My record last week in Week 1 was 10-6 in picking the winners, not too bad I’d say. This week I’ve added another feature along with my prediction I am also adding the prediction of Madden 11. I simulated each game 15 times with updated rosters on my Xbox 360. The numbers beside each team in the Madden 11 prediction line is how many games out of 15 they won.
Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons
Line: Falcons -6.5 T: 43.0
My Prediction: Falcons 20 Cardinals 13 (33)
Madden 11: Falcons 12 Cardinals 3
Falcons RB Michael Turner will have a better game in this one than he did in week one versus the Pittsburgh Steelers, which will help QB Matt Ryan have a solid game as well. Arizona had problems moving the football against the St. Louis Rams, so I don’t see them having much success moving it against the Falcons. Atlanta should have no problems getting to Cards QB Derek Anderson as Arizona allowed three sacks against St. Louis. The Falcons should be able to bounce back at home in week two.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans
Line: Titans -5.0 T: 37.0
My Prediction: Titans 17 Steelers 10 (27)
Madden 11: Titans 11 Steelers 4
The Steelers have a very good rush defense and did an excellent job containing Atlanta Falcons RB Michael Turner in week one; however versus the Titans I don’t see their ground defence having the same success. Titans RB Chris Johnson is just too good to be held in check and with QB Vince Young as a running option it only makes it harder for defense’s to focus solely on him. Pittsburgh QB Dennis Dixon played half-decently against the Atlanta Falcons considering how poorly his offensive line played, but I don’t see him playing well enough again to get a second win. As for Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall; he should have a good outing, but it won’t be enough.
Miami Dolphins @ Minnesota Vikings
Line: Vikings -5.5 T: 39.5
My Prediction: Vikings 24 Dolphins 17 (41)
Madden 11: Vikings 10 Dolphins 5
Other than RB Adrian Peterson, the Vikings offense seemed completely out of sorts in week one against the New Orleans Saints, however, I believe they’ll be back on track versus the Dolphins. Vikes QB Brett Favre and his receivers should be on the same page in this one, and should be able to move the ball through the air as long as Minnesota’s O-Line gives Favre enough time in the pocket. Miami was able to eliminate the Buffalo Bills running game, but that was because they could afford to stack the box as Bills QB Trent Edwards is one of the worst starting quarterbacks in the league. The Vikes will focus on stopping Miami RBs Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, forcing QB Chad Henne to beat them. Henne should be able to connect with WR Brandon Marshall for some big gains, but they won’t win in Minnesota.
Buffalo Bills @ Green Bay Packers
Line: Packers -13 T: 43.0
My Prediction: Packers 31 Bills 9 (40)
Madden 11: Packers 13 Bills 2
Packers RB Ryan Grant is out for the season, so Brandon Jackson will be starting in his place versus the Bills. This injury won’t affect the outcome of this game at all; The Bills have no clue on how to stop the run. Buffalo won’t be able to stop the ground game, and they won’t be able to stop the aerial attack. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers should have a monster game and have no problems connecting with his receivers. Bills RB CJ Spiller will be the focus of the defense once again, forcing QB Trent Edwards to win the game. I’m thinking, BLOWOUT!
Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lion
Line: Eagles -6 T: 41.5
My Prediction: Eagles 21 Lions 10 (31)
Madden 11: Eagles 13 Lions 2
Eagles QB Kevin Kolb was injured in week one, so QB Michael Vick will get the start. Vick put up some excellent numbers in limited playing time, but I am sceptical he will match those stats again. However, Vick won’t win the game for Philadelphia, but he won’t lose it. Lions QB Mathew Stafford was also hurt in week one, so QB Shaun Hill be starting for Detroit. Lions RB Jahvid Best should have a good game running the football against the Eagles defense, and WR Calvin Johnson should catch enough passes to keep the Lions in it for a little while at least.
Chicago Bears @ Dallas Cowboys
Line: Cowboys -7 T: 40.5
My Prediction: Cowboys 16 Bears 10 (26)
Madden 11: Cowboys 9 Bears 6
The Cowboys’ offense has been struggling since the middle of August, and against the Bears I don’t believe the Cowboys will get going in week two. However, a couple of turnovers from Chicago QB Jay Cutler could help Dallas with some good field position. The Cowboys defense should have no problems getting to Cutler, and forcing him to make mistakes. This is not going to be a high scoring game, but Dallas should be able to score a few points off of Cutler’s turnovers.
