NFL Picks Week 2: Will Houston Keep Its Offensive Momentum? Can 49ers Rebound?
The Houston Texans, led by Arian Foster on the ground, provided NFL watchers with a thrilling game. It was an offensive back-and-forth. It was an upset victory.
It was the potential ushering in of a new era.
So what will week two provide us with?
Certainly it is an opportunity for upsets and beatdowns.
It's another chance for Dallas and Detroit to pull in a win to overcome their last-second disappointments from last week.
So let's take a look at my predictions for wins and losses for week two of the NFL regular season.
Baltimore Vs. Cincinnati
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Predicted Outcome: Ravens win 27-14
Why: The Ravens have been building steam for the past two years and are now ready to roll over unready opponents. Judging by the Patriots crushing of the Bengals last week, Cincy still has some work to do.
Both teams feature marquee names on both sides of the ball, but it will come down to the front seven of the Ravens battering through the front five of the Bengals to pressure Carson Palmer.
Tampa Bay Vs. Carolina
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Predicated Outcome: Carolina wins 31-13
Why: Running back tandem DeAngelo Williams and Jonathon Stewart combine to make the most ferocious ground game in the NFL today. Both topped 1,100 yards last year and will make mince meat of the Bucs defense.
Matt Moore may have had a poor outing against the Giants, but the Bucs are not in the same defensive class. It could reach blowout proportions if the Bucs can't gain enough offensive momentum from time to time.
Arizona Vs. Atlanta
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Predicted Outcome: Atlanta wins 17-10
Why: The Falcons weren't particularly stellar against the Steelers, but they were also up against a lethal, healthy group in Pittsburgh. This time around, they're at home and ready to showcase their defense against the meager Arizona crew.
The Cardinals should put up a decent fight on the defensive side of things, but Derek Anderson need to do more than just put up yards.
Philadelphia Vs. Detroit
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Predicted Outcome: Eagles win 23-12
Why: If Matthew Stafford were to be at the helm, I might put this as an upset selection. However, he's not and the Eagles defense will obliterate backup Shaun Hill.
The Lions defense now features an excellent defensive line, which will help against second year rusher LeSean McCoy. This game will be won on the shoulders of Kevin Kolb, who should start despite dealing with a concussion this past weekend. It will be the breakout game as a starter that everyone is expecting.
Unless, of course, Ndamukong Suh tears his head off his shoulders.
Chicago Vs. Dallas
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Predicted Outcome: Bears win 20-17
Why: Great expectations often yield great disappointments. This season, the Cowboys are going to have to deal with their trials and tribulations.
It started with the Redskins and will continue to the Bears, who are finding a groove with the Mike Martz offense. It's almost impossible to decide who is the No. 1 guy on game day. It will be far too confusing for the 'Boys defense.
Expect a tough fought game that will never let up. But when the dust clears, the inability of the Cowboys to add the extra gear to their offense will cost them in the end.
Pittsburgh Vs. Tennessee
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Predicted Outcome: Titans win 14-10
Why: The Titans showed that they are the whole package against the Raiders last weekend.
Michael Turner may have struggled against the Steelers run defense, but Chris Johnson is a whole other kind of beast. His speed will overcome and Vince Young's growth under center will keep the Steelers guessing.
Sure, Troy Polamalu will be a nightmare for the still learning Young, but it won't be enough. Polamalu can only cover so much field.
The Titans simply have too many threats and still have a potent defense. The Steelers had trouble finding an offensive groove and even with Rashard Mendenhall running the ball, they will still struggle.
Kansas City Vs. Cleveland
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Predicted Outcome: Browns win 23-13
Why: The Browns aren't going to win the Super Bowl this year, but they are going to be better than bottom of the barrel.
Which means that against the lowly Chiefs, the Browns are definitely contenders. Jake Delhomme is making the most out of the not-so-well-known receiving corps and Peyton Hillis is an excellent backup to Jerome Harrison.
It will be a confidence builder for the Browns as they attempt to rally from what was a horribly disappointing season last year.
Miami Vs. Minnesota
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Predicated Outcome: Dolphins win 20-14
Why: The Vikings of this season are far from the product they showed last season.
The Dolphins are capable of grinding it out and using Brandon Marshall for the big plays.
Minnesota showed vulnerability against the Saints and Brett Favre admitted to a lack of chemistry with his receivers.
It will continue to show against a Miami defense that can stuff the run and will prove a difficult adversary for Adrian Peterson.
Buffalo Vs. Green Bay
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Predicted Outcome: Packers win 42-15
Why: These two teams are on the opposite ends of the talent spectrum. It's going to show in what will certainly be a lopsided victory for the Pack.
Expect rookie CJ Spiller to continue having a tough time and for Aaron Rodgers to have a great time.
There's really not much else to say.
St. Louis Vs. Oakland
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Predicted Outcome: Raiders win 24-9
Why: The Rams still have a long way to go. In this game, Nnamdi Asomugha will shut down Mark Clayton, who emerged as Sam Bradford's go-to receiver last weekend.
With Clayton out of the equation, there will be no one for the aerial attack to rely on.
From there, it is Oakland's game to own.
Seattle Vs. Denver
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Predicted Outcome: Seahawks win 21-17
Why: The coaching showdown between Josh McDaniels and Pete Carroll will belong to Carroll.
Both teams have a mixed level of talent, with solid quarterbacking and a questionable backfield. On defense, each one has some notable names, but lacks the complete package.
It's going to be a slow start to the season for the Broncos.
New England Vs. New York Jets
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Predicted Outcome: Jets win 17-13
Why: The Jets defense is in a class of its own. The Patriots are certainly equipped to deal with it overall, but any rough pressure on Brady will bring it all down.
The New York offense just needs to keep the Pats offense off the field, which is what they do best with Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson moving the rock.
The tension will be nearly unbearable for fans of both teams, but the Jets may just be the new class of the division.
And they will prove it this week.
Houston Vs. Washington
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Predicted Outcome: Texans win 28-14
Why: Did anyone else see the Texans last week? The student will destroy the mentor in the offensive faceoff this week.
It will be humbling game for the Redskins, who escaped with a win last week.
This time, even if Arian Foster fails, Matt Schaub will be all the Texans need to win. The 'Skins defense is good but not this good.
Jacksonville Vs. San Diego
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Predicted Outcome: Chargers win 34-23
Why: The Chargers offense is going to be on fire no matter who is receiving. Rookie Ryan Mathews provides all the ground game needed for the Bolts. Their defense isn't too shabby to top it off.
Jacksonville will try to remain competitive, but they will simply be outclassed by San Diego, who have drawn plenty of positive attention from critics this year.
New York Giants Vs. Indianapolis
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Predicted Outcome: Colts win 27-24
Why: This is bound to be the most exciting game of the week. Expect a high-flying showdown that pits Manning vs. Manning.
In the end, the elder brother will be victorious, though both should have great games.
The receiving threats for both teams are deep, though the injury to New York tight end Kevin Boss certainly dampens some offensive packages for the Giants.
Regardless, it's all going to be great fun in Indy.
New Orleans Vs. San Francisco
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Predicted Outcome: Saints win 20-10
Why: The Saints are top dogs in the NFL and the 49ers just showed vulnerability.
It's going to be a dangerous Monday night for San Francisco, who already suffered an unexpected loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Their defense will likely show more toughness than against the 'Hawks, but not nearly enough to hold back Drew Brees and company.