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2016 NFL Week 2 Picks


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Posted

After going 11-5 last week, I feel good about 2016. Week 1 is usually the hardest week to predict, because we are still stuck with the results of the previous year, and incapable of deciphering the preseason. Onto Week 2!

 

Thursday Game of the Week

New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills (even)

The Jets might have the best defense in the league, at this point – stocked with pass rushers in Williams, Wilkerson, and Richardson. QB Taylor won’t have the time to even scramble – OL Glenn is injured, WR Watkins is banged up, and the backups Kouandjio & Mills won’t make a difference.

New York by 3

 

Game(s) of the Week

Cincinnati Bengals @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)

Both teams are out for revenge – believe it or not. This will be a classic slobberknocker – both defenses looked good last week, and both quarterbacks had no problem with the long ball, blessed with talented receivers. The Steelers have an edge with their OL, and they may attack Geno Atkins, the Bengals’ swamp monster.

Pittsburgh by 3

 

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (+2.5)

The Packers’ defense is quite good – thanks to a talented secondary with Randall and Rollins – and may be the best unit since 2010. If QB Rodgers gets a lead, that defensive backfield will become even more effective. Expect nothing from QB Hill.

Green Bay by 3

 

 

Tame of the Week

New Orleans Saints @ New York Giants (-4.5)

After a scintillating shootout last year, this time it should be different because the Giants have improved their run and pass defense. Vernon & JPP & company shoved around the mighty Cowboys’ offensive line last week. Moreover, the Saints miss Rankins – they gave up a 75 yard TD run in the fourth quarter last week. Expect the Giants to pull guards, run zone and establish the trench early.

New York by 5

 

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (-6.5)

What a tough start for the Dolphins. After a 2 point loss in Seattle, they have to face a team that’s dominated them for the last decade or so. The Patriots are thoroughly competent on defense, and Coach Belichick will line up Sheard, Collins, & Hightower over the Dolphins’ weak right side all game long.

New England by 4

 

Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Racial Taunts (-3.5)

The Cowboys will exploit the Taunts’ run defense by force-feeding RB Elliott 25 times or more. The Taunts will try to spread out the Cowboys with 3 or 4 wide sets and exploit the most favorable matchup – which is almost a given because Cowboys’ DC Marinelli likes a single high safety too much. But since the Taunt failed to apply pressure on the Steelers whatsoever, I expect QB Prescott to have all the time he needs to wait for WR Bryant to get open.

Dallas by 3

 

San Francisco Forty-Whiners @ Carolina Panthers (-13.5)

Expect a physical donnybrook type of a game. The Panthers should try to manipulate ends Buckner and Armstead with misdirection and brute power. When the Forty Whiners stack the box with safeties, the Panthers will throw over them to Olsen and Benjamin. Nobody should expect QB Gabbert to keep up with big plays of his own.

Carolina by 10

 

Tennessee Titans @ Detroit Lions (-5.5)

The Lions’ defense has to switch from a high powered passing offense last week to a physical smashmouth offense this week in the Titans. Luckily they have enough at hand: Ngata, Ansah, and Hyder, who should neutralize a ground & pound offense. Leaving QB Stafford to exploit that shitty Titans’ secondary.

Detroit by 6

 

Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns (+6.5)

The Browns are recycling quarterbacks, while the Ravens are reviving their legendary defense. Backup QB McCown has the arm, but nobody to throw the ball to – the Browns’ receivers can’t get open. They need more than that against the Ravens, who will stop the gaps with gigantic DTs. QB Flacco can either gun it or hand it off to RB Stanley. But take the under – the Ravens are weaker on the road.

Baltimore by 3

 

Kansas City Chiefs @ Houston Texans (-1.5)

The Texans are still spitting mad about the last two losses to the Chiefs – one was in the playoffs and the other was a lopsided beating. The Texans’ defense will be at least tougher than the Chargers’ last week. They couldn’t stop the pass, but the Texans love it if opponents test their pass defense. Watt, Clowney, Simon, and Mercilus are ready.

Houston by 3

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Arizona Cardinals (-6.5)

The preseason Super Bowl favorite is on the verge of falling into a 0-2 hole. The Buccaneers are solid, led by the powerful QB Winston and talented WR corps, but the Cardinals should be even more fired up after last Sunday night’s near-miss. They should probe the Bucs’ offensive line for any weaknesses. Moreover, despite the fact that the Patriots’ defense is topnotch, QB Palmer had a clean pocket most of the time. I expect him to finish the deal this week.

Arizona by 3

 

Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams (+3.5)

The NFL is back in LA after 22 years, but it’s still as shitty as ever. And now they’re facing the Legion of Boom? However, the Rams are angry after that embarrassing loss last Monday. Moreover, QB Wilson is hobbled by a bad ankle, and he’s facing DE Donald?

