NFL Picks Week 2: Browns vs. Ravens and Games Featuring Potential Upsets

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2013

Sep 8, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden (3) throws a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

If Week 1 of the NFL taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected.

The Buffalo Bills kept things tight with the New England Patriots before losing, and everyone's favorite dumpster fire known as the New York Jets came away with an upset victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The surprises are hardly over, as the 2013 season is still in its infancy. For better or worse, plenty of teams are still figuring things out, and the league is wide open in terms of standings.

Here are three upset specials to watch in Week 2.

Miami Dolphins Will Outlast Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium

Miami started the season off with a bang when it took down Cleveland on the road. As horrendous as the Browns looked, the Dolphins showed plenty of positives to indicate they will be competitive most of the year.

Ryan Tannehill was effective enough against a solid defense, throwing for 272 yards and a score. The Dolphins shined defensively, with Cameron Wake once again wreaking havoc on his way to 2.5 sacks.

Things were not so great for Indianapolis. The defense surrendered over 300 total yards to Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor and needed a late score to overcome a Raiders roster with plenty of holes.

Indianapolis is at home once more when Miami comes to town, but that helped little a week ago. Miami has a sound defense that held Cleveland to under 300 total yards and the offensive firepower to put up enough points to pull off the upset.

The game will be decided by Andrew Luck's ability to will the team to victory once more, but he'll have to do it against much stiffer competition.

Prediction: Dolphins 28, Colts 23

EJ Manuel and Buffalo Bills Will Overcome Cam Newton and Carolina Panthers

One of the better matchups of Week 2 will occur,Β albeit quietly,Β when rookie sensation EJ Manuel takes on Cam Newton, a man familiar with stellar rookie seasons as well.

Buffalo took the New England Patriots and Tom Brady to the brink on opening weekend, ultimately losing 23-21 in the final moments. The major story was Manuel, who threw for 150 yards and two scores and looked like anything but a rookie who had missed two preseason contests via injury.

Newton and the Panthers may have given up 370 total yards against the Seahawks, but the bend-but-don't-break approach paid off when Carolina almost stole the victory before Seattle won 12-7. Newton and Co., backed by an ever-improving defense, proved they can hang with the big dogs.

Both teams have something to prove when Carolina travels to Buffalo. The end result will derive from quarterback play, as both Manuel and Newton had eerily similar numbers in Week 1. Whoever can overcome a scrappy defensive unit will end up stealing a close game.

At home, Buffalo will be tough to beat in such an evenly matched contest.

Prediction: Bills 21, Panthers 17

Cleveland Browns Will Shock Baltimore Ravens at Home

The champs are in a tailspin.

After being brutalized in front of a national audience by Peyton Manning's seven touchdowns, the Baltimore Ravens are seeking answers on both sides of the football.

Cleveland is doing much of the same after being unable to muster anything offensively behind the arm of Brandon Weeden after a home loss to Miami.

But Weeden has the ability to clean up his three interceptions from a week ago, and running back Trent Richardson is not going to be held under 50 yards very often. Cleveland has a new-look vertical offense in place, but expect Richardson to see a huge load as Norv Turner takes it back to basics. Richardson receiving only 13 carries last week is a crime.

Baltimore's woes are abundant. First of all, the offense has one true playmaker in receiver Torrey Smith, but Cleveland can bottle him up with ease thanks to elite corner Joe Haden, who shut down Mike Wallace for one catch last week.

Running back Ray Rice was ineffective against Denver in Week 1, and that trend will continue, as Cleveland limited Miami to 20 total rushing yards.

The showdown will be a physical defensive battle as both teams look to re-establish the run. If there is one sleeper team that can trade punches with Baltimore in that sort of contest, it's Cleveland. Both games last year were decided by 10 points or less, and Baltimore has regressed, while Cleveland has improved.

Prediction: Browns 17, Ravens 14

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