Raiders at Chiefs
I did not hear him talk to reporters, but judging by the quotes I'm reading, Raiders first-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey pretty much put on a clinic for what not to say this week. DHB, who got a monster deal from Oakland, went without a catch during his debut Monday night against the Chargers. However, he thought he played "solid" and also had this to say:
“As long as the coaches notice that’s all that matters,” Heyward-Bey told the Contra-Costa Times. “I don’t really care what the fans think or what anyobody else thinks. As long as they see I’m doing the job they want me to do, they’re the ones paying me.”
Don't they teach this at the Rookie Symposium? Never, under any circumstances, say you don't care what the fans think. If Jeremy Maclin were to say that, you think he might get some ribbing in this city?
The pick: Raiders (+3)
Texans at Titans
Texans cornerback Dunta Robinson was fined $25,000 for sending a "pay me Rick" message on his shoes during Houston's Week 1 loss to the Jets. Rick is Rick Smith, the Texans' general manager. Too funny. Some of this stuff you just can't make up. Life in the NFL in 2009, my friends.
The pick: Titans (-6.5)
Patriots at Jets
To gauge the excitement of fans after Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez led New York to a Week 1 win over the Texans, I called on my friend Benny -- a diehard, yet sensible Jets fan. I asked him to rate his excitement on a scale from 1-to-10, and to also explain why. His e-mailed response:
As a Jets fan, my excitement level is an 8. It would be a 10 if I didnt have such painful memories in my mind. Let's not forget the Jets were 8-3 last season, talking about the Super Bowl, only to miss the playoffs. They couldn't have looked better in Week 1, but the Texans had no tape on Sanchez and really didnt know for sure what to expect from Rex Ryan's defense. I'm extremely excited about the potential of Sanchez, and I think Ryan will give their defense some legitimacy for a long time. But if you are a Jets fan, you know that Belichick will have something up his sleeve and leave Jets fans heartbroken come Sunday afternoon. There is a huge piece of me that feels like the Jets are setting themselves up for a huge let-down and that Belichick was playing possum in Week 1 against the Bills.
Benny sounds a little too nervous for me to take the Jets.
The pick: Patriots (-3.5)
Bengals at Packers
We'll start a new feature for the picks called "You know you're fantasy team sucks if..."
We'll start with me. But feel free to send in your own personal tales of disaster in the future.
You know your fantasy team sucks if... you thought you'd be fine with a QB platoon of Carson Palmer and Jay Cutler.
(Slamming head against desk)
The pick: Bengals (+9)
Vikings at Lions
Time for (drumroll, please) MC's Pick of the Week. If you're a newcomer to the blog, MC is a long-time friend, who you could say enjoys placing a wager or two from time to time. Each week he picks a game for us. While he got off to a rough start taking the Texans over the Jets last week, we think he'll bounce back. And if not, well, just start going with the opposite of his pick in Week 3. His take here:
Detroit’s defense picked up where they left off last year by giving up 500 yards to the Saints in Week 1. Adrian Peterson should have a field day in this one.
The pick: Vikings (-10)
Saints at Eagles
As we discussed with Dave Staley of sportsbook.com, this was a tough line to come up with, given the Eagles' uncertain quarterback situation. But, it's clear from the gamblers that they think Kevin Kolb is going to play, and they don't think he's very good. On sportsbook.com's betting trends page, 88 percent of the action is on New Orleans to cover. I'm going the other way. I'm banking on the Saints being a less effective team on the road, Kolb avoiding turnovers and the defense or special teams putting points on the board.
The pick: Eagles (pick 'em)
Panthers at Falcons
We're going to do our best Domo impression here and play "What A.J. said, what A.J. meant" for A.J. Feeley, who signed with the Panthers last week.
What A.J. said, per The Charlotte Observer, about Jake Delhomme:
“All quarterbacks go through a situation like that where you go through a funk,” said Feeley. “He's a savvy veteran. He's been in this system for a while. Guys on the team know what to expect from him. I don't see it keeping him down. I think he's going to bounce back from it and be ready to go next week.”
What A.J. meant:
"Eleven turnovers in two games? I thought my seven INTs in two games back in '07 were bad. That would be considered taking care of the football here. Funny how quickly things change. A few weeks ago, I was content finishing my career as a third-stringer. Now maybe I can get starter money in the offseason. Seems like a simple formula. Get the ball to Steve Smith so he doesn't punch me. Hand off to the two running backs. And commit less than six turnovers a game. Yeah, I think I can handle that."
The pick: Panthers (+6)
Rams at Redskins
Another weekly feature we're introducing (I'm full of surprises today, huh?). The featured comment or e-mail of the week. Our player-by-player breakdowns during the week seemed to be a big hit. So much so that I requested you come up with a name for them This isn't the winner, but one that I enjoyed from David in Atlanta:
As for a name for your breakdown report (i.e. weekly Eagles report), I thought of combining breakdown with rewind. The result (drumroll):
The pick: Rams (+9.5)
Bucs at Bills
Two teens vandalized the lawn of Bills return man Leodis McKelvin after he fumbled the kickoff late in Buffalo's heartbreaking loss to the Patriots. Which begs the question: What's wrong with people? Not only do I predict that the Bills crush Tampa, but I say McKelvin takes one to the house and becomes the feel-good story of Week 2.
The pick: Bills (-5)
Cardinals at Jaguars
Bad times in Jacksonville. A Week 1 loss to the Colts. A blacked-out home opener in Week 2 against the Cardinals, with a rumored 17,000 tickets still available. And the sports pages filled with stories about whether Tim Tebow could be a good fit next year. Not how you want to start your season. Then again, I could easily see the networks breaking out the whole "Teams that start 0-2..." stat with Arizona next week, along with a list of how Super Bowl losers have fared during the past decade.
The pick: Jaguars (-3)
Seahawks at 49ers
When and if Michael Crabtree signs, what is Mike Singletary going to do to him? He's gotta be scared out of his mind. I can't imagine what it'll be like the first time he steps on Singletary's practice field. Please tell me ESPN is going to cut live to this.
The pick: Seahawks (+1.5)
Browns at Broncos
Loved the move by Brandon Stokley to try and run clock before going into the end zone on the game-winning, miraculous play last week. Anyone else reminded of Brian Westbrook going down early in that game against the Cowboys a couple seasons ago? Smart football players.
The pick: Broncos (-3)
Steelers at Bears
What a swing of emotions for Bears fans. Last Sunday night, they were thinking Super Bowl. They finally had a quarterback who could lead them through the NFC. It was time to put the disappointing Cubs season behind them. And now? They're just trying to avoid complete disaster. An abysmal performance by Jay Cutler and the offense. A season-ending injury to Brian Urlacher. And now a date with the defending champs. Ouch.
The pick: Steelers (-3)
Ravens at Chargers
According to Aaron Wilson's Twitter feed, John Harbaugh said the Ravens were talking to Hank Baskett right before he signed with the Colts. Sounds like several teams were interseted in Baskett, but no one wanted to pay the $1.545M he would have been owed if claimed off waivers. By the way, L.J. Smith could make his highly anticipated debut in this one.
The pick: Chargers (-3)
Giants at Cowboys
I Tweeted this, but did anyone see the photo close-up of Jerry Jones' hands on ESPN.com's home page Thursday night? Frightening. I can't even begin to describe them, but I enjoyed this response from @mTrible:
Several kittens died as a result of that picture's publication.
Not sure what that means, but I laughed.
The pick: Giants (+3)
Last week's record: 6-8
Lines used are from sportsbook.com. I'll pick the Monday night game on Monday. I promise this time.