NFL Picks Week 2: 12 Favorites in for a Battle

Bailey Brautigan@BBrautiganFeatured ColumnistSeptember 17, 2010

NFL Picks Week 2: 12 Favorites in for a Battle

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    PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles rushes during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    It's almost Sunday, and NFL fans everywhere are getting ready for yet another weekend of exciting football games.

    Some of this week's favorites will have no problem disposing of their competition (New Orleans at San Francisco), but most of the league will be scrambling to live up to expectations.

    Which games will be no contest?

    And which underdogs will give the favorites a run for their money?

    Read on to see my predictions for who will win, who will struggle, and who will add an L to their record.

No-Brainers: 4. New Orleans at San Francisco

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    NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Favorite: Saints

    Why Why They'll Win: The Saints will prove to be too much for a seemingly confused 49ers squad. San Francisco's offense won't be able to keep up with the Super Bowl champs, and they will be 0-2 after Monday night.

    Predicted Score: Saints 35, 49ers 17

No-Brainers: 3. Buffalo at Green Bay

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    PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks to pass during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Favorite: Packers

    Why They'll Win: Buffalo struggled last week against the Miami Dolphins, and the BIlls' performance when they play the Packers will be no different.

    This C.J. Spiller kid was supposed to wow us this season, but he couldn't get anything started with Miami, and Green Bay will be even more of a challenge.

    Predicted Final Score: Bills 10, Packers 31

No-Brainers: 2. Tampa Bay at Carolina

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 12:  Matt Moore #3 of the Carolina Panthers scrambles against the New York Giants on September 12, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Favorite: Panthers

    Why They'll Win: The Bucs pulled out a win against the Browns, but they will meet a much stronger team in Carolina. Tampa's defense simply isn't strong enough to contain the Panthers' rushing attack, so they will have to rely on their offense to keep them in the game.

    Not gonna happen.

    Predicted Final Score: Buccaneers 10, Panthers 21

No-Brainers: 1. Chicago at Dallas

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    LANDOVER - SEPTEMBER 12:  The Dallas Cowboys offense huddles during the NFL season opener against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 12, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Cowboys 13-7. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Image
    Larry French/Getty Images

    Favorite: Cowboys

    Why They'll Win: It will be interesting to see what the Bears do against Dallas without the officials handing them this game.

    The Cowboys may have lost to Washington, but there is no way they will lose at home against the Bears.

    Predicted Final Score: Bears 9, Cowboys 24

Teams Who Struggle: 8. Miami at Minnesota

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    NEW ORLEANS - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings at Louisiana Superdome on September 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Favorite: Vikings

    Why They'll Win: Favre had a week to reflect upon his performance last Thursday, and we can expect the Vikings to bounce back after their loss to the Saints.

    Why They'll Struggle: The Dolphins may be young, but their offense seems to be getting its act together. They also travel well, beating Buffalo on the road. This game could be closer than we think.

    Predicted Final Score: Dolphins 13, Vikings 38

Teams Who Struggle: 7. Jacksonville at San Diego

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 13:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers jogs off the field follwing the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 13, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Favorite: Chargers

    Why They'll Win: By Sunday, Phillip Rivers will have calmed down from his Monday night temper tantrum, and the Bolts will rebound from an unexpected loss to the Chiefs.

    Why They Could Lose: Jacksonville has a fast-paced offense, and the Chargers will have to put up points early on to keep up.

    Predicted Final Score: Jaguars 21, Chargers 27

Teams Who Struggle: 6. Kansas City at Cleveland

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Travis Daniels #34 and Justin Cole #57 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after stopping a final drive during the game against the Green Bay Packers on September 2, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (P
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Favorite: Chiefs

    Why They'll Win: The Chiefs are coming off an amazing win over the San Diego Chargers, and we can expect them to use this momentum to trample over the Browns

    Why They Could Lose: Depending on which Cleveland team shows up on Sunday, Kansas City could have their work cut out for them. Neither team has much of a quarterback to speak of, so both will rely on defense to win this one.

    Predicted Final Score: Chiefs 17, Browns 24

Teams Who Struggle: 5. Houston at Washington

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    HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 12:  Running back Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans runs in the NFL season opener against the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Favorite: Texans

    Why They'll Win: Houston rocked Indianapolis last weekend, and their offense will ride this high all the way to D.C. The Texans will score early and often, and the Redskins will have trouble keeping up.

    Why They Could Lose: The Texans aren't the only team in this game that is coming off a big win this week. Washington held their own against a tough Cowboys squad, and McNabb will feel more comfortable by this game.

