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2015 NFL week 2 picks

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Posted

Despite stumbling on both Monday Night games, I feel good finishing with 10-6. Week 1 is always the hardest of all weeks to predict, because teams rise or fall quickly after a long offseason. Onto Week 2! :cheers: 

 
Thursday Night Game of the Week 
 
Denver Broncos @ KC Chiefs (-2.5)
This time the Chiefs appear dominant on both defense and offense whereas the Broncos only have a dominant defense. Moreover, the Arrowhead is utterly inhospitable, and the Broncos are facing the top pass rusher in the league in Justin Houston with a patchwork line. :freakout: 
 
Kansas City by 4
 
Game(s) of the Week 
 
New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills (+1.5) 
The Bills completely dominated a Super Bowl contender in the Colts and now they get to face the reigning Super Bowl champs. Coach Belichick doesn't have enough take on Bills QB Taylor to adequately game plan for him. As usual, always take the home underdogs in a division game. 
:deal: 
Buffalo by 2
 
Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers (-3.5) 
Both teams have questions units: the Packers run defense was demolished last week. The Seahawks will exploit this mismatch &  unleash RB Lynch to 120 plus yards The Seahawks' offensive line was erased as well, and they are missing the Chancellor. QB Wilson is great but Rodgers almost never lose at home, and probably has something extra after that face plant in the NFC title game. 
 
Green Bay by 4
 
San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
The Chargers are much tougher than the Raiders, so the Bengals absolutely must prevent QB Rivers from getting in a rhythm. They must keep him off-balanced with more than their DL - with stunts and blitzes by shoot gaps and dB blitzes. 
 
Cincinnati by 4
 
Same of the Week 
 
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) 
The Cowboys escaped last Sunday but lost all-pro WR Bryant for a month. Plus the Cowboys running game looks nothing like last year, and they are facing a pissed off Eagles team. Expect a few angry runs from former Cowboys RB, Murray. 
 
Philadelphia by 4
 
Arizona Cardinals @ Chicago Bears (+1.5)
The Bears actually held their own against the Packers, gashed them on the ground to the tune of 170 yards. But that'll be much harder to do against a stout Cards defense, who stopped a much better QB in Brees than in Cutler. 
 
Arizona by 3 
 
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts (-6.5)
Falling behind 24-0 exposed the Colts' weaknesses: no running game and lack of pass rush. Although the Colts will restore things by beating the Jets they'll have to solve their organization problems immediately. 
 
Indianapolis by 6
 
Lame of the Week
 
Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants (-2.5)
Despite having a horrible pass defense last season, the Falcons shut down the high powered Eagles machine and ripped their defense to shreds.  The Giants will not field anything better whatsoever. 
 
Atlanta by 3
 
Houston Texans @ Carolina Panthers (-4.5)
QB Hoyer got benched awful quick last week. Does that mean he will be looking over his shoulder all year long? As for the Panthers, they're in tatters: WR Benjamin is out for the year. LB Keuchly, the leader of the defense is suffering from concussions. But they are in a better shape than the darlings of Hard Knocks. 
 
Carolina by 6
 
San Francisco 49ers @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
There's absolutely no reason to have faith in the Steelers' short handed offense (missing RB Bell and WR Bryant) or their revamped defense to stop the newly christened Niners running game (168 yards and 2 scores against the Vikings) or even the wobbly passing of QB Kaepernick. 
 
San Francisco by 6
 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints (-9.5)
Yes the Buccaneers are much worse than I thought. But it's a long season and QB Winston will only go up from here. No, the Saints will not be as good as they look vs a rookie QB in his first visit to the Superdome. 
 
New Orleans by 10
 
Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
Both teams totally shit the bed in Week one. Where the Lions gagged away a 21-3 lead, the Vikings just bent over on national television. Who will choke harder? I'll stick with the Vikings' ability to bounce back, cuz I suspect there's something truly rotten in Detroit. 
 
Minnesota by 5
 
St. Louis Rams @ Washington Ethnic Slur (+2.5)
The Rams are facing a crumbling team that lacks leadership and chemistry, likely due to some bad karma over the team name. Basically the Rams' blood soaked defense will gobble the Skins entire - players, coaches, fans, the stadium. 
 
St. Louis by 7
 
Miami Dolphins @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5)
Pundits are complaining that the Dolphins didn't really dominate a weak Skins team. But they won't have much trouble with a shittier team in the Jaguars. 
 