Los Angeles by 3

 

Atlanta Falcons @ Oakland Raiders (-5.5)

This game depends on which defense can make stops. The Raiders had trouble with QB Brees, like almost everyone else, but they have the talent to bounce back, and unleash the rabid beast in DE Mack. The Falcons will stick to their cover-three and try to stop WR Cooper from big plays. But the Raiders have alternatives in WR Crabtree, Walford, or RB Washington.

Oakland by 3

 

Indianapolis Colts @ Denver Broncos (-5.5)

The Colts’ WR are solid, but they won’t be given a chance against the best secondary in the league. Moreover, the Colts’ OL is shitty, and here comes Von Miller! QB Luck will not have much time to make his reads, and he doesn’t have a RB to fall back on. The Broncos have a solid running game, so expect them to use it early and often against that mediocre Colts defense.

Denver by 6

 

Shame(s) of the Week

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers (-2.5)

The Chargers have solid corners capable of handling the Jaguars’ WRs.

They are proficient against fades and back shoulder throws, exactly what QB Bortles excels at. QB Rivers is familiar with the Jags’ defense – he sees it twice a year in Oakland’s defense.

San Diego by 1

 

Philadelphia Eagles @ Chicago Bears (-2.5)

After a nice debut last week, can we expect more of the same from rookie QB Wentz in Chicago? At least Wentz has the easier job facing the Bears than QB Cutler has in facing the Eagles, and that ferocious front four.

Philadelphia by 3

 

Last Week: 11-5

Season to Date: 11-5

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Posted

New Orleans Saints @ New York Giants (-4.5)

After a scintillating shootout last year, this time it should be different because the Giants have improved their run and pass defense. Vernon & JPP & company shoved around the mighty Cowboys’ offensive line last week. Moreover, the Saints miss Rankins – they gave up a 75 yard TD run in the fourth quarter last week. Expect the Giants to pull guards, run zone and establish the trench early.

New York by 5

Since I noted my concern about the Saints o-line last week, let me start off my better-than-expert, my experter-than-expert remarks by stating that, barring injuries (of course), this o-line should be just fine. Where were Mack and Irvin last week? Huh? Sure, Irvin had the Raiders' one sack, but that sack was on Brees, not the o-line. And as far as the Giants' allegedly improved defense goes, I wouldn't so facilely try extrapolating from success against the extremely limited capabilities of the Dallas WRs to high expectations against the Saints' Cooks-Snead-Thomas triumvirate. Of course, that extrapolation also involves going from Dak to Drew. Nah. Then again, having Fleener at TE is, so far, as good as not having a TE and not playing an additional WR in place of the TE; in other words, it's like playing offense with 10 rather than 11 players. That could be a problem. Maybe not this week. But sometime. All that being said, the issue, as always, is the Saints defense. Delvin Breaux done broked a leg in the Oakland game. So, the Saints had to play the fourth quarter with three - count them three - CBs who had never before played in an NFL game. Even so, they might have been at least close to adequate (who knows?) if the Saints ever managed to put pressure on the opposing QB, but that ain't the Saints way. Sterling Moore will suite up to give (on paper) some bit of experience (good or bad is the question) to the CB corps, but can that really help much -- especially when there is no pass rush? Oh, and when Jairus Byrd is your FS. So, yeah, you right. New York wins.

Ah, finding picks where you are wrong is difficult this week. But, as is my custom, I'll give it a go.

Seattle Seahawks @ Los Angeles Rams (+3.5)

The NFL is back in LA after 22 years, but it’s still as shitty as ever. And now they’re facing the Legion of Boom? However, the Rams are angry after that embarrassing loss last Monday. Moreover, QB Wilson is hobbled by a bad ankle, and he’s facing DE Donald?

Los Angeles by 3

Wait! What?!?!?! Anger ain't enough; therefore, Seattle wins, no matter how poorly their offense plays. I guess. Because that is one sorry offense even though Wilson is one hell of a QB.

Jacksonville Jaguars @ San Diego Chargers (-2.5)

The Chargers have solid corners capable of handling the Jaguars’ WRs.

They are proficient against fades and back shoulder throws, exactly what QB Bortles excels at. QB Rivers is familiar with the Jags’ defense – he sees it twice a year in Oakland’s defense.

San Diego by 1

Nah. Jacksonville wins despite the fact that (or is it because? -- whichever) they are not as good as so many think they are (or would like them to be).

Other notes:

My reservations about Houston, at this point, rest entirely with Osweiler, Houston should have scored more last week. Fuller looks like he'll be a lot like Ted Ginn - as in he can get behind anyone and you have to expect him to drop a good number of passes. At least I think we can expect Houston to keep going to Fuller more than Carolina seems to want to remember Ginn. Will Carolina start to remind themselves to remember Ginn's skill set? Finally, if Houston's relative lack of scoring was the result of the Bears defense more than failings on the part of the Texans, then I expect Chicago to be in good shape against Philadelphia.

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Posted

Fleener is going to be another Saints free agent bust. He's simply not athletic enough. Coleman is also a waste at fourth WR, but he's an undrafted free agent; so, they don't pay him the big bucks.

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