Last week: 11-5
Note: Lines used are from sportsbook.com
Raiders at Chiefs
I'm implementing a pick rule here. Go against the Raiders until they prove you wrong. Oakland looked awful Monday night, and they've been awful for years now. This passage from the Raiders blog on insidebayarea.com should tell you all you need to know about the state of the franchise:
Lane Kiffin has his own ideas about defense. He is simply powerless to implement them. He leaves that up to defensive coordiantor Rob Ryan and owner Al Davis, who meet weekly to formulate the defensive game plan.
I've never been so confident in taking a Damon Huard/Herm Edwards combination to cover.
The pick: Chiefs (-3.5)
Titans at Bengals
Bizarre few days in Tennessee with Vince Young this week. Jim Wyatt of tennessean.com sums it up pretty well. Young was injured and booed during last week's game. Coach Jeff Fisher was told Young had left his house in an emotional state Monday night so he alerted police. They met up later that night, and everything was fine. As for the game, Carson Palmer and the Cincy offense were terrible against the Ravens, and Tennessee's 'D' stymied the Jaguars.
The pick: Titans (+1)
Colts at Vikings
Amazing how quickly things can change in the NFL. Going into this season, I think most would have agreed the Patriots, Colts and Chargers were the favorites to win it all. Now Tom Brady and Shawne Merriman are out, and the Colts were roughed up in Week 1 against the Bears. In 2007, Indy lost its first game on Nov. 4. In 2006, Nov. 19. And in 2005, Dec. 18. I know they didn't look like the same team in the opener, but I can't seen an 0-2 start.
The pick: Colts (-2)
Packers at Lions
This feels like one of those games where Vegas shows it's smarter than the rest of us. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers are coming off a nice Monday night win over the Vikings. The Lions, meanwhile, gave up 318 yards on the ground against the Falcons. The following are actual headlines on the Detroit Free Press' Web site: Lions may have been overconfident: 'I hope this loss humbled this locker room'; Marinelli has no choice but to stand by Lions; Lions' season is already over. I'll probably regret it, especially considering 96 percent of the money is on Green Bay to cover, but I don't see how you can go with Detroit at this point.
The pick: Packers (-3)
Bears at Panthers
Two early possibilities to be the NFL's surprise team. Jake Delhomme and the Panthers stunned the Chargers on the game's final play, and the Bears got a great road win in Indy. Panthers wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad said in the offseason that Chicago is where receivers go to die. Meanwhile, Chicago Tribune writer David Haugh calls Bears quarterback Kyle Orton the team's most improved player. The Panthers historically haven't had much of a home-field advantage (3-5 last season).
The pick: Bears (+3)
Giants at Rams
You all watched the Rams last week. Do I really need an explanation here? The Giants were 7-1 on the road last season. There. That should be enough.
The pick: Giants (-9)
Saints at Redskins
This is MC's pick of the week. If you missed it from Week 1, my buddy MC will be picking one game each week for the blog. Here's what he's got:
The loss of Marques Colston hurts the Saints, but I can't pick the 'Skins after how terrible their offense looked in week 1.
The pick: Saints (-1)
Bills at Jaguars
Do we add Jacksonville the growing list of preseason AFC favorites that are nearing panic mode? The Jags lost their two starting guards in the opener against the Titans. QB David Garrard was picked off twice after throwing just three interceptions all last season. And the Jags rushed for just 33 yards on 17 attempts. I say they bounce back, but the line might be a little high for my liking.
The pick: Bills (+5)
Falcons at Bucs
Is it just me, or has Jeff Garcia turned into quite a whiner since leaving Philly? Here's what he said about Jon Gruden going with Brian Griese this week:
"I mean, there are some quarterbacks out there that played worse than I did last week."
Very convincing, right?
The pick: Falcons (+7)
49ers at Seahawks
As I mentioned yesterday, Seattle is without its four top receivers, which caused the Seahawks to select former Eagles wideout Billy McMullen. Meanwhile, the beginning of the Mike Martz (offensive coordinator) era in San Francisco resulted in five fumbles (four lost), an interception and 13 points against Arizona.
The pick: Seahawks (-6.5)
Dolphins at Cardinals
Interesting article on azcentral.com that examines U.S. cities that feature out-of-market fan bases for different NFL teams. For example, what U.S. city besides Philadelphia houses the most Eagles fans? The answer, according to the report by DirecTV, is Baltimore. I know this has nothing to do with the game, but it's the Dolphins and the Cardinals. I have absolutely nothing insightful to add.
The pick: Dolphins (+6.5)
Patriots at Jets
The aformentioned MC e-mailed me earlier this week and said "What if I would have told you six months ago that the Jets would be favored over the Patriots in Week 2?" Like I said before, crazy how quickly things can change in this league. I'm going with Matt Cassel and the Patriots. Note -- If New England wins, it would be a good idea not to watch ESPN at all next week. It will be unbearable.
The pick: Patriots (+1)
Chargers at Broncos
Let's take a look back at the QBs selected in the 2006 draft:
Vince Young: Jeff Fisher had to call the cops earlier this week because he feared for his QB's emotional well-being.
Matt Leinart: Couldn't beat out 37-year-old Kurt Warner for the starting job.
And then there's Jay Cutler, who threw for 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns without his leading receiver in Denver's Week 1 win over the Raiders. I'd say things look like they'll turn out pretty well for the Broncos. That being said...
The pick: Chargers (-1)
Steelers at Browns
Ben Roethlisberger is banged up but expected to play in the Sunday night matchup. The Browns looked terrible in a Week 1 loss to the Cowboys, and I said before the season, I don't see Cleveland matching its win total from a year ago.
The pick: Steelers (-6.5)
Note: Monday night picks will be made Monday.