Welcome to Week 2 of my picks column, or as I like to call it, a donation to bookies everywhere. It was an interesting 1st week in the NFL as the 1st overall pick didn’t even dress while the 2nd overall pick looked great and led his team to victory. The Raiders gambled and won, while the NFL gambled with their MVP’s health and lost. What will week 2 bring to us? There is the NFL’s best current rivalry playing in Pittsburgh, and football finally returning to LA. The best part is, we got rid of the Bills loss early this week, so we can all just sit back and relax on Sunday. Enjoy the games and let me know what you think by tweeting at me @yardsperpass.
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (-2.5)
Both the Cowboys and Redskins look to avoid starting 0-2 as the men from Dallas come to our nation’s capital to play the Redskins. Prescott and the Cowboys offense looked quite ordinary at home, only gaining 328 yards with their superstar WR Dez Bryant not being an impact with 1 catch. The Redskins were blown out by 22 points at home and I cannot see them laying 2 goose eggs in a row, especially when going against their biggest rival. Dak’s 1st NFL game on the road has to come into play here and I am going to take the Redskins and lay the 2.5
San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers (-13.5)
Fresh off his 38 concussions in Denver, Cam Newton and the 0-1 Panthers need a win in the worst way as the 49ers come to town to play Sunday. Carlos Hyde may have found his favorite offense as Chip Kelly had his stud RB gashing the Rams last Monday night. The 49ers also shutout their division rivals in a dominating defensive performance as well… so why are they a 13.5 point underdog? Carolina is a great team, Cam is the MVP, their LBs are top notch, Benjamin looked like a stud, and I definitely think that they will win. But 13.5 is too much, give me the points.
Tennessee Titans at Detroit Lions (-6)
The underrated Titans defense is going to Detroit to face the Lions who won last week after being gifted the game by Chuck Pagano’s awful clock management. The Titans defense pitched a shutout last week in the 1st half of their game vs the Vikings but were not able to hold onto the victory. The Lions are favored by almost a touchdown and look like the team to pick after putting up 39 points and almost 450 yards. While the Titans only scored 16 points and gained 316 yards. So why am I going with the Titans? I believe in that Titans front four and I believe in Mariota who will overcome Mularkey’s bad trick plays and cover the spread here. Fantasy pick of the week is Theo Riddick who looks like he is about to turn into a star.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-6.5)
Garoppolo part deux. As the Pats host the Dolphins in an early AFC East clash. The Dolphins defense played great last week vs the Seahawks holing them to 12 points. They may have won the game were it not for a terrible drop by Stills who was wide open for a walk in touchdown. The Pats won on Sunday night missing Brady, Gronk, Ninkovich, and their 2 starting impressive offensive tackles. Another vintage Belichick performance and I would see no reason for it to change this week. I’ll take the Pats to win big in front of the Brady banner.
New Orleans Saints at New York Giants (-4.5)
The Saints come marching into NY this Sunday to play Ben McAdoo’s G-Men. The Saints ran their 20 into BlackJack Del Rio’s 21 last Sunday and lost on a last second 2 point conversion as Michael Crabtree was able to make a play and rip down the pass. This should not diminish the fact that Drew Brees threw for over 400 yards and put up 34 points on a decent Oakland defense. The Giants held on to a 4th quarter lead last week for what seems like the first time since dinosaurs walked the earth. Salsa classes were back in session as Victor Cruz played well and gives Eli Manning a great compliment to Beckham. However, while I do like the Giants overall this year, I think that 4.5 points is too much to give up vs a Saints offense that looked like it can score on anybody this year. Give me the Saints.
Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans (-2.5)
It is the BBQ bowl as the Chiefs and Texans, 2 teams expected to contend for division titles, play in Houston at 1pm. The Chiefs took care of the Texans twice last year and have the type of quick passing offense that can negate a very good Texans pass rush. But this is a new Texans team as they don’t just rely on defense because they have an offense now led by Brock Osweiler. With Lamar Miller behind him the Texans have a solid RB who will continue to be a great compliment to Nuk Hopkins and the passing game. This is a huge test for both teams as a win over a possible future playoff opponent could prove to be huge come the end of the season. I am going to go with the Chiefs here as I am still not sold on Osweiler. Andy Reid and Alex Smith on the road… and I feel good taking them. How times change.
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (+6.5)
The Ravens coming off an impressive defensive showing vs the Bills play their division rival the Browns in Cleveland. The Browns are starting Josh McCown again as RGIII might be out for the year, this is music to the ears of Gary Barnidge fantasy owners and to pretty much nobody else. McCown is 37 years old and coming off a broken collarbone at the hands of the Ravens last year and is a definite downgrade from RGIII. The Ravens didn’t do much vs the Bills last week on offense but they didn’t need to as their defense held the Bills to 7 points. I normally hate taking road favorites, but the Browns are a mess and loss their deep ball QB too, so I am going to go with the Ravens and lay the points.
