total and Matt Ryan almost out ran starter Michael Turner.

Peyton Manning had a good first game back and history says he does very well in prime time.

Denver wins.

This Week: 1-0

Last Week: 9-7

Photo Credit.

AP Photo/Bill Haber

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