Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NFL 2014: Week 3 Power Rankings & The Rest

Looking Back at Last Week's Picks

RAVENS (-2.5)  over  Steelers  (CORRECT  =  1-0)
REDSKINS (-5.5)  over  Jaguars  (CORRECT  =  2-0)
GIANTS (+2.5)  over  Cardinals  (WRONG  =  2-1)
Saints (-6.5)  over  BROWNS  (WRONG  =  2-2)
TITANS (-2.5)  over  Cowboys  (WRONG  =  2-3)
BILLS (+1)  over  Dolphins  (CORRECT  =  3-3)
Patriots (-3)  over  VIKINGS  (CORRECT  =  4-3)
PANTHERS (-2.5)  over  Lions  (CORRECT  =  5-3)
BENGALS (-5.5)  over  Falcons  (CORRECT  =  6-3)
BUCCANEERS (-6)  over  Rams  (WRONG  =  6-4)
RAIDERS (+3)  over  Texans  (WRONG  =  6-5)
PACKERS (-8.5)  over  Jets  (WRONG  =  6-6)
Chiefs (+13)  over  BRONCOS  (CORRECT  =  7-6)
CHARGERS (+5)  over  Seahawks  (CORRECT  =  8-6)
Bears (+7)  over  49ers  (CORRECT  =  9-6)
COLTS (-3)  over  Eagles  (WRONG  =  9-7)

Year-to-Date: 16-16


Power Rankings (Express Edition - for the bad teams at least)

32.) Jacksonville Jaguars  (0-2  =  27-75)

They stink. They will continue to stink for at least another year. This is the longest, slowest planned rebuild I have ever seen, and I really hope they don't subject Blake Bortles to that awful o-line in front of him.


31.) Oakland Raiders  (0-2  =  28-49)

That double-fumble by James Jones was one of the most Raider-ish plays I have ever seen. That doesn't happen to normal teams, but that is probably not even in the Top-5 ridiculous plays that the Raiders franchise has had since 2003.


30.) New York Giants  (0-2  =  28-60)

I'm done with the Giants. They just look short on talent. At what point do we question Jerry Reese's job? It always goes straight to Eli and Coughlin, but the rest of that roster has gotten worse and worse each year since their Super Bowl season.


29.) Kansas City Chiefs  (0-2  =  27-50)

They fought hard, but they just don't have the talent. Andy Reid can scheme that offense into being passable, but they don't have the weapons to consistently score in the red zone, and the defense will continue to get worse as they keep hemoragging talent.


28.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers  (0-2  =  31-39)

I laugh at all the people who bought into this team this season. They are anyway building for 2-3 years for now, which is the right way to go. Still, has any franchise been the hot sleeper more times than the Buccaneers? They were the hot sleeper in 2010 (accurate), in 2012 when Schiano came in, and then even last year.


27.) St. Louis Rams  (1-1  =  25-51)

Nice win, and Austin Davis looks oddly competent, but still that team has already lost too many players. They'll beat the bad teams they play, but I don't really trust Austin Davis and can see them dropping more of the winnable games than they have the last two seasons. I'll say this, Jeff Fisher has taken similarly constructed and talented teams to .500 or better.


26.) Tennessee Titans  (1-1  =  36-36)

26-10 is a pretty odd score for a football game, right? Well, the Titans have played two games, each finishing 26-10. I've never seen a team look so good on the road one week and then so bad at home the next. I have no idea what to think of the Titans, which at least is an interesting step up than when we normally know exactly what the Titans are, perfectly mediocre.


25.) New York Jets  (1-1  =  43-45)

From here through about #16, you can really interchange teams. The Jets didn't fluke their way to a 21-3 lead, but the way they blew it wasn't a fluke either. They got a ton of pressure early on Rodgers, and the coverage scheme held up for a bit, but neither was going to last forever and Rodgers took over in teh 2nd half. Timeout-gate cost them a chance to tie the game, but the Packers probably score on the next possession anyway.


24.) Houston Texans  (2-0  =  47-20)

I'm still not really buying into this team. They played two bad teams (the Redskins with a gimpy RGIII are not good), and beat them. They also have gotten ridiculous fumble luck and luck in teh red zone on defense. Those things aren't really sustainable. They have an easy schedule, but I still don't think they are a team capable of making a real playoff push - unless the Colts really fall apart.


23.) Dallas Cowboys  (1-1  =  43-38)

Good win for them. They escaped a lot of heat for that awful Week 1 performance due to the Rice issue, but the Cowboys still showed up. They're a strange team, capable of running the ball and shortening games to hide the defense, but through two games the defense is playing pretty well overall. I doubt it continues because the talent is just not there, but so far the Cowboys defense has been a pleasant surprise.


22.) Cleveland Browns  (1-1  =  53-54)

Great win for the Browns. Another upset that was in no way a fluke. They outplayed the Saints. They forced the Saints to go short, which is far easier outdoors than indoors. They ran effortlessly through the Saints defense. They were the best team on that field by far. That defense is still a tad overrated in terms of its personnel, but Mike Pettine can scheme them very well. I think by the time Gordon comes back they'll be out of any serious contention, but he's a nice bright light at the end of this tunnel.


21.) Pittsburgh Steelers  (1-1  =  36-53)

Terrible performance by the Steelers. The offense played badly,but some of that was turnovers and Brown getting hurt for a bit. The defense was more worrying. Their passing game got absolutely no pressure on Joe Flacco. I hate to say it given what a mind he's been for so long, but I do think it is time for Dick LeBeau to quietly go sweetly into the night. Ben Roethlisberger deserves better than a defense that can't even handle any of the Ravens receivers.


20.) New Orleans Saints  (0-2  =  58-63)

In a weird way, I'm actually more concerned about the offense. Now, Brees will probably have a patented 26-33 for 344 and 4 TD game against the Vikings in teh Superdome, but they have no deep passing game. Meachem won't cut it deep. Colston is too slow to go deep, and they seem committed to using Crooks as a short outlet. Maybe Kenny Stills returning changes this, but I have concerns about the offense to consistently score in even the mid-20's outdoors.


19.) Miami Dolphins  (1-1  =  43-49)

Ryan Tannehill still has terrible pocket presence. I'm not sure what his o-line was drinking in Week 1 to dominate the Patriots and give him so much time, but that is the Tannehill I'm used to seeing. The defense also looked a little slow; granted the Bills are arguably a worse matchup for a team without starting LBs than the Patriots at this point. The Dolphins still have some potential, but for them that would hopefully be their worst performance of the year.


18.) Minnesota Vikings  (1-1  =  41-36)

They had no chance in that game when Peterson was deactivated, and they actually didn't play all that badly... accept for Matt Cassel. He's not a good player. He's never been a good player. Can they move on? I think Bridgewater is generally overrated, but he's almost assuredly better than Matt Cassel. The Vikings could have come close to winning that game with even average QB play. Instead, that happened.


