It’s going to be another interesting week in the NFL (when isn’t it?), particularly for the teams that managed to make it through the first week unscathed.
Here’s an interesting storyline for the 16 teams that come into Week 2 unbeaten: 13 of those teams are hitting the road this week, which will make it that much harder to get to 2-0.
The good news? Well, good for most anyway: 12 of the remaining unbeaten teams are playing teams that lost last week. So, depending on how you look at it, this week they’ll either get to play a bad team, or potentially a good team who just had a bad game and will come into the weekend pissed off.
So, with all of that in mind, here are my picks for each game with a team that thinks they’re soon to be 2-0.
One quick teaser: A bunch of them are going to be disappointed.
This is basically what I was referring to when I said some good 0-1 teams were going to come into this weekend pissed off.
A week after losing to Houston and finding themselves completely alone at the bottom of the AFC South, Peyton and the Colts get to host little brother Eli and the Giants.
For Indy, it's the home opener in prime-time on Sunday night, and they're going to be pissed about losing last week. You think Peyton is going to let his team start 0-2, and with a loss to his little brother no less?
New York: 20 Indianapolis: 31
Yeah, I'm embarrassed.
I have no idea if Dallas will come into this one pissed off (they should), but at the very least, they have to be embarrassed after last week's ugly loss to Washington.
They have a great chance to bounce back though, hosting the Chicago Bears, who only managed to beat Detroit by five points last week at home. In fact, the controversial Calvin Johnson touchdown catch that wasn't could have lost the Bears that game and I wouldn't even have to discuss them this week.
It's alright though—When I preview the teams looking to go 3-0 next weekend, the Bears almost certainly will not be among them.
Dallas: 24 Chicago: 13
The Packers put a hurtin' on the now-concussed Kevin Kolb last week, but the downtrodden Bills may be in for an even more grisly fate.
They only managed 10 points against Miami last week, so there's no telling what they'll do against the Packers. It's almost hard to imagine them scoring at all.
I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and go easy on them.
Green Bay: 24 Buffalo: 3
Expect to see a lot of running the ball in this one, as both teams have solid running backs but relatively unimpressive quarterbacks.
This could be a close and potentially ugly one. I'm giving the edge to Carolina, but only because they're at home.
Tampa Bay: 14 Carolina: 17
Okay, anyone who expected the Saints/Vikings game last week to be a defensive battle, raise your hand.
If your arm is now elevated towards the sky, well, you're probably a liar.
The Saints will get their potent offense into a slightly higher gear this week, although the 49ers defense is nothing to overlook. Still, it's hard to see them hanging around with the defending champs, so the Saints are likely heading for 2-0.
New Orleans: 24 San Francisco: 14
In Week 1, the Kurt Warner-less Cardinals barely got by the St. Louis Rams.
The Falcons had to play a real opponent, the Steelers, and they lost in overtime.
The records may not show it yet, but the Falcons are going to be much better than the Cardinals, unless Derek Anderson can revert back to his 2008 form.
Arizona: 13 Atlanta: 24
This one feels like it would make for a better college football game.
The Seattle Pete Carrolls vs. the Fightin' Tim Tebows of Denver, anyone?
Hey, if ESPN is allowed to ignore Kyle Orton throwing for nearly 300 yards with headlines like, "Garrard's 3 TDs lift Jags; Tebow makes cameo," then so can I.
This one seems like a bit of a tossup, but I'll give Timmy's team the edge because they're at home.
Seattle: 17 Denver: 20
This is another case of one team coming in after a win over a bad team vs. a team coming in after a loss to a great team.
It's also another game that features a guy who I wish ESPN would stop discussing ad nauseum, but that's besides the point.
Minnesota will roll in this one.
Miami: 10 Minnesota: 27
Can you say, "Game of the Week"?
The Patriots offense looked really, really good last week against the Bengals, who should have a pretty solid defense this year.
On the flip-side, the Jets defense should be the best in the league again this year, even if their offense did look rather pathetic against the Ravens last week.
My heart says the Jets win at home, but my head is telling me that Darrelle Revis can't shut down Randy Moss AND Wes Welker. Still, it could be a good one and the Jets should be able to put up some points against the Pats defense.
New England: 20 New York: 17
This is a battle of two tough defenses.
But the Ravens are definitely better on defense, and they might be better on offense as well.
Baltimore: 17 Cincinnati: 13
Finally, I get to pick a game between two teams that both won last week!
The Titans steamrolled the Raiders last week, and Pittsburgh showed their grit in an overtime win against Atlanta.
The Steelers beat the tougher opponent, but Tennessee's blowout win was more impressive. Besides, Chris Johnson might be the best back in the league and the Steelers are without Big Ben.
Tennessee: 21 Pittsburgh: 16
The Redskins' win over the Cowboys last week felt about as much like a loss as a win over Dallas could ever feel.
I'm sure they'll happily take the win and momentary bragging rights over their division rivals, but that game was as ugly as they get.
By contrast, the Texans looked great against Indianapolis last week and should carry that momentum into Washington.
Houston: 27 Washington: 17
The Kansas City Chiefs should be an improved team this year, but I'm not sure that will serve as much consolation to Chargers' fans after their loss last week.
San Diego seems to have a tendency to start slow (probably a product of less than stellar coaching), and being that it's only Week 2, I'm not sure they'll be bouncing back just yet.
Jacksonville: 24 San Diego: 17
When it comes to the NFL, or the Kansas City Chiefs at the very least, I might be something of a prophet.
They definitely look better this year, although I'm not ready to call them a playoff team or anything. Either way, they don't need to be that good to get to 2-0 this week, considering they're playing Cleveland.
Kansas City: 24 Cleveland: 17