Kansas City Chiefs @ Cleveland Browns
Line: Browns -2.5 T: 38.5
My Prediction: Chiefs 13 Browns 9 (22)
Madden 11: Chiefs 8 Browns 7
The Chiefs defense was able to keep the San Diego Chargers offense in check on Monday night to pull off the upset in front of a high-energy home crowd. A lot of people have jumped on the Chiefs bandwagon after their win; however I am not one of them. Their offense still sucks; their QB Matt Cassel is horrible, he completed only ten passes for 68 yards and a touchdown off of a Chargers turnover. If the Chiefs want to win this game, RB Jamaal Charles will need to have a solid game, because I guarantee KC won’t be beating the Browns by through the air. QB Seneca Wallace will be starting in place of Browns QB Jake Delhomme, so Cleveland will also need their RBs Jerome Harrison and Peyton Hillis to play well if they want to be successful. The Chiefs defense looked impressive versus the Chargers, and I think they’ll be good enough here to keep the Browns from running the football. This will be a low scoring game, leaning towards the Chiefs. Just because the Chiefs could be 2-0, don’t expect them to have a good season, they’ll be 2-2 soon enough with their next games against the San Francisco 49ers and the Indianapolis Colts.
Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals
Line: Ravens -2.5 T: 40
My Prediction: Ravens 24 Bengals 14 (38)
Madden 11: Bengals 8 Ravens 7
The Bengals showed no signs of having a run defense in week one versus the New England Patriots, who are lacking a top end RB. The Ravens on the other hand have RB Ray Rice, who should be able to amass over 100 yards rushing on Sunday. QB Joe Flacco put decent numbers against the New York Jets last week, who have the best pass defense he will face this season, so he should be able to improve on that versus the Bengals. On paper, Cincinnati QB Carson Palmer played an outstanding game in the first week, but he padded his stats in the second half when the Pats were playing a soft prevent defense. In reality, Palmer did not look good at all. In the first half he completed only nine passes for 56 yards with a pick-six. New England was also able to contain Bengals RB Cedric Benson, and make him an almost non-factor. The Ravens have an even better defense than the Pats, so I don’t expect the Bengals having much success moving the football.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers
Line: Panthers -3 T: 39
My Prediction: Panthers 20 Buccaneers 16 (36)
Madden 11: Panthers 11 Buccaneers 4
Panthers QB Matt Moore played very poorly in week one, and if the Panthers are going to win this game coach John Fox needs to give RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart a lot of touches. The Buccaneers defense will not have an answer for the “Dynamic Duo”, so Carolina should have an easy time advancing the ball on the ground, which will keep Moore out of long yardage situations on second and third down. Tampa should also be able to run the ball effectively against a poor run defense, but not to the extent that the Panthers will be able to. QB Josh Freeman will play have a better game on Sunday now that his thumb should closer to 100 percent, but will it be enough? This one is going to be real close.
Seattle Seahawks @ Denver Broncos
Line: Broncos -3.5 T: 40
My Prediction: Broncos 21 Seahawks 17 (38)
Madden 11: Broncos 9 Seahawks 6
Everyone knows how the Seahawks played in week one versus the San Francisco 49ers, the only question is, are the Seahawks for real? I don’t think so. I think the 49ers were a little over confident, and were looking ahead to their Monday night game against the New Orleans Saints. I believe the real Seahawks will show up for this one. Seattle’s offense will be able to string a few good drives together for scores, not because they’re good, but because Denver’s defense is just plain bad. Seattle’s defense did an excellent job containing 49ers RB Frank Gore, so they should have no problems keeping Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno in check as well. As for Denver’s passing game, QB Kyle Orton should have enough success to help his team get the win, but it won’t easy. The Seahawks were able to force San Fran QB Alex Smith into making mistakes, but Orton is more talented and a more intelligent QB than Smith.