17.) Washington Redskins  (1-1  =  47-27)

That was a dominant performance. The defense pass rush is real now that Kerrigan and Orakpo are healthy at the same time for the first time in years. The defense has some good talent. They have no depth, but as long as the starters stay healthy they should be OK. The bigger issue is the offense, which looked good on Sunday. The problem though is Cousins has shown that he is far better coming into games after they start after Griffin gets hurt than when he actually starts games from the outset.


16.) Atlanta Falcons  (1-1  =  47-58)

Yes, that was a pathetic performance, and if not for a kicker they would have lost in incredibly embarrassing fashion, and yes White and Julio should never be shut down like that, and yes, they get absolutely no pass rush... but I still think this team is an outside Wild Card contender. As you will see further down, I think quite highly of the Cincinnati Bengals. Better teams have gone to Cincinnati in recent years and been outplayed tremendously. The Falcons have a good chance to get their mojo back at home Thursday Night.


15.) Buffalo Bills (2-0  =  52-30)

They should probably be higher, but there are just a lot of potentially good teams in the league right now. Their offense can be explosive, but a lot of that comes down to EJ Manuel's development. He is still a bit erratic on throws. Sammy Watkins looks like a star and Doug Marrone can really scheme offense. I feel at some point their lack of depth in the back-7 will get exposed, but Jim Schwartz has that Front-4 playing out of their mind right now.


14.) Indianapolis Colts  (0-2  =  51-61)

I still think they'll win the division, though Houston's ridiculous 2008-Pats type schedule is worrying me. That offense needs to stick to one formation. They run all their plays seemingly from either three-wide or total heavy formations. Can you just go 3-1-1 or 2-2-1 and be done with it? The defense losing Arthur Jones hurts, but Pagano's schemes them well and the secondary guys are actually playing decently well. It would be helpful if they could stop screens.


13.) Chicago Bears  (1-1  =  48-43)

Gutty win for the Bears, but they won't get 4 turnovers in each game. The run game looks pathetic right now, and Jeffery and Marshall may still boss around but they're very gimpy right now. The defense looks good but there is no depth at all. The Bears seem to have found another great turnover machine at CB with Fuller, which is nice given that the great career of Charles Tillman looks to be over.


12.) San Francisco 49ers  (1-1  =  48-45)

Obviously that was bad Kaep. The run-game doesn't look right when it is anyone other than Frank Gore running (namely, Carlos Hyde), and Kaep is really forcing some throws. They'll continue to be stellar against the run, but without Aldon they're getting no pass rush at all, which is worrying. If they can tread water until Smith and potentially Bowman get back they can make a run, but blowing 17-point leads at home isn't a good way to start.


11.) Green Bay Packers  (1-1  =  47-60)

Big win for the Packers, who would have faced real pressure for the first time since maybe late 2010 had they lost to the Jets and dropped to 0-2. They're schedule is brutal coming up, and while they have the talent in the form of Messers Rodgers, Nelson and Cobb to beat all those teams. The challenge begins this weekend, when they get a very good offense on the road in a dome. The Packers defense needs to step up.


10.) Baltimore Ravens  (1-1  =  42-29)

Really impressed by their win. Now, I think the Steelers might be garbage, but Flacco looked comfortable in that offense. He was hitting his guys in stride, in time, and utilizing all the receivers well (even Owen Daniels, who looks reborn with Kubiak again). The Ravens still have no real run game, but the passing game might be good enough to whittle your way to 20 points. The defense looks very good, especially that front seven. I was wrong a week ago. They can still pound teams at home.


9.) Philadelphia Eagles  (2-0  =  64-44)

Another good performance from a 'not getting too worried and straying from the plan' way, but the Eagles do have some issues. First, screens won't work on every team, and the receivers are still not on the same page enough with Foles. Then, the run-game isn't consistent. Finally, that defense still gets no pressure. That all said the scheme works and the secondary is pretty good.


8.) Detroit Lions  (1-1  =  42-38)

The Lions could be a lot better, because to be honest they played the Panthers to a draw through three quarters.The defense will shut down any run game, and the pass rush has improved on the outside from last year. The offense still doesn't have a great plan B when Calvin isn't catching everything, but I like their use of the different players they have. The o-line has regressed a bit, but Stafford has leaned out and plays better on the move now. Very good team that gets a chance to prove it for real next week.


7.) San Diego Chargers  (2-0  =  47-39)

No point of analyzing, I just want to state this: I've moved from hating Philip Rivers' guts a few years ago to absolutely loving him. That arrogant bastard was on full form last week. What a great player. He absolutely mocked that Legion of Boom. What a throwback game from both him and Antonio Gates. It's a lot more fun when they're doing that to the LOB than when they were doing it to the Colts all those years.


6.) New England Patriots  (1-1  =  50-40)

Hard to really judge them from that game as it was over when the Peterson news broke, and really over when the Patriots got a blocked-Field Goal TD. Still, the defense played up to its high billing in that one. Let's see what they do against a real QB... the next of which they'll face in Week 5 (I don't know how much of a test Derek Carr will provide, and Alex Smith will be barely better than him or Cassel).


5.) Arizona Cardinals  (2-0  =  43-31)

That defense is no joke. Their pass rush is definitely worse than last year when they don't blitz (Abraham coming back suddenly will help), but their secondary is good enough to hold up when they do blitz. Andre Ellington is still dynamic and Michael Floyd seems to have stepped up finally this season. The Cardinals went off a really short week to play a 1PM EST game and won easily. That was a perfect 'trap' game, and they passed that test.


4.) Carolina Panthers  (2-0  =  44-21)

Only two teams have outscored their opponents by more than 2:1 so far. The first played two bad teams (Texans). The Panthers are the other, and they played a team on the road with their backup QB, and then played a team that looked really damn good in Week 1. Their defense is so good. Screens are basically useless against them, as is any pass within 10 yards. Cam looked solid in his first action, and the duo of Cotchery and Avant are doing a lot better than I thought. This team is for real.


3.) Seattle Seahawks  (1-1  =  57-46)

You can't win all the games, I guess. I have to talk about Richard Sherman ducking the media after the loss. That's a punk move. You can't spout all that shit when you win and then clam up when you lose. He didn't play terribly, but Keenan Allen did pown him a couple times. The real goat was the guy who is probably the most overrated on that defense in Kam Chancellor. Gates played him like a fiddle.


2.) Denver Broncos  (2-0  =  55-41)

Sure, they blew big leads in both games, but they still haven't trailed in the 2nd half, and the Defense has played well when it mattered. Von Miller also looked a lot better in Week 2. They remind me a lot of the 2006 Colts (aside from not having a historically bad run defense), where Manning barely sees the field but is ridiculously good when on the field. He's quietly been by far the best QB in the NFL through two games... again.


1.) Cincinnati Bengals  (2-0  =  47-26)

Yeah, they're my new top team. The Falcons offense was the best in the league in Week 1, running up and down the field for over 500 yards (still the only team to cross that through two weeks). Matt Ryan had a ridiculously good game. The Bengals defense made them look amateurish. The Bengals offense has issues in the red zone, but the o-line is giving Dalton all the time in the world. The Bengals are playing really well right now. Their real next test will be Week 5 SNF at New England. Already can't wait.