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)
The Game of the Week sees the Bengals on the road for the 2nd week in a row as they visit the Steelers in what is perhaps the NFL’s best rivalry right now. Andy Dalton got beat up by a tough Jets front 4 last week, but was still able to lead his team to victory, mainly by throwing the ball to AJ Green a shit ton. Green sipped mai tai’s on Revis Island and should be able to do the same versus a Pittsburgh secondary that isn’t nearly as good. However, that doesn’t mean I am picking the Bengals as the Steelers were able to put up 447 yards and 38 points against the NFC East Champs last week. One interesting thing about Andy Dalton is that he performs much better vs teams that do not see him often as opposed to those that do. The Steelers play him twice a year and with Eifert still being out I am going to pick the Steelers in this one.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals (-7)
Jameis Winston is looking like the NFL’s next great young QB and is bringing in his Buccaneers to the desert to play the 0-1 Cardinals. I like taking good teams that are 0-1 because starting 0-2 puts you in such a huge hole and teams know that. So this is more of a psychological play here as I think the Cardinals know that starting 0-2 with both games at home would be a disaster in a season in which they are expected to contend for a Super Bowl. This isn’t to say that the Bucs aren’t a good team, as I think they definitely will compete this year, I just can’t see a veteran led team like the Cards dropping to 0-2. Now, will they cover the 7? I would feel much better at 6.5, but I’ll trust the Cards to come out both guns blazing
Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Rams (+6)
It wasn’t any 7-9 bullshit last Monday night, it was some 3-13 bullshit as the Rams got shutout by the lowly 49ers. The Rams are in the middle of extending the contract of Jeff Fisher and can’t play their 1st overall pick because the playbook is too wordy and Goff can’t get the plays out in the huddle. So why on earth would I take the Rams here? It is weird but the Rams play their division rivals really really well, their defensive line can really give Wilson and the Seahawks trouble up front (see Miami last week), and I can’t just see the Rams being this bad with Gurley and their defense. I’m plugging my nose and taking the points… and not only that, the Rams are my best bet.
Jacksonville Jaguars at San Diego Chargers (-3)
The Jags went toe to toe with Aaron Rodgers last week in Green Bay and this week they fly to southern California to play the Keenan Allen-less Chargers in a battle of 0-1 teams. Phil Rivers is a solid NFL QB stuck on a terrible team and I’m not sold on Melvin Gordon. The Jags are an up and coming team with one of the best WR duos in the NFL in Robinson and Hurns. I saw a stat that said the Jags haven’t won on the west coast since 2005, consider that stat changed as of Sunday night.
Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders (-5)
BlackJack Del Rio looks to double down on week 1 as the 1-0 Raiders host the Dirty Birds from Atlanta. The Raiders went down to New Orleans and kept up with a hot Drew Brees and beat the Saints in what was week 1’s most exciting game. While the Falcons feel crabby after allowing 4 TD passes to the Bucs in week 1 home loss. This could be another shootout as both teams have sport a top tier WR (Jones, Cooper) and a QB that isn’t afraid to put it up to them. Can Khali Mack slow down a potent Atlanta offense? Can the Falcons improve their leaky pass defense? The 5 point line says that Vegas thinks the Raiders are a bit better than the Falcons but that it is very close. I think that the Raiders are better and win a very close game again, so I am going to take the Falcons and the points.
Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos (-6)
I’m guessing Peyton Manning will be watching this game in his pajamas as his two former teams face off in Denver. The Denver game plan is very simple, play it very safe on offense and rely on their dominant defense to carry them to victory. The Colts look to put up some points as a healthy Andy Luck looked fantastic week 1. However, the Colts offensive line is not good already and will be challenged by the NFL’s best pass rush. But even knowing this, I know that the NFL is a quarterback league and I just can’t take Trevor Siemian vs Andrew Luck. I know it is a team game, but the QB disparity is too great in this matchup. Can Siemian beat Cam and Luck in his 1st 2 starts? That would be quite the accomplishment.
Sunday Night Football
Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings (+2.5)
Aaron Rodgers come in town to play their big rivals the Vikings on Sunday night football. I am a big Mike Zimmer fan, I think he is a great coach and has a great defense up in Minnesota. But I think their season ended when Teddy two-gloves went down. The combo of Shaun Hill/Sam Bradford (Sham Bill?) just doesn’t thrill me at all and that puts way too much pressure on the greatest RB of this generation. Can the Vikings defense slow down a healthy Jordy Nelson and the crossfit advertisement Eddie Lacy? I think they keep it close early but Rodgers gets hot late and will make this an easy win for the Pack.
Monday Night Football
Philadelphia Eagles at Chicago Bears (-3)
It is Biden vs Obama has Biden’s Eagles look to trump Obama’s Bears on Monday Night Football. Carson Wentz was impressive week 1 in making the jump from North Dakota to the NFL, but I am not ready to crown him as it was against the lowly Browns. The Bears on the other hand lost to a decent Texans team. Jay Cutler was very Jay Cutler throwing for only 216 yards and there was a lack of a running game as well. But I will hold my nose and take the Bears. If you look at every stat it says that the Eagles should win here, but football is played by human beings not computers and Monday Night Football on the road vs the Bears should be enough to slow down the rookie QB. Now if Wentz can put together another solid game this week, then I’ll start to believe.
Bills Games (1-1 YTD) Picked the Jets last night
Best Bet (0-1 YTD)
Week 1 (6-10)
– Jon Ramsey (@YardsPerPass)