Thursday, September 12, 2013

NFL Week 2 Picks: Will San Francisco 49ers Passing Game Overcome Tough Seattle Seahawks Secondary?

The opening day jitters should be gone now.

Week 1 of the NFL season was crazy, with three safeties, three quarterbacks throwing three interceptions, and three quarterbacks throwing over 400 yards.

What can we expect from Week 2, which features seven divisional games?

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

Both teams won in Week 1 by two points or less. But in New England, can the Jets squeak out another victory? New York was aided by a big penalty at the end of their game against the Buccaneers. It’s not to say this will be a blowout like when these teams played on Thanksgiving Day last year, but New England still has Tom Brady at quarterback and that right now is a big edge over Geno Smith.

New England wins.

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

Neither team was impressive on defense last week, especially against the pass. What Atlanta has though is a much more balanced attack on offense. Steven Jackson showed that he was a good signing, rushing for 77 yards on only 11 carries. And even though Roddy White was questionable heading into last week’s game, he moved well enough to garner enough attention to open up Julio Jones and Harry Douglas for big days catching the ball.

Atlanta wins.

Carolina (0-1) at Buffalo (0-1)

Both teams lost in one possession games last week but Buffalo looked like the more dangerous of the two. The Bills defense was able to force three turnovers against New England. They were able to put up 21 points on offense.

The Panthers, despite Cam Newton at quarterback, threw for only 119 yards (though to be fair Seattle does have a good secondary). Still, the Panthers didn’t get much going at all.

Buffalo wins.

Minnesota (0-1) at Chicago (1-0)

Christian Ponder’s three interceptions last week played a big role in the Vikings loss.

The Bears took it to a good Bengals team and did not allow a sack to their vaunted defensive line. The Jay Cutler-Brandon Marshall hookup looks as good as ever.

Chicago wins.

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

The Packers have had the unfortunate task of taking on the 49ers in Week 1 the past two years and while both games were great matchups, the Packers have come out the loser both times. They’re a very good 0-1 team.

The Redskins were run all over by the Eagles last week and while the Packers may not play as fast as the Eagles, they are still a very aggressive offense that spreads the ball around and can do maybe even more damage than Philadelphia did.

Green Bay wins.

Miami (1-0) at Indianapolis (1-0)

Two sophomore quarterbacks will continue the path to take the next step and both did well in Week 1.

Miami was aided by three Browns interceptions, but the Dolphins were also able to really cause those turnovers by the pressure their defense brought. The Dolphins are tied for first in the league in sacks (6) and also only allowed 47 rushing yards.

It will be a close game but the underrated Dolphins defense will be key here.

Miami wins.

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

The smart quarterback against the gunslinger. Tony Romo and Alex Smith play two different styles. But how efficient was the Dallas offense? They were plus-five in the turnover differential but only one the game by five points. The Giants committed three turnovers in the first quarter, yet that quarter ended with a score of 3-3. Where’s the killer instinct?

The Chiefs are very good at home and they won’t make the same mistakes the inconsistent Giants offense did.

Kansas City wins.

Cleveland (0-1) at Baltimore (0-1)

Peyton Manning put on a crazy performance last week against the Ravens to get the defending Super Bowl champions off on the wrong foot. But that was on the road.

Teams that win the Super Bowl traditionally open at home. This will be their home opener and the fans will be very much behind this team.

Playing a Browns team that threw three interceptions last week should help the Ravens get back on track.
Baltimore wins.

Tennessee (1-0) at Houston (1-0)

The first week of the season gives a very small sample pool to make these decisions from. So give credit to the Titans for doing what they had to do to defeat the Steelers, especially defensively. But was it more the Titans defense or the poor play from Pittsburgh’s offense?

Either way, the Texans have many more options on offense than the Steelers do. Their defense is better than Pittsburgh’s. And they are at home.

Houston wins.

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

Make no mistake about it, the Eagles will be exciting to watch this season, whether they win or lose. Their rushing game was pretty lethal last week against the Redskins and that trend should continue. The Chargers couldn’t hang on to beat the Texans last week and the Eagles will push the pace early on.

Philadelphia wins.

Detroit (1-0) at Arizona (0-1)

What an addition Reggie Bush was to the Lions in Week 1. He looked like the Reggie Bush we all saw play at USC, rushing for 90 yards on 21 carries and catching four passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. Take into account that Calvin Johnson had two touchdowns called back and this offense could be pretty scary.

Detroit wins.

New Orleans (1-0) at Tampa Bay (0-1)

Drew Brees puts up big numbers. He’s not underrated by any stretch of the imagination. But actually watching him play is a treat. His long ball is a thing of beauty, they arc it takes and how it perfectly drops over the receiver’s shoulders into a spot only he can catch it.

A Drew Brees pass is like a David Beckham free kick or a Ray Allen three-point shot. It’s a special skill that has been worked on to perfection.

New Orleans wins.

Jacksonville (0-1) at Oakland (1-0)

The Jaguars scored two points at home last weekend. At least the Raiders played a very competitive game against the Colts.

Oakland wins.

Denver (1-0) at New York Giants (0-1)

Will the Broncos be able to repeat the gaudy stats they compiled against the Ravens in Week 1? Well against the Giants, sure they can.

The Giants defense has holes all over the field but especially in the secondary, especially with Prince Amukamara suffering a concussion last weekend.

Denver wins.

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

These two teams are the ones most likely to win the NFC West, so this matchup is critical. The Seahawks are one of the best teams at home, but the 49ers are the defending NFC champions.

Something will have to give this weekend. The Seahawks have a very strong secondary that allowed only 119 yards passing to the Panthers, but the 49ers –behind Colin Kaepernick – threw for 404 yards and three touchdowns. And that is without Michael Crabtree.

It will be a fight, but San Francisco is the more accomplished team and even on the road they are tough to overlook.

San Francisco wins.

Pittsburgh (0-1) at Cincinnati (0-1)

Both teams were big disappointments in Week 1 and with all four AFC North teams losing last week this game will be very important.

At least the Bengals put up a fight in Week 1 however. The Steelers finished last week 27th in the league in passing yards and 31st in rushing yards and only two teams put up fewer points than them.

The Bengals still got very good production from A.J. Green (nine catches, 162 yards, two touchdowns). And even though he threw two interceptions, Andy Dalton completed 78.8 percent of his passes.

The Bengals just looked more dangerous than the Steelers.

Cincinnati wins.

Last week: 12-4

Photo Credit
Colin Kaepernick: AP Photo/Ben Margot

No comments:

Post a Comment