Looking Ahead to Next Week's Games

16.) Houston Texans (2-0)  @  New York Giants (0-2)  (1:00 - CBS)
15.) Oakland Raiders (0-2)  @  New England Patriots (1-1)  (1:00 - CBS)
14.) Kansas City Chiefs (0-2)  @  Miami Dolphins (1-1)  (4:25 - CBS)
13.) Dallas Cowboys (1-1)  @  St. Louis Rams (1-1)  (1:00 - FOX)

I call it "The Patented 4-Terrible Games" Sunday, as none of these games seem interesting at all. The Texans and Giants play in a game pitting two boring teams. The Raiders are entering a slaughtering in New England. The Chiefs look to show a pulse in 100 degree weather when they're already down 15 players, and the Cowboys play in a soulless dome that for once isn't their own soulless dome.


12.) Indianapolis Colts (0-2)  @  Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2)  (1:00 - CBS)
11.) Minnesota Vikings (1-1)  @  New Orleans Saints (0-2)  (1:00 - FOX)

I call it "Are You Alive?, Sunday", as the Colts and Saints look to stay alive for the 2014 season. Honestly, if the Colts are even close to losing this game, just write them off. They should be able to smack the Jaguars around much like the Redskins did. For the Saints, if they don't win by 30, then give up on them as well, especially if Peterson is not playing once again.


10.) Tennessee Titans (1-1)  @  Cincinnati Bengals (2-0)  (1:00 - FOX)
9.) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1)  @  Carolina Panthers (2-0)  (SNF - NBC)

I call it "Pretenders are Exposed by Contenders" Sunday, as the Titans and Steelers go on the road after their terrible Week 2 losses that followed their Week 1 wins. The Bengals and Panthers are two of my Top-5 teams in teh NFL, and both are really good at home. The Bengals are undefeated in their last 11 regular season home games, most of the blowout variety. The Panthers lost their first home game last year and have won the next 8, most by the 'hold the opposing offense to 10 or less points' variety. Seeing that Panthers defense at home at night is already worth the price of admission. Seeing the sad-sack Steelers pushes the game down, though.


8.) Baltimore Ravens (1-1)  @  Cleveland Browns (1-1)  (1:00 - CBS)
7.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-2)  @  Atlanta Falcons (1-1)  (TNF - CBS)
6.) Washington Redskins (1-1)  @  Philadelphia Eagles (2-0)  (1:00 - FOX)

I call it "Division Battles that Could Tell Us Stuff" Sunday, as all three are division matchups featuring teams, apart from Philadelphia, who are probably going to battle for wild-cards. The Redskins looked amazing in Week 2, so there is at least an interest to see if they can really challenge the Eagles or not. The Ravens and Browns is suddenly a really nice Week 3 game in Cleveland, as the Browns have a chance for two-straight big wins. The Bucs have a chance to play in primetime, which is a nice treat for them. Not as nice of a treat: playing the QB with the best home-record ever.


5.) San Diego Chargers (1-1)  @  Buffalo Bills (2-0)  (1:00 - CBS)
4.) Chicago Bears (1-1)  @  New York Jets (1-1)  (MNF - ESPN)

I call it "Sometimes, it is just a fun matchup" Sunday and Monday, as neither of these two games have really built in storylines, but are just interesting tactical matchups. How does the reborn Charger defense handle that offense? Can Rivers play well on the road against that pass rush? Can Rex scheme his way against another top-offense personnel? Can Geno play well against a bad defense at home in primetime?



3.) Green Bay Packers (1-1)  @  Detroit Lions (1-1)  (1:00 - FOX)
2.) San Francisco 49ers (1-1)  @  Arizona Cardinals (2-0)  (4:05 - FOX)


I call it "Can You Beat-Up the Bully?" Sunday, as the Lions and Cardinals get a chance to prove themselves early as top-contenders for the playoffs/division. The Lions haven't beaten a Rodgers-led Packers team since 2010, but get the chance here against a Packers team that is really still finding itself. The Cardinals game is more interesing, though. The Cardinals defense is still playing excellent, and if Kaepernick is as loose with the ball again he'll throw another three picks. The 49ers are feeling a little heat after a really disappointing loss and this will be a tough environment.


1.) Denver Broncos (2-0)  @  Seattle Seahawks (1-1)  (4:25 - CBS)

I call it "Can the Broncos get within 20 this time?" Sunday, as we get our first Super Bowl rematch in the following regular season since the Packers beat up on the Patriots in 1997. The Broncos are definitely better set to beat the Seahawks this time, and the Seahawks don't look as invincible. Still, the Seahawks will be jacked up given their relative undressing last weekend, and Manning and Co. will have to bring it. I do think it will be a LOT closer this time around, despite them entering the Hawks' nest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NFL 2014: Week 2 Picks

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)  @  Baltimore Ravens (0-1)  (BAL -2.5)

Remember when this was the best rivalry in the NFL? From 2008-2011, it was what the 49ers and Seahawks is right now. The problem with both of these defense-first teams is their defensive leaders were old. Now, the Ravens have done a better job of replenishing, but the Steelers have the better QB (no matter what 4 games in January 2013 taught us). The Steelers are on the road here, and I can’t see Baltimore dropping another home game. Also, I think the players rally around the Ray Rice situation. Despite the amount of people who fucked up, I can say with moderate confidence that the 52 other Ravens players did not watch the video; they were straight lied to. They can rally around this. I think they do, and getting the Ravens under a field goal is good value.

Steelers 17  Ravens 23  (BAL -2.5)


Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)  @  Washington Redskins (0-1)  (WAS -5.5)

Ugh, I don’t even want to talk about this game. You leave Week 1, and despite one team losing by 17 after leading by 17, and the other losing by 11 in a game when everything went wrong, I feel better about the team that lost by 17. I would have to think the Redskins can play better on offense at home, but the Jaguars defense has some ability and Gus Bradley can coach scheme. The line seems a little high, but I do think mentally the Redskins will be better off here, and teams on their 2nd straight road game are generally poor ATS. I’ll go with Washington, but I’m not confident about the pick at all.

Jaguars 20  Redskins 28  (WAS -5.5)


Arizona Cardinals (1-0)  @  New York Giants (0-1)  (ARZ -2.5)

I’m of two minds here. I think Arizona is definitely the better team, but here they’re on the road, playing east coast on a short week. The Giants offense looks awful, and that is not a good matchup when you are going up against a very good to great defense, but I do think the Giants defense is good enough to contain the Cardinals iffy offense. The Chargers are not a good defense and they held them down pretty well. All the indicators point to the Giants, so I’ll ride them.

Cardinals 16  Giants 20  (NYG +2.5)


New Orleans Saints (0-1)  @  Cleveland Browns (0-1)  (NO -6.5)

This is a high line for a team on the road, especially given the Saints so obvious issues on defense. The Browns offense even seemed competent last week (albeit when already down many points). Still, The Saints offense should travel reasonably well in September. Would it be that shocking for the Saints to have all the same problems on the road that they have always had? Sure, but I can’t really see it. I hate taking road favorites by this much. Just hate it. I probably shouldn’t do it. We’ll see if my gut works here, because by skill the Saints should be able to cover this line.

