NFL Picks Week 2: Playoffs Teams Ready to Get Their 1st Win of 2012

Matt WestCorrespondent IISeptember 11, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 05:  defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul #90 of the New York Giants reacts after a tackle against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2012 NFL season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 5, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Week 1 of the 2012 season saw a few playoff contenders stumble out of the gate and lose in tough fashion.

Yes, it's difficult to project how good a team will be after the first game of this long, grueling campaign, but certain teams are built for the long run and will be there when it counts.

These three teams, despite poor play over the weekend, will be in the playoffs come late winter, and will bounce back in Week 2 with impressive wins.


New York Giants

Whether it was the Super Bowl hangover or not, the Giants did not look like the best team in football against the Cowboys in last Thursday's season opener. Tony Romo looked like an All-Pro gunslinger against the G-Men's vaunted front seven, throwing for 307 yards and three touchdowns, all while piecing together an impressive 129.5 rating.

The team's top three pass-rushers, Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul, failed to register a sack all evening. The Giants will be going up against Josh Freeman and the Bucs this weekend, and while he certainly can move out of the pocket, I believe the defensive line of New York will pester and knock him down all game. They're too good and too strong defensively to lose in Week 2.


Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers are not exactly playing at 100 percent at the moment, and in Week 1 against the new-look Denver Broncos, their defense gave up a few big plays. At the moment, the team is without defensive terror James Harrison and safety Ryan Clark, not to mention running back Rashard Mendenhall and a slew of offensive lineman.

Even with all those holes on both sides of the ball, the Black and Yellow still had the ball with three minutes to go and down by six. Big Ben Roethlisberger looked like his scrappy, elusive self, and converted many third downs. The Steelers are battling injuries, but under Mike Tomlin have always fought through that type of adversity. I see them putting it together against the Jets this go around.


Tennessee Titans

The Titans got whacked around in Week 1 against the Patriots, but don't let that be an indication of what is to come with this team. The Patriots, after all, have the best offensive unit in the league and a budding, youth-centered defense. A big takeaway was the play of Jake Locker, who, despite separating his non-throwing shoulder, looked good in his first start.

Locker was mobile and extremely accurate, throwing for 229 yards and a touchdown as well as completing 71.9 percent of his passes. According to an ESPN report, he is likely to play next week, and with the return of wideout Kenny Britt from suspension, I expect them to handle the Chargers on Sunday.