NFL Picks Week 2: Which Games Will Be Won on Defense?

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 25: Running back Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens is tackled by Rocky McIntosh #52 and Ryan Kerrigan #91 of the Washington Redskins during a preseason game at M&T Bank Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Defenses win championships, apparently, but they often win regular season games, too.

So far, defenses haven't made much of an impact, as the lingering effects of the lockout are greater on that side of the ball.

Week 2 of the NFL season should see some defenses make statements about their intentions for the season. A good performance in Week 1 can be considered just a one-off, but a second stingy showing will raise everyone's interest levels.

Here are two games that will be decided by defense this weekend.


Arizona Cardinals vs. Washington Redskins

Kevin Kolb eased his way into the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals by picking apart the Carolina Panthers defense. This week, there will be a huge difference when the Cardinals travel to face off against the Washington Redskins.

The Redskins defense will be much more aggressive than the Panthers' was. The Panthers struggle to rush the passer consistently, but the Redskins have three pivotal pass rushers to get in Kolb's face. Barry Cofield pushing the pocket will be troublesome, but it will by Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan who win this game for the Redskins.

Kolb plays behind a porous offensive line that won't be able to prevent the relentless rushers on the outside from getting to him. As an inexperienced quarterback, pressure is going to be difficult for him to handle. LaRon Landry may be an uncertainty to play, but the Redskins have enough playmakers on defense to take advantage of the struggles Kolb will have to endure.


Jacksonville Jaguars vs. New York Jets

Defensively the Jacksonville Jaguars shouldn't have too many problems in containing the Jets' offense. However, they are not the group that will be winning this game for their team.

The New York Jets will be able to shut down Maurice Jones-Drew and force Luke McCown to try to win the game for the Jaguars.

However, with Mike Thomas and Jason Hill lining up across from Antonio Cromartie and Darelle Revis, things don't look too promising.

Revis and Cromartie's chances at picking off a pass or two will be high and both are quality returners with the ball in their hands. In this game, the Jets' defense could potentially outscore the Jaguars offense.