Saints 31  Browns 20  (NO -6.5)


Dallas Cowboys (0-1)  @  Tennessee Titans (1-0)  (TEN -3.5)

This is a line I really like. The Cowboys are a public team, but that performance was so abhorrent they are now being put down on the road against Tennessee. The Cowboys defense wasn’t really given a chance to show how bad it really is, but the offense surprisingly was average. Mainly, Romo looked old. Maybe it is the multiple back-surgeries, but his ball had no zip, he was throwing awful passes to covered receivers. That doesn’t just get fixed. I can easily see the Cowboys winning and getting love again, but the Titans offense played really well in Week 1 against a better defense.

Cowboys 20  Titans 27  (TEN -3.5)


Miami Dolphins (1-0)  @  Buffalo Bills (1-0)  (MIA -1)

I really like the Bills here, even though I think the Dolphins are the better team. The Bills are a good early-season home team over the past few years, there are some signs of optimism here, and the Dolphins are coming off of a ridiculous win. The Bills are Dolphins were viewed relatively even before the season started, and both had impressive wins. There’s really no good reason for the Bills to be underdogs here. The Bills pass rush will be a much better test of the Dolphins offense than the Patriots were. The Bills offense is also better set up to test the limited depth of the Dolphins back-7. I like the Bills here.

Dolphins 17  Bills 24  (BUF +1)


New England Patriots (0-1)  @  Minnesota Vikings (1-0)  (NE -3)

The Vikings can easily win this game. I would love for them to win this game. I would love to see the media swarm around an 0-2 Patriots team (of course, they would probably destroy Oakland 41-7 in Week 3 at home and everyone would act like Week 1&2 mean nothing). I think the case for Minnesota winning is actually quite easy. Their far better D-Line dominates against that mixed-up o-line of the Patriots. The Patriots porous rush defense can’t stop Adrian Peterson. The Patriots linebackers are way too slow to stop Cordarrelle Patterson. All of that could easily happen.  But I think it won’t. One reason is the Vikings now playing outdoors. Team’s don’t adjust quickly to new stadiums historically, and I think it happens here.

Patriots 30  Vikings 17  (NE -3)


Detroit Lions (1-0)  @  Carolina Panthers (1-0)  (CAR -2.5)

I like the Panthers here, and I’ll like them in every home game unless they get injured or prove that the defense has taken a step back (which it most certainly has not, yet). The offense does scare me, but the line is rather low, needing just a field goal to cover. I don’t know if Stafford is quite as good outside the dome (something lost considering mostly people care about Brees being good inside or outside the dome. Also, I think the public is getting a little too carried away with Detroit right now.

Lions 17  Panthers 23  (CAR -2.5)


Atlanta Falcons (1-0)  @  Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)  (CIN -5)

I’m terrified of Matt Ryan and that offense being great again, but I’m also terrified of picking against the Bengals in a regular season home game, considering they were 8-0 at home last year and fully dominant in most of those. They should win and cover, and I’ll take them before I have the chance to really think about the pick. Their secondary is set up well to slow down the Falcons passing attack. Their offense is great when Dalton isn’t pressured and he shouldn’t be against a woeful pass rush.

Falcons 17  Bengals 31  (CIN -5)


St. Louis Rams (0-1)  @  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)  (TB -6)

Another game I don’t really want to talk about. The Rams are getting decimated with injuries (Bradford, and now Chris Long), while the Buccaneers are getting decimated with Josh McCown still being their QB. The Buccaneers are getting no value here with that high of a line. It makes sense, I guess, but I can see St. Louis playing a lot better. I’m taking way too many favorites as well, which scares me. The Rams can easily cover this game, but I’m always afraid of taking an unsure QB against a good Bucs defense.

Rams 13  Buccaneers 20  (TB -6)


Houston Texans (1-0)  @  Oakland Raiders (0-1)  (HOU -3)

This is the 3rd awful game of the week, and another situation where I don’t even want to pick. The Texans should destroy the Raiders offense, but the Raiders offense might do well against the Texans defense as well. I still think the Texans are relatively overvalued (was not really that impressed with their win over the Redskins), so I’ll keep riding the team I think is relatively undervalued.

Texans 13  Raiders 16  (OAK +3)


New York Jets (1-0)  @  Green Bay Packers (0-1)  (GB -8.5)

Considering how bad the Packers looked in Week 1, this line might be a little high, but there are a lot of indicators to back the Packers winning comfortably. First, the Packers are desperate, at 0-1 at home. Then, the Jets have no secondary to speak of, which is a problem against the Packers. Also, the Packers rarely ever lose back to back games. Finally, this is going to be a tough environment for Geno. Add it all up and I like the Packers to cover a high line that is less than 10.

Jets 20  Packers 30  (GB -8.5)


Kansas City Chiefs (0-1)  @  Denver Broncos (1-0)  (DEN -13)

Go against 10 point lines. Of course, it didn’t work in Week 1 with the Jaguars not covering +10.5 despite going up 17-0, and I can see it so easily not working here, but it is a principle. I’ll ride the principle.

Chiefs 20  Broncos 31  (KC +13)


Seattle Seahawks (1-0)  @  San Diego Chargers (0-1)  (SEA -6)

Love San Diego here. They are built to hang with Seattle on offense, with a passing game dependent on swift short-route players like Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead, and a QB that can hit some downfield throws as well. The Chargers defense is better than people think, and this team nearly beat a defense that is probably 85% as good as the Seahawks on the road. The only thing giving me pause is the Seahawks recent track record against great QBs and the Seahawks having 10 days to rest versus 5 for the Chargers. Still, I think the Chargers keep this close, and what they hell, I’ll pick them to sneak out the win.

Seahawks 20  Chargers 24  (SD +6)


Chicago Bears (0-1)  @  San Francisco 49ers (1-0)  (SF -7)

The fact that Marshall and Jeffery might be gimpy scares me. The fact that they might not be that gimpy against a bad secondary scares me the other way. This is the home opener for the 49ers, but teams rarely adjust too quickly to new stadiums. I can see the 49ers losing, but the Bears are also the more desperate team. I really have no idea. The 49ers pass rush probably won’t get to Cutler which will help. Gun to my head, I like the Bears to cover but not win.

Bears 23  49ers 28  (CHI +7)


Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)  @  Indianapolis Colts (0-1)  (IND -3)

The Colts have yet to lose back-to-back games in the Andrew Luck era, and they have been great over the years in primetime (last week notwithstanding), and Andrew Luck should be able to do well against that defense, but the other side of the ball terrifies me. The easiest way to get the Eagles off their game offensively is to get pressure on Nick Foles. He has bad pocket presence and is not accurate when pressured. Sadly, the Colts can’t really get pressure on Nick Foles given them not having Robert Mathis and coming in just hoping Bjoern Werner develops. Still, the Colts offense has a ton of matchup edges as well, and this is a proud team that won’t drop primetime home games too easily.


