NFL Week 2 Picks: Teams That Will Not Match Last Sunday's Success

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 13, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 08: Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked by Jurrell Casey #99 of the Tennessee Titans in the second half during the game on September 8, 2013 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Titans defeated the Steelers 16-9. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Now that Week 1 is out of the way, it's time for some teams to receive a cruel reminder that one win isn't everything.

It's a blast to start the season 1-0 and claim that your squad boasts the same record as the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos, but small sample sizes are mainly misleading. 

Some teams escaped by a hair with close victories, while others feasted on an easy opponent. More time on the playing field will separate the veritable contenders from the bumbling pretenders.

Expect these three teams to fall short in their quest to open the season 2-0.


Miami Dolphins (vs. Indianapolis Colts)

If you believe Brian Hartline can sustain his current pace of 144 receptions for 1,824 yards, then the Miami Dolphins are in good shape.

While Hartline's outburst helped Ryan Tannehill produce a solid 272 passing yards, Miami's lack of a rushing offense offset the positives achieved through the air.

Expected to replace Reggie Bush, Lamar Miller instead compiled three rushing yards on 10 carries. Three. That's not a lot.

But have no fear, Daniel Thomas is here to gain 14 yards on eight carries, which is still pretty awful. Miami won't have Brandon Weeden's ineptitude to fall back on this weekend against Andrew Luck and the Colts.

Indianapolis barely beat an Oakland Raiders club that has been presumed to only be competing for a top draft pick, but Luck completed 18-of-23 passes for 178 yards, two touchdowns and a week-high 95.1 QBR.

A win would cause the Colts to join the New England Patriots in the "They're 2-0, but look who they played" category, but Luck's progression will mask many of the team's shortcomings while the Dolphins will likely experience inconsistent play from their second-year starter.

Prediction: Colts 24, Dolphins 13


Tennessee Titans (at Houston Texans)

After shutting down the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, it's time to see whether the Steelers have major issues or the Titans just sport a great defense.

As for now, the smart money is on the former, as Tennessee ranked 27th last season in terms of total yards allowed. Pittsburgh's depleted offensive line and lack of a running back allowed the Titans to hone in on the stubborn Ben Roethlisberger and capitalize on his reluctance to throw the ball away.

Although the Houston Texans nearly suffered a stunner against the San Diego Chargers, Matt Schaub showed everybody what he can do when he's not handing the ball off 31 times. After spending most of the first half trying to warm up an ineffective Arian Foster, Schaub assumed control of the offense with the team trailing by three touchdowns.

He finished the evening with 346 yards and three touchdowns, showing that the Texans could pass the ball even if the Titans' early success against the run was legit.

Facing a premier unit in the trenches, instead of an offensive line in shambles, will expose Tennessee's run defense and secondary. Considering how little Jake Locker contributed to the team's first win with his 125-yard effort, one needs a severely vivid imagination to picture the Titans improving to 2-0.

Prediction: Texans 27, Titans 10


St. Louis Rams (at Atlanta Falcons)

The Rams are a team on the rise, but don't expect them to develop into a major threat in the NFC. The Falcons are due for some slippage after a 13-3 record last season littered with late victories, but they won't plummet out of playoff contention.

It should have surprised nobody to see St. Louis handle the Arizona Cardinals last week, while Atlanta fell to the New Orleans Saints. With both squads veering to the middle, this week's matchup should be a close contest, one the Falcons are privy to pulling off at home. 

Since Matt Ryan took over at quarterback, the Falcons have lost six home games in the past five years. That includes three three-point losses to the Saints and a Week 17 loss last season that had no impact on their playoff seeding.

Atlanta gets it done at the Georgia Dome, and St. Louis still has some work to do after surrendering 327 passing yards to Carson Palmer last week.

Prediction: Falcons 27, Rams 23