Miami by 7
 
Baltimore Ravens @ Oakland Raiders (no line) 
With an injured QB, and a destroyed secondary, the Raiders have no chance vs an angry Ravens squad, still smarting over the throttling last week in Denver. 
 
Baltimore by 10
 
Shame of the Week
 
Tennessee Titans @ Cleveland Browns (-3.5)
QB Mariota will have little trouble with another cream puff in the Browns, since they had trouble with mediocre QB Fitzpatrick last week. 
 
Titans by 6
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Posted

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints (-9.5)
Yes the Buccaneers are much worse than I thought. But it's a long season and QB Winston will only go up from here. No, the Saints will not be as good as they look vs a rookie QB in his first visit to the Superdome. 
 
New Orleans by 10

Who do the Saints have to play safety? They resigned Kenny Phillips after putting Rafael Bush on IR. The point here is that the best plan for the Bucs is to go with a scheme that goes after whoever it is that is playing safety for the Saints. In other words, go deep. Even if successful, and although division games tend to be closer, New Orleans wins.

 

Contrarian picks are hard to come by this week. But that has never stopped me from finding some.

 

Detroit Lions @ Minnesota Vikings (-2.5)
Both teams totally shit the bed in Week one. Where the Lions gagged away a 21-3 lead, the Vikings just bent over on national television. Who will choke harder? I'll stick with the Vikings' ability to bounce back, cuz I suspect there's something truly rotten in Detroit. 
 
Minnesota by 5

If the Lions realize that their running game is the key to their success, if the Lions run Abdullah and Bell, they win. After all, San Francisco was able to run against the Vikings, and the threat of Stafford as a passer has to be respected. Detroit wins.

 

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills (+1.5) 
The Bills completely dominated a Super Bowl contender in the Colts and now they get to face the reigning Super Bowl champs. Coach Belichick doesn't have enough take on Bills QB Taylor to adequately game plan for him. As usual, always take the home underdogs in a division game. 
:deal: 
Buffalo by 2

The Steelers ground game gashed the New England defense. It is to be expected that the Patriots will figure out a way to improve their defense over the course of the season. Whether they do it in time for this game, well, that is questionable. Buffalo ran well against the Colts, but, as weak as the New England run defense is, surely the Indy defense is worse; so, the key to shoring up the Patriots run defense is to take the chance that QB Taylor cannot throw the Bills to victory. New England wins, because it is too early to believe in the Buffalo offense - despite the fact that it is way way too early to imagine that the Pats will be back in the Super Bowl this year.

 

Houston Texans @ Carolina Panthers (-4.5)
QB Hoyer got benched awful quick last week. Does that mean he will be looking over his shoulder all year long? As for the Panthers, they're in tatters: WR Benjamin is out for the year. LB Keuchly, the leader of the defense is suffering from concussions. But they are in a better shape than the darlings of Hard Knocks. 
 
Carolina by 6

If Kuechly is out, then the Texans have a good chance. Houston wins with the proviso that Kuechly does not play. On the other hand, if Kuechly is a full go, then the Panthers defense is good enough to see to it that Carolina wins.

 

Other thoughts:

 

San Diego Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5)
The Chargers are much tougher than the Raiders, so the Bengals absolutely must prevent QB Rivers from getting in a rhythm. They must keep him off-balanced with more than their DL - with stunts and blitzes by shoot gaps and dB blitzes.
 
Cincinnati by 4
Bengals win because this is the regular season.
 
 
New York Jets @ Indianapolis Colts (-6.5)
Falling behind 24-0 exposed the Colts' weaknesses: no running game and lack of pass rush. Although the Colts will restore things by beating the Jets they'll have to solve their organization problems immediately. 
 
Indianapolis by 6
The Jets should be able to run all over the Colts; it is doubtful that the Colts find a ground game against the Jets. Other than being at home, and other than the Jets having a dubious QB situation, the only thing the Colts have going for them is the Cromartie injury. I'm almost inclined to make this a contrarian pick; the problem is that I just don't believe in the Jets QB yet. But maybe I'll change my mind and go contrarian on this game.
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Posted

Don Banks of SI.COM and Florio of Pro Football Weekly are 11-5, so they're worthwhile competition. 

For week 2, Florio likes the Patriots and the Steelers. Don Banks like them both and the NY Giants. :roll:

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