St. Louis Rams @ Oakland Raiders
Line: Raiders -3.5 T: 37.5
My Prediction: Raiders 16 Rams 10 (26)
Madden 11: Raiders 12 Rams 3
The Raiders offense looked horrendous in week one, but they were facing the Tennessee Titans who have one of the better D-Lines in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals were able to move the ball on the ground with relative ease, so look for Raiders RB Darren McFadden to have a monstrous game as he is coming off of a 95 yard game against the Titans. Rams QB Sam Bradford played better than I expected in week one, but in week two he his facing one of the best CBs not named Darrelle Revis, in Namdi Asomugha. RB Steven Jackson will need to have success running on first and second down to keep Bradford out of dangerous third and longs. Jackson performed well against the Cards, but he is now going up against solid run defense that were able to contain Titans RB Chris Johnson until the second half.
New England Patriots @ New York Jets
Line: Patriots -2.5 T: 38.5
My Prediction: Patriots 27 Jets 10 (37)
Madden 11: Patriots 13 Jets 2
The last time these two teams met, Jets QB Mark Sanchez was just eight of 21 for 136 yards, one TD, and a pick. I don’t expect him to do much better than that this time around. Sanchez seems to have problems reading defenses and he doesn’t seem to have enough confidence in himself to take a shot down field. The Pats defense should be able to keep RBs Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson from being factors in this one. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Jets offense fails to put any points up on the scoreboard. Jets CB Darrelle Revis will shut down Pats WR Randy Moss, however QB Tom Brady still has WR Wes Welker who is going to have another big game here in week two. New York will keep New England’s run game in check, but their passing game? Well, that’s a different story.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers
Line: Chargers -7 T: 45.5
My Prediction: Chargers 28 Jaguars 19 (47)
Madden 11: Chargers 11 Jaguars 4
The Chargers struggled offensively in week one versus the Kansas City Chiefs, QB Philip Rivers and his WRs did not seem to be on the same page. However, I think all their problems will be worked out by now and Rivers should be able to pass against the Jags defense with ease. Chargers RB Ryan Mathews is going to have his breakout game on Sunday, I can feel it. The Chargers defense will be focused on stopping RB Maurice Jones-Drew, and forcing QB David Garrard to win the game, which I believe is possible, but it won’t happen. MJD ran for almost 100 yards in week one against the Denver Broncos, but he failed to record a TD; he’ll record approximately the same stats this week.
Houston Texans @ Washington Redskins
Line: Texans -2.5 T: 43.5
My Prediction: Texans 24 Redskins 21
Madden 11: Texans 8 Redskins 7
Texans RB Arian Foster won’t match the numbers he put up against the Indianapolis Colts, but he will have a big game against a defense that nearly allowed five yards per carry versus the Dallas Cowboys. Skins QB Donovan McNabb will have more success moving the sticks through the air versus the Texans, than he did versus the Cowboys who may have the best defense in the league. Houston is relatively weak at the CB position, so passing shouldn’t be too big of a problem for Washington. This game is going to be extremely close, but the Texans will win thanks to Foster.
New York Giants @ Indianapolis Colts
Line: Colts -5 T: 48.5
My Prediction: Giants 34 Colts 31 (65)
Madden 11: Colts 14 Giants 1
The Colts defense was horrendous last week, and I don’t see them improving enough only one week later to keep the Giants offense from putting up huge numbers, especially on the ground. RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs should be able to continue what Houston Texans RB Arian Foster started. Since the ground game will be working well, the Giants will be able to go to play action allowing QB Eli Manning to pick up where he left off in week one. The Colts offense will be able to put up enough points to keep up with the Giants, but QB Peyton Manning will be constantly bothered by the Giants pass rush. I have a feeling that this game is going to be an absolute shootout, but the younger Manning will come out on top.
New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers
Line: Saints -5.5 T: 43.5
My Prediction: Saints 21 49ers 14
Madden: Saints 11 49ers 4
49ers RB Frank Gore was kept in check last week, but here in week two versus the Saints on Monday night he will bounce back with a solid performance. SF QB Alex Smith played terrible in week one against the Seattle Seahawks, and I think his bad play will continue on Monday. To put it simply the 49ers defense was bad, I expect them to play better here, but there is no way they will have any success stopping Saints QB Drew Brees. Brees is just too good and has too many weapons around him. SF will need to put pressure on Brees in order to slow him down, but this is the same defense that only got to Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck once.