Eagles 24  Colts 30  (IND -3)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NFL 2014: Week 2 Power Rankings & The Rest

Reviewing Last Week's Picks:

Not a great week, let's just move on... 7-9



Power Rankings

32.) Oakland Raiders  (0-1  =  14-19)

I don’t expect them to be in last place all year, but when your QB can do nothing but throw checkdowns it is hard to put up even 150 yards of offense. Their running game is a no-show as well. If they have any hope, it is that their aging but skilled defense keeps them in enough games.


31.) Cleveland Browns  (0-1  =  27-30)

That was a spirited comeback against a team that can’t close, and Brian Hoyer played OK, and they were able to manufacture yards, but the part of their team that was supposed to help them (their defense) was awful much of the day. Sadly, I think their near ridiculous comeback will be one of the highpoints of the NFL season.


30.) Kansas City Chiefs  (0-1  =  10-26)

This is also about the injuries to Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito (though one of those guys means a whole lot more than the other) hurting my perception of the team, and probably that no team looked worse than the Chiefs. Alex Smith couldn’t throw deep, the defense which still has a lot of talent had no answer for Jake Locker. This might be a long season in KC.


29.) St. Louis Rams  (0-1  =  6-34)

Back in June I thought they would win the NFC West. I still think they have a shot at going 7-9, but the QB situation is so much worse than even when Bradford was there. I don’t know how many of those guys can afford another lost season either. Austin Davis is just nowhere near ready to play in an NFL game. The defense was still good for most of the game, but you’ll give up plays to an explosive team when you’re on the field all the time.


28.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers  (0-1  =  14-20)

If you can’t beat the Panthers, everyone’s off-season regression team, when they aren’t playing their one competent offensive player under 30, then you probably shouldn’t be getting the love you are. I like Lovie Smith the coach and over time I think they’ll start doing some good things (should time to be right around when Drew Brees winds down) but they’re a ways away.


27.) Washington Redskins  (0-1  =  6-17)

RGIII looked awful, but that might have been more JJ Watt looking like the demon monster he is. What I really don’t get is despite all the talk of Jay Gruden’s new offense, it still looks like zone reads, swing and screen passes, and deep bombs. There’s nothing creative here, and while RGIII may not reach his rookie form, he’s better than this.


26.) Dallas Cowboys  (0-1  =  17-28)

The defense actually played reasonably well. Of course, the 49ers offense basically stopped trying in the 2nd half so it was hard to tell how well the defense played. What did not go well was the offense. Tony Romo was awful, there’s no way around it. He was reacting to pressure that wasn’t there, throwing passes that were absolutely Favre-ian at his worst.


25.) Jacksonville Jaguars  (0-1  =  17-34)

No team can go up 17-0 and lose by 17 and come out of the game thinking pretty well of themselves. The Jaguars have some players on that defense, and the Kurns guy might be something. Most likely he won’t, though, and that was them gashing a bad defense. The Jaguars shouldn’t take too much from Henne in that game and turn to Bortles sooner rather than later.


24.) Chicago Bears  (0-1  =  20-23)

The Bears might be better than this; they probably will end up better than this. Still, you can’t excuse that type of lackadaisical play against a seemingly poor team at home. The nicks to both Jeffery and Marshall don’t help either. The defense still can’t stop anyone, and their mediocre switching of personnel didn’t seem to help.


23.) Houston Texans  (1-0  =  17-6)

I’m not giving them too much credit for that win, because the Redskins did it to themselves, and if they’re relying on blocked punt TDs and 70-yard TDs to beat bad teams then they don’t really have much of a chance. Still… JJ Watt, presented without explanation.


22.) Baltimore Ravens  (0-1  =  16-23)

The Ravens are that team that can do nothing for three quarters, but somehow still force field goals the hold time and then be magically alive. This time they couldn’t finish the job, though. That defense is still very good, and Flacco got in some rhythm, but they will not having a run game this season at all.


21.) New York Giants  (0-1  =  14-35)

Should they be ranked lower? Probably, but I think that game was more about the Lions. Also, I have to imagine the offense will get more in sync as the season goes on. That defense played well, as odd as it sounds. Some of the scoring was on long drives or Calvin making Calvin plays.


20.) Buffalo Bills (1-0  =  23-20)

Here’s what we know. They were surprisingly good at defense last year behind an awesome pass rush, and that pass rush still seems to be very good. They have a bunch of small, shifty skill position players for the 10th straight year. What we don’t know is if EJ Manuel is any good. I still don’t think we know.



19.) Tennessee Titans  (1-0  =  26-10)

That was an impressive win, especially defensively. The Titans have obvious talent on offense and their success on that side comes down to Locker staying healthy. The defense, though, was a surprise. They switched pretty naturally to a 3-4, which is hard to with keeping the same personnel. If that holds, then they can be a threat.


18.) Minnesota Vikings  (1-0  =  34-6)

Great win, great performance. It took a while for them to get going, which is understandable against a good defense, but the Vikings dominated on both lines. They’ve rebuilt that o-line nicely, and man can they use Cordarrelle Patterson well. Mike Zimmer has that defense humming too. I can’t imagine them really doing well against New England, but who knows?


17.) Pittsburgh Steelers  (1-0  =  30-27)

That was the opposite of a great win. That was a terrible win. Through 30 minutes, the Steelers made it look like it was Week 1, 2008, all over again, dominating a team like no other. Then it all fell apart. Roethlisberger looks great, which is good for Pittsburgh since the rest of the team looks terrible.


16.) Atlanta Falcons  (1-0  =  37-34)

Great win, but I’m not hopping on that bandwagon yet as I’m still not confident at all in that defense, and the Falcons seem to play the Saints close no matter what. The offense looks great, but I’m worried about the state of the o-line.


15.) New York Jets  (1-0  =  19-14)

Really nice game, should have been a dominant 19-7 win, holding the Raiders to ~100 yards. That run defense is special, and their pass rush is quite good. They’ll have to put that secondary together with scotch tape for a while, but it all works in the end. They’ll get a real challenge with Green Bay coming up.


14.) Philadelphia Eagles  (1-0  =  34-17)

They seem like, and probably are, the class of the division. Still, it was nice to see Nick Foles struggle for a while. He reacted well, far better than in his previous bad starts. The defense looked awful, and they won’t be playing teams with Jacksonville’s limited weapons again for a while.


13.) San Diego Chargers  (0-1  =  17-18)

The defense looked a lot better than in the past, but that offensive performance was strange. They were able to get short, consistent gains last year, and didn’t try any of those at all, depending on mid to deep routes. Sure, the Cardinals defense is fantastic, but that was an odd offensive game.


12.) Arizona Cardinals  (1-0  =  18-17)

I went to bed with them down 6-17, despite their defense playing awesome and despite Carson Palmer having an OK game. I woke up with them winning the game 18-17 with their defense still playing awesome and Carson Palmer having a good game. Their defense is really built off their secondary, which allows them to blitz all the time. They’ll need that to continue without Dockett and now with John Abraham banged up.


