NFL Week 2 Predictions: Picking Winners from Most Intriuging Games on Tap
Like Mike Singletary, you want winners. And like Jim Harbaugh, I'm here to bring them.
Below, I've previewed the five games I'm most excited to see this week, picking outright winners along with making projections against the spread. With three divisional clashes and a total of seven playoff games from a season ago, these five games promise plenty of intrigue.
And with these five predictions, you'll know which five teams will come out of these contests on top.
Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Spread: Bears (-6), according to Bovada
Analysis: While the Vikings went down to the Detroit Lions 34-24 in Week 1, the Bears opened the season with an impressive 24-21 over the Cincinnati Bengals.
While the Bears weren't exactly able to slow down Adrian Peterson in two games last season (262 rushing yards, two touchdowns), the Bears are at home and should have a field day causing turnovers against Christian Ponder.
With plenty of weapons on offense and a healthy Jay Cutler, the Bears should be able to move the ball on a Vikings defense that gave up 469 yards and 34 points to the Lions.
Prediction: Bears win, 24-17.
Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers
Spread: Packers (-8), according to Bovada
Analysis: Washington had the third-easiest schedule in the NFC a season ago, Robert Griffin III is still obviously shaking off the rust, and this game is being played at Lambeau Field a week after the Packers lost a nail-biter to the San Francisco 49ers.
It's hard to imagine Washington winning this one.
Add in the fact that the Packers kept Colin Kaepernick in check on the ground (seven rushes for 22 yards) and that Washington doesn't have the weapons in the passing game equivalent to Anquan Boldin or Vernon Davis, and it's easy to ride with the Packers in this one.
Prediction: Packers win, 31-21.
Denver Broncos at New York Giants
Spread: Broncos (-4.5), according to Bovada
Analysis: In case you were living under a rock and missed it, Peyton Manning threw for seven touchdown passes in Week 1 against the Baltimore Ravens. To put that in perspective, Blaine Gabbert of the Jacksonville Jaguars threw for nine touchdown passes in 10 games a season ago.
Meanwhile, the Giants scored 31 points against the Dallas Cowboys despite turning the ball over six times. SIX TIMES!
Add it all up, and it looks like this game will be a shootout. The Giants may be at home, but this Broncos team simply has more weapons. They win the most exciting game of the week.
Prediction: Broncos win, 35-28.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks
Spread: Seahawks (-3), according to Bovada
Analysis: The Seahawks don't lose at home, folks. The team went 8-0 in Seattle last season, including a 42-13 whipping of the Niners in Week 16.
This game promises to be a physical, grueling, defensive affair. This game will likely come down to whichever quarterback, Russell Wilson or Kaepernick, can make more plays. At home, my money's on Wilson, though I think the Niners cover.
Prediction: Seahawks win, 21-20.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Spread: Bengals (-7), according to Bovada
Analysis: Was there a more disappointing unit, outside of Baltimore's defense, than the Steelers offense last week? Pittsburgh managed a measly 195 total yards and nine points against the Tennessee Titans. Now, it faces a talented Bengals defense, in Cincinnati, as both teams try to avoid an 0-2 start.
The Steelers have won three of the last four during the Andy Dalton era, but top-to-bottom the Bengals are the better team. Plus, the Steelers won't have an answer for all-world wide receiver A.J. Green.
The Steelers cover, but the Bengals win.
Prediction: Bengals win, 21-17.
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