    Predicted Final Score: Texans 34, Redskins 21

Teams Who Struggle: 4. Baltimore at Cincinnati

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13:  Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens looks to throws a pass against the New York Jets during the home opener at the New Meadowlands Stadium on September 13, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Andrew Burto
    Andrew Burton/Getty Images

    Favorite: Ravens

    Why They'll Win: The Ravens will be up against a less-aggressive Cincinnati defense this week, and this will be the game in which Joe Flacco starts to shine. Expect Anquan Boldin to have another great performance, and expect the Ravens to put up more than 10 points this time around.

    Why They Could Lose: Even though the Bengals have less to offer than the New York Jets defensively, their offense is much, much better. If the Cincinnati receiving corps can put down their popcorn and play some football, the Bengals could have a shot.

    Predicted Final Score: Ravens 35, Bengals 24

Teams Who Struggle: 3. Philadelphia at Detroit

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    PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  LeSean McCoy #25 of the Philadelphia Eagles scores a touchdown during a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Favorite: Eagles

    Why They'll Win: Michael Vick might be the guy to take Philly to the next level; he nearly led the Eagles to a comeback against the Packers.

    Why They Could Lose: These are not the Lions that we're used to. Even with a loss to Chicago, Detroit showed us flashes of greatness. As the season progresses, they will look better and better.

    Predicted Final Score: Eagles 21, Lions 24

Teams Who Struggle: 2. New York Giants at Indianapolis

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    HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 12:  Defensive back Melvin Bullitt #33 of the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Favorite: Colts

    Why They'll Win: Peyton Manning is 1-0 against little brother, Eli, and the Colts want to avoid the "Super Bowl Losers" curse and start the season 0-2.

    Why They Could Lose: Never underestimate the power of sibling rivalry. Eli Manning will look to settle the score. This game will be all about the quarterbacks, and if the Giants score early, New York could get the win.

    Predicted Final Score: Giants 17, Colts 27

Teams Who Struggle: 1. New England at New York Jets

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    FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Tom Brady #12  of the New England Patriots hurdles with the offense during the NFL season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on September 12, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Roga
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Favorite: Patriots

    Why They'll Win: New England, coming off an extremely impressive game against the Bengals last weekend, will look to use this momentum to beat the Jets at the new Meadowlands Stadium. Darrelle Revis is having "hamstring issues," and has made the mistake of antagonizing Randy Moss. The Jets may have the better defense, but the Pats will dominate offensively.

    Why They Could Lose: Expect Mark Sanchez to improve in this game and maybe even lead the Jets to the end zone. Rex Ryan just needs to make sure and take away Sanchez's coloring book so he can focus on the game.

    Predicted Final Score: Patriots 17, Jets 13

Upsets: 4. Arizona at Atlanta

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    PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 12:  Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the NFL season opener game on September 12, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Favorite: Falcons

    Why They'll Lose: The Falcons couldn't get the win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and this week they will fall to the Arizona Cardinals.

    The Cardinals may not have the most solid quarterback, but neither did the Steelers.

    Predicted Final Score: Cardinals 24, Falcons 17

Upsets: 3. St. Louis at Oakland

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    ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 12: Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the NFL season opener at the Edward Jones Dome on September 12, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals beat the Rams 17-13.  (Photo by Dilip V
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Favorite: Raiders

    Why They'll Lose: The Rams lost in a close game to the Cardinals last week, and Sam Bradford looks like he has the confidence to lead an NFL team.

    Expect Bradford to keep throwing, and expect the Rams' defense to force turnovers for points.

    Predicted Final Score: Rams 31, Raiders 21

Upsets: 2. Seattle at Denver

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    SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 12:  Justin Forsett #20 of the Seattle Seahawks warms up prior to the NFL season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Qwest Field on September 12, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Favorite: Broncos

    Why They'll Lose: We underestimated the Seahawks last weekend, and we know what happened there.

    Veteran Matt Hasselbeck looked great against the 49ers, and I expect him to be greedy with the football.

    Predicted Final Score: Seahawks 21, Broncos 17

Upsets: 1. Pittsburgh at Tennessee

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    PITTSBURGH - SEPTEMBER 12:  Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons attempts to run through a tackle by James Farrior #51 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the NFL season opener game on September 12, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Ph
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    Favorite: Titans

    Why They'll Lose: The Titans' running game is impressive, but so is the Steelers' defense. Even with a questionable Pittsburgh quarterback, a healthy Steelers D will squeak out a close win over the Titans.

    Predicted Final Score: Steelers 24, Titans 17