11.) Miami Dolphins  (1-0  =  33-20)

That was impressive. I don’t want to overreact to Week 1, but man was that an awesome performance in the 2nd half. They were just dominant. They d-line was dominant. Their secondary covered well. But the real story was that offense. The only thing that stopped them in the 1st half was themselves, and their o-line, a giant problem all season long last year, was incredible. I don’t know if they can keep it up, but that was really good.


10.) New Orleans Saints  (0-1  =  34-37)

I’m not a fan of Rob Ryan, finding him and his defenses so overrated because of that last name ‘Ryan’. Well, they showed why. I have to admit Rob Ryan’s defense was very good last year, but that was an absolutely pathetic performance, the type that happened way too often with his defenses in Dallas and Cleveland. The offense remains great, though.


9.) New England Patriots  (0-1  =  20-33)

Would love to have them lower, but we’ve seen them have bad games before. Still, getting outscored 23-0 in the 2nd half was pretty shocking. Brady’s 2nd half stat-line was something out of JaMarcus Russell’s career, going 10-27 for 62 yards! Of course, everyone says that it was the receivers and the o-line, because it can never be Brady’s fault.


8.) Indianapolis Colts  (0-1  =  24-31)

The Robert Mathis injury is crushing. I really don’t know if their defense can recover as he was 50% of their sacks in 2013. Still, I think we’ll feel a lot better about that performance a few weeks from now. They played with Denver for a bit. Their defense was good against the run. Andrew Luck is still special and they let him rip it around which is good.


7.) Carolina Panthers  (1-0  =  20-14)

Let’s not brag too much. Guess what, haters, that defense is still pretty damn special.


6.) Detroit Lions  (1-0  =  35-14)

That was an impressive performance. The defense looks fast, especially at the linebacker position, and Caldwell has them playing more disciplined defensively. The offense looked more controlled as well. I like how they’re utilizing all those weapons, and Matt Stafford looks dedicated. This might be too high, but they’ve always had the talent.


5.) San Francisco 49ers  (1-0  =  28-17)

This also might be too high, but let’s be honest, not too many of the consensus top teams had very good Week 1’s. The 49ers defense was gifted some picks, but it still looked good given how many people are missing. The offense looks very good, though, but it helps when you score 14 points with 1 yard of offense.


4.) Green Bay Packers  (0-1  =  16-36)

That was not a good performance, but that was a tough position. The Seahawks are the league’s best team right now, in primetime, at home, in their celebration game. Only one team has ever lost their Opening Game at home following the Super Bowl win. The Packers have issues, but I’ll wait to really judge them.


3.) Cincinnati Bengals  (1-0  =  23-16)

Had the turned some of those 5 FGs into TDs, that would’ve been a dominant win. Still, that was a pretty impressive win in Baltimore. Their defense did not seem to miss Mike Zimmer much. It may be more apparent if they get injuries. Andy Dalton looked good, but they’ll have to start getting better performance in the red zone.


2.) Denver Broncos  (1-0  =  31-24)

Not a good 2nd half, but some of that is complacency, which can’t happen going forward. The team looked terrifying in the 1st half, but neither side looked great in the 2nd. To me, they’ll get better once Von Miller starts getting back to 100%, but it was good to see their secondary play tight again.


1.) Seattle Seahawks  (1-0  =  36-16)

The King Stay the King.


32.) Oakland Raiders  (0-1  =  14-19)

I don’t expect them to be in last place all year, but when your QB can do nothing but throw checkdowns it is hard to put up even 150 yards of offense. Their running game is a no-show as well. If they have any hope, it is that their aging but skilled defense keeps them in enough games.


31.) Cleveland Browns  (0-1  =  27-30)

That was a spirited comeback against a team that can’t close, and Brian Hoyer played OK, and they were able to manufacture yards, but the part of their team that was supposed to help them (their defense) was awful much of the day. Sadly, I think their near ridiculous comeback will be one of the highpoints of the NFL season.


30.) Kansas City Chiefs  (0-1  =  10-26)

This is also about the injuries to Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito (though one of those guys means a whole lot more than the other) hurting my perception of the team, and probably that no team looked worse than the Chiefs. Alex Smith couldn’t throw deep, the defense which still has a lot of talent had no answer for Jake Locker. This might be a long season in KC.


29.) St. Louis Rams  (0-1  =  6-34)

Back in June I thought they would win the NFC West. I still think they have a shot at going 7-9, but the QB situation is so much worse than even when Bradford was there. I don’t know how many of those guys can afford another lost season either. Austin Davis is just nowhere near ready to play in an NFL game. The defense was still good for most of the game, but you’ll give up plays to an explosive team when you’re on the field all the time.


28.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers  (0-1  =  14-20)

If you can’t beat the Panthers, everyone’s off-season regression team, when they aren’t playing their one competent offensive player under 30, then you probably shouldn’t be getting the love you are. I like Lovie Smith the coach and over time I think they’ll start doing some good things (should time to be right around when Drew Brees winds down) but they’re a ways away.


27.) Washington Redskins  (0-1  =  6-17)

RGIII looked awful, but that might have been more JJ Watt looking like the demon monster he is. What I really don’t get is despite all the talk of Jay Gruden’s new offense, it still looks like zone reads, swing and screen passes, and deep bombs. There’s nothing creative here, and while RGIII may not reach his rookie form, he’s better than this.


26.) Dallas Cowboys  (0-1  =  17-28)

The defense actually played reasonably well. Of course, the 49ers offense basically stopped trying in the 2nd half so it was hard to tell how well the defense played. What did not go well was the offense. Tony Romo was awful, there’s no way around it. He was reacting to pressure that wasn’t there, throwing passes that were absolutely Favre-ian at his worst.


25.) Jacksonville Jaguars  (0-1  =  17-34)

No team can go up 17-0 and lose by 17 and come out of the game thinking pretty well of themselves. The Jaguars have some players on that defense, and the Kurns guy might be something. Most likely he won’t, though, and that was them gashing a bad defense. The Jaguars shouldn’t take too much from Henne in that game and turn to Bortles sooner rather than later.


24.) Chicago Bears  (0-1  =  20-23)

The Bears might be better than this; they probably will end up better than this. Still, you can’t excuse that type of lackadaisical play against a seemingly poor team at home. The nicks to both Jeffery and Marshall don’t help either. The defense still can’t stop anyone, and their mediocre switching of personnel didn’t seem to help.


23.) Houston Texans  (1-0  =  17-6)

I’m not giving them too much credit for that win, because the Redskins did it to themselves, and if they’re relying on blocked punt TDs and 70-yard TDs to beat bad teams then they don’t really have much of a chance. Still… JJ Watt, presented without explanation.


22.) Baltimore Ravens  (0-1  =  16-23)

The Ravens are that team that can do nothing for three quarters, but somehow still force field goals the hold time and then be magically alive. This time they couldn’t finish the job, though. That defense is still very good, and Flacco got in some rhythm, but they will not having a run game this season at all.


