Friday, September 18, 2009

NFL picks, Week 2

Predictions for Week 2 in the 2009 NFL season:

Arizona (+4.5) at Jacksonville - The Cardinals are the epitome of the talented but inconsistent team, a team capable of getting blown out by a non-playoff team and starting a run to the Super Bowl two weeks later. Jacksonville is a faux NFL team, a bully team that isn't anywhere near as tough, physical, smart or effective as it thinks it is, or is reputed to be. Could the Jaguars win this at home? Sure. And they could win big, as the Cardinals can go way, way South when they go. But I expect Arizona to bounce back with their offense, and win by a touchdown.

Baltimore at San Diego (-3.5) - If the Ravens go out to San Diego and win this week, I'll re-shuffle my mental rankings and raise the Ravens to "scary." Right now, I still need to be convinced, and have them classified as "pretty good."

Carolina at Atlanta (-7) - There are two real questions here. The first is, "how many touchdowns does Jake Delhomme throw this week?" The second, and more important, is, "are any of them to guys wearing Carolina Panthers uniforms?"

Cincinnati at Green Bay (-9) - I think it's pretty clear that I think less of the Green Bay Packers than many of the pundits do. But we're talking about a Bengals team that lost at home to Denver last week. I'd have to think a whole lot less of the Packers than I do to take Cincinnati.

Cleveland (-3.5) at Denver - Remember Peppermint Patty taking a true/false test? "That makes three trues in a row, so this must be false..." Silly, of course. And here I am, taking Cleveland, apparently on the theory that I can't just take all of the home teams.

Houston at Tennessee (-8) - Let's see. The Titans lost, on the road, in overtime, to the defending Super Bowl champs. The Texans got blown out at home to the defending 3rd place in the AFC East Jets. Hmm... Ponder, ponder. What should I do? Who should I take? Man, some of these decisions are so hard...

Minnesota at Detroit (+10.5) - I know what you're thinking - Lyford has gone crazy. He's lost it. Well...I can't necessarily disagree. Here are the things that are driving this - I think Minnesota's overrated. I think Detroit is going to make strides. The Lions are at home. The Vikings are unlikely to bring their 'A' game, just because it's Detroit. At some point, Brett Favre's going to have to throw the ball. Put it all together and ... OK, Lyford's crazy. (I do think that the Vikings win, they just don't cover.)

N.Y. Giants at Dallas (-2.5) - Match these two teams up in December, and it's Coughlin over Phillips every time. Match 'em up in Texas in September, it's a coin toss. Heads. Heads. Heads. Heads. Heads. Heads. Hmm - I think I've got Rosencrantz' quarter here...

New England (-4) at N.Y. Jets - The Jets aren't just going to beat the Patriots this week, they're going to embarrass them. Or not. I suspect not. The Jets may put 28 on the board. The Patriots will match them, score for score, plus score a couple more times. (And I'm still waiting for the commissioner to take away the Jets 2010 first round draft pick. After all, isn't that the established penalty for "cheating?")

New Orleans (+0) at Philadelphia - Don't know how good New Orleans defense is. But I know that the McNabb and Vick-less Eagles aren't going to score enough to match the Saints.

Oakland at Kansas City (-3.5) - Really? Picking the Chiefs to cover more than a field goal against anyone? And didn't the Raiders almost beat the Chargers on Monday night? Yes. Yes. And Yes.

Pittsburgh (-3) at Chicago - So are the Bears wearing white and the Steelers black, or the other way around? Either way, will Jay Cutler be able to differentiate between Chicago receivers and Pittsburgh defensive backs? Not quite enough, I suspect.

Seattle at San Francisco (+0) - As of today, September 18, 2009, I'm picking the San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC West.

St. Louis at Washington (-10.5) - That St. Louis team that played in Seattle last week didn't look as if it could stay within 2 touchdowns of any real NFL team. And they were only playing the Seahawks.

Tampa Bay at Buffalo (-4.5) - The Bills did some good things on Monday night, but not as many, and not as well, as the score seemed to indicate. Their defense gave up tons and tons of yardage, and while they made a couple of 4th down stops, it seemed more a case of New England failing to execute than Buffalo stopping them. And, of course, when the game situation got critical, the Patriots scored 14 unanswered in less than five minutes. Lucky for them, they come out of it with their confidence up, and Tampa Bay is not New England.

Indianapolis (-2) at Miami - Yes, Dungy's gone. Does this make this Colts team appreciably weaker than its immediate predecessors? I don't see it. I instead see a Miami team that's all alone in last place in the AFC East on Tuesday morning.

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