Week Two is upon us with a number of games which are bound to be close run affairs based on what we saw in week one. I’ve made my picks for the Sunday games and Monday night football and I’m aiming to improve on my 11-5 last week. See if you agree (my picks in bold).
Texans @ Panthers – Even with Ryan Mallett replacing Brian Hoyer as starting QB, I think the Panthers are still the overall stronger team and should look to win at home.
Bucs @ Saints – The Bucs were all kinds of awful last week and I can’t see them improving enough to win in the Superdome.
Lions @ Vikings – The Lions have a lot of fire power on both sides of the ball; Amer Abdullah in particular made a great start to his rookie year despite the loss to San Diego. To say the Vikings disappointed on offense last week is an understatement.
Cardinals @ Bears – With Carson Palmer back to health and looking good plus no Alshon Jeffrey for the Bears, the Cardinals should leave Chicago 2-0.
Patriots @ Bills – This is a tough one to call especially as a Jets fan. Based on defensive performance against the Colts who are also meant to have one of the best offenses in the league, I’m taking the Bills, although Rex Ryan’s ego will be insufferable if they manage it.
Chargers @ Bengals – The Chargers did well against the Lions last week but I think the Bengals will have it especially if tight end Tyler Eifert can emulate his week one performance – the Chargers allowed Lions TE Eric Ebron double digit fantasy points last week.
49ers @ Steelers – Hoping to avoid a dreaded 0-2 start, the Steelers will need to find a way to improve their defensive performance to avoid Carlos Hyde having another career week. The 49ers were the surprise of week one and could cause another upset in week two although for many they are not the favourites. I just like the narrative!
Titans @ Browns – Marcus Mariota is bound to start making more rookie mistakes than he did last week but the Browns continue to look beleaguered especially if Johnny Manziel hasn’t tidied up since last week.
Falcons @ Giants- Another close one. The Giants were embarrassed by the manner of their loss to the Cowboys and will want to bounce back but Julio Jones was great in week one and will look to exploit the Giants weaknesses on defense.
Cowboys @ Eagles – Another close to call match up with many going for the Eagles but my gut instinct says that Romo, even without their jenga piece Dez Bryant can do it. He still has Jason Witten and Terrence Williams. Of course, the Eagles defense is better than the Giants last week but the Cowboys O-line is Teflon.
Rams @ Washington – It’s hard to see that Kirk Cousins and the Redskins offense will be any match for the Rams shut out defense.
Ravens @ Raiders – The Ravens weren’t exactly convincing in week one and the loss of Terrell Suggs is a huge one. Derek Carr is probable to play following week one injury but Charles Woodson is questionable and I think the Ravens will just have the edge here.
Dolphins @ Jaguars – The Dolphins are simply the strongest team here. It’s hard to see how Blake Bortles will cope with the Miami defense especially with Suh back.
Seahawks @ Packers – A rerun of NFC Championship game match up from last year. I think the Packers will come out on top on this occasion especially as the ‘Legion of Boom’ is still weakened by Kam Chancellor’s hold out. The Lambeau crowd will help difference too.
Jets @ Colts – Yes, I’m incredibly biased but I’m also clear that the Jets are the underdogs here. It’ll certainly be a bigger challenge than week one against the Browns but I still don’t think it’s a bridge too far. The Jets will need to carry on the momentum of improvement from week one and seek to emulate the defensive creativity which worked for the Bills against Luck and Co. Obviously the Colts at home will want to avoid an 0-2 start and we all know how good their offense can be. It’s certainly not a lock but I have faith that Todd Bowles can create a game plan which will push the Colts close.