I got off to hot start last week, finishing 7-3 through the early games, but the late games killed me. Carolina’s comeback win, the Bears’ upset victory, and the Vikings’ loss to the Packers were three games that hurt my picks.
Hopefully, this week, I’ll have some better luck.
Last Week: 9-7
This Week: 8-7
Tennessee (1-0) at Cincinnati (0-1)
The Titans are without Vince Young while the Bengals are disappointed after their Week 1 effort. Tennessee can stop the run, but their pass defense isn’t as strong. Bengals pick up their first win.
Prediction: Cincinnati 20, Tennessee 10
Actual Score: Tennessee 24, Cincinnati 7
Green Bay (1-0) at Detroit (0-1)
I’ll be honest, the Packers looked better than I expected last week. The Lions will come out chucking the ball all over the field, but I don’t know if they can get enough pressure on Aaron Rodgers. The Packers might be sans Ryan Grant, but I think they’ll prevail.
Prediction: Green Bay 28, Detroit 21
Actual Score: Green Bay 48, Detroit 25
Oakland (0-1) at Kansas City (0-1)
I don’t think the loss of Tom Brady makes the Patriots a bad team, hence, Kansas City’s 7-point loss last week showed they’re making some progress. Win No. 1 comes this week against the visiting Raiders.
Prediction: Kansas City 17, Oakland 14
Actual Score: Oakland 23, Kansas City 8
NY Giants (1-0) at St. Louis (0-1)
The Rams were obliterated by the Eagles last week and now they face another tough NFC East team. They have the comfort of playing at home, but I don’t think they’ll have much success stopping the Giants’ run game. They’ll have to air it out to have a chance in this one.
Prediction: NY Giants 24, St. Louis 16
Actual Score: NY Giants 41, St. Louis 13
Indianapolis (0-1) at Minnesota (0-1)
It’s hard to believe that one of these teams will be 0-2 after this week, but that’s the cold, harsh reality. And after what I saw from the Vikings last week, it’ll probably be them. Suddenly, my 12-4 prediction for them doesn’t look so good. I’m thinking more like 9-7 at this point.
Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Minnesota 17
Actual Score: Indianapolis 18, Minnesota 15
New Orleans (1-0) at Washington (0-1)
The Saints have some serious firepower this year. They’re also prone to making mistakes. If this game is close, there’s a good chance they blow it. But I think they’ll put up enough points to avoid that.
Prediction: New Orleans 27, Washington 17
Actual Score: Washington 29, New Orleans 24
Chicago (1-0) at Carolina (1-0)
I think it’s safe to say that almost every prognosticator in the country picked the Bears to lose in Week 1. Dare I make it two weeks in a row? At this point, I have to. The Colts’ defense is one that is capable of being run against, so Matt Forte had a good game. The Panthers are tougher against the run and had just as big an opening game win as the Bears. The Panthers are going to stack the box and make Kyle Orton beat them, and until we see whether Orton can beat teams with his arm, I’m going to have to lean in the Panthers’ favor.
Prediction: Carolina 20, Chicago 16
Actual Score: Carolina 20, Chicago 17
Buffalo (1-0) at Jacksonville (0-1)
Can I predict two upsets in a row for the Bills? No. To be honest, I just don’t think the Seahawks are all that good, which is why I had no trouble picking the Bills to beat them in Week 1. But the Jaguars are a tough team and I don’t think the Bills have enough offensive firepower to break through Jacksonville’s defense.
Prediction: Jacksonville 23, Buffalo 13
Actual Score: Buffalo 20, Jacksonville 16
San Francisco (0-1) at Seattle (0-1)
See the previous game for my thoughts on Seattle. But the 49ers aren’t very good, either, and I have to give the nod to the home team. This should be a low scoring game considering the Seahawks are without all their offensive weapons and the 49ers haven’t found their offensive groove yet under Mike Martz’ guidance.
Prediction: Seattle 17, San Francisco 14
Actual Score: San Francisco 33, Seattle 30
Atlanta (1-0) at Tampa Bay (0-1)
Tampa Bay made the switch from Jeff Garcia to Brian Griese and we know what Griese is capable of doing. He’s a steady veteran who won’t wow you, but he’ll play efficiently. I like the Buccaneers to pick up their first victory against an upstart Falcons team.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 24, Atlanta 20
Actual Score: Tampa Bay 24, Atlanta 9
New England (1-0) at NY Jets (1-0)
This game would have been one for the ages had Tom Brady not fallen to injury. Who couldn’t resist watching an all-time great in Brett Favre battle with today’s great in Brady? Unfortunately, we’ll have to settle for Favre-Matt Cassel. With Brady out, I do like Mangini’s bunch to knock off Belichick’s guys.
Prediction: NY Jets 20, New England 17
Actual Score: New England 19, NY Jets 10
Miami (0-1) at Arizona (1-0)
To be honest, this one is tough to pick. I wouldn’t be surprised if Miami pulled the upset because the Cardinals were less than spectacular last week, but the Dolphins looked awful running the football in Week 1. You can’t expect to win much in the NFL if you don’t run the ball. I’ve got to give the edge to the Cardinals at home.
Prediction: Arizona 23, Miami 17
Actual Score: Arizona 31, Miami 10
San Diego (0-1) at Denver (1-0)
This should have been a matchup of AFC West unbeatens if it weren’t for Jake Delhomme and the Panthers’ lady luck in Week 1. I still think it’ll be must-see TV for those of you hardcore football fans out there. I know I’ll have the Ticket tuned in. The Chargers began the 2007 season 1-3, but then pounded the Broncos in Denver 41-3. While I don’t think it’ll be that bad, I do think they can repeat history, even with LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates ailing.
Prediction: San Diego 24, Denver 21
Actual Score: Denver 39, San Diego 38
Pittsburgh (1-0) at Cleveland (0-1)
One of the great, storied rivalries in the NFL, I think this was a great Sunday night pick for NBC. I haven’t been shy about expressing my thoughts about the Browns. I think they’re posers and not as good as their 10-6 record last year. I like the Steelers’ ball control offense in this one.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 24, Cleveland 13
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 10, Cleveland 6
Philadelphia (1-0) at Dallas (1-0)
If you love football, this is quite the football weekend to stay glued to your TV! On Sunday, Bears game at noon, Chargers-Broncos or Patriots-Jets at 3, and Steelers-Browns at 7. And on Monday, an NFC East rivalry game which may also feature two of the NFC’s best teams. This game could be a shootout between two high-scoring offenses. I expect the Cowboys to stay consistent with last week’s production, but I think the Eagles’ offensive output will drop a notch against a much better Cowboys defense than the unit the Rams threw out on the field last week.
Prediction: Dallas 30, Philadelphia 24
Actual Score: Dallas 41, Philadelphia 37
Baltimore (1-0) at Houston (0-1)
Due to Hurricane Ike, this game was bumped back to Monday. The Texans didn’t fare well against the Steelers in Week 1 and the Ravens played solid football against the Bengals. If the Texans are going to have a chance in this one, they need to step up their defensive pressure on rookie Joe Flacco. I think they can do it.
Prediction: Houston 16, Baltimore 13
Actual Score: Game Postponed