September 17, 2015
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5):
The Broncos have owned this rivalry in recent years winning all six contests since acquiring Peyton Manning but I believe this is the season where Kansas City finally breaks through and takes the AFC West. If that is to happen, the Chiefs need to pull this one out on their home field.
The pick: Chiefs 23 – Broncos 20
September 20, 2015
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (+.5):
This is one of the week’s most intriguing games. The Patriots are starting three rookies on the offensive line including a rookie-free-agent at Center on the road in a hostile environment against one of the most imposing defensive fronts in the league. That is a huge mismatch. Rex knows how to disrupt Brady’s timing and has the players to do it. On the other side of the ball, Tyrod Taylor makes his second career start. I suspect that he’ll make some plays with his feet but will ultimately fall victim to the “size” of this game and try to do too much. Turnovers will decide the outcome of this game and I trust Brady more than Taylor. Look for former Bill TE Scott Chandler have a big game as Rex focuses on shutting down the Gronk.
The pick: Patriots 20 – Bills 19
Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers (-3.5):
The Texans laid an egg in their opener and are now reportedly switching to Ryan Mallet at QB. Seems like an act of desperation to me. I had high hopes for the Texans this season and while they may be evaporating quickly, I’m going to (foolishly?) stick with them another week.
The pick: Texans 20 – Panthers 16
Arizona Cardinals at Chicago Bears (+2.5):
The Bears were competitive against the Packers last week and Coach Fox will have them ready again. Call me crazy but I can imagine an upset here. Jay Cutler gets a lot of grief but he’s not all that different from Carson Palmer. They’re seen very differently, especially with Palmer now being seen as the Messiah after what the Cardinals went through last year. Unfortunately, I think its only a matter of time before Cardinals fans learn exactly how similar these two guys are.
The pick: Bears 24 – Cardinals 20
San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (-3.5):
Perhaps none of my preseason predictions will turn out as wrong as my prediction for the Bengals this season. I totally expected them to be garbage but after one week they looked like they may be the best the AFC North has to offer. What can I say…I just don’t understand the Bengals. Their postseason ineptness never seems to carry forward to the next regular season. The Chargers rarely do well on these cross country road trips, especially when they’re played at 1pm local time. The league needs to reconsider their habit of doing that to the west coast teams.
The pick: Bengals 31 – Chargers 24
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns (+1.5):
Tough game to call. Manziel had some nice moments early on vs the Jets before putting the ball on the ground in the 2nd half. Mariota was unchallenged in the Titans blowout victory over the Bucs. This will be a closer contest.
The pick: Titans 17, Browns 16
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-2.5):
The Vikings looked terrible last week in San Francisco. The Lions blew a 21-3 lead in San Diego. I’m sticking with the home team here.
The pick: Vikings 24, Lions 21
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-9.5):
The Bucs took the early lead in the race for the top pick in next April’s draft with that demoralizing 42-14 loss at home in week one. The reigning top pick in the draft, Jameis Winston, threw a pick-6 on his first pass attempt. I suppose the Silver Lining is that once upon a time…Brett Favre also threw a pick-6 on his first pass attempt.
The pick: Saints 33, Buccaneers 20
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-2.5):
What a dopey explanation Eli Manning gave in trying to explain his dopey clock management that blew the game vs the Cowboys. Who knew that Tom Coughlin had it so hard trying to make Eli look like a competent QB? Seriously, how did Eli come close enough to sniff two Super Bowl trophies, let alone win them? Coughlin is a miracle worker.
The pick: Giants 30, Falcons 27
San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5):
The 49ers looked much better than I expected. The front 7 controlled that game. Now they must travel to Pittsburgh to take on a Steelers team that’s been busy crying about voices in their headsets criticizing their lack of organization. It was a clever misdirection play. Otherwise they’d be hearing voices from their fans criticizing their lack of organization. But instead of witnessing their own flaws, they’re all imagining the ghosts of Bill Belichick’s past. Clever indeed.
The pick: Steelers 26, 49ers 21
St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins (+3.5):
The Rams are legit. I picked them to be Best in the West and they took care of the defending NFC Champs. This week they hit the road to take on the mistake-prone Redskins.
The pick: Rams 31, Redskins 20
Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5):
I thought we’d see a better performance from both of these teams last week. The Dolphins got all they could handle from a surprisingly game Redskins squad and the Jags barely put up a fight at home against Carolina. Both teams will play better this week but only one will get the “W”.
The pick: Dolphins 27, Jaguars 20
Baltimore Ravens at Oakland Raiders (+6.5):
Losing Suggs was a tough loss for a Ravens team I am very high on. Flacco really struggled out in Denver but will find less resistance in Oakland. The Raiders looked bad in their home loss to Cincy.
The pick: Ravens 23, Raiders 16
Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5):
How will the Cowboys respond to the absence of Dez Bryant? Thats a real tough loss for a squad with Super Bowl aspirations. Demarco Murray gets his first chance to stick it to Jerry & Co.
The pick: Eagles 30, Cowboys 27
Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (-3.5):
The Rules of Irony struck again for Seahawks fans as they began the 2015 season losing in similar fashion to how they ended their 2014 campaign. This is a statement game for Green Bay. They know they let one slip away in Seattle last January and will come out on fire in this one. This game will be all but decided by halftime.
The pick: Packers 38, Seahawks 16
New York Jets at Indianapolis Colts (-7.5):
The Jets lost a big piece of their defensive puzzle when Antonio Cromartie went down last week.They could have used his services this week against Andrew Luck and the Colts. Luck struggled last week at Buffalo but the Colts will rebound at home.
The pick: Colts 30, NY Jets 16
Week 1 Record: Straight Up: 8-8 Vs Spread: 8-7-1
Overall Record: Straight Up: 8-8 Vs Spread: 8-7-1