NFL Picks Week 2: Teams Guaranteed to Keep the Momentum Rolling
Week 1 of the NFL season ended up being a very happy occasion for many of the NFL's newly-crowned elites.
It was a surprise when some of them won. In the case of others, easy wins seemed to fulfill the expectations we all held for them entering the 2012 season. And now, many of them are looking at the kinds of Week 2 matchups that will allow them to keep right on rolling to 2-0.
Here's a look at some of the teams that are in little to no danger of blemishes on their records this week.
New England Patriots vs. Arizona Cardinals
There is no better way for the Patriots to follow up their big Week 1 win over the Titans than by playing a team that just lost its mediocre quarterback to injury and must now hand the reins to backup Kevin Kolb.
The defense the Patriots debuted against the Titans in Week 1 seemed to be a much-improved version of the one they used in 2011. Particularly impressive was the play of recent draftees Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower, and if they can repeat the performances they had against Tennessee, it's looking very good for them in their home opener.
The only thing that was more encouraging than the Patriots' defensive effort last week was their offensive effort. Tom Brady threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns, Stevan Ridley rushed for 125 more and Brandon Lloyd got five targets for 69 yards.
What the Cardinals defense will face on Sunday bodes to be drastically different from the Russell Wilson-led offense it faced last week—and not in a good way.
Dallas Cowboys at Seattle Seahawks
Speaking of Russell Wilson, he should be a fun quarterback for the Cowboys defense to face this weekend.
Coming off their semi-stunning defeat of the reigning Super Bowl champs at the Meadowlands last Wednesday, the Cowboys are riding high. We still don't know how good they are, but we do know that Tony Romo had an excellent season opener and this team found a way to beat a very, very good team on its home turf.
There are a couple of reasons the Seahawks could prove to be a bit of a letdown for the Cowboys. One is that Dallas will have had a full 11 days off since their last game. Another is that the Seahawks are far less exciting an opponent, and Wilson is a quarterback this defense has no experience with.
But that could prove to be a good thing for the Cowboys, who held Eli Manning's offense to 269 yards in Week 1. Wilson wasn't the most formidable of opponents in his own season opener, throwing for 153 yards, a touchdown and a pick and emerging with a 62.5 passer rating. This might actually prove to be a good tune-up for Dallas' defense before it has to face one of the league's tougher offenses again.
Houston Texans at Jacksonville
Following their 30-10 demolition of the Dolphins in Week 1, the Texans surged up in most power rankings. Obviously, their defensive effort left little to be desired—not that it was all that hard to play good defense against Ryan Tannehill—but where Houston really shined was on the other side of the ball.
Which team has the most favorable Week 2 matchup?
Now that the Texans have Matt Schaub back, they are once again one of the top teams in the AFC. The QB threw for 266 yards and a touchdown and finished with a passer rating of 102.4. Arian Foster—who is, in fact, not injured, by all indications—rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns, and Andre Johnson finished with 119 yards and a score of his own.
The Jaguars, conversely, still seem like they haven't yet recovered from all of the offseason drama surrounding Maurice Jones-Drew. After suffering a 26-23 overtime loss to Minnesota in Week 1, this team is going to be frustrated, and a date with its toughest division rival isn't exactly what the doctor ordered.
In the end, the Texans have too many weapons, and the Jags don't have enough.
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