21.) New York Giants  (0-1  =  14-35)

Should they be ranked lower? Probably, but I think that game was more about the Lions. Also, I have to imagine the offense will get more in sync as the season goes on. That defense played well, as odd as it sounds. Some of the scoring was on long drives or Calvin making Calvin plays.


20.) Buffalo Bills (1-0  =  23-20)

Here’s what we know. They were surprisingly good at defense last year behind an awesome pass rush, and that pass rush still seems to be very good. They have a bunch of small, shifty skill position players for the 10th straight year. What we don’t know is if EJ Manuel is any good. I still don’t think we know.



19.) Tennessee Titans  (1-0  =  26-10)

That was an impressive win, especially defensively. The Titans have obvious talent on offense and their success on that side comes down to Locker staying healthy. The defense, though, was a surprise. They switched pretty naturally to a 3-4, which is hard to with keeping the same personnel. If that holds, then they can be a threat.


18.) Minnesota Vikings  (1-0  =  34-6)

Great win, great performance. It took a while for them to get going, which is understandable against a good defense, but the Vikings dominated on both lines. They’ve rebuilt that o-line nicely, and man can they use Cordarrelle Patterson well. Mike Zimmer has that defense humming too. I can’t imagine them really doing well against New England, but who knows?


17.) Pittsburgh Steelers  (1-0  =  30-27)

That was the opposite of a great win. That was a terrible win. Through 30 minutes, the Steelers made it look like it was Week 1, 2008, all over again, dominating a team like no other. Then it all fell apart. Roethlisberger looks great, which is good for Pittsburgh since the rest of the team looks terrible.


16.) Atlanta Falcons  (1-0  =  37-34)

Great win, but I’m not hopping on that bandwagon yet as I’m still not confident at all in that defense, and the Falcons seem to play the Saints close no matter what. The offense looks great, but I’m worried about the state of the o-line.


15.) New York Jets  (1-0  =  19-14)

Really nice game, should have been a dominant 19-7 win, holding the Raiders to ~100 yards. That run defense is special, and their pass rush is quite good. They’ll have to put that secondary together with scotch tape for a while, but it all works in the end. They’ll get a real challenge with Green Bay coming up.


14.) Philadelphia Eagles  (1-0  =  34-17)

They seem like, and probably are, the class of the division. Still, it was nice to see Nick Foles struggle for a while. He reacted well, far better than in his previous bad starts. The defense looked awful, and they won’t be playing teams with Jacksonville’s limited weapons again for a while.


13.) San Diego Chargers  (0-1  =  17-18)

The defense looked a lot better than in the past, but that offensive performance was strange. They were able to get short, consistent gains last year, and didn’t try any of those at all, depending on mid to deep routes. Sure, the Cardinals defense is fantastic, but that was an odd offensive game.


12.) Arizona Cardinals  (1-0  =  18-17)

I went to bed with them down 6-17, despite their defense playing awesome and despite Carson Palmer having an OK game. I woke up with them winning the game 18-17 with their defense still playing awesome and Carson Palmer having a good game. Their defense is really built off their secondary, which allows them to blitz all the time. They’ll need that to continue without Dockett and now with John Abraham banged up.


11.) Miami Dolphins  (1-0  =  33-20)

That was impressive. I don’t want to overreact to Week 1, but man was that an awesome performance in the 2nd half. They were just dominant. They d-line was dominant. Their secondary covered well. But the real story was that offense. The only thing that stopped them in the 1st half was themselves, and their o-line, a giant problem all season long last year, was incredible. I don’t know if they can keep it up, but that was really good.


10.) New Orleans Saints  (0-1  =  34-37)

I’m not a fan of Rob Ryan, finding him and his defenses so overrated because of that last name ‘Ryan’. Well, they showed why. I have to admit Rob Ryan’s defense was very good last year, but that was an absolutely pathetic performance, the type that happened way too often with his defenses in Dallas and Cleveland. The offense remains great, though.


9.) New England Patriots  (0-1  =  20-33)

Would love to have them lower, but we’ve seen them have bad games before. Still, getting outscored 23-0 in the 2nd half was pretty shocking. Brady’s 2nd half stat-line was something out of JaMarcus Russell’s career, going 10-27 for 62 yards! Of course, everyone says that it was the receivers and the o-line, because it can never be Brady’s fault.


8.) Indianapolis Colts  (0-1  =  24-31)

The Robert Mathis injury is crushing. I really don’t know if their defense can recover as he was 50% of their sacks in 2013. Still, I think we’ll feel a lot better about that performance a few weeks from now. They played with Denver for a bit. Their defense was good against the run. Andrew Luck is still special and they let him rip it around which is good.


7.) Carolina Panthers  (1-0  =  20-14)

Let’s not brag too much. Guess what, haters, that defense is still pretty damn special.


6.) Detroit Lions  (1-0  =  35-14)

That was an impressive performance. The defense looks fast, especially at the linebacker position, and Caldwell has them playing more disciplined defensively. The offense looked more controlled as well. I like how they’re utilizing all those weapons, and Matt Stafford looks dedicated. This might be too high, but they’ve always had the talent.


5.) San Francisco 49ers  (1-0  =  28-17)

This also might be too high, but let’s be honest, not too many of the consensus top teams had very good Week 1’s. The 49ers defense was gifted some picks, but it still looked good given how many people are missing. The offense looks very good, though, but it helps when you score 14 points with 1 yard of offense.


4.) Green Bay Packers  (0-1  =  16-36)

That was not a good performance, but that was a tough position. The Seahawks are the league’s best team right now, in primetime, at home, in their celebration game. Only one team has ever lost their Opening Game at home following the Super Bowl win. The Packers have issues, but I’ll wait to really judge them.


3.) Cincinnati Bengals  (1-0  =  23-16)

Had the turned some of those 5 FGs into TDs, that would’ve been a dominant win. Still, that was a pretty impressive win in Baltimore. Their defense did not seem to miss Mike Zimmer much. It may be more apparent if they get injuries. Andy Dalton looked good, but they’ll have to start getting better performance in the red zone.


2.) Denver Broncos  (1-0  =  31-24)

Not a good 2nd half, but some of that is complacency, which can’t happen going forward. The team looked terrifying in the 1st half, but neither side looked great in the 2nd. To me, they’ll get better once Von Miller starts getting back to 100%, but it was good to see their secondary play tight again.


1.) Seattle Seahawks  (1-0  =  36-16)

The King Stay the King.


Ranking Next Week’s Games

16.) St. Louis Rams (0-1)  @  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)  (4:05 – FOX)
15.) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)  @  Washington Redskins (0-1)  (1:00 – CBS)
14.) Houston Texans (1-0)  @  Oakland Raiders (0-1)  (4:25 – CBS)

I call it “Yes, you can have a trio of forgettable games in Week 2” Sunday, as all three of these games just seem awful. The Texans allow you to watch JJ Watt, I guess. Still, let’s move on to real games.


