ESPN.com’s Ross Tucker tweeted a great word of warning to fans after last Sunday’s games. “Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the year. ‘Overreaction Monday,'” he said referring to, well, all teams. (He’s a good follow for any football fan.)
As I talked about last week, it’s very easy to accept the first glimpse of your team as the only truth. Jets fans are thinking Super Bowl after their 48-17 drubbing of the Bills, while Buffalo fans are already scouting their No. 1 overall pick. But thankfully, the season doesn’t end after Week 1. We’ve all had a few days to salivate over or dread the upcoming slate of games after the small Week 1 sample, but nothing is set in stone yet.
One thing for sure though is that last week’s losing teams don’t want to start 0-2. While it’s still very possible to reach the postseason, it’s quite the uphill climb.
One of my favorite things about Week 2 is the polar shift in the mindsets of 1-0 teams after they lose their second game. Three or four teams will go from great to terrible this week, while three or four more will make the opposite shift. It’s a given.
Now let’s pick. I would’ve been happy with 7-9 last week but I was one better. This week should be rough as well until we get an actual feel of how good teams really are.
Green Bay over Chicago
Green Bay was one of the teams looking to fight off an 0-2 start coming into their Thursday nighter, but Clay Matthews and the Packers D had other ideas. Now Green Bay and Chicago are both sitting at 1-1 and feeling better than most people think.
Buffalo over Kansas City
It’s a matchup of two teams that came into the season with high hopes, but are both staring 0-2 in the face. I think the Bills have the offensive weapons and the defense to pull out a win.
Cincinnati over Cleveland
The season is young, but I’m already feeling for Browns fans. Brandon Weeden could certainly turn into a good QB, but he had the worst start of the five rookies under center last week.
Minnesota over Indianapolis
Don’t look now, but Minnesota may lead the NFC North by the end of the day. Would anyone outside of Minneapolis consider them the best in the division? No. But starting 2-0 could be a huge confidence boost going forward.
New Orleans over Carolina
Picked Carolina. Got bit. Never again (not against New Orleans, anyways). The Saints teams looked incredibly rusty last week and only lost by 8, so expect the real team to show up this week.
Houston over Jacksonville
Blaine Gabbert looked pretty good last week, which is a good sign fot Jacksonville fans, but J.J. Watt and the Texans will be a much tougher task.
Miami over Oakland
Ryan Tannehill looked just as bad as Weeden last week. Also looking bad was the Oakland Raiders receiving corps. But if their special teams sputters like they did last week, Carson Palmer and company shouldn’t stand a chance.
New England over Arizon
It’s crazy to think that New England isn’t a perennial playoff team regardless, but they should be thanking the NFL for the schedule that they get every year.
New York Giants over Tampa Bay
It feels like a month since New York and Dallas began the season, so Eli and company have had plenty of time to break down Tampa Bay on film. I expect them to do the same on the field.
Baltimore over Philadelphia
I’ve always loved the Ravens D (every football fan should), but now the offense is fighting for our affection, too? That’s frightening. I hope Vick makes it out in one piece.
St. Louis over Washington
No seriously, hear me out. St. Louis slowed a pretty explosive offense last week and would’ve (should’ve) pulled the upset. Of course the mobile quarterback adds a different dimension, but the Rams defense looks much better with Janoris Jenkins and Cortland Finnegan at corner.
Dallas over Seattle
The Cowboys secondary held their own against New York four weeks ago and I expect them to fare pretty well against Russell Wilson as well. They’ve proven to be unpredictable in the past, however.
Pittsburgh over New York Jets
Sanchez could throw eight picks today and still be a better choice than Tim Tebow. But like Kyle Orton in Denver, the fans could help decide his fate if he puts together too many bad games. I expect him to hold his own this week, but without CB Darrelle Revis, the Jets secondary could be exposed often.
Tennessee over San Diego
As was the case with Tennessee last season, I don’t have an explanation for this. Most people don’t remember that they were the only team with a winning record last season to miss the playoffs. Just take it as it is, folks.
San Francisco over Detroit
The best thing about the handshake at the end of the game is that it’ll be the last thing on people’s minds; like all Sunday night games, this looks to be a great one. The biggest matchup will be Matthew Stafford against the Niners defense. If he makes crucial mistakes, Alex Smith and the San Francisco offense will just need to manage the game to win (something that he’s extremely good at).
Denver over Atlanta
Even someone living in Redskins territory can say that no team is higher on their new quarterback right now than Denver. A fraction of the old Peyton with that defense is essentially an automatic playoff berth, and the Peyton that we saw last week against Pittsburgh was fantastic. And with Atlanta’s best CB out for the season (Brent Grimes), Peyton should put together another solid performance even in hostile territory.
Record for Week: 8-8
Record for Season: 16-16