13.) New Orleans Saints (0-1)  @  Cleveland Browns (0-1)  (1:00 – FOX)
12.) Dallas Cowboys (0-1)  @  Tennessee Titans (1-0)  (1:00 – FOX)
11.) Kansas City Chiefs (0-1)  @  Denver Broncos (1-0)  (4:25 – CBS)
10.) New York Jets (1-0)  @  Green Bay Packers (0-1)  (4:25 – CBS)
9.) Arizona Cardinals (1-0)  @  New York Giants (0-1)  (1:00 – FOX)

I call it “Mildly Interesting Games that I won’t have to watch because I have Sunday Ticket” Sunday, as these games have some good teams and units (Denver offense, Green Bay offense, Jets’ run defense, Cards’ defense), and some awful units. I guess some could be close, but they probably won’t be top games.


8.) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)  @  Baltimore Ravens (0-1)  (TNF – CBS)

I call it “The Most Infamous Version of the Rivalry” Thursday, as what was once the league’s best rivalry gets played in a weird situation. First, we get our first Network TV TNF game, which should be interesting. The Ravens, though, are in turmoil right now. Teams react to these situations in different ways, so it should be interesting how the team plays, and how the crowd is.


7.) Miami Dolphins (1-0)  @  Buffalo Bills (1-0)  (1:00 – CBS)

I call it “How is this a big game?” Sunday, as one of these two teams will be 2-0, and unless the Jets upset the Packers, will be in 1st place all alone. Both teams have reasons to be excited, and this should be a fun early game.


6.) Chicago Bears (0-1)  @  San Francisco 49ers (1-0)  (SNF – NBC)
5.) New England Patriots (0-1)  @  Minnesota Vikings (1-0)  (1:00 – CBS)

I call it “Desperation vs. … well… non-Desperation” Sunday, as two early favorites try to avoid an 0-2 start on the road. On the other side, guess what? Both the 49ers and Vikings get to open new stadiums. For the 49ers, it is a triumphant first game in Levi’s Stadium. For the Vikings, it is Game 1 of their 16-game odyssey into playing outdoor home games while their new palace is getting built.


4.) Atlanta Falcons (1-0)  @  Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)  (1:00 – FOX)
3.) Detroit Lions (1-0)  @  Carolina Panthers (1-0)  (1:00 – FOX)

I call it “Good Teams, Good Stories, Good Early Season Tests” Sunday, both games have teams in that #5-#12 range, and are two of just three games pitting teams that are both 1-0. Falcons vs. Bengals should be a nice matchup of very good offense against very good defense. The Lions should be the same, but now make it a great defense and an incredible WR.


2.) Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)  @  Indianapolis Colts (0-1)  (MNF – ESPN)
1.) Seattle Seahawks (1-0)  @  San Diego Chargers (0-1)  (4:05 – FOX)

I call it “Desperation vs. non-Desperation, Primetime Edition” Sunday and Monday, as we get two very good games. The Colts need to win to avoid 0-2, as to the Chargers. Both are at home against NFC Division Winners. The Eagles didn’t look all too great in Week 1, but now they get another relatively soft defense. The Seahwks did look great, but the Chargers will be a nice test for their defense.


16.) St. Louis Rams (0-1)  @  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)  (4:05 – FOX)
15.) Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1)  @  Washington Redskins (0-1)  (1:00 – CBS)
14.) Houston Texans (1-0)  @  Oakland Raiders (0-1)  (4:25 – CBS)

I call it “Yes, you can have a trio of forgettable games in Week 2” Sunday, as all three of these games just seem awful. The Texans allow you to watch JJ Watt, I guess. Still, let’s move on to real games.


13.) New Orleans Saints (0-1)  @  Cleveland Browns (0-1)  (1:00 – FOX)
12.) Dallas Cowboys (0-1)  @  Tennessee Titans (1-0)  (1:00 – FOX)
11.) Kansas City Chiefs (0-1)  @  Denver Broncos (1-0)  (4:25 – CBS)
10.) New York Jets (1-0)  @  Green Bay Packers (0-1)  (4:25 – CBS)
9.) Arizona Cardinals (1-0)  @  New York Giants (0-1)  (1:00 – FOX)

I call it “Mildly Interesting Games that I won’t have to watch because I have Sunday Ticket” Sunday, as these games have some good teams and units (Denver offense, Green Bay offense, Jets’ run defense, Cards’ defense), and some awful units. I guess some could be close, but they probably won’t be top games.


8.) Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)  @  Baltimore Ravens (0-1)  (TNF – CBS)

I call it “The Most Infamous Version of the Rivalry” Thursday, as what was once the league’s best rivalry gets played in a weird situation. First, we get our first Network TV TNF game, which should be interesting. The Ravens, though, are in turmoil right now. Teams react to these situations in different ways, so it should be interesting how the team plays, and how the crowd is.


7.) Miami Dolphins (1-0)  @  Buffalo Bills (1-0)  (1:00 – CBS)

I call it “How is this a big game?” Sunday, as one of these two teams will be 2-0, and unless the Jets upset the Packers, will be in 1st place all alone. Both teams have reasons to be excited, and this should be a fun early game.


6.) Chicago Bears (0-1)  @  San Francisco 49ers (1-0)  (SNF – NBC)
5.) New England Patriots (0-1)  @  Minnesota Vikings (1-0)  (1:00 – CBS)

I call it “Desperation vs. … well… non-Desperation” Sunday, as two early favorites try to avoid an 0-2 start on the road. On the other side, guess what? Both the 49ers and Vikings get to open new stadiums. For the 49ers, it is a triumphant first game in Levi’s Stadium. For the Vikings, it is Game 1 of their 16-game odyssey into playing outdoor home games while their new palace is getting built.


4.) Atlanta Falcons (1-0)  @  Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)  (1:00 – FOX)
3.) Detroit Lions (1-0)  @  Carolina Panthers (1-0)  (1:00 – FOX)

I call it “Good Teams, Good Stories, Good Early Season Tests” Sunday, both games have teams in that #5-#12 range, and are two of just three games pitting teams that are both 1-0. Falcons vs. Bengals should be a nice matchup of very good offense against very good defense. The Lions should be the same, but now make it a great defense and an incredible WR.


2.) Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)  @  Indianapolis Colts (0-1)  (MNF – ESPN)
1.) Seattle Seahawks (1-0)  @  San Diego Chargers (0-1)  (4:05 – FOX)


I call it “Desperation vs. non-Desperation, Primetime Edition” Sunday and Monday, as we get two very good games. The Colts need to win to avoid 0-2, as to the Chargers. Both are at home against NFC Division Winners. The Eagles didn’t look all too great in Week 1, but now they get another relatively soft defense. The Seahwks did look great, but the Chargers will be a nice test for their defense.

About Me

I am a man who will go by the moniker dmstorm22, or StormyD, but not really StormyD. I'll talk about sports, mainly football, sometimes TV, sometimes other random things, sometimes even bring out some lists (a lot, lot, lot of lists). Enjoy.